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TOC
and Jonathon Power Retiring

    

March
15,
2006: by Team Kneipp (kah-nipe)      

[See also: Photo
Tribute to JP]
[and Jonathon
Power Retires
]

saudi intl
Power at the TOC: He retires on his
own terms (photo © 2006
Debra Tessier.

Our tournament report cards normally list the players who we think have
had a good tournament or a bad tournament, relative to their ranking.
Sometimes this is straight forward, and other times there are more obscure
things to write about and discuss.

If
we did discuss the players who we thought performed well in New York
(Shabana, Matthew, Gaultier, Darwish), compared to players who didn’t
(Lincou, Willstrop, Nicol, Power), then we would be missing the crux
of this tournament. Although a lot of exciting results occurred, included
Shabana replacing Lincou as the most consistent player on the tour, Gaultier
and Matthew’s success, and Nicol’s last event in New York,
the tournament wasn’t about that.

No, this tournament was about Jonathon Power.

The
current World #1’s retirement from the game
came as a huge shock.

No
one can question Power’s ability or results
over the past decade or so, and Bronstein has given a great account
of that in his retirement article.
Whether you agree or disagree with the style or method in which Power
has achieved this, you have to admire his contribution to the game and
the manner in which he has exited.

saudi intl
Power and Nicol – the classic duels (photo © 2006
Debra Tessier.

Power’s influence on the popularity of squash in North America
has been tremendous, and it’s not a coincidence that it’s
such a growth area in squash at the moment. During an era when attritional
squash was the norm, he had an ability to win fans to the game with his
unpredictable, dynamic and entertaining style of play.

But
Power didn’t just win fans, he made people
passionate about his game.
People weren’t ever half-hearted in their opinion of Power. You
either loved him or hated him. We always got along well with Jonathon
off court, but not on court. If we ever wrote anything negative about
Power in an article we’d usually get prompt emails from his league
of devoted fans.

I
think the manner in which he has retired is so typical of who he is.
It had been four and a half years since he was the best player in the
world, 2005 was a magnificent year for his squash, and he finally regained
the top spot back. Instead of conceding that position to Amr Shabana
in April’s
ranking, he finished his career where he feels he belongs – at
the top of the pile dictating his own terms.

His
exit leaves a considerable hole in the ‘personality’ of
the tour. We wrote in the TOC preview that it was ‘poor form’ that
Power wasn’t attending the Commonwealth Games as defending champion.
He wanted to retire in New York. He has retired in style.

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