11, 2002 © 2002
Golan, Perry Fly
GOLAN GOES ALL THE
In an astonishing display of discipline, Borja Golan, a qualifier,
knocked out number one seed Davide Bianchetti in the final of a tournament
organised by Bianchetti's father and watched by about 500 partisan Italians
crowded on the three floors of this shopping mall surrounding the court.
Bianchetti's many admirers and supporters used some choice expletives
in describing his performance against a player just out of the junior
ranks and one he was expected to handle with ease.
But the calm, single
minded 19 year old from Santiago in Spain, went about his business with
such thoroughness that Bianchetti seemed mesmerised and was, sadly, sucked
into Golan's medium pace game, rather than using his pace and shots to
keep Golan off balance.
SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE
Golan says he volleys more now since being coached by John Milton in England.
And that is an understatement; there were great stretches of the 46 minute
match where he was in complete control, volleying mostly down the left wall,
putting in deft drops to vary the rhythm and forcing Bianchetti to run in
two directions on each shot - one to cover the drop and then back to get to
the drive. It was a simply and totally predictive strategy and today of all
days, Bianchetti failed to impose his game on Golan.
|Madeleine Perry Collects her
second ever WISPA title.
The first game seemed to
be going according to predictions and with Bianchetti leading 12-8, it seemed
just a matter of time. But Golan pulled up to 12-12 and Bianchetti got a little
anxious; when he lost the next long rally, he seemed rattled and when he lost
the game point on a stroke, it probably did more damage than the mere loss
of the 19 minute game. After leading the second 2-1, Bianchetti was definitely
in self destruct mode and suddenly he was trailing 3-10. He started dropping
more but Golan was on to everything, full of confidence and realising he could
take home the silverware. He won the game 15-4 - which was staggering and
the crowd was very subdued. Bianchetti smashed two rackets off-court in sheer
fury, but that didn't help.
TOO LITTLE AND TOO
In the third game Bianchetti was hitting the ball high down the wall to
prevent the volley and going short whenever possible. This forced some
errors from Golan and at 7-7 Italian hopes were raised that Bianchetti
could pull this match out of the fire. But Golan fanned the flames pushed
to 12-9 lead, still calm, still volleying and showing his short game was
every bit as good as Bianchetti's. There was another faint hope when two
errors from Golan brought the score to 13-11 but a stoke put Golan at
match ball and Bianchetti ended the match with a symbolic backhand drop
into the tin.
Borja Goland (Q) (Spa) bt Davide Bianchetti (1)(Ita) 15-12, 15-14, 15-11
PERRY BENEFITS FROM
Madeleine Perry was the number one seed and proved the seedings right
when her unruffled temperament and intelligent squash gave her a 3/1 victory
over the nerves and flair of France's Isabelle Stoehr. Watching the stocky
Stoehr crack forehand drives into the tin gave me a sense of deja vue
- it was almost like watching Cassie Jackman/Campion. From the start Stoehr
looked nervous and rather than play herself in with some long length rallies,
she was shooting from the beginning with the usual results. Perry was
pushing to improve her length and trying nothing fancy. It soon became
obvious that if she kept the rally going long enough, Stoehr would eventually
come up with an error and that is exactly what happened as she took the
game 9-6 in just nine minutes.
COMEBACK NUMBER ONE
Perry was picking up difficult balls, sending them to the back, and when
the moment was totally right she would step in and volley the ball for
a winner. She steadily pulled away to stand on the brink of a two game
lead at 8-4, when Stoehr's shots suddenly started to work: a cracking
crosscourt rally, a backhand drop, a forehand drop and another forehand
drop and it was all level at 8-8. A forehand trickle boast left Perry
standing and it was now game point to Stoehr. An error from both of them
and then Stoehr finished the 19 minute game with another forehand drop.
We had a match!
COMEBACK NUMBER TWO
a case of nerves.
The success of that comeback
gave Stoehr an enormous lift and she set off in the third game totally in
control and it was Perry's turn to look nervous and she was making the sort
of rash shots that had not been part of her game for the entire tournament.
A backhand into the tin put the French woman at game ball 8-4 at which point
Perry did to Stoehr what Stoehr had done to her in the previous game. She
climbed all the way back and went on to win the game 10-8 in one hand.
The win either had enormous
psychological effect on her opponent or Stoehr had used all her energy.
Nobody was prepared for what happened next: Stoehr simply fell apart and
Perry won the fourth game 9-0 in under three minutes. The 53 minute victory
was another testament to the value of an unflustered temperament and good
"I wasn't nervous to
start with but at 8-4 in the second, when I was waiting for her to make
more errors she started hitting winners and I got the shakes," Perry said.
"In the third game I though that if she could come back from 8-4 so can
I." This was the her second tournament win this year, (the Proctor Memorial
in Newcastle was the first) but in between "I have been playing crap squash."
Madeleine Perry (Ire) bt Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) 9-4, 8-10, 10-8, 9-0 (53
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Peter Patijn (Bel) 15-8, 15-8, 15-11. (56 mins)
Borja Golan (Spa) bt Hadrian Stiff (Eng) 10-15, 15-12, 8-15, 15-4, 15-10
Madeleine Perry (Ire) bt Amelia Pittock (Aus) 9-2, 9-5, 9-1 (25 mins)
Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) bt Helen Easton (Eng) 9-3, 9-1, 9-2. (33 mins)