world No1 Thierry Lincou maintained his PSA
Tour supremacy over compatriot Gregory Gaultier
when he won the first all-French final of the Mamut
English Open at the Crucible Theatre in
Gaultier, the fast-rising 23-year-old who showed his
promise in a devastating straight games dismissal of
Peter Nicol which brought the UK career of England
's most successful player of all time to an end in the
semi-finals, made Lincou work hard for his third title
on British soil this year.
30-year-old No2 seed from Marseille took the opening
game, but seventh seed Gaultier fought back to take the
next two to forge a 2/1 lead.
who lost his French national title to Gaultier this year
- but is unbeaten by his younger French team-mate now in
five career meetings on the PSA Tour - pulled back the
deficit before clinching the fifth game to record a
mighty 11-6, 2-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 victory in 71
a very high pace, very accurate squash which demands a
lot of energy and concentration," Lincou told the
official website afterwards. "The third was a key game,
and I was not happy to have lost it. But I felt that I
had got my efficiency back, that I was not as dominated
during the rallies that I had been in the second - and
that if I could keep doing what I was doing, it would be
wanted to congratulate Greg on his tournament, beating
the top guys in straight games," added the world No3 who
now boasts 17 PSA Tour titles. "Tonight, it was not an
easy ride to play him, and I’m sure that he will be at
the top of the rankings very soon."
disappointed Gaultier added: "When I took the third, I
thought that it would be the decisive turning point -
but I had to dig in so deep, to come back in that game,
that I was burned out by the end of it."
the women's title stayed in English hands when favourite
the world No24 from Essex, beat full-time firewoman and
part-time squash player Laura
9-4, 9-1, 9-3 in the other final.
career of British squash hero Peter Nicol was
brought to a close this evening (Friday) at the
Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where he was
beaten in his final appearance on home soil by rising
French star Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of
the Mamut English Open, hosted by Sheffield City
seed Gaultier will face compatriot Thierry Lincou,
the No2 seed,in the first all-French PSA Tour
final outside France tomorrow (Saturday) after Lincou
came through his semi-final against Lee Beachill
when the Englishman was forced to retire during the second
game after sustaining an adductor injury in his right leg.
announcing his retirement last month, after an illustrious
career spanning a decade and a half, 33-year-old Peter
Nicol felt he could successfully defend the 5-star PSA
Tour title he won for the first time last year.
Gaultier, ten years younger than the four-times
Commonwealth Games gold medallist from London ,
demonstrated the qualities which made him one of the
rising stars of the international game – and, in 45
minutes of exhilarating squash, defeated the title-holder
11-5, 11-6, 11-8.
I played quite well - but everything I did, Greg managed
to counter," said fifth seed Nicol afterwards. "I was
always struggling, always a couple of steps behind him,
both tactically and physically.
on a lot. He was exceptional tonight – just too good."
whose career includes more than 50 major international
titles and a total of 60 months at the top of the world
rankings, received a prolonged standing ovation from the
packed Crucible crowd at the end of his historic match on
the all-glass court.
response here has been wonderful - the crowd was very
supportive, willing me on," agreed the Englishman. "And
it was great to get that ovation at the end."
play his final event of all next month in Egypt at the
World Open, staged alongside the famous pyramids of
Giza : "I've got some work to do over the next two weeks,
to get myself up to speed. Just one last block of work
before I retire," added the 1999 World Open champion.
if he felt he had made the right decision to retire, Nicol
said: "Yes, definitely. I'm ready to stop, without a
doubt. It's time to move on."
Anglo/French semi-final was expected to be as dramatic as
the first. But at 7-2 down in the opening game,
Yorkshireman Beachill slipped badly and clearly suffered a
painful injury to his right leg. The eighth seed saw out
the first game and played through to the same points tally
in the second game, when he conceded defeat with the score
at 11-3, 7-2 in Lincou's favour.
Gaultier is celebrating his 15th appearance in
a PSA Tour final, Lincou will mark his 30th at
Lauren Briggs and 3/4 seed Laura Hill will
meet in an all-English women's final after contrasting
semi-final victories on the all-glass court. Briggs, from
Essex, maintained the upper hand throughout her clash with
Yorkshire 's Lauren Siddall to beat the other 3/4
seed 9-7, 9-2, 9-5 in 46 minutes.
firewoman from Duffield in Derbyshire, fought back from
2/1 down against No2 seed Rebecca Botwright to
record a impressive 9-7, 4-9, 2-9, 10-8, 9-6 upset in 68
minutes over the world No28 from Manchester – ranked more
than a hundred places higher than Hill.
Peter Nicol In Dramatic
British squash hero Peter Nicol gave little
credence to the fact that he is on the verge of
retiring when he staged a dramatic comeback to
beat long-time adversary David Palmer, the world
No2 from Australia, in the quarter-finals of the Mamut English Open, hosted
by Sheffield City Council, at the Crucible Theatre
The 33-year-old from London, playing his farewell
event in the UK, was a game down to top seed
Palmer, and game ball at 5-10 behind in the
second, when he mounted an incredible fight-back.
In a single hand, Nicol saved five game balls to
force the game into a tie-break, which he then
duly won to draw level.
The third game of this re-match of March's
Commonwealth Games final in Melbourne – won in
similarly dramatic style by the Englishman - also
went to a tie-break, with Palmer twice saving game
balls before Nicol forged a 2/1 advantage.
With victory in his sights, fifth seed and
defending champion Nicol charged on to secure his
remarkable 6-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-10 (3-1), 11-8
victory in 63 minutes.
"For the first game and a half, David really
controlled the game and played exceptionally – but
then he got edgy and lost a bit of his
concentration," said Nicol after the pair's 20th
clash in major international events, with the
Englishman now 14-6 ahead.
"But then I got a better length, especially from
the end of the second through to the fourth game –
and started to volley a lot, something I haven't
been doing for a while now. And because I was
volleying, I was controlling the game more.
"But what I was very happy with was the fact that
I stepped forward and started to control the
rallies," explained the four-times Commonwealth
Games gold medallist, cheered on by a capacity
"There was fantastic support – I felt the crowd
were really behind me, and it really does help!"
Earlier, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier claimed the
first semi-final place when he beat Australia's
surprise quarter-finalist Stewart Boswell. The
unseeded 28-year-old from Canberra was unable to
reproduce the same form which saw him upset
third-seeded compatriot Anthony Ricketts in the
opening round – and went down 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 to
fast-improving Gaultier in 42 minutes.
Gaultier, the 23-year-old world No8 from
Aix-en-Provence, will meet Nicol for a place in
the final. "It'll be a tough match," admitted
title-holder Nicol. "I watched Greg tonight and he
was exceptional. He'll be desperate to do well –
and he is ten years younger!"
Despite being the top-ranked Englishman in the
event – six places higher than opponent Lee
Beachill – James Willstrop failed to end the
career-long sequence of losses to his Pontefract
club-mate in tonight's all-Yorkshire
"I got off to an unbelievable start, and James
didn't – he made a few mistakes and I took
advantage of them," summed up eighth seed Beachill
after his nominal 'upset' over fourth-seeded
"I'm happy with the way I'm playing – and happy to
be in the semi-finals," added the 28-year-old
following his 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8 victory in 68
minutes – a win which marks Beachill's sixth PSA
Tour victory over 23-year-old Willstrop since
their first meeting at the Crucible two years ago,
when Beachill went on to lift the English Open
Willstrop, however, had a different story to tell
after tonight's match: "I was awful, I'm really
disappointed. It was a pretty poor performance on
my part really – but then again it seems like it's
a pattern every time I play Lee. I struggle to
impose my game on him at the moment - and that's
all there is to it!"
The second semi-final will also be an Anglo/French
clash. Hopes of a second successive final
appearance for Sheffield's own Nick Matthew were
dashed by French No1 Thierry Lincou, the No2 seed.
After dropping the first game, Lincou came back to
beat the 26-year-old local hero 10-11 (0-2), 11-5,
11-9, 11-5 to set up his second meeting this year
Yorkshire squash trio Lee
Beachill, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew
trounced their opposition in tonight's (Wednesday)
first round matches of the Mamut English Open at
the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield to ensure local
interest through to Thursday's semi-finals of the
5-star PSA Tour event hosted by Sheffield City
Eighth seed Beachill, the 2004
champion, survived a close first game against Mohd
Azlan Iskandar before imposing his authority on
the rising Malaysian star to win 11-9, 11-7, 11-3
in 35 minutes.
Meanwhile his Pontefract
club-mate and England team-mate James Willstrop,
the world No4 and highest-ranked Englishman in the
event, despatched French qualifier Renan Lavigne
11-6, 11-6, 11-8 in 36 minutes.
The fourth seed, who celebrated
his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, will face Beachill
for the third time this year in tomorrow's
quarter-finals hoping to achieve his
career-first victory over his close friend and
Winner of last week's
Cleethorpes Invitation a non-ranking event
in England Willstrop acknowledged the
importance the event had played in his build-up
for the Mamut championship: "That allowed me
to get three solid matches before arriving here,"
explained the former world junior champion.
"People do not realise the huge difference there
is between training and real matches. And no
matter how hard, nothing compares with playing in
an event in front of an appreciative crowd."
Sheffield hero Nick Matthew
completed the line-up of three Yorkshire-based
quarter-finalists when he dismissed compatriot
Mark Chaloner, a qualifier and former world No7
from Lincolnshire, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 in just 30
Born, raised and still living
in Sheffield, Matthew has never failed to reach
the quarter-finals in four years of the English
Open at the Crucible and last year bravely
fought through to the final before bowing out to
England team-mate Peter Nicol.
"I wasn't settled on the court
today I wanted to be sharp as Mark is a very
experienced player, so I'm happy with the win,"
said 26-year-old Matthew. "I can't really
say that I want to win this tournament more than
any other as I want to win ALL the tournaments I
Two former world number ones
battled out the only non-Yorkshire encounter on
the all-glass Crucible court when France's Thierry
Lincou, the No2 seed, faced Scotland's US-based
John White, the inaugural English Open champion in
Lincou overcame a first game
scare to beat the hard-hitting Scotsman 8-11,
11-7, 11-5, 11-3 in 53 minutes and will now face
home hero Matthew for a place in the semi-finals.
British squash hero Peter Nicol survived
the opening encounter in his final event in the UK
before he retires when he fought back from a game
down to beat his young England team-mate Peter
Barker in tonight's (Tuesday) first round of
the Mamut English Open at the Crucible
Theatre in Sheffield .
"That was almost just what I wanted," conceded the
33-year-old Englishman who is bowing out of the
game after an illustrious career which includes 60
months at the top of the world rankings and more
than 50 major international titles including the
World Open, British Open and four
Commonwealth Games gold medals.
"Peter really came out for it and played really
well in the first game," said title-holder Nicol
after his crowd-pleasing 5-11, 11-9, 11-10 (3-1),
11-7 triumph in 57 minutes.
"But slowly I managed to exert pressure on him
until he started making mistakes and then could
see the match falling away from him," added the
Barker, a 22-year-old from Upminster in Essex who
is ranked just outside the world top 20, claimed
that he did not feel under any pressure before
tonight's much-hailed clash.
"When I heard I was drawn to play Peter in his
last event in the UK , I was really pleased – I
felt quite honoured," said fellow left-hander
Barker. "It's never nice losing in the first
round of a tournament, but even though I did, I'm
sure the match will benefit me in the future."
Nicol will now meet his great rival David
Palmer, the top seed from Australia , in the
quarter-finals on Thursday. Palmer, whom Nicol
beat earlier in the year in Melbourne to win his
second Commonwealth Games singles gold
medal, dashed hopes of Welsh interest in the last
eight when he defeated qualifier Alex Gough
11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 41 minutes.
Unseeded Australian Stewart Boswell claimed
the first upset in the 5-star PSA Tour
event hosted by Sheffield City Council when
he rallied to a five-game victory over Australian
team-mate Anthony Ricketts, the No3 seed,
on the all-glass court at the Crucible.
a match described by both players as "patchy in
places", Boswell stemmed a late fight-back by his
close friend and training partner to overcome the
world No5 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6 in 74
was the 28-year-old from Canberra 's first PSA
Tour win over Ricketts in recent years – "but we
used to play each other in almost every tournament
we entered when we started on the circuit,"
conceded Boswell afterwards.
"The fourth game was a bit of a disaster for me,
but I repeated what I had planned to do in that
game in the fifth, and it seemed to work better
for me," explained Boswell, the former world No4
who recently endured a two-year lay-off with a
mystery back injury.
Both Australians are UK-based – Boswell in
Manchester and Ricketts now in Pontefract in
The opening match of the evening saw the first of
the event's three British/French encounters – with
first blood going to France when Gregory
Gaultier, the seventh seed making his debut in
the event, beat English qualifier Daryl Selby,
from Witham in Essex, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 in 50
Senior British squash internationals Alex Gough
and Mark Chaloner claimed places in the first
round of the Mamut English Open, hosted by
Sheffield City Council, after overcoming younger
opposition in the qualifying finals in
Welsh international Gough, a 35-year-old from
Hampshire who continues to represent his country
more than decade and a half after first doing so,
dismissed 23-year-old Englishman Alister Walker,
from Gloucestershire, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 in 45
Newport-born world No18 will now make his third
appearance in the 5-star PSA Tour event which
is in its fourth year at the Crucible Theatre
in Sheffield. Gough will face top seed David
Palmer, the world No2 fromAustralia.
Chaloner, the 34-year-old former world No7 from
Lincolnshire who put his name on the international
squash map when he led England to first-time success
in the World Team Championships in 1995,
twice had to come from behind to defeat Guernsey's
19-year-old British Junior champion Chris Simpson
7-11, 11-3, 2-11, 11-3, 11-4 in a 78-minute
Chaloner, the PSA President, has been drawn to face
local favourite Nick Matthew, the sixth seed
from Sheffield who reached the Crucible final twelve
Essex's Daryl Selby bucked the 'old guard'
trend, however. The 23-year-old former England
junior international from Witham overcame
Gloucestershire's 26-year-old Alex Stait
11-5, 11-5, 11-5 in 30 minutes and will now make his
maiden appearance in the main draw of the Mamut
English Open, which gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday)
at the Crucible. Selby will take on France's
seventh seed Gregory Gaultier, the world No8
who is making his debut in the event.
the final match of the day, Renan Lavigne
became the third Frenchman to earn a place in the
main draw. The 31-year-old from Marseille twice
repelled fight-backs by Cameron Pilley to
beat the higher-ranked New Zealander 11-8, 4-11,
11-6, 4-11, 11-4 in 71 minutes. Lavigne will now
meet the highest-ranked Englishman – and
Yorkshireman – in the draw, world No4 James
British squash legend Peter Nicol begins his
farewell campaign on home soil tomorrow when he
takes on England team-mate Peter Barker in
the third match of the evening's first round session
on the all-glass court at 8.00pm. The 33-year-old
four-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist
from London announced last month that this will be
his final competitive tournament in the UK, before
finally bowing out at next month's World Open
staged by Egypt's famous pyramids at Giza.
Victory for the title-holder and the event's fifth
seed would give Nicol his 50th PSA Tour
Britons Dominate On
First Day Of English Open Qualifiers It was
a good day for Britons in the opening
qualifying round for the Mamut English Open Squash
Championship, the 5-star PSA Tour eventin Sheffield, England.
Gloucestershire's Leeds-based Alister Walker
survived a tough battle against England's
higher-ranked Simon Parke to beat the former
world No3, also from Leeds, 11-8, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1),
11-8 in 67 minutes.
will meet Alex Gough in Monday's qualifying
finals after the Welshman defeated Surrey 's Tom
Richards 11-8, 11-7, 11-7.
Guernsey's former European junior champion Chris
Simpson also scored a notable triumph, beating
Pakistan 's Shahid Zaman after the world No30
from Pakistan retired injured with the score at 11-2,
11-7, 4-0 in Simpson's favour.
Manchester's Gloucester-born Alex Stait also
recorded an impressive upset – beating Australian
Joseph Kneipp, a former world No10, 11-8, 11-6,
final two all-English clashes of the day,
Lincolnshire's experienced Mark Chaloner twice
had to come from behind to overcome Stacey Ross,
from Surrey, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 in 63
minutes, while Essex's Daryl Selby claimed a
significant upset when he beat Surrey's Ben Garner,
ranked six places higher in the world, 11-10 (2-0),
Chaloner, the PSA President, will take on Chris
Simpson for a place in the main draw, and 23-year-old
Selby will meet Alex Stait.
The Best' is how organisers of the Mamut English Open
are billing this week's international squash tournament
at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield .
by Sheffield City Council, and now in its fourth
year, the event is "as good as it gets anywhere in the
world" says tournament director Tim Garner -
"with eight out of the world’s top ten all taking part".
squash fans, or for people who enjoy watching sport at
the highest level, I don’t think we can offer too much
more than this year.
very rare for an event to have more than eight of the
top ten in the rankings in the draw, because of
injuries or other circumstances - so for the English
Open to achieve that in only our fourth year is
fantastic," he explained.
is an argument to say that this tournament is the
premier one on British soil at the moment because it has
an established venue; it's been upgraded to a five-star
PSA tour event; and it will be on terrestrial TV for the
first time, with BBC’s Grandstand coverage.”
qualifying getting underway today (Sunday) at both
Abbeydale Park and HallamshireSquash
Clubs in Sheffield, the main draw action takes place
on an all-glass court at the Crucible beginning on
Tuesday (15 August), leading to the final on Saturday
who saw business partner and squash great Peter Nicol
beat his Sheffield-based England team-mate Nick
Matthew in the final last year, thinks the English
Open is challenging the famous British Open.
British Open is a great event and is a great prize to
win. It has a tremendous history, which is second to
none," explains Garner.
"However, the English Open is fast becoming a 'must win'
for a top player's cv!"
Featuring five former world number ones, the 2006 event
boasts its strongest line-up yet. Australia 's world
No2 David Palmer is the tournament's top seed and
would be expected to meet France 's second seed
Thierry Lincou, also a former world No1, in the
final on Saturday.
the Yorkshire contingent of Matthew; Pontefract’s world
number five James Willstrop; and 2004 English
Open champion Lee Beachill, who is also from
Pontefract; as well as Nicol; will be determined to keep
the trophy in the white rose county.
Mamut English OpenSquash Championship has
received a further boost with news that racket
manufacturer Slazenger will be the official racket
sponsor of this year’s event at the Crucible Theatre
in Sheffield .
which is also the racket sponsor of last year’s beaten
finalist - Sheffield’s world number seven Nick Matthew
- is the latest company to get behind the event as the
English Open’s reputation continues to grow.
marketing director for the Wakefield-based company, said:
“We are delighted to be the official racket sponsor for
this year’s Mamut English Open.
“It is a
tournament that has grown in stature since it was launched
four years ago and this year, with the five-star rating
and excellent draw, looks like it will be the best yet.
“We have a
commitment to developing squash and we see partnerships
such as this one being a key part of that strategy. Nick
Matthew is one of our players, so we’re looking forward to
seeing him perform well on his home court.”
tournament director for event organisers Eventis, said:
“This will be the fourth English Open and we have tried to
build the event each year. Our relationship with Slazenger
will bring a great deal to the tournament. It is great
news for the event and we’re very excited at the prospect
of working closely with Slazenger during the build up to
Hosted by Sheffield
City Council, the Mamut English Open will take place
between 15-19 August. The championship has been upgraded
to a five-star PSA Tour event and will be featured on BBC
TV 'Grandstand' for the first time.
Boasting five former
world number ones, the 2006 event boasts its strongest
line-up yet. Australia 's world No2 David Palmer
is the tournament’s top seed and would be expected to meet
France 's second seed Thierry Lincou , also a
former world No1, in the final on the all-glass court on
Saturday 19 August. Last year’s winner Peter Nicol
is seeded fifth.
Britain's most successful squash player of the modern era,
is planning to hang up his rackets after more than 12
unbroken years in the world top ten – but not until he adds
another two major trophies to his already substantial
winner of more than 50 major international crowns, who
boasts 60 months at the top of the world rankings, will
defend his title next month in the Mamut English Open
in his final competition on home soil, before bidding his
farewell at the Al-Ahram World Open in the sport's
most spectacular setting by Egypt's famous pyramids in Giza
"I have had
a wonderful career in squash and have largely achieved all
the goals I set myself, but I still feel I have two more
titles in me – and I'm training as hard as ever to wrap up
my competitive career with two further wins," explained
Nicol at a special reception hosted in his honour by
England Squash at the RAC Club in London.
English Open is important to me because it's the event that
my company Eventis promotes, and I want to defend my title
at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – and there was no way
that I was going to pass up the opportunity to play my last
event by the pyramids, where I won three Al-Ahram
International titles and my one World Open trophy."
Inverurie, near Aberdeen, in Scotland, Peter excelled at all
sports when he was a child and took up squash when he was
eight. After turning professional, he made rapid progress
up the world rankings and earned some 66 caps for Scotland
before shocking the sports world in March 2001 by changing
allegiance to England to join and work with the country's
World Class Performance Programme.
He went on
to win six PSA Tour titles in the year and the following
January regained his world No1 ranking, a position he held
unopposed for two complete years – "none of which would have
been possible without the England support," explained Nicol.
London for more than 15 years, Nicol rewarded his country in
the strongest possible way by clinching victory for England
in the Men's World Team Championships in Pakistan
"This is my
way of repaying England for all the support they have given
me over the years – the programme, the funding, the
coaching, and everything else," said Nicol, who went on to
earn 46 caps for England.
this year, he produced perhaps the most remarkable run of
his career when he won the Singles gold medal in the
Commonwealth Games in Australia, and capped this success
by successfully defending his gold medal in the Men's
Doubles – bringing his gold tally over three Games since
1998 to four!
singles gold medal in Melbourne was the best experience of
my squash career – it's as simple as that. I was more
passionate, more open than I've ever been on court before –
it's the first time I've ever been able to let my emotions
go, rather than do 'the right thing' by keeping them
suppressed," said the 33-year-old who was awarded an MBE in
"It was a
different side of me that hasn't been seen before – and
without that I wouldn't have won."
has a number of exciting new projects lined up, Nicol admits
that there a lot of things he will miss about life as a
professional squash player: "For a start, the training –
always related to my next event. That will leave a big hole
– I will still do some training, of course, but there won't
be the goal.
there's travelling the world, the camaraderie with other
players as you arrive at a new event to prepare for the
event. And that regular routine at an event of practising
in the morning, then going back to the hotel to relax and
watch a movie – then falling asleep in bed. I'll really
I'm really excited about moving into a new phase of my life,
I'm also terrified," admitted Nicol, whose career title haul
includes four US Opens; three Hong Kong Opens,
Al-Ahram Internationals, Super Series Finals
and Tournament of Champions; two British Opens,
PSA Masters and British Nationals; and one
World Open and World Games trophy – boosted by
gold medals in the Commonwealth Games singles in 1998
and 2006, and doubles in 2002 and 2006.
Nicol began his remarkable unbroken world top 10 run in May
1994 (at No8), only four other current world top 20 players
featured anywhere in the world rankings – and all were
outside the top 50!
has already identified three major projects that will occupy
his time in 'retirement'. In addition to becoming a Team
England Ambassador for 2010 for the Commonwealth Games
Council for England these, his services have been
retained by England Squash as a guide and mentor to
the governing body’s National Academy.
be teaching the best young aspiring players the business of
competing – and winning – in the World arena, a subject in
which he is of course uniquely qualified," explained England
Squash CEO Nick Rider.
new career will be a 'greater commitment' to Eventis
Sports Marketing Ltd, the company he founded with fellow
former squash players Tim Garner and Angus
Kirkland. Launched in 2003, Eventis already stages two
major PSA Tour events – the Mamut English Open,
at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, and the ISS Canary
Wharf Classic in London – and last year launched the
highly-successful World Squash Awards in London.
forward to becoming much more involved with Eventis than I
have been able to be so far, playing a more active role
day-to-day and helping to develop new areas for the company
as well as expanding the relationships we already have with
our current associates," Nicol explained.
venture is Peter Nicol Squash Limited, a company he
has formed with David Weddell, the former team
manager of Eastcote Squash Club, the first ever English club
team Nicol played for - 14 years ago!
some team – including Paul Carter, John Ransome, Neil Harvey
and Martin Bodimeade!" mused Nicol. "David and I lost
contact shortly after that, but came across each other again
recently and, over a period of a few months, came up with
the idea of a company to offer management advice and
guidance to younger squash players."
which has close links with racket brand Prince, was
launched with fast-rising Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar,
who now boasts a career-high world ranking of 12.
last year, Peter Nicol Squash attracted another Malaysian
star, the record two-times women's world junior champion
Nicol David. Withina few weeks of signingbothto the company and Prince, David won the
British Open crown for the first time – then in December
clinched her maiden World Open title to become No1 in
the first women's world rankings of the New Year!
Weddell's commercial skills and passion for the game, and my
experience as an international sportsman – coupled with the
strong link with Prince - we offer considerable expertise
and support for players like Azlan and Nicol."
Power-Plate, a pioneering vibration technology
fitness concept, has led Peter Nicol to launch a further
initiative: The LifeStyle Centre Ltd.
introduced to the Power-Plate concept by Swiss squash
international Lars Harms over a year ago – with the
result that he incorporated the philosophy into his
preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
using it in January - it ultimately gave me back my
confidence and without it I would not have had the belief in
my body to achieve what I did in Melbourne," said Nicol
candidly. "It's a concept which can change your way of
living – across the spectrum from top athletes downwards.
passionately in Power-Plate, which is why I am pursuing this
concept in the LifeStyle Centre venture."
partnership with Lars Harms, will open the first
LifeStyle Centre in London soon. The facility will offer a
wide range of health benefits for a broad range of
"I am very,
very excited about all of the new initiatives which are
going to occupy me from now on," said Nicol. "I feel very
privileged – after all, how many people get the chance to
start a completely new life, like this?
"I have had
a wonderful 14 years in squash – and would highly recommend
life as a professional sportsman to anyone.
"But I have
a smile on my face and I'm now looking forward to what this
new life is going to offer," concluded Nicol.
Squash have led a flood of tributes that have been paid to
Peter Nicol following news of his impending retirement:
"Peter is a figurehead for all that is good in our sport,"
said Chairman Jackie
while Nick Rider
added: "Peter truly deserves the tag of greatness."
Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Council for
England, states that "Peter has been a terrific ambassador
both for his sport and for Team England," while Gawain
CEO of the Professional Squash Association, points out that
he "has been the model player of his generation", and World
Squash Federation CEO Christian Leighton says that
"Peter has become the ultimate Squash professional".
players that have come forward, former England team captain
Chris Walker said: "What Peter has done for the game
cannot be underestimated," and current England team-mate
Lee Beachill believes that Nicol has "earned the right
to be named as one of the best players to ever play the
of Prince Sports feels that Peter "will leave a void almost
impossible to fill", while Neil Harvey, Nicol's coach
from 1992 to 2002, points out that he is "one of the most
generous people I have ever met".
promoters also speak highly of the Englishman: Heather
Deayton, promoter of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
Open, commented that "not only was Peter a role model
sportsman on the court, but while off the court he put
tremendous effort into promoting the game". Leading US
promoter John Nimick
said that Squash "has been blessed to have more than a
decade of Peter's positive influence and outstanding
Not all have
been wholly complimentary of Peter Nicol: England team-mate
James Willstrop points out that "his dress sense
leaves much to be desired"!
But the last
word is left to Jonathon Power, Nicol's lifelong
rival from Canada, who also recently announced his
retirement: "I think if we could have put together his
strengths and mine we probably could have made a decent
Star-Studded Squash Field Heads For Mamut English Open In
field featuring eight of the world's top ten squash players
will be in action at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield
next month in the Mamut English Open, one of the
biggest events on the sport’s world circuit.
Sheffield City Council - and now in its
fourth year in the English city - the Mamut English Open
will take place between 15-19 August. The championship has
been upgraded to a five-star PSA Tour event and will be
featured on BBC TV 'Grandstand' for the first time.
former world number ones, the 2006 event boasts its strongest
line-up yet. Australia's world No2 David Palmer is the
event's top seed and would be expected to meet France's second
seed Thierry Lincou, also a former world No1, in the
final on the spectacular all-glass court on Saturday 19
determined to upset the seedings will be defending champion
Peter Nicol, the two-times gold medallist in the
Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year whose
company Eventis Sports Marketing is promoting the Mamut
English Open for the fourth year at the Crucible.
successive victory in the five-star event would mark the 50th
PSA Tour title of the Englishman's career. Nicol, who
recently celebrated his 60th month as world number
one, is the event's fifth seed.
delighted that this year's Mamut English Open has attracted
the strongest draw ever, with eight of the world's top ten
confirming their entry," said Eventis Director Angus
Kirkland. "The players have always been very supportive
of all our events and this year is no exception. The event
has grown in stature each year and we are thrilled with the
response, having made the decision to upgrade the event to a
PSA five-star level.
"In a year
where we have secured satellite and terrestrial coverage, we
look forward to showcasing the world's best squash talent on
the Crucible's renowned stage."
Managing Director of Mamut, added: "It's a testimony
to this five-star event that the very best squash players in
the world will be coming to Sheffield, and we are thrilled to
be sponsoring the Mamut English Open for the third year
own Nick Matthew, the world No7, will return to the
stage where he reached the final for the first time last
year. The 25-year-old is the No6 seed, behind fellow
Yorkshireman James Willstrop, who is the fourth seed.
and Willstrop will be joined at the Crucible by the fourth
member of the England squad which reclaimed the World Team
Championships title last December in Pakistan: Lee
Beachill, also a Yorkshireman and winner of the title in
2004, is the eighth seed.
list of seeds is:  David Palmer (Australia),  Thierry
Lincou (France),  Anthony Ricketts (Australia),  James
Willstrop (England),  Peter Nicol (England),  Nick
Matthew (England),  Gregory Gaultier (France), and  Lee
BBC TV Back
At The Crucible – For Mamut English Open Squash!
The BBC TV
cameras which have made the Crucible Theatre famous
around the world as the venue for the World Snooker
Championships will return to Sheffield this summer
to cover the Mamut English Open Squash Championship, one
of the biggest events on the sport’s world circuit.
Hosted by Sheffield
City Council - and now in its
fourth year in the English city - the Mamut English Open
will take place between 15-19 August. The championship has been
upgraded to a five-star PSA Tour event and is expected to
attract its strongest ever draw this year.
delighted to be able to confirm that this year's event has
secured BBC TV 'Grandstand' coverage for the first time," said
Tournament Director Tim Garner.
terrestrial coverage will enable us to be seen by well over a
million viewers, which will raise the profile not only of the
event and all those associated with it, but will also be a
welcome boost for the sport," added the Eventis Sports
Marketing Director. "The BBC coverage will be shown at
12noon on Sunday the 20th August."
Deputy Editor Grandstand, also commented: "We're really pleased
to be able to feature the English Open on Sunday Grandstand.
After such a successful Commonwealth Games, it's great to be
able showcase the medallists in a world class event held in
Britain. The prestige of a venue like the Crucible can only add
to the excitement."
With a $50,000
prize fund for the first time, Garner is confident that the
majority of the world’s top ten players will compete in the 2006
Mamut English Open.
Peter Nicol, who sensationally clinched two gold medals in
this year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, will be back
to defend the title he won at the Crucible last year. The
former world No1 combines his playing career with that of
co-organiser of the tournament with his Eventis business
partners Tim Garner and Angus Kirkland.
"This is Pete’s
tournament and he loved winning it last year," said Garner.
"But he's unlikely to be the only former world number one in the
draw as we are also expecting his England team-mate Lee Beachill,
as well as Scotsman John White and France's Thierry Lincou to be
entering. We’re also in talks with Egypt's current world number
one Amr Shabana.
"But if Pete
does win, it will mark the 50th PSA Tour title of his
career – an incredible milestone that I'm sure he would love to
achieve at the Crucible."
Mamut English Open In Sheffield
One of the top
squash tournaments in the world will be staged at the Crucible
Theatre in Sheffield this summer
from 15-19 August.
English Open Squash Championship, hosted by Sheffield City
Council and now in its fourth year in the city, has been
upgraded to a five-star PSA Tour event, which puts it
alongside the most prestigious championships on the sport’s world
director Tim Garner says the news is a big boost for the
event: “The Mamut English Open is already a very well-respected
tournament amongst the players and the squash community.
“By being upgraded
from a four-star to a five-star championship, it means we are able
to offer more prize money, more ranking points and generally
increase the profile of the English Open to a wider media
With a $50,000
prize fund for the first time, Garner is confident that the
majority of the world’s top ten players will be joining
Sheffield’s number seven ranked Nick Matthew in the draw
when entries close on July 12.
“We’ve $5,000 more
in the pot this year and we’ve always had very strong fields
anyway, so I’m expecting our strongest ever draw. Nick is always
a favourite with the home crowd and will be hoping to break his
Crucible duck but he will have to beat the world’s best if he is
to do so.”
runner-up last year, beaten by Commonwealth Games gold
medallist and squash legend Peter Nicol.
combines organising the tournament alongside his business partners
Tim Garner and Angus Kirkland with playing in it,
will be among the favourites when the actions starts.
Garner said: “This
is Pete’s tournament and he loved winning it last year. There will
probably be several world number ones in the draw this year, Pete,
Lee Beachill, John White and Thierry Lincou. We’re in talks with
current world number one Amr Shabana as well.
"But if he does
win it, it will mark the 50th PSA Tour title of his
career – an incredible milestone that I'm sure he would love to
achieve at the Crucible."
CRUCIBLE CURTAIN TO COME UP AGAIN ON WORLD CLASS SQUASH Former World no.1 Peter Nicol’s
company, Eventis Sports Marketing Ltd, have confirmed that once again they
will be bringing the world’s greatest players to the Crucible Theatre,
Sheffield, this summer.
The Mamut English Open will take place from the 15-19th August
2006 and will be the first major event of the 2006/7 season, starting things
in style by attracting many of the top 16 players in the world. Nicol has
just returned from a spectacular performance at the Commonwealth Games where
he picked up two Gold medals and is one of the promoters behind the event,
which will be a 5-star event on the Professional Squash Association’s
“The Crucible is now starting to become an established name in the World of
squash. It is a magnificent setting for squash and we are excited at the
prospect of returning to its world renowned stage this August.” said Nicol,
who has dominated the World rankings for the past 6 years. “All the feedback
we had last year was of a positive nature, so we are absolutely delighted to
announce that Mamut Business Software are returning for the third year as
This year’s hosting sponsor is again Sheffield City Council with Capita
Symonds, & the Hilton Sheffield back on board as sponsors of this already
famous event. One of Nicol’s business partners at Eventis Sports Marketing,
Tim Garner explains “last year’s event was a fantastic success and we have
built up a very good relationship with the city’s Major Sports Event Unit
and the other sponsor’s involved in the event. The elevation to 5-star
status will ensure that we get most of the Worlds top 10 in attendance and
continue to raise the profile of this already prestigious event”
Moody, managing director of Mamut, explained “We are delighted to be
involved with squash in the UK and, specifically, to be the title sponsor
of the Mamut English Open squash championship in Sheffield for the third
year running. Mamut is going from strength to strength in providing small
businesses with software solutions that simplify the way they do business,
and in recognition of that we are delighted to announce that this year we
have increased our commitment to the tournament, making it one of the most
prestigious in the world. As such, we look forward to once again welcoming
the very best players in the world to Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.”
Sheffield itself is also embracing
very pleased and excited to offer its support once more to the Mamut English
Open Squash Championships at the World famous
Crucible Theatre right in the heart of Sheffield City Centre in August 2006.
This event has brought the world's top squash players to the city and has
become firmly established on the city's ever growing major sports events
We very much look forward to working with Eventis on what I know will be an
event of the highest order", commented Gary Clifton, Sheffield’s Major
Sports Events Manager.
the company led by former world squash number one Peter Nicol,
have confirmed that once again they will be bringing the
world’s greatest players to the Crucible Theatre
in Sheffield this summer.
Mamut English Open will take place from the 15-19 August 2006 and
will be the first major event of the 2006/7 season, starting things in
style by attracting many of the top 16 players in the world. Nicol,
who has just returned from a spectacular performance at the
Commonwealth Games where he picked up two Gold medals, is one of the
promoters behind the 5-star event on the Professional Squash
Association (PSA) World Tour.
Crucible is now starting to become an established name in the world of
squash," said Nicol, who has dominated the world rankings for the past
six years. "It is a magnificent setting for squash and we are
excited at the prospect of returning to its world renowned stage this
August. All the feedback we had last year was of a positive
nature, so we are absolutely delighted to announce that Mamut Business
Software are returning for the third year as title sponsor."
This year’s hosting sponsor is again Sheffield City Council with
Capita Symonds and the Hilton Sheffield back on board as
sponsors of this already famous event.
one of Nicol’s business partners at Eventis Sports Marketing, explains:
"Last year’s event was a fantastic success and we have built up a very
good relationship with the city’s Major Sports Event Unit and the other
sponsors involved in the event. The elevation to 5-star status
will ensure that we get most of the world's top 10 in attendance and
continue to raise the profile of this already prestigious event."
Alan Moody, managing director
of Mamut, explained: "We are delighted to be involved
with squash in the UK and, specifically, to be the title sponsor of the
Mamut English Open squash championship in Sheffield for the third year
running. Mamut is going from strength to strength in providing
small businesses with software solutions that simplify the way they do
business and, in recognition of that, we are delighted to announce that
this year we have increased our commitment to the tournament, making it
one of the most prestigious in the world. As such, we look forward
to once again welcoming the very best players in the world to
Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre."
Sheffield itself is also embracing the event: "Sheffield is very
pleased and excited to offer its support once more to the Mamut English
Open Squash Championships at the World famous Crucible Theatre right in
the heart of Sheffield City Centre in August 2006," commented Gary
Clifton, Sheffield’s Major Sports Events Manager. "This event
has brought the world's top squash players to the city and has become
firmly established on the city's ever growing major sports events
programme. We very much look forward to working with Eventis on what I
know will be an event of the highest order."