TODAY

• Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 7th to 11th March 2016 • London •  

 TODAY at the Canary Wharf Squash Classic 2016

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Wed 9
th Mar, Day FIVE:
English bow out in Quarters ...
 
With seven of the eight seeded players through to tonight's quarter-finals, there were four more great matches for the sold out crowd at the East Wintergarden venue.

The only upset of the day came as second seed Simon Rosner was forced to retire after two games against an in-form Cameron Pilley, although top seed Omar Mosaad needed all five games to see off Daryl Selby.

But perhaps the biggest shock is that for the first time in the event's 13 year history there will be no English players in the last four ...

Quarter-Finals:

[8] Borja Golan
(Esp) 3-1 Fares Dessouki (Egy)
         11/8, 5/11, 11/5, 11/5 (62m)

[1] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-2 [7] Daryl Selby (Eng)
           11/4, 8/11, 11/3, 4/11, 11/5 (71m)


[6] Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [2] Simon Rosner (Ger)
           11/7, 11/5 rtd (28m)

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-0 [5] James Willstrop (Eng)
           11/6, 11/6, 11/9 (49m)
 

Photos by SquashPics.com - more in the Gallery

He played the better squash today.

He showed more experience on court today. But I felt I’ve learned from this match.

I’m happy I’m back on court, I’m happy that I’m enjoying my squash again. I’m not 100% there yet, because I lack backing up hard matches.

Today, I felt a bit heavy, from the match with Marwan more mentally hard than anything else, but I feel I lack a few hard matches, I have lost in the first round of a few tournaments, and I feel it…

Happy with my performance today…

[8] Borja Golan (Esp) 3-1 Fares Dessouki (Egy)
            11/8, 5/11, 11/5, 11/5 (62m)

Borja too accurate
Fram reports

I felt that today, it was more of a mental game than anything else. Both ranked at the same level on the world rankings 20 for Borja, 21 for Fares, it all came down to Experience.

Under high surveillance from the World Ref John Massarella, Fares played very well, his use of the lobs truly put Borja under pressure, but unfortunately for him, he was not consistent enough to put pressure on his opponent enough throughout.

Borja started very well, dominating the first game, 2/0, 4/2, 6.3, 10/5. Fares, who was a bit on the back foot up to there, seemed to relax and stepped up the court, only losing 11/8 in 14m.

And the momentum went with the 21 years old Egyptian in the 2nd, 4/1, 8/2, 11/5, not one error in that 12m, compared to 4 in the first game. Tactically very astute and playing a beautifully varied squash.

In my opinion, Fares loses the match in the 3rd, as he seems a bit flat mentally, while Borja is getting more confident with his shot selection, his boast as lethal as ever, and his counterdropping making a lot of damage in the Egyptian legs.

The 4th is all about Borja’s experience, as from 5/5, he will score all the points to victory. Accuracy coming from the Spaniard’s racquet just impressive today, and he will be very happy to get away with an hour match against an opponent as dangerous as Fares.

It feels good to get to the semi-finals for the first time. There are always so many good players here that's it is always hard to read the semi-finals so I'm very happy today, especially to beat a quality up and coming player like Fares.

I'm enjoying my squash which is the most important thing.

We all like to enjoy squash and enjoy playing and that's the same for us as professional players - the most important thing is winning and when you're inside the court you give 100 per cent. Sometime if you're not playing at you best there are traffic issues - today wasn't too bad, but we train for that and the main thing is we try and play fluid squash.

Overtime we play we are rivals but after the match we all try to be good people - what happens in the court stays in the court.

[1] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-2 [7] Daryl Selby
               11/4, 8/11, 11/3, 4/11, 11/5 (71m)

Mosaad battles past Selby
Alan Thatcher reports

Top seed Omar Mosaad battled past Daryl Selby to reach the semi-finals, but it took 71 minutes of raw power, brilliant squash and fluctuating fortunes before the Egyptian completed the task.

Selby twice fought back to level the scores after losing the first and third games before the 6ft 4in tall world No.4 took control of the fifth.
From 4-4 in the decider, Mosaad won six points in a row to advance to match ball, but that sixth point was the culmination of the best rally of the match as Selby flung himself around the court to keep the ball in play.

We have seen some amazing retrieving at Canary Wharf and in Chicago in the past week, but Selby's never-say-die scrambling reminded me of John White in the 2007 Canary Wharf final against James Willstrop.

Selby claimed one more point before Mosaad closed out the match and now faces another hugely physical battle against Borja Golan in the semi-finals.

Selby doggedly stuck to his task but it was more than just dealing with the incredible pace generated by Mosaad. Selby produced several flowing passages of outstanding squash to win the second and fourth games, working the ball intelligently around the court as the packed East Wintergarden gallery roared him on.

In the end he had to bow to the incredible strength of his opponent, but he did himself, and Essex, and England, proud.

Playing Daryl here is very hard - I though it was going to be easy after the first game and I was up in the second as well but he started to play really well. He was playing very well but after coming back from 2-2 I'm very happy to win.

I played Colombia and Chicago and trying to be strong mentally. I'm very happy to reach the semi-finals here for the first time.

Borja is a very tough player. I'll go and do my recover and hopefully play well and make it to the final.

Yes, it was a clear example of tactical game…

Omar is so powerful, the quality of his length and his hitting has improved dramatically, before he was powerful, but not 100% accurate, whereas now, he is powerful AND accurate.

So it was a case of implanting our game, when he was overpowering me, he was wining the game, but when I was implanting my game – taking away the pace and forcing him to create his – I was wining the games.

It all came down to a few points in the 5th, he squeezed me really well.

I love it today, it was a great battle, his game has changed and if in the past there was times it was not the case, today, I truly enjoyed playing against him.

[6] Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [2] Simon Rosner (Ger)
                  11/7, 11/5 rtd (28m)

Pilley through as Rosner retires
Alan Thatcher reports
 
Cameron Pilley advanced to the semi-finals after his opponent, Simon Rosner, retired at the end of the second game due to illness.

With Pilley winning the first two games 11-7, 11-5 inside 28 minutes, Rosner shook hands as he left the court and told me he was feeling sick and had a headache.

No player ever likes to advance in such circumstances, and Pilley was mentally prepared for a much longer battle.

Having said that, Pilley looked fit, fast and sharp at the front of the court, covering Rosner's softer attacks with some outstanding court coverage.

Pilley's drops and counter drops were extremely effective, and he delighted the crowd with his usual hard-hitting and a brilliant corkscrew shot.
 

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-0 [5] James Willstrop (Eng)
               11/6, 11/6, 11/9 (49m)

Mathieu takes the game to James
Fram reports


A great performance from Mathieu today against Gentleman James, who had the privilege to play the best retrievers on the circuit, two days in a row… If Carlsberg did Bad Luck….

I expect Mathieu to play his normal “let’s wait and work hard” game, but que nenni, absolutely not. He attacked from the word go, played at a much faster pace than normal, and twisted/turned James pretty consistently.

To his credit, James fought very hard, and played his usual exquisite squash, clever, accurate, mixing height, finding his gorgeous “look, I can do it on one leg” shots but on that bouncy court, he just was not getting the dividends of his hard work and talent.

Mathieu played an immaculate squash, 1 error per game, although he was attacking much more than he would normally do, maybe that’s something he should look into for future matches. As for James, 5 in the first game, 1 in the second, and 3 in the last one…

Very close first game, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/7, but a little drop of energy at the end of the game for the Ponte Player, and four points in a row for Mat, 11/6 in 13m. Same length for the 2nd game, pretty mirror game too, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 5/5, 6/6, and again, a big push from Mathieu, 5 points this time, 11/6.

The third is a superb display of James’ skills, a magnificent run of beautiful attacking shots, 7/2, 8/3, but a huge drop of energy there, and Mathieu on the war path, 10/8, match ball saved, but 11/9, in 16m…

The first two games were similar - it went to 5-5 or 6-6 and then he started to get tired. In the third game, when he was 8-2 up he was playing very good but after a long rally I saw he was tired so I pushed as hard as I could to get back into the game and I'm very happy with that win.

From the start, I wanted to take the game to him. I knew he had a tough match against Paul, and I was betting of the physical side of the match because if James is a genius with a racquet, at the moment, he may be a bit short physically, and I was counting on that.

What you may not know is that I used to watch and learn from James’ hold with my coach André Delhoste, I would practice the “tôt tard”, “soon later”, stopping your racquet, and let the racquet go. I practiced for hours, so as he’s got that style of game, it doesn’t cause me too much of a problem, I can read it rather well, it’s an advantage…

You CANNOT give James any time on the ball. He is just an extraordinary racquet player, and in the third, up to 8/3, he gives me a squash lesson. And then, a big rally, I manage to sneak in and force one error from him, then a second, then a stroke, then one or two good shots from me, and at 8/8, I just keep the hold tight, he gets a let on the second match ball, for me it’s a no let, but I make the tactical choice not to review, because I don’t want to give him any breathing time. And then that drive that sticks to the wall, and that he cannot retrieve. And the relief….

James is a team player in my Mulhouse team, for four years now, I have the utmost respect for him, and I’m sure we’ll have many more battles, that I hope to win too!!! And I’m sorry that he had to play both Paul Coll and myself.. that was really bad luck I feel!...

He was playing very well today…

I was saying this morning, if I could have picked two players, Paul Coll and Mathieu Castagnet wouldn’t have been the ones….

On that court, not that dead.. I didn’t get much help… I did my best but my shots weren’t going in, front right and front left, not good, sitting on there….

And then at 8/2, 8/3, the physical aspect that plays a too big of a role…

At 8/3, I’m out of match fitness maybe, I’m not playing as much as I was so it’s nice, I’m fresh and I enjoy my time on there, but the problem is that I lack conditioning and I forgot how to win matches!

And at 8/3, I start playing poor shots, and errors. Pretty poor really, and when I create such an advantage for myself, I can’t let it go against somebody as good as Mathieu.

At the end of the 2nd, I was getting frustrated, I was a bit out of control in my head, but I guess that I should have believed in myself, Malcolm told me I needed to believe… and I didn’t. I should have. Next time…

But I can’t complain, I had a good run, it was a clean match, and I love playing Mathieu, the crowd was fantastic, it would have been nice to take it a bit further…

Photos by SquashPics.com - more in the Gallery


Round One - Top Half


11 Points with ...


Round One - Bottom Half

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