Le Sport Closed Satellite November 18th-20th 2011
Adam Auckland bt. Phil Whitlock 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7
An exhilarating 70 minute match of quality squash which saw a speedy Adam just defeat the experience of Phil. Either player could have won 3-0 but Adam just edged it in the 5th. After yesterdays marathon as well Adams legs must be feeling it.
Adam explained after the match that the experience and quality of Phil’s length and width to his game made it extremely difficult. However due to Phil’s heavy breathing between points he decided to try and take advantage by extending the rally’s. Adam expressed his delight at his own performance, although he was unhappy at loosing his concentration during the 2nd and 3rd. Phil’s mental strength was complimented by Adam as was his physical fitness for a 49 year old.
Adam was very complimentary towards the tournament, ‘ this is a well run tournament, everyone is friendly and very welcoming’.
Karim Ali Fathi bt Will John 11-5, 11-5, 11-3
A solid test for the number one seed Egyptian and he was more than up to it. A great display of speed strength and skill of which was too much for Will, who is a good solid player himself. An epic final beckons though still some way to go.
After the match Will complimented the set-up of the club. He was also complimentary towards his first round opponent who made him work hard. He felt he played well against Karim, stating he had good length to his play.
Karim was eager to finish the rallies in order to save his energy for the next round.
Mark Fuller bt James Earles 11-0, 11-6, 11-9
The first game says it all, James wasn’t on his game and Mark really was on his! Mark has trained hard in the last couple of months and it paid off in this match. On to the first seed now for the semi’s for Mark. Unfortunately the 4th seed crashes out.
After the match, James blamed himself for the loss, saying he did not do the basics of squash well. However Mark feels if he can put in a similar performance he can beat the first seed Karim.
Declan James bt. Jack Jago 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11
Two very technically gifted players in a close tie here. Both players were working hard to break each other down in long rallies. Declan’s overall class did show however Jack did not give up easily taking the third and had game ball in the fourth but eventually lost. Had there been a 5th, it certainly would have been interesting. Declan is to play Auckland which promises to be an exiting game.
Karim Ali Fathi bt Mark Fuller 11-6, 11-8, 6-11,11-8
Mark Fuller had a good run in the tournament gaining confidence beating James Earls in straight game. Mark.clearly very fit, started off well against the 18 year old number one seed. The first game was full of long rallies and was really close, with both palyers trading points until Karim got to 6-5, and then he was able to pull away to take the game. The second game was similar to the first the rallies were close, with Karim moving from 4-4 to 10-4 before Mark managed to get another point. He served at 8-10 game ball, but Karim was able to take the game.
The crowd were enjoying some fantastic squash – long rallies, tight balls and some incredible drops and brilliant retrieving from both players.
Mark pulled the third game back keeping the ball tight, with Karim clearly feeling the effect of all the long, fast rallies. Mark wanted Karim to be ready quicker between points, but then when he was unhappy with some of the decisions made by the ref, he himself held up the match which allowed Karim to have a bit of a breather! This was just enough for Karim to get back into the game and he moved from 8-7 down to 10-7 match ball. After some immense rallies with both players using all 4 corners of the court, Karim came out the victor 11-8.
The crowd were pleased the home player had won, but many feel this was one of the best matches we have seen at Le Sport – so credit is due to both players.
Adam Auckland bt Declan James 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8
Adam came into this match of the back of two 3-2 wins, so the crowd felt he might struggle with so much squash already in his legs.
Dec took the first relatively quickly, but then things changed. Adam came out in the second, found a better length and better touch, moving his opponent all over the court.
Adam’s amazing acrobatics on court, jumping volley drops and athletic diving allowed him to take the 2nd and 3rd games.
The fourth game began in the same vain, but there were some incredibly long rallies and although the crowd would have expected it to affect Adam more, it seemed to be Dec struggling. The players again wanted to test the reffing skills of Robert Forde, who had done a sterling job all weekend, despite the many remonstrations of the young players. Fast and furious came the rallies, but it was Adam who clinched the fourth game and match.