<![CDATA[THE SIMON WARDER EVENT - Blog]]>Thu, 08 Dec 2022 14:05:12 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[NEXT STOP, CHICAGO!]]>Sun, 18 Nov 2018 15:09:14 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/next-stop-chicago
The final day of the Simon Warder Memorial did not disappoint. The house was full as fans were predicting who would win their spot in Chicago's World Championships. Congratulations to Samantha Cornett in our Summit Insulation Women's Division and Shahjahan Khan in our ANJ Men's Division. We will be cheering you on in Chicago!

[1] S. Cornett (CAN) vs. [4] L. Turmel (ENG) 3-0, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (27min)
Match report by Holly Delavigne
Turmel starting out by keeping the ball straight while Cornett slips in some low, hard crosses. Both players getting a feel for the game and their opponent and are trading points. Cornett begins varying the pace while Turmel is seeking a higher pace on most of her shots. Cornett takes two points on straight drops to pull a lead to 7-4. A long rally ensues and Sam wins with another great drop to the front right. Cornett finds herself under pressure in the next rally but gets herself out of it with a Nikki Todd-like lob and forces a long rally. She wins on another beautiful forehand drop. A switch back to punishing length and Cornett takes the first game.
Cornett starts the second game with very little pace but she is accurately hitting all the corners of the court. Turmel counters with two hard kills and takes a lead for the first time in the match at 3-2. A long length rally follows and Cornett hits a beautiful drop from behind Turmel to tie it back up at 3-3. Cornett is loving the front right corner and its working for her and uses it to take 2 of the next 3 points. Turmel steps back up to the T and finds a beautiful backhand volley drop. An error from Cornett and the score is a tight 6-7. Cornett makes a great read up front and sneaks a ball in behind Turmel in the middle of the court. Another forehand winner from Cornett and she has established another lead at 9-6.  Cornett is looking determined and refuses to give up any more points, taking the second 11-6.
Cornett’s intensity remains after the break and she comes in looking strong in game 3. Turmel is staying in the rallies but Cornett’s experience shows as she punishes every loose ball. Cornett still finding the forehand drop and winning with it as she takes a lead at 3-2 and then makes it 4-2. Turmel is prolonging the rallies with some high lengths and she is up on the T looking for opportunities. Another long rally and this time Turmel’s patience paid off, it’s 3-4. The pace picks up in the next rally and Cornett wins another in the front right that was “stuck to the side wall like crazy glue” according to tournament organizer, Gary. Turmel answers with two punishing backhand volley drops and tightens the game up 5-6. Turmel is avoiding Cornett’s forehand now but she can’t on the serve return and Cornett takes the serve back 7-5. Turmel takes a second between points to refocus and it works as she takes the next point. A great length by Cornett to make it 9-6 and another forehand drop to give Cornett match ball. Cornett looks laser-focused, hunting for opportunities. She finds one and the match is over. Cornett is on her way to Chicago.
[4] S. Khan (PAK) v. [8] H. Mustonen (FIN) 3-2, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3, 3-11, 11-7 (47min)
Match report by Holly Delavigne
Both players are testing out a variety of shots and changes in pace in a long first rally. Khan takes the first shot with a tight backhand drop. Another long rally and Khan again tries to end with another drop, this time clipping the top of the tin. A quick error by Khan and Mustonen now has a 2-1 lead. Mustonen starts to push up on the T and is looking for the volley while Khan is looking for his signature backhand drop.  The players continue to trade points as they form their strategies. Khan with another backhand drop but this time Mustonen reads it and counters with a great lob to keep himself in the rally. He continues to work all the corners of the court, seeing himself to a 6-3 lead. An error by Mustonen into the tin give the serve back to Khan. Mustonen makes a great get  and sneaks a ball behind Khan in the middle of the court. Khan has Mustonen stretching around the court but he doesn’t seem to mind. Mustonen taking control now and an unforced tin by Khan give Mustonen game ball. Mustonen uses his reach to snatch a crosscourt attempt by Khan and takes the first game.
Khan comes out looking strong in the first goes up 2-0 and then 4-1. He is working the backhand drop and stretching Mustonen out. The players trade outright winners at 2-4 and 5-2 and the crowd is thrilled. Khan takes another winner off the serve and goes up 6-4. Mustonen is trying hard to vary the pace but Khan is keeping up. Incredible gets by Mustonen to defend a solid attack by Khan and Mustonen takes back the serve at 5-6. Mustonen wins the next 2 points to go up 7-6, but Khan, frustrated by a stroke call, channels this and hits a winner to tie things at 7. Some great rallies keeping this game tight. An error by Mustonen as he breaks a string at a crucial point, making it 9-8 for Khan. Mustonen appears to have lost focus and Khan takes the second 11-9.
Khan looks for his backhand drop early in the third.  He continues to attempt to attack with the drop but Mustonen is catching on and defends well.  Mustonen attemps to attack short and Khan also answers, winning a long rally. Khan surges ahead from 3-0 to 7-0 before Mustonen gets on the board. Khan is looking strong and Mustonen makes a few errors and it’s 10-2 game ball for Khan. He is running Mustonen all over the court. Mustonen staves off one game point but Khan is patient and takes the game 11-3.
Both men seem to love the 5-setters so the crowd is keen to see what will happen here. Khan looking sharp and quick in the first rallies but makes an error into the tin to make it 1-1. Mustonen with tight forehand drop and then an unforced tin by Khan sees Mustonen go up 4-1. A long rally follows with some incredible gets and athleticism as both players play through some interference. Mustonen with a great stretch to win the rally 5-1. Mustonen is showing a phenomenal variety of shots now and Khan is struggling to respond and making a few unforced errors. Mustonen’s now finding his hands at the front and all of a sudden Khan finds himself down 2-9. Mustonen with a perfect length to win the game 11-2.
The crowd is pumped for game 5. Both players looking sharp and staying away from the drop as it has both worked and punished them both thus far in the match. Khan hits a crosscourt that rolls out of the nick and the final game is 2-2. Khan seems comfortable to start looking for his drop again. Some patient squash ensues with great length rallies but it is evident that both players are now back to hunting the drop. Khan with a forehand volley drop to make it 5-2 and then Mustonen responds with a beautiful counter drop to make it 3-5. Khan goes on the attack and surges ahead to 7-3. The crowd begins to encourage Mustonen. He is trying different things but Khan is everywhere. A tight cross court by Khan and an error by Mustonen sees Khan go up 9-3. Mustonen isn’t ready to throw in the towel. He is stretching to all the corners and hitting with some decisive pace.  5-10 Mustonen and then 7-10. The crowd is on the edge of their seats. Mustonen is in the fight but Khan sees his opportunity and goes for the winner and with that he is also on his way to Chicago.

Photo credits to Emily Nutson.
<![CDATA[Semi-Final ROUNDUP]]>Sat, 17 Nov 2018 04:09:59 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/semi-final-roundup
Lots of squash today with the start of the amateur draw and two of the men's matches going the distance. Some upsets in the men's draw to see the #4 and #8 seeds making it to the finals for a chance at a trip to Chicago. Tomorrow's finals will be Cornett/Villard at 4pm and Mustonen/Khan at 5pm.

Photo Credits to Emily Nutson.

[1] S. Cornett (CAN) v. [3] E. Villard (FRA) 3-0, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10 (28min)
Match report by Ally Thompson
Cornett starts strong, finding her corners as Villard struggles to find length. Cornett’s attacking game is strong and she jumps to a 9-5 lead. A few unforced errors from Villard see Sam take the first 11-5. Both players start the second hitting their targets in the back corners. Villard was creating opportunities but making errors while Cornett was steady and patient. Quality squash from both players but Cornett’s patience ultimately pays off and she takes the second 11-5. Villard fights back from the start of the third game, taking the ball in short and pulling ahead to a 4-0 lead. A few unforced errors by Cornett see Villard keep the lead for a bit before the strong and steady Cornett comes back to win the third game and the match.
[8] H. Mustonen (FIN) v. [5] M. Yanez (MEX) 3-2, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9 (56min)
Match report by Juan Camilo Vargas
A solid start from both players with Mustonen looking a bit sharper and more accurate in the first few points. Yanez with a few unforced errors in the match but steps up and proceeds to hit a few clear winners in the middle of the game. Mustonen continues to apply pressure with good pace and length which helped him to win the first. A quick start from both players in the first with both hitting some great winners. Yanez was more consistent and smarter in his shot selection but Mustonen regroup and game back to tie it 7-7. Incredible athleticism by both players with some epic pick-ups. Mustonen was more calm and his experience showed in the last three points of the game.  Yanez wasn’t ready to quit and began hitting his corners in game 3, taking a commanding 7-2 lead. Mustonen struggled to anticipate the shots. Yanez continues to be determined, taking game 3 and keeping the dream alive. Again in game 4, Yanez starts strong and hits some decisive winners, taking a 7-2 lead again.  Mustonen shows signs of looking tired but pushes through some brutally long rallies late in the fourth. Yanez keeps the pressure on and again keeps the dream alive, winning the fourth 11-9. Mustonen with a strong and steady start to the game but Yanez stepped on the gas and changed the momentum at 3-3 before losing focus. Mustonen plays smart and takes an 8-5 lead. Both players seem tired but keep fighting and putting good pace on the ball. Mustonen’s patience pays off in the end as he wins the fifth 11-9. According to Mustonen, it is all of the chopping wood he’s been doing in training (he still hasn’t broken a smile, so we aren’t sure if he is serious…).
[4] L. Turmel (ENG) v. [2] N. Todd (CAN) 3-0, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (34min)
Match report by Holly Delavigne
Turmel came out tryng to establish pace and power while Todd sticks to her signature lobs and timely drops. Todd keeps her drops tight to the side wall. Sam Cornett is muttering under her breath throughout the game but goes silent when Todd serves out to give Turmel game ball. A mistake by Todd gives Turmel game 1. Todd comes out in game 2 holding and hitting straight to keep Turmel on her heels. Both girls looking for the boast in this game and winning a few rallies here. Todd finds herself down 7-3 and 9-4 before making a surge of perfect legnths. Turmel answers with a tight forehand drop, taking game ball. Todd controls the rally and fights off the first game ball but the gap proves to be too big and Turmel is able to take the second 11-8. In the third game, Todd’s lobs just get higher and higher, pushing Turmel to the back and giving Todd time to reclaim the T. Some perfect lengths and roll-out nicks from both players as they trade points. Todd aces a signature lob serve to make if 7-6. Turmel is loving the volley drop when she can find it and we have ourselves a battle. Some incredibly long rallies and unbelievable athleticism in the second half of the third with both players stretching hard into all four corners. 9-9 and Todd makes an unbelievable get in the front right corner. She is slow to get up and takes a medical time-out. The crowd is quiet. Todd returns to the court but it is clear she is unable to move well. A true trooper, Todd lines up to return Turmel’s final two serves but is really unable to finish the match. An unfortunate end for both players after such an incredible display. Turmel is looking sharp and strong to move into tomorrow’s final.
[4] S. Khan (PAK) v. [1] R. Peter (SUI) 3-2, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 5-11, 11-5 (51min)
Match report by Micaala Seth
The match began with tight rallies from both players. Khan moved smoothly across the court despite his tall opponent. Both players finding the forehand drop and trickle boast early. Peter gains more control in the middle of the game, using his reach to cut the ball of early. He surges ahead to an 11-6 lead. In the second game, Khan adjusts and begins hitting lower and harder lengths and keeping the ball tight to the side walls. He uses a low cross effectively to move Peter around and take away his volley. The strategy works for Khan and he takes the second 11-4. We have ourselves a battle. A lot of interference and a number of calls early in the third as both players work to adapt their strategies. The game has a very high intensity feel and both players are hitting tight drops but also retrieving well, scraping them off the side wall. Khan finishes with some delicate drops and wins the third 11-8. Peter comes out with a hold in game 4, catching Khan off guard. He combines this beautifully with a tight, straight drop and pushes the match to the fifth. Khan needs to find his tight length if he is going to beat Peter. Khan begins showing some hold for the first time in the match and gets sharper with every point. Peter tries to find his volley again but Khan’s accuracy in the front court is just too much and he is able to take the match 3-2.

<![CDATA[DAY 4 IN THE BOOKS]]>Fri, 16 Nov 2018 04:17:25 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/day-4-in-the-books
Well, the players put on a great show for our sponsors tonight with several matches going to five. Some epic displays of athleticism and heart from the players helped the sponsors to understand why we do what we do. The amateur action begins tomorrow at 4:30pm, with the pros getting underway for their semi-final matches beginning at 6pm. It's going to be a full house and we can't wait to see you there!

[5] M. Yanez v. [2] J. Camilo Vargas (COL) 3-1, 15-13, 10-12, 11-7, 14-12 (57min)

Match report by Gary Delavigne
The first game saw Yanez come out very powerful and aggressive, earning an early lead. Vargas fought back by extending the rallies. The players traded rallies into extra points until Yanez came up with a winner to take the first game 15-13. The second game saw Vargas take an early lead but he looked in jeopardy later in the game but he held on to tie the match with a 12-10 win in game 2. In game 3, Vargas again took an early lead but Yanez was up to the challenge, picking up the pace and cutting off the ball at every opportunity. He takes the third 11-7. Yanez didn’t relent in game 4. Vargas, to his credit, responded with some incredible gets to extend the rallies and tire his opponent. It appeared that Vargas was going to force game 5 but Ynaez found an extra gear, forcing extra points and taking the match 14-12 in the fourth.
[3] E. Villard (FRA) v. [7] E. Soini (FIN) 3-0, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (31min)
Match report by Lucy Turmel
Villard had a solid start, keeping the ball tight and attacking well. She set the tone with tight length and stepped up well for some short winners to take the first game. Soini stepped up the pace to start game 2, forcing Villard to defend. Villard found her length as the game progressed and again stepped up, forcing some errors from Soini. Villard was patient and closed the second game 11-9. The third started with lots of let calls. Villard began to find good spaces and moved Soini around well, finishing the match 3-0.
[8] H. Mustonen (FIN) v. [3] L. Fuller (ENG) 3-2, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1 (51min)

Match report by Noah Browne
The game started fast and furious. A few decisions and errors against Mustonen had Fuller taking an early 1-0 lead. Both players hitting all four corners early in the second. Mustonen attacking and Fuller slightly off on his counters saw Mustonen go up 6-3. Mustonen looked in control but a strong push from Fuller  saw him recover, taking the game to 9-9. Mustonen stays strong, taking the game with good length. In the third, Fuller gave an early lead to the stonefaced Fin. He sorted himself out and mastered his volleys, coming back to 7-6. Tense exchanges and good defending from Fuller sees him take the third. Mustonen comes out strong in game four, playing a powerful game that he eventually wins, taking the match to 2-2. Mustonen goes on to play near-perfect squash in the fifth. A nick winner at 10-1 sends Mustonen to the semi-final and one step closer to Chicago.
[1] S. Cornett (CAN) v. D. Garcia (MEX) 3-0, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (26min)
Match report by Laura Savage
Cornett, the number 1 seed, comes out looking the part, hitting tight length and strong attacking shots to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Garcia responds with a few points but it is not enough as Cornett finds her tight length again, taking the first 11-5. In game 2, Garcia tightened up her length and found some attacking shots that gained her a 5-4 lead. Cornett begins to move Garcia to all four corners of the court and takes the game on a tight forehand drive. Garcia comes out strong to start game 3, taking the first three points by moving Cornett around the court. Cornett responds with some solid crosscourts to make it 3-3. The players trade points, both making some great gets. Cornett starts to pin Garcia deep in the back, forcing boasts which she then gracefully capitalizes on.  Garcia hangs in some long rallies and the match is tight at 10-10. Cornett hits two perfect drops to take the third game in extra points.
[4] S. Khan (PAK) v. B. Ajagbe (NIG) 3-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (66min)

Match report by Anthony Graham
Both players come out ready for the match, with Ajagbe looking more relaxed in the early points, looking to hold the ball and disrupt Khan’s rhythm. This seemed to work well as he takes a 7-5 lead. Ajagbe rolled his ankle and took an injury timeout. He returned to the court with his ankle taped. The break seemed to work against him, allowing Khan time to gain some composure. Khan takes the first game. The second game was a back and forth affair from the first point. Ajagbe used his deception well and varied the pace to keep Khan on his heels and take a 9-8 lead. Khan battled back with amazing speed to stay in the game, making it difficult for Ajagbe to finish. It eventually took a perfect three-wall boast nick for Ajagbe to take the match to 1-1.  A blood injury early in the third had this match ticking all the boxes for a real squash fight. Upon return, Khan continued flying around the court and Ajagbe continued to vary the pace, attempting to disrupt Khan’s rhythm. Khan kept up the pace and grew a 9-3 lead. Ajagbe responded with 3 flat kill shots but it was not enough and Khan took the third 11-5. The fourth game was hotly constest. Both players refused to give anything away cheaply. Some incredible winners from Ajgabe in the nick boast, becoming his signature shot as he wins the fourth. A very tight fifth game with some incredible rallies and high pace. This appeared to take its toll on Ajagbe, who hit a few tins at crucial points. 9-9 in the fifth after some epic rallies and the crowd is completely silent. Khan finds the slightest edge to squeak out the match 11-9 in the fifth.
[2] N. Todd (CAN) v. [6] C. Pelaez (COL) 3-2, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 12-14, 12-10 (46min)
Match report by Sam Cornett
Todd controlled the first game with slow pace and timely drops and counter drops and taking a commanding lead in the first game. The second game started neck and neck. Pelaez edged ahead early on with great retrieving and a couple of early errors from Todd. Toward the end of the game, all kinds of drops were exchanged. The Colombian Pelaez loved this and dominated the front of the court, taking the second game. Todd looked good to start the third, stretching Pelaez in the back of the court before going very, very short. Pelaez was set back on her heels a bit and Todd took the third game. The start of game 4 looked similar but Pelaez turned up the heat to take a 7-5 lead. She continued with the same tried and true strateg, using great width and patience to force errors from Todd. A huge rally at 9-9 with a dive retrieval from Pelaez, followed by a few unforced errors from Todd and the match goes to 5. Both players were up to the task in the final game with beautiful changes of pace from the Columbian and signature drops from the Canadian. A close game had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Todd squeaks out a 12-10 victory to take the match.
[1] R. Peter (SUI) v. [7] A. Graham (ENG) 3-0, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (33min)
Match report by Jon Leppington
Domination by Peter from early in the match. He used his height to his advantage, stepping up to cut off almost everything. Both players hitting tight length but Peter able to capitalize more easily when the opportunities arose. Controversy started at 2-3 with lots of contacts and players chatting back to the referees and one another. While the tempers flared a bit, Peter regained his composure and a few strict words from the referee got the match back under control. Peter takes a closer second game. He comes out strong in the third. The rallies were longer but Peter looked comfortably throughout, moving smoothly and taking the opportunities when they were presented to him.
<![CDATA[DAy 3 ROUNDUP]]>Thu, 15 Nov 2018 04:20:05 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/day-3-roundup
Day 3 was full of exciting action as promised, finishing off the evening with a thrilling five-game match between Hugo Varela and number 1 seed, Reiko Peter. Stay tuned for quarter-final action tomorrow, beginning at 4pm!

L. Turmel (ENG) v. A. Serme (CZE) 3-0, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (25min)
Match report by Nikki Todd
Serme appeared to start the game nervously with Turmel starting just the opposite. Serme began to fight back but it was too late; a few perfect lengths from Turmel allowed her to take the first game 11-6. Serme started the second game well by setting up the rallies well for her kill shots and attacking boasts. Turmel responds with some tight drops. Both girls are attacking a bit too early and trade points back and forth. Turmel begins to use her aggressive length  to set up the rallies and takes game 2, 11-8. Turmel plays steady and draws some unforced errors from Serme. She balances with strong attacks and takes the match 3-0.
J. Camilo Vargas (COL) v. C. Fuller (ENG) 3-0, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (29min)
Match report by Gary Delavigne
Vargas came out true to form for his debut at this year’s tournament. He started the match strong, keeping Fuller on his heels and taking the first game easily 11-2. Fuller takes it up a notch in games 2 and 3 as the rallies get a bit longer but ultimately Vargas is in control of the match, making great use of available space on the court. Vargas advances to the quarter-finals with a convincing 3-0 victory.
[5] M. Yanez (MEX) v. M. Fuller (ENG) 3-0, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 (27min)
Match report by Mark McLean
Yanez took control from the opening serve, never letting Fuller get his legs under him. Great width and good length had Fuller on his heels all game. Game 2 started much like the first, with Yanez cutting off ball after ball. Yanez attacks relentlessly in the front left. Yanez finishes the second looking strong and quick. Fuller begins trying to counter with pace and length in game 3. He puts Yanez to work, but Yanez responded with a variety of shots. A few great volley nicks see Yanez win the final game 11-9.
[8] H. Mustonen (FIN) v. M. Nabil (EGY) 3-1, 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5 (39min)
Match report by Anna Kimberley
Nabil was effective with short straight attacks early in the match but Mustonen was able to exert more control over the game with deeper, tighter lengths. He cut the ball off early across the middle and held the T to take the first. In the second, Mustonen extended his momentum and quickly took a significant lead, frustrating Nabil with great length and using all four corners of the court, winning the second. Nabil started the third strong, varying his attacks and using height to get out of trouble. He stayed with Mustonen throughout the game. Mustonen stepped up, looking to cinch the match, but Nabil pulled through, taking the third.  Nabil appeared to crash after the high of winning the third and quickly went down 6-0. He had a slight revival but Mustonen stayed solid with tight length and high intensity to take the final game of the match 11-5.
[3] L. Fuller (ENG_ v. [WC] D. Mill (CAN) 3-0, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (27min)
Match Report by Emilia Soini
A couple of loose balls from both players in the beginning of the game and a lot of traffic in the middle of the court. Fuller settled into the match before Mill, surging ahead to take game 1. In the second, Fuller found some height to take control of the game, with a little help from Mill’s errors. Fuller hits some great lines and creating openings and takes the second comfortably 11-2. Fuller takes control of the T in the third, getting the ball to all corners of the court. Mill is running and beginning to make more errors. Fuller stays consistently and patiently wins the match 3-0.
[4] S. Khan (PAK) v. A. Leanza (USA) 3-0, 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (29min)
Match report by Tom Panabaker
The match started slow, both playing conservative length to get a feel for the court. After a long rally at 4-1, Leanza struggled to be tight on length, allowing Khan to take a more attacking approach. 4 unforced tins by Khan made this game tighter than it appeared. Khan continued tight front left drops in game 2, forcing Leanza to lunge hard to retrieve. Khan was then free to punish Leanza deep in the right back corner. Khan dominated game 2, 11-2. Leanza could not achieve consistent length in game 3 and Khan retrieved without issue, getting tighter and deeper as the game went on. A brief lead for Leanza at 5-2 was slowly chipped away at by Khan’s aggressive play. Khan took a surge of strong points, winning the third 11-6.
B. Ajagbe (NGR) v. [6] C. Seth (CAN) 3-0, 11-8, 13-11, ret.
Match report by Tom Panabaker
Things got exciting when Seth won a hard rally to bring the first game even at 6-6. Ajagbe put forth a solid attack, forcing Seth to retrieve over and over. Ajagbe tooka 9-6 lead and finished 11-8 in the first. Seth started more aggressively in the second, finding his attacking shots early. Ajagbe fought back and patiently took back the lead. Another lead change as Seth charged back to a 10-8 lead after a “no let” call and subsequent unforced error by Ajagbe. An exceptional long and entertaining rally put Ajagbe up game ball  and he went on to win 13-11. Seth, struggling with an injury from the past weekend’s provincial tournament, retired after game 2.
[7] A. Graham (ENG) v. N. Browne (BER) 3-0, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6
Match report by Mike Ethridge
Browne and Graham exchanged points, one long rally after another. The crowd quickly learns they will need more beer after game one. Graham squeaks out game 1, 12-10. The “giraffe of squash” Browne has a strong presence on the court in game 2, with more long rallies and great athleticism from both players. Banter by both players keeps the crowd entertained and allows the players to catch their breath. Graham seems to be able to maintain an edge in the match.  Graham continued to push hard in game 3, capitalizing on a few key rallies to take the match 3-0.
[1] R. Peter (SUI) v. H. Varela (ESP) 3-2, 9-11, 9-11, 15-13, 11-5, 11-5
Match report by Tom Panabaker
A thrilling final match to end day 3! Varela played solid length through games 1 and 2 to keep Peter in a defensive role, although both battled hard and made some amazing gets. Varela was able to squeak out both games to start the third up a mere 4 points. Varela continued to drive Peter to the back court, jumping on any loose returns. Peter found his drop and surged to a 7-3 lead. Varela persistently chipped away at this until the game was 7-7. Peter responded, taking a 10-8 game ball, only to have Varela revert back to his patient length game and tie it at 10-10. Trading leads and match/game balls, Peter eventually prevailed at 15-13, keeping himself alive in the match. Game 4 started with a long rally on the first point with Peter making some awesome gets but Varela waiting him out and winning this big point. Although Varela controlled the play early, Peter fought back, dominating the later half of game 4 with 6 unanswered points to tie the match at 2-2. A tough-fought fifth game with leads changing between players. Peter took control of the match, outlasting Varela in fitness. A great comeback from match ball down in game 3, #1 seed Peter survives for another day.
<![CDATA[DAY 2 RECAP]]>Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:23:39 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/day-2-recap
Everyone survived the cold for day 2 and we are looking forward to (literally) heating things up tomorrow as we move into round 2 of the ANJ men's draw. The women get a well-deserved rest tomorrow with action in the Summit women's draw starting up again on Thursday. As you have likely already guessed, our phenomenal photographer Lisa Cattran was in fine form tonight! See below for match summaries.
A. Leanza (USA) v. D. Khan (CAN) 3-1, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (37min)
Match report by Gary Delavigne
Khan was fired up in the first game and hitting crisp, attacking shots forcing loose balls from Leanza. He closed out game 1 with an 11-8 victory.  Leanza came out strong in the second game, extending the rallies and causing Khan to make some tired errors. Realizing the strategy was working, Leanza applied more pressure and took a controlling 11-5 victory in both the second and third games. Khan tried to rebound in the fourth but looked tired early, missing even a couple serve returns, leading Leanza to a 3-1 vicotry.
B. Ajagbe (NGR) v. [WC] J. Shortt 3-0, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (22min)
Match report by Gary Delavigne
Shortt, a junior from London, ON, looked eager to showcase his skills, but the veteran Ajagbe quickly showed Shortt what pro squash is all about. Moving smoothly and holding his shots well, he frequently caught Shortt wrong-footed. Ajagbe pulled ahead quickly winning 11-4, 11-5 in the first two games. Shortt rebounded in game 3 with better length and pace, but Ajagbe was patient and took advantage of every open opportunity, winning 11-8.
N. Browne (BER) v. J. Geekie (SCO) 3-0, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (31min)
Match report by Gary Delavigne
The two “giants” of the draw got into the match quickly, each trying to keep the pace up and take the ball early. They traded points for most of the first game. Browne surged forward with one last push toward the end of game 1 to take it 11-9. Game 2 was much the same but the space around the T got a little tighter, leading to a little more contact and “let” calls. At 11-11, an error by Geekie opened the door for Browne, which he immediately closed, taking the game 13-11. In game 3, Geekie seemed determined but tired. Browne ultimately wins another close one, taking the match 3-0.
H. Varela (ESP) v. J. Bassil (LIB) 3-0, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 (0min)
A. Serme (CZE) v. [5] A. Thomson (SCO) 3-1, 12-10, 11-8, 13-15, 11-9 (45min)
Match report by Sam Cornett
With the cool court temperature, both players seemed tempted to go short early in the rallies. The two players exchanged leads throughout. An epic rally at 9-9 ended in Serme’s favour, but Thomson wasn’t finished. Both players took note of how well their length was rewarded and the next few rallies finished in the back. A close game to Serme 12-10. From 5-5 in the second, Serme pulled ahead to 9-5 and looked to be in charge with good length, crisp vollies and cross court drops. Two clever rallies from Serme closed out the second game 11-8.  Really well built rallies from both players in game 3. An error from Thomson late in the game and a great length winner from Serme lead her to a comfy 10-6 lead. Thomson clawed her way back to 10-10 where a few epic rallies ensued, seeing an unusual unforced error from Serme on game ball to keep this match alive for Thomson as she took game 3 in extra points. In game 4, Thomson came out strong, taking 6 quick points before Serme got on the scoreboard. Serme looked tired and flustered after an epic third game but settled in, forcing Thomson to do more of the running and clawed her way back in, winning the fourth game and the match.
D. Garcia (MEX) v. [8] J. Aribado (PHI) 3-1, 13-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9 (38min)
Match report by Jeff Tudhope
Game 1 was a back and forth affair all the way to extra points, during which the rallies took on a progressively more heated tone. Garcia ends it 13-11 off a too-thin crosscourt, dropping a roller into the front left nick. The players begin trading points again in the second game before Garcia jumps to a 7-3 lead thanks to a few authoritative winners.  Even when under pressure, Garcia responds and puts the pressure back on Aribado, winning game 2, 11-4. Game 3 again begins fairly evenly with Garcia taking a slight lead. Aribado would not relent, hanging in every point and drawing even at 5-5. Garcia pushes ahead but Aribado responds as the players battle to 9-9. A great rally awards Garcia a match ball but shortly thereafter a stroke call sees the match move to 10-10. Aribado earns an 11-10 game ball and capitalizes to take the third.  Aribado continued her surge into game 4, taking an early 6-2 lead. Garcia then found her rhythm and strung together a number of points, moving ahead 9-6.  A stroke awarded to Garcia gives her match ball. Aribado slowly rebounds, and it’s 9-10. A let is awarded and the rally is replayed, with Garcia taking this rally and the next to win the match 3-1.
[7] E. Soini (FIN) v. A. Yeog Wai Yhann (SIN) 3-0, 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 (19min)
Match blog by Adam Kilner
The players looked similarly match coming out of the gates, each trying to get a feel for good length,.Soini pulled ahead with several unanswered points to take the first game. After game 1, Soini came out looking strong and determined. She was focused on taking the ball early and put her opponent under pressure quickly in every point. As her confidence grew, she continued to look in control as the match progressed, securing a 3-0 victory and a place in the next round.
[3] E. Villard (FRA) v. C. Gomez (ESP) 3-1, 11, 8, 11-3, 8-11, 12-10 (38min)
Match report by Chris Solness
Both girls came out hitting the ball hard with Villard trying to get a feel for the court for the first time this week. Game 1 was a high-intensity battle interspersed will some well-timed drop shots. A few mistakes by Gomez lead Villard to win the first. Villard came out in game two with her game face on, quickly edging out Gomez 11-3. Gomez, not out of it yet, returns to the court with a new work ethic, pushing Villard to the back repeatedly. She was able to win the third 11-8. Both players pushed hard in game 4, trading points throughout. Villard seemed the fitter in this last game, pushing to a close 12-10 victory to take the match.
[4] L. Turmel (ENG) v. D. Bradd [L] 3-0, 11-1, 11-1, 11-2 (13min)
Match report by M. Ethridge
Turmel applied pressure early in the match, sending the ball deep into the back of the court, preventing Bradd from settling in to the match. Turmel continued to dominate the second game, alternating between wide drives and tight drops to keep Bradd running the diagonals. Bradd started to adjust to the pace in game 3, however, Lucy continued to show her dominance, taking a commanding 3-0 victory.
[1] S. Cornett (CAN) v. A. Kimberley (ENG) 3-0, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 (23min)
Match report by Alayna Bradd
Number 1 seed Cornett came out looking the part, starting the match with high intensity. She settled into some long rallies, waiting out the opportunities to deploy her backhand drop, which was looking sharp tonight. Cornett takes a controlling victory in game 1.  Cornett stepped up and began cutting off the ball in game 2, alternating between crisp volleys to length and some laser beam volley drops. Kimberley struggled to respond.  Game 3 starts and Anna begins to find her drop as well but ultimately it’s too little too late and Sam wins the match 3-0.
[6] C. Pelaez (COL) v. M. Fung-a-Fat (GUY) 3-1, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8 (27min)
Match report by Emilia Soini
Pelaez came out strong, winning at the front court. Fung-a-Fat struggled to read Pelaez and settle into the match. Pelaez takes the first 11-8. Pelaez looks impatient in the second, trying to go short too early and Fung-a-Fat simulatenously finds her length, leading Fung-a-Fat to an 11-8 victory in game 2. The players start game 3 even but too many loose balls from Fung-A-Fat gave Pelaez ample opportunity to capitalize. She takes the third easily 11-3. Some longer rallies in the fourth with both players being a bit more patient and trying to get the ball deep. Pelaez waited for opportunities to closed out the rallies, ultimately winning her the match 3-1.
N. Todd (CAN) v. T. ter Sluis (NED) 3-0, 11-4, 11-2, 11-5 (16min)
Match report by Adam Kilner
Todd took control of the match early and didn’t let up. Ter Sluis did her back to rally back against last year’s champion but Todd continue to respond with her signature lob, keeping her in the rallies and allowing her to wait for opportunities to surge ahead. A decisive victory by Todd to put her one step closer to a spot in Chicago.
<![CDATA[Day 1 RECAP]]>Tue, 13 Nov 2018 02:54:09 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/day-1-recap
We can't believe day 1 is already in the books! Our day started with a visit from our friends at Bright's Grove Public School as they spoke to some of our pro players and then watched the action between local player Micaala Seth and Tessa ter Sluis (NED). The highlight of the night was an upset by local player Deirdre Bradd as she advances to round 2 action tomorrow with a victory over Jelena Dutina (SRB). Special thanks to all of today's match bloggers for the summaries!

T. Ter Sluis (NED) v. M. Seth [L] 3-0, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (18min)
Match report by Brad Fisher
Micaala was a bit slow to start in the first game, allowing Tessa to settle into a comfortable rhythm and take the first game. Micaala came out strong in the second game, making some great gets and pushing to extra points before Tessa ultimately went up 2-0.  While Micaala held her own in game 3, Tessa’s found the winning drop on her backhand side and used it to secure a 3-0 victory.
C. Fuller (ENG) v. A. Nunez (MEX) 3-0, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (34min)
Match report by John Geekie
The first game saw some long opening rallies with both players trying to find their length. Chris’ patience paid off, forcing a few errors from Allan. Combined with a few accurate attacks of his own, he was able to close out the first game. In game 2, both players were again looking to extend the rallies. Despite some great retrieving by Allan, Chris’ width and length, coupled with some great drops were just too much for Allan to handle. Game 3 started with some uncharacteristically loose balls from Fuller. Down 4-3, he tightened the ball back up and pulled away to an 11-5 victory.
A. Yeong Wai Yhann (SIN) v. C. Giachino [L] 3-0, 11-4, 11-1, 11-1 (14min)
Match report by Micaala Seth
Wai controlled the centre of the court from the first point of the match, showing excellent positioning on the T and executing several tight drops. Catherine battled back with some short kills, but Wai caught on quickly, finishing the first with a delicate boast. Wai dominated the second game with some tight length, coming out quickly to an 11-1 victory. In game 3, rallies were improved with Catherine hitting with some more intention. Wai, however, remained in control, taking the match 3-0.
C. Gomez (ESP) v. B. Marchesi Petrillo (BRA) 3-0, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6
Match report by Micaala Seth
This match pitted two very different styles of play against one another: Christina using a hold and weighted length while Bruna relied on the volley and short kill game. Christina’s game caught Bruna flat footed and saw her scrambling to reach many balls. She took the first comfortably 11-3. In the middle of the second game, there were some fantastic rallies with both girls racing diagonals to keep up. Christina’s accuracy ultimately helped her to win game 2. Bruna started to find her accuracy at the front of the court in game 3 but it just wasn’t quite enough today.
M. Fuller (ENG) v. J. Hua (USA) 3-0, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (24min)
Match report by Rory Bradd
Mark came out strong, taking the first two points quickly. Jason was able to respond and both players exchanged points as they settled into the match. Mark found his rhythm and surged ahead to a 10-4 lead before taking the first game 11-5. Fuller came out strong in games 2 and 3, finding a solid rhythm and making very few errors. He remained focused and accurate throughout the remained of the match, capitalizing quickly on any errors by his opponent. He finished strong and looked ready to move into the next round on Wednesday.
D. Bradd [L] v. J. Dutina (SRB) 3-0, 14-12, 11-5, 11-9 (21min)
Match report by Tessa ter Sluis
Both ladies struggled to settle into a rhythm and mistakes were noted early in game 1 by both players. The girls traded points but a few key points by Deirdre saw her sneak out the first game in extra points. Deirdre, motivated by her hometown crowd, came out strong in game 2 and Jelena struggled to respond. In game 3, the rallies lengthened with both players trying to move one another around the court. Some great choices by Deirdre and a few untimely mistakes by Jelena saw Deirdre take the match 3-0.
A. Serme (CZE) v. H. Delavigne [L] 3-0, 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (15min)
Match report by Derek Moore
The game started at a fast pace with some quick exchanges of points. Anna dictated most points early on, taking the ball early and forcing Holly to the back. Anna continued to move Holly around the court, forcing weak returns that she expertly capitalized on. Anna comfortably wins the match 3-0.
M. Nabil (EGY) v. R. Bradd [L] 3-0, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (20min)
Match report by Adam Kilner
As the first game started, the audience watched with bated breath as the players traded points. Mohamed began to settle into a rhythm and powered past Rory to secure an 11-6 victory in game 1. Game 2 saw Mohamed move Rory around the court. Although he made some incredible gets, Mohamed was always right there waiting for the last shot. Game 3 displayed some great athleticism by both players but ultimately Mohamed was able to take the match 3-0.
M. Fung-A-Fay (GUY) v. [WC] P. Jenkins (CAN) 3-2, 7-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-1, 11-6 (32min)
Match reporting by Michaela Khan & Catherine Giachino
The final match of the evening proved to be one of the most exciting of the night. A series of stellar accurate serves in the early points by Paula brought her to an 8-4 lead. Mary struggled to settle into her game, and a few unforced errors allowed Paula to continue her momentum and take game 1. Mary came back on court and was all business, executing some great shots in the front court. Paula, having played mainly a length game in the first, struggled to respond and Mary took the second 11-3. Game 3 started with the players trading points as both started to get used to one another’s styles of play. Paula continued with some great serves and pushed up on the T, leading her to an 11-4 victory. Down 2-1, Mary reverted to her front court game in the fourth, seeming to gain momentum and Paula struggled to find a rhythm. Mary took the fourth game comfortably. The final game of the match started with a series of let and stroke calls as both players tried to move one another around. Mary was able to ultimately take the match 3-2.

<![CDATA[Ready...set...]]>Mon, 12 Nov 2018 02:22:43 GMThttp://www.thesimonwarder.ca/blog/readyset
   Deep inside the gym at Huron Oaks, the "court elves" have been working overtime to prepare the court in time for tomorrow's first serve. While it might be one (or two for us "vertically challenged folk") lunges for the players, it's one giant task for our crew.
     Assembly began Tuesday with the floor and the lights. Luckily, the court elves were better prepared than the amateurs and didn't wait until the last minute to think about the tournament.
     For the rest of the week, we truly had friends in high places as cranes and scaffolding moved in to start piecing together the glass walls. With the help of "Legs", our real-live transformer crane and our wonderful friends at Lambton Glass and Mamoet, all 36 panels of glass were safely installed.
     While the hardworking men may be remissed that several days of work is neatly summed up in two paragraphs, a shoutout must also be given to our friend Pat for the AV set up. Pretending to be the "Great and Powerful Oz" behind the black curtain, Pat has ensured that our players and spectators (both near and far) have a truly wonderful experience. And we can break into a disco at a moment's notice. Can't beat that.
     Back to the star of the show, the glass court. Once all of the glass panels were installed, the elves were hard at work keeping the court true and taking away any sketchy nicks and with it, this writer's chance at winning any points in her match tomorrow.
     High on scaffolding and potentially diesel fumes from "Legs", our court elves cleaned every inch of the panels and the floor got a steam clean. Last but not least, the part of the court everyone loves to hate - the dear tin - was installed, leaving Gary and super-volunteer Ross just enough time to enjoy a... chocolate milk?
     While the pros are nestled all snug in their beds, the court elves are finishing up all the last minute details to have everything looking good as new. Action kicks off tomorrow afternoon and we can't wait to see you there!