Leading international squash players are competing in the world mixed team championship which began at Hove, England, on Tuesday (6 February).
Leading international squash players are competing in the world mixed team championship which began at Hove, England, on Tuesday (6 February). The competition ignores the traditional tournament format, in favour of a league points system. four teams are competing in this, the first year of the event. They are from Great Britain, New Zealand, and two from the rest of the world. Each team is made up of one man and one woman player. Over the next three months each team will play each other once, and the points gained in each match will be plotted on a league table. The two top teams on points after the six qualifying leg matches go through to the final.
SYNOPSIS: The opening match brought together the long-established star, Jonah Barrington of Britain, a left hander who is now ranked number seven in the world ratings, and Bruce Brownlee of New Zealand, rated number six.
Brownlee, who turned professional only eighteen months ago, is the highest ranked New Zealander ever. He is twenty-four years old, fourteen years younger than Barrington. But, although he once said he intended to take on the world's best players and beat them right to the top, he was not able to defeat his opponent in this event. Barrington took the first game nine-three.
Brownlee fared little better in the second game, losing to Barrington nine-six. Barrington's superb play during the match was even more remarkable because he underwent a serious elbow operation last summer.
Match point for Barrington, and a disappointment for the young New Zealander. After is operation, Barrington was out of major competitions until November. Since then, he has beaten Brownlee three times. An impressive performance for a player many critics have said is at the end of his career.