KUWAIT CUP 2011
James Willstrop Clinches Kuwait PSA Cup
Kuwait PSA Cup 2011
23-29 Nov, Kuwait ($165k)
 Nick Matthew (Eng)
11/6, 11/3, 11/1 (29m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
11-7, 11-9, 11-8
8/11, 11/5, 11/2, 11/5 (58m)
11-9, 11-6, 11-3
11/7, 10/12, 11/4, 11/2 (65m)
 Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/8, 11/9, 11/6 (58m)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
 Daryl Selby (Eng)
9/11, 11/3, 11/9, 5/11, 11/9 (66m)
Abdullah Almezayen (Kuw)
11-7, 11-7, 5-11,
Mohamed El Shorbagy
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
12/10, 11/7, 5/11, 2/11, 12/10 (85m)
Borja Golan (Esp)
 Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11/6, 13/11, 11/6 (47m)
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
10-12, 11-2, 11-9 (71m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (36m)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11/5, 9/11, 12/10, 11/2 (70m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
 Alister Walker (Bot)
6/11, 11/6, 11/7, 8/11, 11/8 (85m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fa)
11-7, 11-5, 11-3
 James Willstrop (Eng)
11/0, 11/8, 11/9 (27m)
Chris Simpson (Eng)
Simon Rosner (Ger)
11/8, 11/7, 11/6 (22m)
 Amr Shabana (Egy)
12-10, 12-10 (67m)
w/o (pulled muscle)
11-4, 11-9, 5-11,
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
11/5, 11/6, 11/6 (40m)
 Stewart Boswell (Aus)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
11/3, 11/4, 11/9 (18m)
 Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
11-4, 11-7, 11-5
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/7, 11/2, 11/6 (34m)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
Jan Koukal (Cze)
11/5, 11/6, 11/7 (42m)
 Peter Barker (Eng)
11-6, 11-5, 11-1
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/8, 11/5, 7/11, 11/7 (52m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
11/6, 11/13, 5/11, 11/4, 11/3 (76m)
 Adrian Grant (Eng)
Max Lee (Hkg)
11/8, 11/13, 11/7, 11/5 (67m)
 Omar Mosaad (Egy)
11-5, 11-5, 11-7
11/5, 11/4, 11/5 (28m)
 Karim Darwish (Egy)
1st Round: 23/11/11
Q1: Nicolas Mueller
Greg Marche (Fra) 11/8, 5/11, 11/8, 6/11,
Q2: Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Andrew Wagih (Egy)
11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (47m)
Q3: Abdullah Almezayen (Kuw) bt Miguel
Rodriguez (Col) 11/5, 14/12, 11/7 (36m)
Q4: Borja Golan (Esp) bt Tom Richards (Eng)
7/11, 11/8, 11/6, 11/9 (71m)
Q5: Olli Tuominen (Fin) bt Robbie Temple (Eng)
11/7, 11/13, 11/6, 12/10 (65m)
Q6: Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Tarek Momen (Egy)
11/9, 6/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/5 (75m)
Q7: Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) bt Mark Krajcsak
11/5, 11/7, 11/7 (45m)
Q8: Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
9/11, 11/6, 11/4, 5/11, 11/8 (80m)
Q9: Simon Rosner (Ger) bt Marwan El
Shorbagy (Egy) 4/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (59m)
Q10: Steve Coppinger (Rsa) bt Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
11/3, 11/5, 11/9 (48m)
Q11: Jon Kemp (Eng) bt Martin Knight (Nzl)
9/11, 11/2, 11/8, 11/4 (45m)
Q12: Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Karim A/Gawad (Egy)
8/11, 11/9, 11/6, 12/10 (65m)
Q13: Jan Koukal (Cze) bt Alan Clyne (Sco)
9/11, 11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (60m)
Q14: Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) bt Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11/6, 11/7, 11/9 (43m)
Q15: Max Lee (Hkg) bt Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
11/3, 11/4, 11/7 (23m)
Q16: Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Adrian
Waller (Eng) 11/2, 11/6,
8/11, 11/4 (39m)
A brand new event format, reflecting the open draw
style of English football's prestigious FA Cup, is being
launched by the men's Professional Squash Association this week
at the Kuwait PSA Cup, a PSA World Series event with a
prize fund of $165,000 involving the world's top 48 players.
Commenting on the new format, Alex Gough, Chief
Executive of the PSA said: "For the Kuwait PSA Cup we have introduced
an open draw from the quarter-finals onwards. This means that the top
two players could face each other as early as the last eight which is
something completely new in squash.
"We are constantly looking at ways to innovate the
sport and this format, which draws on the open-draw system of the FA
Cup, reflects this commitment. The fact that we have the world's top
48 players from 21 different countries also shows how the sport is
becoming increasingly global."
President of the World Squash Federation, N
Ramachandran added: "The new format for the Kuwait PSA Cup is
another example of how squash continues to innovate and embrace change
to make the sport even more appealing to fans, sponsors and
broadcasters. Other recent innovations in squash include the dedicated
TV operation SquashTV which will cover 13 major events this year, all
streamed live and distributed to 20 broadcasters worldwide, with a
potential reach of 340 million viewers.
"We have also introduced 'Video Review', allowing match
officials to review decisions via TV replay, and raised the bar in
terms of introducing the latest all-glass show court, featuring new
larger glass panels, on-court air conditioning, a new floor and
revolutionary lighting. All these innovations are critical to our
ambition to become part of the Olympic Games from 2020 and fans can
expect more developments to the sport in the months ahead."
click on images for
James Willstrop Clinches Kuwait PSA Cup
England's James Willstrop won the biggest title of his career
when he beat Egypt's Karim Darwish in tonight's final of the
inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup, the eighth and penultimate PSA
World Series squash event of the year at Green Island in
It rounded off a sensational ten-day period for the 28-year-old from
Leeds who won his first World Series title of the year at last week's
Hong Kong Open - again beating Darwish in the final - and can
now look forward to returning to second place in the world rankings
for the first time since first achieving his career-high ranking
exactly six years ago.
Englishman won a close first game, pulling away from six-all to take
the lead. The Egyptian got the better start in the second and led 6-3,
but Willstrop recovered to earn a game ball at 10-9.
after a rare sequence of unforced errors from the Yorkshireman, it was
Darwish who took the game to draw level - thus ending Willstrop's run
of 28 consecutive games without defeat.
tall Englishman, seeded three, was immediately back in front in the
third, leading 6-1 before taking the game. It was one-way traffic in
the fourth - Darwish only scoring two points as Willstrop marched on
to close out the match 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2 to win his first title
"I'm incredibly pleased," Willstrop
afterwards. "When you try and backup two tournaments, the odds are
against you - but I was pleased with the way I played, and maybe you
actually can manage back to back wins when you keep on winning 3/0.
That way, you put yourself under less pressure physically, even though
it's still a hard battle mentally, turning up for every match, and
trying to win each and every one.
"I've been receiving tremendous help from my team back home that
helped me improve my physical side. And I basically adapted my squash
to my physical constitution," added the new Kuwait champion who will
now turn his attention to the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the last
World Series event of the year next month in India.
I win three in a row? Well, I guess it can be done," said Willstrop.
"If I can produce squash like that, I can win the next one! And I'm
not going to let the fact that it's three in a row get in the way!"
Darwish was not entirely unhappy with the outcome: "In the third, I
didn't hit the wall physically, but mentally more. I was fine
physically, but I was just frustrated, I just couldn't get the ball to
the back of the court anymore," said the 30-year-old from Cairo.
very happy with two finals in a row, it's very positive - and now I'm
going to go home and get ready for India and the rest of the season."
addition to producing the 14th PSA World Tour title success of his
career, Willstrop's win also takes him to equal top position in the
latest 2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings, where he shares
425 points with fellow countryman Nick Matthew. Beaten
semi-finalist Gregory Gaultier rises to fourth place in the
list, while Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar narrowly holds onto
Willstrop & Darwish In Second World Series Final This Month
over a week after contesting the final of the Hong Kong Open,
England's James Willstrop (Right in blue)and Egyptian Karim Darwish
will play out their second successive PSA World Series climax
at the inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup at Green Island in
replay of the Hong Kong semi-final, third seed Willstrop faced French
rival Gregory Gaultier, the No5 seed, for a place in the final
of the eighth PSA World Series squash event of the year.
After surviving two tough games, the Englishman was in absolute
control of the eight-minute third before closing out the match 11-9,
11-6, 11-3 in 58 minutes.
victory marked Willstrop's ninth successive Tour match win without
dropping a game - since losing to Gaultier in the World Open
semi-finals in Rotterdam.
was very confident on court today, I'm hitting the ball well,"
explained Willstrop afterwards. "It's all about keeping that streak
going, and that's not always that easy. Today, I think I managed to
frustrate Greg and prevent him from playing his game. I played some
accurate squash, and it was a very pleasing performance."
While Willstrop went into the first semi-final poised at seven-all in
his Tour head-to-head record with Gaultier, second seed Karim Darwish
never even conceded a game to his opponent Mohamed El Shorbagy
in three previous meetings with his ten-year-younger fellow
record looked safe for at least the first game and a half. But
20-year-old El Shorbagy slowly started to get into the match, pulling
back to take the lead at 5-4 and 8-7. But at nine-all, two rash errors
cost the seventh seed the chance of levelling as Darwish extended his
Darwish maintained his lead in the next game - but underdog El
Shorbagy snatched seven quick points in a row before taking the third
to reduce the deficit.
was nip and tuck in the fourth with both players sharing the lead
before El Shorbagy reached game ball at 10-9, only for Darwish to
battle on to match-balls at 11-10 and 12-11.
Shorbagy earned one more chance at 13-12, but Darwish saved that too
before clinching his third chance to secure victory 11-4, 11-9, 5-11,
15-13 after 74 minutes.
didn't want to give up," exclaimed former world No1 Darwish. "Those
youngsters - you can't get rid of them," added the relieved
30-year-old from Cairo.
so happy to get into the final again. James is a in a great form, but
I'm happy with my performance in this tournament too. It will be a
While Willstrop is marking his 27th Tour final appearance, it's the
37th for the Egyptian.
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Shorbagy Makes Maiden World Series Semi In Kuwait
Mohamed El Shorbagy
celebrated his first appearance in the semi-finals of a PSA World
Series event - and guaranteed Egyptian interest in the final of
the inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup - when he beat Dutchman Laurens
Jan Anjema in the quarter-finals of the eighth World Series squash
championship of the year at Green Island in Kuwait City.
After the historic 'FA Cup' style quarter-final draw the previous
evening, it was a day of further drama at Green Island when top seed
Nick Matthew (below right) was forced to withdraw from the championship
without striking a ball.
than 24 hours after being drawn to face No2 seed Karim Darwish
in the most eye-catching quarter-final possible, the world number one
and world champion from England went onto the court - still dressed in
his tracksuit - to inform everyone that he had been struggling with an
adductor injury that prevented him from lunging.
31-year-old from Sheffield had been warming up as close as ten minutes
to match time, but had reluctantly concluded that it was not possible
gutted to have to pull out today but you have to be able to lunge
without pain to play this fantastic sport at the speed we play,"
tweeted the event favourite later.
There was a further shock to come when distinguished Australian
Stewart Boswell, the event's 15th seed and a former world No4,
calmly announced after losing a four-game quarter-final to Gregory
Gaultier that this was to be his final appearance on the PSA
most significant on-court outcome took place in the final match of the
day when 20-year-old Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No7 seed from
Alexandria, battled to an 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 victory in 52 minutes
over experienced left-hander Anjema to mark his World Series semi
"I played good squash, probably the
best I've played in the tournament," El Shorbagy said
afterwards. "It was a fair match, LJ is such a gentleman. It's always
a great pleasure to play him.
"This is my first ever World Series semis, and this is very special to
me. And I'm so happy that my mum is here to share that moment with me,
and I'm so glad she is there to support me too."
young Egyptian will now play his senior compatriot Karim Darwish,
the former world No1 who is only one match away from his second
successive World Series final.
"Last time we played was in Malaysia, and he beat me yet again 3/0,"
continued Shorbagy. "We are very good friends, I have the utmost
respect for him.
never took a game off him, so tomorrow, I'm really going to try and do
my best, and play good squash."
was in the opening match of the session that fifth-seeded Frenchman
Gregory Gaultier (left) recovered from a stuttering start to beat
Stewart Boswell 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 in 58 minutes.
emotional to talk afterwards, Boswell simply handed over a
hand-written letter, explaining his decision to retire.
all-English clash which the earlier draw produced
ended in the same
result it has in all but one of their 16 earlier meetings when
James Willstrop beat Peter Barker 11-9, 11-7, 11-7.
Third seed Willstrop
(right foreground) stayed ahead throughout the first two games, but
sixth seed Barker rallied to take a 6-3 lead in the third. However,
Yorkshireman Willstrop won eight of the next nine points to run out
the winner in just 36 minutes.
Willstrop will face Gaultier in the pair's fourth World Series clash
Seeds Paired Up In Kuwait Quarters Draw
'FA Cup' style open draw introduced by the Professional Squash
Association as an innovation at the quarter-final stage of the
inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup produced a dramatic result when the
event's top two seeds Nick Matthew and Karim Darwish
were pulled out of the hat to face each other for a place in the
semi-finals of the eighth PSA World Series event of the year at
Green Island in Kuwait City.
draw took place at a Gala Dinner in Kuwait, at which host and
Tournament Chairman Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah drew the first name
Stewart Boswell. The 15th seed from Australian then drew his
opponent - Gregory Gaultier, the No5 seed from France.
next match drawn pitched English rivals James Willstrop and
Peter Barker together.
the No2 seed from Egypt, was the next name drawn - and he duly
provided the 'dream' quarter-final clash when he picked Nick
Matthew, the top seed from England who is also the world number
one and reigning world champion.
will be the pair's ninth Tour meeting since 2004 - but their second of
the month after clashing in the World Open semi-finals in
final quarter-final Kuwait Cup pairing sees Egypt's No7 seed
Mohamed El Shorbagy take on Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema,
the No10 seed.
Kuwait Towers was a fabulous setting to host the first ever PSA Cup
draw, which was certainly a intense experience for all involved," said
PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill.
were delighted with the amount of attention the draw created with
local television and media taking a big interest in the event hosted
by Sheikha Fadyah.
random draw was obviously going to create some interesting line-ups -
and with some players happy with their draw, and some not, what it has
created is an exciting climax to this unique event."
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Anjema Axes Lincou To Make Kuwait Quarters
Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema survived today's longest match in
the inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup to secure an unexpected place in
the quarter-finals of the eighth PSA World Series squash event
of the year after upsetting eighth seed Thierry Lincou in five
games at Green Island in Kuwait City.
Frenchman Lincou, the former world number one who has made the last
eight in his previous four appearances in Kuwait, battled hard to
build up a 2/1 lead over his younger rival - ranked just one position
the left-hander from The Hague overwhelmed Lincou in the fourth to
draw level - then held his nerve to clinch an 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-2,
11-9 victory over the 35-year-old after 71 minutes, to earn his first
quarter-final appearance in Kuwait.
"What can I say?" Anjema
(left in black shorts) said
afterwards. "Growing up, I was looking up to Thierry, Palmer, Nicol,
and it's so hard when you have them as role models to one day start
playing against them, then competing with them, then sometimes having
a fight with them, and finally beating them.
to think that at that age, he is still in that shape - it's pretty
incredible," added the 28-year-old world No11.
unique format of the Kuwait PSA Cup means that the Dutchman will now
have to wait 24 hours before he discovers the identity of his
quarter-final opponent - which will be drawn at a special Gala Dinner
"About the new format: I tend to never look at the draw at all - I
don't like wasting my energy worrying about who I might play. So, I'm
all for it!"
became another surprise quarter-finalist: The 15th seed from Australia
beat unseeded German Simon Rosner 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 12-10 in
67 minutes - the outcome of which takes the Canberra-born 33-year-old
into his third successive PSA World Series quarter-final against
trio of Englishmen will bid for places in the semi-finals after third
round successes today: Londoner Peter Barker, who has become
the World Series' "Mr Consistency", claimed his eighth successive
quarter-final berth with his 11-6, 11-5, 11-1 win in 55 minutes over
fellow countryman, fellow Londoner, and fellow left-hander Adrian
Grant, the No14 seed.
Yorkshire rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop (right
in Blue shirt) will
hope that the draw keeps them in opposing halves. Top seed, world
number one and world champion Matthew opened proceedings at Green
Island with a straight games win over hard-hitting Aussie Cameron
Pilley. Matthew pulled away from 4-3 down in the first - and,
although he built leads in the next two games, Pilley ate into both
before the favourite managed to close them out for an 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
After winning last week's Hong Kong Open without dropping a
game, third seed Willstrop continued his run of straight game
victories by beating former England team-mate Alister Walker -
the 16th seed now representing Botswana - 11-7, 11-5, 11-3.
Frenchman and two Egyptians secured the other three quarter-final
berths: Gregory Gaultier, the fifth seed from Aix-en-Provence,
needed 50 minutes to quash Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar 11-4,
11-7, 11-5, while Egyptians Mohamed El Shorbagy and Karim
Darwish overcame Daryl Selby, of England, and compatriot
Omar Mosaad, respectively.
Rosner Removes Kuwait Champion Shabana
Egypt's fourth seed Amr Shabana, a finalist in his last four
appearances in Kuwait, crashed out of the inaugural Kuwait
PSA Cup today, beaten in straight games by unseeded German
Simon Rosner in the second round of the eighth PSA World Series
squash event of the year in Kuwait City.
was on the same all-glass court at Green Island in 2009 that
the former world number one from Giza won his fourth World Open
title, equalling the achievements of former greats Geoff Hunt,
Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan.
last year's Kuwait Open runner-up, currently ranked four in the
world, was no match for the ever-improving Rosner, as the 24-year-old
from Paderborn - who has never before progressed beyond the first
round - romped to an 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 22 minutes.
"I'll take a 3/0 win against
Shabana any day," the delighted Rosner said
afterwards. "He beat me so many times, and he's been my idol since the
age or 12 or 13.
a win against him today is pretty special, not to mention my best win
over a top player," added Rosner, who celebrated a career-best world
No24 ranking this month.
Rosner will now face Stewart Boswell after the No15 seed from
Australia beat South African Stephen Coppinger 11-5, 11-6,
the standout match of the day took place later on the same court when
Kuwaiti wildcard Abdullah Al Muzayen, who upset higher-ranked
Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez 24 hours earlier, stretched
ninth seed Daryl Selby to five games before finally bowing out
to the experienced world No12 from England 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11,
11-9 after 66 minutes.
is such a great player, he has improved so much over the past year,"
said Selby of the Kuwaiti number one who is ranked 80 in the world.
"He's been playing a lot of tournaments around these areas, and has
started to make his mark. And if he keeps on playing like that, there
is absolutely no reason he couldn't reach top 20, top 10.
"This court is just great," Selby continued. "It's what we
professional squash players train for all year, to play in front of
great crowds like this one in Kuwait. I had pretty good memories here,
and tonight, it went my side - well, just about!"
Despite his defeat, Al Muzayen enjoyed the experience: "I so enjoyed
playing Daryl - what a great player, I really enjoyed having the
opportunity to play one of the top players in the world. And I hope
that I made the Kuwait crowd happy tonight.
"Next year, I'll be coming back and play better squash," added the
23-year-old left-hander. "I'm going to work hard and train to improve
both my fitness and my squash. And I'll be a better player next year."
Top-seeded Englishman Nick Matthew earned his place in the last
16 following an 11-6, 11-3, 11-1 victory over Switzerland's Nicolas
had the utmost respect for him, for the way he plays at the moment,
and that's the best compliment I can give him," said the world number
one and world champion after his win. "I was ready for him!"
Egypt's No7 seed Mohamed El Shorbagy squandered a 2/0 lead over
Borja Golan when the unseeded Spaniard came back to level the
match and build up an 8-5 lead in the decider. The 20-year-old from
Alexandria had to save one match ball, then finished with two
crosscourt volley nicks to win 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 2-11, 12-10 after 85
Muzayen Delights Kuwait Cup Crowd
Local hero Abdullah Al Muzayen fully justified his wildcard
status in the inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup when he dismissed
higher-ranked Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in straight
games in tonight's first round match in the eighth PSA World Series
squash event of the year at Green Island in Kuwait City.
80, Kuwaiti Al Muzayen is the lowest-ranked player in the 48-man draw
of the star-studded international event being held to celebrate the
50th anniversary of the country's independence. It was his first
meeting with the experienced Colombian, ranked 46 places higher.
the cool left-hander defeated Rodriguez 11-5, 14-12, 11-7 in 36
minutes - and immediately thanked the organisers for giving him the
"I really would like to thank Her
Excellency Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah and the organisers for this amazing
tournament," the delighted 23-year-old said
afterwards. "I'm so proud I won for them tonight.
"I've been training very hard, thanks to the support of the KW
Federation, Her Excellency Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah and my sponsor,
Mahmood Al Ghanin.
knew that I had to work on my fitness to be able to compete with the
top players. And tonight, I have my reward. I just beat the world
Kong's Max Lee was another notable first round winner. The
23-year-old world No56 beat out-of-sorts Pakistani Farhan Mehboob,
a former world No16, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 in just 23 minutes.
Australian Ryan Cuskelly denied former world No7 Ong Beng
Hee the chance of a second round place when he beat the
higher-ranked Malaysian 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.
India's world No32 Saurav Ghosal survived one of the toughest
clashes of the day, coming back from 2/1 down to beat fast-rising
Egyptian Tarek Momen, the world No19, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7,
11-5 in 75 minutes.
really happy, as this is my only big win since my foot injury months
ago," said the Kolkata-born 25-year-old. "I knew the form was coming
back, I had a pretty close call against Daryl (Selby) in Hong Kong,
and did not too bad against LJ (Anjema) in Rotterdam.
beating Tarek, who is playing so well at the moment, is really a great
achievement for me. You don't beat Nick (Matthew) 3/0 if you are not
playing very well!"
longest match of the day saw England's Chris Simpson prevail
9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 over New Zealander Campbell Grayson
in 80 minutes.
and Jonathan Kemp provided further English first round
successes: Ryder downed Andrew Wagih Shoukry, a 21-year-old
Egyptian making his first ever appearance in a World Series event,
11-7, 11-4, 11-6, while Kemp saw off New Zealander Martin Knight
9-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-4.
Launches Innovative Kuwait Cup
brand new event format, reflecting the open draw style of English
football's prestigious FA Cup, will be launched by the
Professional Squash Association this week in Kuwait.
Kuwait PSA Cup will feature the top 48 players in the world -
but the draw for the quarter-finals will not be made until the last 16
round has been completed.
event, from 23-29 November, is being held to honour the 50th
anniversary of the sovereign Arab state of Kuwait, and will be staged
under the patronage of HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jal Sabah,
the Amir of Kuwait. The players will be competing for the HH Sheikh
Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah Trophy, created in honour of the late
Patriarch Amir of Kuwait.
top eight players in the PSA world rankings are so close today that
matches between them are often too close to call," said PSA Chief
Operating Officer Lee Beachill.
"Without at this stage making the complete draw open, we wanted to
introduce some variety in the final stage of one of our major events -
squash fans want to see different line-ups from those that fixed draws
often set up.
feel the 48 draw format really highlights the tremendous depth
currently on the PSA World Tour and with players from 21 different
countries all competing in Kuwait, I don't think our top 50 has ever
been so universal.
"Kuwait really wanted a showcase event and I think the Kuwait PSA Cup
delivers just that," added the former world number one. "A unique draw
format, the very best players in the world, and the added twist of a
random draw for the quarter-final line ups."
quarter-final draw will be made at a Gala Dinner in Kuwait on a rest
day once the line-up has been resolved - with the highest-ranked
player drawing his opponent, then the next drawing his, etc, until the
following day's schedule is confirmed.
Kuwait PSA Cup, which boasts a $165,000 prize fund, will be the eighth
PSA World Series event of the year. A further unique feature
will be that the top 16 seeds will receive a bye in the first round.
the record ten-time British Open champion who is the event's vice
chairman, added: "The Kuwait PSA Cup will be a major event in Kuwait
as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence in
will also be a tribute to Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah, who has personally
done so much to raise the profile of squash in Kuwait."
Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah,
daughter of the Patriarch Amir HH Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah, is
the event's Chairman. The Sheikha has played a major role in
supporting squash in Kuwait over the past ten years, and is currently
responsible for five men's and women's events each year.