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
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
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.
“PRESERVING RANKING AND AVOIDING THE BIG BOYS”
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
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.