2015 Men's World Championship Bellevue - Day ONE
Framboise Gommendy and Matthew Lombardi report ...

Lance Beddoes (Nzl) 3-1 Joel Hinds (Eng) 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 15-13 (60m)

A strong start for the New Zealander coached by Geoff Hunt Ė somehow, that cannot be bad now can it Ė with Joel not finding his balance right between attacking and defending in the first two games.

A much better next two games for the Englishman, a bit frustrated by a referring that seemed a bit strange at times to me Ė and a few players watching Ė but then again, I was on the complete other side of the court, and perspective can change a lot. Joel takes the 3rd on his second game ball, 12/10.

The fourth is a good start for Lance, 4/1, Joel seems out of it, frustrated with calls, but all credit to him, hangs in there and comes back, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. The Englishman will have two three game balls, saved with flamboyance by Lance, who finally takes the match, 15/13 on his second match ballÖ

In Qatar Circuit too, I was up 2/0 in the quarters, and I lost! Itís not my style normally, but I have been working with Geoff, in Qatar, working very hard, so I guess Iím learning new things, and Iím trying to introduce them in my game a bit, and you make errors.

Iím doing a few more bigger tournaments at the moment, Iím a bit nervous, especially in the first match, thatís the most important for me normally. In the third, I wish I could have been just that little bit more relaxed, I put too much pressure on my shoulders, I went a bit negative, stopped attackingÖ But I was happy to find a few nicks in the 4th, that helpedÖ

Happy to win this one, like last year, I was not supposed to win my qualifying match in Qatar, and I won it. Tomorrow, Frost is waitingÖ 

 

James Huang (Tpe) 3-0 Clinton Leeuw (Rsa) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)

Huang showed off a poised game. Leeuw jumped to an early lead in the first game with a steady diet of attacking, but Huang turned the tide by hitting relentless, impeccable straight length. That was really the script for the entire match. Huang seemed to grow quicker as things progressed, while by the third game errors were coming off of a tired Leeuw's racquet in bunches.

"It was my first time playing him, so I just concentrated on playing my game and not being rushed.

"Winning the first game was important. I felt I then started moving better in the second.

"Next I play LJ. I know it will be tough, but there will be no pressure. I've been training with Max Lee and Leo Au, and hopefully that will help me be ready for the high pace."

Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 3-0 Ben Grindrod (Nzl) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (24m)

Mustonen looked comfortable from the get-go -- he didn't start out hitting with great precision, but he was moving well, and he strategically injected pace that kept Grindrod on his heels.

In the third Grindrod looked like he had run a marathon, but he showed admirable resilience, winning some tough exchanges at the front of the court.

"I had never seen him before, so I tried to play a steady basic game and take my opportunities. I was seeing the ball well today, which gave me a fraction-of-a-second advantage. I didn't find my range on the court, but I think that will be better tomorrow.

Henrik Mustonen

Chris Gordon (Usa) 3-0 Nicolas Talbott (Usa) 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (25m)

This match was basically one-way traffic. Gordon showed his experience, extending points and hitting with precision. Talbott showed himself to be a solid athlete, but didn't have enough weapons in his arsenal.

"It was great to have a fellow American in the draw. I'd never played him before, but I knew he has great squash genes, and he showed that he was very fit. I just concentrated on not giving him any openings, and that worked for me. I'd love to qualify tomorrow and put another American in the main draw."

Chris Gordon  

Nathan Lake (Eng) 3-1 Chris van der Salm (Nzl) 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8 (49m)

Two similar physical type, both strong and big tall guys, who like to run and hit and play good squash! Chris had to produce a lot of work, he looked a bit out of breath in the 3rd, went for a few short shots that worked but just couldnít come back close enough score wise.

The fourth is again very disputed, with the New Zealander even leading 8/5! But the English boy will take the next 6 points to with the match 11/8.

I was glad to see Chris play, it was the first time, and he looks like heís got a few tricks in the bag that will cause trouble on the tour, well done, that was close, maybe having to play a few more matches at the pace? As for Nathan, nice to see him back from injury, he was out a long time with back troubles, and itís nice to see him fit and fighting again, fellow lefthander!

In the first two games, I was down 4/0, thatís not good, it was the same in Qatar last week. Definitely something I need to work on. I felt that I could win a few strings of points, but then that I would as easily lose a few string of pointsÖ

Yes, weíve got the same physical type, both strong, maybe not the most fluid of movement. Something you will never write, Fram, Nathan moves gracefully. Oh well, sometimes, it doesnít have to be pretty. Iím really happy to win this one, itís my first time trying to play in the Word Champs, so you could say Iím undefeated in the Worlds, how many players can say that, Shorbagy, watch outÖ

Peter Creed (Wal) 3-1 Shahjahan Khan (Pak) 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 (61m)

There was a lot of match pressure, especially in the first game, I didnít have much match practice in the last two months, but I worked very hard, I practiced very hard. I have a lot of respect for Peter, he played very well today, I wish him all the best, and there is always a next time.



It doesnít feel the score tells the whole story! I was trying to play as basic as possible, close down the court as much as possible, because I realised that when I was playing short, normally my strength, he would end up finishing the point. So did my best to contain him.

I beat him twice 3/0 but I also lost 3/2 in Guatemala, and I was aware of that, it was always at the back of my mind, and I was trying to keep on giving a good display like I did, in St Georgeís, then in Mineapolis, Qatar, I didnít want to fall into old Ė bad Ė habits.

I was in control in most of the match, 9/1 in the 3rd, but you canít help doing it, you know, you have a little opening, 6/7 points up, you know you shouldnít, but you just go for the shot, and you are not 100% focused, and you find yourself running for your life and dying out there!!!

There is so much pressure on that first match in the big tournament, you travel from so far to lose in the first round, so you think, ďdonít lose in the first roundĒ, and of course, you just donít play good squashÖ When I was thinking about wining, I just found myself losing long ralliesÖ.

Shawn Delierre (Can) 3-0 Babatunde Ajagbe (Ngr) 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (32m)

Delierre did a good job of mixing controlling the tempo earlier; when points got more heated Ajagbe found more success, but Delierre was reading him well and never looked out of control.

"I tried to be relentless, serving fast, keeping completely focused on what was happening on the court. He's a great shot-maker, and it was fun to shoot around with him, but I knew the way to win was to play basic, fundamental squash. I feel like I still have a full tank of gas. I'm ready to go tomorrow."

Shawn Delierre

Farhan Zaman (Pak) 3-0 Sam Gould (Usa) 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (22m)

Gould came hopping onto court with high spirits, but proceeded to find the tin on three of the first four points. Zaman showed himself to be in another league from the good-natured Bostonian, keeping the pace high from start to finish and dominating the T.

"I looked at my opponent's results and saw that he was new to PSA, so I thought I might have an opportunity to try different things in preparation for my match tomorrow. I've been in the U.S. for the last three months, training with my cousin Shahid Khan, so I'm feeling very comfortable here and looking forward to playing George tomorrow."

Farhan Zaman

Shehab Essam (Egy) 3-0 Manoel Pereira (Bra) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)

Today, my attacking game was ok, but my length, my basic game was all over the place. And if I got away today with it, tomorrow, against Shawn, Iíll have to raise my game and be more consistent.

But Iím happy, it was a first attempt to qualify for the worlds! Very happy.

Shehab Essam

George Parker (Eng) 3-0 Ahmed Hassan (Zim) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (21m)

What did I do well today? Mmm, I had a pretty decent length, and I didnít make many errors, and I struggled a bit to find my shots in the first two games, I found some pretty decent ones at the end.

George Parker

Karim El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 Elliot Selby (Eng) 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 (34m)

El Hammamy filled the stat sheet with nicks and feathery drop shots for winners, as well as surely a few more errors than he would have liked.

Selby hung tough, in the end didn't have an answer to El Hammamy's flash. The signature rally of the match was game ball in the second, which El Hammamy won with consecutive mizukis.

Charles Sharpes (Eng) 3-0 Wael El Hindi (Egy) 11-8, 11-7, 15-13 (44m)

The match we wanted to see

And a very good performance from Charles, who didnít put a foot wrong the whole match, kept his mouth shot, and his shots tight to the wall. Both tactics worked.

Wael, well, a bit less sharp of course, he is not playing at a competition level for a few years now, he is teaching in the Brooklyn some pretty decent juniors Iím told, had still lovely ďleft oversĒ as we say in French, and played some superb rallies, attacking beautifully and putting Charles under a heck of a pressure.

But the English boy never panicked, kept the rallies long, made Wael work far too much for his sake, kept closing the angles, preventing the former top 10 to find his shots and forcing him to attack from bad position.

A pretty decent match, lovely to watch, of course a few discussions with the ref, otherwise, we wouldnít have know Wael was back. Missed you mateÖ

Such a hard match, not only because he was a former top ten, but also because I didnít know how well he was playing. A bit tricky mentally.

I tried to be on my best behaviour, because I know he can get wound up sometimes, and that I kept my calm, I would have an advantage.

It was weird to play Wael, as when I was in Millfield, Wael and Joey helped me a lot. Wael spent a lot of time on the court with me, helping me, when I was a young up and coming player, he was brilliant with me, so it was strange to play him on a PSA event. It was a good experience.

Charles Sharpes

It was so good to play against Charles. I got invited to play by Shabana, and I thought it was a good opportunity to really be in the tournament, instead of just coming and see.

And I was telling my juniors that I am coaching that I used to play with him. Iím happy to be with him on the court, to see him full of energy, playing well, moving well, you can say the student has beaten the teacherÖ Iím proud of him.

Itís nice to see those young players coming from England, there was a little drop but now itís back to where it was, good players coming from England, France, itís nice to see, not just Egypt Egypt, Egypt!!!

I had a good time on court today, and it is nice to see everybody, well, whatís left of them that isÖ.

Steve Finitsis (Aus) 3-1 Ramit Tandon (Ind) 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-9 (53m)

"I'd never seen him play, but I knew he's a good mover with good hands, so I had to focus on doing my best to contain him, keeping him behind me.

"I'm quite pleased with how I played, and I'm feeling good about how my body is holding up."

Steve Finitsis

 

Reiko Peter (Sui) 3-1 Charlie Johnson (Eng) 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (49m)

I had a bit of an torn hamstring, so for the past two weeks, I havenít played much. I never saw him play, so Iím very happy to get through, he is such a skilful and fit player. I really had to play my best to win, and Iím happy I was able to do just that!

I had some good coaching from Nicki [Mueller] who told me my length was just not good enough, and in third, I managed to get a better one, that was the key, to get him at the back.

Oh, and I destroyed two racquets, thatís good right?

Joke apart, my short game worked fine today, but he is so handy. He just didnít just stand there, if I was opening the court, he would really do something with the ball, if I let him dominated me, heíd just won the pointÖ

Reiko Peter

Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) 3-0 Sharif Khan 13-11, 11-7, 11-7 (24m)

I just enjoy my squash, I donít go on there with a plan, I just enjoy hitting the ball, and the squash just comesÖ

Muhd Asyraf Azan

I went on there today to compete. And in that respect, Iím happy with what I did. He played well, he has some very good deception.

Maybe I lost my game discipline at the end of the games, but overall, Iím happy with the way I played.

I really enjoyed the competitiveness that comes from being raised in a squash family like ours. But at the end of the day, whatever happens, we all love each other, we are a family. And I truly enjoyed growing up in the Khanís DynastyÖ..

Sharif Khan

Todd Harrity (Usa) 3-0 Basem Makram (Egy) 11-2, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)

Harrity had streaks in the first and third games where he was very clinical. He kept the ball tight and finished with precision, to Makrem's growing frustration.

"I felt a bit jittery because I just finished a tournament in Pakistan. I stuck to basics, and things were kind of up and down, but I managed to play well on the big points. I spent three weeks in Egypt training with Mohamed Reda, and I think that's made me tougher and improved my attacking game. I can see why the Egyptians are so good! There are so many talented players in such a small space. They make each other stronger."

Todd Harrity

Thoboki Mohohlo (Rsa) 3-1 Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 (47m)

The match was a physical struggle for Al Tamimi -- by the end of the second game he was clearly suffering, looks like his chest, At 6-7 in the third he was double over on the court and it looked like he might not be able to go on, but he miraculously rallied, shooting at every opportunity, to take the game. At times Mohohio looked like he couldn't decide between attacking an extending rallies, but in the end his combination of both did the trick.

"I've trained with him in the past. He's a very hard player to read and that experience helped. At the end it was tough to stay focused. I just had to hold on."

Thoboki Mohohlo

Chris Hanson (Usa) 3-0 Adam Perkiomaki (Usa) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (30m)

These two Americans played against each other as juniors and in college. It was Hanson who committed to PSA play after graduation, and it showed showed tonight. He controlled the tempo, finished points more efficiently, and had the upper hand throughout.

"Adam and I have been playing since we eight years old, so it's kind of hilarious that we'd end up playing here. I was feeling a little jittery in the first game -- I played in a tournament last night in St. Louis, then caught a 5AM flight to get here this morning -- but in the second I got my legs and started finding my shots, especially on the backhand."

Chris Hanson

Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg) 3-1 Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (47m)

ďHe was just too good todayĒ, smiled sadly Belgium JanVDH. And thatís about round it pretty well. Jan didnít do much wrong, but Yip made the court extremely big for him. To be honest, the HK player reminded me of Beng Heeís squash: lovely deception, the use of the lob as a destruction weapon, and a feather drop shot/top spin. Lethal.

I am truly impressed with what I saw today from both Yip and James Huang. I truly enjoyed their game. Itís fresh. Itís clever. Canít wait to see them again tomorrow.

"I just followed my coach Fahimís plan, trying to keep moving the ball around, and cut the errors Ė when I am a bit too aggressive, I do errors.

"In the first game, I didnít start that well, I didnít warm up well enough in that cold weather, but from the middle of the 1st game, I got a little better, and progressively, I got better and better.

"At 10/3, I lost a little bit of focus, I didnít stuck to the game plan, and I gave him the chance to come back in the game. He played very well, Iím lucky to finish that 4thÖ"

Tsz Fung Yip

Harinder Pal Sandhu (Ind) 3-1 Faraz Khan (Usa) 11-4, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6 (47m)

"This is my first World Open so I was a bit nervous, but I got more comfortable after the first game. After winning the second, I tried to finish the third too quickly, and he won the game with some lovely winners in the front.

"I'd never played him before, so I tried to keep things really simple and wait for opportunities. For the last two weeks I've been training in Orlando with David Palmer. It's been a privilege working with him, and it's helped my game a lot."

Harinderpal Sandhu

Andrew Wagih (Egy) 3-0 Salim Khan (Usa) 11-5, 11-5, 13-11 (23m)

He is soo good for his age, and itís the first time I play a local that is that good, and not an Egyptian!!!

His boast is really good, he really put me under a lot of pressure there, and he didnít play it until the third, that was really clever.

He just need a bit of experience, when I was younger, the top players had the experience, knew how to mix the shots attack and back, he just need that little bit of experience, but he will be very good!

I had a bad back injury, I went to Aspire in Qatar, in London Ė for Hull, my last tournament. But I thought I was going to retire from squash I already found a job outside squash, but this summer, I met Ramy by chance and he told me, give it another chance, just come and see my doctors in the US. And I followed him, he organised everything for me, where I would stay, the doctors I should see, the physios. I really want to thank him, he was amazing.

So thanks to him, to my parents, to all the people that believed in me and supporting me. Iím here just to give it a go and see what happensÖ



Iím 16, I have been playing since a very young age, but no, itís not my family that pressurised me to play, I used to play with my mum Maureen, since Iím very young, and I would never want to stop, so we would play games up to 100!

Yes, it was a choice not to play my favourite shot until the end, my boast; I could hold the ball, and see him come next to me, and then play that boast.

I certainly want to play squash in college. But after that, I havenít thought about it too much. I mightÖ

Shahier Razik (Can) 3-0 Matias Tuomi (Fin) 11-8, 11-5, 11-2 (32m)

Razik was in classic form, patiently working Tuomi around the court. He dictated a deliberate pace, forcing errors and finishing points with gentle drops.

"I felt good out there. I'm looking forward to my match tomorrow. I've never played Yip before, but it's fun to play all these young kids coming through."

Shahier Razik
 

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