Power on Firing on All Cylindars
[Bronstein's Report] ... TORONTO, November 17, 2004 --
Toronto, Ontario – Jonathon Power was at the peak of his skill in taking a straight games victory over his long- time rival Peter Nicol (ENG) in their quarter final match of the Pace Canadian Squash Classic, at BCE Place, in Toronto.
The evening had been a rare occurrence with three of the four quarter-final outcomes decided by injuries. Following world number one Lee Beachill’s lame finish, due to a pulled abductor muscle, Kneipp was forced to retire in the middle of the third game allowing Thierry Lincou (FRA), the second seed to proceed into the semi-finals with minimum effort.
In the final match of the evening, Price also had to retire in the third game against Canada’s Graham Ryding. He suffers from severe back problems, an ailment that interrupted his career several times for the last four years.
This gives Canada two players in the semi-finals for the first time ever. Jonathon Power will play Anthony Ricketts (AUS), while Ryding will face world number two Thierry Lincou (FRA).
ON HIS GAME AGAINST ARCH RIVAL NICOL
Power likes to play fast and everything was in his favour – a fast court, a hot ball and the new scoring to eleven. He was hitting his favourite shot – the backhand drop – with deadly accuracy and holding his shot until the last moment, leaving Nicol flat-footed time and time again.
The pace was fast and furious and the accuracy breathtaking. The packed galleries were all for Power and he gave them what they wanted, leading throughout the three games to win 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 in 42 minutes.
“I was moving well from the beginning which is always important and I took the centre of the court away from him, which is also key,” Power said. “Peter wasn’t reading my shots because I was really putting holds on the ball and then snapping it past him. And my drops were working well, so he had to cover them. My touch game and my length game were working and it was tough for him to cover both.”
This was their 39th meeting on the pro circuit - their first was at the 1995 Canadian Open, ironically, in Burlington, Ontario. Nicol still leads 21 to 18 on this, the greatest head-to-head battle in squash since Jahanghir Khan and Jansher Khan locked horns.
Queried about his meeting with Anthony Ricketts tomorrow (Thursday) in the semi-final, Power said that he was not expecting an easy game. “I have beaten him twice this year, but he’s getting better every match. The last time it was 3/0, but the match was very close, said Power.”
This is not to detract from the performance of the Australian, presently ranked 14th in the world. From the first ball he played inch-perfect squash leading all the way to win the first game 11-4 and hitting six outright winners on the way. A collision at 5-3 left Beachill with a dead leg and he had to walk it off before continuing. From that moment on Beachill had a hesitancy about his play and although he pushed to 6-6 in the second game, it clear obvious that he was not operating at 100 percent capacity.
After losing the second game 11-6, Beachill claimed a three minute injury break and received treatment to his upper right thigh. Even though the break between the two games ran to eight minutes, it was not enough for Beachill and he offered just token resistance in the third game as Ricketts won 11-2 in under six minutes. This was the second time that Ricketts benefited from injury: his first round opponent, 5th seed Nick Matthew (ENG),, had to withdraw with a back problem giving Ricketts a free ride into the quarter finals of the PACE Canadian Squash Classic.
The PACE Canadian Squash Classic, November 15th - 19th, 2004, is held in the Allen Lambert Galleria at BCE Place. TSN will carry the final three matches of the Classic, primetime, with host Vic Rauter joined by PSA squash player Martin Heath from Scotland. The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada is the recipient charity for the 2004 tournament.
PACE CANADIAN SQUASH CLASSIC- RESULTS-Quarterfinals
Ricketts (AUS) bt  Lee Beachill (ENG), 11-4, 11-6, 11-2, (45m)