Day 4 Thurday
||Jonathon Power bt
15-13, 11-6, 8-11. 13-11 (100m)
||Thierry Lincou bt
6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 16-14, 11-3 (76m)
Palmer v Power
Deja vu 1
Thoughts of the notorious 2001 semi-final between
Jonathon Power and David Palmer where never far away, in this
tempestuous, gripping semi-final. The Arena in which the glass court and
marquee are situated is used as an ice rink in winter and for all the
time that both players spent on the floor they could have been on ice.
Power crashed into Palmer and sent him flying a dozen times, feet up in
the air stuff, as he crashed to the floor and both had injury breaks.
Palmer’s confrontation with the referee was about as poor as a
relationship can get. At the end he stared stony faced at him as he left
the court for the final time beaten but unbowed.
“He has to go,” said Palmer to Squash Player on the referee. “He is
laughing along with Power’s jokes.”
The physical traffic flow problems and the confrontation with the
referee however should not overshadow what was a brilliant game of
squash which earned a standing ovation. Power just got back into the
match levelling it on his third game ball 15-13 after Palmer had carried
him on his way to retrieve a forehand drive only to receive a no let for
his efforts. And he left the court shaking his head after tinning a
forehand drop that gave Power the game.
“When are you going to warn him” he had cried out earlier after being
Power meanwhile screamed “You are just encouraging him to block,” on
receiving a no let.
Dejected after the traumatic loss of the second Palmer fell behind 7-0
in the third, rallied to gain some respectability 6-11 and then came
back to level in the fourth 11-8.
The fifth was one of those great sporting occasions with the players
colliding, rolling on the floor, arguing and joking.
“I was trying to hold him up,” said Power after flooring Palmer and
explaining how he had his hand on him.
In the end if was anyone’s. Palmer’s rolled his ankle crucially at
10-all and was perhaps not so confident in his movement after the injury
break as Power took the match 13-11.
Lincou v Beachill
Déjà vu 11
This was a rematch of the World Open of November 2004. There Thierry
Lincou saved matchball to deprive Beachill of the world title. Here he
saved them again in spectacular fashion in the fourth game,
aggressively, on fire, while Beachill’s luck just ran out and he was
spent in the fifth to let the Frenchman into the final 6-11, 11-9, 5-11,
16-14, 11-3 after 76 minutes.
“He played the big points well and finished it well,” said Lee Beachill
after going down in the fifth. And then in explanation of how seven
matchballs drifted away from him in the fourth game he added. “Once I
got to matchball nothing went my way. The referee made 8 or 9 decisions
from 10-8 that gave him the game. He got two strokes and I got a couple
of no lets.”
It did run with Lincou. Earlier Beachill had controlled the match to be
2/1 up and virtually have it won at 10-8. Lincou hit a backwall nick and
a side wall one, Beachill was stroked twice and receive two debateable
no lets. On the strokes once he was blocked in and once, on an
admittedly loose ball, Lincou won a stroke on a rather large swing.
Beachill was understandably peeved. “Up until then the referee had not
played a part in the match. From 10-8 he dished out strokes on balls
that Thierry and I had played throughout the match.”
Lincou made it happen however. He was on fire. As the matchballs rolled
over there was the expectation that Beachill would score on one but each
time Lincou was screaming and clenching his fist and staring like a man
possessed at Beachill.
“I play better when I am under pressure. When I am down matchball I
really try to win the point. It makes me violent. I wanted to give all
my energy if I lost. I wanted to go off the court knackered. I had to
hit hard past him. He was controlling the T.”
In was tense pressure squash with no love lost between the players.
Lincou was snapping at the ball, taking it early trying to break
Beachill’s stranglehold on the rallies. Matchball after matchball was
saved. Beachill had his seventh chance to finish it. His full swing
lopped down on the ball then braked suddenly for a deceptive touch drop
that would have had his opponent stranded – and the ball hit the tin.
Lincou was level again. The luck rolled with him. A backwall nick, then
a winner and a no let for Beachill. He finally had the game and within
minutes the match 11-3 as Beachill struggled with his movement.
And go into the final to defend his title.
Power goes through to final after a tempestuous physical clash with
It was a physical clash with both
players on the floor a dozen times.
Beachill controls the early play.
Lincou saves seven matchball to
earn the chance to defend his title in the final.