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12/11/2006
US OPEN 2006
 

Boston USA

US OPEN 2006
November 13 - 16


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Oh, the “Gaul”-tier of it all...

BOSTON – Nov. 16, 2006
Competition in the Finals match of the 2006 U.S. Open Squash Championships finished today at the Back Bay Events Center, Boston.  The evening’s final action started off with the final “Best of Boston” match, where Dan Sharplin took on Preston Quick. The match went to a full four games before Sharpllin asserted his worthiness to take the title.

A crowd of over 1,000 gathered to watch the final match between world #1, Amr Shabana of Egypt, and world # 5, Gregory Gaultier of France.  The first game of the match started close, but a few surprising errors by Shabana put Gaultier up 6-3.  Winning back the serve, Shabana grabbed a quick two, but mon dieu, Gaultier came back with a vengeance going up 10-5, before putting Shabana out of his misery.

The second game of the match saw Gaultier up 6-3, before a stunning shot gave Shabana the point and serve. Another couple of dazzlers tied it up at 6-all, when Gaultier took control of the court and the game, zipping ahead to 9-6.  An aerobic volley earned Gaultier a point, but an out call gave Shabana the point and game, 11-7.
 
Even at 1-all, Shabana forced a couple of errors on Gaultier, but the formidable Frenchman came back with two unanswered points to tie it again at 3-all.  A dubious let call had Gaultier just a bit peeved, but it appeared to be just the impetus he needed to grab a quick five points.  At 9-4, Gaultier refused to relinquish control of the T, working Shabana like a punching bag to take the game 11-4 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Gods were smiling on Gaultier when he scooted up 5-3 in the fourth game.  A down ball brought the score to 4-5 before Shabana did that voodoo that he do to tighten the margin to 6-7.  At 8-6, Gaultier was infuriated with a call by the judges to bring it within one, 8-7.  A deadly shot by Shabana brought the game to 8-all, before two sweet points brought it to 10-8. Shabana squeezed out another point, before a tough no-let call gave Gaultier the win and match.

Commenting on his first Super Series victory, Gaultier (happier than one man should be!) thanked Amr for a great game and shared, “I was not satisfied with my play against David Palmer, but today I was relaxed and felt I played a good squash game.”  He also commented on the professionalism of the venue and the enthusiasm of the audience.

The winner of this year’s US Open wins over $10,000 in prize money, as well as a Tourneau Chronograph watch and a “key” to the Boston Racquet Club.  

Main tournament sponsors included the Boston Racquet Club, Dover Rug Company, Dunlop, IXIS Asset Management Advisors Group, Shipyard Brewery, Tourneau Watch and WBUR. The United States Open Squash Championship title is owned by the United States Squash Racquets Association and licensed to Event Engine, Inc.

 

Shabana & Gaultier To Contest US Open Final

Egypt's world No1 Amr Shabana and France's Gregory Gaultier will meet in the final of the US Open at the Back Bay Events Center in John Hancock Hall in Boston to guarantee a new champion of one of the world's most prestigious squash titles.

 

While Shabana was expected to overcome his fast-improving young compatriot Ramy Ashour, the 11th seed, in the semi-finals, sixth seed Gaultier had to battle for more than an hour to upset second seed David Palmer to claim his maiden PSA Tour win in six meetings against the former US Open champion from Australia .

 

The opening rallies of the second semi-final were shared until seven-all, when David Palmer kicked up the pressure to go 10-7 ahead.  Gaultier, on the other hand, had other plans and not only came back to tie it, but took the game in a tie-break to open up a one-game lead.

 

The Australian, runner-up last year, went 9-2 up in the second game, when Gaultier responded with six unanswered points.  But it was too little, too late, as Palmer wisely took himself in hand and drew level.

 

The pair were equally matched until four-all in the third when the Frenchman zipped ahead to 9-4, looking to seal Palmer's fate.  The Aussie persevered to make the game competitive, but went down as Gaultier edged ahead.

 

The underdog again led in the fourth 4-1, but Palmer edged in a few points via several Gaultier errors and his own well-placed shots.  Gaultier, conversely, was determined not to be trifled with and responded in kind, going up 10-5.  Palmer finessed two stunning shots to bring the score to 7-10, before Gaultier earned his 11-10 (2-0), 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 win - and a date with the favourite in the final, his fourth on the PSA Tour this year, and the 18th of his career.

 

In the first game of the much-anticipated match between the two Egyptians, the early exchanges were evenly-matched.  At 10-all, Shabana won the serve and hoped to finish off his young compatriot - but a stunning volley that had the crowd roaring with delight, followed up with a quick winner, earned Ashour the first game.

 

The energetic Ashour, the 19-year-old who had earlier taken out fourth-seeded Australian Anthony Ricketts, used every surface of the court to return well-placed shots from Shabana.  Tied at five-all, several Ashour errors afforded Shabana the chance to jump ahead 9-5. 

 

The volley for the tenth point was another crowd pleaser, ultimately going to Shabana and setting the tone for the final point and win for the world number one from Cairo .

 

After taking the third, Shabana took advantage of a rare bout of clumsiness by Ashour, and quickly ran up the score to 8-0.  Looking as if the 'magnitude' of his run for the US Open title might have compromised his concentration, Ashour stunned the crowd as he stole an astonishing nine match points to take the game to another tie-break.

 

An amazed audience watched as the Egyptian 'wonder kid' finally succumbed to the world number one - but not before endearing himself to a new legion of fans.

 

Shabana's 10-11 (0-2), 11-5, 11-8, 11-10 (2-0) victory in 56 minutes takes the 27-year-old into his second successive PSA Tour final – the fifth of the year and the 19th of his career.

 


. Draw
. Qualifying

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Reports
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Previews



Frenchman Gregory Gaultier celebrates with a new trophy at the US Open in Boston USA

 


France's Gregory Gaultier strides to take US Open title in 4 game showdown with Egypt's Amr Shabana



Semi Final Clash of the Egyptians in form Ramy Ashour loses out to Amr Shabana



Gaultier wins throught to final beating Palmer in the semi's


Gregory Gaultier at last triumphs over fellow countryman Frenchman Thierry Lincou


Egypt's Ramy Ashour takes US Open by storm and defeats Anthony Ricketts seeded 6 in second round upset


Englishman James Willstrop scrambles through first round against Anjema

draw

2006 US OPEN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

Round 1 Round 2 Quarters Semis Final
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
[1] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11/6, 11/7, 11/6 (29m)
[Q] Omar Elborolossy (Egy)
Amr Shabana
11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 (42m)
Ong Beng Hee
Amr Shabana
10-11 (2-4), 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (59m)
Nick Matthew

Amr Shabana

10-11(0-2), 11-5, 11-8, 11-10(2-0) (56m)
Ramy Ashour
Amr Shabana
11-5, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9
(1 hr. 1 min.)
Gregory Gaultier
[14] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11/9, 11/4, 11/7 (38m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
[7] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11/6, 11/5, 11/7 (32m)
[Q] Tom Richards (Eng)
Nick Matthew
11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (28m)
Olli Tuominen
[15] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (36m)
[Q] Aaron Franckomb (Aus)
[4] Anthony Ricketts (Aus)
11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 11/8 (58m)
Mark Chaloner (Eng)
Anthony Ricketts
7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (53m)
Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour
11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (31m)
Graham Ryding
[11] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (36m)
[Q] Shawn DeLierre (Can)
[5] James Willstrop (Eng)
9/11, 11/10(3-1), 6/11, 11/9, 11/7 (78m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
James Willstrop
11-10 (2-0), 11-3, 3-0 (28m)
Graham Ryding
[16] Graham Ryding (Can)
11/4, 11/9, 11/5 (29m)
[Q] Dylan Bennett (Ned)
[Q] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/7, 11/10(2-0), 7/11, 7/3 rtd (67m)
[12] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
Wael El Hindi
11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (41m)
Gregory Gaultier
Gregory Gaultier
11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (59m)
Thierry Lincou

Gregory Gaultier
11-10(2-0), 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (69m)David Palmer

Liam Kenny (Irl)
11/5, 11/4, 11/3 (38m)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
Mark Heather (Eng)
11/4, 11/1, 11/5 (26m)
[10] Stewart Boswell (Aus)
Stewart Boswell
5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (57m)
Thierry Lincou
Jean-Michel Arcucci (Fra)
11/4, 10/11(2-4), 11/9, 11/5 (56m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
[Q] Alister Walker (Eng)
11/8, 11/9, 7/11, 11/8 (83m)
[13] Adrian Grant (Eng)
Adrian Grant
6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-10 (2-0) (68m)
Lee Beachill
Lee Beachill
5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (60m)

David Palmer
Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
11/4, 11/10(4-2), 11/8 (37m)
[8] Lee Beachill (Eng)
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
9/11, 7/11, 11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (48m)
[9] John White (Sco)
John White
11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (48m)
David Palmer

[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
11/9, 11/5, 11/3 (31m)
[2] David Palmer (Aus)

Qualifying

Qualifying finals:

Alister Walker (ENG) bt Ahmed Maged Hamza (EGY) 11-9, 11-10 (2-0), 11-9

Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN) 4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 3-11, 11-5

Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Raj Nanda (AUS) 6-11, 10-11 (0-2), 11-10 (2-0), 11-7, 11-6

Tom Richards (ENG) bt Basit Ashfaq (PAK) 11-8, 11-6, 11-4

Omar Elborolossy (EGY) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7

Dylan Bennett (NED) bt Tony James (AUS) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6

Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7

Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-6

1st qualifying round:

Ahmed Maged Hamza (EGY) bt Alex Ingham (ENG) 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5

Mark Krajcsak (HUN) bt Regardt Schonborn (RSA) 10-11 (2-4), 11-7, 11-7, 11-7

Raj Nanda (AUS) bt Taiwo Kuti (NGR) 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 11-3

Tom Richards (ENG) bt Pat Malloy (USA) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4

Basit Ashfaq (PAK) bt Preston Quick (USA) 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-10 (2-0)

Omar Elborolossy (EGY) bt Badr Abdel Aziz (SWE) 11-5, 11-7, 11-7

Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Bernardo Samper (COL) 11-3, 10-11 (0-2), 11-4, 5-11, 11-8

Tony James (AUS) bt Lefika Ragontse (BOT) 11-7, 11-9, 11-5

Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt John Fulham (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6

Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Benjamin Oliner (USA) 11-2, 11-8, 11-8

Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Ben Howell (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3

Best of Boston Dr

Gaultier Celebrates Thierry Triumph – At Last - In Boston

After seven Gallic battles on the PSA Tour since December 2004, Gregory Gaultier finally secured the victory that has hitherto eluded him when he beat compatriot Thierry Lincou , France 's most successful squash player of all-time, in the quarter-finals of the US Open at the John Hancock Hall in Boston.

Three of their recent battles went to five games – with Lincou, the former world No1 and world champion, needing more than an hour each time to quash his younger compatriot. After taking the first game in Boston , Gaultier was quickly up 5-0 once again, but his formidable opponent fought back to tie the game, before Gaultier finessed a few quick points and Lincou committed a few rare errors, affording the 23-year-old from Aix-en-Provence to creep ahead 9-6, and ultimately take the game.

With a 2/0 lead, a confident sixth seed Gaultier came out strong - but Lincou, the third seed, kept the game neck-and-neck to 7-7. A tough shot to the calf that will likely leave a mark on the experienced Lincou put Gaultier ahead 8-7 – and appeared to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back! Three quick points later and Gaultier had finally secured his compatriot's scalp – and a place in the semi-finals following his 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 victory in 59 minutes.

Gaultier, now ranked five in the world, will face Australia 's David Palmer for a place in the final. In a repeat of last year's final, the Australian beat England's title-holder Lee Beachill 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in 60 minutes – ending the Yorkshireman's bid to become the first player to win the squash title three times in a row. For World Open champion Palmer, the victory means a fifth successive semi-final berth on the PSA Tour.

Egypt's Ramy Ashour continued his relentless charge through the Boston draw to claim an unexpected place in the other semi-final. The 19-year-old 11th seed from Cairo – who removed Australia 's No4 seed Anthony Ricketts in the previous round – overcame Canada 's 16th seed Graham Ryding 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 in just 31 minutes.

Ashour, who secured a shock place in the last month's Hong Kong Open final, will again meet his compatriot Amr Shabana, the top seed ranked one in the world, in the Boston semis.

Until the fourth game of the quarter-final match against Shabana, Nick Matthew's heart and soul were in terrific form. The British Open champion from England , ranked 7 in the world, was neck-and-neck with world's top player. Both players were sending shots deep and digging even further to eke out each point. At 12-all in the first game, Matthew earned a tough 13th point, before a down ball by Shabana gave him the early advantage.

In game two, Shabana crept up to a 10-8 lead before Matthew gave up the game-winning shot, allowing the top-ranked player to tie up the match. The third game started with Shabana ahead, but Matthew quickly brought it to 4-all and stayed in the game, before Shabana matched him at eight and never looked back. Shabana took the fourth and final game in a mere six minutes to secure his 10-11 (2-4), 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 win in 59 minutes.



Ricketts & Willstrop Fall As Ashour & Ryding Advance In Boston

Egyptian teenager Ramy Ashour and 'veteran' Canadian Graham Ryding pulled off notable upsets in the second round of the US Open Squash Championship with defeats over fourth seed Anthony Ricketts and fifth seed James Willstrop, respectively, at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.

Ashour, the 19-year-old rising star from Cairo who leapt from outside the world's top 20 to inside the top ten in two months, rallied from a game down to beat Ricketts, the world No6 from Sydney, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 in 53 minutes.

After taking the first game quickly, the Australian no doubt felt he had his young opponent mastered. But Ashour, the record double world junior champion, raced to an 8-2 lead in the second, before going on to draw level. Ricketts began playing more true to form in the third, but Ashour refused to go down easily.

Ricketts led 7-4, but 11th seed – but Ashour persevered. Five unanswered points had the Egyptian up 9-7 before Ricketts brought the score to 9-10, when a new racquet could have been a focus breaker However, Ashour went on to win and take a 2/1 lead in the match.

Up 9-6 in the fourth, Ashour slowed his game down, as Ricketts was run ragged and ultimately gave it up for the teenager.

Canada's Graham Ryding - the 16th seed whom Ashour will now meet - raised North American hopes when he edged out James Willstrop, the world No4, in the first game after a tie-break. But an injury to the Yorkshireman's hamstring cost him game two and ultimately the match when he withdrew from the event after 28 minutes with the score standing at 11-10 (2-0), 11-3, 3-0.

England's defending champion Lee Beachill, the No8 seed, recovered from a game behind to defeat compatriot Adrian Grant, the 13th seed, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-10 (2-0) in 68 minutes. In a repeat of last year's final, Beachill will now face Australia's David Palmer, the second seed who beat Scotland's Australian-born John White 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.

One of the standout quarter-final confrontations will be the all-French clash between third seed Thierry Lincou and sixth seed Gregory Gaultier – the pair's fourth on the PSA Tour this year. Gaultier, still looking for his first Tour victory over his compatriot, despatched Egypt's 12th seed Wael El Hindi 11-5, 11-5, 11-4, while Lincou, a former world No1 and world champion, battled for 57 minutes to quash Australia's Stewart Boswell, the 10th seed, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-6.

Ricketts & Willstrop Fall As Ashour & Ryding Advance In Boston

Egyptian teenager Ramy Ashour and 'veteran' Canadian Graham Ryding pulled off notable upsets in the second round of the US Open Squash Championship with defeats over fourth seed Anthony Ricketts and fifth seed James Willstrop, respectively, at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.

Ashour, the 19-year-old rising star from Cairo who leapt from outside the world's top 20 to inside the top ten in two months, rallied from a game down to beat Ricketts, the world No6 from Sydney, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 in 53 minutes.

After taking the first game quickly, the Australian no doubt felt he had his young opponent mastered. But Ashour, the record double world junior champion, raced to an 8-2 lead in the second, before going on to draw level. Ricketts began playing more true to form in the third, but Ashour refused to go down easily.

Ricketts led 7-4, but 11th seed – but Ashour persevered. Five unanswered points had the Egyptian up 9-7 before Ricketts brought the score to 9-10, when a new racquet could have been a focus breaker However, Ashour went on to win and take a 2/1 lead in the match.

Up 9-6 in the fourth, Ashour slowed his game down, as Ricketts was run ragged and ultimately gave it up for the teenager.

Canada's Graham Ryding - the 16th seed whom Ashour will now meet - raised North American hopes when he edged out James Willstrop, the world No4, in the first game after a tie-break. But an injury to the Yorkshireman's hamstring cost him game two and ultimately the match when he withdrew from the event after 28 minutes with the score standing at 11-10 (2-0), 11-3, 3-0.

England's defending champion Lee Beachill, the No8 seed, recovered from a game behind to defeat compatriot Adrian Grant, the 13th seed, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-10 (2-0) in 68 minutes. In a repeat of last year's final, Beachill will now face Australia's David Palmer, the second seed who beat Scotland's Australian-born John White 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.

One of the standout quarter-final confrontations will be the all-French clash between third seed Thierry Lincou and sixth seed Gregory Gaultier – the pair's fourth on the PSA Tour this year. Gaultier, still looking for his first Tour victory over his compatriot, despatched Egypt's 12th seed Wael El Hindi 11-5, 11-5, 11-4, while Lincou, a former world No1 and world champion, battled for 57 minutes to quash Australia's Stewart Boswell, the 10th seed, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-6.


Beachill On Course For Historic US Open Treble

Englishman Lee Beachill comfortably overcame his first round opponent in the US Open Squash Championship in Boston to keep alive his bid to become the first player in the modern era to win the prestigious US title three times in a row.

The 28-year-old Yorkshireman from Pontefract, seeded eight, beat Brazilian champion Rafael F Alarcon 11-4, 11-10 (4-2), 11-8 in 37 minutes at Harvard University’s Murr Center to set up a second round clash with compatriot Adrian Grant.

Londoner Grant, the 13th seed who is based in Yorkshire, survived an 83-minute marathon against fellow Yorkshire-based compatriot Alister Walker, a qualifier, winning 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8.

British Open champion Nick Matthew barely broke sweat in his victory over fellow Englishman Tom Richards, winning 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 in 32 minutes. Egypt’s Wael El Hindi not only advanced, but broke the spirit of English qualifier Daryl Selby. It was a contentious match from the start, with the Egyptian securing a place in the second round when Selby withdrew after 67 minutes with the score standing at 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 7-3.

Canada’s Graham Ryding easily defeated Dutch qualifier Dylan Bennett. "I was a little rusty to start, but my timing was solid by the third game,” said the 16th seed from Toronto after his 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 win in 29 minutes.

Ryding goes on to face England's fifth seed James Willstrop - who was taken the full distance by fast-improving Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema before winning 9-11, 11-10 (3-1), 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 78 minutes.

Egypt's rising star Ramy Ashour made quick work of Shawn Delierre to advance to the last sixteen round. The 19-year-old world No9 from Cairo beat the Canadian qualifier 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 – while his brother Hisham Mohd Ashour made John White’s advancement into the second round anything but easy.

The elder Ashour took the first two games in the match against the ninth seed from Scotland and White answered in kind with two for himself. The fifth and final game, though, was a tight one, but White’s trademark shot-making skills ultimately earned him the 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 win and a place in the last sixteen.

A distinguished squash career came to an end in Boston when England's Mark Chaloner went down 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 to Australia's No4 seed Anthony Ricketts in a fiercely-contested 58-minute battle.

Chaloner, 34, from Lincolnshire, achieved a career-high ranking of 7 in September 2001, six years after famously winning the deciding rubber in the final of the Men's World Team Championships against Pakistan in Egypt which gave England the title for the first time.

"The reason is mainly due to my body's refusal to go through with the demands competitive squash requires, at the speed which I expect and therefore a certain amount of frustration occurs. Arrgghh! So it became crystal clear in my mind on Friday 3rd Nov that it was time to move on," said Chaloner, who is President of the PSA.

"I don't intend however, just to disappear off the face of the squash World! I would like to continue my role on the PSA board, in whatever capacity that may be with not being a current player - yet to be determined - this depends of course if the players are keen on this!

"It's been a hell of an experience.....I'd recommend it to anyone, without hesitation," Chaloner concluded.

Intriguing National Battles Set Up By US Open Qualifiers

A trio of intriguing domestic clashes in the first round of the US Open Squash Championship have been set up following the conclusion of the fiercely-contested qualifying finals of the seventh PSA Super Series event of the year which will be staged for the first time at the John Hancock Hall in Boston.

Omar Elborolossy, a former world No14 who retired from the PSA Tour after a first round World Open exit in December 2004, beat India 's Harvard-based Siddharth Suchde 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 to achieve his first qualifying success in four PSA events since August.

But the 31-year-old from Cairo , who rejoined the PSA in July, was then drawn to face fellow Egyptian Amr Shabana, the world No1 and top seed who is also from Cairo . Their last meeting was exactly three years ago, when Elborolossy beat his illustrious compatriot in four games.

England's Tom Richards, a 20-year-old from Surrey in only his second year on the PSA Tour, beat Pakistan 's Basit Ashfaq 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 to earn his maiden first round berth in a Super Series event. But the world No63's reward is a first-ever meeting with fellow countryman Nick Matthew, the No7 seed and reigning British Open champion.

Another English coupling will take place when Adrian Grant, the Yorkshire-based 13th seed from London, takes on qualifier Alister Walker after the 24-year-old from Gloucestershire – also based in Yorkshire – beat Egypt's Ahmed Maged Hamza 11-9, 11-10 (2-0), 11-9 in the qualifying finals.

US National champion Julian Illingworth was unable to inject home-grown domestic interest in the first round of the nation's principal squash championship when he went down 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 to Englishman Daryl Selby.

But Canadian Shawn Delierre extended North American interest in the event when he fought back from two games down to defeat Australian Raj Nanda 6-11, 10-11 (0-2), 11-10 (2-0), 11-7, 11-6 in the only five-game qualifying final.

The 24-year-old from Montreal now lines up to meet the circuit's hottest new name - Ramy Ashour, the 19-year-old record two-times world junior champion from Egypt who has already leapt into the world's top ten after reaching the final of last month's Hong Kong Open.

Previews

World No1 Status & Year-End Super Series Points At Stake In 2006 US Open

With England's recent British Open champion Nick Matthew moving up to No7 in the world rankings - and Egyptian teenager Ramy Ashour pressing forward an impressive four spots to No9, playing better than ever and looking to squeeze by Egypt’s world number one Amr Shabana - this year’s US Open Squash Championship could well line up a new world number one.

The prestigious US Open – the seventh PSA Super Series event of the year, from 12-16 November - will begin at the Back Bay Events Center and move onto the stage of the comfortable 1100-seater John Hancock Hall in Boston. The new venue, coupled with its PSA-sanctioned Super Series level designation, has attracted a top-class field including the top eight players in the world.

Shabana has reigned supreme for eight months, but the US Open could easily change that. With the release of November’s rankings, England's 23-year-old James Willstrop returns to No4 and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, also 23, leaps two places to his best-ever fifth place.

Also of interest is Monday night’s potential match between Ashour and Anthony Ricketts, the world No6 from Australia - both of whom are contenders for the eighth and final spot in the year-end Super Series Finals. With just three Super Series events left in the season (US Open, Pakistan Open and Saudi International) - and Ashour currently ahead by a mere 387 points - it is truly anyone’s take.

Not to be ignored, veterans David Palmer (Australia) and Thierry Lincou (France), holding steady at No2 and No3 respectively, are also in top form. Palmer, in particular, is in the hunt, a mere 246 points off Shabana’s average.

John Nimick, US Open tournament chairman, says: "The squash season is cooking. Shabana, an incredible player, has his work cut out for him, with both veterans and up-and-comers looking to bump him from the coveted number one spot. I’m thrilled that the US Open could well be the starting point of some big upsets."

You can take the T, but forget about any other tea…
“Boston Squash Party” set for Nov. 16

All Attendees to Finals Match Invited to Attend Concert.

BOSTON – November 7, 2006 – Despite who wins, the only “blues” happening during the finals at the U.S. Open Squash Championships on Nov. 16 at the Back Bay Events Center will be coming from James Montgomery himself and special guest, 14-year-old sax phenom, Grace Kelly.

The popular artist, still glowing from the rave reviews for his last album, “Bring it on Home,” will bring his blend of gutsy blues; direct, gritty singing; and his command of a wide spray of electric- and acoustic-harmonica tones to guests of the U.S. Open’s final session on Nov. 16. All attendees and MSRA members are welcome at no additional charge.

John Nimick, U.S. Open tournament chairman, explains, “This is an exciting bonus for both players and guests. A chance to mingle with the world’s best squash players and enjoy great music at the same time...that’s not anarchy...it may be a little revolutionary offering world-class squash and first-rate blues music in one night, but that’s the only similarity to our infamous “Tea Party.”

Whether it's recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman or fronting his hot band of over thirty years, James Montgomery plays with authority. While growing up in Detroit he learned first-hand from the masters - James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and Jr. Wells - at the legendary "Chessmate." In 1970, as a student at Boston University, he formed the James Montgomery Blues Band. The band quickly rose to become one of the hottest acts on the New England music scene. Over the years, he's carried on in the tradition and continues to be a vital presence in Blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene.

www.usopensquash.com.

Qualifying matches run from November 10-12; visit the web site for a compete schedule. Schedule of main draw matches at John Hancock Hall’s Back Bay Events Center is as follows:

·Monday, Nov. 13 Noon – 10:00 p.m. Second Round
(2 separate sessions, noon & 6:00 p.m. starts)
· Tuesday, Nov. 14 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Quarterfinals
· Wednesday, Nov. 15 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Semifinals
·Thursday, Nov. 16 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Championship Match