ē  Men's World Team Championships 2011 ē 21-27 Aug ē Paderborn, Germany ē  








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TODAY  in Paderborn, Sat 27th, Day SEVEN
Steve and Fram in Germany ...

Draws & Results

 [3] France 1-2 [4] Australia
Gregory Gaultier 3-0 David Palmer                11/9, 11/4, 11/0
         Gregoire Marche 1-3 Stewart Boswell   13/11, 6/11, 5/11, 4/11
         Thierry Lincou 1-3 Cameron Pilley        10/12, 9/11, 11/7, 6/11


 [1] England 1-2 [2] Egypt          
quick summary

     Nick Matthew 0-3 Ramy Ashour                7/11, 9/11, 12/14 (59m)
     Peter Barker 3-0 Hisham Ashour                11/6, 11/9, 11/7 (48m)
     James Willstrop 1-3 Karim Darwish  5/11, 11/13, 11/9, 4/11 (63m)

En Bref #6                                    Gallery & Videos

Playoff Finals:

5/6:      Malaysia 2-1 Italy         Bengy beats Berrett 3-2 in the decider
7/8:      India 0-2 USA                     USA's best finish since '83 ...
9/10:    Netherlands 0-2 Germany  LJ v Rosner 1st game 19-17 44m !!!
11/12:  Finland 0-2 Hong Kong      
13/14:  South Africa 1-2 Denmark     a best-ever finish for the Danes
15/16:  Canada 2-1 Mexico                'Solid' Shawn wins the decider ...

17/18:  Spain 1-2 Switzerland                
19/20:  Kuwait 2-0 Ireland                   
21/22:  Pakistan 0-2 Scotland  Pakistan slip up again, Scots jubilant  
23/24:  New Zealand 2-0 Argentina 
25/26:  Colombia 1-2 Austria      Czaska saves MB in 3rd to win decider
27/28:  Hungary w/o Korea           easy for the Hungarians ...
29/30:  Sweden 2-0 Ukraine      
31/32:  Bermuda 0-2 Namibia       31st place for Namibia !!

                         Full scores from all playoff matches

Full Playoff Scores

Photos & Videos

Support Your Team

Namibian delight

Ukranian relief

Danish contemplation

Scottish Identity Parade

Austrian Comeback King

Egypt 2-1 England  quick summary as it happened ...

Another packed house in Paderborn got its money's worth in the first match of the final - even though it was only three games, there was enough incident, excitement and fantastic squash to last anyone a lifetime.

"Ramy played fantastic in the first two games," said Nick Matthew at the end, which was true enough although the Englishman did lead until the later stages of the second, but more inspired play saw Ramy overtake him to double his advantage.

"Everyone saw what happened in the third," added the Englishman, referring to a trio of incidents at the end of the game where refereeing decisions went against him, much to his disgust and that of most of the crowd, who roundly booed all of the decisions.

It all started when Matthew thought he'd won the game after an Ashour dropshot, but although he was sure it was down a let was played which led to much arguing and finger-pointing, and it didn't get much calmer after they went back on court.

Anyway, it really was a fantastic display from both so let's not forget that.

Ramy took the game 14/12 and the defending champions led one-nil.

Until, that is, Peter Barker got the better oh Hisham Ashour in the second match. The elder Ashour brother showed flashes of his shotmaking ability, but for the moist part Barker kept it steady and tight enough to maintain in control of the match.

Hisham threatened towards the end of the second game, but once Barker had seen off that danger he kept a tight enough lid on things to close out the third and level the match.

That set up the decider between James Willstrop and Karim Darwish.

The Egyptian took early charge, winning the first comfortable but the second less so. Willstrop pulled one back in a tense finish to the third, but the fourth was all Egypt and soon enough the Egyptian bench was celebrating once more ...

Nick Matthew 0-3 Ramy Ashour    
                    7/11, 9/11, 12/14 (59m)


There was no observation round between the two number ones today. From the start, Ramy went for variety in pace, angles, his shots were flying in all directions, and it was a pretty quick opening game, about eight minutes.

I guess it took that long to Nick to get used to the Egyptianís pace again. The second was longer, about 15m, with nothing much between them, 1/1, 3/3, 6/6, 8/8, 9/9. Put under much more pressure, Ramy started to make a few errors - he didnít do one in the first game, but I counted five in this second one. Ramyís shots were still as lethal at the front, with Nick retrieving balls I didnít know that could be played, but itís at the back that the Egyptian takes that game, 11/9.

The crowd was enjoying every minute of, really wanted to prolong the show, and started to get behind Nick, who had absolutely no intention of losing 3/0 I tell you.

The game was as close as the first, the rallies were just incredible, Ramy inventing shots and angles as he went along, playing perfect lobs from the wrist, bless him, while Nick was trying his best to push him back to the back wall.

At 8/9, Nick to serve, not sure what happened, but suddenly, Nick started talking with somebody from the Egyptian camp ďyou are not the refĒ he said, pointing at the camp. That lasted a little while and the English camp started to growl quietly.

Then, again donít asked me what happened, cause I donít have a clue. There was a ball from Ramy that Nick and the English camp saw down, that the Egyptian camp saw up, along with the refs. The English growl became louder, especially when the two players came off court, arguing their case to the central ref, who Iím sorry to say lacked sdufficient authority, letting the players chat, and argue, and talk to each other. Not good.

Then, Nick asked Ramy for the ball as the Egyptian was about to serve, and wiped it. Ramy didnít seem to appreciate it. Followed a series of ďcontroversial callsĒ, Nick pleading for a  stroke, and only getting lets, three times.

By that time, Ramy and he were playing at a pace that looked like the old films in black and white, so fast, so fastÖ.

The English camp was pretty gutted when Ramy won, we had a few exchanges between the two Team coachesÖ It was all happening. But at the end of the day, Egypt was up 1/0.

It was very tough physically, we both gave it our 100%, I played very good squash, but so did Nick.

It was a very physical match, we both are playing for our country, we are both eager to win, and to die on the court if we need, itís a bit like soccer.

I tried to take the pressure away from my brother, whoís in the best form of his life at the moment, and I hope he wins todayÖ

Winning against somebody as strong as Nick gives me a lot of confidence. I know heíll be back firing at me in our next match, so Iíll have to be ready and work hardÖ

He played a lot better than me today, in particular in the first two games, but I was getting better in the third, although I didnít play anywhere near my best.

Now, I was not allowed to play a fourth game, I think that the whole crowd here saw what three people couldnít see. There was a bit of  injustice here, so we are ready to fight till the end.

Peter Barker 3-0 Hisham Ashour              11/6, 11/9, 11/7 (48m)


I know from the Egyptian camp that Hisham was poorly for a few days with a bad sore throat that got on his lungs. But it doesnít take anything away from the stunning performance the Englishman produced today.

And when you read his quote, donít believe for one second when he says that he couldnít play a drop shot to save his life. Actually, what was remarkable today, was that Hisham was really really patient, to the point of being a bit passive Ė in particular in the first game Ė and Peter was attacking at the front at the perfect time, and most of his shots struck gold first time! It was a bit the world in reverse in my book.

Hisham did his best, he really tried to match Peter, and stay in the rallies, but the Englishman was not to be denied today.

Iíve learned from my match against Thierry last time in Odense during the last World Team, the decider against France in the semis. It was a disappointing time for us, but hopefully, we will put it right today.

I will take any win against Hisham, 3/0, 3/1Ö. In NY, we had a bad match, and I guess I wasnít very fair to him then. He is a quality player, and I want to apologise to him for NY.

So today, I wanted to make amends, to put it right, and win fair and square, which I think I did.

Ok, it wasnít my best squash ever, and I couldnít play a nice drop shot to save my life but we did win, and now, weíve all confidence in James.

 James Willstrop 1-3 Karim Darwish
   5/11, 11/13, 11/9, 4/11 (63m)


Everybody has been saying this week ďanything can happen in the World TeamsĒ. And it did.

You would think that if Karim Darwish, world number three, lost to Thierry Lincou, 35, soon to be world number 10 or below, he probably wouldnít win against James Willstrop, world number four, against whom he hadnít won since November í06.

Think again.

Today, James Willstrop was extremely positive with his game, attacking well, but unfortunately for him, made an average of four tins per game in the first three games.

As we say in French, you canít make an omelette without breaking the eggs, as in, when you play a high percentage game, sometimes you get a few errors, it does come with the package.

If Karim didnít play his game yesterday, too careful not to make any errors against the Frenchman, today he was much more present, took the initiative, went for his shots and put James under pressure from the first rally to the last.

The first game was all about Karim to be honest, but in the second, James was leading score wise for most of it, not by much, but stillÖ He even had two game balls, 10/9 then 11/10, but itís Karim who surprises the Englishman in the end, a stroke and a trickle boast, 13/11.

James, do or die, takes control of the rallies, and is looking terribly good in the third, leading 3/1, 6/4, 8/6. Karim catches up at 8/8, but this time the Englishman finds some superb shots on his backhand, 11/9 James. We have been playing for 48 minutes of brutal, intense squash.

Everything is still possible, thinks the English camp. Of course, James is a bit tired, who wouldnít be, but he is used to digging in, I donít nickname him Digin James for nothing. And up to 4/4, the game is pretty tight.

And that the exact moment Karim chooses to plays his best squash for a very long time, stringing points together like precious pearls.

James wonít score another point.

Egypt confirms its world supremacy, as all the Egyptian camp erupts onto the glass court, while James exits, calm and dignified as only the English know how.

Today I played like I did because of Thierry, because of our match yesterday.

He gave me the hunger to win for my country, and even though we won yesterday, I was very angry with myself, I just couldnít handle the pressure, and I just didn't play my game.

Today I decided to treat this as if it was a PSA match, and to enjoy myself, and thatís what I did, to try and relax and forget about the pressure.

James played so well, but I really wanted that victory, and I think that at the end I played superb squash, and Iím really proud I gave that performance.

This year we missed Shabana, but all the players have been fantastic, they played wonderfully well.

Karim, Iím so happy because heís got his confidence back after his injury, then trying to come back at his best, and having bad results, he so deserves to lift that trophy. He was up against James, such a stunning player, and really had to be at his utmost best to win tonight.

And what about Ramy, he is the Mozart of squash, his game is second to none.

I promised my government that I would bring them back that trophy, and I think very few people were betting on us being victorious. And this morning, I gave back the trophy to the organisation here, and Iím really happy that weíll be leaving with it, taking it back to Egypt.

3rd/4th Playoff

Australia 2-1 France


Guys, no time to make you a big detailed report as the final is about to start, but in a nutshell.

Greg Gaultier, pumped up by his loss yesterday and his will to make up for it for his team, played a perfect game against a willing but knackered David Palmer. A sharp 11/0 to finish the match.

I couldnít help myself remembering when David, in front of the Pyramids, took the World Title away from Greg, in five gruelling games. And today, it was like Greg was closing that chapter. And David took the beating with grace and smile, as the true champion he is.

Well, it wasnít easy, we finished late yesterday, we just couldnít fall asleep, the adrenalin was still pumping, whether win or lose. So you struggle to relax.

From my point of view, I didnít play that long, it was only 50m, even if I played very hard. So this morning, I was fresh.

Iím so sorry that I couldnít bring the point for my team yesterday, my two team mates didnít amazingly well, but we just couldnít make it. Still, I had to play today, and I got a text from my coach, who was telling me that champions, even when they had a great disappointment, just bounce back. And thatís what I tried to do today. I was focused and I think I played well. And Iím glad I won that point for my Team.

May the best win that third place..

I really would like the crowd for turning up in mass, and even if we didnít play on the glass court, we could hear the atmosphere, and that was a great feeling. So well done to the Germans, we wish it was like that all the time, please keep it runningÖ

I didnít have much left in the tank tonight, between the ankle and the lack of fitness due to the ankle! When you arrive at my age, everything had to be perfect, especially against somebody like Greg. I tried my best but he was too good.

It was tough, and all credit to Greg, he had a very hard match yesterday that finish late, great effort to back it up today.

Iíve been to a lot of Team events, and itís the best one, the set up, the crowd, the court, it was perfect. It was as good if not better than the PSA events, and I wish it had been there four or five years ago when I was able to perform better.

Iím so proud of the Aussie team, hopefully Bozza can level it, and then Cam can close the match.


Next on, Little Greg as I call him to differentiate him the Other Greg, was up against former world number 4 Stewart Boswell. It was an superb performance from the youngster, who is not exactly used either to that kind of enormous pressure nor the glass court.

Little Greg did awfully well to clinch the first game 13/11, Bozza was working pretty hard to put the Frenchman out of position, and did a lot of errors in that game.

After that, the Frenchman was a bit tired, bless him, Stewart cut down on the unforced errors, while taking the measure of his opponent, taking him to the front more and more.

A good logical win for the Australian, but a Little Greg that will learn an enormous lot from the experience.

On went Thierry, and from the start, it was obvious to me that he was flat as it comes. Yes he tried his best, but Cam has got the perfect game to twist and turn the Frenchman, getting him constantly out of his comfort zone, forcing him to find the tin a bit too often.

Cameron played the perfect game, he made so few errors, he was disciplined and focused, heíll be extremely proud of his match. While Thierry, well, like David, had given all what he couldÖ.

It was a great week for France, they came very close, and Iím personally very proud of the all or nothing choice my compatriots made yesterday. They came pretty close to cause the upset of the century. Iím so proud of them.

Thierry had a very hard match yesterday, and finished very late, I knew he was bound to be slow, whereas I got shot by James in the 3rd, and had plenty of energy left!!!

I was a bit slow off the blocks in the 3rd, whereas he played very well.

I tried my best not to give him any loose shots in the middle, and to keep it or very short, or deep. I place a couple of boasts and a few short kills that took him by surprise.

I was really disappointed with my loss against James today, and if I had lost that one, I probably would have necked myself!!!!

Yesterday, we tried our 200% to get to the final, it was a choice, bit of a toss of a coin, and of course, we left on the court a lot of energy, of course physical, but most of all mental.

Today, I had in the legs my match from yesterday, but most of all, I lacked concentration, I was losing my focus, I knew what to do, in particular in the 4th, but I just couldnít do it. And I guess I could have been a bit more luck in the first two games, it was pretty close, one would have been good! Physically, I was fine at the end, but itís mentally, that I was drained.

We could have played it safe, going for the bronze, but we didnít. We pushed as hard as we couldnít yesterday, and I think we were right to do so, as we came very close indeed. We are very proud of our performance this week.

Watch the Jugglers

It was definitely not easy, Greg played exceptionally well. In the first, he was really strong, and I really had to hang in there.

For the next match, Thierry has got the experience, but Cameron is improving, looking forward to this match.

I was fine in the first game, but Iím not able to keep that fast pace on a consistent basis, I have lapses in concentrationÖ

I know I had to keep it straight, or if I was to crosscourt, my width would have had to be perfect, and that today wasnít not good enough, he killed me again and again. And if I was able to keep him behind in the first game, I couldnít after, which meant I kept on running and runningÖ

I did what I could, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

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