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CIMB KL OPEN (Men) 2013

Darwish Celebrates KL Open Double

KL Open 2013
Men's Draw

26-31 Mar, Kuala Lumpur, $50k
Round One
28 Mar
29 Mar
30 Mar
31 Mar
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (33m)
[Q] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
Karim Darwish
12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (38m)
Olli Tuominen
Karim Darwish
11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
Nicolas Mueller
Karim Darwish
11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (54m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
12-10, 11-8, 12-10 (40m)
[Q] Max Lee (Hkg)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (35m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
Nicolas Mueller
11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 (81m)
Ong Beng Hee
[3] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-4 ret. (59m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (66m)
[4] Borja Golan (Esp)
Borja Golan
11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 (95m)
Tarek Momen
Mohamed El Shorbagy 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (45m)
Borja Golan
Tarek Momen (Egy)
11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 (57m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3 (57m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (45m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (32m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
Qualifying finals:
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (80m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Elvinn Keo (MAS) 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 (70m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9 (61m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (35m)

Darwish Celebrates KL Open Double

Egypt's Karim Darwish successfully reclaimed the CIMB KL Open Squash Championship title he first won two years ago when he beat fellow countryman Mohamed El Shorbagy in today's final of the PSA World Tour International 50 event at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

A close battle was inevitable: Darwish was the top seed, but second seed El Shorbagy had recently leap-frogged his older compatriot in the world rankings; Darwish led the career head-to-head tally 7-2, but it was El Shorbagy who had triumphed in the most recent encounter, in December's PSA World Championship in Qatar.

"The opening exchanges were tight, lengthy rallies followed by a couple of shorter rallies," explained tournament spokesman Andrew Cross. "At six-all, Shorbagy completely missed a return of serve to give Karim a one point lead. A couple of lets follow but in the next rally Karim punished Shorbagy with a low cross court backhand. Shorbagy responded with a forehand drop of his own and was awarded a stroke in the next rally to level at eight-all.

"Karim regained his lead but missed a forehand volley which he was slightly reaching for to tie again at nine-all. It was Karim who got to game ball first after Shorbagy missed a backhand drop and on game ball again clipped the top of the tin with a backhand drop."

Darwish, the 31-year-old world No6 from Cairo, went on to build up a two-game lead, but fell behind in the third as 22-year-old El Shorbagy took the initiative. But it was short-lived as Darwish took advantage of a series of errors by his younger opponent before moving on to take the title 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 after 54 minutes.

"I had to play extremely well - last time he beat me in three," said a relieved Darwish as he collected his trophy after his 23rd PSA Tour title success. "He is really tough to play.

"I'm happy that my wife and son are here - it's his first time watching which has obviously brought me a bit of luck so I will have to take him with me again!"

El Shorbagy added: "Karim deserved to win - all credit to him for putting me under more pressure.

"I would like to thank CIMB for their support in this event, and the referees who have done a good job. Hopefully I'll be back again."

Darwish & El Shorbagy To Meet In Repeat KL Final

Top seeds Karim Darwish and Mohamed El Shorbagy will meet in Sunday's final of the CIMB KL Open Squash Championship - the first all-Egyptian climax since the pair clashed in the 2011 finale - after both prevailed in straight games in today's semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 50 event at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Second seed El Shorbagy, the runner-up two years ago, faced Borja Golan, the No4 seed from Spain. The 22-year-old Egyptian, ranked five in the world, boasted a 3/2 head-to-head lead over the Spaniard going into the match - but it was Golan who was successful in their most recent meeting in December's Hong Kong Open.

"That feeling when you lose to someone and can't wait to play that person again so you can get your revenge badly," tweeted El Shorbagy after today's clash. "Yup, that was me today!!!"

The young Egyptian has been in commanding form in KL, reaching the semis without dropping a game - while Golan came in to the match after a bruising 95-minute five-game quarter-final battle over Egypt's Tarek Momen.

And El Shorbagy maintained his run, beating Golan 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in 45 minutes to reach the12th Tour final of his career, and his first since finishing as runner-up in December's PSA World Championship in Qatar.

"Really good match, Borja played well," said El Shorbagy after the match. "I'm happy to be in the final, happy to be back in Malaysia and thanking CIMB for their sponsorship.

"Thanks to the Egyptian crowd for coming today and the Egyptian Ambassador for coming to support and watch me play. I would like to thank CIMB for their support with the Olympic bid as I'm sure every squash player would."

The second semi was resolved even more quickly. Like his compatriot, Darwish also arrived at the semi-final stage without conceding a game, and continued his dominant form against Nicolas Mueller, the unseeded Swiss number one who disappointed local fans by ousting Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee in the previous round.

After just 32 minutes, Darwish prevailed 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 over Mueller to book a place in the 41st PSA Tour final of his career.

"So far so good," said the 31-year-old former world number one from Cairo later. "I always love coming to KL, and I'm very happy that my wife and son have also followed me to this event.

"It's a dream for any athlete to be in the Olympics and for squash to be included in the games would be brilliant. Thank you to the Egyptian fans and Ambassadors that have come to watch.

"Tomorrow playing Shorbagy will be tough," added the event favourite. "We played the final here two years ago so tomorrow will be good."

Golan Survives Momen Marathon In KL

Fourth seed Borja Golan made the semi-finals of the CIMB KL Open Squash Championship as predicted - but the Spaniard was taken the full distance before overcoming fast-rising Egyptian Tarek Momen in a 95-minute marathon quarter-final in the PSA World Tour International 50 event today at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

It was the pair's sixth meeting Tour meeting, but the first since world No10 Golan lost to the world No11 in last September's Malaysian Open, also in KL, where Momen went on to win the title against expectations.

After Golan took the first game, the Egyptian grabbed the next two to open up a 2/1 lead. But the 30-year-old Spaniard held his nerve to take the fourth and led 4-0 in the decider. Momen caught up to nine-all, but after two long rallies Golan snatched the final two points to secure his 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory in the longest match of the event.

"My match today was a tough battle as it always as when I play Tarek," said Golan later. "I tried to push him to the back of the court but it is difficult because he wants to attack all the time and you have to be very alert.

"I'm very happy to beat him because last September I lost to him in four games here in Malaysia and it's always nice to have a revenge.

"Tomorrow it will be another tough one with Shorbagy so I hope I can play my best. This is my third semi in Malaysia so I hope I can reach my first final here. Step by Step. Point by point!"

Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No2 seed who was runner-up two years ago, stopped fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.

There will also be Egyptian interest in the other semi-final when top seed Karim Darwish faces Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.

Darwish, the world No6 from Cairo, reached the semis for the fifth time since 2007 after despatching flying Finn Olli Tuominen 12-10, 11-5, 11-6.

But Mueller disappointed the packed crowd surrounding the all-glass court by denying the event local interest in the last four when he beat Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee.

Mueller, the world No21 reached game ball first in the opening game, but 33-year-old Beng Hee saved it before going on to take the game. Games were then shared to take the battle into a fifth game decider.

"The fifth started point for point to four-all," said event spokesman Andrew Cross. "Nicolas got to match ball first but wasted the first one, but won the second with a backhand drop as Beng Hee was awarded a no let.

"What we saw here was two men that have a huge amount of respect for each other, very honest, no arguing with the referee," added Cross after unseeded Mueller's 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 in 81 minutes. "Great for the sport!"

Mueller admitted that he felt nervous during the match: "Beng Hee played really well, intercepting a lot of my cross courts - but I kept on playing them, hoping they would go past, but they didn't.

"Little bit less pressure on me today as he was playing in front of his home crowd," added the 23-year-old from Zurich. "It was a huge match for both of us but I'm very happy to be moving on to the semi-finals."

Champion Mosaad Bows Out To Beng Hee

Local hero Ong Beng Hee, the Malaysian veteran who made his maiden appearance in the tournament in 1999, secured an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the 2013 CIMB KL Open Squash Championship after upsetting defending champion Omar Mosaad in today's opening round of the PSA World Tour International 50 event in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

A finalist three times and champion in 2008, unseeded Beng Hee showed signs of the form which took him to a career-high world No7 12 years ago when he recovered from a game down to open up a 2/1 lead over the Egyptian opponent who is ranked nine in the world.

And the Penang-born 33-year-old, currently ranked 22 in the world, led 9-4 in the fourth when Mosaad offered his hand to concede the match 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-4 (ret.) after 59 minutes.

Beng Hee now faces Swiss star Nicolas Mueller in a bid to extend Malaysian interest in the event through to the semi-finals. Mueller took out Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-5, 11-6, 11-4.

An earlier upset balanced matters for Egypt when Karim Abdel Gawad, a 21-year-old from Cairo ranked 25 in the world, defeated experienced Australian Cameron Pilley, ranked seven places higher, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3 in 57 minutes.

"Pilley looking strong in the opening two games, leading 6-2 in both," said tournament spokesman Andrew Cross. "However he could only convert the second. Gawad went on to win the next two games to advance to the quarters."

Gawad will meet compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy after the No2 seed from Alexandria, bidding to reach the final for the second time since 2011, beat Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.

With only eight ranking positions separating the pair, it was no surprise that the clash between Egypt's world No11 Tarek Momen and Indian Saurav Ghosal, the world No19, would go the full distance.

"In the battle of two of the fastest players on the tour, it was Momen that started the better to take the opening game," explained Cross. "Momen caught Saurav in the face mid way through the first game which forced a slight medical time out.

"Tarek again started well in the second leading 5-2 but Saurav won the next five points to advance to 7-5 before winning 11-8. The third was close all the way to 5-5 but then again Saurav put a little passage of play together to win the next six points.

"Tarek was now looking very animated between games but got it back in the fourth game winning it 11-6. In the fifth he was holding the ball so well in the front forehand racing out to a 7-2 lead and booking his place in the quarters with an 11-5 fifth game score."

Tarek now tackles Borja Golan, the No4 seed from Spain who defeated Malaysian qualifier Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4.

Yuen & Adnan Boost Home Interest In KL Open

Ivan Yuen and Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan added additional home interest in the main draw of the CIMB KL Open Squash Championship after surviving lengthy qualifying finals of the PSA World Tour International 50 event today in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

KL-based Yuen, ranked 73 in the world, battled the full distance to see off compatriot Elvinn Keo 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 in 70 minutes.

It was only 24 hours earlier that Keo, ranked 127 in the world, pulled off a major upset by ousting Hong Kong's world No40 Leo Au in five games.

Keo clawed his way to nine-all in the decider Yuen. "Ivan got back the advantage to 10-9 - and ended a long rally with a cross court nick to take the match, advancing to the main draw," said event spokesman Andrew Cross. "Ivan pulled a tough draw taking on top seed Karim Darwish tomorrow."

Adnan, a quarter-finalist in the past two years, need 61 minutes to overcome Indian hope Harinder Pal Sandhu - winning 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9.

The 26-year-old world No39 will now face fourth-seeded Spaniard Borja Golan in a bid to make the last eight for the third year in a row.

Hong Kong's Max Lee earned his second successive appearance in the main draw after beating Welsh champion Peter Creed 11-3, 11-7, 11-4.

Alan Clyne from Scotland and Martin Knight from New Zealand played the final match of the evening - "and it was a brutal match," said Cross.

"The opening rally lasting six minutes 40 seconds - during which time New Zealand national coach Paul Hornsby could no longer hold his iPad and decided it was better off back in the bag!

"The opening game lasting 32 minutes with Martin taking it - but at what cost. In the second game it was tight to three all taking 12 minutes to get to that stage. At three-all, Alan got ahead to 9-4 now using more variation getting onto the ball better than Martin.

"Alan was now becoming more dominant, winning the next two games for the chance to play Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy, the recent World Championship runner-up."