I have been working very hard for the past two months, in particular on my physical condition. I went to train and play for a few weeks in Malaysia before Hong Kong. I was disappointed to lose against Nick Matthew, but we had a good match. He played very well.

I was hoping that the preparation work I did was going to pay off at the European Championship.

Against James, I felt good physically, my legs felt strong, my shots were precise and I succeeded to play very close to the wall. At the end of the match, James told me he felt frustrated because of the height of the tin (higher than for the PSA events).

Against John, the match was very hard, very disputed, and some rallies were just out of this world! In the 4th, I had the feeling that he cracked up physically, and that the match was mine. But in the 5th, as I was in perfect control, leading 8/0, match ball, John suddenly changed his game plan, didn’t make as many mistakes anymore, and started rallying instead of attacking.

I made some mistakes, and I think I was a bit lucky to win, as he was coming back very strongly. And I’m really delighted to beat John, as it’s the first time I succeed to beat that great Champion.


I read Malcolm’s remark, and as he required an answer, I’m more than happy to provide one for him!

I am not doing the US Open because I had to decide about doing the European or not very early. It's only after I realised that the US Open was very close, and as I just came back from HK, then went straight to the European, I did think that the dates were really too close for me to do a good tournament. Instead, I have decided to work for 2 weeks in France to prepare for St Louis and Detroit.

It’s as simple as that, so no, I’m not staying away from the tournaments to “protect my ranking and avoid the big boys”….

Just in passing, I really thought his remark at the end of his report on the match between Nick Matthew and myself in HK (“justice was done”) was out of place, not to mention unnecessary….

I just got a little message from Grégory Gaultier, just back from Bratislava, delighted with his victory over the ex world number 1, John White, in 5 long and disputed sets. So, here it is, translated quickly from French….


Well, you know that at SquashPlayer, we work hard to bring you the news as quickly as possible, and as balanced and as fairly as possible.

You may have read that Malcolm Willstrop has questioned the reason why Karim Darwish and Grégory Gaultier were not present at the US Open. US Open Preview