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01/01/2022
Houston Open 2022

Houston Open 2022

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Houston Open 2022
Men's Draw
04 - 09 Jan
Texas, USA, $110k

ROUND TWO
 05-06 JAN
QUARTERS
  07 JAN
SEMIS
08 JAN
FINAL
09 JAN

[1] Ali Farag (EGY)
11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER)

Ali Farag
11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)
Youssef Ibrahim
Ali Farag
6-11, 11-2, 13-11,
4-11, 11-3 (82m)
Mostafa Asal
Ali Farag
11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3 (50m)
Mazen Hesham
 
[8] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (58m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
[5] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (47m)
[9/16] Mohamed Elsherbini (EGY)
Miguel Rodriguez
11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (40m)
Mostafa Asal
[3] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (46m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)
[9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (54m)
Mazen Hesham
Mazen Hesham
13-11, 11-5, 13-11 (52m)
Gregoire Marche
[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10 (62m)
[9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI)
[7] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Gregoire Marche
8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 (70m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Shahjahan Khan (USA)
13-11, 11-4, 12-10 (54m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)

ROUND ONE

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bye
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) 10-12, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (74m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 18-16, 11-9, 11-7 (61m)
[8] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bye
[5] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bye
[9/16] Mohamed Elsherbini (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (69m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt [9/16] Declan James (ENG) 14-12, 11-8, 11-6 (47m)
[3] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bye
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
[9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [WC] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 12-10, 12-10, 5-10 ret. (40m)
[9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 (67m)
[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bye
[7] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bye
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 11-7, 11-7, 11-1 (27m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt [9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA) 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10 (81m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
Related News:

REPORTS

Farag Defeats Hesham To Lift Houston Open Title

Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag started the year in the best possible way, as he got the better of compatriot Mazen Hesham in four games to claim the first silverware on offer in 2022, winning the PSA World Tour Gold level Houston Open in Texas.

It was the tenth contest between the Egyptian duo on the PSA World Tour, with the World No.1 having won eight of the previous nine, including their last six meetings. Hesham’s only success over his fellow countryman came back in 2015, in the quarter finals of the Qatar Classic.

Farag started strongly, aiming to keep that good run going, and although ‘the Falcon’ was able to level the first at 6-6, a quick burst gave the two-time World Champion the edge, and he took it 11-6 to lead. However, that Hesham fought back in the second, and although he saw the World No.1 save three game balls, he was eventually able to convert it 11-8 to level the match.

It continued to be a struggle for Farag early on in the third, but he weathered the storm, and then managed to get back on the front foot of the middle part of the game and he established his dominance once more.

That continued into the fourth, where the World No.1 was able to run away with it in the end, cruising to victory after 50 minutes of action. Farag secured his 25th title on the PSA World Tour, and the first Gold level title in Houston.

“I don’t think I necessarily started shakily, as much I get edgy playing Mazen because of how skilful he is,” Farag said after the match.


Ali Farag

“You’re always on your toes, you don’t know what to expect in the next shot, I don’t think he knows what to expect it, and that is how skilful he is. It makes you very edgy and as much as I am happy about this win, I am extremely happy for Mazen as well.

“Mazen and I actually started out on Tour together and I was looking up to him when we first started and he made it to the semi-finals of a Platinum event at a very young age and he has been unlucky a lot of niggles, a lot of injuries. He has been battling hard, I see him every day in training, we share a lot of things together and finally, he is where he deserves, and it is only going to get better for him, so I am extremely happy for Mazen, for sure!

“I am blessed with what I have achieved so far in my squash career and in my life. I have a beautiful wife back home, I tried to reach her but she is sleeping right now. I have a beautiful daughter, and my family, everyone! Talking about here, I am extremely happy to be here, extremely happy to have won the first Gold event here in Houston. What Jahanzeb [Khan] has done here in amazing. He has built a community out of almost nothing. Our sport needs people like you so we can’t thank you enough!

“The main sponsor, Champion Fibreglass, thank you so much for supporting us. It means a lot to us! A few more words about Mazen, because we share a lot of things. We share a fitness trainer, who is very important to our hearts! To our strength and conditioning expert as well, we can’t thank them enough.

“We share the same club, Wadi Degla, as we like to call it, the ‘Community of Champions’. We share the same sponsor, Expression Networks, and most of all, we share a great friendship that I think will last a long time beyond our squash career. I am honoured to share a court with him today and hopefully it is the first of many to come!”

Hesham said: “It is a week of firsts. I am really happy, it doesn’t look like it, but I am really happy with what I have achieved this week. I have had a few milestones in this tournament, mentally and physically.

“I wish I could have performed better, but my shins didn’t help me in the end. All credit to Ali, he is a champion, he is the World No.1. He deserves to be in his place, he deserves to be in this position and hopefully next time, and one day, I will be in this position, if a few things happen my way!

“I want to thank everyone here for coming and cheering me on. You guys know how much I love you, how much I like playing here. I want to thank Jahanzeb Khan, and all the hard work he has put in. Everybody here, people are great to me here, I will keep coming and hopefully next time I will be the champion.”
 
Farag And Hesham To Meet In Houston
Open Final




World No.1 Ali Farag and Egypt’s Mazen Hesham will face off in the final of the PSA World Tour Gold level Houston Open after the pair got the better of Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and Frenchman Gregoire Marche in their respective last four clashes at the Houston Squash Club.

Farag and Asal were facing off for the 11th time on Tour, and the World No.1 came in to the contest with a 9-1 advantage over the ‘Raging Bull’, but it was the youngster who started the stronger of the two, pinning Farag behind him on court, as he held control.

However, a quick fire second game saw the two-time World Champion tie the match, before then going on to win the third on a tight tie-break, 13-11. Asal fought back once more though, to take the fourth and send the match into a decider.

The fifth game became slightly scrappier, with several stoppages due to refereeing decisions. Farag was able to keep his composure to take the victory, his tenth over Asal, and to move through into the final in Houston.

“It’s never easy playing Mostafa. I think both of us are better squash players than what we produced today,” Farag explained.

“Today was very [fragmented], with lots of stoppages and I think we enjoy playing more free-flowing squash. The crowd deserves more free-flowing squash, but it is what it is. Some matches you have to get through like this. I’m just glad that I’m through.”


“Thanks to Mike Way, my head coach at Harvard. Ever since my Harvard years, he taught me that – and I know it’s a cliche – but you can only control the things you can control. I try not to get distracted by any outside circumstances; I try to focus on the task at hand. In the fourth, I was totally blown away. It wasn’t good. But I had to let it go to regroup in the fifth and thankfully I did that. But again, it wasn’t the prettiest squash.”

“Mostafa’s only 20 years old and we’ve already played over ten times. It’s a testament to how good he is. He’s reaching the latter stages of tournaments from a very young age. I wish I was like that when I was his age! The scary thing is that he’s only going to get better from here.”

Farag will face compatriot Mazen Hesham in Sunday’s final at Houston Squash Club, after the Egyptian overcame the challenge of France’s Gregoire Marche, winning in straight games to book his place into a Gold level final on the PSA World Tour for the first time in his career.


Mazen Hesham

The Egyptian, who has struggled with injuries throughout most of his career, is back to his best, and he was able to show that from the off against the Frenchman, with both men having come through five-game battles on quarter finals night.

After ‘the Falcon’ claimed the first game on a tie-break, he was able to carry that momentum through the second game, where he doubled his advantage. However, Marche fought back in the third, and Hesham had to save several game balls. He did, and at the second time of asking, took the victory to secure his place in Sunday’s final.

“First of all, I’m really happy with the way I am at the moment. Im here playing and enjoying my squash again, showing what I can do and playing the brand of squash I want to play, entertaining people and entertaining myself, hearing people cheering and loving squash every day,” Hesham explained.

“I have mixed feelings to be honest. If you’d told me a week ago that I was going to be in the final, I would say I think I deserve it. Of course, after what God gave me, and with God’s blessing, I did enough hard work. I’ve been working, battling injuries for six or seven years now and even yesterday I was battling injuries.

“Ali Farag and I are good friends. Of course, he’s World No.1 and even though I have [beaten him], the head-to-head record goes to him. So I need to come back for one more day tomorrow, put on a show, match him up and hopefully the crowd will enjoy it. May the best player win!”

The final will take place tomorrow, Sunday, January 9, at 16:00 (GMT-6) with live action being shown on  SQUASHTV.

For more information on the Houston Open, visit the PSA World Tour Website or follow events on Twitter or Facebook,
 
Hesham And Marche Reach Maiden Gold Semi-finals At Houston Open

Egypt’s Mazen Hesham and France’s Gregoire Marche have both made it into their first PSA World Tour Gold level semi-finals, after they defeated Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy and England’s Nathan Lake, respectively, to reach the last four at the Houston Open in Texas.

Hesham caused the only upset of quarter finals day, as he defeated compatriot, and No.4 seed, Marwan ElShorbagy, to make it into the last four of an event for the first time since reaching the semi-finals of the Ohana Malaysian Open in October 2017.

The odds were stacked heavily against Hesham coming into the contest, as he had never beaten ‘the Jackal’ in their previous five meetings, while he also had to come through a five-game battle in his second round match with Nicolas Mueller 24 hours before this contest.

However, ‘the Falcon’ made an electric start, hitting winner after winner as ElShorbagy struggled to find his feet in the first game, but the former World No.3 fought back to win the next two games to take the lead in the contest.

Hesham did what he does best though and unleashed some scintillating winners in the fourth game to unsettle ElShorbagy and send the match into a decider, where he kept his focus to seal a landmark win for the 27-year-old.

“These are the ones that stick with you forever,” said Hesham.

“I always feel that it’s my second home here, as if it’s just a 15 minute walk from my house. I think I should have done much better today, but my shins hurt me again. I’m not sure what’s happening, I kept saying to myself that it’s not going to come easy to me.

“I’ve fought so many things during my career and I’m still fighting every day. Something is always happening with my body as soon as I come close to winning. I’ve come a long way with my mental toughness and I’ve been working on myself.”

Hesham will face France’s Gregoire Marche in the semi-finals at Houston Squash Club on Saturday after ‘the Acrobat’ recovered from being two games down to defeat England’s Nathan Lake in a gripping five-game contest to end the evening’s action.


Gregoire Marche

He found himself two games behind in quick fashion, as the Englishman was able to hit perfect line and length throughout the opening exchanges, while Marche struggled to find his rhythm.

However, the momentum swung back in the World No.12’s favour in the third game, and he was able to ride that wave throughout the rest of the contest. Taking a fourth game tie-break was pivotal, before going on to win the fifth to secure his spot in Saturday’s semi-finals.

“Actually, I can’t believe it for now. I think I thought a bit too much about this semi-final,” Marche said.

“I wasn’t moving well in the first two games, I was struggling to see the ball, and all credit to Nathan, he played almost perfectly, controlling every rally, pulling out some amazing shots, so obviously, I just want to see congratulations to him, he deserved to win today. I played with my head today, to play point-by-point and see how it goes, find a little bit of rhythm and find my length.

“It was not the best squash of my career, of course, but I have been working a lot mentally over the last few years and reaching the semis of a Gold event, for me. Of course, the draw was different and helped me a little bit but it is never easy to play these players, they all know how to put the ball away. Every day is a new day and I am just glad I managed to win this one 3-2.”

The other semi-final will see Egypt’s Ali Farag and Mostafa Asal go head-to-head for a place in Sunday’s final at Houston Squash Club, after they defeated Egypt’s Youssef Soliman and Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez, respectively.

The semi-finals take place tomorrow, Saturday, January 8, at 15:00 (GMT-6) with live action being shown on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the Houston Open, visit the PSA World Tour Website or follow events on Twitter or Facebook,
 
Lake Ends Home Hopes At Houston Open To Reach Maiden Gold Quarter Final

England’s Nathan Lake is into a maiden PSA World Tour Gold level quarter final, after defeating USA’s Shahjahan Khan in the last match of the third day’s play at the Houston Open in Texas.

The pair were meeting on Tour for the fourth time, with neither man having reached the last eight of a Gold level tournament before in their career. Lake had won their previous three meetings, which included a victory in the final of the Wakefield PSA, a Challenger 10 level tournament, just prior to Christmas last year.

The Englishman was only featuring in the second round of the tournament due to the late withdrawal of World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy. After losing in the first round to Youssef Soliman, Lake was given the ‘Lucky Loser’ spot to fill the gap left by the ‘Beast from Alexandria’s’ withdrawal.

He used it to his advantage to produce a great display of squash, and after he won the first game on a tie-break, he carried that momentum through the rest of the contest to win it in straight games, to move into the quarter finals of a Gold level event for the first time.

“Absolute rollercoaster. I didn’t know how to feel, obviously very disappointed to lose to [Youssef] Soliman so close,” Lake said after the match.

“Then yesterday, I didn’t know whether to feel pressure that I was back in the tournament, guilty that I was back in, whether I should feel upset that I lost the day before. It’s weird, but I am really happy to have taken advantage of it and won in three.

“Looking forward to it. England v France is always good fun, but of rivalry there from over the years. Just looking forward to playing on this court again, loving the club, great to see a new facility. Looking forward to the battle, he [Greg Marche] played really well today so it will be a good challenge, a good chance to hopefully play some good squash.”

The closest match of the day’s play saw Egypt’s Mazen Hesham get the better of Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in a fifth game tie-break, after both players had their chances to move through to the last eight.

It was a slow start from the Egyptian, as he quickly lost the first game, but he rallied to win the next two games and hold the advantage in the tie, but the Swiss No.1 would not give up.

Mueller secured the fourth to send the match into a decider, where eventually, after several match balls, Hesham was finally able to get over the line, with the No.6 seed making it into the quarter finals in Houston.

“It was really tough today and I had to work until the end,” Hesham explained.

“To be honest, I’m not happy with the way I performed today, I can perform much better than this. All credit to Nicky, he pushed me really hard and he played the right game plan. Not to take anything away from him, but I expected more from myself.

“But a win is a win and I’m happy to win in a tournament like this, it’s very close to my heart. I know everybody here, it’s like a second home here, so it’s really good to win in front of them. I’ll focus on the next round now and see how it goes.”

Hesham will now face World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy in the quarter finals in Houston, after his fellow countryman defeated Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in straight games. Frenchman Gregoire Marche is the other man into the last eight after the third day’s play, where he defeated Egyptian Omar Mosaad in three games.

The semi-finals take place tomorrow, Saturday, January 8, at 15:00 (GMT-6) with live action being shown on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the Houston Open, visit the PSA World Tour Website or follow events on Twitter or Facebook,
 
Rodriguez Stops Egyptian Dominance On Day Two Of Houston Open

Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez made sure it was not an Egyptian whitewash on the second day of the Houston Open, as he got the better of Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini to reach the quarter finals of the PSA World Tour Gold level tournament.

The 2018 British Open champion had only faced off against his Egyptian opponent once before on the Tour, with ElSherbini getting the better of a beleaguered Rodriguez in the quarter finals of the Motor City Open in February 2020.

Unlike that encounter in Detroit, this battle between the pair was tight throughout, with neither man holding a large advantage in any of the three games. At all the right times though, the Colombian was able to steer the match in his favour.

After winning the first game on a tie-break, 12-10, the World No.10 was just able to keep ElSherbini at bay for the rest of the match, winning out in three to book his place in the last eight at Houston Squash Club.

“When we played each other the first time, I was injured, but Mohamed is climbing the rankings and is a talented and skilful player,” the Colombian said.

“I had to put my balls at the back of the court and work with my speed and move the ball around. It worked, the first game was the key, but I kept it patient, was focused and I had a great performance.

“Age is just a number and I’m still enjoying my game. I don’t want to retire soon, so I’m just focusing on being better every day, every year and doing things differently to last year. For now, I’m just happy to be back here in Houston, this is my second or third time, and I’m very grateful to win this match.”

The only all-Egyptian battle of the second day also brought the only upset, as Youssef Soliman overcame No.8 seed Youssef Ibrahim to secure his place in the quarter finals of the Gold level event.

Ibrahim was the higher-ranked player coming into the contest, sitting three places above his compatriot in the world rankings, but it was Soliman that was able to win in straight games, getting the better of the World No.15 in their first ever encounter on the PSA World Tour.

“Today was way different to yesterday, yesterday I was coping with Nathan’s game plan, today I was coping with my nerves,” Soliman said.

“Youssef is up and coming and he’s talented and I tried to contain him. It was a nervy start and a nervy end but I’m glad to be through.

“Ali [Farag] is my training partner, I train with him every day and he teases me every single second. He looks at me and teases me about what I wear, how I play squash, everything, so it will be different. I have to be aggressive against him and it will be exciting.”

Soliman will now face World No.1 Ali Farag, who got his campaign underway with a comfortable victory over Germany’s Raphael Kandra in the opening match of the day. The other match of Wednesday’s action saw Egypt’s Mostafa Asal beat Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann in straight games.

The second round continues tomorrow, Thursday, January 6, at 17:00 (GMT-6) with live action being shown on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the Houston Open, visit the PSA World Tour Website or follow events on Twitter or Facebook,