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Rampant Ramy Makes It Nine At NetSuite Open

NetSuite Open 2013

  Final  Semi Finals  Quarter Finals 1st Round Preview

click logo for Official Site
 NetSuite Open
Bay Club San Francisco, Usa, $70k
Round One
27 Sep
01 Oct
[1] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
15-13, 11-3, 11-1 (34m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
Ramy Ashour
11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
Tom Richards
Ramy Ashour
11-5, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (52m)
James Willstrop
Ramy Ashour
11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-2 (68m)
Gregory Gaultier
Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10 (74m)
Tom Richards (Eng)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (45m)
[Q] Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (36m)
James Willstrop
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
11-4, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3 (70m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (41m)
[4] Peter Barker (Eng)
Peter Barker
8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4 (78m)
Daryl Selby
Daryl Selby
11-4, 11-1, 11-3 (25m)
Gregory Gaultier
Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
[Q] Adrian Waller (Eng)
Simon Rosner (Ger)
14-12, 11-4, 11-7 (64m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
Simon Rosner
11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (46m)
Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (49m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

RESULTS: PSA International 70 NetSuite Open, San Francisco, USA
Official site:

Qualifying finals 26 September:
Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-1 Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)                11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8  (64m)

Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-1 Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)             11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 5-2 rtd (65m)
Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-0 Shawn Delierre (Can)                                  11-9, 11-6, 13-11 (46m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 3-1 Gregoire Marche (Fra)                    8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (74m)

Round One:
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) 3-0 Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)    11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-0 Cesar Salazar (Mex)                   11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy 3-1 Shahier Razik (Can)                  11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (65m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-1 Chris Gordon (Usa)              9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (55m)
Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-0 Gareth Webber (Eng)                      11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (22m)
Shawn Delierre (Can) 3-0 Lewis Walters (Eng)                  11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (50m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 3-0 Jeff Young (Aus)                       11-1, 11-4, 11-4 (17m)
Gregoire Marche (Fra) 3-0 Charlie Johnson (Eng)              11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)



Rampant Ramy Makes It Nine At NetSuite Open

Egypt's indestructible squash force Ramy Ashour marched through to his ninth PSA World Tour title in a row - and extended his unbeaten Tour run to 45 matches since May last year - when he dethroned NetSuite Open champion Gregory Gaultier in the final of the PSA International 70 event in San Francisco to win the title for the first time.

It was "all squash fans anywhere could have asked for" said promoter John Nimick when asked about the final of the 2013 NetSuite Open Squash Championship - staged spectacularly on an all-glass court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront, backed by views of the renowned Ferry Building and Bay Bridge (see picture below).

It was the dream climax between the world's top two players - Ashour, the world No1 from Cairo who was celebrating his 12th successive PSA final since December 2011 - and title-holder Gaultier, the world No2 from France who arrived in California with a second successive PSA International 70 Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas title under his belt.

The NetSuite Open enjoyed a sold out crowd, beautiful California night and exquisite competition from Ashour and Gaultier (pictured in NetSuite action below).

"Greg was slower in the first and seemingly more unfocused than Ramy but the second and third contained some of the most ferocious, first pumping, shout out finishing shots ever seen on the pro tour," explained Nimick.

"Gaultier was a tiger throughout game two and three. Ramy stayed close but hit several tins, looking up at the night sky and speaking to himself constantly.

"Ramy pulled away quickly in game four at which point Greg managed himself physically as the game slipped away.

"Gaultier came out with intensity in the earlier going of game five and the incredible gets and rallies were welcomed by what seemed to be a partisan Gaultier crown," Nimick continued.

"But the masterful Ashour stormed to a 9-2 lead before closing 11-2 and winning his first NetSuite Open title."

The 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-2 triumph in 68 minutes - his fourth in a final against Gaultier in the past 12 months - takes Ashour's Tour title haul to 32 from 47 final appearances.

NetSuite Open images courtesy of Andreas Hofweber


Semi Finals

Ashour & Gaultier In Dream NetSuite Final

It will be the top two seeds that contest the final of the NetSuite Open Squash Championship in California after world number one Ramy Ashour and second-ranked Gregory Gaultier prevailed in contrasting semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 event staged on an all-glass court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront.

Second-seeded Frenchman Gaultier despatched England's world No12 Daryl Selby (both pictured below) in straight games in just 25 minutes by driving the ball to perfect length and capitalising on every loose ball.

After the 11-4, 11-1, 11-3 victory which takes Gaultier into his third successive PSA Tour final, and the 53rd of his career, the 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence said: "Yes, I like the conditions - not too hot and not too cold. And the audience is good to play for."

Selby, the unseeded 30-year-old who upset fourth-seeded compatriot Peter Barker to reach the semis, told his Twitter followers later: "Tough evening. Greg played exceptionally well. If you are not 100% against him you have no chance. Should be a great final tomorrow."

In the second and most eagerly-awaited match of the tournament, England's world No3 James Willstrop gave world-beater Ashour (both pictured below) an inspiring battle. The Egyptian celebrated his 26th birthday in command with brilliant drops and counter shots in game one and most of the way through game two.

But Willstrop battled back from 4-8 down to 9-all in the second, before Ashour finished out 11-9. A surprise 'no let' gave Willstrop the first point of game three and several quick well-played winners moved the Englishman to 4-0, seemingly while Ashour was still talking to himself about the first point decision.

Despite a bit of a rally by Ashour in the middle stretch, 30-year-old Willstrop dominated to close 11-2.

The sold-out crowd cheered both players on their return to the court. The international stars kept tight to each other with even more incredible rallies until 4-3 for Ashour. Then the Egyptian star broke to a 10-4 lead and finally finished with a whoop and a relieved fist pump 11-7.

As Host and promoter John Nimick said on court after the match: "These are two of the finest athletes you will ever watch and two of the best sportsmen you will ever meet. San Francisco has truly enjoyed the best of squash."

Ashour's 11-5, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 win in 52 minutes extends his unbeaten Tour tally to 44 matches - and takes the Cairo star into his 12th successive PSA final since December 2011!

Ashour celebrated both his advance to the 2013 NetSuite Open final on the night and his 26th birthday. He was serenaded after the match with "Happy Birthday" by the sold out crowd.

NetSuite Open images courtesy of Andreas Hofweber


Quarter Finals Bottom Half

Selby Sinks 'Best-Mate' Barker In San Francisco

Daryl Selby showed that determination to win overrides friendship on the PSA World Tour when he upset England team-mate Peter Barker, the No4 seed, in the NetSuite Open Squash Championship to claim an unexpected place in the semi-finals of the PSA International 70 event staged on an all-glass court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront in California, USA.

World No13 Selby is returning to Tour action after recovering from a knee injury, and went into the match 3/5 behind in his career head-to-head record with Barker - but his three wins over the London-born world No7 were achieved in their last three encounters.

"Both players (pictured above) drove the ball deep on the McWIL glass court, stayed away from risky volleys or boasts and settled in for the long haul," reported tournament founder and promoter John Nimick. "On paper, this tactical approach has benefited Barker with a 5-3 head-to-head match advantage on the PSA Tour, but it was Selby who emerged in the third game with a more focused assault to break the one-all deadlock and take game three easily 11-3.

"Gaining momentum, Selby raced out to an 8-3 advantage in the fourth and closed strongly 11-5. In after-game comments, both players affirmed the challenge of being 'best mates' and yet having to focus on their individual goals."

The 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4 win in 78 minutes denied Barker a second successive appearance in the event's last four - and 30-year-old Selby was delighted with his performance: "Peter has been in great form, so I had to play beyond a level I thought I could, after my recent injury.

"I really enjoy the tournament here and am happy to have started the season so well. It's always tough playing such a good friend, but one of us has to win and luckily enough tonight it was me!

"Semis tomorrow against Greg Gaultier," Selby continued. "Need a serious sleep first!"

Bidding to reach his second Tour final of the year, Selby will face defending champion Gregory Gaultier.

"The world number two from France needed his A-Game as the German No1 and PSA No12 Simon Rosner was competitive from the start," continued Nimick (both players pictured in action below).

"The game was physical and both players asked for interpretations of 'minimal interference' a few times, but the end result was a credit to both. Rosner played with flair and risk, while Gaultier controlled the T and the access to the front and sides, showing how both incredible racquet skills and canny court positioning can keep 'aspiring' players on their heels."

After Gaultier's 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 win in 46 minutes, a disconsolate Rosner told his Twitter followers: "Wasn't meant to be today after going down 0:3. It is just the beginning, so looking forward to a great season ahead of me."

Gaultier arrived in California fresh from title success in the PSA International 70 Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas in Mexico - and is now just one match away from his third successive Tour final after finishing as runner-up in the British Open.

Quarter Finals Top Half

Ashour & Willstrop Set Up Sizzling San Francisco Semi

World top three players Ramy Ashour and James Willstrop set up an eagerly-anticipated NetSuite Open Squash Championship semi-final after despatching their quarter-final opponents in straight games on the opening night of action in the PSA World Tour International 70 event spectacularly staged on an all-glass court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront in California, USA.

"Before an enthusiastic and sold out crowd, the opening night of glass court competition of the 2013 NetSuite Open at the outdoors arena in downtown San Francisco - backed by views of the renowned Ferry Building and Bay Bridge (see picture below) - brought out the best in the world's No1 and No3 players," said tournament founder and promoter John Nimick.

Third seed Willstrop, the 30-year-old former world number one from England, faced Dutch rival Laurens Jan Anjema - the world No18 from The Hague against whom he boasted a 9/0 career head-to-head record.

"I was having difficulty getting my eye on the ball," said the 30-year-old Dutchman, referring to the first two games in which Willstrop (pictured below in NetSuite Open action with Anjema) conceded just three points.

But the third game was much more hotly-contested by the two veterans as Anjema seemed to settle into the court conditions. Despite several stoppages for mopping and cleaning, mostly due to Anjema's prodigious physical effort, Willstrop pulled through after an equal contest for the first six points to a earn a decisive 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 win after 36 minutes.

Ashour, the world number from Egypt who has won the last eight PSA World Tour events in which he has competed, faced Tom Richards, the world No22 from England returning to Tour action after a hamstring injury.

"Ashour and Richards painted a beautiful and highly respectful 44 minutes of awe inspiring squash," continued Nimick. "Seemingly elevated by both the intensity and fairness Richards brought to the court, Ashour opened the jewel box and showed San Francisco and the cameras of PSA's Squashtv.com the gems the current world number one owns.

"The match generated extraordinary applause and gasps and Richards was nearly as good as his opponent throughout."

Asked whether he had fun on the court, Ashour (pictured below with Richards) said: "Well it was nice to play Tom since we know each other from 13 years old and, yes, well, we could hit some special shots while still focusing on the win."

Ashour's 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 victory extends his unbeaten Tour run to 43 matches.

Monday's semi-final will mark Willstrop and Ashour's 24th PSA Tour meeting since March 2007 - and their ninth on US soil - with the 25-year-old from Cairo currently enjoying an 18-5 head-to-head lead.

NetSuite Open images courtesy of Ma Patapoff

Event website: www.netsuiteopensquash.com


1st Round

Seeds Survive San Francisco Sorties

All four seeds secured their places in the quarter-finals of the NetSuite Open Squash Championship after negotiating first round encounters in the PSA World Tour International 70 event spread across four venues in San Francisco, USA.

It was at the Olympic Club that top seed Ramy Ashour marked his first appearance on the PSA World Tour since notching up his eighth title in a row at the British Open in May. The 25-year-old from Cairo duly extended his unbeaten run to 42 matches after saving four game balls in the first game to beat Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne 15-13, 11-3, 11-1 in 34 minutes.

"Ramy was slow at the start and looked vulnerable but, down 6-10, changed the gearing and awed the audience," explained tournament promoter John Nimick. "Clyne was tough in game one after Ramy came back to tie 10-10, but Ramy was outstanding thereafter for the packed crowd at the Olympic Club."

Clyne, the world No33 from Edinburgh, later admitted to his Twitter followers: "From being 10-5 up in the first it went a bit downhill tonight."

Ashour moves on to face Tom Richards for a place in the semi-finals. Richards produced his best win since returning to Tour action after a hamstring injury when he beat fellow Englishman Adrian Grant (pictured above, right, with Richards) 11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10 in 74 minutes.

The Surrey-based world No22 is ranked higher than Grant - but the victory was his first over the Londoner since 2008.

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier brushed aside fellow Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 in the pair's first ever meeting on the Tour. The world No2 arrived in San Francisco fresh from victory in last week's Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas in Mexico.

Second seed Gaultier will now face Simon Rosner, the other winner from the Bay Club. The German number one took over an hour to subdue Swiss star Nicolas Mueller, winning 14-12, 11-4, 11-7 in 64 minutes.

"Really happy with my performance - beating my good mate @MuellerNicolas 3:0 in a 70 min tough battle," tweeted Rosner later. "Playing G. Gaultier on Sunday".

James Willstrop, the third seed from England, was taken to four games at Stanford University before overcoming Colombian star Miguel Angel Rodriguez 11-4, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3 in 70 minutes. It was the Englishman's third win in a row over Rodriguez (pictured above, foreground, with Willstrop), but the first in which the highest-ranked South American of all-time has taken a game.

The earlier match at Stanford saw top-ranked Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema defeat Finnish qualifier Henrik Mustonen 11-7, 11-3, 11-7.

"Really happy to win today in San Fran!" said Anjema (pictured below, right, with Mustonen) on Twitter. "Playing tomorrow night on this beautiful glass court on the Embarcadero. Excited but not too!"

It was at the University Club that England team-mates Peter Barker and Daryl Selby earned the opportunity to play each other for a place in the last four. Third seed Barker dashed home hopes when he defeated eight-time US champion Julian Illingworth 11-4, 11-6, 11-5.

Selby, in his first match since time out with a knee injury, battled for 51 minutes to quash compatriot Adrian Waller, a qualifier, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.

"Really happy to have won tonight, and even better to get off in 3 against Adrian who had been playing well," tweeted Selby.

Quarter-final action will be staged on an all-glass squash court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront.



Europeans Excel In NetSuite Qualifiers

Europeans claimed all four qualifying slots in the NetSuite Open Squash Championship in San Francisco after tough encounters in the qualifying finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 event in its third year in California, USA.

Held at three different venues in downtown San Francisco, the matches lined up main draw action which will be staged on an all-glass squash court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront.

England's Adrian Waller recorded the biggest upset, beating Egypt's world No29 Marwan Elshorbagy, a former world junior champion, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 in 64 minutes at the Bay Club.

Waller, ranked 34 in the world, will now line up against fellow countryman Daryl Selby, the world No13 returning to Tour action after a knee injury.

There was a further upset at the Bay Club when Finland's Henrik Mustonen denied France a qualifying double by beating world No30 Gregoire Marche 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 in 74 minutes.

World No36 Mustonen (pictured above, left, in action with Marche), the youngest and lowest-ranked qualifier, will make his NetSuite Open main draw debut against Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema, the world No18 from The Hague.

Mathieu Castagnet ensured French qualifying success at the University Club when his Egyptian opponent Mohd Ali Anwar Reda retired injured after 65 minutes with the score standing at 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 5-2 in the Frenchman's favour.

Castagnet, the world No28 from Aix-en-Provence, will now meet fellow countryman Gregory Gaultier, the defending champion and second seed who also hails from Aix.

Scotland's Alan Clyne earned his third successive appearance in the California championship after beating Canadian Shawn Delierre 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 in 46 minutes at the Olympic Club.

The 27-year-old from Edinburgh's reward is a first round clash with top seed Ramy Ashour, the world No1 from Egypt who is unbeaten in his last 41 PSA World Tour matches.

"Got two 3-0 wins in qualifying. Can't complain," the Scot told his Twitter followers. "It doesn't get any easier though drawing the no1 in the world first round."



US Hope Gordon Cast Out By Castagnet

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet dashed US hopes of additional home interest in the main draw of the NetSuite Open in San Francisco when he beat the US national champion Christopher Gordon in the first qualifying round of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event in its third year in California.

Held at three different venues in downtown San Francisco - and almost concurrently with the massive jubilation of the city at USA's come-from-behind 9-8 America's Cup victory by Team Oracle over Emirates NZ - the matches unfolded along expected lines.

But world No28 Castagnet, the highest-ranked player in the qualifying draw, had to battle for almost an hour at the University Club to overcome New Yorker Gordon, ranked 16 places lower, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.

The 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence will now face Mohd Ali Anwar Reda for a place in the main draw. The Egyptian suppressed veteran Canadian tour player Shahier Razik 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 65 minutes.

At the Olympic Club, the PSA Tour regulars tore through the locals: Finland's Henrik Mustonen defeated the club's Australian pro Jeffrey Young 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 in 17 minutes and Scotland's Alan Clyne despatched Los Gatos California squash pro and Guernsey Commonwealth Games star Gareth Webber 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 in 22 minutes.

At the Bay Club, famous for hosting the North American Open and other previous PSA tour titles, the four-match evening started off with a decisive win by Canada's Shawn Delierre over England's Lewis Walters 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 in 50 minutes.

Following on before the full house crowd, Egypt's Marwan Elshorbagy knocked out Malaysia's rising number three Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 in 31 minutes.

Newly transplanted English pro Charlie Johnson was no match for Gregoire Marche as the Frenchman won handily 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 in 37 minutes.

But there was English success later when Adrian Waller ran through Cesar Salazar of Mexico 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 in 40 minutes.


NetSuite Open Attracts Squash Elite To San Francisco

A star-studded field, led by the top three squash players in the world, will line up in next month's NetSuite Open Squash Championship, the PSA World Tour International 70 event which will be held for the second successive year on an all-glass squash court erected at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.

Last year, the NetSuite Open became the first international professional squash event on the US West Coast to use the iconic portable 'Glass Cube' court when it made its spectacular Northern California debut on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront (see below).

France's world number two Gregory Gaultier will be back to defend the title he won in spectacular style last October. But this time the 29-year-old from Aix-en-Provence will have Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour to contend with.

Ashour, the world number one and reigning world champion will arrive in California unbeaten since May 2012 - boasting a 41-match-winning streak not seen since the heyday of Pakistani legends Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan more than two decades ago!

Former world number one Gaultier, the second seed, will begin the defence of his title against a qualifier - as will Ashour, who is making his first appearance in San Francisco.

But there are two further ex-world number ones who will be making a bid for the 2013 NetSuite Open trophy. James Willstrop, the third seed from England who topped the rankings for all but one month of last year, crashed out of last year's quarter-finals - beaten by fellow former world No1 Amr Shabana.

The distinguished Egyptian, with four world championship titles to his name, is again unseeded in this year's event - and faces England's Tom Richards before a possible quarter-final clash with fellow countryman Ashour.

Willstrop, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, begins his 2013 campaign against the highest-ranked South American on the Tour - Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, ranked 19 in the world. The winner of this first round encounter is expected to face unseeded Laurens Jan Anjema, the eight-time Dutch champion who won the inaugural NetSuite Open in 2011 in Stanford.

An Englishman is also the No4 seed: Londoner Peter Barker, the world No7 fresh from his fourth title triumph in last week's Colombian Open in Bogota, will take on wildcard Julian Illingworth, the eight times US national champion from New York.

A further mouth-watering first round clash will see two of continental Europe's top players go head-to-head for the first time for almost four years when German number one Simon Rosner takes on the top-ranked Swiss player Nicolas Mueller.

"It's very exciting to have such a high quality field in this year's NetSuite Open," said Tournament Director John Nimick. "The intensity and skill brought to the court by the world's top players is enthralling."

Alex Gough, CEO of the Professional Squash Association, added: "There are now almost one million squash players in the USA, making it one of the sport's fastest growing markets. The NetSuite Open, with its iconic outdoor setting on the waterfront of one of the world's most famous cities, is one of our standout events on the PSA World Tour."