Downs Mosaad to Lift 2016 Colombia Open Crown click image for larger view World
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy captured the 19th PSA World Tour title of his
career after beating fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the final of the
inaugural 2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open in Cartagena to win the most
lucrative squash tournament ever to be held in South America.
Mosaad started strongly after a plethora of unforced errors from his
opponent enabled him to build up a lead in the opening game but
Elshorbagy fought back to take the opener. The errors from Elshorbagy
reared their head again in the second to allow Mosaad to level
proceedings before a rampant Elshorbagy found himself back in the
ascendancy after taking the third for the loss of just three points.
Both players upped their game towards the end of the match, with the
quality of squash increasing as some enthralling rallies played out in
front of an enraptured crowd. After finding himself 7-4 down after some
fantastic industry from Mosaad, Elshorbagy finally pushed on to turn the
tables and wrap up the win with an 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9 margin of
victory to take his second PSA World Tour title of 2016 in only his
third tournament of the New Year.
"I want to congratulate Omar and his team for an amazing week," said
"He has been having such a great season, he absolutely deserves to be
where he is in the rankings right now and I look forward to more great
matches with him in the future.
"This is by far the best tournament I’ve played in my life. I’ve
absolutely loved it."
Top Seeds Elshorbagy and
Mosaad to Meet in Colombia Open Final click images for larger view World
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World No.4 Omar Mosaad will line up against
each other in an all-Egyptian 2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open final
after claiming wins against Marwan Elshorbagy and Tarek Momen,
respectively, in Cartagena.
Mohamed, playing against his brother Marwan, adopted an aggressive,
attacking tactic from the outset to overpower the younger Elshorbagy in
the opening two games but Marwan found his way back into the match after
coming out on top in a scrappy third. However, Mohamed responded by
ramping up the pace and eventually prevailed to claim a hard fought
11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 victory and seal his spot in a 32nd career PSA
World Tour final.
“The hardest person I can play is my brother,” said Mohamed.
“Today we had to play against each other which was so difficult. Trying
to beat my brother is emotionally difficult and it takes so much out of
both of us. I thought he played so well, it’s the best he has ever
played against me.
“I thought I had him a little bit in the third but then he played a lot
better at the end of that game and he made it so difficult in the fourth
game. I knew that the longer the match was getting, the better he was
playing and the more my energy was dropping. He has been in good form at
the start of this year and, once he gets things right mentally, he is
for sure one of the top guys now."
meanwhile, fought fatigue and humid conditions to mount a stunning
comeback against compatriot Momen.
The 27-year-old was put under immediate pressure by a ruthless Momen in
the opening exchanges and looked to be struggling physically as he
succumbed to a two-game deficit.
‘The Hammer of Thor’ fought back though in a virtuoso display full to
the brim with tenacity and determination as he triumphed courtesy of an
8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 scoreline.
"This is the third time I have played Tarek in the last year," said
"He played really well in the first two games and I thought that the
match would be ending soon but in the third game I started to play well
and I started to lead in the game. I changed my style and my tactics a
little bit and it worked in the third and fourth games.
"After the fourth I started thinking that, now it was 2-2, I could go on
and win the match so I started to focus again and take things
step-by-step, point-by-point and I’m happy to make it and reach the
Brothers Set for Semi-Final Showdown click images for larger view Egyptian
brothers Marwan and Mohamed Elshorbagy will go head-to-head in the
semi-final of the 2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open in a draw that sees
all four spots taken up by Egyptian players in Cartagena.
Marwan came up with a hugely impressive performance to upset local hero
and Colombian No.1 Miguel Angel Rodriguez. The 22-year-old went a game
down early on after struggling to adapt to the ferocious pace of
Rodriguez but responded with a composed game plan as he rose to take the
victory with an 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 scoreline.
“It was my first time playing Miguel today,” said Elshorbagy.
“I didn’t know what to expect, he’s done so much for himself. He is
having a great career so far and everyone should be proud of what he has
achieved here. What he has done is amazing and I wish I could achieve
what he has already done and I’m sure he is going to achieve much more
“It’s going to be a great match [against Mohamed] of course. We will
both look forward to it and we’ve played so many times already. We will
both give it everything and hopefully we will entertain the crowd.”
World No.1 Mohamed secured his semi-final berth after axing Tom Richards
in straight games.
Bathed in the light from the setting sun over Cartagena’s picturesque
Plaza de la Aduana, Elshorbagy produced a superb display full of his
trademark hard-hitting style and furious pace to overcome a resilient
The 25-year-old was at his scintillating best to keep his opponent at
arm’s length for the duration of the encounter and he pulled through
with an 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 triumph to reach the last four
“I had to change my tactic every point,” said Elshorbagy.
“The outside court makes the sport more interesting and it makes it more
exciting. I absolutely love outdoor courts because I think that it makes
things interesting with regards to how other players are going to deal
with it mentally. I’m really happy with how I adapted today.
“Tom had a really good win against Ryan [Cuskelly] in the first round
because Ryan has been playing so well. He [Richards] has had injuries
and is just making his way back. He’s outside of the top 20 now but I’m
sure he will be back inside the top 20, where he deserves to be, very
a sublime performance from World No.11 Tarek Momen saw him down Cameron
Pilley 3-0 to avenge his defeat against the tall Australian during last
month’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
After taking the first game in relatively comfortable fashion,
27-year-old Momen displayed great dexterity at the front of the court to
wipe out leads from Pilley in both games two and three and wrap up the
win by an 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 scoreline.
“Last month I played him and I lost 3-0 quite easily,” said Momen.
“I wanted to forget about that match and that performance because he
played amazingly well that day. I just tried to figure out what went
wrong and tried to reestablish myself on court. Today, I came up with a
plan and I’m very glad it worked because I wasn’t sure if it would in
these conditions but it did work in my favour."
Mosaad is the other Egyptian representative in the last four after he
sealed his spot courtesy of a fairly routine win over Indian No.1 Saurav
Ghosal. Mosaad will line up against Momen for a place in the showpiece
First round lower half
Ghosal Overcomes Elias While Mosaad,
Momen and Pilley All Progress click images for larger view Indian
World No.20 Saurav Ghosal prevented a huge upset in round one of the
2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open after he came through a
highly-entertaining five-game battle against 19-year-old Peruvian World
Junior Champion Diego Elias in Cartagena.
In a match that contained a veritable feast of sumptuous winners, high
octane rallies and energy-sapping exchanges, Ghosal’s experience and
superior fitness eventually made the difference as the 29-year-old took
advantage of a tiring Elias to close out the win with an 11-9, 2-11,
5-11, 11-8, 11-6 margin of victory.
“Diego is a fantastic player,” said Ghosal.
“He’s the reigning World Junior Champion and I’ve played him twice now
in Colombia, both in Bogota and here today. It’s been absolutely brutal.
I had to get him off the ’T’ because he is so good across the middle of
the court and he has very good shots.
“It is similar to what one of my role models, Jonathon Power, used to do
because he trains with him quite a bit. He’s an absolute handful and I’m
sure that we are going to have a lot more matches together and hopefully
we will entertain the people of Cartagena and everyone around the world
like this every time.”
seed Omar Mosaad has also secured a quarter-final berth after completing
a straightforward 3-0 victory over fellow Egyptian Zahed Mohamed.
Mosaad dominated the 61-minute affair, with a number of unforced errors
from Mohamed in the early stages of the match allowing the ‘Hammer of
Thor’ to quickly strike up a lead.
Despite a hard-fought finish to the encounter, the 27-year-old wrapped
up the win by an 11-4, 11-4, 13-11 scoreline to advance to the last
eight where he will do battle with Ghosal.
"It’s really tough to play against Zahed, we usually train with each
other and he is a talented player," said Mosaad.
"To play against him is really hard so I tried today to play really
well, especially in these conditions. I’m happy with my performance
today. Maybe I could have focused more in the third game but I think
that the key was that he changed his game a little bit in the third.
"I tried to come back again and I’m happy to win in three."
Tarek Momen, meanwhile, has also seaeled his spot in the next round
after coming back from a game down to defeat the tenacious Mexican Cesar
An out of sorts Momen started the match slowly, with Salazar’s tactic of
cutting the ball out early on the volley in the front of the court
proving fruitful as the deceptive Mexican took an unlikely lead in game
one. World No.11 Momen soon found his range though and pulled through to
complete an 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 victory.
“Today I was very focused and I knew that I was playing a very dangerous
opponent,” said Momen.
“I wanted to get my revenge because last time we played, he beat me 3-0.
I was tired but the only thing that kept me going towards the end was
the fact that I knew that he was tired as well. I’m very glad I won
today, it was a very good match and I hope I can feel better tomorrow.”
No.1 Cameron Pilley has advanced to the last eight after he powered past
South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger. Pilley was highly accurate throughout
the 58-minute encounter and gradually upped his pace of attack, with his
punishing drives enabling him to control the ’T’ after moving Coppinger
into the back of court. The World No.14 will meet Momen for a place in
First round top half
Clyne Challenge as Elshorbagy Eases Through click images for larger view Colombian
No.1 Miguel Angel Rodriguez came through a banana skin fixture
against Scotland’s Alan Clyne in round one of the inaugural 2016
SquashColombia Open to reach the quarter-final stage in Cartagena
and keep up local hopes of having a home winner.
The lead changed hands multiple times throughout a frenetic
98-minute encounter with all four corners of the court being hit
with regularity during a series of heart-pounding rallies. After
seeing Clyne fight back from a 2-1 deficit to draw level, Rodriguez
recovered brilliantly and eventually prevailed with an 8-11, 13-11,
11-7, 8-11, 11-2 victory.
"It was a very intense match in difficult conditions due to the
humidity," said Rodriguez.
"All credit to Alan who played very well and he gave it his best
tonight. I’m pleased to win my first round here as a local player.
I’ve got a day off tomorrow and I will battle in the next round."
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy is also through to the next round after he
vanquished the other home hope, 19-year-old wildcard Andres Herrera,
in straight games.
The Egyptian has won two of his last three PSA World Tour events and
came into his encounter with Herrera full of confidence as a barrage
of attacking shots down the forehand side quickly enabled the
25-year-old to surge into the lead.
Bogota-born Herrera, who is ranked 261 places behind Elshorbagy in
the world rankings, put in a strong display that belied his status
as the tournament’s wildcard, but he couldn’t prevent Elshorbagy
from dictating the tempo and he eventually succumbed to an 11-6,
11-8, 11-5 defeat in the man from Alexandria’s favour.
“I felt good on court today, it’s such an amazing venue,” said
“There are so many great players playing this tournament, it’s a
little bit humid and the conditions are hot so it’s a little bit
tricky. All of the top players are used to playing different kind of
conditions and it’s something that we all have to deal with.
Hopefully I will be able to play at my best this week and I will see
how far I can go in this tournament.”
Elshorbagy’s brother, Marwan, overcame Spanish No.1 Borja Golan in a
brutal 93-minute clash to reach the next stage.
After taking the opening two games by the narrowest of margins,
Elshorbagy looked to be set for safe passage into the next round
before a tenacious Golan fought back to level proceedings. However,
Elshorbagy refocused and overturned a strong lead from Golan in the
fifth to wrap up a brutal 11-9, 13-11, 7-11, 2-11, 11-8 victory and
move through to the last eight where he will meet Rodriguez.
"It was tough for both of us out there," said Marwan.
"The most important part of that was the mental part. I had to be
mentally very strong today. We both lost out concentration in some
crucial points but I think, overall, that we both gave it
The day’s other fixture saw England’s Tom Richards dispatch World
No.16 Ryan Cuskelly in an impressive 3-0 dismantling. Next up for
Richards is a tough quarter-final encounter against Mohamed
Elshorbagy where he will be looking to end his five-match losing
streak against the 25-year-old Egyptian.
Peruvian World Junior Champion Diego Elias secured an emphatic
victory in the final round of qualification at the 2016
SquashColombia Open to defeat top seeded Nicolas Müller and reach
the main draw of the lucrative 16-man tournament, joining fellow
Latin Americans Caesar Salazar and Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the
Elias overcame a gap of 11 places on the World Rankings to see off
No.28 Müller in straight-games in a performance that bodes well for
his hopes of springing a surprise victory over India's World No.20
Saurav Ghosal, who competes for the first time since December due to
injury, when the first round of the tournament gets underway on Feb
Mexican Salazar, the World No.29, joined Elias in the main draw
after coming through a highly competitive qualification battle with
Campbell Grayson of New Zealand to set up a first round match with
UCS Swedish Open runner-up Tarek Momen while fellow Mexican Alfredo
Avila came within touching distance of making the main draw, falling
to a narrow 12-10 loss in the fifth game against Egyptian Zahed
Scotland's Alan Clyne completed the 16-man field with a polished 3-0
win over England's Charles Sharpes and will face home-favourite and
the highest ranked South American player ever, Miguel Angel
Rodriguez, the World No.6.
Hopes of a surprise second Colombian presence alongside World No.6
Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the main draw of the 2016 SquashColombia
Open, the most lucrative squash tournament ever to take place in
Latin America, were dashed in the first round of qualification in
Cartagena as Erick Herrera, Dairo Sandoval and Juan Camilo Vargas
crashed out at the first hurdle.
Herrera fell to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to World Junior Champion
Diego Elias, the Peruvian who now faces top seeded Nicolas Mueller
for a place in the main draw of the 16-man, PSA M100 tournament,
while Sandoval also crashed out 3-0 to Campbell Grayson. Vargas
tested second seeded qualifier Zahed Mohamed, forcing a tie-break in
the second game, but ultimately fell just 7 points short in a close
3-0 which saw Egyptian Mohamed notch his 100th match victory on the
PSA World Tour.
While Elias carries South American hopes into the final round of
qualification Mexican duo Cesar Salazar and Alfredo Avila will hope
to add further Latin American flavour to the tournament after
securing their places in the qualification finals with victories
over Ben Coates and Christopher Gordon, respectively.
The draw for the first ever Colombia Open has been made
and will see World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy headline proceedings when
the 16-strong tournament gets underway in the coastal town of
Cartagena on February 16.
The PSA M100 tournament, the biggest ever to be staged in South
America, will be the most lucrative 16-man event ever with $115,000
in prize money up for grabs and Elshorbagy will be favourite to take
the title but will face stiff opposition from a keenly contested
draw which also includes World No.4 Omar Mosaad, World No.7 Tarek
Momen and home favourite and World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez – the
highest ranking South American player ever.
“Cartagena is one of the most picturesque cities in all of South
America and we feel certain that the tournament, which will be
played at sea-level, will become one of the most sought after on the
PSA World Tour,” said Squash Colombia President Pablo Felipe Serna.
“As such we’re delighted to see such a strong selection of players
wishing to come here and compete in the very first staging of the
tournament and very much look forward to watching some world class
squash action unfold here over what promises to be a thrilling