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24/01/2012
ROCAFORT OPEN 2012
 

Seed-Crusher Karim Wins Barcelona Title

Seed-Crusher Karim Wins Barcelona Title

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 XIV Internacional D'Squash Esportiu Rocafort-St Antoni, Barcelona, Spain

Unseeded Egyptian teenager Karim Ali Fathi despatched three seeds in the XIV Internacional D'Squash Esportiu Rocafort-St Antoni in Spain en-route to winning the first PSA World Tour squash title of his career.

After beating fourth-seeded Frenchman Joan Lezaud in the quarter-finals of the long-established PSA Challenger 5 event at Esportiu Rocafort in Barcelona, Fathi went on to dismiss Germany's No2 seed Jens Schoor in the semi-finals.

The 18-year-old from Cairo faced his toughest opponent in the final. France's Julien Balbo, the world No71, reached his 13th Tour final after surviving a 97-minute five-game marathon against third-seeded South African Shaun le Roux.

But despite being ranked almost 50 places below the favourite, Ali Fathi maintained his composure to defeat Balbo 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 in 47 minutes - thereby coming through the entire event without dropping a single game!

1st round:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Alejandro Garbi Caro (ESP) 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 (51m)
[Q] Michael Harris (ENG) bt Kevin Moran (SCO) 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (30m)
Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt [Q] Florent Pontiere (FRA) 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)
[3] Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (25m)
[4] Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt Rory Pennell (ENG) 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (40m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [Q] Oriol Salvia (ESP) 11-0, 11-6, 11-2 (30m)
[Q] Antoine-Camille Petrucci (FRA) bt Ruslan Sorochinskiy (UKR) 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (37m)
[2] Jens Schoor (GER) bt Hugo Varela (ESP) 11-7, 11-9, 11-2 (45m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [Q] Michael Harris (ENG) 5-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (31m)
[3] Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-2, 11-9, 13-11 (31m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [4] Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)
[2] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [Q] Antoine-Camille Petrucci (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (47m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [3] Shaun le Roux (RSA) 5-11, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 15-13 (97m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [2] Jens Schoor (GER) 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (30m)

Final:
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [1] Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (47m)