Pakistan Open 2004
06-10 December, Islamabad, Pakistan, $85k

Latest: Final: [8] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [10] Anthony Ricketts (AUS)  
6-11, 11-9, 11-10 (3-1), 11-3 (58m)

Willstrop Wins
Pakistan Open Title

England's James Willstrop claimed the biggest squash title of his career today  when he beat Australia's Anthony Ricketts in the final of the $85,000 Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open Championship at the Mushaf Squash Complex in Islamabad.

It was the 21-year-old Yorkshireman's first appearance in a PSA Super Series event final.  After dropping the first game against the former world No6 from Sydney, eighth seed Willstrop powered to a 6-11 11-9 11-10 11-3 victory in 58 minutes.

Chief Guest at the final - only the second in the event's 20-year history not to feature Pakistani interest - was Mr Shaukat Aziz, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The two players arrived at the event's climax in contrasting styles:  Ricketts, the tenth seed, took more than three hours to upset fourth seed Karim Darwish, seventh seed Gregory Gaultier and fifth seed and defending champion Jonathon Power in the previous three rounds - while Willstrop, the former world junior champion, brushed aside his three opponents, including the 2003 world champion Amr Shabana and No2 seed Nick Matthew, in less than 70 minutes.

A delighted Willstrop was quick to heap praise on others afterwards:  "I want to thank two people back home that have helped me.  Damon Brown, who has helped me get fit, and my brother David Campion.  And of course, my coach, my father, the man who has made me the player that I am, Malcolm Willstrop."

Willstrop's Islamabad success rounds off a sensational year for the Pontefract prodigy.  The Pakistan Open brings to twelve the number of PSA tour events in which he has competed this year - all of which he has achieved his seeding, and six of which he has exceeded his predicted finish.

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    (Above: Willlstrop is totally dominant over Matthew in the semi-final.)

    "I'm OK, but I twisted my
    knee in Qatar. It's sore, so I've got to be careful. I had to stop the match.  James was playing very well."
Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open 2004
06-10 December, Islamabad, Pakistan, $85k  
First Round
Mon 06
Last 16
Tue 07
Wed 08
Thu 09
Fri 10
[1] David Palmer (AUs)
11/2, 11/3, 11/2 (14m)
[Q] Khayal Mohammed (PAK)
David Palmer
11-9, 11-8, 3-11,
11-8 (45m)
Mansoor Zaman
11-6 11-7
5-11 11-7 (50m)
11-9, 11-10, (2-0)
1-11, 11-7.
6-11, 11-9,
11-10 (3-1), 11-3
[12] Dan Jenson (AUS)
11/6, 8/11, 11/10(2-0), 4/11,
11/9 (65m)
Mansoor Zaman (PAK)
[5] Jonathon Power (Can)
11/5, 6/11, 11/6, 11/5 (43m)
Peter Barker (ENG)
Jonathon Power
11-7, 11-5, 11-4
Mohammed Abbas
[11] Mohammed Abbas (EGY
11/9, 11/5, 11/5 (27m)
Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY)
11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (26m)
Shahier Razik (CAN)
Karim Darwish
9-11, 11-6, 11-7,
10/11 (1-3),
 11-2 (63 m)
Anthony Ricketts
11-7, 5-11, 11-5,
11-6 (54m)
[10] Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
11/2, 11/8, 11/4 (19m)
[Q] Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[7] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
11/9, 11/9, 11/4 (46m)
[Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Gregory Gaultier
11-5, 7-11, 11-4,
8-11, 11-9
Renan Lavigne
[14] Renan Lavigne (FRA)
11/8, 11/7, 11/8 (32m)
Yasir Butt (PAK)
Olli Tuominen (FIN)
10/11(1-3), 11/7, 11/3, 9/11,
11/7 (66m)
[13] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Olli Tuominen
11-/7 11-/4
11-1 (19m)
James Willstrop

11-9, 11-7,
1-0 retd
Amr Shabana

11/4, 11/5,
Alex Gough (WAL)
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 11/3 (41m)
[8] James Willstrop (ENG)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (PAK)
11/9, 11/5, 11/10(2-0) (31m)
[15] Mark Chaloner (ENG)
Mark Chaloner
11/5, 11/7, 11/6
Amr Shabana
[Q] Joey Barrington (ENG)
11/9, 9/11, 11/8, 11/9 (37m)
[3] Amr Shabana (ENG)
[Q] Shahid Zaman (PAK)
6/11, 11/10(3-1), 11/4, 4/11,
11/3 (69m)
[9] Adrian Grant (ENG)
Shahid Zaman
11/9, 11/7,
11/3 (39m)
Joe Kneipp
Shahid Zaman
11-5, 7-11,
10-11 (3-2),
11-3, 11-6
[Q] Amjad Khan (PAK)
11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (18m)
[6] Joe Kneipp (AUS)
[Q] Shamsul Islam Khan (PAL)
11/6, 4/11, 11/7, 8/11, 11/4 (38m)
[16] Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
Shamsul Islam Khan
11-5, 11-5,
11-8 (33m)
Nick Matthew
Davide Bianchetti (ITA)
11/8, 11/3, 1/0 rtd
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG)


Finals, 05-Dec:
Laurens Jan Anjema
(Ned) bt Zubair Ali Khan (Pak)  11/4, 11/6, 9/11, 11/2 (27m)
Khayal Mohammed
(Pak) bt Majid Khan (Pak)  11/2 10/11 (0-2), 11/8 11/7 (48m)
Shamsul Islam Khan
(Pak) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus) 4/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/5, 11/2 (44m)
Farhan Mehboob
(Pak) bt Gavin Jones (Wal) 7/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/10(2-0), 11/10(3-1) (54m)
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Arshad Iqbal (Pak) 11/9, 11/5, 11/10(2-0) (43m)
Shahid Zaman (Pak) bt Wakeel Khan (Pak)  11/6, 11/4, 11/6 (18m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) v Saeed Hassan (Pak)  11/9, 11/9, 11/1 (18m)
Amjad Khan (Pak) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak)  11/6, 11/9, 11/9 (33m)

First Round, 04-Dec:
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Aaqib Hanif (Pak) 11/6, 10/11(0-2), 11/7, 11/6 (43m)
Zubair Ali Khan (Pak) bt Safeerullah (Pak) 8/11, 11/8, 11/4, 6/11, 11/10(5-3) (41m)
Majid Khan (Pak) bt Asghar Khan (Pak) 11/6, 11/7, 11/10(2-0) (23m)
Khayal Mohd (Pak) bt Waseem Shad (Pak) 11/10(2-0), 11/9, 11/9 (44m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Khalid Atlas (Pak) 11/4, 11/7, 11/5 (22m)
Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) bt Mubashir Gul (Pak) 3/11, 11/4, 11/5, 11/7 (33m)
Gavin Jones (Wal) bt Jehanzeb Masood (Pak) 11/2, 11/6, 11/4 (18m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt Farhan Moeen (Pak) 11/3, 11/4, 11/3 (15m)

Arshad Iqbal (Pak) bt Mohd Ateeq (Pak) 11/8, 11/3, 11/2 (17m)
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Bilal Zaman (Pak) 11/1, 9/11, 11/2, 11/6 (32m)
Wakeel Khan (Pak) bt Naveed Atlas (Pak) 11/4, 11/6, 11/8 (31m)
Shahid Zaman (Pak) bt Waqar Mehboob (Pak) 11/8, 11/3, 11/4 (17m)
Saeed Hassan (Pak) bt Aman Gul (Pak) 11/5, 11/6, 11/7 (16m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Basit Ashfaq (Pak) rtd
Amjad Khan (Pak) bt Farrukh Zaman (Pak) 11/10(2-0), 7/11, 11/7, 11/8 (37m)
Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) bt Bradley Ball (Eng) rtd

Pre-qualifying Finals, 03-Dec:
Khalid Atlas Khan bt Adnan Khan 11/8, 11/6, 11/3 (18m)
Jehanzeb Masood bt Adil Atlas Khan 7/11, 11/10, (4-2), 11/5, 11/8 (38m)
Amajd Khan bt Alamzeb Jnr 11/7, 11/9, 11/4 (18m)
Asghar Khan bt Shoaib Hassan 4/11, 8/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/7 (31m)
Mubashir Gul bt Maqbali Khan 11/6, 11/7, 11/3 (21m)
Aqib Hanif bt Kashif Khan 11/9, 11/3, 11/5 (20m)
Waqar Mehboob bt Jehangir Khan Jnr 11/5, 11/1, 11/7 (15m)
Aman Gul Walk over

Pre-Qualifying First Round, 02-Dec:
Khalid Atlas Khan bt Naveed Alam  11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (17m)
Adnan Khan bt Muhammad Waseem  11/2, 11/8, 11/6 (17m)
Jehanzeb Masood bt Alamgir Rehman  11/3, 11/7, 11/7 (15m)
Adil Atlas bt Adnan Gul  11/6, 6/11, 11/3, 11/2 (15m)
Amajd Khan bt Fahim Gul  11/8, 11/2, 11/8 (20m)
Alamzeb Jnr bt Fahad Zaman  11/7, 11/5, 7/11, 11/8 (27m)
Asghar Khan bt Muhammad Ilyas  11/4, 11/4, 11/5 (11m)
Shoaib Hassan bt Sheikh Saqib  11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (14m)
Maqbali Khan bt Muhammad Naveed  11/8, 11/7, 11/10 (3-1) (20m)
Mubashir Gul bt Ikramullah  11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (14m)
Kashif Khan bt Faizan Nawaz  7/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/3 (16m)
Aqib Hanif bt Asghar Ali  11/3, 11/5, 11/3 (13m)
Jehangir Khan Jnr bt Naveed Nasir  11/8, 10/11(5-7), 7/11, 11/7, 11/0 (32m)
Waqar Mehboob bt Bilal Khan  11/3, 11/1, 11/1 (7m)
Aman Gul bt Khalid Khan  11/3, 11/3, 11/0 (10m)
Wakeel Khan bt Asif Khan  11/7, 11/2, 11/7 (23m)


Willstop and Rickets First Clash
The Islamabad crowd was treated to dramatic upsets in both of today's (Thursday) semi-finals of the Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open Squash Championship at the Mushaf Squash Complex when England's James Willstrop toppled second-seeded compatriot Nick Matthew in straight games and Australia's Anthony Ricketts pulled off his career-first win over fifth seed Jonathon Power, t he defending champion from Canada.

When they last met on the PSA Tour, in the Swedish Open in February, Nick Matthew beat fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop.  But the tall, 6' 4", former world junior champion from Pontefract, the eighth seed, was in sparkling form today as he defeated Matthew 11-4 11-5 11-5 in 30 minutes to reach his first PSA Super Series final.Ricketts put behind him three losses to Power since October to triumph over the greatest North American player of all-time 11-9 11-10 7-11 1-11 11-7 in 79 minutes.

The 25-year-old from Sydney, who was out of action for the first half of the year following knee surgery, is rapidly regaining the form which took him to a career-high world No6 just over a year ago.

Ricketts has never played Willstrop before.  The Islamabad crowd is sure to witness a classic debut encounter as both players seek a maiden Pakistan Open title

Power Punishes Palmer In Pakistan
After two successive losses to the Australian this year, Canada's fifth seed Jonathon Power made amends today (Wednesday) with an 11-7 11-7 5-11 11-7 win in 50 minutes over top seed David Palmer in the quarter-finals of the Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open Squash Championship in Islamabad.

Power, the defending champion from Montreal who is competing in his eighth PSA Tour event since September, now meets another Australian Anthony Ricketts for a place in the final.  Ricketts, the tenth seed who is looking for his first win over the Canadian, upset France's seventh seed Gregory Gaultier 11-7 5-11 11-5 11-6 in 50 minutes.

England's rapidly improving James Willstrop added another notable scalp to his collection when he defeated Egypt's Amr Shabana in just 20 minutes.  Third seed Shabana, the 2003 world champion, conceded the match after two games.

"I'm OK, but I twisted my knee last week in Qatar," Shabana told Framboise Gommendy of  "Today, it's very sore, so I've got to be careful, so I had to stop the match.  But James was playing very well today."

Willstrop, the eighth seed, now looks forward to a semi-final clash with fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew, the No2 seed.  Matthew ended local interest in the event with a five-game defeat of brave qualifier Shahid Zaman - but the 24-year-old from Sheffield had to fight back from 1/2 down to overcome the local hero 11-5 7-11 10-11 11-3 11-6 in 62 minutes.

Zaman Zaps Kneipp In Islamabad

Pakistan's Shahid Zaman continued his run of good form over the past few weeks by claiming his biggest scalp to date in despatching Australia's sixth seed Joseph Kneipp in straight games in today's (Tuesday) second round of the Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open Squash Championship in Islamabad.

The 22-year-old qualifier from Quetta, who is currently based in the UK, made his breakthrough in the first round with a five-game victory over ninth seed Adrian Grant.  He then overwhelmed Kneipp, the world No11 from Brisbane, winning 11-9 11-7 11-3 in 35 minutes.

Shahid's cousin Mansoor Zaman, however, was unable to produce a second successive upset in Islamabad.  The unseeded left-hander from Peshawar, who beat 12th seed Dan Jenson on the opening day, kept top-seeded Australian David Palmer on court for 45 minutes but eventually went down 11-9 11-8 3-11 11-8.

"It was a tricky match.  I played well, but this week I find it difficult to find any motivation," Palmer conceded to Framboise Gommendy of  "I felt in control for the first two games, then I fell a bit flat, and that's when he started playing very well.  I find it surprising that he doesn't play at that level the rest of the year.  I'm really happy to get through to the next round, and I'm looking forward to playing Jonathan tomorrow."

Canada's fifth seed Jonathon Power set up his third PSA Tour clash this year with Palmer after dismissing Egypt's 11th seed Mohammed Abbas 11-7 11-5 11-4 in 38 minutes.  After losing to the Australian in the Hong Kong Open in September and in the Bermuda Open in March, Power will be looking forward to resuming his winning ways of 2003 against the world No4 in Wednesday's quarter-final.

Palmer's compatriot Anthony Ricketts was in impressive form in his second round encounter against Egypt's fourth seed Karim Darwish.  The tenth seed from Sydney came back from a game down, and withstood two tie-break games, to upset Darwish 9-11 11-6 11-10 10-11 11-2 in 62 minutes.  

The day's most decisive victory was gained by English star James Willstrop, the 21-year-old world No13 who is the eighth seed.  Willstrop brushed aside unseeded Finn Olli Tuominen 11-7 11-4 11-1 in just 19 minutes to set up a last eight clash with Egypt's former world champion Amr Shabana.

"It's the best I've played for a long time," said Willstrop on  "It's nice when everything just comes back together.  I played with a lot of confidence.  The first game was tough.  As Olli gets everything back, I tried to take control of the rallies early.  I must say I was expecting a very tough match, and I thought that all the games were going to be as hard as the first, and I was expecting to have to play a five setter.  So I was really pleased to win in three."

Pakistanis Lead Islamabad Upsets

Three Pakistanis delighted home crowds at the Bank Alfalah Pakistan Open Squash Championship by claiming unexpected places in the second round of the PSA Super Series Silver event in Islamabad.

UK-based Shahid Zaman scored the biggest upset of the three when he despatched England's ninth seed Adrian Grant 6-11 11-10 11-4 4-11 11-3 in 69 minutes.  Shahid, a 22-year-old qualifier from Quetta, now becomes the second Pakistani to face sixth seed Joseph Kneipp after the Australian ended Amjad Khan's comeback run with an 11-4 11-6 11-4 defeat in just 18 minutes.

Shahid's unseeded cousin Mansoor Zaman was also in sparkling first round form, beating Australia's 12th seed Dan Jenson 11-6 8-11 11-10 4-11 11-9 in 65 minutes to set up a second round clash with another Australian David Palmer, the top seed.  Palmer cruised to an 11-2 11-3 11-2 win over local qualifier Khayal Muhammad in just 14 minutes.

Defending champion Jonathon Power was taken to four games by unseeded Englishman Peter Barker before winning 11-5 6-11 11-6 11-5 in 43 minutes.  The fifth seed from Canada now faces Egypt's 11th seed Mohammed Abbas for a place in the quarter-finals.

Unseeded Finn Olli Tuominen continued the form which saw him remove seventh seed John White in last week's World Open in Qatar when he upset 13th seed Ong Beng-Hee in the first round in Islamabad.  The 25-year-old from Helsinki beat the Malaysian 10-11 11-7 11-3 9-11 11-7 in 66 minutes to earn a second round meeting with England's eighth seed James Willstrop.