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Notes
from the US Open

…Greasy Wall, Greasy Ball … Fiona at the Casino
… more …

Global Gallery,
November 10, 2005

Martin Bronstein, writes this month from Boston
MA

© 2005 All rights
reserved.
all photos© 2005, Debra Tessier and Fritz Borchert

DAN
JENSEN FINDS THE RIGHT PHYSIO

Dan
Jensen works on getting back into form photo© 2005,
Motor City Open

Fate
has not been kind to the very likeable Australian Dan Jensen.  Four
or five years ago he was up to number six in the world and then the Gods
stepped in. First his right  went wrong and when that had been fixed
up he had a bone taken out of his left foot. Just when he was ready to
make his comeback, he had acute lower back problems. With that solved,
for the last two years he has been trying to climb back up the rankings.
Now over the last year he has been experiencing pain in his right leg
and hip.“None of the physios seemed to know what was wrong. I would wake
up in the night in real pain. This year I started losing to guys below
me and I thought I can’t put up with this any longer,” he
told me after his first round loss to John White in the US Open.

In St Louis he went to a clinic that practices ACT (Active Release Therapy).

“One man there heard my problem and said it was nothing to do
with my hip – it all stemmed with a problem with my right foot.
I simply could not plant it properly when going forward for a shot. Anyway
in two weeks the pain has gone and I will be going back to St Louis again
before I go to Qatar, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.”

Let’s hope he finally has seen the last of  physical
ailments and gets back to the top ten where he belongs.

HARVARD
HOSPITALITY?

Some
of the players who showed up early at Harvard’s Murr Squash
centre to pracise on one of the 15 courts got a rude shock when they
were told vamoose because the Men’s and women’s teams were
in training. Well, they were ( also turned up early to catch the qualifiers,
the only journalist around) but there were still five or six courts not
being used. Dylan Patterson was one of the players told to buzz off – and
he played for Harvard! I have never seen this mild-mannered guy so angry.
Wow! Stand aside.

One
of  empty courts  was the brand new McWil four
wall glass court and nobody could play  on that precious new facility
unless a coach was present. There was a notice on the door of the court
which read:

ALL PLAYERS

DO NOT WALK OR THINK OF PLAYING IN THIS COURT!!

THANKS

SQUASH OFFICE

(Don’t
you just love the THANK YOU?)

So
Laurens Jan Anjema and his partner were thrown off . Furthermore practice
on subsequent days was limited to 12-2pm. If anybody wanted practice
courts at other times, promoter John Nimick would be billed $28 an
hour.

My
feeling is that the posh Harvard alumni built the squash facility for
their offspring and really don’t give a damn about all
those world class professionals.  The new four wall glass court
was to have had its official opening on the first day of the US Open,
but the boys upstairs with the cheque book nixed that and said it should
be officially opened in February when Harvard  plays Yale. And so
it will come to pass.

MacWil
also put up portable four wall glass court in the tennis compound.
Sorry, my friends, it just doesn’t work. The atmosphere was dead
and rarely did the place – even with 600 spectators – get
any real buzz.

My
betting is that next year’s US Open will be
elsewhere.

SWEARING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Swearing
in a foreign language? photo© 2005,
Debra Tessier

LJ
Anjema
took my advice about swearing in English to heart
and whenever he swears on court, he does it in Dutch, so the referees
have no idea what he is saying.

After
one qualifying match in Harvard where the air had been Delft blue with
his Dutch colloquialism, he came off the court  to
be met by a man with his young son. In perfect Dutch he asked LJ for
his autograph. The lesson learnt is that wherever you are in the world,
someone speaks Dutch. So now Anjema is looking for Swahili lessons…
 

POWER
MANAGEMENT

As you would have read in the Squashtalk Business news
section, Jonathon Power has got together with Segun Maku, the Nigerian
businessman and some other big American hitters to form a company that
would be the IMG of squash, helping players to maximize their opportunities.

As
I have said so many times before, only the Americans know how to market
sport properly and so this is good news for the our sport  and
those lucky players that get signed up by  SquashPower, which is
what the new enterprise is called. I shall be keeping a close eye on
them to see just how successful they are.

ANTI
SQUASH POWER

By
contrast  the PSA under the guidance of Gawain Briars,  is
getting a reputation for being an anti-force in squash. One promoter
(no names, thank you) told me that there would be a big new tournament
in Vancouver next year and it would not affiliate with nor try to get
accreditation with the PSA. Why?  Because the promoter, a new man
in the sport, found the PSA demands too expensive.

I
spoke to another  promoter who told me:  “The PSA
does not work with promoters, it works against them. We want cooperation
to help the sport expand, they give us nothing but problems.” Another
promoter who has gradually enlarged his US tournament said; “I
don’t know one promoter in North America who has a good word to
say about the PSA.”

One
reason is that the PSA will not put an event on their calendar until
the promoter has paid the registration fee.  Which is why in the
middle of November 2005, the New York  Tournament of Champions which
takes in February 2006, is not listed. John Nimick doesn’t see
why he should part with $5-10,000 and let the PSA have the use of it
for six months.

David
Carr of McWil CourtWall says this causes problems when promoters come
to him about renting his court. When they look at the PSA Calendar  to
find a suitable date there are gaps everywhere but they are ‘ghost’ gaps,
where tournaments have been agreed but not listed.

Why
not copy the WISPA example and list the tournaments with To Be Confirmed
next to the date so that everybody knows what’s
happening?

SQUASH – THE THINKING MAN’S
GAME

In
Barry Faguy’s always entertaining THE SQUASH OFFICIAL,  he
reports that  a referee  explained why he assess a stroke
by saying to one player : “You were physically in the way of his
swing.” Faguy than poses the question as to whether it might been  a
let  had the player been metaphysically in the way…?

AND NOW, SQUASH VIDEOS WITH ADDED SOUND EFFECTS
Faguy was reffing the US Open Semi final between Omneya Abdel Kawy and  Vicky
Botwright. At one stage there was a big collision between the two players
and Faguy vocally winced with the word “Ouff!” He had forgotten
that the microphone  was close to his lips and the ouff!  became
OOOUUUFF!!! throughout the arena. This was Tom and Jerry  sound
effects and very fitting too. We wonder whether Faguy would consider
going into business adding sound fx to squash videos, Boiinnng! every
time the ball was struck, the crash of  a  huge gong when
the ball hit the tin and high pitched gibberish every time the players
started talking. And when the referee speaks, a great echo as though
God is talking.  The possibilities are endless and it would make
a great change from the boring thwack of racket and ball.

FIONA  AT
THE CASINO

Fiona
Geaves: Now in residence in Brooklyn NY photo© 2005,
Debra Tessier

No
Miss Geaves is not gambling, she has joined Julian Wellings at the
Heights Casino club in New York as an assistant coach. One of  her
players is Manuala Manetta from Italy, a gal with enormous potential
judging by the way she hits the ball. Six months with Geaves worldly
input  of squash strategy should put  Manuella in a very good
position to start challenging. Remember you read it here first.

IS SHAHID BEING SHELTERED?
I
watched with some puzzlement as Shahid Zaman was ushered out of the
of the US Open in the first round by Bradley Ball who is ranked well
below him. How come, I wondered, that Zaman is ranked  16 in the
world?  A nearby player overheard my remark and replied with some
vehemence: “Because he gets all his points in Pakistan with friendly
referees.  Outside of Pakistan he can’t do a thing.”  Sour
grapes, I thought and looked up Zaman’s record over the last 18
months. He has won four tournaments, three of them in Pakistan. The fourth
was the Virginia  tournament in the US  where he beat Joey  Barrington
in the final. He also reached the final of two tournaments – both
in Pakistan. Apart from those results he has failed to reach even the
quarters in other parts of the world.  So maybe the player  had
a point, I thought. And then on November 13 in the CAS International
in Karachi,  Shahid was knocked out in the first round by Mark
Heather.  Well…come to your own conclusion.

GREASY
BALL? NAAH…GREASY WALL

In
the US Open, Jonathon Power made a surprising accusation against Nick
Matthew saying he had ‘greased the ball” by wiping it
on his wet shirt before serving. Nick took it very calmly and the next
day when he experience a similar weird bounce playing Lee Beachill, he
asked Beach if he had  greased the ball.

One
explanation given was that the solution used to wash the glass walls
had been too oily and had left deposits on the wall. Another explanation
is that the ball could have hit a kind of vertical nick where two sheets
of glass meet. We would like to make it clear that Matthew’s  reputation
is unblemished