US Pro Squash Series: Windy City Open
Whirlwind White Storms To Windy City WinSSA Global Windy City Open Squash Championship, Chicago, USA
 John White (SCO) d  Amr Shabana (EGY) 7, 8, 4 (35m)
Scotland's John White recorded one of the most important title victories of his career when he despatched Egypt's higher-seeded former world champion Amr Shabana in straight games in the sensational final of the SSA Global Windy City Open Squash Championship in Chicago, USA.
After failing to win a PSA Tour title throughout last year, this was just the confidence-boosting result that the former world No. 1 from Nottingham in England was seeking after crashing to a four-year career-low 12 in the first world rankings of 2005.
The final between the hard-hitting Scot, who tamed North American hero Jonathon Power in a 94-minute semi-final less than 24 hours earlier, and the racquet artiste Amr Shabana, who overwhelmed top seed Lee Beachill in the other semi, was an all-John White affair.
In the 35-minute fast-paced encounter, the 31-year-old fifth seed showed off his incredible accuracy and power as well as retrieving ability. In game two, Shabana seemed to have things figured out, after a series of White's shots found the nick in game one, but it wasn't enough. The pace was rapid and relentless, as both players launched attacks to the front court. The high-paced game favoured White, who was able to keep errors to a minimum.
In game three Shabana became frustrated and looked heavenward for some help, but none came. Power had been patient in his attacking game against White, but Shabana obviously decided to go for the shots, hoping to hit the nick before White. This, however, happened rarely. White proved accurate, relatively error-free and strong throughout as he registered his 11-7 11-8 11-4 triumph.
After the match, SSA Global President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Greenough announced that SSA Global would commit to being title sponsor in 2006 and make the effort to take the tournament to an even higher level. Mr Greenough encouraged the other sponsors to follow suit!
The success marked John White's eighth PSA Tour title, and his second in a final against Shabana.
 Amr Shabana (EGY) d  Lee Beachill (ENG) 3, 18, 3 (35m)
 John White (SCO) d  Jonathon Power (CAN) (7), 11-10 (4-2), 7, 10-11 (2-4), 4 (94m)
White Whips Power In Windy City Marathon
Scotland's fifth seed John White ended a torrid spell on the PSA Tour by beating Canada's in-form Jonathon Power in a five-game marathon in Chicago, USA, to reach the final of the SSA Global Windy City Open Squash Championship.
Since reaching the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York almost a year ago, the 31-year-old former Australian, now based in Nottingham in England, has had a disappointing run in PSA events. The last time White exceeded his seeding was in the English Open in 2003 and, ten months after topping the world rankings for the first time, he now languishes at No12 - his lowest position for four years.
White and seventh seed Power, 30, from Montreal, have crossed paths many times in the past on the PSA Tour, with results evenly-balanced. Their two meetings last year included a 3/1 win for the Canadian in the quarter-finals of the Bermuda Open in March, followed by a straight games drubbing by the hard-hitting Scot in the Super Series Finals in London in May. Though White is seeded ahead of his opponent, Power is now placed above the Scot in the world rankings, at six.
White started poorly, a few errors helping Power to a 6-1 lead. Power was looking comfortable, moving well and striking the ball with authority. White dug in, but the first game was really all Power and he clinched it 11-7. White began the second game in similar inconsistent fashion but soon began to dictate the outcome of most of the rallies. Winners and errors by both players took the game to 10-10 and the firs tie-break. After Power saved three game balls, White finally succeeding in taking the 25-minute game on his fourth attempt with a well executed forehand cross court volley that was just out of his opponent's reach.
White was clearly enjoying the encounter now that he was firmly in it. A reflex backhand volley winner gave him a 5-4 lead and a backhand kill gave him the lead at 7-6. Power was clearly more frustrated, arguing most referee decisions that went against him. His retrieving was still incredible, but the world number 12 was now hitting many more winners than tins and a tight forehand drop gave White game ball at 10-7 and he finished it with a forehand cross court kill to take a 2/1 advantage.
A fiercely-contested fourth game saw the score move to 8-8 when White put a backhand boast into the tin. A no let and a tight forehand drop later and White stood at match ball. But a loose forehand that ended in a stroke to Power, followed by two tins by White, and suddenly Power had game ball. Power saved two more match balls and reached a second game ball for himself with a fabulous backhand volley into the nick. And, much to the joy of the crowd, he extended the match to a deciding game when he cut off a White cross court and fired it into the back corner for a winner.
After the disappointment of not closing out the match in the fourth game, White got himself off to a perfect start in the decider, building a quick 5-0 lead. White later led 7-2 - and a few rallies later Power hit a backhand out of court and it was 10-3 White. The Scot converted on his sixth match ball two rallies later when he hit a forehand cross court winner and secured his place in the final.
The other semi-final also featured an upset, with Egypt's fourth seed Amr Shabana beating favourite Lee Beachill, the world No2 from England, 11-3 11-8 11-3.
Less than 24 hours after beating Beachill's Yorkshire club-mate James Willstrop, Shabana got off to a good start, taking leads of 4-0 and 6-3. He was finding the nick from anywhere on the court and Beachill was having trouble putting him under pressure. The Egyptian rattled off the last five points to close out the game 11-3 in only 8 minutes.
Beachill battled hard in the next two games, but Shabana's touch at the front was incredible and he was finding the nick at will. From 2-3 down he rattled off the last nine points to close out the match in just 35 minutes.
 Lee Beachill (ENG) d [Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY) 7, 3, 1 (33m)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) d  James Willstrop (ENG) (8), 6, 6, 6 (50m)
 John White (SCO) d [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 6, (4), 7, 11-10 (2-0) (55m)
 Jonathon Power (CAN) d  Thierry Lincou (FRA) 8, (8), 9, 4 (60m)
Power Punishes World Champion Lincou
Canada's Jonathon Power maintained his winning momentum in 2005 by upsetting the new world No1 Thierry Lincou to reach the semi-finals of the SSA Global Windy City Open Squash Championship in Chicago, USA. The seventh seed from Montreal's 8, (8), 9, 4 victory in 60 minutes over the Frenchman avenged his loss to Lincou in November's final of the Canadian Classic, in his former home city of Toronto.
Power is brimming with confidence after his victory in the Marsh & McLennan Apawamis Open last week in New York - and strode confidently onto the court for his quarter-final against the world champion from Paris. It was Lincou that made the early going, opening a quick 4-0 lead aided by a couple of Power tins. Power steadied himself and got it back to 5-6 with a wickedly deceptive backhand reverse boast. Not only were Power's drops precise, his length was tight as well. A perfectly executed forehand drop brought the Canadian the first game 11-8.
In the second game, it was Lincou again that made the better start. But, unlike the first game where he relinquished the advantage mid way through, this time Lincou pushed on to take a 9-4 lead, and eventually the game, to draw level.
The match was fascinatingly poised. Lincou was playing steady, virtually error-free squash, while Power was playing with his trademark deception and incredible accuracy, coupled with occasional errors. After taking the third game, Power opened up a 6-1 lead in the fourth. Lincou was clearly becoming disheartened, with errors and loose shots allowing the Canadian to move to 10-2.
Despite winning a couple of fabulous rallies to save the first two match balls, Lincou was clearly tired and tinned on a forehand kill shot to seal the match and provide a great win for Jonathon Power.
The Canadian will now face Scotland's fifth seed John White, who ended giant-killer Laurens Jan Anjema's run by beating the Dutch qualifier (who defeated Peter Nicol in the first round) 6, (4), 7, 11-10 (2-0) in 55 minutes.
The other semi-final is predicted by the seedings, with English favourite Lee Beachill meeting Egypt's fourth seed Amr Shabana. Beachill beat Egyptian qualifier Wael El Hindi 7, 3, 1 in 33 minutes, while former world champion Shabana despatched eighth seed James Willstrop, Beachill's club-mate from Pontefract in Yorkshire, (8), 6, 6, 6 in 50 minutes.
 Lee Beachill (ENG) d Mohammed Abbas (EGY) 5, 11-10 (2-0), 5
[Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY) d  Nick Matthew (ENG) 8, (6), 8, (7), 8 (80m)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) d [Q] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3, 2, (6), 4 (40m)
 James Willstrop (ENG) d Anthony Ricketts (AUS) 3, 7, 9 (35m)
 John White (SCO) d Graham Ryding (CAN) 7, 8, 8 (32m)
[Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) d  Peter Nicol (ENG) 5, 6, 8 (40m)
 Jonathon Power (CAN) d [Q] Simon Parke (ENG) 4, 2, 4 (30m)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) d Dan Jenson (AUS) 4, 4, (9), 9
Nicol Blown Away In Windy City Upset
England's world No3 Peter Nicol suffered the worst possible start to his 2005 campaign when he was knocked out of the first round of the SSA Global Windy City Open Squash Championship, the first major PSA Tour event of the year.
Laurens Jan Anjema may not yet be a household name in the world of squash, but the Dutch qualifier pulled off a major upset by beating the former world No1. LJ to his friends was in a zone, and dominated Nicol from start to finish with virtually error-free squash. He took the ball early, pinning Nicol deep in the back corners and then punishing the loose returns with tight drops and sharp kills.
Ranked 36 in the world, Anjema took a 7-3 lead in the first game and then closed out the game 11-5. At 4-4 in the second he again took over. Nicol looked uncharacteristically error-prone as he tried to find away to move Anjema off the T. Anjema quickly wrapped up the second 11-6. Nicol finally started to find some rhythm in the third as Anjema started to slow down.
At 7-2 it looked as if the Englishman might be beginning to take control. But Anjema had other ideas. He fought back to 6-8 and then with two inch-perfect backhand drop shots tied it at 8-8. Anjema took the lead after finishing off a tremendous rally with a wrong-footing backhand boast. A forehand drop took him to match ball and a Nicol tin capped the Dutchman's best win of his life.
Anjema now faces fifth seed John White, the former world No1, now No12, who beat Canada's Graham Ryding 7, 8, 8
Defending champion Nick Matthew also crashed out of the event at the first hurdle. The sixth-seeded Englishman was beaten 8, (6), 8, (7), 8 by Egyptian qualifier Wael El Hindi.