Mohamed Hafiz (Egy) bt
 Laurens Anjema (Ned)
15/11, 11/15, 13/15, 15/5, 15/12 (85m)
Let me tell you something: the ball was still warm when we got the results,
thanks to the love of my life, the sunshine of my days, our
photographer-reporter Patrick Le Fur (only joking, Mrs Le Fur!).
“It was a fantastic match, a FAN-TAS-TIC MATCH!”, shouts Patrick over the
”The first two games were evenly contested, but Holland's second seed
Laurens Anjema claimed a tight third game 15/13 to set himself up for a
second PSA title within a week”.
Patrick continues: ”But in the fourth Anjema's physical resources, strong
all week, seemed to wilt as Hafiz took total control to win 15/5.
The Dutchman came back fighting in the fifth, but the momentum was with the
Egyptian as stayed ahead during the crucial fifth game.”
But in the commotion, Patrick can’t find the exact score, so … zoom … he
grabs Nicolas Barbeau, the match referee.
“It’s was a great match… and great refereeing too, if you don’t mind me
saying so…” laughs Nicolas. “Now, you can stop giggling stupidly woman”… he
adds, as I’m killing myself laughing.
Yes, a great match indeed, even if at match ball, 14/12, there were eleven
lets, both players trying to get a stroke for interference”.
"It was a gentleman's match” continued Nicolas Barbeau. "A long match, one
hour and 25 minutes. They were both fighting hard, every ball, every rally
was highly disputed, but both were true gentlemen. I honestly think that
squash has benefited from the behaviour of these two remarkable players,
their fair-play attitude, their attacking game that never became
confrontational, always respectful of each other, the referee and the
Mohamed Hafiz, ranked 68, eventually won the crucial point to crush LJ’s
hopes of his second PSA title in a row. Laurens Anjema will be disappointed
surely. His ranking of 48 placed him in the favourite’s seat. Everybody has
been impressed by his physical abilities, and he certainly wanted to close
this season with another PSA title.
But at the end of the day, the audience is delighted, Chartres is
celebrating the end of a beautiful event, and France has another great and
Mohamed Hafiz (Egy) bt [Q] Stephane Galifi (Fra)
15/9, 15/7, 15/6
 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)
15/7, 15/9, 15/10
No French Final in Chartres
Hopes of an all-French final were dashed when the unseeded French pair of
Stephane Galifi and Julien Balbo both fell at the semi-final stage in
Having battled his way through qualifying, beating the top seed and a hard
quarter-final, Galifi simply didn't have enough left to trouble Hafiz with.
The Egyptian was always in control, playing a solid, conventional game and
took advantage of an error-prone Galifi. The Frenchman's cause was not
helped by being caught in the eye early in the match by his opponent's
trailing shirt - it took him several minutes to recover and affected him
throughout the match.
second semi-final between Julien Balbo and Laurens Anjema was a much longer
match, with the Frenchman offering strong resistance to the Dutch second
seed. Balbo was eventually overpowered by the physical presence and ball
control of Dutchman, who exerted constant pressure, forcing Balbo into
errors as he moved into the final
In the final
Anjema will be seeking his second PSA title in quick succession, having won
the Dutch Open last week, while Hafiz, in his second final, will be hoping
to claim a maiden PSA title.
[Q] Stephane Galifi (FRA) bt Eric Galvez (MEX)
13-15, 15-13, 17-16, 16-17, 15-2
 Mohamed Hafiz (EGY) bt  Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA)
15-13, 15-9, 15-14
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [Q] Andrew Whipp (ENG)
15-10, 15-13, 14-17, 15-10
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt  Alex Stait (ENG)
15-13, 15-9, 15-14
French Charge in Chartres ...
Originality seems always to come
from places you wouldn’t expect it!
If you ask any French person where innovation may come from in France, Chartres is
not the first city that comes to mind…
But have a look at the side “wall” of the glass court…
A beautiful tag…
I just love it!
That’s the way to take squash out of the ghetto, and down in the street, to
a younger audience… The squash players, the squash audience of tomorrow..
The compere of the event is Albert Médina, an old friend of mine, who used
to be in charge of the Referees when I was performing (who said, “what, that
long ago”…) who now only sees squash as a hobby, and not a heartache, and
the European Referee present was my “other” boss, Nicolas Barbeau proud owner of the French
Squash Magazine, Planète Squash.
The world of squash is so small, isn’t it…
Caroline Lesmesle, owner of Chartres Squash Club and organiser of the event,
has been praised by everybody in Chartres for her organisational skills, her
attention to detail and her will to make the players’ stay in her city one
of the best memories of their career…
We need more people like Caroline, who dedicate their time to promote
squash. We need them in France. We need them all around the world.
As usual, I have my favourite “spy / reporter / photographer”, otherwise known as
Patrick Le Fur, on site in Chartres.
Yes, I know, between Framboise (for those who still don’t know, it means
raspberry), and Pat The Fur, Squash Player's reporters are up for nicknames,
Laurens Anjema, LJ for all who know him, is in great form I was told. After
winning his first PSA title in The Hague, in the Netherlands just a few days
ago, helped by the advice of his coach Neil Harvey who had made the trip to
support his player, LJ is now cruising in this tournament, not losing one
game so far, and winning his quarter-final match against Yorkshire-based Alex Stait 15/13,
Julien Balbo, “le petit qui monte”, meaning, the youngest that is coming up,
was meeting Mad Andy Whipp who had a loooooooooong 5 setter with Bubbly
John Rooney in the previous round, a match that ended 15/13 in the 5th. But as Julien had the same kind of match against Arshad Burki in his previous
round, they started with the same heavy legs! Andy Whipp, as usual, ran a
lot, to the point that he actually lost a shoe on court! Well, that’s what I call
“giving it all, even his shoes…” But maybe the younger recovered just a bit
quicker, and Balbo took the match in 4 15/10, 15/13, 14/17, 15/10.
Jean Michel Arcucci still suffers from his twisted ankle (which prevented him
from performing at his best in Rennes, for the European Team
Championship) but still gave a good run to his opponent, before finally
conceding the match 15/13, 15/9, 15/14 to Mohamed Hafiz.
Not to forget the surprising run of the Frenchman Stéphane Galifi, ranked
269, who first got rid of the event's top seed Jan Koukal, and found himself in
the semis by wining a long 5 setter against Eric Galvez, losing the 4th 16/17, but winning the
So tonight, the semis, Galifi/Hafiz and Anjema/Balbo, with the final and
3rd place playoff on Saturday.
Also see the
French Reports, below the draw
UN MATCH DE GENTLEMEN
The final ... in French
Patrick Le Fur
Patrick Le Fur
The "VIP Village"
Squash as Art ...
'LJ' moves into the
Patrick Le Fur