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WIndy City Open 2016

LATEST | News | DRAW | REPORTS | Previews | Qualifying 
First Round | Second round |Quarter Finals | Semi Finals | Final




Windy City Open 2016
Men's Draw
23 Feb - 02 Mar
Chicago, USA,  $150k
First Round
25-26 Feb
second Round
27-28 Feb
29 Feb
01 Mar
02 Mar
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (34m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-9, 11-6, 18-16 (44m)
Mohamed Abouelghar
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (53m)
Simon Rösner
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-5, 12-10, 11-7 (41m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez


Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-6, 11-3, 1-0 retired (22m)
Nick Matthew
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 10-12,
11-6 (62m)
[Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Gregoire Marche (FRA)
9-11, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10,
11-3 (77m)
Max Lee (HKG)
Max Lee
11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10 (61m)
Simon Rösner
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (39m)
[5] Simon Rösner (GER)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8,
11-7 (79m)
[Q] Paul Coll (NZL)
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 11-6 (73m)
Marwan ElShorbagy
Marwan ElShorbagy
11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (43m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-13, 11-9 (74m)
[Q] Leo Au (HKG)
Tom Richards (ENG)
11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (60m)
[Q] Raphael Handra (GER)
Tom Richards
11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 12-10 (74m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Chris Simpson (ENG)
11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10 (76m)
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 (75m)
James Willstrop (ENG)
Omar Mosaad
13-15, 11-1, 11-7, 11-1 (50m)
Saurav Ghosal
Omar Mosaad
11-8, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8 (84m)
Mathieu Castagnet
Omar Mosaad
11-4, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (61m)
Nick Matthew
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (73m)
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Daryl Selby (ENG)
12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (51m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Daryl Selby
11-7, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9 (70m)
Mathieu Castagnet
Ali Farag (EGY)
8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-1 (71m)
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
12-14, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 (77m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Tarek Momen
8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (48m)
Diego Elias
Tarek Momen
11-4, 11-5, 13-11 (47m)
Nick Matthew
Fares Dessouki (EGY)
7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (57m)
[Q] Diego Elias (PER)
Borja Golan (ESP)
11-5, 13-11, 5-11, 11-4 (51m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Borja Golan
10-12, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 14-12 (109m)
Nick Matthew
[WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (35m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Results - Men's Qualifying Finals:
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [L] Oliver Pett (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12 (68m)
[6] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [15] Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 (71m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [9] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (77m)
[2] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [11] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-2: 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6 (66m)
[3] Leo Au (HKG) v Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[12] Diego Elias (PER) bt Joe Lee (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (66m)
[5] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt [14] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-2, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 (56m)
[10] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [1] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (64m)

Results - Men's RD1 Qualification:
[L] Oliver Pett (ENG) bt [8] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 3-2: 11-3, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8 (50m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [16] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
[15] Declan James (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (60m)
[6] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 11-9, 12-14, 11-5, 11-4 (49m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [L] John Rooney (IRL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (25m)
[9] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [L] Dylan Cunningham (USA) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7 (36m)
[11] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [L] Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (25m)
[2] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [L] Yoni Ellous (NED) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 15-13 (30m)
[3] Leo Au (HKG) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (33m)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [13] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 11-8, 2-11, 2-11, 11-4, 11-9 (60m)
[12] Diego Elias (PER) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (27m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt [7] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (59m)
[5] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt [L] Sam Gould (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 (18m)
[14] Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 (41m)
[1] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt [L] Mark Heather (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (22m)
[10] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [L] Jon Geekie (SCO) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (32m)

Windy City Open 2016
Women's Draw

23 Feb - 02 Mar
Chicago, USA,  $150k
First Round
25-26 Feb
second Round
27-28 Feb
29 Feb
01 Mar
02 Mar
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
Line Hansen (DEN)
Laura Massaro
11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (31m)
Victoria Lust
Laura Massaro
11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (29m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Laura Massaro
11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)
Nour El Sherbini
Nour El Sherbini
9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (35m)
Raneem El Welily
Heba El Torky (EGY)
11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (27m
[16] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[15] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3 (49m)
[Q] Christine Nunn (AUS)
Emily Whitlock
12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 (41m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[WC] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
12-10, 11-5, 11-9 (31m)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[5] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (32m)
[Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
Nour El Sherbini
11-5, 11-9, 11-8 (30m)
Delia Arnold
Nour El Sherbini
11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (36m)
Nicol David
Tesni Evans (WAL)
9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (54m)
[15] Delia Arnold (MAS)
[12] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
11-6, 11-5, 13-11 (25m)
[Q] Deon Saffery (WAL)
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (31m)
Nicol David
[Q] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
11-5, 11-1, 11-6 (22m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (35m)
[Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Camille Serme
11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (28m)
Joey Chan
Camille Serme
6-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9 (63m)
Amanda Sobhy
Camille Serme
11-9, 13-11, 11-8 (37m)
Raneem El Welily
Joey Chan (HKG)
7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 14-12 (65m)
[13] Low Wee Wern (MAS)
[11] Joelle King (NZL)
11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5 (44m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Joelle King
11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
Amanda Sobhy
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (30m)
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
Nouran Gohar
11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)
Jenny Duncalf
Nouran Gohar
11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (36m)
Raneem El Welily
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)
[14] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[10] Annie Au (HKG)
11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)
[Q] Nele Gilis (BEL)
Annie Au
15-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 (43m)
Raneem El Welily
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (20m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Results - Women's Qualifying Finals:
[8] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [9] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 3-0: 15-13, 11-8, 11-3 (50m)
[10] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [4] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (48m)
[5] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt [12] Vanessa Raj (MAS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)
[3] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [15] Nikki Todd (CAN) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5 (33m)
[2] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt [11] Teh Min Jie (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (27m)
[6] Deon Saffery (WAL) bt [16] Chloe Mesic (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (30m)
[7] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [14] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (26m)
[1] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [13] Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-0 :11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (22m)

Results - Women's Qualification RD1
[14] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (22m)
[6] Deon Saffery (WAL) bt Corey Schafer (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (17m)
[7] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-2 (14m)
[16] Chloe Mesic (FRA) bt Alison Thomson (ENG) 3-1: 11-3, 14-12, 7-11, 11-7 (43m)
[11] Teh Min Jie (MAS) bt Colette Sultana (MLT) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 (33m)
[12] Vanessa Raj (MAS) bt Reyna Pacheco (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (21m)
[15] Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Nadiia Usenko (UKR) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (19m)
[10] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Sachika Ingale (IND) 3-2: 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (43m)
[5] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt Marija Shpakova (SUI) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (15m)
[8] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Sina Wall (GER) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (33m)
[9] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt Jasmin Ballmann (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (18m)


REPORTS                                                             click on images for larger view


Elshorbagy And El Welily Triumph

Egyptian duo Mohamed Elshorbagy, the men's World No.1, and Women's World No.3 Raneem El Welily triumphed in their respective title-deciders at the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company to lift the silverware at the fifth PSA World Series tournament of the 2015/16 season.

With equal prize money on offer it was double-delight for Egypt as El Welily overcame compatriot Nour El Sherbini to win her first PSA World Tour title since September 2015 while Elshorbagy collected his fourth consecutive World Series crown after opponent Nick Matthew, the English World No.3, was forced to retire in the third game of their encounter due to injury.

After reaching the World No.1 spot last Autumn El Welily suffered from a huge drop in form, failing to reach the final on her last five outings. But she put in a performance of note to defeat the in-form 20-year-old, who came into the match following back-to-back 3-0 wins over Nicol David and Laura Massaro, in the sort of victory that could propel the enigmatic shot-maker back to the summit.

“I’m lost for words right now,” said an emotional El Welily after the match. “I’m very, very happy to have won today. It’s the first title in a long time.

“I never thought I’d be No.1 after winning here last year so I’m just going to take it one step at a time. It’s all about baby steps and taking it one match an done point at a time.

“I need to work hard to make sure I have that same attitude and huger on court for the rest of the season. There’s still a few tournaments to play but I’m really grateful that I won today and hopefully I can keep it up.”

Vanquished opponent El Sherbini said: “She was just too good today - she deserves to win.Sshe has been playing so well all week from the first match. It’s nice to see her back at her best form.”

For Elshorbagy celebrations were muted as he collected his maiden Windy City Open crown.

The opening game of the encounter lived up to the pre-event billing between the two perennial foes as they slugged it out in a series of tough, punishing rallies but it was evident early that Matthew was struggling on court and the tenacious 35-year-old was forced to conceded early in the third game and hand Elshorbagy the victory.

“I noticed at the start of the second he was struggling to move," said the Egyptian.

“I live for great battles and to play against great players like Nick. It’s unfortunate what happened today as that’s not the way that I wanted to win.

“But this is the first time I’ve won this title and I’m very happy to have my name on there - it is an achievement that I’m very proud of."

Speaking afterwards Matthew said: “I felt a muscle in my glute go in the first game and it seized up. Mohamed is hard enough to play when you’re fully mobile never mind injured so it was a frustrating end.

“I don’t mind losing - it’s just disappointing when you can’t do yourself justice and give Mohamed the fight he deserves.”


Semi Finals

Egyptians Dominate As Finalists Decided
                                                                                                    click on images for larger view
The finals of the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company, PSA World Series tournament taking place at the University Club of Chicago, will have a heavy Egyptian feel after three of four available berths in the respective men's and women's title deciders were snatched up by players from the Middle Eastern country today.

In the women's draw in-form 20-year-old Nour El Sherbini (right), who last month claimed the first major World Series title of her career when she won the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, followed up her impressive 3-0 win over Nicol David with a masterclass performance to beat pre-tournament favourite and World No.1 Laura Massaro.

El Sherbini played with unrestricted attacking flair throughout the match and underlined her position as a genuine top class contender by overturning a 2-7 deficit in the third game to take the match 11-7, 11-9, 11-9.

“I have been struggling with a flu so I really did not expect to reach the final but I think I played perfect today," said El Sherbini.

“Because I was struggling with my breathing I was going for every shot and thankfully they were going in. Normally when I play Laura it is a tough five-game match so to win 3-0 is an achievement that I’m definitely proud of."

El Sherbini will face compatriot and defending women's champion Raneem El Welily (left) in the final.

After stuttering through the early rounds of the tournament El put in a highly polished and focused performance to overcome Camille Serme of France 3-0.

“I tried to stay relaxed and play to my game plan and I think I focused well and managed not to get loose and play too many shots down the middle," said El Welily.

"I’m very happy to be into the final again here in Chicago. I enjoy this tournament and it brings the best out of me and it is great that it is an all-Egyptian final and I’m looking forward to playing Nour.

"She’s in top form and played really well today so it should be a very good match tomorrow.”

In the men's draw perennial foes Nick Matthew (right), the defending champion, and Mohamed Elshorbagy, the man Matthew beat to glory 12 months ago, will lock horns for championship bragging rights once again - just weeks after contesting the Tournament of Championship final.

World No.1 Elshorbagy overcame the challenge of Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the man who knocked his younger brother Marwan Elshorbagy out in the quarter-finals, in straight-games to reach the final.

"Miguel has been playing very well in this tournament and especially against my brother yesterday but I have raised my game match after match and played some of my best to beat him today," said Elshorbagy (left).

“He was playing strong at the end of the second and third as well so I’m happy to have gone through in three games and be back in the final.

“I’ve never won this tournament so it would be nice to get my name on that trophy and I can’t wait to come back and play on this stage tomorrow.”

35-year-old Matthew prevented an Egyptian clean-sweep by defeating World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad in their first meeting since Matthew lost to the powerful World No.4 last October.

“I lost to him in US Open and that was the first time he beat me and it was a little bit on my mind today," said Matthew.

"But I’m a different player than I was before Christmas so I wanted to carry on making that statement and prove it. He’s improved so much and I had to be very proactive and keep the ball away from his danger weapons so I’m happy to beat him.

“Mohamed (Elshorbagy) and I had a great final in New York and I beat him here in the final last year so i’m sure he’s going to want to prove a point. He's the World No.1 for a reason but I believe that on my day in front of this crowd and support that anything can happen."

Quarter Finals

Nicol David Crashes Out Of Windy City Open
                                                                                                     click on images for larger view
Former World No.1 Nicol David crashed out of the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company, PSA World Series tournament, at the quarter-final stage after falling to a straight-games defeat at the hands of Egyptian Nour El Sherbini (right) - the 20-year-old who ended David’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’s campaign by the same scoreline in January.

El Sherbini, who went on to win the Tournament of Champions in what was her maiden PSA World Series triumph, played with pinpoint aggression and confidence from the very first serve to nullify 32-year-old David’s strengths across the court and set up a mouthwatering semi-final encounter with World No.1 Laura Massaro, who sent out a signal of intent with her ruthless demolition of World No.6 Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in just 29-minutes.

“Playing Nicol is always very hard," said El Sherbini.

“But today I wasn’t overthinking things on court - I was just going for my shots. Once I had an opportunity to attack I just went for it but all three games could have gone either way - thankfully in the end they all went for me.”

England’s Massaro (left) has been the player to beat on tour so far this season but after a poor showing at the Tournament of Champions in January, when she lost out in the last eight, she looked to be back to the form that took her to glory at the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic as she dominated against Kawy to underline her credentials as the tournament favourite and top seed.

“You can never let your guard down at all in any match and I think in that third game I maybe switched off and was already warming down," said Massaro.

"As a result she got back into and it was edgy. I’m angry at myself for that. I did the same thing in the last round so I’m really happy to get off 3-0 against a very dangerous opponent and I’m really excited to be in the semi-finals.”

On the other side of the draw defending champion Raneem El Welily (right) came through against World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar while all hopes of home success were dashed as American World No.7 Amanda Sobhy lost out to France’s Camille Serme in a thrilling five game encounter that the World No.5 took 11-9 in the fifth.

In the men’s draw defending champion Nick Matthew and 2015 runner-up Mohamed Elshorbagy, the World No.1, took a step towards a championship re-match with victories over Tarek Momen and Simon Rösner, respectively.

A regular face in the last eight of major tournaments throughout the past 18-months Rösner has looked increasingly likely to secure a breakthrough victory against the top players, with narrow defeats to Gregory Gaultier in particular underlining his continued improvement, but Elshorbagy (left) dealt with the challenge in typically aggressive fashion, impressing as he came through in 53 minutes.

“Simon and I always have very high quality battles - we have similar type of play which is why our matches are always good and we enjoy playing each other,” said Elshorbagy.

“He’s tough to play so I’m happy to get off the court with the win. The longer the match went on the better he was playing.

“I’m feeling good physically right now. I was ill her last year and really it was a miracle for me to get to the final - this year I’m fresh and happy to be playing well and hopefully I can carry on the good form into the semi-finals.”

Elshorbagy will play Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez (right) in the last four after the ‘Cannonball’ eliminated Elshorbagy’s younger brother Marwan 3-0 while Matthew will line up against World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad.

The powerful Egyptian ended the run of viral-sensation Mathieu Castagnet after a bruising 84 minute battle that was played at a relentless pace from start to finish and had both men on the brink of exhaustion towards the close.

You have to give 100 per cent in every match and I really had to push hard today,” said Mosaad.

“He’s such a good player and pushes a lot when he’s tired. I think we both played well and I’m happy to win an get through to the semi-finals which I’m looking forward to.

“It’s going to be hard against Nick but I will give it my all - now it’s time to recover and be ready for it.”

2nd Round Lower Half

Matthew Saves 3 Match Balls In Windy City Thriller
                                                                                                    click on images for larger view
Defending Champion Nick Matthew was forced to come from two-games down and save three match balls in a 109 minute thriller to avoid a shock exit at the hands of Spain’s Borja Golan during the second round of the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company, PSA World Series tournament, currently taking place at the University Club of Chicago.

Inside the club’s stunning Cathedral Hall Matthew, who led the duo’s head-to-head record 6-0 prior to their Chicago clash, found himself unable to halt the charge of a red-hot Golan who produced arguably the best squash of his career to take the first two games courtesy of some wonderfully composed aggressive play that saw him outmuscle and outmanoeuvre Matthew.

The 35-year-old three-time World Champion showed just why he is known as ‘The Wolf’ however as he mounted an incredible comeback taking the third and fourth games by the narrowest of margins. The duo then traded points like a pendulum in a nervy fifth game before Matthew saved three consecutive match balls, grasping the match at the first opportunity to come through 10-12, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 14-12.

“I feel like a bit like I’ve won the tournament right now,” said Matthew afterwards. “It is mad that that was only a second round match.

“In the first two games, especially the first game, it was the best I’ve ever seen him play - I don’t think I played badly but I was 2-0 down.

“I won here last year and the thought of losing second round was driving me on - I just kept fighting and fighting - sometimes you just have to do whatever you can to win. I went all the way to plan z today.”

Matthew will now line up against Egyptian Tarek Momen (left) in the last eight after he downed World Junior Champion Diego Elias while Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet put in a spell binding performance to secure hi last eight berth at the expense of Daryl Selby.

After coming from 2-0 down to defeat Ali Farag in his first round encounter Castagnet came through in more straightforward fashion today, defeating Selby 3-1 in a match that also saw one of the greatest points in squash history.

Back in the match after taking the third game Selby played all out attack when an amazing turn of events at 7-5 in the fourth game saw Castagnet dive full length in the front left corner to get an implausible retrieval before he somehow managed to recovered to hit a forehand straight winner to the amazement of the crowd.

“It’s not been an easy draw for me because Ali and Daryl are such good players,” said Castagnet.

“You have to be focused and fight in every rally and that’s exactly what I did today so I’m very happy.

“I have no explanation about that shot in the fourth. I love this sport and if I have to dive and push myself to play the shot, I will do whatever I have to to win. That’s my personality and my commitment and maybe that’s why I’m now a top ten player.”

Castagnet faces World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad (right) in the last eight while in the women’s draw defencing title holder Raneem El Welily (below left) secured her place in the quarter-finals after a stuttering display against Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

After totally annihilating her first round opponent Coline Aumard for the loss of just seven points El Welily slipped back in the inconsistent play that has dogged her recent appearances on the PSA World Tour as she engaged in a all-out shootout with Au in a match that rarely saw a rally last more than five shots and where her superior shot selection eventually got her out of trouble.

“She played very well and probably the best she has played against me,” said El Welily.

“I had to dig in and stay confident and focused as much as possible. It’s too early to talk about the final or anything yet, I’m happy to be in the quarters and I’m looking forward to the next match.”

El Welily will face dangerous compatriot Nouran Gohar in the next round where either victor could face an in-form Amanda Sobhy (right), the American number one who sent out a signal of internet to her championship rivals as she negotiated a difficult looking encounter against former World No.4 Joelle King in emphatic fashion, dismissing the New Zealander 3-0 after just 25-minutes.

“Joelle is a very good player and so tough to beat - if you give her any opportunities she takes them,” said Sobhy. “I knew I had to be on it from start to finish and stay focused.

“She loves to hit the ball hard and so do I, so it could have been a hardest hitter competition out there. But I made sure that I mixed up the pace to take her out of her element and I’m really happy to get off in three games.”

2nd Round Top Half

Elshorbagy Brothers Charge Into Windy City Quarter-finals
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Elshorbagy brothers Mohamed (right) and Marwan, the World No.1 and No.10, edged towards a second consecutive Windy City Open semi-final showdown after coming through their respective second round encounters during the third day of action at the PSA World Series tournament taking place inside the University Club of Chicago.

The pair, who live together in their adopted hometown of Bristol, England, met in the last four here twelve months ago when Mohamed triumphed and they are on course for a repeat encounter after Marwan pulled off the biggest upset of the day to see off in-form Egyptian compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad courtesy of a tense five-game victory.

Marwan (left) stormed out to a commanding two-game lead to capitalise on a sluggish start from his opponent but five-game specialist Gawad mounted a typical comeback to force a fifth game in which the World No.10 played with poise and control to prevail.

“Karim and I know each other’s game very well so we knew what to expect from each other today,” said Marwan.

“I think I managed to play better in the first two games and he was the better player in the second two. I know how good he is at winning five-game matches so I just told myself to keep hitting and running and giving it my all and I’m very happy to win especially because this is a big tournament for me.

“I reached the semis here last year and I’m in the quarters again this year so I’m looking forward to coming back on court in a couple of days."

Top seed Mohamed, runner-up in 2015, continued his march towards a maiden Chicago crown with a hard-earned victory over Mohamed Abouelghar while World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (right) secured his first quarter-final place at the Windy City Open courtesy of some missed opportunities by opponent Tom Richards.

Richard played with confidence, composure and craft for the majority of their matchup in a performance that belied the 20 place gap between the pair on the rankings but a series of all-or-nothing errors at the crucial stages ensured it was Rodriguez who took the win.

"Tom is playing well at the moment and he had some good results in the past few weeks so it was a tough match today,” said Rodriguez.

“I think that nowadays all matches against top 20 and top 30 players are very competitive but I’m delighted to come through and make my first quarters here in Chicago.

“He was playing very solid throughout but I took my chances in the third where I had a great comeback and I’m happy I managed to see it out.”

After suffering a shock second round defeat during the 2015 Windy City Open which led to her taking an extended break from the sport, World No.1 Laura Masaaro (left) made sure lightning would not strike twice as she compressively defeated compatriot Victoria Lust in the women's draw.

Defeat twelve months ago proved to be the catalyst for a career-defining change in the 32-year-old's approach to the game and in the midst of some of her finest ever form she played with total control to come through 3-0 after just 31 minutes on court, despite a drop in level in the third game.

“I felt pretty good on court tonight and I’m pleased with how I started in particular,” said Massaro.

“I dropped off a little mentally in the third game and that was enough to let her into the mix so I was quite happy to get off there in three games at the end as it was getting quite tight.

“Despite that blip I felt like I had a lot of clarity in mind an played with a lot of focus on what I needed to do. I’m not worrying about what people throw at me on court but instead I’m concentrating on playing my game an hopefully I can keep that going.”

Massaro is joined by Nicol David (right) in the quarter-finals after the Malaysian World No.2 comfortably beat England's Sarah-Jane Perry, also in 31-minutes, with World No.3 Raneem El Weily to play tomorrow.


First Round Lower Half

Momen And Castagnet Comeback From Brink To Keep Windy City Hopes Alive
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On the second day of first round action at the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company Egyptian Tarek Momen and Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet (right) were forced to dig deep to escape the clutches of defeat and keep their tournament aspirations alive on a day that was once again dominated by lengthy battles across the men’s draw.

World No.8 Castagnet found himself 2-0 down and match ball down to an in-form Ali Farag, the Egyptian who last month captured the biggest title of his career at the Motor City Open defeating World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World No.3 Nick Matthew en-route, but showed why he is considered one of the most tenacious competitors on tour as he showed tremendous fighting spirit to complete one of the most remarkable comebacks in tournament history after an absorbing 71 minutes.

“I don’t know how I did it,” said Castagnet. “I was in very good shape today and I worked hard on getting the right tactics with my coach Renan Lavigne for the third, fourth and fifth games and I’m very, very happy that it worked.

“We have played a few times and I remember a match a few years ago and he had 7 match balls and I saved them to win in five. So when I saved them today I was sure he would think about that match and I was confident I could pull it off so I’m delighted.”

It took World No.11 Tarek Momen (left) six minutes longer to secure his second round place as he twice came from behind to get the better of Swiss national champion Nicolas Müller - who played his best match of recent years to come within a whisker of a huge upset.

After seeing an early 7-3 lead in the fifth game eroded Momen was staring down the barrel of defeat and was beaten all ends up when Müller hit what would have been a simple winner into the tin before a second unforced error handed Momen match ball, which he grasped at the first opportunity.

“There are so many mixed feelings right now – that was two hours of nervous breakdown,” said Momen.

“I’ve never seen him play that well and he’s improved physically as well. Many times I thought he’d feel the work and the effects of the rallies but he just kept fighting back.

“I feel like I played very well but he just took it to the next level and I can’t really believe that I won to be honest.

“I’m just very happy to be through and hopefully I will play a little better in the next round.”

Castagnet and Momen were victors in two of eight first round matches that went beyond the 70 minute mark in one of the most competitive PSA World Series first rounds ever, that also saw World No.5 Omar Mosaad prevail 3-1 in an attritional battle with former World No.1 James Willstrop.

In the women's draw defending champion Raneem El Welily began her title defence with an emphatic victory over Coline Aumard of France, taking just 20 minutes to see off the challenger for the loss of just six points.

After exiting the Qatar Classic and Tournament of Champions in the early rounds the victory will serve to bolster El Welily’s hopes of retaining the crown and securing a return to winning ways at the very top level of the PSA World Tour after a barren few months.

"I love being here in Chicago and I had two great events here previously so hopefully it will be the same again this year," said El Welily.

"Obviously everyone is here to win so I'm trying to just make sure I enjoy it and take it match by match.”

Top ranked American hope Amanda Sobhy (right) put in a similarly emphatic performance in her opening encounter, taking just 19-minutes to get past Salma Hany Ibrahim as she continues to push towards a maiden World Series crown.

First Round Top Half

Marathon Match-ups Dominate Opening Day

The strength and depth of talent on the PSA World Tour was in full show during the opening day of action at the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company as a series of physically punishing marathon encounters dominated proceedings at the University Club of Chicago.
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Fresh from the biggest victory of his career at the PSA M70 UCS Swedish Open earlier this month Egyptian World No.9 Karim Abdel Gawad
(right) came within a whisker of exiting at the first hurdle in a high quality encounter with World No.40 Paul Coll of New Zealand that set the scene for what was to follow as six of eight men's matches went beyond the 60-minute mark.

Coll, who only booked his place in the main draw after coming through two rounds of qualification, played fearless and composed squash to unsettle Gawad, twice extending game-leads before he finally succumbed to the Egyptian in the closing stages of a nail-biting five-game 79 minute encounter.

"Today was not easy at all,” said Gawad. “He came through qualification but his level today shows that he is much better than a qualifying player.

"He was the better player today and he had me under pressure from the very start and throughout the match. I’m very lucky an happy that I managed to get the win and move through to the next round.”

Gawad was joined in the second round by Colombian World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez
(left) who displayed glimpses of the form that took him to a high of No.4 in 2015 in a gruelling 4-game 76 minute victory over England's Chris Simpson.

“That was a very tough match,” said Rodriguez. “I have played a lot of times with Chris and I know how tough he is so I think I played well in first game. But from then on it just got tougher and tougher so I’m very happy to get through.

“You have to be very consistent to compete in big events now because all top 20 players are good and no match can be taken for granted. You have to play hard in every match and give it 100 per cent.”

Mohamed Abouelghar, Max Lee, Marwan ElShorbagy and Tom Richards joined Gawad and Rodriguez in securing hard fought opening round victories while World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (right) secured his passes to the second round with a more straight forward 3-0 win over Scotland's Alan Clyne.

In the women's draw the top seeds enjoyed a similarly straightforward start with World No.1 Laura Massaro, World No.2 Nicol David and World No.4 Nour El Sherbini all coming through their first round matches courtesy of impressive 3-0 wins.

For Massaro
(left), competing as the number one seed in a PSA World Series tournament for the first time, a return to form comes as a timely opportunity of her to re-assert her credentials as the sport’s top player after she suffered a disappointing quarter-finals exit during January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

“Coming into a World Series tournament as the top seed is a very nice feeling and this is the first time that I’ve ever experienced that so I’m excited to hopefully do well here,” said Massaro.

“I won this event two years ago so I’ll be doing everything I can this week to try and replicas that.

“I feel like my form is pretty good coming into this event. I won the British Nationals a few weeks ago and I’m happy with how I played today but I need to make sure I keep on improving and pushing my level up if I want to go all the way and win the title.”



Coll Stuns Mohamed As Qualifying Concludes

The final round of qualification for the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company drew to a close at the University Club of Chicago yesterday with New Zealand's Paul Coll stealing the headlines in the final match of the day as he secured a surprise berth in the main draw of the PSA World Series tournament.

Up against top seeded Zahed Mohamed, Coll, who ranks 10 places below the Egyptian on the PSA World Rankings, produced a stellar performance as he dominated proceedings throughout, playing with variation and composure to secure an 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 victory after just over an hour on court.

Coll will now face top ten ranked Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad, recent UCS Swedish Open winner, in the first round today (Feb 25) while, after securing an emotional victory in the first round of qualification, England's Oliver Pett was denied a place in the main draw after losing a gruelling 68-minute, five-game encounter with German Rapheal Kandra.

Pett twice saw game leads eroded by Kandra and couldn't find enough in his tank to see out the match, losing in a nervy fifth game tie-breaker, before the all-english and all-Scottish battles between Adrian Waller and Declan James and Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban, respectively, saw both sets of players pushing each other to the limit in 70-minute plus encounters highlighting the strength across the PSA World Tour right now.

"It’s very tough mentally to play somebody like Greg because not only he is a very dangerous player but also he is a great friend," said Clyne after his win.

"It’s very hard to talk with him in the morning about the matches, and then go on court to try and win. We hadn’t played since the Nationals last year so it was about time we played again. He is so dangerous, and I needed to keep my level up consistently, which I managed to do today."

In the women's draw 15-year-old Hania El Hammamy produced the only upset of the day as she overcame higher seeded Milou van der Heijden 3-1 in what was an otherwise straight forward day at the office for the higher seeds.

"I had never played her before and in the first game I just couldn’t find my game or rhythm," said El Hammy.

"She was just too good but at the start of the second, I managed to get my shots back at the front, and that made the difference."

Powerful Pett Secures Emotional Victory In Windy City Qualification

After finishing as runner-up in last month's Open Du Gard, PSA M5 tournament, England's Oliver Pett extended his recent run of good form to secure an emotional victory over Pakistan's number one player Nasir Iqbal in the first round of qualification at the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company.

The 27-year-old has endured a rollercoaster ride over the past few seasons with career-threatening injuries and then the loss of both his parents impacting heavily on his playing opportunities on the PSA World Tour but he returned to form in Chicago with a spirited 3-2 victory over Iqbal - ranked 215 places above him on the world rankings - which he dedicated to his mother, who passed away recently after losing her battle with cancer.

"My Mum - that’s all I’m thinking about at this moment," said Pett after the match.

"I'm thinking about everything she went through. I thought I would never play squash again, there were so many doubts but it was incredible to play again today. I was a good player so it’s all a question of believing that I can compete against those guys again.

"And today it was so much more than squash. I know it was only a match of squash but it was so much more for me - I was fighting for my life out there."

Pett will now take on Germany's Raphael Kandra in the final round of qualification where one of eight places in the main draw will be up for grabs while a trio of highly anticipated domestic battles will also see qualification come to a close.

Scotland's two top ranked players Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban will go head-to-head after coming through their first round battles while Hong Kong pairing Leo Au and Tsz Fung Yip and English pair Declan James and Adrian Waller also face-off for national bragging rights.

In the women's draw all hopes of a third American player reaching the main draw to join Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford were dashed as Corey Schafer and Reyna Pacheco were defeated in straight-games by Deon Saffery and Vanessa Raj, respectively.

Elsewhere it was straight sailing for the seeded players as they breezed into the final round which takes place today at the University Club of Chicago.



Ramy Ashour Out Of Windy City Open

Egyptian World No.5 Ramy Ashour has withdrawn from the forthcoming Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company as a result of ongoing issues with his troublesome hamstring.

The three-time World Champion has made just five appearances on the PSA World Tour since winning the 2014 World Championship - with injury bringing a premature end to three of those outings - and his injury woes continue to hamper his hopes of making a first competitive appearance since November.

Frenchman Gregoire Marche moves up in the draw to occupy the space vacated by Ashour and will face Hong Kong’s Max Lee in the first round while Mathieu Castagnet rises up the seedings to take the number eight seed and will take on Ali Farag in the first round.

Revised Main Draw - 2016 Windy City Open
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Max Lee (HKG)
[Qualifier] v [5] Simon Rösner (GER)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Tom Richards (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Ali Farag (EGY) v [8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Borja Golan (ESP) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[WC] Chris Hanson (USA) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

With places at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals still also to play for the Windy City Open promises to deliver another enthralling instalment of World Series action, all of which will be available to watch live and exclusive on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

Gaultier Out Of Windy City Open

2015 World Champion Gregory Gaultier has withdrawn from this month's Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance Company after failing to recover from an ankle injury sustained during January's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

The 33-year-old Frenchman had hoped to compete at the second PSA World Series tournament of 2016 but hasn't been able to make a return to full fitness and will now be replaced in the main draw of the event, which gets underway at the University Club of Chicago on February 25, by Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar.

Abouelghar will take on a yet-to-be-determined qualifier in the first round while Karim Abdel Gawad has moved up the draw to occupy the number eight seed and will also face a qualifier on day one.

2016 Windy City Open - Revised Main Draw:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Max Lee (HKG)
[Qualifier] v [6] Simon Rösner (GER)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Tom Richards (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Ali Farag (EGY) v [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Borja Golan (ESP) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[WC] Chris Hanson (USA) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

With places at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals still also to play for the Windy City Open promises to deliver another enthralling instalment of World Series action, all of which will be available to watch live and exclusive on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.
Sobhy To Star In 2016 Windy City Open

American squash star Amanda Sobhy will be hoping that home advantage will allow her to make it second time lucky when she competes for the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company as part of a World Class field heading to the University Club of Chicago from February 25—March 2 for the PSA World Series tournament – now in its 35th year.

Sobhy, a 2015 Harvard graduate, produced an inspired performance during the opening World Series tournament of 2016, the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, as she stormed to a maiden World Series tournament final but couldn’t make it over the final hurdle, falling to Egyptian challenger Nour El Sherbini. The 22-year-old will be hoping to make amends for that defeat when US Squash fans will be behind her once again when the second major event of the year - and the second consecutive World Series tournament to offer equal prize money for men and women - gets underway on February 25.

Sobhy will face stiff competition from a field that is headlined by the experienced triumvirate of Laura Massaro, Raneem El Welily and Nicol David - the trio who have dominated the PSA World Series over the past few years and are currently embroiled in a fascinating three-way battle to hold the World No.1 ranking spot currently occupied by Massaro.

In the men’s draw top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy will be hot favourite to continue his recent streak of dominance and collect a fourth consecutive World Series tournament and his first Windy City Open crown.

The Egyptian powerhouse successfully defending his Qatar Classic, Hong Kong Open and Tournament of Champion titles inside the past three months and will come into Chicago hoping to avenge his defeat to Nick Matthew in the final 12 months ago, but with the likes of Cameron Pilley, Ryan Cuskelly and Mazen Hesham upsetting the traditional names to reach World Series semi-finals and finals at the back end of 2015, 25-year-old Elshorbagy won’t be able to take anything for granted.

“The strength of the draws across both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments is testament to just how competitive the PSA World Tour is at present and we are looking forward to what promises to be another exciting instalment of world class squash competition in Chicago,” said Tournament Director John Flanigan.

“Our stunningly unique venue in Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago has produced some thrilling and memorable matches over the past few years and with the depth of talent on show and the plethora of upsets currently abounding on tour, squash fans are certain to be treated to more of the same this February.

“Guggenheim Partners support for the third consecutive year, along with EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and all our other sponsors and patrons makes it possible for us to host this world class professional event and we’re delighted to be working with both partners again in 2016”

Draw - 2016 Women’s Guggenheim Partners Windy City Open, PSA World Series
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Line Hansen (DEN)
Heba El Torky (EGY) v [9] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[WC] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[5] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Tesni Evans (WAL) v [15] Delia Arnold (MAS)
[12] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [3] Nicol David (MAS)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Joey Chan (HKG) v [13] Low Wee Wern (MAS)
[11] Joelle King (NZL) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[8] Alison Waters (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Victoria Lust (ENG) v [14] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[10] Annie Au (HKG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Draw - 2016 Men’s Guggenheim Partners Windy City Open, PSA World Series
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Max Lee (HKG)
[Qualifier] v [7] Simon Rösner (GER)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Qualifier]
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Tom Richards (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[4] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Ali Farag (EGY) v [6] Ramy Ashour (EGY)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Borja Golan (ESP) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[WC] Chris Hanson (USA) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

With places at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals still also to play for the Windy City Open promises to deliver another enthralling instalment of World Series action, all of which will be available to watch live and exclusive on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

Tickets for the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company starting at just $20 and can be purchased at http://www.windycityopen.com

For more tournament updates and behind the scenes action follow Windy City Open on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and please use our official tournament hashtag #WCOsquash