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11/12/2009
PUNJ LLOYD PSA MASTERS
 

Ramy Masters Mumbai

Punj Lloyd PSA Masters 2009
05-10 Dec, Mumbai, $152k
Round One
Sat 05 / Sun 06 Dec
Round Two
07 Dec
Quarters
08 Dec
Semis
09 Dec
Final
10 Dec
[2] Amr Shabana (Egy)
 11/5, 11/9, 11/5 (37m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
Amr Shabana
11/6, 6/11, 11/5, 12/10 (48m)
Saurav Ghosal
Amr Shabana
11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 (53m)
Mohamed
El Shorbagy
Amr Shabana
11-9, 13-15, 11-8, 11-2 (44m)
Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour
11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 (79m)
Nick Matthew
[15] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/8, 11/2, 10/12, 11/8 (77m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
[6] James Willstrop (Eng)
11/5, 6/11, 11/3, 11/5 (44m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
James Willstrop
 7/11, 11/5, 11/4, 5/11, 13/11 (64m)
 
Mohamed
El Shorbagy
[12] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
14/12 rtd
Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
[3] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
 11/13, 11/6, 11/8, 11/3 (35m)
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
Ramy Ashour
11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (41m)
Stewart Boswell
Ramy Ashour
11-8, 16-18, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 (78m)
David Palmer
[14] Stewart Boswell (Aus)
 11/6, 11/8, 11/3 (44m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
[5] David Palmer (Aus)
11/9, 11/6, 11/7 (41m)
Tom Richards (Eng)
David Palmer
11/9, 11/9, 11/5 (40m)
Omar Mosaad
[11] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
10/12, 11/8, 11/9, 12/10 (69m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/9, 10/12, 7/11, 11/9, 11/9 (96m)
[16] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Ong Beng Hee
11/5, 8/11, 11/6, 13/15, 13/11 (104m)
 Thierry Lincou
Thierry Lincou
11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (40m)
Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
13-11, 11-6, 11-5 (55m)
Peter Barker
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
 11/3, 11/5, 10/12, 11/5 (39m)
[7] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
6/11, 11/7, 11/3, 11/9 (54m)
[9] Adrian Grant (Eng)
Adrian Gran
11/3, 11/5, 11/7 (42m)
Nick Matthew
Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/9, 11/5, 11/7 (44m)
[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
11/4, 11/5, 11/3 (29m)
[10] Alister Walker (Eng)
Alister Walker
7/11, 11/9, 11/5, 11/7 (64m)
Peter Barker
Peter Barker
11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (61m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (32m)
[8] Peter Barker (Eng)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
11/5, 11/3, 11/4 (47m)
[13] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/7, 9/11, 11/9, 11/5 (82m)
Daryl Selby
Daryl Selby (Eng)
12/10, 1/11, 11/13, 11/6, 11/6 (83m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

Ramy Masters Mumbai

 

Egypt's Ramy Ashour significantly boosted his chances of becoming world number one next month for the first time when he beat Englishman Nick Matthew in four games in today's (Thursday) final of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the $152,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai, India.

 

Fourth seed Matthew is enjoying the form of his life and arrived in the final of the penultimate PSA Super Series event of the year without dropping a game.  Meanwhile Ashour, still smarting from his straight games loss in last month's World Open final in Kuwait, had avenged that defeat by beating fellow countryman Amr Shabana in the semi-finals - and was ready to tip the scales in his pre-final three-all head-to-head count against the Englishman.

 

The 22-year-old from Cairo led from the outset in the opening skirmishes soon moved a game up.  But it was Yorkshireman Matthew who was in the ascendancy throughout the second game and levelled the score after 41 minutes.

 

It was neck and neck throughout third Ė with Matthew mostly in the lead.  But, a point away from game ball at 9-7, Matthew saw the third seed romp away with four points in a row to reclaim the advantage.

 

Ashour maintained the momentum to go 3-0 ahead in the fourth Ė but Matthew led twice thereafter at 5-3 and 7-5.  The Englishman went on to save two match balls from 7-10 down Ė but Ashour converted his third attempt to record his 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 title-winning triumph after 79 minutes.

 

The win marks Ashour's first Super Series success of the year, but the 13th PSA Tour title of his career - of which, remarkably, eight are Super Series!

 

"Iíve got great respect for Nick - he played so well tonight, heís really improving his attacking game, and he mixed up his pace really well," Ashour said afterwards.  "I think Nick and I really play well together, we seem to have a complementary game, and to keep pushing each other up.

 

"This is my first win of the year - Iím so happy and I hope Iíll just keep on playing like that in Saudi, and after that.  Win or lose, I just want to play well."

 

Matthew, who reached a career-high world No4 last month, is widely being tipped as a future world number one back in his home country:  "I guess there was a lot at stake today - the PSA Masters title, the world number one.  It was a lot to handle, and maybe I was thinking about it too much," admitted the 29-year-okd from Sheffield.

 

"Iíve learnt from this, and Iíll be keeping challenging for the number one spot.

 

"But he was playing better squash than me today, thatís about it.  Iím disappointed with my performance, my movement to the front was not good enough, and of course, all credit to Ramy, who was 80% responsible for it - his racquet skills, his movement, his shots. 

 

"But I still lost 20% of it, and that made the difference."

 

Ashour & Matthew To Meet In Mumbai Masters Final

 

Ramy Ashour, the third seed from Egypt, and Nick Matthew, the No4 seed from England, will contest the final of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters after coming through testing semi-finals against fellow countrymen in the $152,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai, India.

 

Matthew is celebrating the biggest final of his career Ė just two weeks after winning his biggest Tour title at the Qatar Classic in Doha.  But England team-mate Barker, the eighth seed from London, built up a commanding 8-3 lead in the opening game and had three game-balls from 10-8 before world No4 Matthew raised his game to take a first game lead.

 

Matthew, 29, from Sheffield led throughout the second - and in the third Barker twice had to fight back to draw level.  But the England number one mounted a mighty push to win the next six points in a row to claim his 13-11, 11-6, 11-5 victory after 55 minutes.

 

"I thought he was hungrier that I was in the first game - he really came out firing, which I expected as the last two times we played really didnít do him any justice," Matthew said afterwards.  "And at the time, I was just pushing the ball around, not much purpose in my shots. So way down in the game, I started playing with more thoughts, and I got lucky to just sneak in that game.

 

"Peter reminds me a lot of me:  we were both good juniors, but not the best, we had to work extremely hard, and we started to meet in semis.  Soon, I know, it will be in the finals, because there is only one way Peter is going Ė up!

 

"Iím so glad for England Squash at the moment, with the girls doing so well, and Peter, Daryl (Selby) and Ali (Walker) also going really strong.  Hopefully, we can keep it going," added Matthew, on the eve of the 29th Tour final of his career Ė and the seventh of the year.

 

"This is a great venue - we are all loving it.  The crowd is amazing, and I just hope that theyíll keep on giving me support tomorrow."

 

The last time Ramy Ashour played senior compatriot Amr Shabana was in Kuwait, where the 30-year-old left-hander romped to a straight games win in the final to secure his fourth World Open title.

 

But 22-year-old Ashour was after revenge Ė and he achieved his goal in style with an 11-9, 13-15, 11-8, 11-2 upset over the second seed in 44 minutes. 

 

"Iím really happy with my mental focus today," said the 2008 World Open champion later.  "I nearly got really annoyed with the refs one more time, and I could have really lost it, slipped out of the match tonight.  But I didnít - I stayed mentally strong, which Iím very proud of.

 

"Also, Iím really happy with the way I handled my squash today.  The way I hold the racquet, the way I run, the way I played tactically.  Iím really proud of what Iíve done," added world No5 Ashour - now in his 21st career final, and his fifth of the year.

 

Matthew and Ashour's career head-to-head record stand at three wins apiece Ė with the Englishman successful in the first of their two meetings this year, in the Tournament of Champions semi-finals in New York in January Ė and Ashour triumphant in a 91-minute marathon a month later in the final of the North American Open in Virginia.

 

Mumbai Heralds Anglo-Egyptian Masters Final

 

Eighth-seeded Londoner Peter Barker claimed an unexpected place in the semi-finals of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters to ensure that the final of the $152,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai, India, will be an Anglo-Egyptian affair.

 

In the last quarter-final of day, Barker secured the semi-final slot that was expected to be taken up by top seed Gregory Gaultier - until the world number two from France crashed out in a major first round shock.

 

Barker, poised at a career-high world No7, faced 13th seed Laurens Jan Anjema - but needed more than an hour to beat the Dutchman 11-8, 11-7, 11-5.

 

"Today, my concentration was good," the left-hander said afterwards.  "I think I was able to nullify LJ, keeping him at the back of the court.  He is so dangerous when he volleys. 

 

"Yesterday he beat Daryl (Selby) - and Daryl was playing very well, but LJ played better.

 

"Itís my second Platinum event semi in two weeks, after Qatar last week," added the exuberant Englishman.

 

Barker will now face England team-mate Nick Matthew, the fourth seed who defeated an out-of-sorts Thierry Lincou, the No7 seed from France, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 in just 40 minutes.

 

"I feel really lucky tonight, because Thierry had a very long match yesterday, and it was also the first time he was playing on the glass court.  I have the greatest of respect for what he brought to the game," said the world No4 from Sheffield.

 

Australian Tour veteran David Palmer and rising Egyptian star Ramy Ashour treated the crowd to an earlier 78-minutes clash described by tournament spokesman Gary Nitschke as "a brilliant match and best of the tournament so far".

 

Third seed Ashour took the opening game, but an impressive performance by Palmer saw the indefatigable 33-year-old take the second 18-16 - and then the third 11-9.  However, it was the 22-year-old from Cairo who ultimately prevailed, winning 11-8, 16-18, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 to earn his third successive semi-final appearance on the PSA Tour.

 

"I got incredibly tired in the fourth and, for the first time ever, I let a game go - but I needed ten minutes to recover and freshen up really," conceded the former world number one and twice world champion from New South Wales.

 

"He is so good, you can put him under pressure, and force a few errors out of him, but people donít realise how fast he is, and that he is the best of the world to pick up shots!

 

"We came here last in í97, and for a first time tournament, itís amazing really," added Palmer.  "Iím about to retire next year - but for the other guys, I hope this tournament keeps going for many years.  Itís really a great setting."

 

Ashour will face senior compatriot Amr Shabana, the rejuvenated 30-year-old second seed who won his fourth World Open tile in Kuwait last month.

 

Despite suffering a mild gash to his face after an accidental clash with his opponent's racket, second seed Shabana resisted fellow countryman Mohamed El Shorbagy, beating the 18-year-old 12th seed 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 in 53 minutes.

 

Teenager El Shorbagy Masters Willstrop In Mumbai

 

Egyptian teenager Mohamed El Shorbagy, the youngest player in the world's top 20, upset England's James Willstrop in the second round of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters to reach the quarter-finals of the $152,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai, India.

 

It was a dramatic five-game encounter which finished two hours and 20 minutes after it began - but included an injury break of more than an hour as sixth seed Willstrop recovered from a gash on his forehead.

 

And after 18-year-old El Shorbagy led 2/1, Willstrop regained the advantage to lead 5-1 in the fifth game decider, then have two match-balls to attempt to clinch his anticipated victory.

 

But devastating play by the young 12th seed finally enabled El Shorbagy to play a winning shot which Willstrop was unable to retrieve - and the Egyptian claimed his place in the last eight with a shock 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 5-11, 13-11 triumph.

 

The win followed early exits in both the World Open and Qatar Classic last month - confidence-draining defeats which led the Alexandria-born youngster to seek advice from his long-time English coach Jonah Barrington at Millfield School in Somerset.

 

"Jonah worked with me, especially on the mental side," El Shorbagy said later.  "He understands how my head works, we had some very useful sessions - with Ian Thomas as well, his head coach there - and I got my confidence back.  But I came here with no expectation - my only goal was to make it as hard as possible for the top guys, and then, it suddenly all came together today!

 

"Iím so happy!  I needed a win to get my confidence back, and now, Iím back!"

 

El Shorbagy will now face compatriot Amr Shabana for a place in the last four.  Second seed Shabana, the previous winner of the PSA Masters title in Bermuda, ended local hopes in the event when he beat unseeded Indian Saurav Ghosal, the world No32 from Chennai, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10 in 48 minutes.

 

"He's a legend already, so it's an honour to be able to play him in front of my home crowd," said 23-year-old Ghosal of his opponent, winner of his fourth World Open title in Kuwait last month.  "I thought I played well - I did the right things and proved I could stay with him for most of the match - so it bodes well for the future."

 

Daryl Selby's giant-killing run came to an end when the unseeded Englishman went down 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 in 82 minutes to Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the 13th seed.

 

"I'm obviously disappointed, but not disappointed to lose against LJ, the way he played today," said Selby, who claimed the biggest scalp of his life 24 hours earlier when he beat world No2 Gregory Gaultier.  "He played a great match, hard and fair, with a great respect for his opponent.  He fully deserved this win, and I still enjoyed it very much."

 

Selby Sees Off Top Seed Gaultier

 

England's Daryl Selby secured the best win of his career when he upset event favourite Gregory Gaultier in five games to move into the last 16 of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the $152,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai.

 

While the 27-year-old from Essex is enjoying a sensational run of form towards the end of the year, Gaultier seems to be experiencing the opposite effect since becoming world number one for the first time in November. 

 

The Frenchman failed to progress beyond the second round of last month's Qatar Classic - thereby dropping back to No2 in the December rankings - while unexpected title success in November's Dutch Open saw Selby soar to a career-high world No11 this month.

 

After recovering from the loss of the first game in Mumbai, Gaultier moved ahead to lead 2/1 - but the tenacious English underdog battled back to regain control before raising his arms in delight after 83 minutes in celebration of his shock 12-10, 1-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6 victory.

 

"This is my best win ever, for sure," Selby told www.squashsite.co.uk afterward.  "Greg is such an amazing player, when he gets confident, he gets in a roll, and we could see in the second how good he can be, and he showed there why he was number one last month.

 

"Youíve got to be pretty gutsy to play on that court against Greg.  Iím sure heíll say he was not 100%, but thatís in his head.  Iím sure too that heíll agree thatís the weakest point of his game, as the squash is close to perfection really.  I just tried and get in his head tonight.

 

"What made the difference tonight?  The mental side of things, no doubt about that," concluded the victorious Englishman.

 

Selby will now go on to face 13th seed Laurens Jan Anjema, the Netherlands number one who was forced to retire against Selby in the Dutch Open semi-finals.  With no sign of the troubled right knee, Anjema despatched Italian number one Davide Bianchetti 11-5, 11-3, 11-4.

 

Daryl Selby was one of five Englishmen to earn second round slots at the Bombay Gymkhana - and two of the four will be certain of reaching the following round!  England number one Nick Matthew, the fourth seed, beat Frenchman Renan Lavigne 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 and will face England team-mate Adrian Grant, the No9 seed who needed 54 minutes to overcome compatriot Chris Ryder 6-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9.

 

The other all-English second round line-up will feature 10th seed Alister Walker and Londoner Peter Barker, the eighth seed.  Walker defeated local hero Ritwik Bhattacharya, the former world No38 from Mumbai and one of the tournament organisers, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3, while Barker dismissed US number one Julian Illingworth 11-4, 11-6, 11-4.