Twelve months on from his final heartbreak,
world number 121 Anthony Graham finally ended his Madeira International
hoodoo by triumphing over Carsten Schoor to record his first tournament
victory at the Onda Revital Club.
The Zimbabwe-born Graham, a two-time losing finalist at the event, never
looked in danger against Schoor as he romped to victory 11-2 11-7 11-5 in
just under 30 minutes on Saturday evening.
"I’m really chuffed to win the tournament after losing in the final twice,"
admitted the Gloucestershire-based Graham.
“It’s really difficult tournament and I will definitely try and come back
and win the tournament again because I love playing here.
“I felt in control for most of the game and I was really happy with my body
after a really tough semi final. It’s been a really worthwhile trip and
hopefully I can build on the win ahead of the new PSA season.”
Both players had just over five hours recuperation after their semi-final
wins and despite needing 69 minutes to defeat Jens Schoor, it was Graham who
looked the fresher of the two.
A litany of errors proved to be Schoor’s undoing in the first game as Graham
raced into an unassailable 7-0 lead in the opening game.
Much to the German’s annoyance, his erratic display continued into the
second and Graham quickly opened up a 2-0 lead; much to the delight of the
Seemingly wilting under the pressure, Schoor attempted to mount a comeback
and spiritedly reeled off four successive points to give himself a fighting
chance at 6-5 down in the third game.
Typically, though, Graham responded immediately and regained the initiative
by cutting off the forehand widths from his opponent with a devastating
display of touch from the mid-court.
Five consecutive points later and Graham was left celebrating his first
victory on Madeiran soil; a feat which left Schoor ruing his error-strewn
“I really thought I had a very good chance of winning and maybe I ended up
putting too much pressure on myself,” admitted a philosophical Schoor.
“The first game I was very nervous and I made about five or six errors in
every game so I pretty much handed him half of the points without him having
to work that hard.
“But Anthony played very well. There were some big rallies during the game
and he got every ball back and I actually think he played better than he did
this morning against Jens.
“I can still take some positives out of this tournament because I knew it
would be tough to get to the final. My next tournament will be at the
European Club Championships in Italy so hopefully I can use the next two
months training to eliminate the kind of errors that cost me the match
Earlier in the evening, last year’s winner Jens Schoor eased past Spaniard
Iker Parajes to claim third place. Victory, though, would have proved scant
consolation for the pre-tournament favourite after the German number two
failed to retain his trophy.
Elsewhere, there were also victories for co-tournament organiser Luis
Ferreira, Luis Santos and Englishman Michael Catling, who each claimed the
consolation Plate Prizes in categories A, B and C respectively.
click on pictures
for larger view
Anthony Graham Collected His Winner's Trophy From Roland Bachmeier,
The Head of
Galo Resort Hotels
Dr. João Pedro Mendonça,The President Of The Tennis Association In
Presented Carsten Schoor
With His Runners Up Trophy
Anthony Graham and Carsten Schoor Pose For Pictures Before Their Match
On Saturday Evening
Carsten Schoor Struggled To Deal With Anthony Graham's Prowess At
The Front Of The Court
The Players Watched On As The Sponsors Delivered Their
Speeches At The Post-Finals Celebration
click on pictures
for larger view
Men’s Final: Anthony
Graham (ENG) bt Carsten Schoor (GER) 11-2 11-7 11-5
Third Place Playoff: Jens Schoor (GER) bt Iker Pajares (ESP) 11-8
Plate A Final: Luis Ferreira (POR) bt Milton Teixeira (POR) 11-3
11-6 12-14 11-8
Plate B Final: Luis Santos (POR) bt Gonçalo Miranda (POR) 14-12
Plate C Final: Michael Catling (ENG) bt Ricardo Augusto (POR)
11-6 11-2 11-5
Defending Champion Knocked Out As Graham
Anthony Graham avenged his final defeat to
Jens Schoor twelve months ago to knockout the defending champion and secure
a third successive final at the Madeira International Squash Tournament.
In a match dominated by moments of brilliance and stoppages in equal
measure, Graham battled past the German number two 11-4 8-11 13-11 13-11 in
69 gruelling minutes at the Onda Revital Club.
But while one brothers challenge ended in the last four, Carsten Schoor
advanced through to his sixth final this year with a dominating 11-7 12-10
11-3 victory over Spanish youngster Iker Pajares
It was Graham’s win, however, which caused the most talking points as
several let calls and debatable stroke decisions threatened to overshadow an
otherwise mesmerising encounter.
With the match finely poised at one game all, both players had opportunities
to take the third game before a tinned forehand drop by Schoor handed Graham
And despite needing to save a further two game balls in the fourth, the
Gloucestershire-based 23-year-old held his nerve to knockout the world
number 77 and tournament favourite.
“It was a really tough game and I was very much up and down all the way
through,” admitted Graham.
“I wanted to break the rhythm as much as possible because Jens is really
smart at playing up and down the wall but there were times where I lost my
game plan and struggled with my length.
“But I was really happy to recover my discipline and generally I thought I
attacked at the right moments and defended really well. I just need to
retain that discipline for the final as well.”
In the morning’s other semi-final, Carsten Schoor capitalised on a clearly
fatigued Pajares to continue his run to the final without dropping a game.
The German number six stormed through the opening game and although the
second was a much tighter affair, Schoor remained patient and utilised his
own freshness to punish Pajares with a series of intense rallies.
While Schoor was quick to point out that the Spaniard was feeling the
after-effects of beating world number 85 Oliver Pett less than 24 hours
earlier, he was nevertheless pleased to make his first final in Madeira.
“The organisers said to me that I can only come again next year if I win the
tournament so that provided a little bit of pressure ahead of the match,”
joked the world number 307.
“I think he [Pajares] was a little bit tired from yesterday which you could
really see in the third game but I felt like I was hitting the ball really
“It was a surprise to see [Graham win] and I would have loved to have played
Jens today in the final. But I think my chances are quite good because
Anthony looked quite tired after his match today so hopefully I can use that
to my advantage.
click on pictures
for larger view
Anthony Graham And Jens Schoor Failed To See Eye-To-Eye On A Number Of
Anthony Graham Advanced Into His Third Successive Madeira
International Final After Victory Over Jens Schoor
Carsten Schoor Was Always One Step Ahead Of His Opponent
Iker Pajares Was Looking For A Repeat Of His Surprise Quarter Final
Victory Against Oliver Pett
Top Seeds Cruise Through As
Portuguese Pretenders Fall
German number two Jens Schoor began the
defence of his Madeira International title with two commanding displays as
the second and third rounds were concluded amid a frenzied four hours on
With little room for recuperation during a packed schedule of matches, the
fitness of the PSA Tour professionals became immediately apparent as several
regional players floundered under the intensity and longevity of points.
In contrast, Schoor barely seemed to break sweat as the 26-year-old trounced
Portuguese duo Victor Patricio and Pedro Castro to setup a quarter final
meeting with local favourite Pedro Gomes.
Schoor’s younger brother, Carsten, also advanced into the last eight, with a
similarly imperious display of squash to defeat Roberto Abreu and
co-tournament organiser Milton Teixeira.
The 24-year-old will now face Pedro Damaso for a place in the semi final,
after the Portuguese number four triumphed over fellow compatriots Eduardo
Farinha and Bruno Silva respectively.
English duo Oliver Pett and Anthony Graham also began their tournaments with
relatively straightforward victories and remain on course for potential last
four meetings against their German counterparts.
Pett, though, will be wary about the challenge posed by quarter final
opponent Iker Pajares, who lived up to his billing as a potential dark-horse
by overcoming Elvio Melim and Ricardo Sá in straight games.
The Barcelona-born Pajeres is already ranked 367th in the world at the age
of just 17 and after breezing through his opening round matches, the
tournament debutant is excited by the prospect of facing a two-time PSA
“I’m really looking forward to playing him,” said the Spanish number seven.
“He is ranked 85th in the world and it will be a really difficult match
because I am still very young and I have no real experience yet.
“But I've played two European tournaments in the past few weeks and I think
my performances have been quite good so I will just try my best and
hopefully I can cause him some problems.”
click on pictures
for larger view
Oliver Pett Will Face Spanish Youngster Iker Pajares For A Place In The
Co-Tournament Organiser Milton Teixeira Struggled For Fitness
Against Carsten Schoor
Iker Pajares Has Impressed
In His First Appearance At The Tournament
Jens Schoor Didn't Seem Too Impressed Refereeing His Brother's Match
Anthony Graham Was Pushed Harder Than Expected Against Co-Tournament
PSA Seeds Watch On As Portugal
Showcases Its Local Talent
For a region renowned for its
tranquillity and serenity, there was unerring sense of irony as the
first round of the Madeira International Squash Tournament began
with a franticness juxtaposing its very perception.
With the tournament press conference finishing just moments earlier,
the first round matches began almost immediately, with a large
Portuguese contingent taking centre stage at the Onda Revital Club
in Hotel Galosol.
As Oliver Pett, Anthony Graham and the Schoor brothers watched on
from the sidelines after receiving byes into the next round, 40
players battled against the humid conditions to join them in the
Buoyed by a smattering of local support, co-tournament organisers
Luis Ferreira and Ricardo Sardinha justified their ‘outsider’
statuses with comfortable straight game victories to advance into
the second round.
fellow tournament organiser Milton Teixeira (right) was one of the
first to book an early spot in the third round thanks to the
combination of a first round bye and a 3-0 win over Ricardo Passos.
Teixeira was later joined by four other compatriots in the last 16,
with Bruno Silva and João Gonçalves needing five games to progress
in gripping encounters over Paulo Oliveira and Gonçalo Miranda
With all second round matches determined, attention will now shift
back to the PSA-ranked players who are all scheduled to begin their
campaigns on Thursday evening.
The 14th edition of the
Madeira International Squash Tournament begins in earnest this
evening, with German number two Jens Schoor leading a multicultural
field of regional, national and international players.
The event, sponsored by Diario de
Noticias, will see over 50 players competing across four days at
the Onda Revital Club in Hotel Galosol, with a strong PSA contingent
pitting their wits against exciting and unproven Portuguese talent.
Defending champion Schoor is seeded
to win a second successive Madeira crown and after picking up two
PSA tour titles already this year, the new world number 77 is
hopeful that he can continue his form into the new season.
“I had an amazing year last season
and won lots of titles with the German national team,” recalls the
“Since my last PSA tour title, I’ve
managed to move up from 84 in the world to 77 and I feel like I’m
playing some very good squash at the moment. I played here in
Madeira last year and I really liked it, not to mention I won it as
well which helped.
“I almost use the event as a training
facility as well because they have some great courts, a good gym and
the organisation is perfect. All in all, it is a great tournament
and it’s certainly a good test ahead of the PSA season.”
Schoor is joined in the draw by world
number 85 Oliver Pett and Zimbabwe-born Anthony Graham, who will be
looking to avenge his final defeat 12 months ago.
Carsten Schoor and 17-year-old
Spanish starlet Iker Pajares also lurk ominously in the bottom half
of the field and provided they can negotiate the early rounds, Pett
may need to beat both players to make the final.
Much of the early focus, though, will
be placed on the regional players, with all PSA-ranked players
receiving byes into the second round. And with the event set to
welcome a representative from the government as well, co-tournament
organiser Ricardo Sardinha is excited by squash’s growing reputation
“It is the biggest tournament we have
in the country,” explains Sardinha.
“So many players are enthusiastic
about the event and the standard is constantly improving. We have 56
players competing this week and it great to see the popularity
growing every year and more people playing the sport.”