Omar Abdel Aziz brought Harinder Pal Sandhu's giant-killing run in
the PSA Valencia to an end when he defeated the Indian qualifier in the
final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its second year
at Club Olympia in Valencia in Spain.
Abdel Aziz, runner-up in 2011, reached the final without dropping a game - and
also without facing an opponent who was higher-ranked!
Sandhu, the 23-year-old world No98 from Chennai, defeated a succession of
higher-ranked opponents - even in the qualifying competition. His biggest scalp
was top seed Adrian Grant, the world No19 from England.
But the clash
with 29-year-old Aziz was a match too far. The world No41 from Cairo fought for
65 minutes, however, to keep Sandhu at bay - ultimately winning 11-8, 12-10,
marks the fifth PSA Tour title of Abdel Aziz's career - but his first since
winning the first NSC Series event in Malaysia more than five years ago.
Hari Hangs On
qualifier Harinder Pal Sandhu extended his mighty run in the PSA
Valencia in Spain when he defeated third seed Chris Ryder to reach
the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its second
year at Club Olympia in Valencia.
marks the fifth - but biggest - Tour final appearance of Sandhu's career.
23-year-old from Chennai began his giant-killing charge in the qualifying finals
where he overcame higher-ranked New Zealander Kashif Shuja to make the
main draw against expectation.
England's Charles Sharpes saw Sandhu line up against top seed Adrian
Grant in the quarter-finals - but the Indian underdog despatched the world
No19 in a five-game thriller.
43 in the world, provided Sandhu a hat-trick of English victims. The
Chandhigarh-born world No98 recovered from a game down to beat 32-year-old Ryder
5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 after 80 minutes of intense squash.
For a change,
Sandhu will now face an Egyptian - fourth seed Omar Abdel Aziz. The
29-year-old from Cairo, ranked 41 in the world, ended Danish interest in the
event when he beat Kristian Frost Olesen 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 in 55 minutes.
runner-up in the recent Arab Championship, is celebrating his 12th
appearance in a PSA Tour final.
Top Seed Grant In Valencia
qualifier Harinder Pal Sandhu recorded the most impressive win of his
career in the PSA Valencia in Spain when he overcame England's world No19
Adrian Grant to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger
15 squash event in its second year at Club Olympia in Valencia.
The world No98
from Chennai had already taken out higher-ranked Englishman Charles Sharpes
in the opening round - but dug even deeper to recover from 2/1 down against
top-seeded Londoner Grant, a former world No9, to win 11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8,
11-5 in a match which kept the crowd enthralled for almost two hours.
"We all at the
Indian Squash Academy are delighted with Harinder's result," said Indian
National Coach Cyrus Poncha, from Chennai, when he heard the news. "This
is certainly his best win and one which has been overdue.
over the past few months been working very hard and deserves full credit."
Chandhigarh-born Sandhu, who reached last year's Indian National Championship
final for the third year in a row against expectations, is enjoying an excellent
run on the PSA Tour. Earlier this month, as fourth seed, the 23-year-old secured
his fourth Tour final appearance at the Royal Lake Club Open in Malaysia.
faces his third English opponent in a row in a bid to reach the event's final.
Chris Ryder, the No3 seed from Leamington Spa, looked to be heading home
when qualifier Davide Bianchetti took the opening two games.
fought back to draw level, and immediately dropped the first point in the
decider when the 35-year-old Italian surprisingly announced his decision to
retire, with the score standing at 7-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-5, 0-1 in Ryder's
won the all-Danish duel in the other half of the draw, beating Rasmus Nielsen
11-7, 11-8, 11-2.
23-year-old from Odense now takes on Omar Abdel Aziz, the third seed from
Egypt who defeated Australia's Steven Finitsis 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.
Clobbered In Valencia Upset
Rasmus Nielsen reached more than 50 ranking places above him to overcome
No2 seed Alan Clyne in the biggest upset on the opening day of action in
the PSA Valencia, the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in
its second year at Club Olympia in Valencia, Spain.
6 shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 sets of shoes, 3 wristbands and 2 sets of
socks.......in one match!" tweeted Scot Clyne, ranked 29 in the world, after the
marathon five-game thriller.
world No80 from Odense, took a two-game lead - but Clyne came back to force a
decider. The 29-year-old underdog regained the upper hand however - closing out
the match 11-9, 16-14, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9 to set up an all-Danish quarter-final
clash with Kristian Frost Olesen.
Olesen also survived a five-game battle - outlasting English qualifier Joel
Hinds 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9.
further upsets in the other half of the draw where two qualifiers earned
surprise quarter-final appearances. Indian Harinder Pal Sandhu, a
23-year-old qualifier from Chennai, defeated England's higher-ranked Charles
Sharpes 11-7, 11-3, 4-11, 11-4 and will now face top seed Adrian Grant
for a place in the semi-finals.
Davide Bianchetti rolled back the years to despatch 2010 world junior
champion Amr Khaled Khalifa in straight games. The 35-year-old former
world No24, now ranked outside the world top 100, beat the 19-year-old Egyptian
11-8, 14-12, 11-2 - and moves on to meet England's No3 seed Chris Ryder
in the last eight round.