Nick Wall impresses in PSA Canadian Open all-British quarter-final

February 15 2023

Nick Wall carried his impressive form into his all-British quarter-final at the Oxford Properties Canadian Open against Joel Makin before eventually being denied 9-11 12-14 1-11 by the Welshman on the all-glass show court at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary.

Makin looked to impose his attritional style from the opening exchanges with tight accurate hitting which eventually saw him resist a strong comeback from his English opponent to take the opening game 11-9.

Evenly contested rallies continued in the second game with Nick looking to step-up the court to take time away from the second seed & attack the front corners with greater range & freedom. The strategy earned the Englishman a 9-5 lead, but the young Englishman was able to convert the advantage as Makin reverted to his fast-paced attritional style to force a tiebreak & take the game 14-12.

In the third game, Makin sought to maintain the high tempo in the challenging high-altitude conditions & eventually progressed to the semi-finals with a hard-earned 51-minute victory.

Oxford Properties PSA Canadian Squash Open:
Men’s Quarter-Finals:
[2] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Nick Wall (ENG) 11-9 14-12 11-1

England’s Nick Wall produced a stunning performance at the Oxford Properties Canadian Open to beat sixth Dimitri Steinmann of Switzerland 12-10 11-9 11-4 on the all-glass show court at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary.

The young Englishman overcame a 19-place ranking deficit to reach his biggest quarter-final to date on the PSA World Tour with a combination of tough resilience & spectacular winners. Nick was on the receiving end of several tough rallies in the opening exchanges but weathered the storm to force errors from Steinmann, demonstrating a strong mentality to close-out an impressive 37-minute victory.

“I’m happy with how I played compared to yesterday. I think I was more solid & disciplined; the first two games were so tight & to just keep doing what I was doing & to keep my head was so important. I thought the pace was quite slow, he’s super quick & fit so I tried to take that away from him with some holds & stuff that worked well.

“I think having the five games yesterday helped. The match didn’t take too much out of me physically so although that wasn’t the plan, I think it helped me.

“With this court, it comes off the front wall fast but you get time in the back corners so you can think about what shot you want to play & there’s time to hold. When it’s dead, you’re rushing to get the ball before it dies so it felt comfortable on there.

“I don’t really look at players’ rankings, I don’t think about it too much. I’m obviously aware because he’s the higher seed & didn’t play yesterday but I just try & play well against everyone & impose my own game and treat every match the same way.”

Oxford Properties PSA Canadian Squash Open:
2nd Round:
Nick Wall (ENG) bt [6] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 12-10 11-9 11-4

Todd Harrity denied by Nicolas Mueller at PSA Canadian Open
Despite another solid performance at the Oxford Properties Canadian Open, Todd Harrity was unable to progress beyond Nicolas Mueller of Switzerland who closed-out an 11-7 11-7 11-8 victory on the all-glass show court at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary.

The 3-time US Champion & Swiss No.1 had only met twice previously on the PSA World Tour, the most recent being at the 2022 El Gouna Squash International in Egypt where Mueller had triumphed in four games. The Swiss World No.14 was sharp from the outset of their 2nd round match, taking a dominant position in the middle of the court & never surrendering his dominance.

Taking the ball early, attacking the back corners & looking to pounce on any loose returns left the American forced to hit outright winners, but couldn’t prevent his Swiss opponent from reaching the final eight with a 31-minute victory.

Oxford Properties PSA Canadian Squash Open:
2nd Round:
[3] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 11-7 11-7 11-8

Nick Wall beats Canadian No.1 David Baillargeon in PSA Canadia Open
Nick Wall ended home hopes at the Oxford Properties Canadian Open with a hard-fought 49-minute 7-11 11-6 11-3 10-12 11-3 victory over Canadian No.1 David Baillargeon to progress to the second round at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary.

Despite a slow start by the young Englishman which saw him lose the first game, the defending Canadian Open Champion switched the momentum of the match through a more consistent & penetrative length which allowed him to play to his strengths of volleying & attacking the front of the court.

After establishing a 2-1 lead however, Baillargeon battled his way back into the contest to claim the fourth game on a tie-break.

Despite forcing a fifth & deciding game, the match quickly ran away from the Canada with his English opponent once again hitting a more penetrative length which forced Baillargeon into several unforced errors.

“Definitely room for improvement there but credit to him, he played well,” said Nick Wall after match. “But from my point of view, I lost my concentration in patches which you can’t do at this level. It was an interesting match with two left handers & the good stuff was pretty good I thought but I will have to be a lot more disciplined tomorrow for sure.

“First match in these conditions, with the altitude & quite a bright glass court is tough so glad to be through. But having said that, getting five games on there that hasn’t taken too much out of me physically could be a good thing heading into tomorrow,” added the Englishman who face Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann in the 2nd round.

Oxford Properties PSA Canadian Squash Open:
1st Round:
Nick Wall (ENG) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 7-11 11-6 11-3 10-12 11-3

Todd Harrity beats Bernat Jaume at PSA Canadian Open
3-time US Champion Todd Harrity closed-out day one at the Oxford Properties Canadian Open with an impressive 31-minute 11-5 11-6 11-3 victory over Bernat Jaume of Spain.

Despite losing to the Spaniard in their previous encounter on the PSA World Tour, Todd controlled the match from the start & showed no signs of any nerves as he quickly found his length on the all-glass showcourt.

The American produced intelligent & accurate squash which as well as forcing errors from his Spanish opponent also provided the platform to attack with greater effect with the volley to secure a place in the 2nd round against Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller.

“I knew the court plays fast, so I knew I had to be ready for that,” said the America after the match. “I was very focused, Bernat [Jaume] is a good player, he’s beaten me before so it could have happened again. I made sure I was ready, I stayed up on the T & pushed the pace & I’m really happy with the win.”

“I’ve been paying more attention to my fitness recently, before, my work in the gym was like ticking a box & then I could go & have fun & play squash but now I have more purpose in my fitness.

“The altitude does affect you. I feel like you get out of breath easier. When I first arrived a few days ago I really felt it on court, but today I was okay & I’m feeling good for my match with Nicolas.”

Oxford Properties PSA Canadian Squash Open:
1st Round:
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 11-5 11-6 11-3

Nick Wall, Todd Harrity & Rory Stewart to contest PSA Canadian Open
The Oxford Properties Canadian Open starts today at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary & will feature #teamunsquashable players Nick Wall, Todd Harrity & Rory Stewart.

Defending Canadian Open Champion Nick Wall will face David Baillargeon in his opening match which is a repeat of last year’s final when the young Englishman defeated the Canadian in four games on the all-glass show court erected in the atrium of the spectacular Bow Valley Square venue in downtown Calgary Alberta.

3-time US Champion Todd Harrity will face Bernat Jaume of Spain in his opening match, whilst Scotland’s Rory Stewart will play Auguste Dussourd of France.

All matches will be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

Oxford Properties Canadian Open 2023 Presented by Airsprint Private Aviation
Men’s 1st Round Draw:
Rory Stewart (SCO) v [9/16] Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
[9/16] Todd Harrity (USA) v Bernat Jaume (ESP)
[9/16] Nick Wall (ENG) v David Baillargeon (CAN)