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15/12/2006
8 GALLERY OPEN
 

Balbo Blossoms In Turin Gallery

8 Gallery Squash Open,
Turin, Italy

Final:
[4] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [3] Lee Drew (ENG) 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (65m

Semi-finals:
[3] Lee Drew (ENG) bt [1] Alex Stait (ENG) 11-4, 2-11, 11-6, 11-10 (3-1) (49m)
[4] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [2] Amr Ramzy Swelim (EGY) 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (54m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Alex Stait (ENG) bt [Q] Jens Schoor (GER) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (36m)
[3] Lee Drew (ENG) bt [5] Chris Ryder (ENG) 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (49m)
[4] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [Q] Romain Tenant (FRA) 11-4, 10-11 (1-3), 11-7, 11-10 (5-3) (52m)
[2] Amr Ramzy Swelim (EGY) bt [7] Luca Mastrostefano (ITA) 11-5, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)

1st round:
[1] Alex Stait (ENG) bt Darren Lewis (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (28m)
[Q] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [8] Bader Al Hussaini (KUW) 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (38m)
[3] Lee Drew (ENG) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-10 (3-1), 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (42m)
[5] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Gianvito Allegretti (ITA) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (33m)
[Q] Romain Tenant (FRA) bt [6] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (23m)
[4] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [Q] Joshua Greenfield (NZL) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (21m)
[7] Luca Mastrostefano (ITA) bt [Q] Shaun le Roux (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
[2] Amr Ramzy Swelim (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-9, 11-7 ret.

Balbo Blossoms In Turin Gallery
France's fourth seed Julien Balbo ended his squash year on a high at the 8 Gallery Shopping Mall in the Italian city of Turin when he beat Englishman Lee Drew, the No3 seed, in the final of the 8 Gallery Open to secure his maiden PSA Tour title.

Balbo, the French national champion in 1998, fought back from a game down to topple his 30-year-old opponent, from Colchester in Essex, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in 65 minutes.

It was the perfect reward for the 27-year-old from Grenoble who finished as runner-up in the Ciutat de Barcelona Open in September in his first PSA final appearance before going one better at his second attempt in Turin.

Balbo Topples Tenant In Turin
Julien Balbo survived a close-fought quarter-final contest with fellow Frenchman Romain Tenant in the 8 Gallery Squash Open to reach the last four of the new PSA Tour event at the 8 Gallery Shopping Mall in Turin, Italy.

Balbo, the fourth seed, was taken to tie-breaks in two games before prevailing 11-4, 10-11 (1-3), 11-7, 11-10 (5-3) in 52 minutes.

The 27-year-old from Grenoble now meets Egypt's No2 seed Amr Ramzy Swelim for a place in the final.

The other semi-final will be an all-English affair between third seed Lee Drew and favourite Alex Stait.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Alex Stait (ENG) v [3] Lee Drew (ENG)
[2] Amr Ramzy Swelim (EGY) v [4] Julien Balbo (FRA)

Alex & Amr Amble Into 8 Gallery Quarters
Top seeds Alex Stait and Amr Ramzy Swelim cruised into the last eight of the 8 Gallery Squash Open after straightforward first round victories in the new PSA Tour event at the 8 Gallery Shopping Mall in Turin, Italy.

Favourite Stait brushed aside fellow Englishman Darren Lewis 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 in just 28 minutes while Swelim, the No2 seed from Egypt, clinched his place in the next round after opponent Mathieu Castagnet retired injured with the score standing at 11-9, 11-7.

Manchester-based Stait will face Jens Schoor in the quarter-finals after the German qualifier upset Kuwait's No8 seed Bader Al Hussaini 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.

Frenchman Romain Tenant caused another shopping mall shock when he beat sixth seed Jan Koukal 11-3, 11-5, 11-4. The 23-year-old Czech number one from Prague has had a disappointing run on the PSA Tour over the past five months, failing to achieve his seeding in six events since July.

Tenant, a qualifier from Morlaix, will now meet fellow Frenchman Julien Balbo, the No4 seed, for a place in the last four.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Alex Stait (ENG) v [Q] Jens Schoor (GER)
[3] Lee Drew (ENG) v [5] Chris Ryder (ENG)
[4] Julien Balbo (FRA) v [Q] Romain Tenant (FRA)
[2] Amr Ramzy Swelim (EGY) v [7] Luca Mastrostefano (ITA)

Top Seeds Tumble In Turin
The top two seeds Alex Stait and Amr Ramzy Swelim crashed out of the 8 Gallery Squash Open after losing in the semi-finals of the new PSA Tour event at the 8 Gallery Shopping Mall in the Italian city of Turin.

Lee Drew avenged two previous PSA Tour losses to Alex Stait when he upset his fellow English compatriot, the No1 seed, 11-4, 2-11, 11-6, 11-10 (3-1) in 49 minutes to reach his second successive Tour final against the odds.

The 30-year-old from Colchester is the third seed in Turin - but in last month's Wolverhampton Open on home soil, Drew made it to the final as a qualifier!

In the fifth PSA final of his career, the Essex man will now face Frenchman Julien Balbo, the fourth seed who upset Egypt's No2 seed Amr Ramzy Swelim 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 in the other semi.

Balbo, the French national champion in 1998, secured his first PSA Tour final appearance in the Ciutat de Barcelona Open in Spain in September. Now celebrating his second, the 27-year-old from Grenoble is looking for his maiden Tour title success.