at the Wimbledon Club Squash2 Open FRAM
18-Mar, Day SIX,
beat Steve Richardson
(Eng) 3-1  Omar Abdel
11/8, 11/7, 8/11, 11/4 (62m)
Willstrop wins in Wimbledon
Top seed James Willstrop is the inaugural Wimbledon Club Squash
Squared Open Champion following victory over second-seeded
Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid in tonight's final.
They'd only met once before, the Englishman winning in last
year's Canary Wharf Classic, and a repeat looked likely as
Willstrop took the first two games. Meguid pulled a game back
but Willstrop surged ahead in the fourth to take the title, the
19th PSA crown of his career.
Action photos by Patrick Lauson
A lovely Event
It was a great tournament that the Wimbledon Club managed to set
up this week. The Committee has done wonder, and they all
deserve a massive thank you from us all.
players were truly happy, they felt appreciated, they had a good
time, the matches went well, upsets, great battles, drama, we
had it all, but in the spirit intended. A big shout out to
Steve Richardson, who did wonders as the main ref, and
allowed the players to focus on their squash only...
Every round – from the first day of Qualis to the final – was
packed and the players appreciated the “Club Atmosphere” as
James called it quite rightly. The fact the club is surrounded
by green, a golf club and right in front of the All England
Wimbledon gives it that special feel.
from the girls in the office, reception (coucou Caroline)
to the bar people, the restaurant, the food, the organisation,
the MC Johnny Barran – I can’t believe that man didn’t saw a
squash match before, his aftermatch interviews were stunningly
clever and accurate – the Committee, the Club Directors, every
single person has made us feel welcome.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for having us, and
hopefully, see you next year on a glass court maybe?
Come on, you can’t blame a girl for trying…
the same thing as yesterday, against Josh, I said the difference
was I played the important points better.
Today, it was
James that did play better in the crucial moments.
What makes the
difference between the top 10 players and the top 20, 30, is
that accuracy and consistency they have throughout the whole
And today, I think James made 2 errors in the
first two games! I did many more for sure…
Also, I’m playing
on the qualifying for the British Open tomorrow all the way in
Hull, and I was thinking about that which was not good really…
Willstrop wins Intense but Fair
to score the first point, I need to make sure I score the first
point” Omar told me with a smile before his match against James,
as he remembered that the last - and only - time they met, in
the first round of the 2015 Canary Wharf, when James punished
him 11/0 in the first game!
didn’t score the first point, but the third. Bagel avoidance,
from that first encounter we were. Those two gladiators gave us
a superb display of an attacking, powerful, intense yet fair
battle, of a high quality indeed.
game was dominated in patches by one then the other. From 4/4,
8/5 to James, despite a very weird short serve – he normally
plays a lovely lob serve – then Omar takes it back, 8/8. Omar
seems to hold back a bit, a bit defensive, but then again, James
is playing superb attacking squash, fast pace, both moving well,
but it’s James that takes the points at the end of long rallies,
11/8. James hasn’t made an error.
Terrible start – or great for James
– for Omar 0/5, the beggle ghost is showing its ugly head! But
zoom, does James relax a bit? Or Omar’s pride kicking it?
Whatever it is, the Egyptian scores 5 points in a row, pushing
James to make his first error in the process (and only error in
From 5/5, James takes the control of the
rallies again, it’s superb squash from both, but again, James
gets the finishing touch, 11/7.
third will be much better from Omar who takes the lead for the
first time, 3/0, with James getting it back, 4/4, and pushing it
to 8/5, only to see Omar overtaking him all the way to take the
game, 11/8, scoring 7 points… Two errors for James in that
third, that makes 3 overall (he won’t make another one), 16 for
fourth is all about James, 3/0, 8/2, 9/4. At that point, we have
yet again an amazing rally with Omar throwing himself all over
the court – as he’s been doing a few times – but this times,
it’s really in the four corner! He finishes flat on the floor,
looking at James, who obviously stops playing.
sorry James, but I’m going to give a no let”, goes Steve
Richardson. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, NO LET!!!!!???? HE IS ON THE
“Exactly”, he was below the tin, you had only
to put the ball on the wall anywhere….” First funny/bad call of
the whole week for Steve, bless him, who got changed a few
seconds later, to the benefit of the logic really.
Still, that shows in the intensity
of the match! James finishes the game hitting extremely hard and
accurately. But both players were saluted by a
Something tell me there will be an event next year.. They all
had too much fun to not do it again. And again. And again…
It was a very high intensity match,
in the dialogues as well I’m sure you heard it!
We are two big
fellows, I don’t think there are on the tour two bigger or
heavier players than us two, and think we did pretty well.
traffic problems and a few lets, but considering, nothing bad at
all, the intensity was high, the quality was definitely there,
I’m very happy to play at that level, I hope the crowd enjoyed
it, and I’m thrilled to win the title.
At the end of the games, I think
that’s what you get when you had the chance to get to the top
10, you have more experience with the big point, you work very
hard, for hours, and it allows us to have the knack to be able
to put the ball away at crucial times.
But the level is so high, it’s been
tight squash from the first game, I am top 15 and Robbie in my
first match was 110 I think, and it was tight throughout the
The depth of the game is just remarkable and I had to use
any bit of experience, it’s a mental intensity I think you
develop after hours and hours of work and time on court and
I would like to thank Stacey
personally, along with all the people that have been working
hard to put this event together, I hope it will grow from
strength to strength. The crowd has been very receptive, they
give us back a lot, and that’s a great feeling.
There was a good atmosphere, I know
we say it a lot, but it has been a truly enjoyable week, and
again thanks to Stacey and his team for making what it’s been
this week. I thoroughly enjoyed it.