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Golan Stuns Walker To Take Dayton Title

Dayton Open 2012
05-10 Nov, Dayton, Ohio, USA, $35k
Round One
07 Nov
08 Nov
09 Nov
10 Nov
[1] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
8/11, 11/6, 11/5, 14/12 (49m)
Zac Alexander (Aus)
Omar Mosaad
8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (42m)
Mathieu Castagnet
Omar Mosaad
8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 15-13 (128m)
Borja Golan
Borja Golan
11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
Alister Walker
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
11/13, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4 (108m)
[Q] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
11/5, 11/8, 11/7 (40m)
 Aurangzeb Mehmund (Pak)
Marwan El Shorbagy
11-1, 11-8, 11-3 (37m)
Borja Golan
[4] Borja Golan (Esp)
11/7, 11/1, 11/5 (30m)
Siddharth Suchde (Ind)
 Shahier Razik (Can)
9/11, 11/2, 11/2, 11/6 (43m)
[3] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Cameron Pilley
13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (89m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Ryan Cuskelly
12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (59m)
Alister Walker
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
11/5, 11/7, 8/11, 11/6 (52m)
[Q] Yasir Butt (Pak)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/9, 11/9, 11/6 (34m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra)
Gregoire Marche
4-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7 (68m)
Alister Walker
[Q] Cesar Salazar (Mex)
9/11, 7/11, 11/0, 11/7, 15/13 (88m)
[2] Alister Walker (Bot)

Qualifying finals:
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (76m)
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 (83m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-4 (52m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 (72m)


Golan Stuns Walker To Take Dayton Title

Despite a marathon two-hour semi-final battle less than 24 hours earlier, Spaniard Borja Golan stunned title-holder Alister Walker in straight games to win the EBS Dayton Open, the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its ninth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

"After last night's two-hour marathon match to defeat world No11 and top seed Omar Mosaad of Egypt, everyone in tonight's packed gallery knew that world No18 Golan was focused on the ultimate prize: champion," said tournament promoter Charlie Johnson.

"Last year's EBS Dayton Open champion and current world No12 Walker, of Botswana, found out the hard way how truly focused the Spaniard was when he went down in three straight games in 44 minutes.

"The enthusiastic crowd thought they were in for a long evening when the first rally of the match was a 50+ exchange that ended with Walker hitting the tin. Golan went on to run off five straight long rallies to take a 6-0 lead and Walker seemed like he couldn't find an answer to the Spaniard's quick anticipation and attacking style of play.

"Walker finally won a rally off a brilliant forehand crosscourt nick kill shot to get in the match at 1-6 but if it was going to take 10 more of those to win this first game, with the way Golan was playing the odds were not good," explained Johnson.

Golan went on to win the match 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 to take his career PSA World Tour title haul to 27 - two more than both Nick Matthew of England and Ramy Ashour of Egypt!

After the match, both players were gracious in wishing each other the best for the rest of the season and thanking the sponsors and tournament promoter Charlie Johnson of cjsquash.com. Last year's champion passed off the EBS Dayton Open trophy to the 2012 champion and Golan will have his name added to an illustrious list of winners for this 10-year-old event.

Golan was delighted with his success: "I tried to play tight and put pressure on him, moving the ball around the court - and that worked well.

"I felt comfortable in that court from the first day, but yesterday with Mosaad I had to be focussed all the time and after 200 lets finally I went through!! Really happy for that," added the 29-year-old from Santiago de Compostela.

"I want to congratulate Ali for a great tournament and say thanks to Charlie and all his team for make such a great tournament."

Walker responded: "Borja was too strong on the night. He was incredibly tight and played at a high tempo. There were not many opportunities for me to get in front and dictate.

"He is a deserved winner of the Dayton Open title this year."

Golan Upsets Mosaad To Make Dayton Final

In a dramatic semi-final lasting more than two hours, fourth-seeded Spaniard Borja Golan upset favourite Omar Mosaad in five games to make the final of the EBS Dayton Open, the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its ninth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

Mosaad, the world No11 from Cairo and a finalist in last week's PSA International 75 Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas in Mexico, twice led the world No18 from Santiago de Compostela.

But 29-year-old Golan, a former world No10, was determined to maintain his unbeaten Tour record against the younger Egyptian and held his nerve to close out the match 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 15-13 after 128 minutes.

"It was crazy stuff with a packed house," said tournament promoter Charlie Johnson. "Incredible points, but Omar seemed a bit flat when it really mattered and Borja has played inspired squash all week."

A disconsolate Mosaad told his Twitter followers later: "More than 2 hours I lost my match against Borja Golan 3.2 15.13 :( i am frustrated :("

Golan, now celebrating his 36th final on the PSA World Tour, will face second seed Alister Walker.

The world No12 from Botswana brought to an end the brave run of Ryan Cuskelly, the unseeded Australian who ousted his higher-ranked compatriot Cameron Pilley to reach the semis.

"Alister Walker finally won a match in under five games," exclaimed Johnson. "He went overtime to win game one, fought hard to keep control and win game two, saw game three go to Cuskelly due to a lapse in concentration, and then Walker poured on in to win 11-3 in the fourth - winning seven straight rallies to take the match."

The 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 victory in 59 minutes takes the New York-based 30-year-old into his 12th Tour final.

Interestingly, Golan's 128-minute semi-final was the second longest match of his Tour career. And his longest, a 131-minute battle for the Berkshire Open title in the USA only seven months ago, was against Walker!

Cuskelly Cracks Pilley In Dayton Upset

Ryan Cuskelly earned his first ever win over compatriot Cameron Pilley when he beat the Australian number one in the quarter-finals of the EBS Dayton Open, the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its ninth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio, USA

Cuskelly, the US-based world No34 from New South Wales, has twice before faced Pilley on the Tour - and in both cases fellow New South Welshman Pilley, the world No17, came away with 3/0 wins.

But it was left-hander Cuskelly's day in Dayton: the unseeded 25-year-old twice resisted comebacks by third seed Pilley before triumphing 13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 after 89 minutes.

"Bad day at the office today. Out in the quarters," tweeted Pilley later. "Looking forward to HK and Qatar already!!"

Cuskelly will now face second seed Alister Walker, the world No12 from Botswana - also based in New York - who survived his second five-game battle in succession when he ended French qualifier Gregoire Marche's run 4-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7.

In the opening match of the day, Egypt's top seed Omar Mosaad beat Mathieu Castagnet 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 in 49 minutes after a 15-minute delay when an accident gave the Frenchman a severe cut to the lip in the fourth game of the closely-contested match.

"Castagnet came back on court down 8-10 match ball to compete, won an incredibly long rally but then succumbed to lose 9-11," explained tournament promoter Charlie Johnson. "A local doctor and friend of squash then took him to hospital and got his lip stitched up and brought him back to the club. The Cincinnati/Dayton squash community is close and it was great to have the support on hand."

It took Spain's fourth seed Borja Golan only 37 minutes, the night's shortest quarter-final match, to despatch Egyptian Marwan El Shorbagy and move on to the semi-finals, where he will face Mosaad.

Marche Marches Through In Dayton

French qualifier Gregoire Marche claimed an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the EBS Dayton Open after upsetting England's Chris Ryder in the opening round of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event in its ninth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

Ryder, a former World Universities champion and once ranked 33 in the world, is now 32 years old and slipping down the rankings - whilst 22-year-old Marche, who had to battle for 76 minutes to topple Canadian Shawn Delierre to make the main draw, is in the early stage of his career and regularly taking experienced scalps.

And since the draw was made, the Frenchman has overtaken Ryder in the PSA world rankings. The new world No40 was keen to prove the computer correct - and did so in his 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 dismissal of the world No48-ranked Englishman to become the only qualifier to progress.

Marche will now face defending champion Alister Walker, the second seed from Botswana who had to come back from two games down to overcome Mexican qualifier Cesar Salazar 9-11, 7-11, 11-0, 11-7, 15-13.

"It was the 88-minute final match of the night between Alister, last year's EBS champion and world No13, against qualifier Cesar, the world No52, that thrilled the packed crowd," said tournament organiser Charlie Johnson.

"Salazar had looked strong in the qualifying draw and continued his quick and aggressive play tonight and took Walker to a place that few top athletes can return from," Johnson continued. "Salazar was quick, Salazar was accurate, Salazar anticipated and he hit nicks almost at will. After the first two games, Walker found himself down two games and facing a quick exit from Dayton.

"With a change of strategy, changing the pace, lobs from the front instead of drops, and better shot selection, Walker got himself back in the match winning the third game 11-0.

"Now down 1/2, the second seed had some soul searching to do. Salazar needed a rest in game three, the change of strategy had worked, but with a 1/2 deficit, Walker still faced a challenge and although Walker was playing well, Salazar seemed to have an answer for every question on the court. What would game four produce?

"It was almost a repeat of game two except this time Walker won. Salazar continued to try to "shoot" to victory and who can blame him as he'd played two matches prior to meeting Walker tonight. The tin, however, proved to be his enemy in this game as he had to risk the volley short from the back of the court due to fatigue. At the end of this game where now Walker had battled back from 0-2 to 2-2 veteran players sitting with me spectating said 'he's done' - meaning Salazar.........far from the truth.

"After being down 0/2 in games, now two-all, Walker made some really bad unforced errors in game five to find himself down 1-8 in the decider. Turning to the glass back-wall at this point, he seemed determined to believe he could come back and you could see it in his eyes. Salazar, playing like a true champion all night, sensing this might be his moment to break into the elite tried to close.

"What happened over the next 13 minutes is the most intense fifth game of squash I've ever seen," said Johnson. "Walker faced four match balls before he won 15-13!"

Egyptian favourite Omar Mosaad took 49 minutes to take care of business against Zac Alexander of Australia, winning 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 14-12 in the first match of the evening.

But Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet's victory over Campbell Grayson of New Zealand took 108 minutes - with Grayson taking the opening 40-minute first game!

World No36 Castagnet clinched victory 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 - and will now face Mosaad for a place in the semi-finals.

Yasir Butt Battles On In Dayton

Yasir Butt edged out US number two Christopher Gordon in a marathon 83-minute qualifying final of the EBS Dayton Open to join fellow Pakistani Aurangzeb Mehmund in the main draw of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event in its ninth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio, USA

The world No64 from Lahore - the lowest-ranked player to qualify - had already taken out higher-ranked New Zealander Martin Knight in the first qualifying round.

Described by tournament organiser Charlie Johnson as a "battle of giants", the Butt/Gordon match provided an "incredible display of squash and athleticism from both players".

The 18-minute first game set the tone for the match as it was apparent that both Gordon and Butt were determined to earn a spot in the main draw.

"With both players tall, both rangy, both willing to cut the ball off and attack the front, the crowd was treated to a great back and forth game that saw Butt victorious 11-8," said Johnson. "In game two that seemed to be almost a rewind of the first, Gordon, who was urged on by his supporters in the crowd, turned the tables and won 11-8.

"The important third game saw both players raise their game to an incredible level. Words can't describe the extraordinary and often long points displayed on the court, many ending in lets (much to the groan of the crowd and dismay of the players!), and after 23 minutes Butt took a 2/1 lead in the match winning 13-11 on a point that featured incredible retrieves and attacks from both players."

Gordon took the fourth to draw level, but from nine-all in the decider it was 24-year-old Butt who marched into the main draw, courtesy of his 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 triumph.

"All this for $500 and 55 ranking points - now that's commitment!" one spectating PSA player was heard to comment.

Two other clashes for places in the main draw took more than an hour to resolve - Frenchman Gregoire Marche beating Shawn Delierre 11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 in 76 minutes in his first meeting with the Canadian, and New Zealander Campbell Grayson upsetting higher-ranked Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 72 minutes.

And Cesar Salazar ensured Mexican interest in the first round after upsetting Pakistan's top-ranked player Aamir Atlas Khan 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-4.

Dayton Open Upgrades To International 35 Status

The tenth anniversary of the first PSA World Tour event staged at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, USA, will be marked by the 2012 Dayton Open being upgraded to a PSA International 35 event.

This year's event will take place from 7-10 November, following two days of qualifying.

"The Dayton squash community is pleased to elevate the 2012 Dayton Open to an International 35 event," said tournament promoter Charlie Johnson. "We will continue our tradition of providing excellent amenities for the PSA players in attendance and the raised status of this year's event exhibits our desire to return the Dayton Open to a premier men's tournament in North America."

The popular Ohio event boasts a distinguished list of former champions over the past decade - including world number ones Gregory Gaultier, Peter Nicol, Karim Darwish, Ramy Ashour, John White and Thierry Lincou.

Egypt's Omar Mosaad heads the high quality 2012 Dayton Open field. The world No11 from Cairo already has two Tour titles under his belt this year - and arrives in Ohio direct from Mexico where he reached Sunday's final of the PSA International 70 Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas unseeded.

Mosaad is expected to meet second seed Alister Walker, the New York-based world No12 from Botswana, in Saturday's final.