Celebrates Early Birthday Present In Canada
Just two days
before his 36th birthday, unseeded Frenchman Thierry Lincou emphatically
showed what a major force he still is after upsetting fourth seed Daryl Selby
in a marathon Bluenose Squash Classic final to win the PSA World Tour
International 50 event at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium at Dalhousie
University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The pair had
met four times previously, with Englishman Selby losing the first three but
winning their most recent encounter last month at the Swedish Open.
It was also a
repeat of the 2010 final in which Lincou, then ranked higher than Selby, edged
to a four-game victory.
had reached the climax after notable upsets, world No12 Lincou over Egyptian
favourite Amr Shabana, the world No6, and Selby over second-seeded
Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, ranked nine in the world.
It was the
biggest Tour final of Selby's career - and the 29-year-old world No11 from Essex
came back from behind in the first game to take an early lead.
But, to the
sheer delight of the packed crowd, the match ebbed to and fro - with Lincou
drawing level after the second and the next two games shared, leading the
contest into a fifth game decider.
"Down 7-2, the
crowd began egging Daryl on, but it was becoming clear that Lincou's earlier
attacking work was having its desired effect in slowing Selby down," explained
tournament spokesman Jeff Cullis. "But Selby would never stop trying,
making four or five back-wall returns as Lincou pinned him in the back court
before taking the point on an unreasonably short backhand drop.
hit a beautiful backhand drop from the back court into the straight nick to make
it 8-4. From here it was all Lincou, however, as Selby found tin twice on tired
shots to end the game 11-4 after 92 minutes. The crowd were again on their feet,
showing their thanks for a spectacular final match."
quick to sum up the match on Twitter: "Well I take my hat off to the legend
Thierry Lincou. He played perfect squash in the fourth and fifth when I
thought he was dead on his feet.
have played too much better and definitely couldn't have given any more. I am
proud to play in that type of match.
"And the crowd
were just immense tonight! Unbelievable atmosphere and the people in Halifax are
just amazing. What a tournament!"
remarkable PSA Tour record now reads '44 final appearances and 23 titles', was
delighted to have successfully defended his 2010 title after being forced to
miss last year's event through injury.
delighted with my performance this week - I had some meaningful wins and I felt
really sharp," said the former world number one and world champion, who arrived
in Halifax after reaching last week's final of the Open de Squash Banque
Nationale Groupe Financier in Montreal.
"I think that
my form was due for some part to the four big matches in Montreal in hard
conditions (bouncy panel courts). It really strengthened my fitness and my
"After a poor
beginning of the year, I really found my way back, my determination, my fitness
and the desire of winning. This was a sweet victory two years after my last one
- which was also in Halifax!!
"I am a happy
man - and it's a great early birthday present, as I am 36 in two days!"
Selby & Lincou
Back For Second Bluenose Classic Final
Daryl Selby and Frenchman Thierry Lincou will replay the 2010
Bluenose Classic final when they meet in this year's edition of the PSA
World Tour International 50 squash event climax at the Rebecca Cohn
Auditorium at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
But it isn't
the finale predicted by the draw, after Selby ousted second-seeded Dutchman
Laurens Jan Anjema and unseeded Lincou, the 2010 champion, followed his
quarter-final win over top seed Amr Shabana by despatching Egypt's No3
seed and last year's runner-up Hisham Mohd Ashour in just 36 minutes.
Selby romped to an 8-2 lead in the opening game against Anjema, though the 2008
champion closed the gap to 7-10 before the Englishman took the game on a nice
In the second
game, Selby continued playing flawless squash, not giving Anjema any place on
the court to score a point as he patiently worked up to another 8-2 lead. Anjema
was able to finally get some momentum in his favour for a few minutes as he
fought his way back into the match down 8-10. On game ball however, Selby again
found that perfect length to the back corner to take the second game.
world No9, led briefly in the third, but Essex man Selby, ranked two places
lower, was now in the zone and closed out the match 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 after 53
"I was up
against a tough opponent but I was feeling 100% confident on this court," said
Selby, now in the 16th PSA World Tour final of his career. "I only feel like I
play like this a couple of times a year, I'm just glad that it's here at a five
star event. I felt like I was in control of the match. I managed to hang in
there and forced LJ to go a little lower and hit the tin several times.
going to be one of the biggest matches I have had on the PSA World Tour and I'm
looking forward to it."
comments after the match really underscored the quality of play in the match.
"Daryl played beautifully," said the 29-year-old from The Hague. "I really
enjoyed playing tonight. I played my heart out there and that is all I can ask
of myself. I didn't lose tonight's match, Daryl simply won it."
Frenchman Thierry Lincou eased into his second PSA Tour final this month
- and the 44th of his distinguished career - after beating Cairo-based
29-year-old Ashour 12-10, 11-5, 11-5.
After the game
Lincou, the 35-year-old former world champion and world number one, said that he
"felt really up for" the game and his game plan was to "try and contain his
attacking" and to "try to close the court down," also noting that he was "moving
Prevails Over Shabana In Bluenose Classic Classic
between two giants of squash in the quarter-finals of the Bluenose Classic
in Canada saw unseeded Frenchman Thierry Lincou upset Egypt's top seed
Amr Shabana to secure a place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour
International 50 event at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium at Dalhousie
University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
legends had previously met a total of 22 times on the PSA World Tour, with
Shabana holding a 13-9 record. The match started out well for the "Prince of
Cairo" who took the first game 11-6.
The two former
world number ones and world champions traded points back and forth to six-all in
both the second and third games - but it was 35-year-old Lincou who applied the
pressure from this point forward and was able to secure both games.
the victor in their last meeting in the US Open last year, the packed crowd no
doubt expected a comeback from the left-hander - and the 32-year-old Egyptian
again forced the pace to take the fourth game to six-all.
play from Lincou, and a few unforced errors from Shabana, saw the Frenchman move
three points clear. Lincou was able to maintain the pressure to secure his 6-11,
11-8, 11-6, 11-9 upset after 48 minutes.
"I am very
pleased," 2010 champion Lincou told event MC Neil Harvey afterwards.
""He's a legend of the game.
"I had to make
sure I really pushed him to the back - and not give him any loose balls.
"Some days you
are very focussed, and other days not," added the world No12 from Marseille.
"But today was a good day for me."
only unseeded player to make the last four, will now take on another Egyptian
Hisham Mohd Ashour. The No3 seed from Cairo beat South African Stephen
Coppinger 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6.
Daryl Selby had cause for celebration in his clash with Borja Golan
when he beat the top-ranked Spaniard for the first time in his career. Indeed,
it was only in the pair's fourth meeting that Selby earned his first game
seed Selby, runner-up in 2010, was in the mood for revenge, and despatched his
unseeded opponent 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 in 56 minutes to reach his second semi-final
in three years.
"Well if only
I could play like that every time I stepped on a squash court!" tweeted the
world No11 from Chelmsford later. "Very pleased with a 3-0 win against Borja. @ljanjema
It was in the
final match of the evening that Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the No2
seed, ended North American interest in the event by beating US champion
Julian Illingworth 11-4, 13-11, 11-7.
world No9 from The Hague, was the Bluenose Classic champion in 2008.
Survives Bluenose Classic Opener
Julian Illingworth survived a 69-marathon opening match in the Bluenose
Classic and put paid to home interest in the quarter-finals of the PSA
World Tour International 50 squash event at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada.
28-year-old from New York, winner of a record eighth successive US Nationals'
title earlier in the month, faced Canadian qualifier Shawn Delierre. The
Montreal-based 29-year-old is ranked 54 in the world, 26 places below
Illingworth, but boasted a 3/2 winning record over his North American rival
going into the match - and beat Illingworth in straight games in their last
meeting in the 2011 US Open.
a 2/1 lead, winning the third game in a tie-break, and moved 8-4 ahead in the
fourth. But Illingworth recovered to draw level after another tie-break game -
and again came from behind in the decider before clinching his 11-2, 9-11,
10-12, 12-10, 11-8 victory.
will now face second-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the world No9
who faced Australian Cameron Pilley - again a player who boasted a
winning Tour record over his higher-ranked opponent.
champion Anjema reduced the deficit by beating world No15 Pilley - albeit in 63
minutes - 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8 to claim his place in the last eight.
Thierry Lincou, the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw, eased into
the quarter-finals after beating New Zealand's Martin Knight 11-2, 11-9,
In a match
befitting a final in most PSA Tour event, the 2010 Bluenose champion will now
face fellow former world number one and world champion Amr Shabana, the
top seed from Egypt making his debut in Halifax.
charismatic left-hander got off to sluggish start against qualifier Chris
Simpson as the Englishman quickly established a 6-1 lead. But Shabana soon
settled into the match and took just 33 minutes to beat the Guernsey-born
24-year-old 11-9, 12-10, 11-4.
Lincou, who first met on the PSA Tour in September 2001, will celebrate their
23rd clash on the all-glass court at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium - with the
Egyptian currently boasting a 13-9 head-to-head lead.