The Willstrops at Wimbledon
As a general rule, I don’t like exhibition matches.
But I must say, the Willstrops know how to entertain.
On a very warm Saturday evening, Mr Willstrop Senior, Mr
Willstrop Junior, and Nick Taylor (who Malcolm introduced as
“from Lancashire”, stressing the huge gap between Yorkshire and the rest
of the world…) came to Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club to
entertain a select crowd who had the good taste to prefer the hot
atmosphere of a squash club to the delights of a warm summer evening
outside a café in Wimbledon Village.
Let me tell you, we were in for a treat!
Congratulations to the Whites
girls, I've got all the details, as Big John rang to tell us a bit more.
Well, Max was the first born, at 5lb 12oz, and Sam came a bit later, at
The delivery wasn't that easy, and Suzy "has been hit by a bus", confessed
John. "It was touch and go for two to three hours. She is still very weak,
but she is now OK. She is going to stay in hospital for another 4 to 5
"The babies are being fed normally, and are doing fantastically well,
considering what they've just been through."
I have got the strange feeling that squash may not be on John's priority
list for a few weeks, but then again, you DO KNOW my talent for
prediction, don't you...
The story as it broke ...
IN FRANCE ...
A busy Summer for Lincou
Lincou is receiving some serious media attention in France, and faces a hectic
Although he relinquished the world number one spot, winning his first major
trophy at the Super Series Finals underlined his position as one of France's
top, and most popular, sports personalities.
The French Press coverage of the European Team Championships was massive, with
Lincou featuring in a major article in Le Monde, and in several television
Yesterday Lincou was at Roland Garros to present the "Orange Award", prizes
given to the tennis players who demonstrate the best attitude and behaviour
towards the public and press. In France this is considered a real honour.
Then, in a few days time the French minister of sport will be presenting
Lincou with an award to honour his performance over the year, with the
President of the Senate also in attendance.
In addition to this his hectic summer schedule also includes an appearance in
League play-off final this weekend followed by exams in Marseilles (part
of his University finals), then an intensive period of training in Corsica.
After all that he'll holiday for a month at his house in Reunion - a
well-deserved break indeed!
@ Roland Garros
LE PRIX « ORANGE »
Notre Thierry National est en train de gagner ses galons « média » et d’être
enfin reconnu comme le grand sportif qu’il est ! Je viens d’apprendre qu’hier,
il était à Roland Garros pour remettre le prix « Orange », vous savez, ces
prix qui récompensent les joueurs et joueuses de tennis pour leur comportement
à l’égard du public et de la Presse.
Puis il recevra dans les jours qui viennent une médaille des mains du Ministre
des Sports pour ses performances de l’année, en présence du Président du Sénat.
Notre Titi médaillé !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mais croyez-moi, cela ne lui monte pas à la tête. Hop, ce week-end, il part
Hollande, ensuite, direction Marseille pour passer quelques partiels, puis
un stage intensif de squash en Corse, et enfin, un petit mois de vacances à la
maison, sous les tropiques…
Un été bien rempli pour le numéro 1 français….
MARKING IN RENNES
On the final day, France caused a bit of a problem to the ESF organisation by
suggesting (strongly) that, like in all other sporting events happening on
French soil, the marker should announce the scores in both languages.
Michèle Lecomte (on the left in the bottom photo), responsible for the
"outrageous demand" said to me:
"I don't think that it's an inadequate or out of order request. In France, we
are proud of our language, and not everybody in the audience speaks English.
"If we want to develop Squash in France, it's time to democratise the Sport,
starting by the marking!"
So, for the first time in ESF history, markers announced score in French and
And you know what, it worked fine!
AN OPEN IN FRANCE!
Set Squash Marseille
(situated in the South of France for those of you who are not familiar with
French geography) is organising a 48 draw tournament (38 best ranked + 10 wild
cards) for the Men, and a 32 draw tournament for women on the 14, 15 & 16th
FRAM IN PRINT
'Gallery' in issue 2004-02 of the Squash Player Magazine is by none other
Actually, if you read the reports on the site, you didn't miss much, but it's
still nice to see in down on paper.
Plus, there's more of Framboise's work in the issues coming up ...
On my way back from the
BSPA Ilkley Open, I popped in to Pontefract to
have a little look around. Well, I did tell you that I was preparing an
interview on Malcolm Willstrop (only an excuse to see James really, but
I’m running out of ideas now, please send your suggestions to Steve, thank
you) so I really wanted to see the Man in action.
And I was not disappointed. And I’m sure you won’t be either when you read the
article. But it won’t be just now, this one will take a bit of time…
Anyway, two reasons for this little note.
First of all, James Willstrop had a hair cut.
The only problem is that I didn’t think about taking a picture of him. Well, I
was so gobsmacked that my journalist reflexes went out the window [you're
Girls, hold on to your racquets, he is even cuter, if that’s possible.
On a more serious note, like James who lost his mum to cancer when he was only
17, I lost my dad to the same lethal, unfair, and life breaker disease when I
was about the same age. So, when I heard today that Pontefract Squash Club was
organising a Cancer Charities Squash Night on the Saturday 8th May
2004, I thought it was important that you would hear about it.
It should be a good night, squash first, with up and coming unknown players
like Peter Nicol, John White, Lee Beachill and James
The musical ambiance will be directed by Sylvan Richardson (ex Simply
As usual, all proceeds will go to Cancer Charities, and the tickets are
There are a limited number of tickets, so hurry and phone
01977 79 3333.
So, make a little time in your schedule to come and enjoy a beautiful night of
squash and entertainment. I know that I’m actually cancelling a trip to Paris
to go, so, I hope to see you there…
Will James be as popular, shorn of his locks ???
Sat 8th May
tel: 01977 79 3333
The Pontefract bar
NICOL: "I’M NOT HAPPY
ABOUT THE NEW SCORING ..."
“And you can quote me on that one!”, said
Peter Nicol (who I nickname "the Boss!") after the final of the Canary Wharf Classic while talking to Ian
McKenzie and myself.
“I think the decision was hasty, that it should have been tried first. We [the
players] were not consulted, and I think it’s a mistake. Why couldn't they
wait for this tournament, to see how PAR to 9 would stand in a big event?”
He added; “The best of seven games final here was just a test, and didn’t
really add anything to the game. It was only designed to give spectators value
for money, but because we gave them an exhibition game, the final would have
been OK as best of five.”
When I mentioned that we were the ONLY SPORT where the score changes for every
event, time of the month, or weather conditions, the Boss concluded:
should only have scoring up to 9. The professionals would play in a PAR system
with deuce/advantage, and the non pro would play 'Standard' scoring.
Therefore, the score would always appear to be the same”.
Sorry, PSA, but this is the first time in a looooooooong time that I've heard
a sensible solution.
Now we know why the Boss is up there…