David Palmer (Aus) bt Omar Elborolossy (Egy)
15-11, 15-9, 15-13 (54m)
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt  John White (Sco)
15-9, 7-15, 15-11, 15-13 (104m)
Power & Palmer in
Doug Maybee reports
The crowd got their money’s worth at tonight’s semi-final action
in the US $40,000 Pace Credit Union Canadian Squash Classic at BCE Place
In the first match of the evening, British Open champion and third-seed
David Palmer defeated #21 Omar Elborolossy of Egypt in three straight.
This brought to an end the string of surprise victories by Elborolossy,
who upset top-seed Peter Nicol in the opening round. Getting to the
semi-finals tonight was the best-ever achievement for Elborolossy on the
In an evenly matched first game, Palmer and Elborolossy had plenty of
long rallies but it all boiled down to who made the least amount of
mistakes. Palmer had the upper hand throughout most of the match while
Elborolossy couldn’t put together the string of points when he needed it
In the second and third games, Elborolossy started strong with
early leads, but quickly squandered them.
“Obviously I was very happy to win 3-love and get through to the
finals,” said Palmer.
“I really tried to stick to my game plan tonight
to move him around. He’s a big guy. My idea tonight was to get in there
and twist and turn him and make him stretch at the front as much as
possible. Physically I feel pretty good. I’ve got a problem with my ribs
so I’m having a little trouble breathing. I’m happy to get to the final.
"When I step on court tomorrow I’ll be there to play. The crowd is a big
factor with Jonathon. I won’t be changing my game plan. It should be a
really good match. I haven’t played him for the past 3 years. We played
twice in the PSA, he won one and I won one. I’m looking forward to
playing him. It will be a good experience.”
Elborolossy was happy with tonight’s performance. “I thought I had a
chance today, but it’s okay. It was a very good week for me and a good
comeback. All the games were really close until the very end. I was
playing okay, but I missed three or four points, the last few points, in
every game that made the difference. And he was more consistent. He
didn’t do lots of mistakes and that’s why he got it.”|
Power and White played a match of titans. Both moved the ball all over
the court trying to tire the other out. In the first game, Power came
back after trailing by five points at 7- 2 to take the game 15-9.
start of the second game mirrored the first up to 7-2, but Power was
never able to close the gap and began showing great frustration with his
play. The calmer White took that game 15-7.
In the third, Power maintained the upper hand throughout the game, never
giving up the lead to finish it 15-11 as White appeared to begin to
tire. In game four, Power had the advantage up to nine, when the tables
turned in White’s favour up to 13-10. Power had to dig deep and
completely exhausted White to come back and finished the match 15-13.
“I’m happy with that win. It was a good win for me,” said Power. “I
haven’t beaten John in a PSA bout before so it was good. I played a
little bit smarter against him. He reacts pretty well to my natural
game, so I had to play a little more tactical, and it seemed to work. It
was close though.
"I wasn’t too far from losing that one either, so it’s good. I just
tried to move well, pick up a lot of balls and get him tired and force
the play. I think he suffered a little bit physically in patches and
made some mistakes. I play well in Toronto, probably because I grew up
playing here. It takes a lot out of you physically, but I was psyched up
and the adrenaline was pumping.”
After tonight’s bout, John White said: “I’m a little disappointed having
been up 7-2 in the first and losing 15-9. And I was up 13-10 in the
fourth. It’s just one of those things. It’s always exciting when you
play Jon Power and it was much as I expected from him and from us both.”
About facing Palmer in the final tomorrow, Power said: “Over my career
we have matched up pretty well. We’ve had some ugly pig fights and some
strong matches, too.”
White & Power
on playing White:
"I'm playing him a lot smarter now instead of playing my game and hoping
on playing Palmer:
"He's won all his matches 3-0. "I don't know how wounded he could be. I'll
have to be at my best."
on his form & prospects:
"I'm probably playing my best squash this year right now. I've had some
great matches but I'm looking for consistency for the last three
tournaments of the year."
Power delights home
fans in Toronto
Doug Maybee reports
The hometown favourite, fourth-seed
Jonathon Power played in the third match of tonight's
quarter-final action against #18 Mark Chaloner
of England. In classic form, Power dominated
all three games. His speed and incredible accuracy kept
Chaloner on the defensive throughout, making him chase balls all
over the court. When these two meet, there
are bound to be plenty of heated moments. Tonight was no exception. There were numerous appeals by both
players to referee decisions. Power also received a 'conduct
warning for decent' in game three.
"It was exactly what I expected," said Power of tonight's match.
"Pretty much all our matches are a thousand let calls and a long
three-love. We both fight for the same positions. We don't give
up any space. He's quick and gets a lot of
balls back. He's strong on the ball so there
is a lot of physical play out there. I felt like I
controlled the ball well, and I didn't get too rattled, although
I disputed a few calls. I kept my composure
and kept going. I control the middle of the
court more than him and I make him do more work than
me and he gets tired towards the end, and I tend to get a run of
points when I break him physically a little
bit. It was a nice win today."
In the last of four quarter-finals,
second-seed John White of Scotland was
severely tested by #18 Paul Price of Australia, who won a
mid-level PSA tournament in Saskatoon earlier this month. In the
first two games, Price let his lead slip
through his fingers when White came from
behind to win them both. In game one, White was behind 10-12 and
finished it 15-12. In game two, White was six points behind and
managed to catch up to Price at 14. Price
held up three fingers to take the game to 17. White won three straight points to take the game 17-14. In
game three, Price started to unravel when White was leading 7-2.
Fighting to hang on, he closed to within two points of White.
But White would have none of it and shut it down 15-11.
"It was a bit of a shooting match out there with Price," said White.
"There weren't that many long hard gruelling rallies. His shots
were working and so were mine. I had to
tighten up half-way through the second when I
was down 12-6. I was giving up too much freedom in the
centre of the court. He was putting it away, just punishing me. I just kept it to the side wall and he made a
few errors and opened the court back up for me
which made his confidence drop down a bit let me get back
in the match. And that's what took me through. It was pretty
much the same thing in the both first games.
If I have a couple of extra yards along the
side wall on this court, I'm going to go for it. On this
court, you can actually put a few winners away. And if you put
it away, you frustrate your opponent like Paul
was frustrating me and I was frustrating me. If you make a couple of errors, then you've got to go
back to basics like I did here today and it paid dividends. I
put it together today which makes it feel a
lot better for the win three-love.
About going against Jonathon Power tomorrow: "Great stuff. I'm looking
forward to it already. It always great playing Jon. You just
don't know what to expect. With his antics
and the way he plays and the way I play, it's
always going to be an interesting match."
The first two quarter-finals at BCE Place
were crowd pleasing, closely fought matches.
Canada's Graham Ryding of Toronto opened strongly and held firm control
at the beginning of the first game, forcing
World Champion David Palmer to the back of the
court. It took that first half of the game for Palmer to reach
his stride after a series of simple technical
mistakes that cost him precious points early
on. Palmer persevered to win the first game 15-13
earning a stroke on the final point. Game two was more evenly
Mid game, Palmer plowed into the right wall, potentially
aggravating a rib injury, but he managed to
shrug it off to take the game. In game three
the feisty Ryding surged ahead and maintained a healthy lead right
up to the 12th point. That's when Palmer moved ahead and hung
on to take the match in three straight.
It wasn't one of my best matches. I am really lucky to win
three-love," said Palmer. "I didn't find I had my rhythm
tonight. Obviously I'm happy to have won. I
don't think Graham played his best either. There were some good rallies in there. To come away three-love
and head into the semis, I'm very happy."
"I played OK, I competed well," said Ryding. I just made too many
mistakes at the end of the games. That was the difference - a
couple of points every game. My lead in the
third game got away from me. I tried to keep
him behind me to stay in mid court. I didn't want to cross
court too much, just keep it straight and deep. He won the first
game and settled down. The difference was
losing the first game. Yet I felt I could
have had him the whole time. I lost the first two but they were
close and it was just a matter of getting more into my game plan
and finding my timing. But I never really
found my rhythm. There were a lot of mistakes
and neither one of us controlled the match the way we
In the second match of the night, #21 Omar Elborolossy, who
ousted top-seed Peter Nicol in last night's
opening round, accomplished what he set out to
do - to prove to the officials back home in Egypt that after
a year of nursing a knee injury, he was back in winning form. He
came out strong in the first match handily
beating his brother-in-law #11 Amr Shabana
15-7. The left-handed Shabana, the second best squash player in
Egypt, found his spark in the second game and started moving the
bigger Elborolossy around the court with a mix
of long shots and deadly accurate drops.
Elborolossy took charge of the third game, and lead all
the way through. In the fourth, it was right down to the wire. At 13-12, Shabana crashed into the rear right
corner and favoured his right shoulder when he
got back on his feet. Elborolossy shut it down in
short order after that.
"We always play good matches. We are very good friends," said
Elborolossy after winning his second match in a row. "We are
related and enjoy playing each other. I had
some problems with our national association in
the last few months. I wasn't selected for the Egyptian
team in the World Team Championships in Vienna in October. The
team didn't do as well as they should have
It's a good achievement for me to show them
that I'm still here. I'm looking forward to taking on Palmer
tomorrow in the semis."
David Palmer bt Graham Ryding
15-13,15-12, 15-13 (59m)
Omar Elborolossy bt Amr Shabana
15-7, 10-15, 15-8, 15-13 (64m)
Jonathon Power bt Mark Chaloner
15-10, 15-9, 15-7 (69m)
John White bt Paul Price
15-12, 17-14, 15-11 (53m)
17-Nov, Round One:
Night of Shocks
at BCE Place ...
The first round of the Canadian Classic in
Toronto provided upsets galore, with 7th seed Martin Heath losing to
Mark Chaloner, 5th seed Lee Beachill going out at the hands of Paul
Price, and top seed and world number one Peter Nicol crashing out to
Omar Elborolossy ...
Doug Maybee reports from Toronto
The landscape of the 2003 Pace Credit Union Canadian Squash Classic
changed dramatically tonight when Peter Nicol, the top seed and World #1,
was defeated in opening round play by #21 Omar Elborolossy of Egypt
in a four-game, 70-minute nail biter.
Elborolossy clearly dominated the first two games from the outset keeping
Nicol on the reactive, forbidding him control of the game. In game three,
Nicol burst ahead and held his momentum to the 15th point. In game four,
both were fighting for control of the court, Nicol facing elimination.
When it was all said and done, Elborolossy came off the court with arms in
the air, the crowd giving him the ovation he deserved for slaying the top
squash player on the planet.
"I am very happy with the way I played," Elborolossy said grinning from
ear to ear. "I had a bad knee last season and my ranking dropped. I am
ranked 21 now and I know that I can play some good squash again. My
strategy tonight was simply to play my best. The only good thing about
playing Nicol in the opening round is that there is no pressure. You just
go and do your best and see how it goes. I was very confident with my
shots and it went OK. In game three, I was a bit tired after the second. I
started a bit slower and he got a few good points and started to be very
quick. I didn't want to fight very much as the gap was very big. I wanted
to reserve energy for the fourth. It was very tough. I was feeling really
tired. In the fourth when I reached nine and ten, I could feel that he was
under pressure. He wasn't getting his shots. He wasn't very confident.
That's when I felt I had the chance and I had to go for it."
Nicol so rarely loses in the first round. "It hasn't quite sunk in yet,"
said a dejected Nicol after the match. "It's incredibly strange. I feel
like I'm just now ready to get going and take on the next round. But there
won't be a next round. So being out is really bizarre. It's strange not
going to the director and asking for a practice time."
On his play tonight, Nicol commented: "I did OK. I didn't play that well
but I didn't play that badly. Omar took it to me. He kept it straight and
tight. I wanted to go short too quickly and win it too easily and that
wasn't going to happen. I should have been more patient, hit the ball deep
and make him work a little more and then put it in. I was making myself do
more work and he was controlling the game. In the third, I stepped forward
and played really well. I think he eased off a bit and his concentration
was off a little bit. He adjusted in the fourth and swept up."
Jonathon Power, defending his 2002 Canadian Squash Classic title,
took 49 minutes to win his opener against Jan Koukal of the Czech Republic
in three straight games in front of an almost capacity crowd. After the
match, the hometown favourite said:
"It went pretty good. It was a good match. He played well. He hit a lot of
balls making me hit a lot of balls and made me get into the flow of the
tournament. He's really tough to play. He's really quick. He's so light
and he moves so well he doesn't get tired doing all that running. I just
wanted to find my game early, not really worry a lot about it too much and
be relaxed. It was perfect. Long enough to get me in the swing of things,
get me seeing the ball again. I think my game is pretty good. I think I've
got a good chance. I'm playing pretty well these days."
In earlier matches in the opening round played at the Fitness Institute, a
short distance from BCE Place, Graham Ryding of Canada took four
games for to defeat Jon Kemp of England, who advanced to the main draw
from the qualifying tournament this past weekend. Kemp put up a valiant
effort in the first two games but fell apart in the second two. Ryding's
fitness and precision allowed him to pretty much have his way with Kemp,
particularly in the second half of the match.
Egypt's Amr Shabana was just too strong for Canadian Viktor Berg,
who also qualified for the main draw this weekend. Shabana, who cruised
through most of the four-game match, used his finesse to make Berg move
all over the court. Berg won the third game, but put out so much effort
that he ran out of steam by the fourth game and had trouble maintaining
focus and precision.
Second and third seeds John White
and David Palmer enjoryed comfortable victories over Cameron White
and Shahier Razik respectively, but fifth and seventh seeds Lee Beachill
and Martin Heath joined Nicol in falling at the first hurdle. Heath lost
in three to Mark Chaloner, while Beachill lost in four to the
resurgent Australian Paul Price.
First Round Results:
Omar Elborolossy (Egy) bt  Peter Nicol (Eng)
15-13, 15-12, 4-15, 15-13
 Amr Shabana (Egy) bt Viktor Berg (Can)
17-14, 15-7, 12-15, 15-7
 David Palmer (Aus) bt Shahier Razik (Can)
15-13, 17-16, 15-8
Graham Ryding (Can) bt Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
15-10, 13-15, 15-7, 15-3
Mark Chaloner (Eng) bt  Martin Heath (Sco)
15-6, 15-3, 15-14
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt Jan Koukal (Cze)
15-8, 15-6, 15-10
Paul Price (Aus) bt  Lee Beachill (Eng)
13-15, 15-10, 15-13, 17-15
 John White (Sco) bt Cameron White (Aus)
15-13, 15-5, 15-7
Power aims to turn season around
from Canadian Press
A return to his hometown may be just what
Canada's top squash player needs to turn his season around. Jonathan Power
is the No. 4-seed at the 2003 Pace Credit Union Canadian Classic which
starts Monday in Toronto. He has won the event two of the last three
The 29-year-old, who lives in Montreal, has had a tough season. The former
world No. 1 dropped as low as fifth in the world rankings before
rising to the No. 4 position this month.
He made early exits from two tournaments in the last year because of eye
injuries. Power has also come up short in three straight matches against
archrival Peter Nicol of England, including a loss at the Canadian Open in
Edmonton earlier this month.
"I'd like to avenge some of those losses," Power said. "I've been playing
pretty much constantly since August so I think I'm in pretty good match
shape. I just hope the body holds up and gets through another week."
Power was struck with a racket during a match against David Palmer of
Australia at the World Open in Belgium last December.
"He just tried to clear me out a little bit, make me run the long way
around and sort of hit me full swing in the eye with the racket, Power
said. "That set my whole year back because it was such a big tournament
A few months later, Power was hit in the eye with a ball during a match
with Thierry Lincou of France.
"It was a freak accident," Power said. "It was between points, he just
went to hit the ball to himself off the wall and he hit it right into my
eye, he didn't see me."
Power lived in Toronto for several years before moving to Montreal a few
years ago. He hopes a victory in Toronto, in front of a partisan crowd,
will give him the momentum he needs to finish out the season strong.
"The two biggest (events) are the last two tournaments of the year. If I
can win the
Qatar Classic and the
World Open in
Pakistan , then I can get back to No. 1, hopefully," Power said.
returns to Toronto
The world's top squash players will be back in
Toronto to fight for the US$40,000 purse in the 2003 Pace Credit
Union Canadian Classic from November 17 to 20 in the Allen Lambert
Galleria of downtown Toronto's BCE Place. The main draw event with
16 players commences at 6 p.m., Monday, November
17 and will be played in a glass squash court
with seating for 550 ticketed spectators. Full preview
Five of the top 10 players in the world are expected for Canada's only
annual major professional squash event, including top seed and
World #1 Peter Nicol. The 30-year-old
left hander won the Canadian Classic in 2001.
Canada's favourite and World #5 Jonathon Power of Montreal will
be defending his 2002 title, which he won in a 94-minute four-game
final match against Nicol in front of a packed
house. Other top players will be #2 John
White of Scotland; #3 David Palmer of Australia, who won the
British Open on October 5; and #10 Lee Beachill of England,
who is ranked second in England behind Nicol.
Canada's other favourite squash
players, #17 Graham Ryding of Toronto and #24 Shahier Razik of
Mississauga, Ontario will also be competing. Razik has moved up
from 41st place over the last year.
Pace Credit Union is the new
title sponsor of the fourth annual pro squash Canadian Classic. The
Pace Credit Union Canadian Classic will be the lead element in
Pace's commitment to assist the Prostate Cancer
Research Foundation of Canada and to enhance the
awareness of the importance of the P.S.A. Test. Make
the play. Take the P.S.A.!
"Every year I get really excited for the tournament in Toronto," said
Power on his return home from the British Open. "The venue is
amazing and it's always great to play in front
of my fellow Canadian squash fans. With Pace
Credit Union now on board as the new sponsor and
returning as the Champion trying to defend the title I reclaimed from
Peter Nicol last year, I look forward to another excellent week of
squash in one of the best squash cities in the world."
"The Canadian Classic is excited to welcome Pace Credit Union as its new
title sponsor and to begin a relationship geared towards providing
Pace and the province's other credit unions an
association with one of Toronto's premier
sporting events," said John Nimick, president of Event
Engine Inc. and Tournament Director.
"Now in our fourth year of world
class squash at BCE Place, the Canadian Classic showcases one of
the most dynamic sports in the world. Squash is
gaining increased awareness in Canada through
the success of its top three players, #5 Jonathon
Power, #17 Graham Ryding and #24 Shahier Razik, a trio that is
favoured to lead Canada to a medal at this
month's World Team Championships. We are
delighted that all three will be in action at the Pace Credit Union
Canadian Classic later next month."
On November 15 and 16, a qualifying tournament will be played at The
Fitness Institute (36th floor, TD Centre, 79 Wellington) at the end
of which four competitors will earn the right to
compete for the prize money available in the
main draw. The four qualifiers will join the 12
higher-ranked PSA players for the 16-person main draw event. Canadian
players in this qualifier include #49 Viktor Berg, #87 Shawn De
Lierre, #93 Ian Power (Jonathon's brother), #96
Matt Guiffre, and #267 Josh MacDonald.
Official site from Toronto