Wednesday 13 February 2008

Willstop claims biggest prize pot in Sweden

Case Swedish Open 2008James Willstrop warmed up for the British Nationals by winning the Case Swedish Open 2008 in Linköping.

While the winner of the "biggest squash competition ever in Northern Europe" may have been predicted, some of the other results threw up some surprises ...

The 5-star men's event, with a prize fund of $55,000 received surprisingly little media coverage (even by squash's standards!), and its claim to be the biggest tournament in Northern Europe also raised an eyebrow, though a browse back through previous events in Britain and elsewhere failed to find a richer prize pot.

So the boast seems to be credible, unless someone else can tell me otherwise ...

The first upset to the seedings that caught the eye was Ollie Tuominen's win over Lee Beachill in the quarters. A glance at the head-to-head results history between the players, however, disproved my assumption that it would have been the Finn's first win over the Englishman.

They have only once before in competition, in the Bear Sterns Tournament of Champions 2007, with Tuominen also winning then. These wins - both recent - have happened in a period when Beachill has been in a (relative) decline in the rankings, but it could suggest that Olli's game is particularly suited to the way Lee plays (I've seen Beachill play many times, but never Tuominen).

One of the other quarters saw Adrian Grant play Stewart Boswell. Grant's 3-1 victory marked the first meeting between the two, and this upset to the seedings, also coming on the back of a tournament win in the Comfort Inn Open, marks a confident start to the year for the 27 year-old left-hander from London.

Grant has got a good draw in the Nationals, where he should safely make it to the semis, where he will hope his form takes him beyond the player likely to stand in his way to the final ... Lee Beachill.

Case Swedish Open 2008
British National Championships 2008

1 comment:

  1. Well the Liverpool 08 Open was $80k prize money and the British Open was $60k, so I suppose it depends how pedantic you want to be about the definition of where Northern Europe begins. Obviously according to the organisers, England is not in Northern Europe!


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