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Mohamed Marks Motor City Double

Motor City Open 2014
23-28 Jan, Detroit, Usa, $70k
Round One
25 Jan
26 Jan
27 Jan
28 Jan
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy)
 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (fra)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)
Olli Tuominen
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-6, 12-14, 11-3 ret. (46m)
Amr Shabana
Mohamed Elshorbagy
8-11, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (92m)
Peter Barker
[6] Tarek Momen (Egy)
13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8 (82m)
[Q] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
[5] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (90m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Omar Mosaad
11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (53m)
Amr Shabana
[4] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11-5, 18-16, 11-2 (61m)
[Q[ Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-1 (89m)
[3] Peter Barker (Eng)
Peter Barker
11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7 (71m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Peter Barker
11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (48m)
Cameron Pilley
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7 (111m)
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (36m)
[8] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Cameron Pilley
11-3, 14-16, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
Karim Darwish
[Q] Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)
[2] Karim Darwish (Egy)

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.

Top 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 semi-finals.

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.

But 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.

For his efforts, Elshorbagy won $11,000 in prize money and a $9,000 Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, courtesy of Greenstone's Jewelers.

"I'm 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.

"Peter 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'.

"After 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.

"I've 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

Mohamed Elshorbagy 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 Bloomfield Hills.

At the 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.

"It's 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.

"The 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.

"But 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.

Eighth seed Pilley, from New South Wales, had reached the semi-finals after a shock defeat of second-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish.

"If 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.

"When 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.

"I'm 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."

Barker 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.

It was 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.

"I'm 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.

"But I 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."

Pilley 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.

"Darwish 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 brutal."

Pilley 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.

The 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.

World 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.

"I 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.

"I'm 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

Just 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.

The 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 champions!

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.

"Omar 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.

"Tarek 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 around.

"It's one of the best matches I've played in a while," added the 2004 runner-up.

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.

Second 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.