Alan Clyne (SCO)
6-11, 11-7, 11-2,
11-3 Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
Hisham Ashour (Egy) 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
Steve Coppinger 11-5, 11-4, 6-11,
11-3 (53m) Karim Darwish
Olli Tuominen (Fin) 11-3, 11-3, 11-7
 Karim Darwish (Egy)
PSA International 70 Motor City Open, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA
finals: Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 6-11, 11-9,
11-6, 11-1 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 9-11, 8-11, 11-8,
12-10, 11-2 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-13, 11-9,
Gives Shabana Detroit Title
anticlimactic end to a thrilling 2013 Motor City Open presented by the
Suburban Collection, Egypt's Amr Shabana assured that his name will
be engraved on the PSA International 70 event trophy for the first time
after fellow countryman Karim Darwish retired midway through the second
game of the final at Birmingham Athletic Club in Bloomfield Hills,
The win takes
the illustrious four-time world champion from Cairo's career PSA World Tour
title haul to 31 - stretching his lead as the top 20 player with the most
It was after
seeing off defending champion and fellow Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy,
the world No5, in the semis that Shabana - currently ranked eight in the world -
appeared set for his toughest challenge: World No6 and 2010 MCO winner Darwish
in a championship match between two former world number ones.
who had dropped only one game in his first three matches in Detroit, jumped out
to an early 6-2 lead. After cutting the deficit to 4-6, Darwish tinned three of
his next four shots as his opponent closed out the opening game 11-4 in just
out firing in game two, nabbing a quick 6-1 lead. But in the ensuing rally, the
31-year-old from Cairo grabbed his calf in apparent discomfort.
"It was very
sore before the match," said Darwish later. "I thought when I warmed up it was
going to get better, but after lunging a few times in the second game I think I
pulled a calf muscle."
to stretch it out, Darwish decided not to risk further injury. The former
champion retired 25 minutes into the match, handing left-hander Shabana his
first MCO title, 11-4, 2-6 (ret).
"I knew he had
a tough, physical game yesterday against Omar Mosaad," said the new
champion. "And I knew if I had a good start it would help me a lot.
to him because he came back and managed to get ahead. I think he pushed himself
on a lunge and it's a shame - but it's part of the sport."
standing-room-only crowd didn't go home disappointed: "Good-sport Shabana
beckoned local BAC pro Julian Wellings, a former world No46, to suit up
for a friendly two-out-of-three," explained event spokesman James Hawkins.
"Like every match in the tournament, Shabana won the exhibition, too - 12-10,
For his week's
work, Shabana walked away with a cheque for $13,300 and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Chronometer watch worth $6,000 - courtesy of Greenstone's Jewellers.
"I love coming
here," 33-year-old Shabana said. "Unfortunately the last two times I came here,
I pulled out. But I was just dying to get my name on that championship banner
with all those great names."
The title is
Shabana's second PSA World Tour victory of the month after successfully
defending his ATCO PSA World Series Finals crown three weeks ago in
have asked for a better start to the year. After a few years with injuries and
motivational problems, to be able to win two out of three tournaments, I'm very
happy," added Shabana.
was looking to win his second MCO crown, took home the runners-up cheque of
$11,200. "This tournament is one of the best events in the United States and I
always enjoy playing here. I wanted to play a good match today but unfortunately
couldn't," he said. "Hopefully I can come back next year and win it."
Darwish Motor Into Detroit Final
PSA World Tour veterans Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish held off
the challenges of younger compatriots in the Motor City Open presented by The
Suburban Collection to set up a mouth-watering final of the PSA
International 70 squash event at Birmingham Athletic Club in
Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA, between two former world number ones.
In the first
semi, 33-year-old Shabana got off to a quick 7-2 start as Mohamed El Shorbagy,
the 22-year-old top seed, struggled to find his shot. But in the blink of an
eye, the higher-ranked youngster stormed back to take a 9-7 lead.
think you're cruising, that's when you lose it," world No8 Shabana said
afterwards about his blown lead. The number four seed then staved off two
game-balls and rescued a 13-11 first game win.
"If I would've
lost that game, it would've been devastating mentally," Shabana (pictured below
in Motor City action with El Shorbagy) continued.
the world No5, made several unforced errors to drop the second game 11-5 - but
reduced the deficit by taking game three as his shots finally began to find
reclaimed the upper hand in the fourth, racing to a 6-1 lead and holding the
advantage before closing out the match 13-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 after 65 minutes.
"Every time we
play, regardless of the score, it's always a tip-toe game," said Shabana, who
extended his career head-to-head over El Shorbagy to 9/0. "Right now, I might
have a slight advantage but Mohamed is still young and he's going to catch up
sooner or later."
later told his followers on Twitter: "Shabana was too good. A lot to learn from
this match. Now I got a good break which I really need before playing Kuwait in
first return to the Motor City Open after mowing down the competition in 2010,
31-year-old Darwish advanced to his second MCO final after ousting 24-year-old
Omar Mosaad in a physical encounter.
Darwish benefited after a pair of crucial mistakes by his larger opponent in the
first game. With game-ball at 12-11, third seed Mosaad hit back-to-back shots
into the bottom of the tin before Darwish hit a forehand nick shot winner to
Mosaad, ranked nine in the world, bounced back in the next two games to take a
2/1 lead. Darwish stuck to his game plan, however, relentlessly pounding balls
into the back corners and softly flicking balls into the front corners to draw
world No6, cruised in the decider as fatigue became a factor and his opponent
made five unforced errors to hand the match to Darwish 14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6,
11-5 after 97 minutes.
"It's always a
physical match against Omar," said Darwish afterwards. "He's a big guy and it's
hard to pass him because he takes the ball early. But I tried to pass as much as
I can and I think the last two games he lost a little bit of energy."
celebrating his 45th PSA Tour final appearance, and Darwish his 40th - with six
previous finals shared. The Detroit encounter will mark the pair's 21st Tour
clash over the past 12 years, with Shabana boasting a 12-8 career lead.
The duo most
recently met in the final of the 2010 Qatar Classic with Darwish prevailing
8-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6.
"Shabana is a
great player. I think people will enjoy tomorrow," Darwish added.
Dominate In Detroit
semi-finals of the Motor City Open presented by The Suburban Collection
will be an all-Egyptian affair after the top four seeds prevailed in the
quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event at
Birmingham Athletic Club in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA.
For the first
time in the MCO's 14-year history, there will be a one-nationality semi-final
round as Mohamed El Shorbagy, Amr Shabana, Karim Darwish,
and Omar Mosaad all advanced.
Shorbagy survived the longest match of the day as he avenged his loss last year
to Ong Beng Hee, the Malaysian number one who went on to win the 2012
22-year-old world No5 teetered on the brink of falling two games behind as he
trailed 9-6 in the second - but was able to rattle off five-straight points and
even the match at one-all.
"It's so hard
to play Beng Hee in that bouncy court because he keeps slowing down the pace,"
explained El Shorbagy after his 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12 victory in 75 minutes.
"I found myself down, but I just had to keep digging in 'til he lost focus.
That's what happened in the second game and the match completely went my way
the 2011 champion, has now reached the MCO semi-finals all three years he has
competed in the event. The top seed will face illustrious compatriot Amr
Shabana, and added that he's excited for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe
with 33-year-old squash legend.
"It's good to
be able to play Shabana one more time. He's a player I won't be playing that
often since he only has a few years left in his career. But every time I play
him I learn something new," said El Shorbagy.
"To have four
Egyptians in the semis, you never know who's going to win," continued El
Shorbagy. "When you play someone from the same country as yours, you have to
completely forget about rankings because these matches are always different. We
all know each other really well and we're all good friends."
four-time world champion from Cairo, was the first to take a semis spot as he
wasted no time upending Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez 11-9, 11-7, 11-3
in 39 minutes.
one of the best athletes around," said world No8 Shabana of his opponent ranked
17 places below. "He moves very quickly and smoothly so I had to play smartly.
If he gets you moving around it makes the court feel very big and when you try
to finish a ball off he comes so fast it makes the court very small. I just had
to choose my moments and pace myself."
In a David
versus Goliath quarter-final, world No9 and third seed Omar Mosaad (6'4"
and 200 pounds) played a tight game to contain speedy Saurav Ghosal
(5'6", 145 pounds), the world No22 from India, and win in straight games 11-6,
face second seed Karim Darwish, the world No6 who disposed of South
African Stephen Coppinger, ranked 23 in the world, in the duo's first
career match-up: 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3.
"It's good and
tough at the same time," Mosaad said of having to play Darwish in the
semi-final. "We train all the time together so we know the other player's game.
I'll try to play well and hope I can win."
Ong Beng Hee
On Course In Detroit
champion Ong Beng Hee successfully overcame his first hurdle in the
Motor City Open presented by The Suburban Collection when he beat
Australia's Ryan Cuskelly to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World
Tour International 70 squash event at Birmingham Athletic Club in
Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA.
Malaysian's title defence looked to be in jeopardy as qualifier Cuskelly took
the first game and was on the verge of a commanding 2/0 lead. But world No20
Beng Hee fought off four game-balls and evened the match at one-all.
the third game, the former world No7 then fended off three more game balls in
the fourth to take the match 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10.
second game changed the whole match," Beng Hee said later. "I'm a little bit
tense because it's the first match of a very big tournament and I won it last
year so the pressure is on. Ryan actually played really well and didn't make
many mistakes. It was just maybe my day today."
32-year-old Malaysian, now in his 19th year as a world-ranked player, now faces
his sternest test - against top seed Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 22-year-old
Egyptian who was four years old when Beng Hee joined the PSA!
was one of four seeded Egyptians who won convincingly in straight games. The
2011 MCO winner, now ranked five in the world, needed just 30 minutes to defeat
qualifier and world No41 Abdullah Al Muzayen of Kuwait, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.
Then in a
battle of former MCO champions, 2010 winner and former world number one Karim
Darwish looked in top form as he dominated 2007 winner Olli Tuominen
of Finland, 11-2, 11-3, 11-7.
Marwan El Shorbagy - Mohamed's younger brother - lost to fellow Egyptian and
third-seed Omar Mosaad 15-13, 11-3, 11-7. And former world No1 and
fourth-seeded Amr Shabana buried drop shot after drop shot against
Switzerland's world No21 Nicolas Mueller en-route to an 11-9, 11-4, 11-9
and Amr are all great players and I've learned a lot from them," said El
Shorbagy senior after his match. "They're like big brothers for me and they've
helped me all through my career.
"To be able to
compete with them and try to beat them is an honour for me. Hopefully we all
reach the semi-finals together and it'll be like an all-Egyptian tournament."
In the last
match of the day, South African Stephen Coppinger produced the day's only
upset when he beat world No19 Hisham Mohd Ashour of Egypt in a
highly-anticipated rematch of last year's four-game semi-final match - won by
Ashour struggled with his consistency and Coppinger nailed an 11-3, 11-7, 11-2
line is convincing but I never felt comfortable," Coppinger said afterwards.
"Hisham's always got something different to hit you with, but I felt like it was
all up to him whether he'd hit a winner or give me a free point."
Share Motor City Line-Up In Detroit
teenager Marwan El Shorbagy joined his top-seeded brother Mohamed El
Shorbagy in the main draw of the Motor City Open after coming through
the qualifying finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event
in its 13th year at Birmingham Athletic Club in Bloomfield Hills,
Now part of
the new US Pro Squash Series, the 2013 Motor City Open has
attracted seven players from the world's top 20, led by El Shorbagy senior, the
world No5 from Alexandria.
2012 PSA Young Player of the Year and two-time world junior champion,
recovered from a game down to beat Frenchman Gregoire Marche 6-11, 11-9,
"In the first
game I didn't find my game," said the 19-year-old world No27. "The court is very
bouncy, which suits his game more than mine. I was just waiting for the
opportunity to come so I could slow down the game and play at my pace.
"I thought it
was working well in the second and third game. I think I played the right game
for this court against Marche."
produced the most dramatic win on the eve of the event's first round. After
dropping the first two games to veteran Canadian Shahier Razik, the
25-year-old Australian mounted an extraordinary comeback taking the next three
games and prevailing 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2 in a draining, two-hour,
eight minute match!
player like Razik, he just gets so many balls back that you have to hit four or
five winners just to win a rally," said the New York-based world No32. "That's
his goal. Just to make the game as long as possible and frustrate you. I got
sucked into his game the first two games instead of playing my game of attacking
and getting to the ball faster."
switched tactics and began picking up the pace in game three. Things took a turn
for the worse early in the decider when Razik dropped to the floor in agonizing
"I had a
bruised toe and Ryan had a good step on it," said the 35-year-old from Toronto.
"It irritated and started swelling on me. I was struggling to get my shoe on.
After game two, it just turned into a physical match. We both got a little tired
and we weren't clearing as smoothly."
the marathon win is one of his greatest memories in his many years at the MCO.
"It was the
longest match of my career by far and it's one of my best wins here, especially
coming from down 2/0 against a player like Razik," he said. "He's pretty hard to
beat on a traditional court."