l Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open l 13-18 March 2016 l London, UK l

2016 Tournament Reports


 TODAY at the Wimbledon Club Squash2 Open    FRAM REPORTS  

18-Mar, Day SIX, Finals:

 Legends Match
     Peter Marshall beat Steve Richardson


 [1] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-1 [2] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
                           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.

The 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.

Everybody, 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…

It was 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 matches.

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 Battle

“I need 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!

Well, he didn’t score the first point, but the third. Bagel avoidance, check. Blesss…

Far far 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.

First 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 2 games).

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.

The 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 Omar….

The 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.

“I’m sorry James, but I’m going to give a no let”, goes Steve Richardson. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, NO LET!!!!!???? HE IS ON THE FLOOR!!!!

“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 delighted/impressed/happy crowd…

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.

A few 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 match.

 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 matches.

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.

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