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26/03/2011
NATIONAL BANK FINANCIAL GROUP OPEN 2011
 

Hisham Ashour Wins Biggest Tour Title In Montreal

NBF Group Open 2011
19-25 Mar, Montreal, Canada, $35k
Round One
21/22 Mar
Quarters
23 Mar
Semis
24 Mar
Final
25 Mar
[1] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
13-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4 (89 min)
Shahier Razik (Can)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (54m)
Stéphane Galifi
Laurens Jan Anjema
11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 15-13 (61m)
Hisham Ashour
Hisham Ashour
9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (46m)
David Palmer
Stéphane Galifi (Ita)
13-11, 11-7, 11-7 (46 min)
[Q] David Phillips (Can)
Tarek Momen (Egy)
13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 (65 min)
[Q] Jan Koukal (Cze)
Jan Koukal
11/9, 11/5, 11/3 (26m)
Hisham Ashour
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (43 min)
[3] Hisham Ashour (Egy)
[4] Adrian Grant Eng)
10-12, 11-4, 11-2, 7-11, 11-7 (75 min)
[Q] Joel Hinds (Eng)
Adrian Grant
8/11, 11/8, 11/6, 11/9 (90m)
Alister Walker
Alister Walker
5-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 (92m)
David Palmer
Alister Walker (Eng)
9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5
Shawn Delierre (Can)
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2 (84 min)
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
Alan Clyne
11/9, 6/11, 4/11, 11/3, 11/8 (73m)
David Palmer
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (68 min)
[2] David Palmer (Aus)

Hisham Ashour Wins Biggest Tour Title In Montreal

Egypt's third seed Hisham Mohd Ashour continued his stunning run in the National Bank Financial Group Open in Canada by upsetting No2 seed David Palmer in the final of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal to claim the biggest Tour title of his career.

The 28-year-old from Cairo, who made his breakthrough in the previous round where he ousted Dutch favourite Laurens Jan Anjema, leapt to a 5-1 lead in the opening game. But the illustrious Palmer, the 34-year-old former world No1 and world champion who was celebrating his 55th appearance in a PSA Tour final, batted back to take the game and open up an early advantage.

"In the second, Palmer continued where he left off, imposing his pace and playing the ball early, and took advantage of a still flat-looking Ashour," explained a tournament spokesman. "But at 0-2 down, Ashour switched on, and as his movement improved, he began finding his marks at the front.

"However, Palmer's short game was on too, so in the next few rallies the crowd witnessed spectacular attacking from both players as they punished each other to 4-4."

Ashour went on to press home his advantage and ultimately closed out the match 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 after 46 minutes.

The Egyptian world No17 clearly flourishes in North America, where his Montreal final marked his fourth successive appearance in a PSA Tour climax in Canada. The triumph represents the third Tour title of Ashour's career, but his biggest by a considerable margin.

Hisham Ashour Makes Montreal Final

According to the seedings for the National Bank Financial Group Open, Egypt's Hisham Mohd Ashour secured an unexpected place in the final of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event in Canada after beating Dutch favourite Laurens Jan Anjema at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal.

But the win was the Egyptian's fifth in six Tour meetings with the world No12 from The Hague since October 2006.

Third seed Ashour took the first game and led 10-8 in the second. But Anjema battled back to draw level after a tie-break.

"Ashour came on with a renewed onslaught of shot-making in the third, trying to hit the nick at every given opportunity," explained a tournament spokesman.

Errors started dominate Ashour's game after the 28-year-old from Cairo won the third - and the Dutchman moved 8-4 ahead in the fourth. But the lower-ranked Egyptian kept clawing his way back, evening out his errors with fantastic winners to get to 10-all.

The pair trade points until Ashour set up match ball at 14-13 before going on to close out the match 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 15-13 in 61 minutes.

The Egyptian, now in his 10th PSA Tour final, faces second seed David Palmer after the veteran Australian clinched his second Tour final place in a week - and the 55th of his career - by beating unseeded Alister Walker.

But the English outsider, ranked 19 in the world, took the experienced Palmer the full distance before the US-based former world No1 and world champion finally emerged triumphant 5-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 after 92 minutes.

Palmer, who won last week's Rocky Mountain Open in Calgary, is meeting Ashour for the second time in Canada this year after a semi-final clash in the Comfort Inn Open in Vancouver in January - when the Egyptian beat the Australian for the first time.

Walker Wipes Out Grant In Montreal Marathon

A marathon 90-minute upset over fourth seed Adrian Grant in the National Bank Financial Group Open in Canada took unseeded Alister Walker into the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal.

Just a single ranking place separates the two Englishman - but world No19 Walker celebrated his third successive Tour victory over the Londoner after recovering from a game down to win 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.

The Botswana-born 28-year-old might be relieved that his victory was achieved in only 90 minutes: Walker's last win over Grant, in the 2009 Sky Open in Egypt, took a minute longer than two hours!

Walker, now based in New York, next faces David Palmer, the veteran Australian who is also based in the USA. The second seed from New South Wales, winner of last week's Rocky Mountain Open in Calgary, was stretched to five games by Alan Clyne before finally getting the better of the Scottish qualifier 11-9, 6-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-8 in 73 minutes.

Straight games successes in the top half of the draw led Dutch favourite Laurens Jan Anjema and Egypt's third seed Hisham Mohd Ashour through to the other semi-final.

Anjema, runner-up in Calgary last week, despatched Italian Stephane Galifi 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 while Ashour ended Jan Koukal's run by beating the Czech qualifier 11-9, 11-5, 11-3.

Koukal & Clyne Move On In Montreal

Qualifiers Jan Koukal and Alan Clyne produced stunning upsets in the National Bank Financial Group Open to claim unexpected quarter-final places in the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal, Canada.

Czech number one Koukal, who survived an 81-minute qualifying battle to reach the main draw, defeated rising Egyptian star Tarek Momen, ranked 20 places higher, 13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 in 65 minutes.

Clyne, the world No46 from Edinburgh, beat Australian Ryan Cuskelly 12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2 in 84 minutes.

The Scot now faces another Aussie, second seed David Palmer. The 34-year-old from New South Wales, fresh from his 27th Tour title success in Calgary last week, recovered from a game down to beat US number one Julian Illingworth 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.

Palmer is expected to meet favourite Laurens Jan Anjema in the Montreal final in a repeat of the Calgary climax.

The Dutchman extinguished home interest in the event with a 13-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4 win over top-ranked Canadian Shahier Razik.