YMG Capital Classic Preview
Nov 10 2002
Squashtalk Pro Squash Headlines
Event Engine Squash:
Preview by Dan Kneipp
Canadian player Shahier Razik was playing a league match in Holland recently against our team and was whinging about the inferiority of the European club facilities compared to North America. Considering some of the clubs in Holland have full bars until 1am, the courts are booked until past midnight, and the average age of the players are between 25 and 30 and mostly good looking you have to be curious of what Shahier is talking about.
We’ve been practicing for the YMG classis at the Cambridge Club in Toronto. I understand Shahier’s point.
The change room is what you’d expect from an old boy’s club – lots of comfy leather chairs everywhere, a jacuzzi and sauna and a feeling of exclusivity. That feeling of exclusivity is warranted when the full story of the Cambridge Club is looked at. Apparently it was an all men’s club which contravened equal opportunity laws by not allowing female members. So to get around this small point they said female members were allowed - no problems. They then proceeded to place the squash courts and gym INSIDE the male change room.
Women are welcome to join the club and play squash – but of course they’re not allowed inside the men’s change room. So you’ll be practicing and be playing a shot off the back wall – and then suddenly there’s some old guy’s naked arse waddling past the glass wall.
The tournament is being played at BCE place, a shopping centre in downtown Toronto. I’ve seen photos of the venue on SquashTalk before, but when you actually see the venue it’s beautiful. The ceiling of the centre can only be described as a modern version of a cathedral with dramatic arches and light cascading through.
The match ups are:
Peter Nicol versus Graham Ryding
Only four days ago it was being said that Nicol’s ankle injury during English league could possible sideline him for up to eight weeks and jeopardise his ability to even PLAY in December’s World Open. Nicol said he was unable to walk for two days, but he is here in Toronto ready to resume his battle with Power. Apparently he has very flexible ankle ligaments that while making it easier to cause an ankle injury, will actually assist in ensuring the injury isn’t too bad. It won’t be long into his match against Ryding before his fitness and movement capabilities are shown.
Ryding, #23 in the world ranking is the perennial bridesmaid of Canadian Squash, constantly dwarfed in Power’s shadow. If he played for Belgium, Finland or the Netherlands he would be the nation’s star being a previous top ten player. His season so far for 2002 hasn’t been exceptional. This will be the third time this year alone that these two have met (not including the Commonwealth Games). Nicol didn’t have any trouble getting past Ryding winning their TOC and Pakistan encounters both in straight sets.
Martin Heath versus qualifier Rodney Durbach
Heath is currently ranked 11 compared to Durbach’s 33. Heath has had a nightmare run of tournaments, not getting past the first round in his last four attempts. The only recent meeting Heath and Durbach have had was in Florida in 2000 with Heath winning their quarter final match in four.
Stewart Boswell versus qualifier James Willstrop
Boswell is the third seed and #4 in the world. Willstrop at #45 is considered one of the future stars of the game, but still has a large mountain to climb. Willstrop had to get past Del Harris in the final round of qualifying which will be a big mental victory. These two haven’t played before.
Ong Beng Hee versus Paul Price
Beng Hee at #7 has been a stable top ten player for a while now. Price at #19 has been fluctuating back and forth in the high teens and is currently citing an ankle injury as a hindrance to top form. These two don’t appear to have played in a PSA match before.
#13 Joe Kneipp versus #8 Lee Beachill
Another two players that have not played against each other before. Not in PSA, not in a league match. Both players have great racquet skills and ability to hit shots that leave the crowd gasping. It should be a great match and is anyone’s for the taking.
John White versus qualifier Stefan Castelyn
White is currently ranked #5 compared to Castelyn’s 24. Their only PSA match up was recently in the Qatar Classic 2nd round with White winning in 4. That wasn’t on a glass court so White should benefit from playing on Toronto’s new and fast all-glass court.
Mark Chaloner versus qualifier Parke
Chaloner is currently ranked #10 to Parke’s #26. Simon Parke is still making his gradual recovery from injury and is slowing creeping closer to getting back to the top twenty. He has gone through qualifying to reach the main draw of YMG. The most recent PSA match between these two was at the 1999 British Open with Parke winning comfortably in 3.
#2 Jonathon Power versus #29 David Evans
#2 in the world versus Evans who has recently had a colossal leap down the PSA ranking from 15 to 29. It would be a brave man who would bet against Power in his hometown not playing again on Tuesday. These two have played twice in the last few years, at the 2000 US Open and last year’s Tournament of Champions. Power won both of them without dropping a game. But fresh in Evan’s mind will be their 2nd round match two weeks ago at the Qatar Classic where Evan’s was able to make double figures in two of the games, but still went down in 3.