Learning the Lingo:
"Vier beide" = "four all" ... "strafpunkt" = "conduct stroke"
#6: It's all in the
few weeks ago ASB's Peter Schmidl mentioned to me the
possibility of enlarging the very small sidewall clear window
that appears on some ASB courts, to allow photographers access
to a different angle.
"Sounds good," I said, not really knowing if it would be any
good or not, but lo and behold on this court in Wurzburg we have
those enlarged slots.
experimenting with it, you can definitely get some interesting
angles, and reflections!
It maybe needs to be just slightly longer to be able to get some
of the action near the service box - you can just see the darker
strip of the normal wall on this shot.
Note - on this court there's a wiring tube going up the corner
of the court that restricts access to the slot a little, so
without that it may be better.
course, you have to be more patient, waiting for the
players/action to be in the right area - especially for those
'along the tin' shots, but the slots definitely get the
thumbs up from me!
Now, I just
need a (very small) clear slot at floor level on the tin to get
some of those lovely low angles .... pretty please !!!
#5: It's all in the numbers
The Draws for the German Nationals follow a pattern
that's unusual, to me anyway, in that they're totally
pre-determined according to ranking.
So, in a 32-draw #1 plays #32, #2 plays #31, #3 plays #30, down
to #16 plays #17 ... the magic number is 33!
That continues through the rounds so that the top seed always
gets to play the lowest ranked player, eg in a 16 draw #1 plays
#16, #2 plays #15 etc ( the magic number is 17), and in
the quarter -finals it's #1 v #8, #2 v #7 and so on.
You can see the logic - you've earned that ranking so you reap
the rewards, and Simon Rosner must love always getting the
easiest draw ("I never actually thought about it that way, he
said, that's just the way it is!").
If you're in the middle of the draw you get a chance to play
those closest to you, which can only be good, but if you're near
the bottom you're probably going in with little or no prospect
of advancing or improving.
Apparently the rankings and the system are used in all of the
tournaments that go towards generating the German rankings, and
people do end up playing the same opponent time after time -
which probably isn't a good thing.
According to former National Coach Barry Dodson, the system was
introduced a few years ago to take away the possibility of any
manipulation of the draws, and it served that purpose.
Barry thinks it's time for a change to the more usual flexible
type of draw ("you could do public draws over the internet, if
'rigging' is still a worry," he says), and although it's none of
my business, I agree.
Learning the Lingo:
"Satz Ball" = "Game Ball", "Spiel Ball" = "Match Ball" (yes,
'Spiel' = 'Game')
#4: An Englishman Abroad ... well, not quite!
a name like "Nicholas Wood" doing in the German Nationals
draw, you might ask.
Well, I found out when said player asked me "what will it take
to get my photos on SquashSite?" (in a perfect English voice, I
"A kettle and a story," was the obvious reply [typically for
Europe, no tea-making facility in hotel room, and I forgot my
So ... It turns out that Nick's Dad, an Englishman, came to
Germany with work, met and married Nick's soon-to-be Mum, and
1982 he opened the first Squash Club South West Germany and
Nick, born in 1984, was naturally brought up with a squash
racket in his hand. He has dual passports, but has spent
the vast majority of his life in Germany.
He progressed as a junior, living and playing in Mannheim and
playing for B&W Worms, but gave up the game for a a while with
work commitments before starting to play again five years ago.
just wanted to try to be the best I could," explained Nick. "I
met up again with Barry Dodson, who was my coach as a junior,
started training and I just couldn't stop, I wanted to see how
far I could go.
"I made the top 20 in Germany, played in the Bundesliga, and
today was my first ever match on a glass court, a dream come
Nick lost that match, but that's not the point. Seeded 19, he's
in the 17-32 playoff draw ...
here's his results
Learning the Lingo:
"Let" = "Yes Let", "Kein Let" = No Let", "Ball an ..." =
"Stroke to ..."
#3: Learning the
Having travelled the world covering squash, you get used to all
the Referee's calls being in English, the only problem being to
understand some of the accents.
But here, it was a bit of a rude awakening watching the first
match when the referee's first call was what sounded like "Aushlag
Vetzel" (not the correct spelling, I'm sure, but I have to
own up that the only exam I ever failed was my German 'O' level
some 45 years ago).
Quickly enough you realise that that's the German for "Hand
And then someone tells you that literally it means "Change of
Service", which makes sense, of course as "Hand Out" doesn't
really mean much to me either!
Google translate to the rescue
take this as the first instalment of "how to referee in German",
we'll throw in more terms as we go along ...
Learning the Lingo:
"Doppelt" = "Not up", "Tief" = "Down", "Fuss Fehler" =
#2: Revenge is a dish best eaten Cold
Nine years is a long time to wait for revenge, but that's how
long Simon Rosner had to wait to get his own back on
Patrick Gassler !
was 2006 when the last played a proper match, in the Bundesliga
Simon was playing for Paderborn, Patrick for Stuttgart, second
on at number three and Patrick took the honours that day, 3-0
with Stuttgart going on to take the title.
Not only was that disappointing for Simon, it was also the last
time he lost to any German player!
with Steffen Rosner (yes, Simon's dad) instrumental in
organising this tournament, Patrick was given the wildcard entry
which, means that he took the #32 spot in the draw which pitted
him in the first round against #1 ... you guessed it!
It was an entertaining match, enjoyed by both players and the
sizeable crowd, swelled by local TV come to witness it too, and
although Patrick managed to take the third game there was only
ever going to be one winner as Simon ran out the 3-1 victor.
"Sometimes you just have to be patient," laughed Simon
after the match.
still remember that match well, we were closely ranked at the
time but I was still expecting to win and it was a big
disappointment to me, especially as we lost the match. I finally
got my revenge though!"
Patrick was happy too:
"All credit to him, he's improved so much, and grown a bit too!
It was a nice match, it was good fun and I really enjoyed it.
It's certainly no disgrace to lose to the world number seven!"