SquashTalk
> News > TOC
2006
> Team Kneipp’s Preview

Search Squashtalk


Top Half of the TOC Draw

By Teanm Kneipp, Feb 24, 2006
Squashtalk Independent News; ©
2006 SquashTalk LLC

  SQUASHTALK
PRO
  SQUASH HEADLINES


Recent Events:
World Open
Qatar
US Open
Garrard
St Louis
Heliopolis

Other info:
Audi interviews
Video
recordings
Player profiles
Rankings
Calendar


 

Feather Sports
SQUASHTALK TODAY

www.princesquash.com

school squash

 

griggranieri
David Palmer: Comes
into the TOC as world #1 and the favorite. photo © 2005
Debra Tessier.

This
year’s Tournament of Champions not being the
first super series event of the year highlights the increasing
health of the men’s professional squash tour, with
Chicago’s event last month being considerably bigger.
The last time TOC wasn’t the first major of the year
was in the 90s.

Despite
the competitiveness of the men’s
game at the moment and the number of players capable of
winning any given tournament, Ricketts is the only player
that has interrupted the stranglehold Power and Nicol have
on this tournament.

Here’s
how top half of the tournament pans out.

1* DAVID PALMER {AUS}
versus
{Q1} Qualifier 1

Palmer
enters this tournament as the top seed after returning
to the #1 ranking over four years since he first held it.
He had it for a brief stint at the end of 2001, but since
then he ranking has consistently been between 2 & 4. Palmer
not only goes into the tournament as top seed, but is the
in-form favourite, having reach four finals of the last five
tournaments he has played, including winning won last month’s
Super Series event in Chicago. He went out in the semi finals
of last year’s TOC to Lincou.

12* KARIM DARWISH {EGY}
versus
SHAHIER RAZIK {CAN}

Darwish is currently ranked 12. He has a career high of
5, but spent most of the past three years bouncing between
8 and 12.

Razik
is at his current best ranking of 24. I might be wrong,
but I don’t think he has beaten a top 10 player in
PSA yet. He has certainly beaten players that have gone onto
making the top 10, or who were once in the top 10, but no
players while they were in the top 10. Technically Darwish
isn’t in the top 10, but like Whitey he’s regarded
as a top 10 player even if the numbers have shuffled around
a little.

Darwish
has won all three encounters between these two, but last
year’s match went to 5.

Darwish lost to Tuominen in the first round in New York
last year. Razik lost to Pilley in the qualifying tournament.

8* LEE BEACHILL {ENG}
versus
JOSEPH KNEIPP {AUS}

griggranieri
Lee Beachill: Can He
recover his US Open form?. photo © 2005
Debra Tessier.

Beachill
was ranked #1 just over a year ago, and spent almost all
of last year at #2. He’s currently 8, his lowest
ranking for over two years. Team Kneipp has had some first
round blues. You can’t continue to not get past the
first round and still have a ranking in the top 20, hence
the slide to the 30s, the lowest ranking in over four year.

Kneipp initially won the encounters between these two, but
the last five have all gone to the Englishman.

Beachill lost to Shabana in the quarters. Kneipp lost to
El Hindi in the first round

15* GRAHAM RYDING {CAN}
versus
{Q2} Qualifier 2

Ryding is currently ranked 18, has been as high as 10, and
spent almost all of last year at 13. He lost to Beachill
in the 2nd round last year.

 

3* AMR SHABANA {EGY}
versus
WAEL EL HINDI {EGY}

Shabana, the only player since Jansher Khan to win the World
Open more than
once, is currently ranked 3. His career high was 2 last month.
El Hindi
recently broke into the top 20 for the first time, but is
at 22 this month.

As compatriots these two have obviously played each other
a lot of times. Of
their five encounters Shabana has won four of them, including
last month in
Canada.

Shabana lost to Ricketts in the semis last year. El Hindi
lost to Palmer in
round 2.

13* OLLI TUOMINEN {FIN}
versus
LAURENS JAN ANJEMA {NED}

griggranieri
Will Amjema have his
"A" game in New York?. photo © 2005
Debra Tessier.

Tuominen is celebrating a career high of 13, and is getting
closer to the
elusive top 10, something that was presumed he would do years
ago. He’s only
had a handful of months in the top 16 so is only just beginning
to get the
easier first round draws.

Anjema just won his first Dutch national title two weeks
ago. He has
recently broken into the top 30 for the first time, and is
currently sitting
at 27.

This is the first time these two have played in a PSA match.
Both players
will be happy with the draw. Anjema should know what to expect
from Olli –
hard and fast. The determining outcome of this match should
be whether
Anjema can bring his top game to the court, or at least adjust
it if winners
aren’t flowing from his racquet.

Olli lost to Shabana in the 2nd round last year. Anjema
lost to Ricketts in
the first round.

5* THIERRY LINCOU {FRA}
versus
PETER BARKER {ENG}

Lincou is ranked 5 this month, his worst position in over
two years, after
spending all of 2005 in the top spot. He made the final of
this tournament
last year, so there’s very little chance he’ll
move up in the rankings
following this tournament, even if he wins.

Barker has been teetering around the low 20s for a few months
now and just
needs a couple of solid results, or one big tournament to
make the crucial
step into the top 16. In theory he has gotten a bad draw
here, but Thierry
usually starts slow and can get nervous and play much worse
in the first
round. If Barker remembers that and relaxes he could have
a chance. These
two haven’t played before. Barker’s urge to hit
winners and play an open
game and Thierry’s solid play should make this an interesting
match.

Lincou lost in the final to Ricketts last year. Barker upset
Beng Hee in the
first round after qualifying,, then lost to Nicol in the
2nd round.

10* JOHN WHITE {SCO}
versus
RENAN LAVIGNE {FRA}

White’s
consistency has faltered a little since this time two years
ago when
he was ranked #1. Prior to that he was solidly positioned
in the top 5 for
years, but his ranking slid out pretty quickly after reaching
the top spot
and has plateaued around 10, where he is currently sitting.
Lavigne had a
career high in the high teens, but has spent most of his
career between 25
and 35, currently at 32.

The only encounters these two have had was in 2003, with
McWhitey winning
both of them. White lost to Jenson in the first round at
last year’s TOC.
Lavigne also lost in the first round, to Lincou.

 


 






NEW … Get the New Jonathon
Power Instruction Video at the SquashTalk
eStore!

Squashtalk.com
All materials © 1999-2005. Communicate with us at info@squashtalk.com.
Published
by Squashtalk LLC, 409 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 102, Acton, MA 01720 USA, Editor
and Publisher Ron Beck,
Graphics editor Debra Tessier
Send
comments, ideas, contributions and feedback to the webmaster.

Copyright © 1999-2005 SquashTalk, all rights reserved, may not be reproduced
in any form except for one-time personal use.