US Open 2004Main Draw Round 1 - Sept. 17
Nick Matthew (England, 8th) defeated Renan Lavigne (France, 19th) 11-3; 11-9; 11-8
Dan Jenson (Australia, 20th) defeated John White (Scotland, 7th) 11-7; 11-9; 11-1
Joseph Kneipp (Australia, 10th) defeated Omar Elborolossy (Egypt, 14th) 11-7; 11-4; 11-5
Graham Ryding (Canada, 17th) defeated Amr Shabana (Egypt, 5th) 6-11; 11-1; 11-8; 11-8
(All matches took place at the Harvard Murr Center)
Main draw action began today with four high-quality matches at
the Murr Center and will finish up tomorrow at Symphony Hall. The
action began with Nick Matthew convincingly taking game one 11-3, but it was in game two that Lavigne's flashes of brilliance truly shone. A mere 44 minutes later, Matthew had his quarterfinal berth. He may have lost the match, but he never gave up the fight, earning 9 and 8 points in the final games of the match. Lavigne shared post match, “I lacked confidence and Nick knew it. But I promise, I'll be back in Boston next year...I've still yet to debut at Symphony.”
In the first upset of the evening, world number 20, Dan Jenson, scooped 7th-ranked John White in his bid for the US Open title. Jenson went up 4-1 in the first game, but White came right back and the score was pretty much even until Jenson pulled ahead 9-6. A stroke to White made it 9-7, but it was too little too late and Jenson took the game 11-7. In game two, Jenson's ability to retrieve the ball was definitely putting White on edge. The rangy Jenson brought the game to 9-all and eventually took it, bringing
the score to 2 games to love. The third and final game was a quick 11-1 win by Jenson, earning the awesome Aussie a birth in quarterfinal play. Tired after the 39 minutes of play, but quite happy, Jenson shared, “Earlier in the year, I wasn't having the greatest of tournaments. But this past month it's all come together. I'm moving well, my body feels great and I'm
Omar Elborolossy was sporting some pretty fancy footwear that might have helped his length, but nothing could beat Joe Kneipp's amazing speed and accuracy. The 7th-ranked Aussie sliced and diced his way through three in just 32 minutes. He worked Elborolossy hard in the first, going up 10-6 before giving up a stroke at game point. But Kneipp finished the game in style with a cutting nick and a score of 11-7. The gracious correction of a
stroke given to Kneipp by the refs brought the score of the second game to 7-4, but Elborolossy just couldn't close the gap, dropping 11-4 and down 2 games to love. The third game was just eight minutes in duration, with a final score of 11-5. Post match, Kneipp attributed his success to his technical game. He shared, “With my brother back at university, I've taken
the great physical discipline he taught me and am now working with Rodney Martin on my technical game.” He smiled, “I think it's working.” Yes, Joe, it is.
In game one of the evening's second upset, Egypt's Amr Shabana had Graham Ryding of Canada digging deep in the corners for shots the would-be top-10 player just couldn't deliver. The 5th-ranked Shabana played with purpose and strength, taking the first game 11-6. For game two, Ryding most definitely collected himself during the break and quickly came back to tie it up 1-all with an 11-1 pounding. In game three, Shabana still couldn't figure out what hit him and that lack of focus was evident. At 7-all, a questionable call by the refs had both Ryding and Shabana up in arms. A let
was settled upon with Ryding going on to take the game 11-8, and the lead, 2 games to 1. It was live and let “let” as far as Shabana was concerned throughout the fourth and final game of the match. However dubious he considered the refs many calls in Ryding's favor, it cannot be denied that Graham played the better game. After the 50-minute match, Ryding explained, “I'm playing some of my best squash and am quite confident. Regardless, I
never really relaxed during the match, but I had a game plan, executed it and now I'm going to the quarterfinals.” He concluded, “Yeah, I'm happy.”
Main Draw Round 1 - Sept. 18
Peter Nicol (England, 1st) defeated Anthony Ricketts (Australia, 13th) 8-11; 11-7; 11-5; 9-11; 11-9 (55 mins.)
Nicol vs. Nick Matthew (England, 8th) in Quarterfinals
Lee Beachill (England, 2nd) defeated Peter Barker (England, 36th) 11-4; 11-6; 5-11; 11-4 (47 mins.)
Graham Ryding (Canada, 17th) vs. Beachill in Quarterfinals
David Palmer (Australia, 4th) defeated James Willstrop (England, 12th) 11-6; 11-9; 11-5 (39 mins.)
Dan Jenson (Australia, 20th) vs. Palmer in Quarterfinals
Simon Parke (England, 24th) defeated Thierry Lincou (France, 3rd) 9-11; 10-11 (2-4); 11-3; 11-7; 11-1 (1 hour 6 mins.)
Parke vs. Joseph Kneipp (Australia, 10th) in Quarterfinals
(All matches held at Symphony Hall.)
Main draw action continued today with four high-quality matches
kicking off action at Boston's Symphony Hall. The night began with a replay of the quarterfinals match up from this August's Mamut English Open...Nicol prevailed then and again now. Rickett went up 10-5 in the first game, chasing loose balls and delivering solid points to take it 11-8 in just 14 minutes. If one thought Nicol was on autopilot in the first game, that idea was quickly dispelled the world number one went up 6-0 before take the game 11-7 in just 10 minutes. Feeling a little nauseous at the start of the third game, Ricketts asked for a moment, but the refs would have none of it and with a “cheers” to the crowd, he swallowed his pride (literally) before going down 11-5. In game four, Nicol hit a number of down shots, letting Ricketts climb to an 8-6 lead before succumbing 11-9 and tying the match 2-all. Aggressive play on both men's part brought the fifth and final game to 8-all when Nicol reminded everyone why he's number one and took the match cleanly. Post match he shared, “Anthony was a little tired in the third, but that was certainly not the case in the fourth. So, I collected myself...got my game going and now I'm moving forward. The downtime can be tough, but I feel good now and I'm ready for the quarterfinals.”
In the second match of the evening, number 2-ranked Lee Beachill barely broke a sweat through games one and two, sporting terrific length, finesse and accuracy. Errors on Barker's part cost him numerous strokes and allowed Beachill to kick back and wait for the wins. However, in game three, six strokes against Beachill and several brilliant points by Barker gave him his only win of the evening-- a solid 11-6 victory. Game four saw the machine-like
Beachill force his fellow countryman to scramble about the court, quickly dispatching the qualifier-who-could in just 10 minutes. Signing autographs in the player's area post match, Beachill shared, “I'm playing well and that sas an ideal match to begin the tournament. Pete was strong and made me work, but overall, I'm pleased with my performance and the outcome.”
Young Mr. Willstrop started off strong in the first game of the match, going up 5-3 and showing promise in his US Open debut. But the wizened David Palmer of Australia would not be denied. He took the game 11-6 in but 16 minutes. A couple of tough volleys in the second game brought the score to 9-all, but a shot to the tin by Willstrop and an amazing drop by Palmer gave the Aussie a win and a two games to love lead. The fleet of foot Palmer wasted little time in the third and final game, winning 11-5 in a speedy seven minutes. Post match he noted, “I'm happy to get through to the quarterfinals. James and Anthony [Ricketts] are probably the toughest draws, so to best him feels good.” He continued, “I'm still adjusting to the new 11-point scoring, but my game plan is solid and obviously working for me.” In a quick chat with Willstrop, the disappointed Brit shared, “I wanted to play better...I know I can play better, but no worries, I'll be back next year.”
The evening's longest match at 66 minutes was by far the most riveting and offered the biggest upset. Simon Parke, currently ranked 24th, defeated world number three, Thierry Lincou, in a very interesting competition. In the first game, a shot to the tin at 9-all gave Lincou the serve. He went on to win the game and took the lead 1 love. Parke came into the second looking strong. He stayed with Lincou point-for-point when at 9-all an unintentional elbow to the ribs delayed the game approximately five minutes.
The injury may have broken Lincou's stride, but not his spirit as he went on to take the game 11-10 (4-2) in extra point play. At that point the midnight hour was fast approaching and Simon Parke caught his second wind. The 1999 U.S. Open champ came out in overdrive and played exceedingly well, taking the game 11-3. A broken string when he was up 6-5 didn't faze Parke in game four, when the qualifier-who-could went on to win 11-7 and tie things up at two games all. Game five started out with a couple of impressive rallies before Parke shot ahead quickly via some masterful shots and commanding control of the T. The first two games took 42 minutes, while Parke's cruise back to tie things up and claim victory was accomplished in just 24. Following the match, Parke enthused, “Those first two games were very close, but I still had a lot in me. I'm pumped and am looking forward
to tomorrow's match.”
Quarterfinals - Sept. 19
Peter Nicol (England, 1st) defeated Nick Matthew (England, 8th) 11-7; 11-5; 3-11; 11-8 (43 mins.)
Joseph Kneipp (Australia, 10th) defeated Simon Parke (England, 24th) 11-4; 11-9; 11-8 (42 mins.)
Nicol vs. Kneipp in Semifinal action tomorrow, Sept. 20
David Palmer (Australia, 4th) defeated Dan Jenson (Australia, 20th) 9-11; 11-6; 11-3; 11-8 (45 mins.)
Lee Beachill (England, 2nd) defeated Graham Ryding (Canada, 17th) 11-6; 11-6; 7-11; 11-7 (40 mins.)
Palmer vs. Beachill in Semifinal action tomorrow, Sept. 20
(All matches held at Symphony Hall.)
Quarterfinal action started with world number one, Peter Nicol,
facing fellow countryman, 8th-ranked Nick Matthew. A couple of dubious calls by the refs at 6-all let Nicol creep up to a 9-6 lead. A change of racquet at 10-7 did little to assist Matthew and Nicol took the game 11-7. Game two saw Nicol quickly going up 7-2, before allowing Matthew to work the score to 5-8. Nicol then took the serve and control of the game, winning 11-5 and moving up two games to love. Matthew picked up the pace in game three, racking up nine points in just seven minutes. He went on to take the game 11-3 and was looking strong and delivering much needed shots with deadly accuracy. In the fourth and final game, a gift let to Matthew at 3-all might well have broken the spirit of just about any player, but ever the consummate professional, Nicol maintained focus, going on to will 11-8 and taking the match three games to one. Post match, Nicol agreed, “Yes, there were a couple of tough calls, but in the end, it all evened out.”
Beachill came out playing like the number one champion he is destined to be. Ryding, in turn, scratched out a solid six in games one and two, but he Couldn't keep up with Beachill's relentless speed and deadly returns. In game three, Beachill went up 6-2, but then did not get another point until he was down 9-6, but the die was set and Ryding took his one and only game of the match11-7 in just 11 minutes. The forth game was a nip-and-tuck
affair until Beachill went on a tear when down 5-6. He took that game 11-7 and the match 3 games to one. He will face 4th-ranked Palmer tomorrow in the semifinals.
In a surprising turnaround in game one, Dan Janson, down 4-8, ultimately earned a come-from-behind win against David Palmer and took the lead one game to love in the match. In game two, it took Palmer just six minutes to go up 9-2 before several fancy shots from Jenson made it 9-6. Palmer, however, took no chances and finished Jenson off 11-6 to tie it a one all.
Continued aggressive play by Palmer in the third game saw him up 7-1 in just three minutes. Despite some solid returns by Jenson, he couldn't top Palmer's speed and length. When Palmer inadvertently jabbed himself in the ribs at 8-2, he appeared not to be the worse for wear and took the game 11-3. Game four was full of spills and thrills from both Jenson and Palmer. A no let, citing Jenson was too far from the ball, brought the score to 7-4 in Palmer's favor. He then went on to take the game and match but not before slow calls and the sometime no call, annoyed players and spectators alike.
Game one had Kneipp racing out in front of Parke 6-1, followed by a quick three from Simon before finishing it off with an 11-4 victory. Game two saw Parke working hard and getting results; he brought the score to 6-all before giving the serve back to Kneipp. The 10th point rally ended in Kneipp's favor, but not before Parke dazzled the crowd with his unrelenting ability
to dig deep into the corners and reach shots like nobody's business. Parke took the serve back at 8-10; forced Kneipp to hit tin resulting in a 9-10 score, but a missed effort would give Kneipp the game and a 2 games to love lead in the match. In the third and final game, Parke took a quick 5-1 lead, but Kneipp had the evergreen Parke racing about the court, slowly wearing him down and ultimately finishing the game and match in his favor.
Semifinals - Sept. 20
Peter Nicol (England, 1st) defeated Joseph Kneipp (Australia, 10th) 11-6; 11-6; 11-6 (37 mins.)
Lee Beachill (England, 2nd) defeated David Palmer (Australia, 4th) 5-11; 11-3; 11-7; 11-9 (1 hour 4 minutes)
(All matches held at Symphony Hall.)
Joe Kneipp (Australia, 10th) came out kicking in the first game of US Open Squash semifinal action. He quickly went up 4-love before world-number-one, Peter Nicol, responded in kind, tying it 4-all. Nicol ultimately went on to take the game 11-6, but not before dazzling the near capacity crowd with a 90-second rally that had both players reaching, spinning, wheeling and dealing. Game two started with a fetching bout of cat and mouse, but Nicol was his typical purr-fect self and though an identical score as the first match, he dispatched young Mr. Kneipp in just 11 minutes. A muffed swing by Kneipp in the third game made it 4-all about six minutes in. A second blown return let Nicol go up 8-6 and it appeared to be the final straw as the rarely weary Nicol finished the game and match in convincing style. Commenting on his victory, Peter explained, “I'm moving well...very fluid...and I'm not tiring.” Joe Kneipp concurred, “Peter's play was just too tight tonight. However, I'm not unhappy with my performance. I had good length and was able to limit how much of the front court I gave up.”
Maybe they were just warming up or perhaps Lee Beachill and David Palmer were feeling a little mineral deficient...whatever it was, tin was abundant for the first eight minutes of this evening's second semifinal match. But leave it to Australia's 4th-ranked Palmer to assert his presence with authority and take a commanding 10-4 lead before snatching the first game 11-5. A few words of encouragement from compatriot Peter Nicol seemed to do the trick for Beachill. He rocketed to a 6-0 lead before handing the serve to Palmer. Despite several excellent rallies, the Aussie couldn't produce and went down 11-3, tying the match at 1-all. When a frustrated Palmer fired the game ball into the stands at 3-all, things appeared to be getting interesting. His bad karma must have floated out the pipe organ, as he pounded a quick three against Beachill, but that rascally Brit wouldn't say “uncle,” and took the game 11-7, and a 2-1 lead in the match. A no let to Palmer when he was up 8-7 in the fourth infuriated him. Maybe it was broken focus or perhaps anger with the refs, but Beachill crept in to bring the score to 9-all, ultimately taking the game 11-9 and the match two games to one. Post match, Beachill shared that he feels great physically. “I'm in control,” he continued, “I noticed it especially in the third and fourth games. I'm also pleased with my accuracy. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Beachill, currently ranked number two in the world, will face defending U.S. Open champ and world number one, Peter Nicol in tomorrow's final match.
Finals - Sept. 21
Lee Beachill (England, 2nd) defeated Peter Nicol (England, 1st) 11-8; 11-9; 11-9 (42 mins.)
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 same 17” tin placement.
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 a high as 9-5 in the first game, but the evergreen Nicol came back to take three more, but it was not enough...Beachill took the game 11-8. In game two, Nicol went up 3-0, but it was a changing of the guard for 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 for match ball. A pitiful stroke call from the refs to Beachill gave him the match and the Open. 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 more edgy and settle back a more than he did. Beachill, equally gracious, noted, “Peter was great 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.” Not only does the 26-year-old from Pontefract in Yorkshire become the US Open champion for the first time in his career, but he will now also succeed his England teammate as No1 in the Dunlop PSA World Rankings on 1st October.