Pool E:  Canada,  Wales, [13/18] Hong Kong
Canada is the fifth team that has a genuine shot at the title. That
was the case in 2003 and they were only able to finish 6th (one of the
most ludicrous examples of bad organisation still remains the Vienna
tournament director putting Peter Nicol versus Jonathon Power on a dodgy
back court that hundreds of people tried to cram in to see while some
minnows played to an empty show court).
Canada’s only top 5 result from sixteen attempts came in 1997
when Malaysia hosted the event. Canada’s ranking average is the
same as France’s, yet they’re seeded five and France is seeded
three. This probably indicates the continual improvement of France as
a team compared to the Canadian team.
has a similar ranking to what he had two years ago, but the manner
in which he has won his matches this year have been more dramatic.
He has come back from bad form and shown that he is fit enough to win
tournaments and still hand out a thrashing when he plays well. That
alone should be very valuable for Power’s confidence and the attitude the team
has. Razik’s ranking is similar to what it was in 2003, and Ryding’s
has improved. Victor Berg’s number 4 position is now taken by Matthew
and Hong Kong won’t beat Canada but could give them a good
scare if they played extremely well. They should save the fight for each
other because even if they give Canada a scare they certainly won’t
beat them unless injuries play a part. The draw schedule is similar to
the France / Ireland / India pool where both Wales and Hong Kong have
to play Canada before they play each other, with Hong Kong having the
advantage of the day’s rest. Wales and Hong Kong’s coaching
should be standing in line behind Ireland and India’s coaches trying
to change this.
Hong Kong was one of the stars in Vienna, toppling Malaysia on the way
to their best result of 8th.
result to date is 2nd in 1999. They finished 5th in Vienna.
David Evans was playing a lot more squash back then, but the depth of
the team with Gavin Jones at 3, and Gough going through a form resurgence
should be enough. Jones at 3 is ranked 48. Evans no longer plays in PSA
events, but we can safely presume from the team order that he still beats
Canada and Wales should get through this pool, but Hong Kong has nothing
to lose and caused trouble last time.
Wong Wai Hang
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