Egyptian number one seed Marwan Elshorbagy lifted the sixth PSA
World Tour title of his career after downing compatriot Mohamed
Abouelghar 3-1 in the final of the Houston Open, PSA M50 tournament.
Elshorbagy, who last month captured the Grasshopper Cup crown in
what was the biggest tournament win of his career to date, battled
past fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham in a spectacular semi-final
encounter, while Abouelghar overcame second seed Ryan Cuskelly to
secure his final berth.
The early stages of the match saw Elshorbagy come out on top as he
surged into a one-game lead, before Abouelghar, competing in his
maiden PSA M50 final, fought back to restore parity in closely
contested second game.
Things remained tight in the third with both players trading blows
with gusto as they attempted to move the other off the ’T’. World
No.7 Elshorbagy managed to edge narrowly ahead and he regained his
lead with an 11-9 victory in the third.
With Abouelghar’s resistance finally broken, Elshorbagy romped to
the win in the fourth for the loss of just three points to wrap up
an 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3 triumph which sees him continue his
impressive form of late.
"I’m happy to win my sixth PSA title here in Houston," said
"Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now. It’s been an
amazing season so far for me. Thanks everyone for the support, it
means so much to me."
World No.7 Marwan Elshorbagy secured safe passage through to the
quarter-final stage of the Houston Open, PSA M50 tournament with a
routine 3-0 win over Finland’s Olli Tuominen as all eight seeds
sealed opening round victories.
Elshorbagy, who last month captured his biggest ever title at the
Grasshopper Cup, overcame the experienced Tuominen in a tight
opening game, before cantering to wins in games two and three to
wrap up an 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 win.
The Egyptian will go up against Stephen Coppinger in the last eight
after he dispatched Nafiizwan Adnan in straight games.
Australian No.2 Ryan Cuskelly is also through to the next round
after he too defeated Finnish interest with a 3-0 victory against
Henrik Mustonen. The World No.19’s reward is a fixture with Zahed
Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham, who is one of the most exciting
players on the PSA World Tour, will take on Omar Abdel Meguid in the
quarter-final after they achieved respective wins over Campbell
Grayson and wildcard Shahjahan Khan. Meguid’s match in particular
was an entertaining affair, with the second game going all the way
to a 21-19 tie-break in Meguid’s favour.
Elsewhere, Mohamed Abouelghar recovered from 2-1 down against World
Junior Champion Diego Elias to progress and he will go head-to-head
with Frenchman Gregoire Marche for a place in the semi-final after
he saw off Cesar Salazar.
New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson secured his main draw berth in the
2016 Houston Open, PSA M50 tournament with an assured 3-0 victory
over England’s Nathan Lake in the final round of qualifying.
Grayson, the World No.43, was in control throughout the opening two
games and rapidly built up a commanding two-game lead. Lake was much
improved in the third and took his opponent all the way to a
tie-break, but Grayson refused to give up his advantage and closed
out the win courtesy of an 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 scoreline.
The 30-year-old from Auckland will line up against maverick Egyptian
Mazen Hesham in the opening round of the main draw, with Hesham
continuing his recovery from the leg injury that saw him sidelined
for three months between January and March.
Finland’s Olli Tuominen narrowly escaped a surprise defeat to
Jamaica’s Christopher Binnie after fighting back from two games down
to claim the victory. Binnie took the second game on the tie-break
whic had appeared to have been a pivotal moment but Tuominen’s
experience soon told and he managed the match well to come back and
secure the win, setting up a main draw clash with top seed Marwan
Tuominen’s compatriot, Henrik Mustonen, and Switzerland’s Reiko
Peter were the other qualifiers to progress to the main draw action
after they rose to respective triumphs against Danish Atlas Khan and
Mustonen is set to face Australian No.2 Ryan Cuskelly in round one,
while Peter will lock horns with Zahed Mohamed as he bids to reach
the last eight.
India’s Vikram Malhotra came up with a fine performance to defeat
top qualifying seed Alfredo Avila in the first qualifying round of
the Houston Open, PSA M50 tournament – ensuring that Avila is the
only seeded player to miss out on a final qualifying round berth.
Malhotra has been in splendid form recently, with back-to-back
tournament wins at the Malaysia Squash Tour I and Charlotte Open
elevating him to a career-best World No.92 ranking. The
26-year-old’s displays showed no signs of abating against Avila and
he ruthlessly dispatched the World No.40 by an 11-6, 11-7, 11-5
scoreline to secure his place in the next round.
Switzerland’s Reiko Peter lies in wait for Malhotra after he
received a walkover against Yasir Ali Butt.
New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson stormed past Shahid Hussain in a
one-sided affair that saw the World No.43 drop just five points
throughout the 19-minute match. Grayson will lock horns with
England’s Nathan Lake for a place in the main draw.
Christopher Binnie is also through after a superb come-from-behind
victory against Clinton Leeuw and he will meet experienced Finnish
campaigner Olli Tuominen in the final round of qualifying after he
beat Faraz Khan.
Henrik Mustonen and Danish Atlas Khan will contest the other final
qualifying round fixture after they managed respective wins over
Adam Coleman and Anthony Graham, with the former recording his
triumph in just 12 minutes.