Mon 29th Sep, Day TWO:
Top Eight on course for Playoffs
the second day of Pool action in Odense the top eight seeds
remain unbeaten, and are one win away from topping their groups
to secure a favourable draw in the last 16 playoffs
There will be some crunch matches on Tuesday though, as teams
jostle for position in the second stage, and in some of the
three-team pools it will only need one injury or one upset
result to throw the cat amongst the pigeons.
Egypt, England, Australia, Pakistan
and Italy look safe after securing their second wins
today, while France, Malaysia and Canada
need to win tomorrow to be sure of progress as group winners.
Pool F provides the closest contest - Scotland will
surely beat Venezuela to put them on two wins, leaving
injury-hit India, seeded nine, the task of beating a
resurgent table-toppers Italy, seeded eight, to
have any chance of reaching the top sixteen.
ITALY 3-0 SCOTLAND
Good defence from the Scots today against a strong Italian Team
– Davide, Marcus Berrett, Amr Swelim – with both
Alan Clyne and
Stuart Crawford taking a game from Davide and Marcus…
FIRST FOR DAVIDE…
He may have lost the first game against Scotland number one Alan
Clyne but Davide Bianchetti, in his first appearance in a
Team Event for 10 years didn’t fail to take the next three.
A different Davide I must stress – “this is different, this is a
team event” – patient, not arguing, not a word to the ref, the
change is impressive.
Clyne played an excellent match and I was impressed both by his
fitness and volleying skills. For a not that tall player, Alan
knows how to cut off shots I can tell you that…
Davide was very
motivated today, very focused, and didn’t want to love his first
appearance in the tournament. He didn’t.
"Struggling a bit, I do that a lot these days….
"This is my first participation to a world team event, I did do
a European Team event about 10 years ago, but this was my first
"A bit nervous, considering what’s at stake, this is different,
this is for the Team… It was a bit of a bouncy court, and also
my first match of the tournament, I didn’t play yesterday…
"Alan is a fast player, strong, and he volleys well. I managed
to slow down the pace and play my game, which is the only one I
know how to play, where I don’t have to run that much…"
WHAT I COULD SEE BIT OF…
Framboise reports En Bref:
from Here to Here
People, there are 8 teams playing on 4 courts, so I honestly
can’t see much full game, only a vague sniff of what’s going on…
INDIA 3-0 VENEZUELA…
Nice to see that, despite the bad luck that strikes them, India
is still fighting, today against Venezuela they stayed a total
of 57m on court…
No trouble for the Aussies, only Pilley who lost one game to
take the next two only for points… Today, David was resting, so
Team was Bozza, Pilley and Aaron vs Wales, Sutherland, Peter Creed and Nick Birt…
Read what Dan Zilic
thought of that mach...
SOUTH AFRICA 3-0 KENYA
nice to see Rodney Durbach playing again, he is ranked two.
I could see bits of the match between
Clinton Leeuw (SA) and
Kenyan Joseph N Karigithe, nice pace, the Kenyan being very
Bad luck that the two African countries had to meet in the
pools, I’m sure they’d prefer to play against other continent
for a change…
PAKISTAN 3-0 SWEDEN
Aamir Atlas Khan is back, his ankle back to shape, although he
lacks a bit of matches, obviously. A strong team for Pakistan
with Aamir, Farhan, Yasir and Mansoor…
"I’m fine physically, the ankle is OK, but I’m lacking a bit of
matches, so I’m really happy to be here to play as many games I
can, it’s perfect for me.
I made a few unforced errors, because I saw him play yesterday,
and I saw he was moving very well, so I had to push him around
the court. I attacked a bit too much, but it was necessary
FRANCE 3-0 DENMARK
A slow start for
Thierry – Greg was resting – still the former
World number one takes the first game, only just, in front of a
pack glass court audience.
Rasmus, a bit tired in the second, will put pressure on the
French in the third, before twisting his ankle… Julien didn’t
have any trouble at all again Kim Povslen.
hungry again… I had a good think after the British and Sky, and
put my head together…
"Now, I’ve got to find the right balance between speed and
intensity that can prevent my opponent to play his own game.
2But I have my sensations back, physically I feel fine, and I’m
willing to do good…”
Renan, third and last leg
of the match, has a lot to handle with Kristian Frost,
playing home in front of a quite rightly full and enthusiastic
crowd, who went estatic when their man took a game of "DogWithaBone"
we did not make into top 16 this time.
We had our chance against Ireland yesterday, but we just did not
perform well enough.
Today we played France. France has such a strong team and it was a
really good experience for all of us.
Rasmus had a good first game with Thierry, but after the first game
Thierry was just too good. Kim got a good lesson from Julian. Julian
played so well - nothing to do really!
I had a really good game with Renan today. I managed to follow my
game plan throughout the match and I am very happy with the way I
played. It is never nice to lose, but looking back I managed to put
Renan under pressure and I stuck to my game plan. Overall very
The audience was amazing. It is very nice playing at home and
everybody just made is so much more exciting playing here! I hope we
will be able to do well in the 17/28 play-off!
Power draws the Crowds
Quick update #1 from Dan Zilic ..
Quite a few people
(notably a lot of professionals) came out to watch
Power on centre court play Spain's number one (with Borja
being injured) and Power won 3:0, Villa after all did beat Shuja
yesterday and certainly is no slump, but as I only saw the last
rally I can't comment on the match.
Personally I just excited to
say I got to play at the same time as Power. Canada, when with
Power at one, certainly have a good team and beat Spain 3:0
comfortably, Delierre beat Cornes and Razik beat Garbi
longest match of the three. Razik is known to have played some
of the longest matches of recent times, in this case the longest
match meant it was about 35 or 40 minutes.
Serbs fall to Kuwait
in the mean time, faced Kuwait. I had the honour of
representing Serbia at position one (we rested our real number
one) and I played Abdullah Almezaen, who was born 8 years after
me, is 8 centimetres smaller and about twice as fast.
I was pretty happy with my performance and snatched a 6:4 lead.
But after that it all went downhill and I wasn't able to cope
with the pace (despite my best efforts to slow it down) after
the first match and lost 3:0 in 25 minutes.
Marko Matanovic then lost against Bader Al-Husaini 3:0 and our
number two and team captain Ivan Djordjevic, lost 3:0 against
Salem Muhammad. Ivan got the most points out of the lot of us
and played some great trickle boasts in game one, so credit to
our captain! We still lost 3:0 though...
Ramy impresses for Egypt
Egypt were playing against a very competitive Hong
Kong team. Shabana beat Dick Lau at one and I just watched a
few rallies of of El-Hindi against Kwong at three. Kwong gave it
his best and forced two tie breaks, but El-Hindi is a class act
and never looked like losing a game, he was even going on to
himself when he'd hit a winner, claiming it should have been
Then I got to watch Ramy for the first time in my life, playing
at position two against Max Lee. Lee played great I thought, he
managed to pick up some drops of Ramy's that looked dead and
buried. Ramy was playing at a great pace but his error rate was
a bit high perhaps, but was giving Lee nothing for free.
a bit annoyed to the end when Lee got a cheap stroke so then
Ramy turned it up another notch to turn a 6:9 deficit in game
three into a 12:10 win.
He played some amazing counter drops at the front and the
prospect of playing him tomorrow (if he plays at two) is rather
frightening. But then again playing Shabana is not much better.
Finns foiled again
The last match of the round was the tightest. Finland's
Olli Tuominen managed to beat Malaysia's Azlan Iskandar
by playing some breath-takingly fast squash.
Hameed lost to Adnan it looked like Finland were within a chance
when Mustonen won the first game against Beng-Hee and was
gameball up at 10:9 in the second. I don't know if Beng-Hee was
just super-relaxed or was really having trouble, but he won the
second in the tie-break and the next two in quick succession.
One has to feel for the Finns, who were so close yesterday
against the US and had a decent chance today, they will most
certainly be the top favourites for the seventeenth place,
though I guess they will therewith only fulfil their seeding.
Aussie coaches clash
The day's second round of matches is now in full swing - Bozza
beat Sutherland on the glass court to give Australia a
one-love lead over Wales and now Nic Birt and Aaron
Frankcomb are battling it out.
This match anyway features two Aussie coaches, Robertson for
Wales and Eyles for Australia. We realised that if there were to
be a tournament for coaches, we would probably not even make the
There are so many great players around coaching some nations -
one wonders how a best-of team would fare in the competition.
Ricketts, Robertson, Eyles, Buit, and several whose name I don't
know but who look like great players when feeding their players.