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Ramy Ashour & Omneya Abdel Kawy Retain Hurghada Titles

Hurghada International 2009
Men's Draw
28th Mar - 4th Apr, Egypt, $62k
Round One
31 &  01
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/7, 11/2, 11/5 (27m)
[Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
Karim Darwish
11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (30m)
Aamir Atlas Khan
Karim Darwish
10-12, 11-4, 12-10, 11-7 (56m)
Gregory Gaulti
Gregory Gaultier
7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (47m)
Ramy Ashour
[5] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
13/11, 11/5, 12/10 (50m)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11/5, 11/3, 11/5 (31m)
[Q] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
Gregory Gaultier
11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (35m)
Farhan Mehboob
[6] Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
6/11, 11/8, 11/13, 12/10, 11/3 (73m)
Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy)
Tarek Momen (Egy)
11/9, 4/11, 11/6, 11/4 (40m)
[7] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
Tarek Momen
11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (35m)
Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour
11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (40m)
Amr Shabana
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
11/8, 14/12, 11/9 (42m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
[Q] Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
11/3, 12/10, 4/3 rtd (35m)
[8] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (62m)
Amr Shabana
[Q] Amr Swelim (Egy)
9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (38m)
[2] Amr Shabana (Egy)

29-Mar, Qualifying Finals:
Amr Swelim
(Egy) bt Andrew Wagih (Egy) 11/4, 11/9, 9/11, 11/4 (32m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 8/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (65m)
Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Mazen Gamal (Egy) 11/6, 11/6, 8/11, 11/5 (49m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Robbie Temple (Eng) 11/8, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)

28-Mar, Qualifying first round:

Andrew Wagih (Egy) bt Tom Richards (Eng) 5/11, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 10/11 disq (58m)
Amr Swelim (Egy) bt Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11/8, 12/10, 11/3 (41m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) 11/9, 11/6, 9/11, 11/4 (53m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (Rsa) 11/3, 11/5, 8/11, 11/8 (31m)
Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Rob Sutherland (Wal) 12/10, 8/11, 11/8, 3/11, 11/2 (66m)
Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Ahmed Hawas (Egy) 11/3, 11/4, 11/2 (18m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Basem Makram (Egy) 11/9, 11/7, 11/8 (37m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Karim AGA Samy (Egy) 11/6, 11/7, 11/4 (22m)

Hurghada International 2009
Women's Draw
28th Mar - 4th Apr, Egypt, $26k
Round One
31 & 01
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
11/6, 6/11, 11/9, 11/3 (35m)
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
Rachael Grinham
11-3, 11-8, 13-11 (30m)
Tenille Swartz
Rachael Grinham
11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (30m)
Camille Serme
Rachael Grinham
11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 12-10 (63m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[6] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
8/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/9, 12/10 (61m)
Tenille Swartz (Rsa)
[4] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (29m)
Orla Noom (Ned)
Rebecca Chiu
11-9, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6 (35m)
Camille Serme
[7] Line Hansen (Den)
6/11, 11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 11/9 (48m)
Camille Serme (Fra)
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
12/14, 11/7, 11/9, 11/5 (45m)
[5] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
Heba El Torky
11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (21m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Omneya Abdel Kawy
12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 13-15, 11-6 (64m)
Jenny Duncalf
Christina Mak (Hkg)
11/2, 11/1, 11/5 (14m)
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg)
14/12, 6/11, 9/11, 14/12, 11/6 (52m)
[8] Sharon Wee (Mas)
Joey Chan
11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (31m)
Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11/8, 11/4, 12/10 (29m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
29-Mar, Qualifying Finals:
Joey Chan (Hkg) bt Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) 11/6, 8/11, 11/4, 11/3 (38m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Olivia Blatchford (Usa) 11/7, 9/11, 11/3, 11/8 (32m)
 Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Nouran El Torky (Egy) 11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (37m) 
Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11/8, 11/4, 11/9 (25m)
            11/8, 11/4, 11/9 (25m)  plays El Weleily

28-Mar, Qualifying Round One:

Joey Chan (Hkg) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy) 9/11, 11/4, 11/4, 11/7 (32m)
Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) bt Salma Hany (Egy) 10/12, 11/5, 11/7, 11/9 (45m)
Olivia Blatchford (Usa) bt Elise Ng (Hkg) 11/3, 12/10, 11/7 (27m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Salma Nasser (Egy) 9/11, 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (33m)
Nouran El Torky (Egy) bt Coline Aumard (Fra) 11/7, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Eliza Kargioti (Gre) 11/4, 11/0, 11/8 (20m)
Lucie Fialova (Cze) bt Sara El Noamany (Egy) 11/9, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8 (38m)
Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Farida El Dahab (Egy) 11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (16m)


Ramy Ashour & Omneya Abdel Kawy Retain Hurghada Titles


Egyptians Ramy Ashour and Omneya Abdel Kawy retained their titles in the Hurghada International Squash Championships - and provided the perfect conclusion for the packed partisan crowd in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada after beating Frenchman Gregory Gaultier and Australian Rachael Grinham, respectively, in the finals of the Tour event being staged on an all-glass court at the Sindbad Beach Resort.


Ashour, who replaced Gaultier as world No3 in this month's Dunlop PSA world rankings, was meeting the 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence in the climax of the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event for the first time since October 2007 - and looking for a third successive win which would bring the pair's career head-to-head tally to three-all.


And, after dropping the first game, the 21-year-old fourth seed battled back to beat third seed Gaultier 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 in 47 minutes.


"Before I went on today I felt a bit sleepy - I had to throw water on my face to try to wake up," Ashour explained later.  "I was a bit slow in the first game but got myself moving much better after that.


"Before the game my coach and my brother told me I had to keep it in the back corners, it's very dead on this court and if you can get it there you have a big advantage.  I did what they told me, then went for my shots when it came to the front.


"It's always hard with Greg though, he never gives up until the last point and I was so pleased to win it, so pleased," concluded Ashour, who now boasts 12 Tour titles from 18 final appearances.


Omneya Abdel Kawy and Rachael Grinham were celebrating their sixth successive meeting in the Hurghada championships - and their fifth clash in the last six finals!  Since losing to the 23-year-old from Cairo in last year's semi-finals, former world number one Grinham has twice beaten Abdel Kawy - once also in Egypt.


The climax of the 2009 $26,000 WISPA World Tour event was an evenly-contested affair which went the full distance.  Twice the Egyptian led, and twice Grinham drew level - then built up a 9-6 lead in the decider.


But Abdel Kawy fought back to draw level at nine-all - then had four match-balls before finally clinching her 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 12-10 victory after 63 minutes.


"I don't know what happens when I get game balls! Maybe I'm thinking too much about winning the match, I never seem to play them well - I'll have to work on that with my coach," admitted Abdel Kawy, after winning her third Hurghada title since 2006.


"We both played very well today I thought, we had some very long rallies, especially in the fifth.


"She was leading and helped me back in by giving up a couple of easy points - maybe she has the same problem finishing it off as me, but she gets it sooner!


"The crowd obviously helps, although sometimes they get a bit too much, I wanted to get on with the game and I had to try to tell them to calm down


"I'm really glad to win this one, I dedicate this to my family and my coaches, and all my friends who came down from Cairo to watch and support," said Abdel Kawy, now with six WISPA titles to her name.

Gaultier & Ashour Take Out Top Seeds In Hurghada


Top-seeded Egyptians Karim Darwish and Amr Shabana crashed out of the semi-finals of the Hurghada International Squash Championships after third seed Gregory Gaultier and fourth seed Ramy Ashour set up an unexpected final of the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event being staged on an all-glass court at the Sinbad Beach Resort in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.


The final of the women's $26,000 WISPA World Tour event will feature top seed Rachael Grinham and third seed Omneya Abdel Kawy - who will be meeting for the sixth successive year in this eighth staging of the women's championship!


Gregory Gaultier, the world No4 from France, levelled his career head-to-head record with Darwish to six-all - and repeated his victory in last month's Super Series Finals in London - when he recovered from a game down to beat the world number one 10-12, 11-4, 12-10, 11-7 in 56 minutes.


"I really wanted to win that one, especially here," an ecstatic Gaultier told www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards.  "I knew it wasn't going to be easy, there would be a lot of things against me.  I had to stay focused and keep my cool.


"I tried to keep the pace high all the time to stop him being able to play his shots, and I think I did that well, it was a tough, close game.  I'm really happy with my performance and looking forward to the final now," added the 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, now in his 34th Tour final.


Gaultier faces Ramy Ashour in Saturday's final - in which the 21-year-old Egyptian will also be looking to draw the pair's head-to-head record level.  The battle against his national rival Amr Shabana, the former world number one, was also a repeat of their recent Super Series Finals' meeting - but this time Ashour avenged his defeat at Queen's Club by winning 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 40 minutes.


"I'm really glad with how I played today," said the new world number three from Cairo.  "I got a few lucky shots in the middle, but it's never going to be easy to beat Shabana.  You always have to have a lot of things go your way to do that.  You have to be very focused and clear, and I was pleased with that aspect today," explained Ashour on the eve of his 18th PSA final.


When third seed Omneya Abdel Kawy took the opening two games against England's Jenny Duncalf, it looked as if the 23-year-old Egyptian was on the way to a fifth straight games upset over her higher-ranked opponent. 


The pair were meeting in Egypt for the first time since Abdel Kawy crushed Duncalf 3/0 on the way to Egypt's historic defeat of England in the World Team Championship final in Cairo in December.


But, in Hurghada, second seed Duncalf fought back to take the third, then saved four match-balls in the fourth to draw level.  But, spurred on no doubt by the partisan local crowd, Abdel Kawy stuck to her task and went on to record a 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 13-15, 11-6 victory after 64 minutes.


"My movement wasn't the best today, but she played really well," said the former world junior champion, now in her sixth final in a row.  "She never starts well against me, but after the worlds I could tell she was focusing to get revenge so I knew it was going to be much tougher for me.


"I'm looking forward to the final - it's nice to have a rest day.  It's like a grand slam in tennis!  I'm hoping to fix a few things and play better then."


Australian favourite Rachael Grinham comfortably beat unseeded French opponent Camille Serme 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 to reach the final for the sixth time.


"I'd never played her before, only seen her play twice and she looked quite good - good racket skills and good on the volley - so I wanted to play as simple and safe as I could at the start, not do anything

stupid," said the Cairo-based top seed who will be seeking her fourth title in Hurghada.


"She put up a tough fight in the first two, but I was a bit more confident going into the third, and it was a long way back for her from two down," added Grinham, now in her 52nd Tour final.


Serme Scores Surprise Semi In Hurghada


Camille Serme became the only unseeded player to reach the semi-finals of the Hurghada International Squash Championships after the 19-year-old from France upset Hong Kong's No4 seed Rebecca Chiu on the second day of quarter-final action on an all-glass court at the Sinbad Beach Resort in the men's and women's Tour event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.


Serme, the three-time European Junior champion from Creteil, scored her second successive upset in the women's $26,000 WISPA World Tour event with an 11-9, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Chiu, the world No14 ranked more than 20 places higher.


"It's so nice to play here - it's huge for me to make the semis," a jubilant Serme said afterwards.  "I now have to find a way to get my name printed onto the back of my shirt - I've never needed to have that before!"


Both players were struggling with their footing on the court:  Chiu added:  "It was getting slippier all the time.  I couldn't do much in the end - I couldn't stop, and when I did stop I couldn't get started again.  My ice skating skills aren't very good!


"But she played well, and she moved better than me today."


There were no further upsets for Tenille Swartz, the unseeded South African who ousted Egypt's sixth seed Engy Kheirallah in the first round in her first match since returning to the Tour after more than a year's absence following shoulder surgery.


The 21-year-old faced Australian Rachael Grinham, the world No3 seeded to win the title for a fourth time since 2004.  The Cairo-based favourite won 11-3, 11-8, 13-11 in 30 minutes.


"Her experience definitely showed through there, she holds the ball so well, you have no idea of where it's going most of the time," said Swartz, currently ranked 215 in the world.  "I didn't really know what to do in the beginning, but I got more into it as the match progressed. 


"I'm happy with my game and how I played - I played the game I should have done against her.  But well done to her!"


Two all-Egyptian affairs brought the quarter-finals of the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event to a close.  In their second Tour meeting in seven days, former world number one Amr Shabana faced his country's latest star Mohamed El Shorbagy, an 18-year-old from Alexandria who is already ranked 21 in the world.


The teenager extended the master for more than an hour before Shabana finally emerged a 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 victor after 62 minutes.


"It's pretty tough to see the ball on there, and when you're playing someone who has no pressure on them, who keeps attacking and attacking, it's difficult," said second seed Shabana.  "I thought I did well considering I couldn't see the ball and I was always on the defensive, trying to contain him all the time.


"Every time he plays the top guys, it's more experience and a learning process for him.  He reminds me of myself when I was coming up, playing the top guys with no pressure on me - it's different when you're up there!"


Defending champion Ramy Ashour took one step closer to the final when he beat unseeded Tarek Momen 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.  The 21-year-old from Cairo, who is also the reigning World Open champion, was pleased with his performance:


"I've been a bit lacking in rhythm, I've been trying to get back the appetite of winning, to focus more before I go on court, make sure I'm up for it, trying to get myself going as fast as I can. I know if I'm ready before I go on court I'll play well, whether I win or lose," explained the fourth seed.


"Tarek played well, he made a few errors but we both did that.  I'm happy with how I played; I hope I can keep going like this without thinking too much which is my problem."

Top Seeds Untroubled In Hurghada


There were no surprises in the quarter-finals of the Hurghada International Squash Championships on the first day of action in the men's and women's Tour event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada on an all-glass court at the Sinbad Beach Resort.


Top seed Karim Darwish, the world number one from Cairo, delighted the partisan crowd by cruising to an 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 win over Pakistan teenager Aamir Atlas Khan, the fifth seed, in the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event.


A Pakistani fell in the other men's quarter-final match when Frenchman Gregory Gaultier brushed aside sixth seed Farhan Mehboob 11-7, 11-8, 11-4.


Darwish will now face Gaultier for a place in the final - hoping for his first win in his third meeting with the world No4 this year.


There was Egyptian success too in the women's $26,000 WISPA World Tour event:  Third seed Omneya Abdel Kawy needed just 21 minutes to quash compatriot Heba El Torky, an 18-year-old qualifier from Alexandria, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.


Later, England's second seed Jenny Duncalf claimed her anticipated place in the last four when she beat Hong Kong qualifier Joey Chan 11-7, 11-8, 11-7.


Duncalf and Abdel Kawy will go head-to-head for a place in the final for the first time since the 26-year-old from Harrogate in Yorkshire lost to her lower-ranked rival in the final of the Women's World Team Championship in Cairo in December.


Tenille Takes Out Cairo Heroine Kheirallah


Appearing in her first tournament for more than a year, South African Tenille Swartz stunned Engy Kheirallah in the first round of the Hurghada International to oust the sixth-seeded Egyptian from the $26,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in Cairo.


It was the first day of the championships at the Egyptian capital's National Squash Stadium - which also includes a men's $61,000 PSA Tour event - before moving to the Sinbad Beach Resort in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada from the quarter-finals onwards.


Engy Kheirallah, the world No21 now based in Cairo, was making her first appearance at the National Stadium since clinching the Women's World Team Championship title for her country in a dramatic final against England last December.


But the 27-year-old was unable to repeat her historic success.  Swartz, out of action since March last year while recovering from shoulder surgery, twice came back from games down, then survived a tie-break in the decider to win 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10 in 61 minutes.


"Not a bad comeback," said the 21-year-old underdog, ranked 215 in the world, "It's my first match back, so it's a bonus to win especially against someone like Engy, here in Egypt."


There were there further upsets in the women's event with more Egyptian disappointment when fifth seed Raneem El Weleily went down 12-14, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 to qualifier Heba El Torky, also from Egypt.


El Torky, 18, from Alexandria, goes on to meet third-seeded compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, the defending champion who took just 14 minutes to defeat Hong Kong's Christina Mak 11-2, 11-1, 11-5.


The only upset in the men's event saw the lower half of the draw become an all-Egyptian affair.  Tarek Momen, a 21-year-old from Cairo, booked his seat on the flight to Hurghada when he downed Finland's No7 seed Olli Tuominen 11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-4 in 34 minutes.


Momen, fresh from his title success this month in the Egyptian National Championships, now faces Cairo compatriot Ramy Ashour, the title-holder.


"I played well today," conceded the world No24.  "He was volleying quite well and my movement started to get better in the game.  I've played Ramy like a million times - so I hope to do my best."


Egypt's rising star Mohamed El Shorbagy, a quarter-finalist in last week's Canary Wharf Classic in London, faced former star Mohammed Abbas, the former world No13 who has slipped to 42 in the rankings while fighting back from an Achilles injury.  But the new-kid-on-the-block was too good for Abbas and the 28-year-old qualifier became troubled by a hamstring injury in the third game, causing him to retire as El Shorbagy claimed an 11-3, 12-10, 4-3 (ret.) win after 35 minutes.


In a repeat of their quarter-final battle in London Docklands, Shorbagy will now face former world number one Amr Shabana, the No2 seed from Cairo who beat Egyptian qualifier Amr Swelim 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.