Friday, December 1, 2023

Exclusive: Selbs reports from the front line in Montreal

Daryl Selby: ‘Fabulous Montreal is a pro player’s dream’

Fresh from his superb semi-final placing in San Francisco, Daryl Selby, world number 14 and key member of England’s triumphant 2013 world team champions side, has joined the Squash Mad team and takes us behind the scenes the Montreal BNF Open which sparks into first round action tonight.

Without sounding too much like a tour guide, Montreal is such a fabulous place. And the squash set up at the Forum showcases everything that’s impressive about this city. It’s a buzzing place, surrounded by restaurants, bars and hordes of enthusiastic and lively people. It really is a pro player’s dream. Oh, and the breakfasts here are pretty awesome too.

The qualifiers were last night and now we move to the glass courts in the old ice hockey stadium. I was in Ben Coleman’s corner for his qualifier against Canadian Shawn Dellierre. Sadly, my Essex pal went down 3-1 but he is a definite star of the future. You heard it here first.

I’m seeded two here. Borja Golan (world No.9) is one after Shabs had to pull out. He has just got married to his long term girlfriend and clearly wants a little love time. He may also still have a part of Pete Barker’s nose on the end of his racket after their painful coming together in Malaysia last week. Mind you, Pete’s looks have been improved by the unfortunate collision.

Saurav Ghosal is three seed. He is a busy man back home in India with some new business interest but I’m sure it won’t affect his squash. He’s one of the nicest guys on tour, as long as he can hit a cross-drop in the nick before he leaves the court. He’s so superstitious.

Chris Simpson is four seed. Just reached his highest ranking of 21 despite coming from Guernsey! He is best friends with Heather Watson the tennis player. How that affects his game I have no idea, but thought I’d mention it.

There’s a couple of good English boys in the main draw. Adrian Waller and Joe Lee who will be dangerous opponents as will the French boys Castagnet and Marche. Ihould be a great tournament.


Quarter-finals Draw:

[2] Daryl Selby (Eng) v Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 
Adrian Waller (Eng) v [4] Chris Simpson (Eng)
[3] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) v Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) 
[1] Borja Golan (Esp) v Alan Clyne (Sco) 

First Round Results:

[2] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1 [WC] Andrew Schnell (Can) 11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3 (59m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-0 Joe Lee (Eng) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (72m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Dane Sharp (Can) 11-3, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)
[4] Chris Simpson (Eng) 3-0 Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 (47m)
[3] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-1 [Q] Steven Finitsis (Aus) 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (57m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (43m)
Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-0 [Q] Shawn Delierre (Can) 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (54m)
[1] Borja Golan (Esp) 3-0 Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (27m)


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