WE HAD ...

Framboise rounds up the event
and thanks those who helped us to cover it ...

Yes, it was a beautiful tournament, the 2004 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open was.

Well, I’m bound to say that, aren’t I? A fantastic win for a great young (yes, for me, he is VERY young) French athlete, who worked very very hard at his craft. And a fantastic journey for another young man, Nick Matthew, another hard worker: “A lot of people around me got through because they were gifted, but I got through on hard work”, Nick said simply during the Super Series Finals. So, a fantastic final for both, and “la plus belle victoire de ma carrière”, “the best win of my career” for Thierry.

And that tournament really gave us some great performances.... (says she, as she didn't see ANYTHING!): Hisham Ashour, who played a marathon against Australian Cameron Pilley, to get in the main draw and play his compatriot Omar Elborossy; Adrian Grant, starting slowly against Azlam Iskander, and creating the choc of the tournament by ejecting Peter Nicol; Amr Shabana, losing 0/2 against a very dominant James Willstrop, coming back to claim the match 3/2; and of course, same course for Lee Beachill, digging in deeper than he ever did to come back against John White.

So, the change of scoring, supposed to privilege the flamboyant attacks actually seems to suit “long runners” more than anybody else… During this tournament, Adrian Grant, whose game is solid, from the back of the court, looking for length and width, created the shock of the event by eliminating Peter Nicol, and who do we find in the last four? Lee Beachill, David Palmer, Nick Matthew and Thierry Lincou.

I rest my case.

Guys, squash is a sport where DISCIPLINE is King. So, make it in 21, 15, 11, 9, American scoring, English, Chinese, I’m telling you something: if Jahangir was back today, he would still kick everybody’s butt….

Squash Player would like, well, I mean Steve Cubbins and myself, would like to thank all the people that have helped us to cover this magnificent 2004 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open, in two languages.

We start with Iris Chung, Press Officer for Hong Kong Squash, who has been passing on to us the results, the photos, always in time, always with a smile, always with charm.

Howard Harding, World Squash Media Director, whose reports whose reports (based on the information he got from Colin McQuillan) are clear, concise, yet complete.

Then there is the wonderful Alex Wan, whose photos have lightened our columns, and whose reports, incisive, precise and extensive have been helping us get more details about the event.

And last, but definitely not least, Malcolm Willstrop, who has been faxing us previews of every day's play, then match reports, plus his “asides” to give us a feel for the atmosphere of the place, and that's before he even started looking after his players! Thank you Malcolm.

All those people have made this coverage a beautiful piece of journalism.

Thank you all ...

Thanks also for additional photos from Steve Line and
Fritz Borchert which helped to make it look good.






Iris Chung

Alex Wan

Malcolm Willstrop