07 January 2012


The World Series Finals at the Queens Club in London feature those eight players who gathered the most points in the 2011 World Series events. The tournament however is played in January 2012, hence the confusion whether to call it World Series Finals 2011 or 2012. This might be a promoting/marketing issue to be fixed in the future I guess by the PSA/WSA. Anyway, the best match of the third and final group stage day featured newly crowned world #1 James Willstrop and Azlan Iskandar. There was no real stake as James was already qualified for the semis and Azlan was already out as he has lost previously to both Mohamed El Shorbagy and Karim Darwish. Azlan played great squash and ended James' 17 match winning streak. James might not have given it his all, but he was far from playing badly or just letting it go. It was Azlan who was just so much better today compared to the previous days. Azlan is a relaxed, cheerful character and apparently he prefers relaxed situations, when the stake is not that high. For me, this is the only reason why he is not a top5 player. He should probably try to learn from Amr Shabana, the most relaxed character amongst the top players who, in opposition to Iskandar, can be slightly disinterested at less important stages of a tournament but is mostly a god of concentration when it comes to play the big matches.