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Dubai World Series 2016

Burj Khalifa -
the world's tallest building

The Court
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Reports | Men's Groups | Women's Groups

PSA Dubai World Series 2016
24 - 28 May
Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, $160k


Massaro And Gaultier Are PSA Dubai World Series Finals Champions

England's Laura Massaro and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier reigned supreme during the final night of action at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, defeating Raneem El Welily and Cameron Pilley, respectively, to take the honours and bring the lucrative week-long season-ending tournament to a close in Dubai.

Competing in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building - Massaro twice game from a game down to defeat El Welily in a thrilling 62-minute encounter that saw her collect the biggest prize in the history of women's squash - with the $42,750 purse equal to that collected by Gaultier - just three weeks after losing in the final of the PSA Women's World Championship.

"I’m so pleased with my form all week," said Massaro.

"It was really tough coming off the back of a loss at the World Championship, and it was a big effort to keep training after that. I’m just so pleased that it’s paid off - you go through so much pain and hard work as a squash player. Moments like this make it all worth it.

"I told myself it was the final match of the season, and coming on for that fifth game I just told myself there was one game to go and I'm so pleased to come through in the end. To have equal prize money for the women and to be on an level par with the men in these big events now, the women feel like we deserve it, and I hope that today showed that we do."

Meanwhile Gaultier, winner of the 2008 and 2009 iterations of the tournament, saw off the challenge of surprise finalist Cameron Pilley in a commanding 3-1 victory that sees him end the season on the highest note possible - just four months after suffering a horrific ankle injury that threatened to keep him away from the game for an extended period of time.

"I started the season in a great dynamic winning events such as the U.S. Open and World Championship and was the maybe best player on Tour before the nightmare hit with injury in January," said Gaultier.

"I had a few months where I didn't even hit a squash ball until the British Open and it was only in El Gouna that I felt I was getting back into it. This week I was able to play without tape and move fluently for the first time and to end this half of the year with this title is a really positive note for me and something I'm really pleased with."


Results: PSA Dubai World Series Finals - Final:

Women's Final
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 (62m)

Men's Final
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (67m)


Pilley Downs World No.1 In World Series Finals Upset
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World No.13 Cameron Pilley
(right) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Series Finals history as he downed odds-on title favourite Mohamed ElShorbagy, the World No.1, in straight-game to reach the final of the 2016 iteration of the tournament which is taking place in front of Dubai's iconic Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building.

The season-ending event brings only the top eight players on the Road To Dubai Standings together to compete for a lucrative $160,000 purse and Pilley, who only just scraped into the competition at the last moment, took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him as he played with a relaxed and calm manner to produce some of his best squash this season.

Competing in the tournament for the first time in his career the man from Yamba took the first few points of the semi-final and managed to stay ahead throughout as he grasped at the scent of victory to power to an 11-9, 11-5 win that sets up a title-decider with two-time winner and current World Champion Gregory Gaultier.

"I play my best squash when I’m relaxed and I don’t overcomplicate things on court," said Pilley.

"So today I just went in with a pretty simple game plan of staying relaxed. It helps with my movement, it helps with my hitting, and it helps with my shot selection if I’m in a relaxed state of mind. There was no pressure on me, so I just went in and did my best.

"I’ve played ElShorbagy so many times I know as soon as I miss my targets by a foot, half a foot, he just kills me. I had to make sure it was tight and my lengths were getting to the back, otherwise he just punishes you. I was pretty happy with how I did that today.

"I remember watching when (Anthony) Rickets won in 2006 and thinking it was just amazing to see a fellow Aussie win this tournament so for me to scrape into the top 8 and now be in the final is something I can be really happy about."

Gaultier (left) secured his berth with a 2-0 win over Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez while the women's tournament saw England's Laura Massaro avenge her defeat to Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the final of last month's World Championship by downing the 20-year-old 2-0 to move into the final for the second time in her career.

Massaro lost to Nicol David, the Malaysian who crashed out against Raneem El Welily in today's second semi-final, in the 2012 title-decider but will be confident of claiming silverware this time around after triumphing in a high quality 31-minute encounter.

"I’m feeling pretty good right now," said Massaro (right).

"I’m happy with the way I played, I feel like I put some really good work in since the World Championship and it’s always nice to turn the result over.

"After the European Championships I had a couple of tough weeks of training to try and come here and do well and I've made another final this season which is great. It's always good to be playing for a major title and I'm really pleased with how I kept the intensity high throughout.

"It’s a truly world-class event and, for the women to have equal prize money to the men is phenomenal and really setting the bar for squash and the rest of the world to follow. It’s a real privilege to play here."

Egypt's Raneem El Welily (left) secured her final berth with a victory over Malaysian star Nicol David.


Results - PSA Dubai World Series Finals: Semi-finals

Men's Semi-finals

[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-5 (41m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7 (30m)

Women's Semi-finals
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-6 (31m)
[4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [3] Nicol David (MAS) 2-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (36m)

Fixtures - Finals: May 28

Men's Final
[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

Women's Final
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Pilley Flies Australian Flag In World Series Finals

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Cameron Pilley (right), the 33-year-old competing in the PSA Dubai World Series Finals for the first time in his career, became the first Australian since David Palmer in 2008 to reach the last four stage of the lucrative season-ending tournament after defeating Germany's Simon Rösner 2-0 in a crunch encounter during today's final round robin matches.

Having only qualified for the tournament, which brings the top eight players on the Road To Dubai Standings together to compete for one of the sport's most lucrative titles, by the skin of his teeth in eighth position, the hard-hitting man from Yamba took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him, playing in relaxed fashion to run out an 11-2, 11-7 winner and set up a last four meeting with World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

"It's an understatement to say I'm feeling pretty good right now - considering that I just scraped in to this tournament and it's my first World Series Finals, I am over the moon to be in the semi-finals," said Pilley.

"The likes of Palmer and (Anthony) Ricketts have done well in this event and I'm thrilled to follow in their footsteps and fly the Australian flag, to a certain extent, and I'd be over the moon to get a win tomorrow but I have to be delighted with how I played so far.

"I changed a few things in my game and training last year and since then, baring a few results, I've been very pleased with my form. I feel like I'm playing the best squash of my career and physically I feel good. Mentally I'm still keen which is a big thing when you've been on Tour as much as me so I'm just looking forward to enjoying the match tomorrow."

While Pilley will face ElShorbay, who lost a dead-rubber encounter with Nick Matthew, the second semi-final will see World Champion Gregory Gaultier take on Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez - the first South American ever to appear in the tournament's semi-finals.

Rodriguez (left) came through after opponent Mathieu Castagnet was forced to concede their encounter with injury after a brutal game and a half.

"That was a thrilling fist game and it was very important to play the second different tactically but I have no words now," said Rodriguez.

"Mathieu had an amazing season and I know he achieved a dream by playing here - it was the first time in the World Series for both of us but I hope he is ok.

"For me reaching the semi-finals of this tournament is amazing - I have been dreaming of this for a long time, ever since I was a kid. I have friends and family here supporting me and this is an amazing way to end the season for me. You have to be so consistent now and I'm improving and happy with my performances this week and I can't wait to play the semi-final here tomorrow and see how it goes."

In the women's tournament Malaysian Nicol David (right) kept alive her hopes of winning the competition for a third time after defeating World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar 2-0 to go through in second place in Group A.

David required just one game to join group winner Laura Massaro in the semi-final and duly delivered as she played with intent from the opening exchanges, scampering around court with ease to take the match and set up a semi-final with Raneem El Welily - the World No.3 who topped Group B.

"This win meant a lot to me," said David, who won the 2011 and 2012 iterations of the tournament.

"If you want to make the semi-finals you have to beat everybody else so I wasn't thinking about winning one game, I was just focused on winning the match.

"Nouran is fast and furious so I had to try and impose my pace and was pleased to get the points when it mattered. She's feisty and kept coming back so I'm really pleased to win 2-0 as that second game could have gone ether way in the end.

"Now I need to be ready for a big battle tomorrow as I know Raneem will be another tough match. I'm just going to focus on my game. I know her style of play and what to expect so I just have to make sure I go out there and make it all count."

The second semi-final will see Massaro (left) and Nour El Sherbini locks horns just weeks after contesting the PSA Women's World Championship Final - which El Sherbini won in a thrilling five-game battle to become the youngest World Champion ever.


Results - PSA Dubai World Series Finals: Round 3

Men's Group A
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 12-10 (28m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 2-0: 11-9, 6-4 retired (37m)

Men's Group B
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 2-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-1 (38m)
[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-2, 11-7 (38m)

Women's Group A
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 2-0: 13-11, 11-9 (31m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 11-9 (30m)

Women's Group B
[4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 2-0: 15-13, 11-9 (20m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 2-0: 11-4, 11-6 (20m)

Fixtures - Semi-finals:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [8] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) v [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY)


Matthew Crashes Out Of PSA Dubai World Series Finals

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England's three-time World Champion Nick Matthew crashed out of the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals today after a surprise defeat to unfancied Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet
(right, green top) dashed his hopes of tournament success during the second day of action at the lucrative season-ending event taking place in the shadow of Dubai's iconic Burj Khalifa.

35-year-old Matthew, who missed last month's El Gouna International due to an ankle injury, lost out to Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez yesterday and slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Castagnet, the World No.6, today that means he cannot progress beyond the round robin group stage - and will
face World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) tomorrow where an ignominious whitewash could await.

For debutant competitor Castagnet it was a victory to be savoured as it keeps his hopes of reaching the knock-out semi-finals alive ahead of a showdown with Rodriguez.

"Nick is a legend of the sport so to be able to beat him is a great achievement for me," said Castagnet.

"I was very confident with my game plan and I have to thank my coaches for that. I had an injury a few weeks ago on my adductor but my coaches really helped me so much to trust my capacity today.

"When you have been injured and step on court for the first time it is not easy to be at your best straight away but I had a good practice this morning which helped me a lot and I am enjoying every second of being here in this tournament.

"Just to qualify and be part of the top eight is amazing for me and I just want to try and play my best tomorrow and see what happens."

ElShorbagy ensured he progressed to the last four after defeating Rodriguez (right)to top Group A in the men's competition while World Champion Gregory Gaultier also moved into the semi-finals after a blistering performance saw him defeat Australian Cameron Pilley for the loss of just four points in total.

Pilley and German Simon Rösner will face-off for the last remaining semi-final berths in Group B while in the women's competition World No.3 Raneem El Welily is the only player guaranteed a semi-final spot courtesy of her hard-fought victory over Camille Serme during a day of high-intensity action.

After dropping the first game El Welily came back to take the second 12-10 before powering from 6-8 down to reel off five consecutive points in the third to take the match.

"I don't know how I won that - she was playing really well and she was in front for 80 per cent of each game so I'm really happy to win in the end," said El Welily

"I had a very close win yesterday and an even closer win today but I'm pleased because I didn't want to go into tomorrow's match with the extra pressure of having to win to stay in the competition.

"I still want to win tomorrow though. I still have to give it my all and be prepared for the match and the matches that follow and I have to prove a few things to myself that I can come here play well and win all my matches."

Serme will now face World Champion Nour El Sherbini (right)with the winner going through to the semi-finals while in Group A England's Laura Massaro commands the driving seat in a three-way battle with Nicol David and Amanda Sobhy for two semi-final places.

Massaro re-ignited her rivalry with David in breath-taking fashion in Dubai, coming through an intense, high-quality 49-minute encounter to place the pressure firmly on the chasing pair.

"Anyone who thinks best of threes aren't hard should come out here and play with one of us because that was really tough," said Massaro (left).

"Because you know there only are three games I think the intensity is higher and every rally counts so mentally you are a little different.

'In the third game all I was thinking was that I didn't want to have to play tomorrow knowing that I needed to do something ridiculous to go through the pool so I'm really happy with the end result and to come through."

Results - PSA Dubai World Series Finals: Round 2

Men's Group A
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (29m)
[7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 12-10, 11-6 (29m)

Men's Group B
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 2-0: 11-3, 11-1 (24m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [4] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 2-0: 11-3, 11-7 (29m)

Women's Group A
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [3] Nicol David (MAS) 2-1: 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 (49m)
[8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (34m)

Women's Group B
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 2-0: 11-4, 11-8 (15m)
[4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 2-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (41m)

Fixtures - May 26:
[4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [6] Simon Rösner (GER)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [7] Camille Serme (FRA)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [4] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Rodriguez And Pilley Upset Seedings On Opening Day
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The opening day of the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals saw underdogs Cameron Pilley (right) and Miguel Angel Rodriguez upset the form book to claim significant first round victories in the lucrative season-ending tournament which is taking place in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building.

Competing for a share of $160,000 - equal that on offer in the women's competition - Australian Pilley defeated a struggling Omar Mosaad, the Egyptian World No.4 hindered by a knee injury, while 'Colombian Cannonball' Rodriguez produced one of the best performances of his season to claim his first ever win over World No.3 Nick Matthew at the seventh time of asking.

After going one game down Rodriguez, the first South American ever to compete in the tournament, fought back with vocal support from the crowd to come through 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 and take a huge step towards securing a place in the semi-finals of the men's tournament.

"I'm very happy with my performance today, to win my first World Series tournament match is terrific," said Rodriguez (left).

"All the matches are tough and everyone here wants to win - it's a very special tournament for all the players. It's not easy playing the best of three format and the court is very bouncy as well so it was a different challenge. I had to adapt as I usually have a slow start but I was patient and in the third I managed to play well tactically well and get the win.

"This is the first tournament in Dubai so it's great to be here and for me, playing in the World Series Finals was a dream I had growing up. It was a tough match today but there are no excuses for tomorrow - playing the World No.1 will be tough and I need to focus because I have a chance to make it to the semi-finals."

There were also victories for World Champion Gregory Gaultier (right) and World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy during the opening day of action in the Men's tournament while World Champion and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini lost to compatriot Raneem El Welily in a thrilling encounter in the Women's draw.

El Sherbini has been the in-form player this year, winning the Tournament of Champions and British Open to add to her World Champion crown, but it was El Welily who came through an exhilarating shot-making exhibition on her fifth match ball.

“I didn’t think I had it, especially at the end where I had four match balls and couldn’t finish the match off,”
said El Welily

“But I’m happy to be through, there are so many emotions playing the World Series Finals. There’s zero pressure, but you also want to do well. You want to win, but you’re actually relaxed, so you don’t know what to do or how you should feel or act on court.

“I’m happy with the way I played today. It’s my first time in Dubai, it’s been great so far, and it’s a great court and a great venue.”

France's Camille Serme (right) was the other winner in Group B while in Group A World No.2 Laura Massaro and eight-time World Champion Nicol David triumphed in their opening fixtures - with David on course to complete a hat-trick of World Series Finals tournament wins after seeing off tenacious opponent Amanda Sobhy.

"This is my first time playing in Dubai and it's just spectacular to be competing here in front of the Burj Khalifa," said David.

"All the players are really excited to be here and it just spurs us on to play even better squash.

"Amanda played some very good shots today and I let her in at times and she took it on when she had an opportunity. But I just stuck to my guns and managed to get the win in the end.

"The best of three format really does mean you to be on your game from the very first point and I think because of that everyone is upping their level - and it's great for the crowd as well to see that intensity. You don't want to let anyone in confidence-wise and I was very happy to win 2-0 in the end."

PSA Dubai World Series Finals - Day One Results:

Men's Group A
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 2-0: 11-4, 11-6 (20m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-1 8-11, 11-8, 11-9

Men's Group B
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-2, 11-9 (39m)
[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [4] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 2-1: 11-7, 5-11, 11-6 (52m)

Women's Group A
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 13-11 (33m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 2-0: 11-6, 13-11 (26m)

Women's Group B
[4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 12-10,17-15 (29m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 13-11 (23m)

Fixtures - May 25:
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) v [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [3] Nicol David (MAS)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [3] Nicol David (MAS)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [8] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)

Group A Men

Group A
1 Flag (eg) M. ELSHORBAGY 1 1 0 2
2 Flag (fr) M. CASTAGNET 1 0 1 0
2 Flag (england) N. MATTHEW 0 0 0 0
2 Flag (co) M. RODRIGUEZ 0 0 0 0

Group B Men

Group B
3 Flag (au) C. PILLEY 1 1 0 2
3 Flag (fr) G. GAULTIER 1 1 0 2
4 Flag (eg) O. MOSAAD 1 0 1 1
5 Flag (de) S. RÖSNER 1 0 1 0

Group A Women

6 Flag (england) L. MASSARO 1 1 0 2
7 Flag (us) A. SOBHY 0 0 0 0
7 Flag (my) N. DAVID 0 0 0 0
7 Flag (eg) N. GOHAR 1 0 1 0

Group B Women

8 Flag (eg) R. WELILY 1 1 0 2
8 Flag (fr) C. SERME 1 1 0 2
9 Flag (eg) O. KAWY 1 0 1 0
9 Flag (eg) N. SHERBINI 1 0 1 0