Sky Opens Up
For World No1 Matthew
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Less than 24
hours after ensuring his new status as the world squash number one, Nick
Matthew clinched the $150,000 Sky Open title after beating defending
champion Karim Darwish in the final of the third PSA Super Series 2010
event on an all-glass court at the Sky Resort in the Egyptian capital
Matthew's four-game semi-final victory over Frenchman Thierry Lincou that
ensured that the Englishman will top the PSA world rankings next month for the
first time - after reigning world number one Ramy Ashour was defeated in
straight games by fellow Egyptian Darwish in the other semi.
and Darwish, seeded two and four respectively in the climax of the biggest PSA
Super Series event of the year to date, went into the match evenly poised at
three wins apiece in their career head-to-head Tour record.
Darwish celebrated his third successive appearance in the final by taking the
opening game - but Yorkshireman Matthew battled back to take control before
winning 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 13-11 in 60 minutes to claim the 14th Tour title of
his career - and his second successive Super Series trophy of 2010.
surreal feeling - it will probably sink in when I get home and in the company of
my family, friends and my team," said the new champion after the presentations.
inspired tonight by what Karim did in Saudi and that drove me to play as though
my life was on it. Now I am looking for a break away from the game - a trip to
Mexico and then home to work on staying in this position.
one sounds great!" added the 29-year-old from Sheffield.
extends his lead at the top of the PSA Super Series Rankings, with 240 points -
ahead of Ramy Ashour (170), fellow Englishman James Willstrop
(165), and Karim Darwish (120)
Matthew On Top
Of The World After Ramy Rout
straight games defeat of top seed Ramy Ashour by fellow Egyptian Karim
Darwish, followed by a four-game win by Nick Matthew over Frenchman
Thierry Lincou in the $150,000 Sky Open, will take Englishman
Matthew to the top of the PSA world squash rankings for the first time next
It was a
dramatic evening of world-class action in the semi-finals of the third, and
biggest so far this year, PSA Super Series 2010 event, on an all-glass
court at the Sky Resort in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
28-year-old fourth seed, went into the match with Egyptian team-mate Ashour, the
world number one since January, 4/7 down in their career head-to-head record -
and only last month lost to the 22-year-old in the Egyptian national
the defending champion who had already beaten two former world number ones
en-route to the last four, was determined to make the Sky Open final in
his home city for the third year in a row - and despatched his rival 11-8, 11-5,
11-7 in just 33 minutes to claim his 30th appearance in a PSA Tour final.
the result was Ashour's quickest defeat in a PSA World Tour ranking event since
The Ramy rout
set up one of the most crucial matches of his life for Nick Matthew, the
second seed and world number two behind Ashour since the beginning of the year.
Such was the
narrow margin of Ashour's lead in the PSA list that pre-event calculations
showed that all that Yorkshireman Matthew had to do was finish ahead of his
rival in Cairo to take over the top spot.
faced a former world number one in his bid: veteran Frenchman Thierry Lincou,
the 34-year-old seventh seed celebrating his first appearance in a Super Series
semi since November 2008.
29-year-old from Sheffield dropped his first game of the tournament in this
all-important clash - but fought back to beat Lincou 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 in
exactly one hour to achieve his life-long dream.
strange feeling right now as I've only won a semi final so it feels like I've
not finished the job yet," said a jubilant Matthew afterwards. "But obviously
I'm delighted, more so for the people at home; my parents, family, friends,
manager, coach, trainer, physio, etc. etc.
"I've been a
professional since 1998 and I've been working towards this every single day of
my life since then, and couldn't have done it without their help.
"I go on
holiday to Mexico next week and it's going to be a fantastic holiday now!!!"
also celebrating his 34th appearance in a PSA Tour final - and, win or
lose in the final, the Englishman will continue to head the 2010 PSA Super
Barker Ensure English Semi-Finalist In Cairo
successes by Nick Matthew and Peter Barker in the second round of
the $150,000 Sky Open in Egypt has guaranteed English interest in the
semi-finals of the third - and biggest so far this year - PSA Super Series
2010 squash event at the Sky Petrosport Club in Cairo.
Nick Matthew, the world number two from Sheffield, took just 30 minutes to
overcome Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the No11 seed, 11-4, 11-2, 11-5.
Winner of the
previous PSA Super Series event, the North American Open in Virginia in
February, Matthew has his sights on the world number one ranking - and knows
that a better finish in Cairo than Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour, his
opponent in the US final, could achieve this.
will have to tackle an England team-mate for the second time in 24 hours when he
faces Matthew. But the eighth-seeded Londoner had to work hard to get the better
of fellow left-hander Adrian Grant - taking 88 minutes to beat the No13
seed 14-12, 11-9, 11-5.
seed Amr Shabana, the four-time World Open champion and winner of
more Super Series titles (16) than any other current Tour player, suffered a
back 'twinge' during the knock-up of his first round match - but was able to
contain it to win through to the second.
celebrated left-hander felt unable to continue further in the tournament and
conceded his match to compatriot Wael El Hindi, the Cairo-born but now
New York-based 12th seed.
El Hindi can
now look forward to an unexpected quarter-final clash with seventh seed
Thierry Lincou after the former world champion and world number one from
France recovered from a game down to beat Englishman Alister Walker 8-11,
11-5, 11-7, 11-4 in 65 minutes.
a 4/1 career head-to-head lead over El Hindi, but the Egyptian's one win was
achieved at last year's Sky Open after a bruising 110-minute second round
Ashour & Darwish Thrive In Cairo
Two of Cairo's
most celebrated squash players took their anticipated places in the
quarter-finals of the $150,000 Sky Open when Ramy Ashour and
Karim Darwish prevailed in straight games in their second round matches in
the third - and biggest so far this year - PSA Super Series 2010 event at
the Egyptian's capital's Sky Petrosport Club.
28-year-old fourth seed who spent all but one month last year at the top of the
PSA world rankings, faced distinguished Australian David Palmer, a
veteran of more than 50 World Tour finals and also a former world number one.
previous Tour meetings to their credit, the pair's head-to-head tally was poised
on seven wins apiece before Darwish and Palmer began their Sky Open
Two of the
games went to tie-breaks, but it was defending champion Darwish who ultimately
prevailed 11-8, 12-10, 13-11 in 57 minutes to extend his winning run over the
33-year-old from New South Wales to five matches since May 2008.
In a repeat of
last year's final, Darwish now faces Gregory Gaultier, the Frenchman who
succeeded him as world number one last November. The sixth seed from
Aix-en-Provence boasted a 5/1 head-to-head lead over 15th seed Cameron Pilley
before the match - but it was the Australian who came through in their last
meeting earlier this year in the Swedish Open.
still looking to reproduce the form which took him to the top of the world
rankings, battled for 71 minutes to regain his authority over his tall opponent,
winning 11-8, 2-11, 11-5, 11-4.
is the reigning world number one - but the 22-year-old 'King of Cairo' is still
looking for his first Super Series title of the year, and moved comfortably
towards that goal with an 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 victory over unseeded Saurav
Ghosal, the 23-year-old world No27 from Chennai who has become India's
highest-ranked player of all-time.
faces the year's first Super Series event champion James Willstrop, the
fifth-seeded Englishman who beat the Egyptian in the JP Morgan
Tournament of Champions final in New York.
eased past his second Egyptian in the event, beating unseeded Mohd Ali Anwar
Reda 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 in 43 minutes.
Ghosal & Reda Produce Upsets In Cairo
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda and Indian number one Saurav Ghosal produced
significant upsets on the opening day of main draw action in the $150,000 Sky
Open to claim unexpected places in the last 16 of the third - and biggest so
far this year - PSA Super Series 2010 squash event at the Sky
Petrosport Club in Cairo.
21-year-old world No28 from Cairo, battled for 97 minutes to overcome England's
No9 seed Daryl Selby, ranked nine in the world, 5-11, 11-7, 11-2, 9-11,
It was a
disappointing end to the first half of the year for England international Selby
who has enjoyed considerable success on the PSA Tour since starting last
year outside the world top30.
Home town hero
Reda, who joins four fellow Cairo-based compatriots in the second round, will
now take on England's James Willstrop for a place in the quarter-finals.
Willstrop, winner of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New
York, the first PSA Super Series event of the year, despatched unseeded Egyptian
Hisham Mohd Ashour 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 in 34 minutes.
went into match against 16th seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar following four
successive Tour defeats by the Malaysian. But the rising star from Chennai, who
has become India's highest-ranked player of all-time, made his breakthrough
against Iskandar in last month's Asian Team Championships - beating the
world No18 for the first time in his career.
23-year-old Ghosal carried this new-found confidence into his Cairo encounter,
winning 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-2 in 52 minutes to achieve his first success in a
Super Series event this year.
Ghosal goes on
to tackle the event's biggest name, top seed Ramy Ashour - the world
number one looking to earn his first Super Series crown of the year in his home
England's Joey Barrington in the second match of the evening on the
all-glass court. After the first game, the two players requested that the match
be moved to a glass-backed court.
floor was very slippery despite a day of cleaning," explained tournament
director Robert Edwards. "The first match between Amr Shabana and
Karim Samy saw them slipping, but they decided to finish their match.
"The floor was
cleaned again at the end of their match, but we agreed that if the next two
players complained about the floor and requested a move, we would move them to
the glass backs to finish. They did request a move during the first game and
were promptly moved to the other court."
continued his domination of the match on the new court and swiftly beat
Barrington 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 to take up his second round place.