Shabana Is Comfort Inn Open Champion
continued his spectacular start to 2012 when he picked up his second
PSA World Tour title of the year at the Comfort Inn Open in
Canada. The Egyptian maestro defeated fellow countryman Hisham
Mohamed Ashour in a 50-minute final of the PSA International 50
event at the Evergreen Squash Club in Vancouver.
the Cairo pair's eighth Tour meeting in exactly ten years - and not only
Shabana's eighth success but also Ashour's second successive defeat in
the Vancouver event's final.
Shabana's path to victory was not easy.
opening game, the 32-year-old former world number one built up a 4-1
lead only to see Ashour draw even at 4-4. Shabana retook the lead but,
with unforced errors from both players, it was second seed Ashour who
went on to win the game.
Favourite Shabana again built a substantial lead in the second. Ashour
closed the gap but Shabana maintained the lead before drawing level
Shabana took the third relatively easily, the fourth - much against the
will of the gallery, who were desperately hoping for a fifth - saw only
one unforced error difference between the two Egyptians.
Shabana held his nerve and ultimately closed out the match 7-11, 11-9,
11-7, 12-10 to notch up the 29th PSA Tour title of his career.
was a hard fought, much deserved win for Shabana," said tournament
organiser Paul Marley. "As documented earlier, he started the
tournament on shaky grounds as he almost lost a first round match to the
2010 champion Martin Knight and suffered a bagel along the way.
that provided much needed motivation, but as the tournament progressed
he seemed to gain momentum and confidence in his game and emerged a
winner for the second consecutive week."
Seeds To Contest Comfort Inn Final
top two seeds Amr Shabana and Hisham Mohamed Ashour will
contest an all-Egyptian final of the Comfort Inn Open in Canada
after prevailing against fellow countrymen in the semi-finals of the
PSA World Tour International 50 event at the Evergreen Squash
Club in Vancouver.
seed Ashour, the 29-year-old older brother of world No4 Ramy Ashour,
reached the final for the second successive year after beating younger
opponent Omar Mosaad, the 23-year-old third seed, 11-9, 11-9,
13-11 in 49 minutes.
impressed the galleries as he made his way to the Comfort Inn finals
last year and in his matches in this year's event thus far, with his
stunning array of deceptive shots that are made with such speed &
precision his opponents and his galleries are often left staring in
disbelief," said tournament organiser Paul Marley.
second semi-final featured top seed Shabana, the winner of last week's
ATCO PSA World Series Finals who is making his maiden appearance
in the event - and much younger Tarek Momen, the 2009 runner-up
who is making his fifth appearance at the Evergreen Squash Club.
stage was set for a classic battle between the young lion, rising in the
ranks, competing against the mature lion who has demonstrated that he
still has the skills and motivation to continue to play at the highest
level and has no intention of abandoning his territory any time soon,"
match started out a little slowly, with Shabana winning the first game
fairly easily. But Momen seemed to gain confidence, maybe realising that
he could compete with his legendary countryman, and the next three games
were very competitive and very entertaining."
Shabana recovered from losing the third game to close out the match
11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 after 44 minutes to notch up the 43rd Tour final
appearance of his lengthy career.
Shabana and Ashour, who is celebrating his 11th Tour final appearance,
have met seven times on the PSA Tour over the last ten years - with
32-year-old Shabana boasting a 100% success record.
Shabana Back To His Best In Vancouver
suffering the first whitewash game loss in his career in the previous
round, Egypt's former world number one Amr Shabana was back to
his spectacular best in the quarter-finals of the Comfort Inn Open
in Canada when he despatched Australian Cameron Pilley in
straight games to reach the last four of the PSA World Tour
International 50 event at the Evergreen Squash Club in
top seed will be joined by three fellow countrymen in an all-Egyptian
semi-final line-up - the first in the event's eight-year history.
of last week's ATCO PSA World Series Finals title in London,
Shabana took some time to settle into his opening match when he had to
fight back from 2/1 down against New Zealand wildcard Martin Knight
after losing the third game 11-0!
32-year-old from Cairo has not lost to Pilley, the world No16, since
their first meeting seven years ago. And Shabana maintained his unbeaten
record to defeat the tall Australian 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 in 45 minutes.
Shabana magic was on full display tonight and it will be interesting to
see if any of his countrymen are up to knocking him off the top of the
pyramid," said tournament organiser Paul Marley.
Shabana will face Tarek Momen, the only unseeded player to make
the last four.
23-year-old from Cairo needed 50 minutes to see off 18-year-old
compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar, a qualifier, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4,
year's runner-up Hisham Mohamed Ashour moved one step closer to
his second successive final after beating Egyptian Mohd Ali Anwar
Reda 11-9, 11-8, 11-9.
29-year-old No2 seed will face Omar Mosaad after the third seed
defeated Finland's Olli Tuominen - one of only two non-Egyptians
in the last eight - 11-9, 11-3, 11-1.
Egyptians Progress In Comfort
Egyptians will contest all four quarter-finals of the Comfort Inn
Open in Canada after a day of upsets and marathons in the PSA
World Tour International 50 event at the Evergreen Squash Club
England's defending champion Daryl Selby was the biggest
casualty, falling at the first hurdle in one of the longest matches of
of the title both in 2009 and 2011, the 29-year-old world No11 tasted
defeat at the Vancouver club for the first time as unseeded Egyptian
Tarek Momen recovered from a game down to beat the fourth seed 6-11,
13-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7 in 105 minutes - gaining revenge for his defeat
in the 2009 final.
the 23-year-old world No18 from Cairo, will now play fellow countryman
Mohamed Abouelghar, who became the only qualifier to make the
quarter-finals when his US opponent Julian Illingworth retired
injured after the third game, with the score standing at 10-12, 11-3,
another marathon encounter which went the full distance, third-seeded
Egyptian Omar Mosaad twice had to come from behind to overcome
Botswana's Alister Walker 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 in 95
the most extraordinary clash came at the top of the draw where Egyptian
favourite Amr Shabana took on New Zealander Martin Knight.
Shabana, the illustrious four-time world champion, arrived in Vancouver
fresh from winning the ATCO PSA World Series Finals crown after
one of the sport's most talked about matches last week in London.
the world No8 dropped the first game, then struggled to win the second
before losing the third 11-0 - suffering the
first ever whitewash game loss in his entire career!
Knight, ranked 30 places lower, was unable to exploit his unexpected
advantage however as Shabana regrouped to close out the match 5-11,
12-10, 0-11, 11-5, 11-3 after 53 minutes to take his anticipated place
in the last eight.