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All I Want for Christmas 2003

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All
I Want For X-Mas …

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about Squash by Ryan Barnett,
Dec 20, 2003  © 2003 SquashTalk and Ryan Barnett.
May not be reproduced in any media without permission

 

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As
we all know Santa doesn’t play favorites. Or does he? With the holiday
season upon us it’s time to determine who was naughty and who was
nice. Squash Talk recently caught up with ole St. Nick and managed to
get the inside scoop as to what a few of the players could find stuffed
inside their stockings Christmas morning. Santa says,

Natalie Grainger,
photo © 2003 Fritz Borchert

Natalie Grainger
has been a very good girl. She has been and continues to be a great ambassador
for women’s squash and is really working hard at growing the sport
in the United States. For these reasons coupled with her racket skill
she deserves something special. Perhaps the #1 WISPA ranking should Carol
Owens retire?

Another young lady
that has caught my eye is England’s Tania Bailey.
This lass definitely needs a bit of good fortune sent her way. 2003 was
quite a struggle for Tania, being hampered by a breathing/nasal problem.
It was painful to watch someone with such potential being forced to withdraw
or exit early from tournaments. Her perseverance and dedication to the
sport have not gone unnoticed and as a result I see Tania getting back
on track and having some great results in 2004.

Boy the years sure
do fly by. It wasn’t that long ago that I left a Barbie doll in
Nicol David’s stocking. It appears that she has
now come of age. Santa gave the Malaysian “pocket rocket”
her present a little early this year. Confidence! Nicol now has it and
knows she can compete at the top of the women’s game provided she
continues to train hard and doesn’t burn herself out.

Well let’s
see here. Hmmm I know I have it somewhere. Yes here it is. Peter
Nicol
’s letter. Shall I read it for you?

Dear
Santa
,
For the most part I have everything I could possibly ever want. Squash
has been very, very good to me. Once again I enjoyed myself on the PSA
tour and managed to remain at #1 for 2003. Unfortunately I recently got
sick in Doha and came up against a fired-up Italian in Pakistan and as
a result January of 2004 will see my ranking drop. With parity having
arrived in men’s squash I’m going to need something extra
special to help me get back to the top spot. Any help from your end would
be much appreciated.
Peter

Well isn’t
that nice…Peter has always been the true professional. An honest
player, who works hard and plays even harder. For these reasons I think
a new flavor of Green Magic should appear under Peter’s tree. God
knows he must be ready for a change. He has all the tools and still has
the wheels to remain a force on the tour. In a recent conversation with
my buddy Father Time we both agreed, he still has some good years left.

Now what shall I
do for Jonathon Power? Actually he has been quite well
behaved this past year. JP continues to be one of the great personalities
on the men’s tour and I was saddened that his season came to an
abrupt halt when he broke his hand. Nonetheless what to give to someone
who has practically everything? How about his own clothing line? Nope
he’s got that. Two months R&R will provide the necessary respite
and this should see JP come back with a vengeance in 2004. Jonathon is
still the most deceptive and remains one of the fastest players on the
tour so the two things he needs most are…..Patience and Belief.
A year injury free and some better luck in the major tournaments are heading
his way as well.

Stewart Boswell
photo © 2003 Debra Tessier

The Boz is someone
who would also benefit from some good fortune this holiday season. Stewart
Boswell
’s presence has been absent from many tournaments
due to injury. A nice fellow who possesses an outstanding stroke and technique
saw him quickly climb the rankings. Santa feels that of all the super-talented
Aussies presently running wild on the tour he’s the one to watch
in ’04.

I could just go on
and on however duty calls and I really must check in on the latest happenings
in Pakistan. The World Open
has provided more upsets then any tournament I can ever remember. Needless
to say the gentleman that leaves with the title will no doubt believe
Christmas has come early. Perhaps it indeed has.

Season’s
Greetings to all.


Peter Nicol Squash CD Interactive Coaching

 

Toronto Adult Weekend Clinic

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