Qualifying Complete
In Boston ...

Colleen Turner reports

Jenson Bans Barrington

The Boston Racquet Club's sole round two qualifying match today proved less volatile than yesterday's, but not without plenty of good action. Though the scores and total match time (34 minutes) do not indicate this, it should be noted that Joey Barrington played very competitively and often made Dan Jenson work excessively hard for many key points.

From the second point of the first game that required a staggering 50+ returns, to the last rally for match point in game three that practically wore a path tight to the left side of the court, it seemed it could have been anyone's game.

Both were desperate to control the T, but numerous shots deep into the corners and a well-placed lob more often than not won Jenson the point. This, coupled with Barrington's inability to get into a consistent scoring groove, allowed Jenson to win the match and advance to main draw action when he will face John White on Friday at the Murr Center to begin the U.S. Open.

Lavigne Cuts Razik

The three evening matches at the Murr Center began with a scrappy match between France's Renan Lavigne and Canada's Shahir Razik. In little less than an hour, Lavigne advanced to the main draw, but not without having to work for it.

Photo by Colleen TurnerLavigne dropped game one, a literal back-and-forth action that had both men questioning several calls. But a word from fellow countryman, Thierry Lincou, seemed to be the juice he needed to get on track. In game two, a couple of tough calls, as well as short shots by Razik allowed Lavigne to creep up to an 8-4 lead. Lavigne then returned the favour by hitting tin and letting Razik get closer, but it wasn't enough and the Frenchman took the game 11-6.

Game three started off with Razik masterfully dropping shots just above the tin, quickly giving him a 3-0 lead. It was then matched play until 8, when Lavigne made his move to take the last three points and move 2-1 ahead. Another few words from Thierry prior to the fourth and final game had Lavigne powering off some stunning shots and earning him the game and match.

"Theirry reminded me to play wide and deep - I think it worked," he said with a smile. "Now if I get a match at Symphony, all will be right with the world." (NOTE: Renan will face the music and Nick Matthew on Friday at the Murr Center.)

Tuominen Barks up the Wrong Tree

Olli Tuominen was barking up the wrong tree in today's  qualifying final at the Murr Center. Peter Barker looked strong in all three games, playing with length and skill. Tuominen, on the other hand, generally unfocused and frustrated by a lack of lets, still played competitively.

Barker quickly went 2-0 up, but In game three the Finn came out fighting, racking up a quick three points. But Barker came right back, taking a 4-3 lead with an amazing cross-court drop shot. Barker, capable of retrieving anything, challenged Tuominen with long drawn out rallies, but the friendly Fin didn't want to play.

This resulted in Barker going up 8-3. He gave away several shots and when Tuominen took the serve at match ball, he finessed a few great power shots, but it was too little too late and Barker secured his first main draw action in the US Open, when he faces Lee Beachill at Symphony Hall on Saturday.

Parke Gets His Price

The problem with watching two talented and likeable players meet is that only one gets to advance, and tonight's action was no day in the park for Paul Price. To begin, the rallies were long and energetic in game one, but when a shot to the tin gave Price a 6-3 lead, it looked to be a turning point.

Enter the tireless Simon Parke, who worked the T like a champ; exhibited tremendous length; valiantly chased the deepest balls; and brought the score to 8-all. Leaving nothing to chance, Price promptly picked up the pace of the game, taking it 11-9 - it would be his only victory of the night.

Game two saw both players fairly annoyed with the refs, doubting the calls, lets and strokes awarded. When a spill by Price made it 7-all, Parke took advantage and shot ahead to take the game 11-8. Tied 1-all, both Parke and Price came out ready to play, but it was Parke who went up 6-2 with the help of a penalty stroke from the refs.

Parke went on to take the game 11-4 and go up 2-1 in the match. Price's frustration with calls going Parke's way made for some heated exchanges with the refs and may well have contributed to his erratic play and ultimate loss of game and match to the seasoned Parke.

Post game, Parke thanked his friend, Lee Beachill, for keeping him focused and relaxed. When asked where his energy came from, the 32-year-old Parke said, "Yeah, I was a little off in that first game, but I got my second wind and felt great for the remainder of the match. Beachy really helped with his advice."

Parke earned himself a match at Symphony Hall on Saturday, against France's Thierry Lincou.

En Franšais


Dan Jenson (Aus) bt
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11-7, 11-3, 11-9  (34m)
Jenson plays John White

Renan Lavigne (Fra) bt
Shahir Razik (Can)
9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6  (56m)
Lavigne plays Nick Matthew

Peter Barker (Eng) bt
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-7, 11-6, 11-7  41m)
Barker plays Lee Beachill

Simon Parke (Eng) bt
Paul Price (Aus)
9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7  (61m)
Parke plays Thierry Lincou




France's Renan Lavigne sent this message to Framboise from Boston ...

"I've passed through the qualifiers, beating Michael Puertas (#281 Usa) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5, then Shahier Razik (#32, Can) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6, despite a twisted knee which I suffered last week in training (Renan was heavily strapped when I saw him at Avon last weekend, Framboise).

"A big thanks to my Physio in Paris, Philippe Allary, for his work and availability. Without him I wouldn't have gone to Boston, but I'm now in the main draw with a chance of revenge for the European Teams final in Rennes, playing Nick Matthew again."


Squash @ Symphony Hall



Barrington in
Boston Bruiser

Colleen Turner reports
from Boston

Qualifying first round action got off to a contentious start at the Boston Racquet Club when Joey Barrington faced Shahid Zaman, two young players with famous fathers.

The lanky Barrington was all over the court, but not necessarily playing with conviction. He worked hard for his first two games (lasting 11 and 28 minutes each respectively, both going to a tie-breaker), before letting Zaman easily go up seven at the start of, and ultimately allowing him to win, game three on another tiebreaker. Then it took Zaman just nine minutes to win the fourth game and tie everything up.

But it was the fifth and final game of the match that ignited the biggest sparks. After a nasty spill by Barrington about midway through, things became contentious when Zaman starting making shots he couldn't clear. This resulted in numerous penalty strokes and lets and literally handed the game and match to Barrington, but not before both became exceedingly frustrated with each other and the match as a whole before Barrington won on the fourth tie-breaker of the match.

The remaining matches for the day were fairly predictable ... Dan Jenson bested Julian Illingworth in four, but not without giving up one game due to a long discussion with the referee on a perceived poor call. With Jenson's focus shattered, Illingworth wisely took advantage of the situation and in seven minutes won his only game with an impressive 11-6 score.

Renan Lavigne easily took USA's Mike Puertas in three; Shahir Razik defeated Mark Heather, but not without having to work for it. He explained, "I am pleased with my performance. I may have started behind in each game, but my focus was sharp and I was able to take the match in three."

Olli Touminen obviously just needed to get his feet wet when he gave up the first game in match play with Jonathan Kemp. Given that he only gave up a combined total of 11 points for the remaining three games, Tuominen is looking strong and solid for tomorrow's competition.

Peter Barker defeated local 'hero' qualifier Parth Doshi quickly and easily, but don't let the score fool you. Doshi got off several great shots and looked especially strong in the first game. A native of Mumbai India and currently living in Boston, Doshi is a Williams College graduate and is currently employed as a computer science engineer. Given his pairing with 36th-ranked Barker, his play was promising and clearly speaks to the future of US players on the international squash circuit.

Finishing off the evening were easy victories by comeback kids, Simon Parke and Paul Price. Both bested their competition convincingly in three. Parke, champion here in 1999, worked just a little harder as Preston Quick exhibited similar shot making finesse to the former world top ten champion, but it was Parke's experience and skill that gave him the match.

However, these two wins set the stage for a very compelling second round match as Parke and Price both want to advance and both have been consistently placing well into competition at recent tournaments.

Seems this year's Open really is shaping up to be the "Battle of Boston" ...


En Franšais


Hurricane Ivan, currently raging in the Caribbean, has extended its reach to Boston, as PSA President Mark Chaloner, who was in the Cayman Islands for a promotional exhibition, found himself stranded and unable to make the qualifiers for the US Open !



Qualifying Round One:

 Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt
Michael Puertas (USA)
11-5, 11-4, 11-5

Shahier Razik (CAN) bt
Mark Heather (ENG)
11-10 (6-4), 11-9, 11-9

Joey Barrington (ENG)  bt
Shahid Zaman (PAK)
11-10 (2-0), 11-10 (4-2),
10-11 (3-1), 3-11, 11-10 (2-0)

Dan Jenson (AUS)  bt
Julian Illingworth (USA)
11-6, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7

Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 
5-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6

Peter Barker (ENG) bt
Parth Doshi (IND) 
11-8, 11-4, 11-2

 Simon Parke (ENG) bt
Preston Quick (USA)
11-7, 11-5, 11-8

Paul Price (AUS)  bt
Dylan Patterson (USA)
11-5, 11-5, 11-3

Squash @ Symphony Hall