Ford stalls in final after stirring comeback to tournament play
By RICARDO SARDINHA – Squash Mad Correspondent
Patrick Rooney confirmed his number one seed status and defeated Tom Ford, by 3-1, in the final of the International Tournament of Madeira. In an all-English battle the higher ranked player put an end to Tom Ford’s fairytale return to tournament play at the Galo Active Health Club.
After the performances of both players during the week everybody expected a very close final match, but the truth is Rooney was in control for most of the time. The number one seed started strongly, unsettling Ford’s smooth squash, closing the first game 11-6.
As expected, Ford responded in the second, pushing further the T position and putting more pressure on every shot. Rooney made a few unforced errors giving the wild card player four game points at 10-6. Ford needed only one point to tie the final at 1-1.
The third game was the best in the match and probably the best of the tournament. Great shots, unbelievable retrievals, long hard rallies; the works.
The players exchanged the lead several times leaving the decision of the game down to the last two points. Ford eventually handed the game after an unforced error playing an easy drop shot, by his standard, and missing a lob which caught him out in a stroke position; 12-10 for Rooney and 2-1 up in the match.
After this the unseeded Ford never fully recovered and Rooney seized the advantage early on in the fourth, 3-0. Tom battled his way back to 5-6 but the damage was done and Rooney ran away with the match, closing the fourth game 11-5.
After the final Rooney was a happy man. He said: “I am really lost for words, feeling very emotional right now. I wanted to come here and do the best I could and I managed to win it. Really happy with how things worked out.”
This is a tournament that the number one seed knows very well. “I have been here a few times and I really enjoy coming to Madeira. It’s an event that I love. Everything is made real easy for the players by the organisation and I hope to come back next year.”
On the way to the final, Rooney beat Sergio Garcia Pollan of Spain, Canada’s David Baillargeon and Portuguese hope Rui Soares. Ford motored past Stuart MacGregor (England) and Emyr Evans (Wales) before taking out No.2 seed Bernat Jaume of Spain. He then beat the No.3 seed Aditya Jagtap of India in straight games in the semi-finals.
The tournament’s guest of honour, former word champion Ramy Ashour, joined the presentation ceremony. During the week he held a fun event of his own using his new, experimental scoring system of shorter games.
PSA $12,000 Men’s Madeira International Open 2019, Galo Active Health Club, Caniço, Madeira, Portugal.
 Patrick Rooney (ENG) beat [WC] Tom Ford (ENG) 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5 (60m)
 Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt  Rui Soares (POR) 11-5, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4 (45m)
[WC] Tom Ford (ENG) bt  Aditya Jagtap (IND) 11-9, 11-5, 11-3
 Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt  David Baillargeon (CAN) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (28m)
 Rui Soares (POR) bt  Kristian Frost (DEN) 2-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 13-11 (65m)
 Aditya Jagtap (IND) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 6-11, 17-15, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)
[WC] Tom Ford (ENG) bt  Bernat Jaume (ESP) 6-11, 11-2, 13-11, 9-11, 11-8 (81m)
 Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt [9/16] Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP) 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (40m)
 David Baillargeon (CAN) bt [9/16] Miles Jenkins (ENG) 13-11, 12-10, 11-5 (55m)
 Kristian Frost (DEN) bt [9/16] Robin Gadola (SUI) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (39m)
 Rui Soares (POR) bt [9/16] Harry Falconer (ENG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
 Aditya Jagtap (IND) bt Owain Taylor (WAL) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt  Yannik Omlor (GER) 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 13-11 (45m)
[WC] Tom Ford (ENG) bt  Emyr Evans (WAL) 11-5, 11-8, 12-10
 Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt [9/16] Claudio Pinto (POR) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (32m)
 Patrick Rooney (ENG) bye
[9/16] Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP) bt Ben Coates (ENG) 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 (72m)
[9/16] Miles Jenkins (ENG) bt [WC] Amadeo Costa (SUI) 11-2, 11-8, 11-3 (27m)
 David Baillargeon (CAN) bye
 Kristian Frost (DEN) bye
[9/16] Robin Gadola (SUI) bt Edwin Clain (FRA) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (36m)
[9/16] Harry Falconer (ENG) bt David Zeman (CZE) 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (35m)
 Rui Soares (POR) bye
 Aditya Jagtap (IND) bye
Owain Taylor (WAL) bt [9/16] Roshan Bharos (NED) 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9 (71m)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [9/16] Alex Noakes (ENG) 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
 Yannik Omlor (GER) bye
 Emyr Evans (WAL) bye
[WC] Tom Ford (ENG) bt [9/16] Stuart MacGregor (ENG) 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-3 (45m)
[9/16] Claudio Pinto (POR) bt Charlie Cowie (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (35m)
 Bernat Jaume (ESP) bye
Pictures courtesy of Galo Active Health Club, Madeira