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Golan Grabs Windy City Open Crown

Windy City Open 2012
9 Jan - 03 Feb, Chicago, $25k
Round One
31 Jan
01 Feb
02 Feb
03 Feb
[1] Borja Golan (Esp)
 11/5, 11/3, 13/11 (52 min.)
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
Borja Golan
11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (45m)
Karim Ali Fathi
Borja Golan
11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4 (37m)
Andrew Wagih
Borja Golan
5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (74m)
Stephen Coppinger
Martin Knight (Nzl)
11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (38 min.)
Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
Shahier Razik (Can)
11/8, 7/11, 11/6, 11/5 (74 min.)
[Q] Andrew Wagih (Egy)
Andrew Wagih
11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7 (90m)
Max Lee
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11/9, 6/11, 11/7, 12/10 (72 min.)
[4] Max Lee (Hkg)
[3] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/2, 14/12, 11/9 (42 min.)
Leo Au (Hkg)
Alan Clyne
7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6 (67m)
Matthew Karwalski
Alan Clyne
12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (48m)
Stephen Coppinger
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (37 min.)
[Q] Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Cesar Salazar
11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (25m)
Stephen Coppinger
Fred Reid (Can)
11/2, 11/4, 11/2 (20 min.)
[2] Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)

Golan Grabs Windy City Open Crown

Borja Golan became Spain's first winner of the Metro Squash Windy City Open title after prevailing in four games over South African Stephen Coppinger in the final of the long-established PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

Second seed Coppinger, riding high this week after becoming the first South African for over three decades to make the world top 20, took the opening game - the first dropped by favourite Golan this week in Chicago.

Golan, the world No10, struck back in the second - moving 6-3 ahead before reaching game-ball at 10-6. Coppinger saved two but was unable to prevent the 30-year-old Spaniard from drawing level.

"In game three, Coppinger tried to resume control by applying even more pressure," explained event spokesman William James. "Golan now seemed to absorb it easily, and Coppinger errors started to creep in. This is the game where the tide noticeably turned, Coppinger being pressured more than pressuring."

Golan's intelligence and athleticism began to show as the Spaniard strengthened his grip on the match to move on to his 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 victory after 74 minutes.

"It was a really intense match and Steve started really well," conceded Golan later. "In the second, I started to mix my shots more, moving him away from the T - and it was working!

"I kept doing the same for the next two games, playing aggressive squash and keeping my focus all the way."

The win takes Golan's PSA Tour title tally to 28 - level with Egypt's world number one Ramy Ashour and three ahead of England's world number two Nick Matthew!

"I'm happy with this win - and now it's time to train hard for my next tournament: Kuwait," added Golan.

Top Seeds Coppinger & Golan Go For Windy City Open Title

Top seeds Borja Golan and Stephen Coppinger will line up in the final of the Metro Squash Windy City Open - each bidding to be the first player from his country to have his name on the trophy of the long-established PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

Coppinger, the No2 seed from South Africa, is enjoying the best form of his life - riding high this week after becoming the first South African for over three decades to make the world top 20.

After saving a game-ball in the opening game against Alan Clyne, the 28-year-old from Cape Town held off the third-seeded Scot in the second before imposing himself in the third to take the match 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 in 48 minutes.

The win was Coppinger's third successive straight games victory in the tournament - and takes the new world No20 into the 14th Tour title of his career, but his first for over a year.

Golan, the favourite from Spain, faced Andrew Wagih Shoukry, an Egyptian qualifier who made his breakthrough in the previous round by removing the No4 seed from Hong Kong, Max Lee.

"The fans went into this match wondering how a qualifier, ranked 57 in the world, who had already spent three hours and 21 minutes on court, would do against a fresh, top-ten player," said event spokesman William James. "Shoukry brought off a lot of winners in game one, and you could tell, win or lose, he didn't want to spend another 90 minutes on court tonight.

"Game three saw Shoukry attempt even more crazy winners, but this time they went in, with the crowd - and even Golan - applauding, and he took the game," James continued.

It was the world number ten's first game dropped in the event - and Golan made sure that it was the last of the match as he raised his game to secure an 11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4 victory after 37 minutes.

"I'm glad to be in the final of the Windy City Open," said the illustrious Spaniard later. "It is the first tournament of the year for me and I hope I can keep the good results from the last months of last year.

"I have played three Egyptians in three days - which is very tough as they always attack well and put you under a lot of pressure!

"Tomorrow I will play Stephen, who is playing his best squash in the last months and it is going to be a hard battle," continued the 30-year-old, now in the 37th Tour final of his life. "It will be an interesting match and I hope the people from the club enjoy it like us.

"It is a really well-organised tournament and I want to thank John Flanigan, Mark Heather and his team for their great effort and also to the sponsors of this event.

"Finally I want to give a special thanks to my billet Tim Corvino and his friend Mike Twedell for his amazing hospitality."

Qualifier Shoukry Makes Windy City Semis

Egyptian qualifier Andrew Wagih Shoukry fought for 90 minutes in the quarter-finals of the Metro Squash Windy City Open to pull off an impressive upset over fourth seed Max Lee to reach the last four of the long-established PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

In a clash described as 'the match of the tournament', underdog Shoukry showed no signs of his 74-minute battle 24 hours earlier as he took the first two games against his Hong Kong opponent ranked 32 in the world - then had two match-balls at 10-8 in the third.

"But Lee responded with two nicks in a row and then took the game," said spokesman William James. The 22-year-old from Cairo began to look more and more tired as Lee took the fourth game to draw level.

"But somehow, he not only continued, but continued to win rallies," James continued. "At 7-7 in the fifth Lee hit Shoukry in the head with the butt of his racquet, and Shoukry looked hurt. But when he stood up, he hit a winner, and Lee followed with two straight tins, which was completely out of character for him. 10-8...two more match balls...an unreachable cross-court...it was over...standing ovation."

The shock 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7 win takes world No57 Shoukry on to face top seed Borja Golan for a place in the final. Spaniard Golan, ranked 10 in the world, dismissed Egyptian teenager Karim Ali Fathi 11-6, 11-6, 11-3.

The other semi will see third-seeded Scot Alan Clyne take on in-form South African Stephen Coppinger.

World No27 Clyne ended qualifier Matthew Karwalski's run, beating the Australian 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6.

Second seed Coppinger, who earlier in the day became his country's first world top 20 player for over three decades, took just 25 minutes to quash Mexican Cesar Salazar 11-2, 11-3, 11-4.

Qualifiers Karwalski & Shoukry In Chicago Shake-Up

Qualifiers Matthew Karwalski and Andrew Wagih Shoukry upset the form book in the opening round of the Metro Squash Windy City Open, the long-established PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

Australian Karwalski, a 27-year-old from New South Wales, took out experienced Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz, ranked 46 in the world.

"Karwalski was nearly flawless in stopping the tough Egyptian," said event spokesman William James. "Aziz seemed out of sorts as his shots and strategy weren't coming off, but all credit goes to Karwalski for applying basic pressure, taking the ball early, winning points on volleys, drops and boasts, using every inch of the court and rising to the occasion."

The 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 victory takes world No58 Karwalski through to a quarter-final clash with third-seeded Scot Alan Clyne. The world No28 from Edinburgh denied birthday boy Leo Au a place in the last eight, beating the Hong Kong opponent on the eve of his 23rd birthday 11-2, 14-12, 11-9.

But Egyptian Shoukry, lower-ranked than fellow qualifier Karwalski, also recorded a shock win when he beat experienced Canadian and fellow Cairo-born Shahier Razik 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5 in 74 minutes.

"Razik didn't apply enough pressure in game one, responding more than initiating, but somewhere in game two he gained confidence," explained James. "This led Shoukry to force his shots more as fatigue crept in.

"Razik's patience and persistence were paying now and he took the game. But the Egyptian had more fight left in him. In the end, 21-year-old Shoukry had too much speed, strength and skill to be beaten tonight."

Shoukry, ranked 68 in the world, progresses to play Max Lee, the fourth seed from Hong Kong who put out New Zealander Campbell Grayson 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10.

There was further New Zealand disappointment when world No43 Martin Knight went down 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 to Egyptian teenager Karim Ali Fathi.

"Fathi was fast, powerful, and inventive which relegated Knight to a reactionary role," said spokesman James. "Knight fought well for a while, but the Egyptian ultimately forced him to make errors that cost him the match tonight."

The UK-based 19-year-old - competing in the USA for the first time - now faces top seed Borja Golan for a place in the last four. Spaniard Golan, ranked ten in the world, was stretched for 52 minutes before seeing off Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid 11-5, 11-3, 13-11.