TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic
Wednesday 23rd March, Quarter-Finals:
Peter Barker bt Stewart Boswell
8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 17/15 (88m)
 James Willstrop bt Joey
12/10, 11/5, 14/12 (44m)
 Nick Matthew bt Daryl Selby
11/1, 12/10, 7/11, 11/5 (71m)
 Grťgory Gaultier bt Simon Rosner
11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (52m)
updates lots on the BLOG
Fram reports, Steve on the Shutter, Alan on the Blog
Barker bt Stewart Boswell
8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 17/15 (88m)
I must say I was impressed with the Australian start today. He
was moving very well, his length was so accurate, tight and
precise, and his volleying, well, as good as it gets. He was way
up the court, comfortable with his movement, and really put
pressure on Peter, forcing a few uncharacteristic errors out of
him, taking the first game 11/8, after 23 long minutes.
the second, well, a bit of an energy drop for Boswell, and
Peter, finding himself calling the shots, standing right on the
T, dispatching good crosscourt to keep Bozza in the back
corners, forcing him to attack from bad position and therefore
In the 3rth, Peter is quite comfortably up, 4/1, then 7/3. A bit
of loss of focus, and there we have an comeback from the
Australian, but too little too late, game Peter, 11/7.
The fourth is close all the way, with Boswell finding a second
wind, alert, moving very well again, offensive, and Peter, a bit
on the back foot, but still present and willing. Stewart will
get 7 game balls, none heíll be able to transform.
At 14/15, he gets a no let, then hits the ball out of court,
offering Peter his first match ball. In my opinion a very harsh
no let will give the Englishman the match, 17/15Ö
started off really well, but in the 2nd and 3rd, I fell in a bit
of a hole, he moved me too much from the T.
And in the 4th, I got so many chances to close it, I needed to
take them. Disappointed, as Iím working very hard towards wining
that kind of matches against those top guys, I need to take
those chances, as they are not going to be there forever.
feel I got a few harsh decisions, Boswell got a couple as well
in the end, I just managed to keep my concentration.
In the first game, his length and width was just too good, there
was not much I could do. After losing the first game, I tried
and not to panic, and I told myself, that game was long [23mn],
heís bound to get tired, win or lose. So I tried to get in
front, and make him do more work, hoping the court would open
up, and making it a bit longer.
In the 4th, I lost a bit of momentum, I didnít have many matches
recently, so I lost a bit of concentration, and had a bit of a
drop in energy, and he also played very well. Needless to say
Iím very happy to get that 4th game, and not prolong the fun
Bozza was number 4 in the world, he came back in 2004, and
since, heís been consistently in the top 20, his width and
length is phenomenal, and his movement is pretty good tooÖ
Iím number 7, there are 6 guys in front of me, who are all
pretty good, and I feel I still have to improve to beat them.
Squash is everything to me, but itís not the most important
thing anymore [Pete is getting married in June] and thatís good
to have something other than just squash to balance my life
Willstrop bt Joey Barrington
12/10, 11/5, 14/12 (44m)
Willstrop gets away with it
James Willstrop, three times the champion here, will be pleased
to get past the always dangerous Joey Barrington in straight
games, but my, didn't Joey make him work for it.
To be fair, to some extent the second seed made life difficult
for himself, with unforced errors at times when he looked to be
gaining control. But that's not to take anything away from
Barrington's perseverance, and in the end he can count himself
unlucky not to have taken at least a game, having held game
balls in the first and the third.
started well enough, opening up a 4/0 lead in the first, and
extending it to 7/3 after a couple of errors had brought
Barrington closer. By now Joey had warmed to his task though,
and some determined play from him plus some more errors from
James contrived to put Joey 10/9 ahead.
James saved that game ball with a measured dropshot into the
nick, gave Joey another chance as he completely fluffed an
attempted volley, but eventually took it 13/11 with a successful
version of the same shot, this time into the nick.
That game took 14 minutes, the second just 6 as Willstrop led
6/2, 10/3, and wrapped it up 11/5.
For many that seemed to be that, and the opening exchanges of
the third gave no warnings to the contrary. True, James made a
few errors from winning positions, a couple of times trying too
fancy a shot, but 4/2, 6/3 and 7/4 leads seemed good enough for
him to build on.
though, Joey wasn't going along with that scenario. He's been
saying this week how he's feeling much better about his squash
after finally getting some quality training time, and it showed
here as he more than held his own in some quality exchanges.
He thought he'd levelled at 7-all, but James took the video
review and Joey's stroke was demoted to a let. He did level at
8-all as another James error found the tin, and went 9-8 as
James tinned again. Joey got to game ball on a no let - upheld
on review - but James forced extra points, this time on a no let
to Joey, again upheld.
So, both had lost their single appeal for this game, but that
wasn't the end of the upwards gazing at the big screen, oh no,
they get one back for extra points. James got match ball with a
drop, then punched in another volley for 12/10. Joey appealed -
well you would, wouldn't you - and raised his arms aloft as the
decision was overturned and a let granted.
It was only a temporary respite though. Yes, James did make his
sixth error of the game as he hit an easy winner straight back
into his own body, but that was his last error, and he finally
subdued his opponent with a dying length followed by a precision
long drop. Job done with a 19-minute final game and a relieved
made it difficult for myself, I made too many errors, going for
my shots, and them not going in. But thatís all credit to Joey,
thatís the best heís played against me in a very long time, he
put me under pressure.
And if I had a good spell in the second, I really had to fight
in the first and the third, lucky for me I got away with it each
TV review is an excellent idea, I donít know of a game that it
damaged, and Squash can only benefit from it.
had my chances in both games. He beat me 9 times in PSA, itís
always a fair play, in all corners, I really appreciated it. And
itís just fantastic to play in this place.
I need more matches like that, hopefully, Iíll get them, there
is still some life in the old dogÖ
Matthew bt Daryl Selby
11/1, 12/10, 7/11, 11/5 (71m)
Matthew gets his revenge
World champion Nick Matthew led a trio of Englishmen into the
semi-finals of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic Ė and then described
his England team-mate Daryl Selby as a ďgiant gnatĒ.
Matthew gained revenge after losing to Selby in the final of the
National Championships in Manchester last month, winning in 71
minutes of punishing squash.
donít know how Iím still alive!!!!!!
I played alright from the start, I didnít play any cheap shots,
but Nick was just to strong, too accurate, so tight, and up for
it, not that I wasnít, but, he just overpowered me, too strong.
Once my legs woke up, in the 2nd and 3rd, I played good squash,
I got into my game plan Ė Iím not telling you, it seems to be
working, so Iíll keep trying! Ė I took the control of the t a
bit away from him.
I would have like to take the 2nd, I would have had maybe a
chance, 2/0 down against Nick is very hard to come back from.
I kept on fighting in the 4th, but my legs werenít responding,
and once he is on a roll, he runs away with the game, he is
world number 1 you knowÖ
he started a bit slow, but once he got moving, he was like a
gnat, he kept chasing everything down, I just couldnít get it
I was playing well for a game and a half, I was 1/0 up, and 10/7
At the end of the 2nd, there were a lot of stop start, and that
broke a bit my momentum, and in the third, I was trying to
lengthen the rallies, but I made a few errors in a row, just
clipping the tin. He was playing really well, he pulled me into
an up and down the wall game at which he excels.
He seems to get better when he is down, he seems to feed off
what you are doing. And weíve all played big matches after a
hard match the day before, thatís what we train for, and the
training is much harder than the matches, so I knew he would
back it up today!
Iím happy to get him off, I seem to have trouble against him,
all credit to him, he is succeeding to get a bit of anxiety into
my game.. Iím going to try and stay away from him for a while,
he gets tougher each timeÖ
Gaultier bt Simon Rosner
11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (52m)
GREG MOVES WELLÖ
is so happy to be on court, itís obvious, he is enjoying his
time on there, and Simonís squash is exactly what he dwells on.
Fast pace, nice attacks, Greg really enjoyed picking up those
great attacks, finding counterattacks, varying the angles.
Simon played an excellent game today, he really was able to put
the Frenchman under a lot of pressure, especially in the 3rd
game, as Greg maybe went for a bit too much too soon, where he
got a nice 4/0 start. The German was able to vary the pace
extremely, introducing some excellent defensive lobs that sent
the Frenchman nicely into the back corners.
In my opinion, maybe the key was at the back, Simon played
his attacks shots very wellbut was not enough to pass by Greg,
unable to twist and turn him enough. And although Greg had to
run and work hard today, I never felt that he was out of his
comfort zone really.
That third game was a good test for Gregís mental state. He made
a few errors at the start, but quickly came back, strong and
focused. A few months back, he may have lost a few points too
many there, even the game. This way, he is saving his energy,
both mental and physical for his next match, heíll be happy with
thought I played well today, better than yesterday. And Greg is
such a great player, itís such a great experience for me to play
In the third, I felt I was a bit unlucky, but then again, he was
playing too well, he was killing all the shots at the front, and
there was not much I could do. I truly wish him good luck for
happy to play well, and to feel well. I think we both played a
good match, we both played at a fast game, I need games like
that. I was happy to move well, I felt much better than
yesterday, where we had to wait a long time to get on court.
In the third, I was attacking too soon, but I didnít panic, I
didnít get annoyed with myself as I can do sometimes. I just
reassess, and got back to basics, staying focused. But I was
really happy with my movement, it was fluid, I didnít feel any
I was happy to see the other players on court, it gets me back
in there, mentally, I can analyse the shots, it helps me, it
helps my game.
Simon played very well, he played out of his skin really, heís
got those little attacks shots, so dangerous, youíve got to be
on your toes constantly. He has improved immensely, he plays
much better than before, much more solid. And I was glad I
watched him play yesterday, it helped me analyse those little