Category Archives: News

The 2017 Canadian Squash Championship

I had the opportunity to go to Mayfair Lakeshore this past Friday and Saturday to watch the 2017 Canadian Squash Championships. What an incredible 2-days of squash. Having 2 athletes we sponsor in the semi-finals made it pretty exciting for me. We sponsor Mike McCue and Samantha Cornett. Mike was facing Andrew Schnell in the semi’s and Sam was facing Danielle Letourneau.

Mike’s match with Andrew was a big challenge for Mike. He has not beaten Andrew before and Andrew was the higher seeded player. Mike was seeded in the 3/4 position and Andrew Schnell was the #1 seed and defending National Champion. To make things even harder for Mike he had just played Andrew’s brother Graeme. Mike did beat Graeme in 4 games but they were extremely tough games with a match that had gone right around the 1-hour mark. Andrew had made relatively quick work of his quarter final opponent.

The match between Mike and Andrew was an incredibly grueling affair. I am constantly amazed at the court coverage of squash players of this level. In addition, how fit they are to be able to perform at this level over such a close 5-game battle is astounding. I truly believe the average club player would have been struggling fitness wise after the length, and intensity of the first few rallies. The 1st game was extremely close with nobody taking a big league. Andrew played the better squash at the end of it though and won it 11-9. It was Mike’s turn next though as he came back to take the 2nd game in extra points, 12-10. The pattern of close games continued with Mike taking the 3rd 11-8. Andrew though in the next game seemed to find himself and built a lead. Mike seemed to have perhaps lost a bit of focus. In the mid to late part of the game though Mike really found his game again and start to really press. He nearly got the game back to level before finally losing it 11-9. The score was now 2-2 and the 5th looked like it was going to an incredibly tense game. I know I was certainly tense as I was really hoping for Mike to pull the match out. Mike came out strong in the 5th, played a great game and managed to beat Andrew 11-7 and advance to the final. What amazed me the most about Mike’s performance was how focussed and calm he kept himself even in such a tense situation. Neither the pressure of the situation, or the pressure Andrew was putting on him phased him and Mike played up to his full potential in one of the biggest matches of his career. Not an easy thing to do. Congratulations Mike on making your first final! I hope it is the first of many.

On to Sam Cornett’s match. Sam was the #2 seed. She had won the Championship in 2015 but missed last years’ tournament due to injury. Danielle was ranked in the 3/4 spot. The match was very hard fought and close but Danielle seemed to be more of control of it and Sam was having to fight to stay in it. Danielle was really attacking well with some great variations and was taking the ball in short on the boast beautifully. She was really putting Sam under some immense pressure. Danielle went up 2-1 and up in the 4th game with several match balls. Sam played incredibly tough and fought off a couple of them. The last point unfortunately ended in a very hard stroke call against Sam. I was surprised and even some of the people near me that were cheering for Danielle seemed surprised that it was given as a stroke. You can be the judge if you like. As of writing this the video can be viewed below. It is a good match and worth watching. For the point in question pick the play up at 34:30 which is the start of the last point. While I was disappointed that the match ended on that call, Danielle had played extremely well to get to match ball. I was also impressed by Sam’s poise in this situation. I can only imagine how she felt losing the match on a call I am certain she believed was wrong but she handled herself with class. Of that I am not surprised. Sam Cornett is one of the truly great ambassadors for our sport.

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The second day I was there, Saturday was finals day and I was very excited for it. I was hoping for Mike to win his first National Championship. I was also hoping that Sam would win her 3/4 match. Sam seemed to struggle in her match against Nikki Todd. She once again showed her grit and determination though and fought back from 1 down and then again from 2-1 down to level the match up. The 5th game was a very close game as well but Sam managed to win it to finish 3rd. I would also like to congratulation Hollie Naughton who beat Danielle Letourneau in the final. Hollie won in 2016 as well so is a back to back Canadian Champion.

On to the final match to be played. The men’s final featuring Mike McCue versus Nick Sachvie. A 3/4 seed version the other 3/4 seed. The first game of Mike’s match against Nick was close in the beginning of it but Nick built a lead and closed it out well 11-7. The hard work that Mike had put in to get the final looked to have taken a toll on his legs. Nick on the other hand had won all his matches 3-0 and never really looked threatened in any of them. Nick went on to win the final 11-7, 11-5 and 11-5. A truly incredible performance by Nick Sachvie. I would like to congratulate him on winning the 2017 Canadian Squash Championship. There were a lot of people in the crowd that were very happy for Nick. While I was hoping for a McCue victory I too am very happy for Nick. He had a great season on the PSA tour and is now the 2017 Canadian Champion.

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The Canadian Squash Team at the PanAM 2015 Games

PanAm 2015 LogoI had the privilege of going to watch the team event the other day at the PanAm games and I had a blast. What an atmosphere at the event! I am Canadian and to have the games in our own country and so close to home for me was a real treat. The patriotism in the crowd was amazing. Trying to get a seat anywhere near where the Canadian teams were playing was definitely tough but worth the time.

I PanAM Squash Logowent to see one of the qualifying rounds of the team event. The men’s team were playing Colombia and the women’s team playing Brazil. The women’s team consisting of Samantha Cornett, Nikole Todd and Hollie Naughton had no real problem dispatching the Brazilian team but the men were in very tough against Colombia. The Canadian team consisted of Shawn Delierre, Graham Schnell and Andrew Schnell. The Colombian team featured Miguel Rodriguez, Juan Vargas and Andres Herrera.

I was really excited to get to see Miguel play as he was the highest ranking professional player at the games and is such a pleasure to watch. I was of course cheering for Shawn but had not really expected Shawn to really pressure Miguel too much. I was mistaken though as the match ended up going to 5. Shawn played some tremendous squash to win the first and third games and was close in the second and fourth as well. The fifth game though Miguel Rodrigues put the pedal down and showed why he is #4 in the world presently. That put Canada down one match and definitely put the pressure on the Schnell brothers.

Graeme Schnell was next on court against Juan Vargas. The first game was extremely tightly contested going to extra points. Juan Vargas won the first game putting further pressure on the Graeme. Graeme came back strong though in the second and third games. They were both close games but Graeme was able to win both putting the pressure back on Juan. Juan handled the pressure quite well in the fourth game though winning a tight one 11-9 to level the match at 2 games each. Graeme must have been feeling the pressure at this point as though this was only a pool match and the team did not face elimination but I am sure they wanted to win the match and get the best seeding they could going in the quarter finals. Graeme came out very strong in the final game and really put Juan Vargas under pressure. Graeme got out to a good lead when Juan did not like a decision that was made and had a lengthy discussion with the referee about it. He also ended up with a small cut at the same time and took an injury time-out. I was certainly worried that break might change the momentum of the game but it proved to not be an issue for Graeme at all. He quickly won a couple of more points and Juan Vargas seemed to be suffering from cramps in his leg. Graeme closed it out and levelled the Canada vs Colombia match at one game each.

Next up was Graeme’s brother Andrew Schnell facing Andres Herrera. Herrera never looked quite settled in this match. He could not seem to deal with the pace of play that Andrew was playing at. The incredible retrieving of Andrew Schnell was also causing Andres to be quite frustrated. He put his hand up many times signalling a double bounce but Andrew had picked the ball up cleanly. I think it was more out of disbelief than anything that Herrera was questioning if Andrew got the ball. The crowd certainly was amazed at some of the retrievals Andrew made. Andrew never really looked to be in any serious jeopardy in this match winning 11-2, 11-7 and 11-4 to win his match and secure the 2-1 victory for Canada over Colombia.

I had a great night watching the matches and it was also very nice to get to see Samantha Cornett whom we sponsor and Chris Hanson from the USA that we sponsor as well. Both won medals, Samantha winning two silver and one bronze medal and Chris winning two bronze medals.

Congratulations to the Canadian team on winning 6 medals overall. They won 1 gold medal, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals. The Canadian men’s team picked up the gold with an incredible victory in the team event against Mexico. Both the men’s and women’s teams picked up silver in the doubles. Samantha Cornett and Shawn Delierre both picked up bronze medals in the individual event.

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Squash at the 2015 Pan Am Games

With the Pan Am games coming to Toronto from July 7th to July 26th and with squash running from July 11th to July 17th, we are excited to see the great level of squash that will be displayed from both men and women. With a top ten player on each category, there are clear favorites but it won’t be too easy for them as there are potential dark-horses that can come out on top. Here are the favorites for both the men and women as well as the other top contenders:

Women

Favorite: Amanda Sobhy – USA, World Ranking: 10

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Women’s Favorite Amanda Sobhy

The 22 year-old from New York has been turning heads since she was just a teenager. Having claimed three Tour titles at the age of 16, she is a record breaker in the game of squash. In 2010, she became the first player from the USA to win the World Junior Championship. Breaking into the top ten in September 2014 and named PSA Women’s Young Player of the Year in May 2015, she is the favorite to go all the way during this year’s Pan Am games.

But, Sobhy will not have an easy time getting there. With compatriot Olivia Blatchford (World Ranking 37) as well as Canadian Samantha Cornett (World Ranking 33) and Mexican Samantha Teran (World Ranking 30) in the mix, Sobhy will have very strong contenders that could upset her chances at the title. With 24 women aiming for gold, we are guaranteed and intense and action-packed tournament between the best players in the Americas.

Speaking of Samantha Cornett we will definitely be cheering for her being a Canadian company and also one of her sponsors.  Good luck Sam!

Men

Favorite: Miguel Angel Rodriguez – Colombia, World Ranking: 4

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Men’s Favorite Miguel Angel Rodriguez

The first South American to reach the top ten in the world, “The Colombian Cannonball” will try to defend his title after winning gold at the previous games in 2011. Breaking into the top ten in January 2015 and reaching the semi-finals in two major championships in 2015, the Colombian is having his strongest season and will be the men’s favorite to win the event. Arguably the fastest and fittest player on tour, he is always fun to watch and will bring tons of excitement and jaw opening moments on court with his outrageous gets and dives. He will be a very tough one to beat!

However, there are some other very strong players competing for victory. With Canadian Shawn Delierre (World Ranking: 58) and Peruvian Diego Elias (World Ranking: 43) on the main draw, the Colombian will have to work hard to get past these players. After defeating compatriot Andrew Schnell (World Ranking: 92) in the final of the 2015 Canadian National Singles Squash Championships in May 2015, Delierre comes to this tournament in strong form. Elias comes in strong as well after recently winning the Costa Rica Tennis Club Open last month; the 6’2’’, 18 year-old will make some noise as he aims for the top spot at the tournament.

On the men’s side we are hoping for a strong showing by the Canadian men. We would also like to wish Chris Hanson good luck as well as one of our sponsored athletes.

Squash at the Pan Am games will be a must watch for everyone since it brings the best players in the Americas against each other. There will be world class squash and if you live in or near Toronto, you shouldn’t miss this event. Hopefully the world can see how beautiful and competitive squash is, and how much talent the Americas bring to the sport.

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We are proud to now be sponsoring Samantha Cornett

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce that we are now sponsoring Sam Cornett for her court footwear. Sam plays in ASICS. Sam is an incredible squash player and is also a real ambassador for the game. We at Control the ‘T’ Sports are very proud to be associated with such an outstanding individual.

Jessica DiMauro, Sam’s personal coach, former junior women’s national coach, and high performance player had this to say about Sam:

“Sam Cornett is driven, talented and professional. A fierce but fair competitor, Sam will let nothing stand in the way of her goals. Not only one of the best women’s squash players to come out of Canada, she is also highly-regarded as one of the nicest and more promising players on the women’s pro tour. We are lucky to have Sam representing Canada as she is a great ambassador for squash here at home and around the world.”

Samantha Cornett Gold MedalThe opportunity to sponsor Sam came from a chance meeting at the National Squash Academy. I was there to watch an event as was Sam. I introduced myself and brought up the subject of sponsoring her for her footwear. I knew she played in ASICS and I also knew some other shoe companies had looked at sponsoring her. As a retailer, rather than a manufacturer we have a fairly unique opportunity of being able to work with the player to find the correct shoe for them and are not limited by brand. Court shoes are critical in squash, as they are in any sport where movement is important and finding the pair of shoes that best suit the player is imperative. For Sam finding the correct pair meant sticking with what she was already playing in, a pair of ASICS.

Sam’s current stop on the WSA tour is the Granite Open in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Granite Open is a WSA Silver 25 event and as of writing this Sam has just made it through the qualifying draw. Best of luck in the main draw Sam!

To check out our selection of ASICS shoes please click here. We also carry Sam’s signature racquet from Black Knight which you can check out here.

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The New Squash Racquets from Prince Have Arrived in Canada

They were not quick to arrive but we are sure glad they have. Prince is set to make a real resurgence in the squash market. They have completely revamped their lineup for this squash season which is the first time they have done so in years. Ramy Ashour is endorsing a new racquet. There are some very familiar technologies in this years lineup; EXO3 and Power Ring. A new technology in the Prince lineup for this season is their PowerBite technology. There are also some familiar model names such as the Rebel, Pro Tour and Airstick. There are some new model names as well such as the Pro Beast and Pro Shark models. Continue reading

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Control the ‘T’ Sports Has a New Home

I am very excited to announce that Control the ‘T’ Sports has moved and we are now located in the beautiful Northfield Racquet and Fitness Club in Waterloo Ontario. Northfield has a terrific squash program and great squash facilities. With 5 singles squash courts and a new doubles court squash is thriving at Northfield. We have a terrific selection of squash gear and believe we can really be of benefit to the squash community at Northfield and to the squash community in the Kitchener and Waterloo area in general.

Northfield Racquet and Fitness Club

We have squash gear in our shop for players that are new to the game and for those who have played for years. We also are here to help. We love to answer questions about squash whether that be about racquets, shoes, other squash gear or even about the sport itself. If you are in the KW area and have been looking for a local squash store please do come check us out. The pro shop has been freshly renovated and is bright, clean, organized and stocked with the latest squash gear. We look forward to seeing you!

Control the ‘T’ Sports
155 Northfield Drive West,
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5J3
Canada

Pro Shop Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10-2 and 4-8
Saturday: 10-5

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Qatar Classic 2013 – Nick Matthew and the Hi-Tec Infinity Flare

Edit – Please read comments below as it appears that Nick may not have been wearing the Infinity Flare but an older model that was altered to have the same colour scheme.

Nick Matthew and Mohamed Elshorbaby at the Qatar Classic 2013

Photo credit to www.squashsite.co.uk

The Qatar Classic 2013 Championship just finished and what a tournament it was. There were a number of unexpected upsets. Daryl Selby took out James Willstrop, Borja Golan elminated Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed Elshorbagy beat Karim Darwish. That left us with a Nick Matthew vs Mohamed Elshorbaby final. What a final it was. A massive battle between two tremendous players. Shorbagy came through and won his first World Series event with a hard fought 5-game victory.

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Daryl Selby – Black Knight Magnum Corona 6

@BK_1976 the Twitter Account of Black Knight in the UK has been busy this week asking people who their newest sponsored player was in the video below.

Today it was finally revealed who the player was. Many had been able to guess already but it was confirmed by Black Knight to be Daryl Selby

Daryl Selby

They did not announce the racquet he has selected to play with but it looks like and I have been able to confirm it is the Black Knight Corona6.

Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash Racquet

Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 Squash Racquet

Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 as used by Daryl Selby

Signing Daryl Selby is a great choice for Black Knight. The highest profile player they have signed currently other than Daryl is David Palmer but he is no longer playing on the PSA Tour having retired. Having someone that has been a top 10 player and may well return to the top 10 in their lineup gives Black Knight some excellent exposure. Daryl Selby is someone that often goes deep in to the PSA tournaments so he will be seen on PSAsquashtv.com regularly as well as of course in person at the tournaments. We should get to see Daryl in action with his new Black Knight Magnum Corona6 shortly in the upcoming World Team Championships.

We have the Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 for sale here: Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 Squash Racquet

We have previously reviewed it here: Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash Racquet Review

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Thank you Peter Nicol and Tim Garner

We at Control the ‘T’ Sports would like to thank Peter Nicol, Tim Garner and their sponsors for the wonderful event that was the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge.   Continue reading

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Davenport North American Open 2013 Edition – The Quarters

This year’s tournament is proving to be very entertaining.  The round of 16 has just finished and there has already been a few terrific matches.  The match between Simon Rosner and Omar Mosaad in particular was really entertaining yesterday and was really fun to watch.  The momentum swings were incredible as was the pace of the ball.  I could not believe how hard Mosaad was hitting.  The commentary on @_SquashTV about how hard they were hitting and how loud it was at the venue was hilarious.  The other match that was fantastic was the Tarek Momen versus Chris Gordon match.  Twitter was absolutely abuzz with conversation about this match and Gordon’s terrific effort in this match.

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