Thierry Lincou bt
11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (72m)
Lee Beachill bt Nick
11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 10-12,
Peter Nicol bt Amr Shabana
11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (44min)
James Willstrop bt
7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7 (65m)
Preview: A good start needed
A good start will be everything here at Broadgate. There are no easy
matches. David Palmer put it well just before the start of play.
“A good start is crucial in this tournament, it is hard to comeback. I
don’t want to be playing catch-up on the third night,” he said.
In prospect is a brilliant programme, the world champion against the
inform Jonathon Power, the winner in Bermuda; Lee Beachill versus Nick
Matthew, who played brilliantly against him in the Nationals; Peter
Nicol against Amr Shabana, who would pick a winner there and then James
Willstrop against David Palmer.
“It’s important I’m ready for the occasion. I’m going away to get ready
psychologically,” said Willstrop.
Power is first on court against Lincou. He was up for it he said but he
was straight off the plane after winning the Canadian National title. He
looked eager however and clear eyed. In Bermuda Power took his own
physiotherapist to help him get through the three marathon five setters
before he destroyed Beachill in the final. Here it would be a big week,
Lincou was first up.
Power out to Lincou
champion Thierry Lincou displayed all the consistency, that has seen him
hold the world no.1 slot for a year when he saw off Jonathon Power 11-6,
8-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 72 minutes to launch his campaign to retain the Brit
Insurance Super Series Finals title.
Power, who left for the Toronto airport on Saturday, immediately after
winning the Canadian National title, arriving in London on Sunday and
was still a bit up in the air in the first game.
“I kind of anticipated that start. I just needed to get my legs going in
one warm-up match. Overall I’m in good shape right now so tomorrow I’ll
By the second game he was more on song snatching the advantage from 5-5
with four decisive points and saw out the game 8-11 after five lets in
the final rally.
Lincou however came back to take the third from 6-7 in a hand and got
away to 10-6 in the fourth in a succession of lets. Power’s comeback was
tense, gripping but always slightly improbable as he just failed to,
level and let Lincou through 11-9.
Lincou said: “He’s really unpredictable. When he’s really on form
he can beat anyone on the circuit. I think today I played it pretty
tight and didn’t give him many opportunities to attack the ball. I was
moving him around me.
“I was pretty patient and relaxed and that’s probably why I won – just!”
Power now must beat both Peter Nicol and Amr Shabana to get into the
final, a tall order but not one beyond him.
“I was terrible today. I really wasn’t in good shape at all. It was too
bad I had to play Thierry on the first day because I was really tired
and stiff from my week in Toronto, but it’s ok, I’ll get warmed up. I
can still win my next two matches and get in and win the tournament,” he
Matthew suicide in fifth
Nick Matthew would
like to play one shot again in his match with Lee Beachill. It was in
the fourth game when he was cruising to level the match at two games
all. An easy volley presented itself which he tinned and thereafter he
never regained his momentum. He did see out the game 12-10 with nine
lets and a no let against Beachill but in the fifth he just lost direction to
hand the match to Beachill 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-2 in 65 minutes.
Shabana in Cold
It had suddenly
got cold down at Broadgate. The word was that there would be a frost
this night and that the temperature would be down to 2 degrees. The
crowds huddled and wrapped up in their coats.
“I wasn’t ready at the start,” said Nicol on his game with Shabana. “I
wasn’t ready for the conditions, my body wasn’t ready. I needed a game
to get going.”
After that game which he lost 8-11 to Amr Shabana Nicol was away.
“I got forward and got moving,” he said, “Then I was able to attack him.
I got the ball past him. I had to up the pace and get it past him. That
meant he had to attack from behind. He hit a few winners and a few
purple patches but he couldn’t do that the whole match.”
That summed up Nicol’s 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 win.
Willstrop revives in fifth
recovered from a game down to establish a strong position with at 2/1
lead against David Palmer then lost it in a lackadaisical fourth that
looked like he was drifting out of the match but then he roused himself
to throw in a stirring performance in the fifth and snatch it from the
Australian. Palmer was spitting at the end and very unhappy with referee
The fifth was played at a terrific pace with a ball that could not be
trusted to rebound.
“It’s good that you can retrieve like that when you are 6 feet 5
inches,” said Willstrop of himself. “The ball was dead. You have to move
fast. It was so quick. At the start of the fourth I got it wrong and it
got worse. I had to get back over my toes. It is psychological. I beat
him in Canary Wharf and told myself I could win.”
He did that
7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7 in 65m minutes
good start is crucial,'David Palmer tells Alan Thatcher before play.
Power, still jaded after winning
the Canadian title, goes down to Lincou in four games.
Lincou moves Power around the court
in four game win.
Matthew implodes in fifth against
Willstrop just has
the edge in the explosive fifth game against Palmer.
everything down and pushes Shabana back in the court.