Financially Plumb November Boast
06-09 November, Saskatoon, Canada, $15k


09-Nov, FINAL:
Paul Price (Aus) bt [3] Nick Matthew (Eng)
     15-11, 15-13, 15-10 (76m)

Price boasts Saskatoon title
Daryl Foreman reports
Paul Price (Aus) started out strong in game 1of the 2003 Financially Plumb Final with a tight forehand drive and perfect backhand drop to go ahead of Nick Matthew (Eng) 2-0. After asking for a radio to be shut off that was providing background music Matthew got down to business and ran Price in a long rally.  However, Price soon regained control of the T with better length than Matthew's.  Price anticipated a volley and hit perfect length down the forehand side with the ball falling into the back corner past the outstretched racquet of Matthews to go ahead 7-2. A tight forehand down the wall and 2 overhead winners into the nick and Price had a comfortable 10-2 lead in game 1.  The players traded points and then Price appeared to get anxious to end the game and hit 3 tins in a row which brought Matthews back to 7-12.

At 8-13 Matthews got a gracious stroke call.  A Price forehand drop that just caught the top of the tin brought the score to 10-13 with Matthew serving. But rally point scoring makes comebacks tough after your opponent has 13 and after trading point to get to 14-11 Price finished game 1 with a forehand crosscourt that hit the nick and squirted along the floor for 15-11.

Game 2 started evenly with both players attacking more and Price got the lead at 8-7.  At 8-all the players treated the crowd to a long rally ending only when Price smashed a forehand overhead into the right side nick.  Matthew hung in and worked hard to get the score even at 10-all.  The players traded points and played conservative and careful squash, each not willing to make that careless error that would cost them the game.  At 12-all Matthew hit a forehand volley that just caught the top of the tin and Price hit 2 winners for 15-12 and to take a 2-nil lead in games.

In game 3 Matthew jumped ahead 6-0 when Price hit 3 tins and got caught guessing wrong at the front.  It appeared Price was human after all but then he settled down and played a couple of long rallies and Matthew seemed to tire slightly. Price, wearing midnight black shirt and shorts, started to dominate the T and used his ability to hold his shots and his size to his advantage at the front of the court. Matthew's length just didn't seem as perfect as Price's and consequently Matthew did the majority of the running for the next series of points.  It didn't help that Price got hot and started hitting flat roll-out nicks from both sides.  Price came storming back and won the next 9 rallies in a row to catch and pass Matthew 9-6.  Matthew worked hard and hit a forehand volley nick winner and clinging backhand drive to get to 8-9 and a backhand drop into the tin by Price brought the game to 9-all.  The crowd, not wanting the match to end, got behind Matthew but he seemed to tire as he was retrieving constantly against very good length and aggressive volleying from Price. The Australian Price sensed victory and pounded an overhead forehand into the nick that squeaked off the wall just out of Matthew's reach for 11-9.  Price followed with a backhand drop into the nick and forehand soft boast winner to lead 13-9.  A forehand nick from mid court on a short crosscourt from Matthew gave Price match ball 14-9.  Price got a no let call on a ball he felt he could have got had he not caught Matthews foot but referee Ian Power held firm with his decision.  Matthew regained the serve at 10-14 but Price crushed a forehand overhead crosscourt into the nick to claim the 2003 Financially Plumb title in Saskatoon, Canada 15-10.  Price raised his arms in victory after the match.

Afterwards Matthew said he felt he was coming back in each game but Price was just too good on this day.  Matthew said when Price was making shots like today he was tough to beat. (Matthew had a tough semi-final coming back from 2-1 down to beat Shahir Razik (Can) 15-13 in the 5th game and that long gruelling match may have taken a bit out of Matthews for the finals).

Price is making a comeback on the PSA tour after holding a ranking in the top 5 previously. He played extremely well in Saskatoon and never dropped a game all tournament.  The major sponsor Bill Plumb reported the squash was the best he had ever seen and was looking forward to a bigger and better tournament next year possibly with the all glass court.


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Coverage from Saskatoon

Financially Plumb November boast 2003
1st Round
Thu 6th
Fri 7th
Sat 8th
Sun 9th
[1] Martin Heath (Sco)
15-5, 15-7, 15-5 (27m)
[Q] Tony James (Aus)
Martin Heath
15-11, 17-14, 15-3
Lee Drew
Martin Heath

17-14, 15-12, 15-9

Paul Price

Paul Price


15-11, 15-13, 15-10 (76m)


Nick Matthew

[6] Lee Drew (Eng)
14-15, 15-9, 15-6, 15-5 (65m)
Shawn De Lierre (Can)
[4] Paul Price (Aus)
15-11, 15-9, 15-10 (68m)
Jean Michel Arcucci (Fra)
Paul Price
15-9, 15-5, 15-6
Ben Garner
[7] Ben Garner (Eng)
15-11, 15-10, 15-4 (48m)
Cameron White (Aus)
[Q] David Phillips (Can)
15-12, 15-6, 15-8 (53m)
[8] Mikkel Korsbjerg (Den)
David Phillips
15-9, 15-8, 15-11
Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew

15-8, 6-15, 5-15, 15-9, 15-13

Shahier Razik

[Q] Matthew Guiffre (Can)
17-14, 17-16, 15-9 (57m)
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Ian Power (Can)
15-9, 15-5, 15-6 (36m)
[5] Shahier Razik (Can)
Shahier Razik
15-13, 15-13, 15-4
Graham Ryding
[Q] Duncan Walsh (Eng)
15-3, 15-7, 15-8 (40m)
[2] Graham Ryding (Can)

Finals, 05 Nov:
Matthew Giuffre (Can) bt Robert Wilson (Can) 15-11, 15-7, 15-8 (50 Min)
Duncan Walsh (Eng) bt Simon Pickering (Eng) 15-12, 15-1, 17-14 (49 Min)
David Phillips (Can) bt Robin Clarke (Can) 15-12, 7-15, 15-10, 15-9 (50 Min)
Tony James (Aus) bt Josh McDonald (Can) 15-13, 15-11, 14-15, 15-5 (62 Min)

Round one, 04 Nov:
Simon Pickering (ENG) bt Chris White (Can) 15-7, 15-5, 15-7 (38 Min)
Josh McDonald (Can) bt Daryl Foreman (Can) 15-1, 15-3, 15-8 (40 Min)
Robin Clarke (Can) bt local Warner (Can) 15-9, 15-1, 15-6 (25 min)

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RESULTS & Reports

08-Nov, Semi-Finals:

4] Paul Price (Aus) bt [1] Martin Heath
     17-14, 15-12, 15-9 (60m)
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [5] Shahir Razik (Can)
     15-8, 6-15, 5-15, 15-9, 15-13 (93m)

No Canadian in Saskatoon final
Despite having three quarter-finalists in the bottom half, there will be no Canadian in the November Boast final in Saskatoon.

Shahier Razik, who stunned second seed Graham Ryding in the quarters, lost out to England's third seed Nick Matthew in a marathon 93-minute semi. Matthew meets Paul Price in the final, following the Australian's 3/0 semi-final win over top seed Martin Heath.

07-Nov, Quarters:
Martin Heath (Sco) bt Lee Drew (Eng) 3/0
Paul Price (Aus) bt Ben Garner (Eng) 3/0
Nick Matthew (Eng) bt David Phillips (Can) 15-9, 15-8, 15-11 (37m)
Shahir Razik (Can) bt Graham Ryding (Can) 15-13, 15-13, 15-4 (65m)

Upset in Saskatoon!
Daryl Foreman reports

5th seed Shahir Razik used a patient slow paced game on warm courts to upset 2nd seeded Graham Ryding 3-0 in Saskatoon.  Graham went up 7-4 in the first game using tight backhand drops and wallpaper tight backhands down the line but Shahir hung around and patiently took the pace off the ball with high lobs and soft forehand drops of his own.  Shahir worked the ball around to all the corners and snuck ahead 11-10. The players exchanged points and had a terribly long rally before Graham made an unforced forehand error to give Shahir a 13-11 lead.

The players traded nicks for 14-12 game ball to Shahir and then Graham dug in and played an incredibly long rally ended with Shahir's ball catching the tin on a cross court backhand.  The Referee mistakenly called the score 12-14 but Graham corrected the official and stated "I'm working hard for these points you know". The score was corrected to 13 serving 14 but an overhead smash of Graham's into the tin gave Shahir game one 15 -13. Game one took 30 minutes.

Game 2 saw Shahir hit 3 early tins to give Graham a 4-2 lead. This time Graham nailed the overhead nick off a short Shahir lob to get to 5-2.  Shahir settled down and played 2 beautiful risky backhand drops from the back court and an unforced Ryding error levelled the game at 5 points each.  Razik pulled ahead 10-7 by playing a slow paced game and Ryding seemed willing to be lulled into the slow-paced length game mixed with delicate drops but few volleys.  Ryding seemed to come alive at that point and played brilliant attacking squash with fakes and half swings to crawl back to 10-all. An overhead nick into the front right corner by Ryding that Razik scraped at but was called "not up" by the referee, and a soft fluid boast by Ryding gave him a 12-10 lead in game 2.

A forehand boast into the tin by Ryding and a loose ball resulting in a stroke awarded to Razik deadlocked the game at 12 all and the crowd got quiet sensing how important these next few points were. Ryding drilled a forehand that just caught the top of the tin and then hit a tight backhand drop that Razik got to and hit even tighter that to go up      14-12. Ryding got the serve back at 13-14 but Razik finished the game with a crosscourt that just caught the nick and squirted out take the 2nd game 15-13 for a 2-nil lead.  Ryding swung his racquet in disgust after the game.

Game 3 saw Razik pull away at 3-2 to go up 5-2 and then 8-2.  Ryding's fight and patience were gone and 5 tin in a row saw Razik closed the game out 15-4 and take the match 3-0 proving his Gold Metal win over Ryding in the Pan Am Games was no fluke.  Afterwards Razik was a gentleman stating the first 2 games could have gone either way and the match may have been different had one of those games gone to Ryding.  Razik commented the courts seemed to fit his style of play better as the ball tended to stay up on the Saskatoon courts.  The 19 inch tin and warm courts suited his game a bit more than the attacking style of Ryding. Others commented Ryding got lulled into playing Razik's slower paced lob and drop game instead of attacking and forcing the pace. The first 2 games went over an hour and the match was appreciated by the Saskatoon crowd.       

Paul Price (Aus) bt Ben Garner (Eng) 3-nil in an excellent exhibition of attacking squash.  Price seemed to find another gear from his previous match victory over Frenchman Jean-Michel Arcucci and dominated the match.  Garner showed great speed and retrieving skills and tried to make the match tough but Price was hitting nicks from seemingly impossible angles.  He anticipated a corkscrew forehand boast of Garner's and hit a crosscourt nick from about a foot off the front wall that rolled across the floor.  Garner commented after the match that when a player starts hitting those kinds of shots there's not much you can do.

Nick Matthew (Eng) brought David Phillips (Can) back to earth after the qualifier's victory over Mikkel Korsbjerg (Den).  Matthew brought his A game and controlled the center of the court and moved the Canadian around the court forcing errors that he pounced on.   Matthew didn't drop a game and moved on to the next round with a 3-nil win.

First seed Martin Heath (Sco) also won 3-nil over Lee Drew (Eng) in a match that had Heath clipped on the forehead by Drew's racquet and insult added to injury with a "no let" call to his request on the ralley.  Heath demonstrated his panther-like quickness on the court and ball control with spins and cuts on his backhands to never really let Drew get settled into a rhythm.  Heath controlled the pace and the center of the court.  He chiding the referee in the first game about some lets he thought were far too generous but then settled down and cruised to a 3 game victory.

Canadian Qualifier Causes
Korsbjerg Collapse
Local qualifier David Phillips caused the straight games collapse of Denmark's eighth seed Mikkel Korsbjerg in the first round in Saskatoon.

The Dane was nursing an injured tendon in his right calf, with his leg was heavily bandaged during the match. With Korsbjerg's mobility restricted, the hungry young Canadian took full advantage in the match, winning 15-12 15-6 15-8 in 53 minutes.

Mikkel commented later that he had recovered from a similar injury previously, with a recovery period of two weeks - but playing two days after suffering the injury while training just wasn't enough time. He gave full credit to Phillips, calling him a talented young player with good skills.

Phillips now faces England's Nick Matthew, the No3 seed who was fully tested by another Canadian qualifier Matthew Giuffre before surviving 17-14 17-16 15-9 in 57 minutes.

Qualifying Finals:

Daryl Foreman reports from Saskatoon

Matthew Giuffre (Can) bt Robert Wilson (Can) 15-11, 15-7, 15-8 (50 Min)
Duncan Walsh (Eng) bt Simon Pickering (Eng) 15-12, 15-1, 17-14 (49 Min)
David Phillips (Can) bt Robin Clarke (Can) 15-12, 7-15, 15-10, 15-9 (50 Min)
Tony James (Aus) bt Josh McDonald (Can) 15-13, 15-11, 14-15, 15-5 (62 Min)

The qualifier match between the seasoned veteran Duncan Walsh (Eng) and the young upcomer Simon Pickering (Eng) proved to be a hot and cold match. The weather in Saskatoon was 20 below Celsius but the first game hotly contested inside the YMCA. Duncan opened to a 5-3 lead in the first game and the players traded points and strokes to move to 9-7. At 10-8 Simon lifted a backhand lob out of court and complained to Referee Ian Power that Duncan had stepped on his foot as he played the lob. The Referee didn't see the contact and the point was awarded to Duncan. Simon came right back with a beautiful overhead forehand nick into the right front corner for 10-11. After a couple of long ralleys ending in lets Simon tinned a forehand boast and a backhand volley caught the top of the tin to give Duncan a 13-10 lead. Simon then hit a forehand deep crosscourt that Duncan let bounce and it found the nick and rolled out flat for 11-13. Duncan hit a pretty backhand drop to go up 14-11 and then tragically served out on game ball to give Simon the serve at 12-14. After a long rally Simon lifted a forehand lob out and game 1 went to Duncan 15-12.

Simon was down quickly in the second game 9-1 and looked tired. He hit more tin and Duncan moved him around the court with boasts and delicate backhand drops. Simon appeared to take a rest and dropped the second game 15-1 to Duncan for a 2-nil game lead to Duncan.

Game 3 both players came out hard and the crowd saw long ralleys. Simon hit a forehand boast into the tin for 4-4. Duncan was given a no let call but came back with a tight backhand drop that clung to the wall for 5-5. The players traded points and 9-10 Simon he hit a backhand drop that was just off the wall and Duncan brushed him on the way to the ball and asked for a let. Simon protested the ball was tight but referee Ian Power said there was "just enough interference for a let". At 12-12 Duncan asked for a let on a backhand drive and this time was rebuked with a no let. Simon served with the lead at 13-12 but Duncan showed a backhand drive but hit a soft trickle boast into the left front corner and pulled even at 13-all. Simon tinned a forehand drop to give Duncan match ball. The game evened up at 14-14 with a tight drive down the backhand wall. Duncan set it to 3 and wallpapered a backhand, was awarded a stroke and finished out the close third game 17-14 to win the match 3-0 although two of the games could have gone either way.

After the match Duncan said he knew Simon would be a tough match. Duncan said he would know how well he was going to do halfway through the first games he was fighting a bit of a cold. Duncan said both players were working hard in the first game but his conditioning and ghosting had paid off as he was willing to work as hard as it took to win the first game. Duncan said after the second game was 9-1 Simon seemed to be looking to the third game. Duncan said he was glad to have won the third game as Simon started getting stronger and played well in the third game and Duncan didn't want to give the tall English Simon more of an opening to get back into the match.

The all-Canadian match between Matthew Giuffre of Edmonton and Robert Wilson from Saskatoon featured tremendous gets and backwall returns with aggressive volleying. Matt wore Rob down 15-11, 15-7, 15-8 and Matt's game definitely has shown improvement over the past couple of years as he has developed from a retriever into more of a shot-maker. Matt hit forehand and backhand overheads into the nick and kept Rob under pressure throughout the match to secure a match in the first round with Nick Matthew (Eng).

Australian Tony James beat Canadian Josh McDonald 3-1 (15-13, 15-11, 14-15, 15-5). Tony appeared quite fit and later Josh admitted he just wasn't as match fit as Tony was. Josh said he felt he was in every ralley but just couldn't win the important points and therefore lost the match. He laughed about the set 1 call in the third game and said he didn't want to play to 17 in that game anyways. Tony James now goes on to play the number 1 seed Martin Heath in the main draw on Thursday Nov. 6, 2003.

David Phillips (Can) beat 17-year old Robin Clarke (Can) 15-12, 7-15, 15-10, 15-9 in 50 minutes but young Robin served notice he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future as he showed strong retrieving and shotmaking abilities. David Phillips now goes on to play Mikkel Korseberg (Den).

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