“I’m Not Playing”
says Ramy Ashour on the British Open.
Ramy Skips British Open
Ramy Ashour, the hottest player to hit squash in a
generation, is to skip
the Dunlop British Open
2007. The news, revealed in an exclusive interview with The Squash Player,
will disappoint British fans and the promoters of the event alike.
The Open has previously been regarded as the world’s
Premier event and has formed the Role of Honour of the sport.
Ashour, after winning the world junior title in New
Zealand in 2006, burst on the senior stage in the rest of that year managing
to qualify in seventh position for the Super Series Finals. This year he has
won the last three major events – the Kuwait Open, the Qatar Classic and the
Super Series Finals.
Ramy explained that he had been advised by his manager,
the Egyptian Ahmed Matany, that he had a very busy period coming up and that
he needed to concentrate on ranking points and on pacing himself.
“My manager recommended I didn’t play. It is not good for
points. I need to concentrate on other events and watch the points. He is my
manager and I need to respect his advice,” he said.
“I can’t keep pushing. My body will not take it,” he
explained. “I am not old. I have a lot of years ahead and I need to pace
myself. I would like to play as long as possible.”
“Maybe I will play it next year.”
Ramy knows of the history of the event, the records set
originally by his fellow Egyptian F.D. Amr Bey who won six titles before the
Second World War, of Hashim Khan’s seven titles, Geoff Hunt’s eight and
Jahangir Khan’s record breaking ten. However he has chosen to forsake
Manchester where he won the Super Series Finals in August and start his
campaign for the world title (to be played for in Bermuda in September) in
“I like the US,” he said.
Ramy was pleased with his Super Series win and when it
was pointed out to him that he hadn’t been beaten for a while he was able to
joke: “That’s what I am worried about.”
Prior to the Super Series Finals he hurt a ligament in
his ankle and was forced to play the event in some pain.
“It was hard but I overcame it in my mind. I tried to put
every ball in the right place. I tried not to think of anything else. I had
some pain in the matches but I got through.
“I haven’t recovered a hundred percent. I need to rest my
The only ones to take some consolation from Ramy’s
absence from the British Open will be his opponents. In Qatar Nick Matthew
the British Open titleholder said: “we have to find some way of stopping him
before he becomes a legend.”
If Ramy becomes a legend he may be the first player that
has not made it at the British Open.
The race for the Open title is now wide open with Amr
Shabana, the world no.1 moving into the favourites spot but Nick Matthew
will be sleeping just that little bit easier in his bed.