RESULTS: PSA International 70
Motor City Open, Bloomfield
Hills, Detroit, USA
Mohamed Marks Motor City Double
Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy outlasted Englishman Peter Barker
in a marathon Motor City Open final to become only the second
player after Canadian legend Jonathon Power to win the
established Detroit squash title twice.
seed Elshorbagy, the 2011 champion, reached the final of the PSA
World Tour International 70 event at Birmingham Athletic Club
in Bloomfield Hills after an emotional first-ever victory over
compatriot Amr Shabana, the defending champion, in the
Londoner Barker, the third seed back in Tour action after a two-month
calf injury lay-off, leapt to a two-game lead in the final.
Elshorbagy, the 23-year-old World No.4 from Alexandria enjoying the best
period of his career to date, established significant early leads in the
next three games before ultimately closing out the 92-minute match 8-11,
12-14, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 to win the second biggest PSA World Tour
title of his career.
his efforts, Elshorbagy won $11,000 in prize money and a $9,000 Rolex
Oyster Perpetual watch, courtesy of Greenstone's Jewelers.
happy to win my second Rolex now," said UK-based Elshorbagy. "It's an
amazing feeling knowing the only other player who has won this
tournament twice is Jonathon Power. It's such an honour to put my
name up there with him.
played so well in the beginning of the match," the champion continued.
"It wasn't his length game that surprised me, but his short game. His
short game has improved a lot.
"Losing the second game that way was really tough, but I came back and
told myself I have to find a way to win. It doesn't matter how, I'm
going to find it. I just had to be strong mentally and that's what all
the top players do. That's what I learned from players like (Gregory)
Gaultier, (Amr) Shabana and Nick (Matthew). I thought 'Okay, I'm going
to cut the errors, be really patient and if he's one of the best players
on the tour in the length game, I'm going to try to match him and go for
the shot when I'm 100 percent sure that it's going to be the right one'.
I had that lead in the third game, my length started getting better and
my confidence came back as well, so I had more options to go short,"
added Elshorbagy. "But credit to Peter for coming back the way he did
from the injury he had. It was such a fair match and I'm happy this
tough battle was as close as it was."
Barker, the World No.8 who was celebrating his 24th Tour final
appearance, was not unhappy with his Motor City debut: "As the game went
on, my body started breaking down a little bit. I need my movement
because retrieving and making my movement hurt people is my game. But
more credit to him because he stuck in there and upped the pace.
heard great things about this tournament and I'm sorry it took me until
I was 30 to come," added the left-hander. "But all the good things you
hear about it on the tour are true. I'll be back."
Tired Shabana Bows Out In Detroit
achieved his career-long dream of a win over illustrious fellow Egyptian
Amr Shabana to reach the final of the Motor City Open in
Detroit - but it was only when the tired defending champion was
forced to concede the match after three games in the PSA World Tour
International 70 squash event at Birmingham Athletic Club in
conclusion of the third game, with Elshorbagy leading 2/1, Shabana
embraced his 22-year-old opponent and explained that he couldn't go any
further because he felt light-headed. Shabana, the 34-year-old four-time
World Champion who stunned the squash world last week by winning the
PSA World Series Tournament of Champions title in New York, was
clearly feeling the effects of his eighth match in 10 days.
of course a sad end for the crowd because the match was very high
quality," said Elshorbagy (pictured above with Shabana), whose
11-6, 12-14, 11-3 (ret.) win takes him through to his second Detroit
final in four years. "I want to congratulate Shabana for an amazing two
weeks. He played unbelievable squash the past two weeks and the Tour is
always happier when he plays better.
first two games were so tough," continued top seed Elshorbagy, who went
into the match 9-0 down to Shabana in their Tour head-to-head tally. "He
went for it at the end of the second game and I could see how tired he
was. After that I didn't worry much because I knew I still had the edge.
"Because the court is very bouncy, my tactic from the beginning of the
match was, if I could play a rally that lasts 30 minutes, I will do it.
I wanted to get him tired because he just came from the Tournament of
Champions in New York and didn't have any rest days. I knew that he
would feel it during the match.
after the second game, I could feel there was something wrong in the
third. Even when I was winning, I asked him during the game 'Is there
something wrong?' I wouldn't want to continue if I felt there was
something wrong with him."
Elshorbagy, now in the 16th Tour final of his career, will face
England's Peter Barker. The No.3 seed from London, side-lined for
two months with a calf injury, looked in top form as he despatched
Australian Cameron Pilley 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.
seed Pilley, from New South Wales, had reached the semi-finals after a
shock defeat of second-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish.
someone said to me two weeks ago, you'd be in the quarterfinals of a
major (tournament) and the final in another, I would've bitten a hand
off," said Barker, the World No.8 who reached the Tournament of
Champions' last eight. "I'm really chuffed.
you have an injury, it puts it into perspective because you lose that
perspective when you're so focused on winning. When you have a couple
months off and aren't able to do the thing that you really enjoy, it
just makes you relax and enjoy it.
determined to enjoy squash now because I'm 30. I'm not going to be
playing forever, so what's the point of stressing? When I relax and
enjoy it, that's when I play my best squash."
is celebrating his 24th Tour final appearance.
10th Time Lucky Pilley Powers Into Detroit Semis
Australian Cameron Pilley celebrated his tenth PSA World Tour
meeting with Karim Darwish since 2006 by beating the former World
No.1 from Egypt for the first time in the quarter-finals of the Motor
City Open, the PSA International 70 squash event at
Birmingham Athletic Club in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA.
the pair's first Tour meeting for more than three years - and the
eighth-seeded 31-year-old from New South Wales said he planned to jump
out to quick leads in each game.
so happy to get that one next to my name - it's huge," said Pilley after
his breakthrough 11-3, 14-16, 12-10, 11-6 triumph in 75 minutes over the
No.2 seed, ranked six in the world, who won the Detroit title in 2010.
"Mentally for both of us it was a big game," continued the
Netherlands-based World No.18 (pictured above, right, with Darwish).
"For me to take a 2/0 lead would've been huge and he knew that. We both
gave it everything in that second game.
knew he wasn't as fit as he has been in the past so I knew if I could
get off to a good start in the third game and just try and make it
really tough, I might get a few cheap points at some stage."
had two game balls at 10-8 in the third game - but the 32-year-old from
Cairo fought back to force a tie-break.
made two unbelievable shots to go from 10-8 to 10-all," Pilley said. "I
knew I had to tighten up, go straight down the walls and not give him
any angles because when Darwish has an angle to work with, it can be
will now face England's Peter Barker for a place in the final.
The third seed from London battled for 71 minutes to overcome Miguel
Angel Rodriguez(pictured above, left, with Barker), the No.7
seed from Colombia, 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7.
other semi, between top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy and No.4 seed
Amr Shabana, will guarantee Egyptian interest in the final for the
fifth year in a row. The clash will be a repeat of the 2013 semi won by
Shabana on the way to his maiden title triumph in Detroit.
No.4 Elshorbagy, the 2011 champion, made the semi-finals for the fourth
year in a row after despatching Finnish qualifier Olli Tuominen
11-9, 11-8, 11-7.
Shabana, the 34-year-old four-time World Champion who is at the top of
his game after winning last week's Tournament of Champions in New
York, extended his winning run in Michigan by defeating fellow
countryman Omar Mosaad, the fifth seed, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10.
didn't get the easiest draw coming to Detroit but sometimes you get the
easiest draw and you blow it," explained Shabana later. "You just have
to keep your head down and dig and that's what I did today.
lucky that Omar had a 90-minute match against (Ong) Beng Hee that went
to five yesterday, so Beng Hee softened him up a bit and I took full
advantage of that.
"Mohamed is the World No.4 so I've got to play my best tomorrow,"
continued the former World No.1, currently ranked nine in the world.
"He's had one more day of rest than me, but you throw all this out the
window as soon as you step in the court. We'll see how it goes!"
Shabana Continues Winning Ways In Motor City
24 hours after winning his first major PSA World Tour ranking
title for more than two years at the JP Morgan Tournament of
Champions in New York, Egypt squash maestro Amr Shabana
maintained his winning ways some 1,000 km away in Detroit,
Michigan, where he defeated compatriot Omar Abdel Meguid in the
opening round of the Motor City Open.
PSA International 70 event at Birmingham Athletic Club in
Bloomfield Hills, Detroit - one of the longest-established events on the
PSA Tour, first staged in 1999 - has attracted a star-studded field
including 50% of the players in the world top 20, and four former
Title-holder Shabana, the 34-year-old fourth seed, needed 61 minutes to
see off 25-year-old qualifier Meguid 11-5, 18-16, 11-2.
has incredible hands, a very wide reach and any loose shots he's going
to put away," said former World No.1 Shabana (pictured above with
Meguid) later. "That's why the second game was crucial. If he
would've won that second game, it could've turned the match around so
that's I really pushed it."
Another Egyptian stands in Shabana's way of a place in the semi-finals
after fifth seed Omar Mosaad survived a 90-minute battle with
Ong Beng Hee to beat the 2012 champion from Malaysia 9-11, 11-7,
11-6, 7-11, 11-9.
Finland's Olli Tuominen pulled off the day's only upset when he
beat Tarek Momen, the No6 seed from Cairo, 13-11, 7-11, 11-3,
8-11, 11-8 in 82 minutes - thus putting paid to an all-Egyptian top half
of the draw.
is a very good player and I have never beaten him before," said
Tuominen. "He's so precise and hits ball a lot to the front, but I was
able to get most of them back. I just managed to keep my game accurate
enough, not give him many opportunities so that he made some mistakes
and punish him a little bit when he came to the front and move him
one of the best matches I've played in a while," added the 2004
Tuominen, the 34-year-old World No.28, now faces favourite Mohamed
Elshorbagy, the World No.4 and 2011 champion from Alexandria who
despatched French qualifier Gregoire Marche 11-2, 11-6, 11-5.
seed Karim Darwish leads Egyptian interest in the other half of
the draw. The 2010 champion, ranked 6 in the world, beat Egyptian
qualifier Marwan Elshorbagy 12-10, 11-9, 11-3.