Beachill Blasts
to Boston Bonus

Lee Beachill triumphed in the all-English final to wrest the US Open title and the world number one position from Peter Nicol ...

Colleen Turner reports

Fitz Fired up in Symphony Hall
The evening started with a ladies exhibition match featuring retired WISPA Tour veteran Sarah Fitz-Gerald and number-four-ranked Natalie Grainger of the U.S.

Sarah prevailed, two games to love, but what should be noted is the ladies played to 11 with a lowered tin (two inches below the normal 19" for ladies) - an excellent game by anyone's standard with the new men's PSA scoring and the same 17" tin placement.

Changing of the Guard ...
It was the proverbial changing of the guard in Bean Town, tonight. In game one of the final match on the US Open, number-two-ranked Lee Beachill of England bested world number one, Peter Nicol.

Beachill went up as high as 9-5 in the first game, the evergreen Nicol came back to take three more points, but it was not enough ... Beachill took the game 11-8.

In game two, Nicol went up 3-0, but Beachill could sense that this was his time to change the pecking order between our two British friends. Beachill not only came back, but brought the score to 6-all. That brought we spectators to the rally that would never end ... an incredible two-minute affair that ended with a score of 7-all. A couple of shots to the tin by Nicol let Beachill take the game 11-9 in just 15 minutes.

In game three, Nicol needed to get busy, but a 7-0 lead by Beachill made that virtually impossible. Nicol managed to take the serve at 1-7, and squeaked out a quick six to make it 7-8, but a shot to the tin let Beachill take the serve at 9-7. Peter came back again to make it 8-9. He then drove Beachill into the tin again and brought the score to 9-all. An amazing effort by Nicol landed him on the floor, but it also let Beachill take a 10-9 lead and serve at match ball.

Beachill's Precious Point
A pitiful stroke call from the refs to Beachill gave him the match and the Open, and with it the world number one position come the October rankings.

Post match, the ever-classy Nicol shared: "Lee deserved the win. He was too good in the first and second games. I did manage to get in there in the third, but felt a little burned by that last call."

Ultimately, Peter noted, Lee was a bit sharper and settled down a more than he did.

Beachill, equally gracious, noted, "Peter was great in the first two games, but good things come to those who wait. I felt well in the third and even thought my foot was hanging off [from blisters], I'm pleased with the outcome."

As the reporter, it was a great tournament all-round and, mark my words, this result is the start of a new regime in the top 10 of squash.


En Franšais


[2] Lee Beachill (Eng) bt
[1] Peter Nicol (Eng)
11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)

Women's Exhibition:
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS) bt
Natalie Grainger (USA)
11-10 (2-0), 11-9



Nicol v Beachill