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Farag Claims ‘MeerSquashHeroes Title

MeerSquash Heroes Open 2011
14-16 Jan, Hoofddorp, Netherlands, $5k
Round One
15 Jan 
15 Jan
16 Jan
16 Jan
[1] Dylan Bennett (Ned)
12-10 12-10 11-8
Andrea Torricini (Ita)
Dylan Bennett
8-11 11-9 11-9 6-11 11-7
Andre Haschker
Dylan Bennett
3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10
Sebastiaan Weenink
Dylan Bennett
7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7
Ali Farag
Andre Haschker (Ger)
11-4 11-9 13-11
Johan Bouquet (Fra)
[Q] Sebastiaan Weenink (Ned)
11-3 11-6 11-6
[Q] Michaelangelo Bertocchi (Ita)
Sebastiaan Weenink
11-9 15-13 4-11 11-9
[4] Piedro Schweertman
Jose Facchini (Ita)
12-10 11-2 11-9
[4] Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
[3] Ali Farag (Egy)
11-7 10-12 11-5 11-1
Petr Martin (Cze)
Ali Farag
12-10 11-5 11-7
Rene Mijs
Ali Farag
10-12, 11-5, 12-10, 11-3
James Snell
Frank Hartkoren (Ned)
 8-11 11-3 11-3 5-11 11-7
Rene Mijs (Ned)
Bart Ravelli (Ned)
7-11 13-11 5-11 11-3 11-
[Q] Matias Tuomi (Fin)
Bart Ravelli
14-12 8-11 12-14 11-4 13-11
James Snell
[Q] Ondrej Ertl (Cze)
11-8 11-7 11-1
[2] James Snell (Eng)

Farag Claims ‘MeerSquashHeroes Title

The world’s best junior player Ali Farag won the ‘MeerSquashHeroes Open 2011 title today when he beat local favourite Dylan Bennett in a thrilling final match in front of a packed gallery at the renowned ‘MeerSquash & Activity club in the Dutch city of Hoofddorp.

The Egyptian youngster lost the opening game to his higher ranked and more experienced Dutch opponent, but came back strong in the next two. The fourth went to Bennett again, the event’s top seed, before Farag resumed control in the deciding fifth game, eventually running out a 7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7 winner.

Third seeded Farag, who beat James Snell (2) earlier in the day in the semi’s, displayed some outrageous shots and lightning fast movement en route to his second PSA Tour title in 2 weeks and thus extended his unbeaten record in 2011 after winning the British Junior Open early January, followed by the Open du Gard 2011 in Nimes the week after.

As a result of the great start of the New Year the world number 94 will surely see his ranking rise drastically when the next World Rankings are published at the beginning of next month.

Bennett and Farag into ‘MeerSquashHeroes final

Dutch international Dylan Bennett and Egypt’s Ali Farag will contest the final of the ‘MeerSquashHeroes Open 2011 after both players came through similar semi finals at the renowned ‘MeerSquash & Activity club in the Dutch city of Hoofddorp.

Top seeded Bennett overcame compatriot Sebastiaan Weenink in a close-fought battle which had the large crowd on the edge of their seat. The 26-year old from Eindhoven lost the first with ease but recovered to win the next three, en route to a 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 score line.

In the other semi final 18-year old Farag, seeded third during the PSA Challenger 5 tournament in the Netherlands, entertained the audience with incredible shot-making and extremely light footed movement. His higher ranked opponent James Snell fought hard to stay with the Egyptian youngster, but in the end was unable to match the creative and attacking play of the British Junior Open 2011 champion. Farag won 10-12, 11-5, 12-10, 11-3.

The final between Bennett and Farag proves to be a cracking affair, with the Dutch player looking for his 6th PSA Tour title, and the talented Egyptian eager to extend his unbeaten run in 2011. The final will be played later on Sunday at 5pm. 

Dutch Finalist Guaranteed In Hoofddorp

A Dutch finalist is guaranteed during the ‘MeerSquashHeroes Open 2011 after Dylan Bennett and Sebastiaan Weenink made it through to the semi finals of the PSA Challenger 5 tournament in the Dutch city of Hoofddorp.

25-year old Bennett, the event’s top seed, was made to work hard by Germany’s Andre Haschker before securing his expected place in Sunday’s semi’s. The world number 72 had to come back from 4-6 down in the decisive fifth game, reeling off 6 unanswered points, before finishing the match on his second match point.

Weenink, the 23-year old from The Hague, also came through a gruelling encounter with compatriot Piedro Schweertman. The both of them traded point for point for the first two games with Weenink coming out on top on both occasions. The third went to Schweertman, but Weenink took charge again from half way the fourth to upset his higher ranked fellow countryman.

The second semi final, between James Snell (2) from England and Egypt’s Ali Farag (3), also promises to be an interesting affair. Recently crowned British Junior Open champion Farag displayed his immense talent with a exhibition style win over Rene Mijs from the Netherlands, whilst Snell survived a match ball against yet another Dutch youngster Bart Ravelli in a nail-biting final match of the evening.

Earlier in the day all first round matches went according to script when five Dutch players moved into the quarter finals. Sunday’s semi finals will be played at noon with the final being scheduled for 5pm.

Palmer Progresses In Vancouver

Australian squash star David Palmer was in impressive form in the opening round of the Comfort Inn Open in Vancouver, Canada, where he is seeded to win his 27th Tour title in the PSA World Tour International event in its seventh year at the Evergreen Squash Club.

The US-based 34-year-old dominated his match against Chris Simpson, defeating the 23-year-old Englishman 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 in 35 minutes.

"The big man moves like a cat and seems to know where the ball is going before it's even struck," said event spokesman Paul Marley. "It was a treat to watch."

Two of the seeds, Canadian Shahier Razik and Finland's Olli Tuominen, were forced to stay on court for 60 and 90 minutes, respectively, as their opponents provided stiff competition.

Martin Knight, the 2010 champion from New Zealand, took the opening game against Razik - but the Toronto-based fourth seed struck back to win 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7.

Julian Illingworth took the Finn the full distance in his bid to provide US interest in the next round - but third seed Tuominen triumphed 11-7, 14-12, 9-11, 11-13, 11-6.

But the longest match of the evening saw Miguel Angel Rodriguez prevail over Canadian hope Shawn Delierre in 101 minutes. Delierre overcame a 2/1 deficit to force a fifth game, but the hard work of two days of qualifying may have taken its toll as Colombian Rodriguez took the match 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5.