Storms To Qatar Classic Success
first major title success for more than two years, France's Gregory
Gaultier stormed to victory over England's higher-ranked James
Willstrop in the final of the 2011 Qatar Classic to pick up the
trophy for the first time in the sixth PSA World Series squash event
of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in
the Qatar capital Doha.
playing in their second Qatar Classic final - Willstrop was champion in 2005
and the Frenchman runner-up in 2007 - both players had been in impressive
form in the run up to the final, and delivered a quality match to the packed
audience in the glass court arena.
pulling clear from seven-all in a tight first game to go 1/0 ahead, Gaultier
was on top early in the second, establishing a 6-2 lead which, despite the
fourth-seeded Englishman's efforts, Willstrop couldn't close down as
Gaultier doubled his advantage.
game was all Willstrop, and after the Englishman had pulled clear Gaultier
let the last few points go, clearly preparing himself for the fourth.
And it was
Willstrop again who made the stronger start, leading 4-1 and 7-4. But, with
the crowd noisily on his side, Gaultier fought back to draw level at
numerous lets in the closing stages, it was Gaultier who eventually took the
final three points to claim his first World Series title since winning the
PSA World Series Finals crown for the second time in a row in March 2009.
"We've been playing each other since we were that high, since we were
juniors," the delighted Gaultier said
after his 11-8, 11-7, 2-11, 11-8 victory. "We had some memorable battles.
It's actually nice to see each other back in the final. He is just a
gentleman on court, such a fair player - I have tremendous respect for him.
my second home now," continued the 28-year-old world No6 from
Aix-en-Provence. "Joking apart, I've been coming here since the age of 16 or
17, and I've seen all the great players win this title - so for me, it's
like a dream come true, especially as I haven't won a major event for two
Yorkshireman Willstrop, celebrating his 25th appearance in a Tour final, was
full of praise for his opponent: "In the first two games Greg played down
the backhand side and was much better than me, which is a bit frustrating as
it's normally considered my strength. He played some super squash, his
attacks were better than mine, his accuracy and length was just superior to
third, I put it together better, I used my brain plus the help of Chris
(Robertson, the England national coach), as I knew something had to change,"
continued the world No4 from Leeds.
"I had to
find a way to stop him damaging me on that backhand side, as he was in a
comfortable position to hurt me with his shots. Maybe I made a few too many
errors there, but it was probably something to do with the way he was
reasons why he keeps on winning matches like that, my length and width was
just not good enough to preventing him from attacking, which means that, at
the end of the day, he played better.
going on all week about how good he felt, how good he played - and he proved
marks the 19th PSA Tour title of Gaultier's career - and will boost the
former world number one's confidence on the eve of next month's PSA World
Open in Rotterdam.
11-9, 11-4, 11-4
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (44m)
11-5, 11-8, 11-7
11-8, 11-4, 11-1
11-8, 11-7, 2-11,
15-13, 11-8, 11-5
[Q] Omar Abdel
11-8, 11-6, 9-11,
11-3, 11-3, 11-8 (44m)
Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11-8, 11-3, 11-4
11-9, 11-4, 11-4
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6 (60m)
2-11, 11-8, 11-5,
11-9, 11-4, 11-4
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (29m)
11-2, 11-2, 11-2
[Q] Kamran Khan
[Q] Mohammed Abbas (EGY)
11-4, 11-3 (30m)
 James Willstrop (Eng)
11-5, 11-2, 14-12 (47m)
6-11, 11-7, 11-4,
11-8, 11-3, 11-9
11-4, 7-11, 11-5 (56m)
[Q] Chris Ryder
7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (62m)
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
11-6, 11-3, 11-9 (56m)
11-6, 9-11, 11-2 (63m)
 Peter Barker (Eng)
Alan Clyne (SCO)
11-9, 7-11, 11-4 (56m)
 David Palmer (Aus)
11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 (80m)
11-8, 11-5, 4-11,
11-8, 11-2 (35m)
[Q] Marwan El
12-10, 11-7 (54m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11-7, 11-2, 13-11 (54m)
 Ramy Ashour (Egy)
(IND) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10 (57m)
Kamran Khan (MAS) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 9-11,
9-11, 11-8 (90m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 9-11, 13-11,
11-7, 11-8 (52m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-6, 11-4, 11-2
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-6, 7-11,
11-4, 11-3 (50m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-8, 11-9, 11-9
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 12-10, 12-10,
1st qualifying round:
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bye
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4
Kamran Khan (MAS) bt Omar Abdullah Al Emadi (QAT) 11-5, 11-5,
Joey Barrington (ENG) bt Bradley Hindle (MLT) 11-5, 11-6,
2-11, 5-11, 11-7 (74m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-7,
4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 (58m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-3, 6-11, 8-11,
11-7, 11-6 (103m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Wael Farag (EGY) 11-9, 11-9, 8-11,
1-11, 11-4 (60m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-8,
11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (53m)
Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt Ahmed Mohammed Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-0,
11-1, 11-6 (18m)
Robbie Temple (ENG! ) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-6, 11-9,
9-11, 11-7 (61m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 6-3 ret.
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-9, 11-8,
9-11, 6-11, 11-9 (88m)
Mazen Gamal (EGY) bt Abdul Rahman Al-Malki (QAT) 13-11, 11-4,
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Elvinn Keo (MAS) 11-2, 11-2, 11-4
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 12-10,
12-10, 8-11, 11-9 (54m)
& Gaultier To Contest Qatar Climax
games wins in today's semi-finals of the Qatar Classic have taken
England's fourth seed James Willstrop and Frenchman Gregory
Gaultier, the No6 seed, into the final of the sixth PSA World Series
squash event of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash
Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.
players will be marking their first World Series final appearance this year
- and, though both have reached the Doha climax before, only Willstrop has
tasted success, in 2005.
semi was the third meeting in Doha between Gaultier, runner-up in 2007, and
third seed Karim Darwish, the defending champion from Egypt.
previous meetings had been shared, but today Gaultier turned in one of his
best performances, taking a close first game, increasing his control in the
second, and totally dominating the third.
"I was so
comfortable on there," the delighted 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence said
later. "I was happy to play, so happy to play, and I hope I can keep on
playing like that."
success takes him into the 41st PSA Tour final of his career - bringing his
tally level with his illustrious 35-year-old fellow countryman Thierry
match of the day demonstrated a different way of winning three-nil as
Yorkshireman James Willstrop recovered from early deficits against
unseeded Australian Stewart Boswell in the first and third games, in
between cruising through the second to win 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 in 56 minutes.
the world No4 from Leeds, had reached the last four after comfortable wins
over a succession of lower-ranked players - while Boswell, a 33-year-old
former world No4 from Canberra, had battled past two higher-ranked fellow
countrymen, firstly eighth seed David Palmer, then world No16
a smooth operator, I had to be really dogged to get through tonight," said
Willstrop of Boswell. "The score-line doesn't really do him justice, but I'm
so pleased to get through to the final."
is celebrating the 25th PSA Tour final appearance of his career - but the
first since last December.
Willstrop Home In On Qatar Final
and James Willstrop, now the highest two seeds left in the Qatar
Classic draw, edged closer towards the final of the sixth PSA World
Series squash event of the year in the Qatar capital Doha after
four-game quarter-final victories today at the Khalifa International
Tennis & Squash Complex.
the fourth seed from England, faced fellow countryman Peter Barker in
a repeat of their meeting at the same stage of the US Open just over a week
ago. And, as it was then, Willstrop had to recover from a game down to beat
his England team-mate.
looked as though it was heading for a decider as Barker led throughout the
fourth, but his frustration grew as Willstrop pegged back the lead, saved
two game balls, and took the match after a tie-break 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11
in 56 minutes.
"Peter played a really good game for that court, he surprised me," Willstrop
later. "I didn't expect that game from him, taking the ball that early,
going that short. He is really adding to his game all the time.
had to dig in deep to turn it around."
match promised another upset when unseeded Swiss star Nicolas Mueller
raced into an 11-2 and 4-1 lead over Darwish, the third-seeded defending
Egyptian settled, and dominated from that point on to win 2-11, 11-8, 11-5,
11-4 in 35 minutes.
game is the best game I ever played in my life, up to 4-1 in the second,"
exclaimed Mueller afterwards. "I was very sharp and taking the ball very
early, and that surprised him a bit maybe."
bidding to become the first three-time winner of the title, was full of
praise of his young opponent - who upset Egyptian former champion Amr
Shabana and top-ranked Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar to reach the
he played superb squash - and if he goes on like that, he'll go to the top,"
said world No3 Darwish of Mueller.
to be no further upset for Egypt's Tarek Momen, who after his
explosive dismissal of top seed Nick Matthew in the previous round,
found sixth seed Gregory Gaultier a step too far.
the Frenchman had it at all easy. Despite winning in straight games 11-5,
11-8, 11-7, Gaultier was kept on court for over an hour - and the young
Egyptian had his chances in each of the last two games.
of sorts finally arrived in the last match of the day as Stewart Boswell
got the better of fellow Australian Cameron Pilley in four games
11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4. Both Aussies were unseeded, but on the night it was
Boswell - the victor over higher-ranked compatriot David Palmer in
the previous round - who won through.
Momen Momentum Downs Matthew In Qatar
Unheralded Egyptian Tarek Momen scored the best victory of his career when
he crushed England's world number one Nick Matthew in today's second round
of the Qatar Classic to claim an unlikely place in the quarter-finals of the
sixth PSA World Series squash event of the year in the Qatar capital Doha.
The straight games upset brought to an end a remarkable run of ten
successive PSA World Tour final appearances by the 31-year-old Englishman -
which began immediately following Matthew's semi-final exit in last year's
Matthew led 6-1 in the first game and 5-1 in the second, but both times the
confident 23-year-old from Cairo battled back. The out-of-sorts top seed
recovered from 1-6 and 6-9 down in the third and went on to save two match
balls - but it was third time lucky for Momen as the underdog raised in arms
in triumph after his shock 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 victory after 44 minutes.
"I'm speechless," said Momen after his shock win at the Khalifa
International Tennis & Squash Complex. "I've been so inconsistent for the
past three years, I had my upsets, but today is by far my best result.
"Today, everything was going my way, and I thought 'you've got to take the
opportunity, it may never happen again'.
"Nick is such an amazing player - you just have days where you don't get it
right, and I'm sure he'll be back very strong in the next tournament," added
the world No26.
Matthew was happy to try and explain matters later: "He made me feel very
slow today, he was so quick, and if anything, the score flatters me. Today,
was not my day, but he was too good today.
"Players have no respect for reputation, you've got to go on there and play
the ball, and that's exactly what Tarek did today - and maybe the English
young players should take example on him, as they sometimes give too much
respect to their opponent.
"But I'm getting older, I have to accept the fact that there will be days
where hungry young players get the better of me - I did it when I was young,
with David Palmer, Peter Nicol, John White, etc, when the adrenalin takes
you to the finishing line. That's what happened today with Tarek.
"But don't you worry, I'll be back strong for the Worlds!"
Momen, celebrating his first appearance in a 2011 PSA World Series
quarter-final, will now meet Gregory Gaultier after the sixth seed from
France defeated Indian qualifier Siddharth Suchde 11-3, 11-3, 11-8 in the
final match of the day.
There was disappointment for his compatriot Thierry Lincou earlier in the
day. Unseeded on the PSA Tour for the first time for more than a decade, the
35-year-old former world number one faced Peter Barker, the seventh seed
from England to whom he had never lost in four meetings since early 2006.
The left-hander from London looked to be heading for a comfortable win as he
pulled clear from six-all in the first and took the second 11/3 - but, as
expected, Lincou dug in and made the third tough.
At nine-all Lincou was annoyed to lose the point as Barker hit the ball from
the back into the Frenchman's leg, and having used his video appeal
fruitlessly on that one, had none left when Barker put in a tight forehand
volley to win the match 11-6, 11-3, 11-9.
"Too many errors, unforgivable," was the Frenchman's verdict.
Barker admitted that he had been pumped up by seeing his head-to-head record
with Lincou before the match: "Just before going on the court, I saw the
record on the screen, and thought, well, that's no good, is it!
"I didn't play badly yesterday, but I knew I had to step up today, and I'm
very happy with my two games, I think I contained him quite well, prevented
him to get in front of me.
"In the third, it was a different story - he used his experience and
physicality to step in front, and to be honest, I feel that I was lucky to
win the third.
"Thierry is a absolute living legend, and beating him while he is in the top
100 is such an honour, and especially 3/0. I'm very happy," added the world
Barker will now face England team-mate James Willstrop for the fourth time
this year - and the 15th time in his Tour career. The fourth seed from Leeds
overcame German number one Simon Rosner 11-5, 11-2, 14-12.
Swiss star Nicolas Mueller continued his impressive Doha run. Two days after
ousting Egypt's fifth seed and former champion Amr Shabana, the unseeded
22-year-old from Zurich upset higher-ranked Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar
11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6 in exactly an hour.
"In the US Open a few days ago, he beat me easily 3/0, so when I took the
first game, it boosted my confidence," said Mueller.
Celebrating his maiden appearance in a World Series quarter-final, Mueller
now faces third seed Karim Darwish. The defending champion from Egypt
recorded the swiftest win of the day beating Finnish qualifier Henrik
Mustonen 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 in just 29 minutes - in a repeat of their first
round clash in the 2010 event.
Cameron Pilley guaranteed Australian presence in the semi-finals when he
defeated England's Tom Richards 11-7, 11-2, 13-11 after saving two game
balls in the third.
The world No16 from New South Wales will face Canberra-born Stewart Boswell,
the world No19 who beat fellow countryman and eighth seed David Palmer - for
only the second time in 15 career meetings - 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 in
It was another match influenced by the pair's pre-match head-to-head record,
spotted by underdog Boswell: "I was not too happy about the 13/1 stats,"
admitted Boswell, who is now in his first World Series quarter-final since
January 2008. "David was over me for over a decade, so I'm happy to squeeze
this one tonight.
Retirement Sees Richards Through In Qatar
unseeded Tom Richards secured a surprise place in the last 16 round
of the Qatar Classic after second seed Ramy Ashour conceded
their first round match in the sixth PSA World Series squash event of
the year in the Qatar capital Doha after just 18 minutes.
the world number two who heads the 2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings,
was clearly struggling with an injury that hampered his movement on the
all-glass court at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
the world No24 who lost to the Egyptian at the North American Open in
February, took the opening two games before Ashour offered his hand in
"I know he
could barely move on there," said the 25-year-old from Surrey
after his surprise win. "Yet I still had to play the best squash I ever
played to beat him!"
goes on to face Cameron Pilley after the world No16 from Australia
saw off India's world No32 Saurav Ghosal 11-6, 12-10, 11-7.
an all-Australian second round clash was set up after Commonwealth Games
Doubles silver medallists David Palmer and Stewart Boswell
survived their first round battles.
four times a runner-up in the Doha event, was given a good workout by
Scotland's Alan Clyne in his last Qatar Classic.
end it wasn't the best," said eighth seed Palmer after his 12-10, 11-9,
7-11, 11-4 victory in 56 minutes. "But I'll take the win - nowadays, I take
what I can!
tomorrow, I'll have to play better," added the 35-year-old from New South
had lost after leading two-nil against Mohamed El Shorbagy in last
week's US Open in Philadelphia - but having taken the first two games
against his younger brother Marwan El Shorbagy, the Aussie finished
it off this time, racing through the third for the loss of just two further
points to set up a meeting with long-time adversary and Australian team-mate
Distinguished Frenchman Thierry Lincou gave one of the day's most
impressive performances to set up a meeting with England's No7 seed Peter
on the PSA Tour for the first time for over ten years, former world number
one Lincou found himself two games down against Egyptian Hisham Mohamed
Ashour, Ramy's older brother.
determined 35-year-old Frenchman bravely fought back to record an impressive
9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 victory after 62 minutes.
I was putting at the front ended in the tin, and I couldn't find any length
either, as he was twisting and turning me too much," said the Marseille man
about the first two games. "I was only able to play one rally the whole
match where I was in control. I'll be ready and sharp for playing against
Simon Rosner, who had won his last four encounters with Chris
Ryder, extended that run with a four-game win over the English
to get through," said Rosner. "Although I don't think either of us were
playing at our best, and I was disappointed that I relaxed a bit in the
third. Still you have to win those matches."
will next face James Willstrop, after the fourth-seeded Englishman
beat Egyptian qualifier Mohammed Abbas 11-6, 11-4, 11-3.
Shabana In Qatar Classic Upset
Just ten days
after winning the US Open, Egypt's Amr Shabana suffered one of
the biggest shocks of his illustrious career when he went down in straight
games to unseeded Swiss opponent Nicolas Mueller in today's first
round of the Qatar Classic, the sixth PSA World Series squash
event of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex
in the Qatar capital Doha.
It was the
four-time world champion's first opening round exit since December 2009,
after reaching at least the quarter-finals in 13 successive Tour events
since August last year. Furthermore, Shabana had reached the Qatar final in
his last three appearances in the event!
superbly well against the out-of-sorts Egyptian to reverse the result of
their only previous meeting - ironically, in the first round in Doha twelve
"Today is probably the best
match I've played in my life, even if I realise that Shabana was not 100%,"
the 22-year-old world No30 from Zurich said after his 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 shock
victory over the fifth seed, ranked five in the world.
Mueller will now
face Mohd Azlan Iskandar for a place in the quarter-finals after the
Malaysian overcame 16-year-old Qatari wildcard Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi
11-9, 11-4, 11-4.
But there was
better news for two of Shabana's fellow countrymen later in the day:
Tarek Momen got the better of fellow-Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz in
three close games, the 23-year-old from Cairo emerging triumphant 15-13,
11-8, 11-5 over qualifier Aziz in his first Tour meeting with his
28-year-old Cairo compatriot.
"I think we
really played well today, both of us," said Momen. "I'm happy with the way I
played, even if I made a few too many errors."
third seed Karim Darwish successfully began the defence of his title
with a 20-minute 11-2, 11-2, 11-2 win over Malaysian qualifier Kamran
much-anticipated all-Finnish clash between Olli Tuominen and
Henrik Mustonen fizzled out after just two minutes when the experienced
Tuominen retired with a calf injury sustained earlier in the week. Qualifier
Mustonen, who was winning his second conceded match in Doha in three days,
will now go on to meet Darwish.
Top seed Nick
Matthew produced an identical score-line to Malaysia's Azlan Iskandar
when he beat Pakistan's Aamir Atlas Khan 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 in 38
World number one
Matthew, bidding to win the title for a second time since 2009, will now
line up against Tarek Momen in the last 16 round.
delivered a second upset of the day to put out Egypt's Mohd Ali Anwar
Reda. After taking a two-game lead, the Indian qualifier looked set for
a straight games win - but although Reda fought back to take the third,
Suchde was unstoppable in the fourth to win 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-1.
"It's quite tough
to come from the qualification, you have no easy matches nowadays," said the
delighted 26-year-old from Mumbai. "And then, you've got to adapt from the
traditional court to the glass court. But the good thing is you've got no
pressure on you at all."
opponent will be France's sixth seed Gregory Gaultier, who was in no
mood to allow another upset, dismissing 18-year-old Egyptian qualifier
Mohamed Abouelghar 11-8, 11-3, 11-4.
Egyptian Quartet Boosts Qatar Classic Draw
claimed half of the qualifying places on offer in the 2011 Qatar Classic
as Alexandrian Marwan El Shorbagy and Cairo-based Mohammed Abbas,
Mohamed Abouelghar and Omar Abdel Aziz secured slots in the
main draw of the sixth PSA World Series squash event of the year at
the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar
recorded the first Egyptian win of the day as the 18-year-old came from a
game down to beat France's Yann Perrin in an entertaining four-game
tussle. Ranked 109 in the world, Abouelghar becomes the lowest-ranked
qualifier in the main draw - where he faces France's sixth seed Gregory
Gaultier for the first time in his career.
removed England's Jaymie Haycocks in four games, while veteran
Mohammed Abbas defeated Farhan Mehboob in three close games,
coming from 3-9 down in the second to frustrate the Pakistani.
Shorbagy junior similarly took three close games against fellow Egyptian
Mazen Gamal, winning 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.
well, the right tactic, and tried my best to avoid any silly shots," El
afterwards. "I'm really happy with the way I played."
Siddharth Suchde recovered from a game down to beat Matthew Karwalski
9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10. The Australian, who is being coached by David
Palmer in Orlando, threatened to take the match into a decider as he
took a 10-6 lead in the fourth, but a final flurry of five points in a row
saw the 26-year-old from Mumbai through in just short of an hour.
wouldn't say it was a good match," said Suchde. "We were both a bit edgy,
but you know what it is, when you're trying to qualify."
longest match of the day, Kamran Khan became the only Malaysian to
qualify when he beat England's Joey Barrington 11-8, 11-7, 9-11,
9-11, 11-8 in 90 minutes.
nothing to say except that I'm happy - well, relieved, more like," said
provided the only English success, getting the better of Malaysia's Muhd
Asyraf Azan in a comfortable three games.
also enjoyed a straight games victory, beating Englishman Robbie Temple
11-4, 11-4, 11-4. The Finnish number two's reward is a first round clash
with Olli Tuominen, the top-ranked Finn!
better today than I played all season," said Mustonen. "I did a lot of work
this summer, but it was not showing on court, so it's nice to finally see
Dominate Qatar Classic Qualifiers
dominated the opening day of qualifying in the Qatar Classic, the
sixth PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Khalifa
International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.
Marwan El Shorbagy and Mohamed Abouelghar both overcame
higher-ranked opponents to secure places in the qualifying finals of the
popular event in its 11th year. El Shorbagy, the 18-year-old world junior
champion from Alexandria, ranked 62 in the world, stemmed a fightback by
Ryan Cuskelly, ranked 21 places higher, to beat the experienced
Australian 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9 in 88 minutes.
didn't want to lose today," El Shorbagy said afterwards.
also 18, but from Cairo, reached 69 places above his world No109 ranking to
topple compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9.
Cairo-based Mazen Gamal denied local hope Abdul Rahman Al-Malki
a place in the qualifying finals, beating the 23-year-old Qatar number one
13-11, 11-4, 11-4.
earlier match between two players separated by just three world ranking
positions, Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz upset Malaysia's world No39
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 to set up a meeting with
Jaymie Haycocks, one of four successful Englishmen.
Leeds-based 27-year-old despatched Qatar's 19-year-old Ahmed Mohammed Al
Tamimi 11-0, 11-1, 11-6 in just 18 minutes.
will be joined by compatriots Chris Ryder, Joey Barrington and
Robbie Temple in the play-offs for places in the main draw.
Experienced Mohammed Abbas became the fifth Egyptian to make the
qualifying finals when he beat India's Harinder Pal Sandhu 12-10,
12-10, 8-11, 11-9 in the final match of the day.
Champion Darwish In Qatar Classic Record Bid
Egypt's Karim Darwish will be bidding to become the first player to win the
Qatar Classic three times when the sixth PSA World Series squash event of
the year, in its 11th edition since 2001, gets underway at the Khalifa
International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha this week.
The world number three from Cairo reached the final for the third year in a
row last year - and went on to win his second title after beating compatriot
Amr Shabana in four games.
But third seed Darwish, who has played in each event since 2001, is expected
to face stiff competition this year - not only again from Shabana, but also
from fellow countryman Ramy Ashour, the world No2, and favourite Nick
Matthew, the world number one from England.
Darwish opens his 2011 campaign against a qualifier and is expected to meet
fifth seed Shabana in the quarter-finals, before a semi-final clash with top
seed Matthew, whom he beat at the same stage in 2010.
Matthew begins his Qatar Classic campaign against Pakistani Aamir Atlas Khan
- and will be hoping to maintain the impressive run this year which has seen
the 31-year-old from Sheffield reach all five World Series event finals so
But Shabana is the man in the best form currently, after overcoming the
Englishman in the US Open final earlier this month. The four-time World Open
champion, Doha winner in 2007, takes on Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller in
the opening round.
Second seed Ramy Ashour - who, despite forgoing the US Open, heads the 2011
Dunlop PSA World Series Standings - lines up against up-and-coming
Englishman Tom Richards in the first round, before a likely quarter-final
encounter with eighth seed David Palmer. The distinguished two-time World
Open champion from Australia has reached the final four times since 2001,
but has yet to pick up one of the Tour's most prized titles.
After qualifying on 14 & 15 October, the main draw of the 2011 Qatar Classic
gets underway on Sunday 16 October leading to the final on Friday (21
11/4, 11/4, 11/4 (25m)
Line Hansen (Den)
11/6, 11/7, 11/1 (25m)
Kanzy El Dafrawy
11/6, 11/4, 11/8 (27m)
Raneem El Weleily
11/6, 4/11, 11/6, 11/8 (51mins)
11/2, 11/7, 11/3 (33m)
11/8, 4/11, 6/11, 11/6, 11/8 (73m
Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
Camille Serme (Fra)
11/3, 11/8, 11/5 (26m)
[Q] Tenille Van Der Merwe (Rsa)
11/7, 11/5, 11/5 (26m)
Raneem El Weleily
El Weleily (Egy)
11/4, 11/6, 8/11, 10/12, 11/3 (41m)
[Q] Tania Bailey (Eng)r
Rachael Grinham (Aus)
11/8, 11/5, 11/2 (26m)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)
7/11, 11/5, 11/7, 11/5 (49m)
14/12, 11/4, 11/7 (30m)
11/1, 11/9, 11/3 (32m)
Aisling Blake (Irl)
Abdel Kawy (Egy)
6/11, 11/3, 11/7, 13/11 (44m)
Emma Beddoes (Eng)
8/11, 11/6, 11/7, 6/11, 13/11 (54m)
Heba El Torky (Egy)
11/3, 11/9, 11/5 (28m)
 Low Wee Wern (Mas)
Low Wee Wern
11/6, 3/11, 12/10, 11/9 (57m)
Low Wee Wern
11/8, 11/5, 11/9 (42m)
11/9, 19/17, 11/9 (61mins)
Nour El Tayeb
Amr Mahmoud (Egy)
11/4, 11/3, 11/5 (22m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng)
Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy)
11/3, 5/11, 11/8, 11/7 (30m)
 Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Farah Abdel Meguid
11/5, 11/5, 11/3 (21m)
Munirah Juson (Mas)
11/6, 11/4, 11/2 (20m)
 Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/3, 12/14, 6/11, 11/6, 11/8 (53m)
 Donna Urquhart (Aus)
11/8, 11/7, 11/5 (29m)
11/8, 5/11, 11/8,
Nour El Tayeb
11/9, 7/11, 11/5 rtd (36m)
 Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/1, 14/12, 11/8 (25m)
 Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
Nour El Tayeb
11/8, 5/11, 11/9, 12/10 (59m)
11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (20m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
David claimed her fifth Qatar Classic title in six years after a dominant
win over Madeline Perry yesterday in Doha.
The Malaysian player was in no mood for
messing around as she instantly set about the task at hand and leapt to a
six-point lead with Perry unable to answer.
With David poised high up the court and
taking the ball early, there was little Perry could to do prevent the
dominance, and the Irishwoman was 7-1 in no time at all.
It was perhaps a slower start than Perry
would have liked after her 61 minute effort against Nour El Tayeb in
Thursdays semi-final, but David was frequently playing the ball short to no
reply from the world no4.
The world no1 played out the first game with
a comfortable 11-2 scoreline and stuck to her tactics in the second, racing
onto every ball , denying her opponent time and finding a good weight of
length into the back corners.
Already down in the second, Perry began to
assert herself. She clawed back a three-point deficit at 2-5, gaining some
space on the tee and chipping away at David’s defences. At 7-7 the game
could have gone either way, with both women looking strong in parts and
playing confident squash but David went up a gear to hit four winners and
claim the game 11-7.
struggled getting on the tee throughout the match, and no more so than in
the third game as David’s dominance proved too much. The Malaysian took
five-points in a row to lead 9-2, proving excellent retrieval skills at
whatever Perry could throw at her.
It took just one match ball attempt after a
lengthy rally for David to close out the final 3-0 in comfortable style.
The Qatar Classic champion told SquashSite
after the match: “This was the best I felt and the best I played all
tournament. I felt good on there and comfortable from the start.
My length was really good I was able to
contain her and prevent her form playing her shots as she can be so
dangerous on the volley. It’s one of those days where everything just comes
Perry and David to contest 2011 Qatar Classic
A deceptively close three-game win for Madeline Perry saw the
Irishwoman book her place in the 2011 Qatar Classic Final at the Khalifa
International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha last night.
Having never before faced her opponent Nour El Tayeb, the
game was one void of all reservations as both players looked to attack the
ball as quickly as possible to gain the upper hand.
The upper hand never came though in the first game, as
neither player was able to fully dominate the court and a game of cat and
mouse was only ended when Perry pulled two points clear at 9-all to claim
the first game.
The second game was more attritional from both players but no
less attacking. Perry seemed more in control than in the previous game, but
struggled to finish off the rallies as El Tayeb again demonstrated her
excellent speed and retrieval skills. El Tayeb’s refusal to submit to her
higher seeded opponent saw the 10-10 tiebreak extended to an exhausting
17-17 before Perry was able to close out the 28 minute second game, 19-17.
El Tayeb showed no signs of mental or physical fatigue from
the two first games, and again showed the relentless characteristic that has
seen her into her second successive Qatar Classic semi-final. The third
game was an all-out attacking display from the young Egyptian and still
there was very little separating the pair of them. Neither opponent was
ever more than two points ahead of the other, but it was Perry’s tour
experience that helped her through the vital points when it mattered and El
Tayeb fell just short again as her opponent took the third game 11-9.
Perry told Squashsite.co.uk after the match: “It was a
three-love, but it was never a three-love was it? I as just able to play
the big points better at the end of the games, but I was very happy to win
that last point!”
Before that, World no1 Nicol David booked her place in the
final with a closely fought win over Rachael Grinham of Australia.
Both players started the match carefully, sizing each other
up and testing the waters as they drew level at 5-all. From this point
though, David pulled ahead, finding a higher court position to force errors
from her opponent and won the next 6 points to Grinham’s 1.
Grinham found more consistency in the second and began to ask
questions of the Malaysian champion. Aided by her higher position on the
tee, she moved David around the court well, finished the points with simple
volleys and rightly took the game 11/4.
She was unable to keep the momentum however, as David
regained control around the middle of the court and played a consistent
game, chipping away at the defences of Grinham and moving her around well.
11/6 the score of the third.
The Australian came out and gave it her all in the fourth
game, but David was equal to her attacking shots. After a back-and-forth
initial exchange, David began to pull away and Grinham was unable to claw
back the deficit. The final game ended 11/8 and David books her fifth Qatar
final slot in six years. She told Squashsite.co.uk: “Our matches are nearly
always five setters and/or over 90mins so needless to say I’m very happy
with a 3-1 victory in 50 minutes.”
Following some major upsets in round two of
the Qatar Classic, the remaining seeded players resumed normality in
progressing through to the semi finals.
Malaysian Nicol David continued her battle to
retain her Qatar title by beating Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily in the first
quarter-final match in Qatar’s capital city Doha.
The World Champion led the game early on but
the young El Weleily played some good squash to draw level at 5-5. A lapse
in concentration allowed David to get in front of her opponent and a number
of unforced errors consigned El Weleily to an 11-6 defeat in the first
Raneem seemed to respond well initially but
she was unable to keep further errors from her game and David was happy to
retrieve and wait for the errors which became more frequent as the game
The third game showed a more consistent
approach from El Weleily. She fought well to stay level, having found a
better length than in previous games and even pulled ahead at 8-7. But
Nicol dug in and extended the rallies in the hunt for Raneem’s inevitable
errors to come through and David closed out the win in 27 minutes. 11-6,
Experienced number three seed Rachael Grinham
played young Englishwoman Emma Beddoes in the second quarter-final of the
Beddoes started well, utilising a good cross
court drop that Grinham struggled to respond to as the younger player clawed
back three game balls to lead at 11-10. Grinham’s tour experience worked in
her favour however, as she stayed with her opponent, giving little away and
eventually forcing an error to claim a tight first game 14-12.
Grinham raced to an early
6-0 lead in the second, through a combination of mid-court domination and a
number of errors from Beddoes. Beddoes was unable to find a consistent
length and struggled to find the corners, allowing Grinham to work the
volley to her advantage and punishing any lose shots, winning 11/4.
Beddoes started brightly
in the third. She was explosive into the front of the court and gained three
quick points having forced Grinham out of position. Grinham held her nerve
though, and weathered the storm to fight back to 6-6, stopping Beddoes
getting comfortable on the Tee. Steady, patient play worked in Grinhams
favour and her retrieval from the back was paramount in extending a lead
late on to hold and win match-ball, 11-7.
The number four seed
Madeline Perry continued her run of 3-0 wins in Qatar with deceptively close
11-8, 11-5, 11-9 victory over Malaysian Low Wee Wern. Low claimed a
four-game win over number five seed Laura Massaro in round two, and Perry
was well aware of what would happen if she lost focus. The Irish
international volleyed well though, and was a dominating court presence
throughout. Despite a more open third game, Perry was able to increase the
pressure on her opponent and close out the win in 42 minutes.
The last quarter final of
the day was a fast-paced, all-Egyptian affair between number 13 seed Nour El
Tayeb and Nour El Sherbini. A repeat of the World Junior Open Final in July
as well as the Alexandria Open Final in September, both players know each
others game well and as such, raced out of the blocks with short, quick-fire
rallies and neither player really gaining momentum over the other. El Tayeb,
who defeated number 2 seed Jenny Duncalf in the previous round, won the
first game narrowly 11-8, but was met with resistance in the second by a
determined and more consistent El Sherbini who claimed the second 11-5.
El Tayeb then came from
5-7 down in the third to win a succession of points on the bounce and win
the game 11-8, reclaiming her lead. Neither player wanted to concede the
fourth game, a point made evident by some aggressive shot selection from
both players, and El Tayeb’s retrieval sending her flying across the floor
on a number of occasions.
At 9-6 up, El Tayeb may
have thought the match was hers, but a stubborn El Sherbini refused to give
in and fought back, sending the game to a tie-break. It was the higher seed
who wanted it more in the end though, finishing off her match ball at the
second time of asking to book her place in the semi final, against the
number four seed Madeline Perry
It was carnage in Qatar as
the seeds continued to tumble in the Qatar Classic 2011.
There were few signs of the
things to come as top seed Nicol David once again wasted little
time in seeing off Egyptian Kanzy El Dafrawy in three games. David
went about her business in her usual composed fashion while the 17-year
old Egyptian once again covered all four corners of the court. There was
no diving today, but at 10-0 down in the third she let out a loud "YES" as
a mishit boast saved her from a whitewash! "I really enjoyed it," Kanzy
said, "I've wanted to play Nicol since the day I was born! She gave me no
chance, but I'm happy with my tournament."
Raneem El Weleily
will be the next young Egyptian to test Nicol, and judging by the form she
showed in this re-run of her world junior final against Camille Serme,
the Malaysian will be well tested. El Weleily always looked in control,
Serme unable to make much headway as thge constant pressure contributed to
more errors than is normal for the Frenchwoman."This is the third time I
played Camille this year and we were one-all," Weleily said, "so I knew it
wasn't going to be easy. Yesterday I played well for two games then it
didn't go the way I wanted, so even at 2-0 up I told myself it wasn't
over, to stay on court, stay on court. A disappointed Serme explained: "I
wanted to do well in this tournament and I went in with a game plan, but
from the start I just couldn't breathe properly and my body just wouldn't
let me do what I knew I needed to do. It's disappointing, but I'll just
have to put this tournament behind me and hop to do better in the Worlds."
Third seeded Australian
Rachael Grinham started slowly against Aisling Blake. The
Irishwoman, who ousted Sarah Kippax yesterday, raced into a 5/0 lead in
the first, and although Grinham pulled back it was too late to salvage the
game. However it did seem to set her up better for the rest of the match
as she kept her focus to win four.
"Aisling is tough to play,
she's improved a lost and I saw he play really well yesterday," Grinham
said. "After that start I resigned myself to losing the first, but needed
to get into the match as soon as I could rather than waiting for the
second."I told myself that if you took away the start I could have won the
The final match of the
session saw a nail-biter between Emma Beddoes and Joey Chan. Covering
very inch of the court they shared the first four games with hardly an
intervention from the referees. The fifth was point for point, and
although Chan got to match ball first it was still finley balanced as
Beddoes evened it up. The Hong Kong left-hander got one more chance at
11/10 but Beddoes hit a winning return of serve and then after some
frantic retrieveng by Joey Emma finally put a crosscourt too wide for
13/11 and let out a big "YES".
"I'm so delighted," a
jubilant winner said. "Matches like that go either way and today it was me
so I'm happy to take it this time, it doesn't happen too often!
"We were ranked about the
same so we knew it would be close, but it was a really good, fair game -
she called her own ball out at 8-all in the first and there were maybe two
decisions in the whole match. "I'm ecstatic, it's the furthest I've got in
a big tournament, especially to win after saving two match balls like I
did yesterday, and taking on Rachael on the glass court tomorrow should be
However, it was the evening
session was where the drama really unfolded. "That's definitely my best
win," a delighted Low Wee Wern said after she had beaten England's
in-form Laura Massaro in four tough games to start the evening
session. "Especially since she just won the US Open and I didn't even make
te main draw," added the diminutive Malaysian. After losing the first from
6/2 up, Massaro looked to have steadied the ship as she took the second
comfortably, but Low won the big points at the end of two tough, long
games, saving a game ball in the third and coming from 9/7 down in the
fourth to win 11/9.
Third seed Madeline Perry
stemmed the flow of upsets – albeit only temporarily - with a comfortable
11/5, 11/5, 11/3 victory over qualifier Farah Abdel Meguid in 22
minutes. "I was pleased with that," the Irishwoman said, "I'd only seen
her play a handful of points before, but I knew that if she beat Jaclyn [Hawkes]
she must be a good player, so I had to be on my toes from the start."
The Egyptian charge was soon
back on course though, as Nour El Sherbini put another seed out to
pasture, beating Donna Urquhart 11/8, 11/7, 11/5 in just under half
Urquhart said. "I just never managed to get into it and I'm not at all
tired. I'd never seen her play before, but she's fast and strong and puts
the ball away from anywhere - and she just played better than me today."
Sherbini was naturally pleased with her win. "I think I played well
today," said the 16-year-old former world junior number two. "I knew I had
to concentrate from the start, and I wasn't thinking about the size of the
tournament or her being left-handed, I just tied to play my game the best
I could and I think I did that.
A night of upsets was
completed with World Junior Champion Nour El Tayeb beating the
world number two Jenny Duncalf.
El Tayeb played well in the first game to win it 11/8, Duncalf bounced
back to level with 11/5, and then in a similar vein to previous matches it
was the underdog who prevailed at the end of tough and tense games. "I
knew I had to win the third and the fourth," said El Tayeb said, "if I'd
lost either of those my fitness wouldn't have carried me through the
fifth." She did win them both, just, taking two tense rallies at the end
of the third for 11/9 and almost letting a 7/2 in the fourth slip, diving
in vain on her first two match balls as Duncalf levelled it 10-all. A
third match ball was enough though, and after 59 minutes another top seed