No.4 Ramy Ashour successfully retained his EL Gouna
International Squash Open title against the idyllic backdrop
of the Red Sea today, beating compatriot and World No.3
Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-1 to seal the championship.
Ashour was in scintillating form as he saw off his younger
opponent, who came into the match following an epic
112-minute victory over World No.1 Gregory Gaultier of
France in the semi-finals, to win just his first PSA World
Series title since he claimed the 2013 British Open.
The maverick Egyptian, who endured an injury-plagued four
months from October 2013 – January 2014, looked to be back
at his devastating best throughout the entire tournament as
he romped to the final without dropping a single game and
proved too much for the ever-determined Elshorbagy.
“I’ve never felt
said Ashour following the victory.
overwhelmed to win the title and I’m very happy with my
performance today – I thought it was a great match.”
Ashour looked to be on his way to a completing a clean sweep
after taking the first two games 11-7, 12-10, but it was a
match in which the younger Egyptian never gave up and his
determination was rewarded when he dug deep to take the
third game 11-8.
But Cairo-based Ashour responded in fashion to win a
fiercely contested fourth game 11-8 and take the title
following 71-minutes of scintillating squash which delighted
the packed house in El Gouna.
“Mohamed is one of the most explosive and best players
around. He’s got many different attributes and is a threat
to all the top players,”
already a top five player and he’s definitely going to be
one to watch but I'm happy to win today.”
#PSAWorldTour World No.3 Mohamed Elshorbagy came through an
electrifying and truly epic encounter against World No.1
Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the 2014 El Gouna
International Squash Open today, beating the Frenchman 3-1
to book his spot in the final.
In a brutally tough 112-minute encounter, in
which the second game alone lasted over 45-minutes,
Elshorbagy finally broke his duck against the number one
seed, recording his first ever victory over Gauliter 11-6,
14-16, 11-9, 12-10.
The victory will see Elshorbagy compete in
just his fourth PSA World Series event final, gunning to add
to his sole tournament triumph at the 2013 Qatar Classic,
and he will take on compatriot Ramy Ashour in an
all-Egyptian final which promises to delight the local
“I just can’t believe I’m into the final,”said
“I have played him nine times and I have
never beaten him before so to be able to get my first
victory over him in Egypt makes it extra special.
“I would not have been able to get the win
today without the support of the crowd who were fantastic.
“It’s two players in there and it’s like
they’re trying to knock each other out. I tried to move him
around but he never gave up and when I thought I had him in
the fourth game he came back fighting again.
“I’m just really happy that I made it through
in the end.”
Elshorbgay and Ashour were the first two
players ever to become double World Junior Champions with
Elshorbagy following in the footsteps of Ashour, who booked
his place in the final after beating four-time World
Champion Amr Shabana 3-0 in a sublime performance.
The defending El Gouna International
champion, Ashour will be bidding to win his 25thWorld
Series title and will be buoyed by having beaten Elshorbagy
when the pair contested the final of the PSA World Series
Finals in March.
“It’s never easy against Shabana and every
time you beat him it’s like a miracle,”said
“He’s a squash legend and a four-time World
Champion and a truly great player. I’m really happy to get
the win and it’s very pleasing.
“Mohamed is very hungry and he’s eager so
it’s going to be a very tough match tomorrow in the final.”
Egypt’s four-time World Champion Amr Shabana
(Left in Blue) survived a testing encounter
against an in-form Omar Mossad to book his place in the semi-final of the 2014
EL Gouna International Squash Open today.
Shabana was forced to use all of his guile and court-craft to get past the
imposing figure of Mossad, who came into the match spirited after beating World
No.5 Borja Golan in the second round in one of his most impressive wins in
But Shabana, who has been an ever-present figure in the world top ten for over a
decade, combined his experience and guile with his dazzling array of shots to
ensure his place in the final four.
“It took everything I
had to beat Omar today,”
said Shabana. “Considering it’s my third match on the glass
court and his first I didn’t expect him to have such good timing and he made it
really uncomfortable for me out there.
“I had to go back to basics and play a
basic length game and it took everything I had to go through.
“I’ve seen him transform from a junior to
a top player and he works a lot on his movement and he’s very technical. He’s
very subtle in the way he plays for a big guy and if you’re not careful he can
make you look average.
“I think he has a wonderful future but
today I won, so I’m happy.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard to work to
reach the semi-final and thankfully it’s paying off. We all put in a lot of hard
work but it doesn’t mean you are going to win so it’s nice to get the rewards.”
Shabana will take on defending El Gouna champion Ramy Ashour in the semi-finals,
after the maverick Egyptian progressed to the semi-finals after opponent Karim
Darwish was forced to retire through injury.
The second semi-final will see a third Egyptian contest a spot in the final as
World No.3 Mohamed Elshorbagy will look to take out the World No.1 and number
one seed Gregory Gaultier, after the Frenchman got past a tricky encounter with
England’s Daryl Selby 3-0.
“I was not feeling as accurate as I was
yesterday but maybe that was because Daryl was hanging in there and giving me a
tough time even if the score doesn’t reflect the match,”
“He was ahead in the third game and I had
to come back to win. I didn’t manage to put the same pressure on him and I think
he relaxed and started to go for the shots and he was getting them and making it
“It wasn’t beautiful squash but I fight
for every point even if I can’t play my best so long as you win it doesn’t
“I still feel good physically, it was hot
today and you always have to adapt to the conditions but you have to deal with
these things or else you book a flight and go home.”
Egyptian Hopes Dominate El Gouna Quarter-final Draw
Home hopes are set to dominate the quarter-final line-up of the 2014 El Gouna
International Squash Open tomorrow, when five Egyptian players will take to the
court aiming to book their place in the final four.
Defending El Gouna champion Ramy Ashour is joined in the last eight by
compatriots Karim Darwish, Omar Mossad, Mohamed Elshorbagy and four-time World
Champion Amr Shabana, his quarter-final opponent.
Ashour was forced to fight hard and produce some of his best squash in recent
months to get past dangerous German Simon Roesner 3-0 to set up a mouth-watering
clash with Shabana, who was impeccable as he beat Tarek Momen 3-0 to keep his
hopes of claiming a second World Series title in 2014 alive.
“I knew I had
to keep it tight and organised today against Tarek,”
said Shabana. “He had a tough match yesterday but he’s a very
strong player and if he gets a chance he will take it but thankfully it worked
out for me.
“I’m in my
mid-thirties now and the physical side of the game is becoming more and more
important and I’ve been working on my fitness to try and stay strong to compete
with these youngsters.
amongst the best players in Egypt here now and it seems like I’m playing the
whole Egypt team. I haven’t been in the national team for a few years so maybe
this is a chance to prove a point.”
Former World No.1 Karim Darwish continued his push for a title on home soil by
digging deep to record a gutsy 3-2 victory over Laurens Jan Anjema, twice coming
from behind to force the match into a deciding game when he showed the hunger
that saw him top the world rankings in 2009.
He’ll now face Omar Mossad after the tall Egyptian impressed to record one of
the best victories of his career to date, beating Spanish World No.5 Borja Golan
3-1 to reach his first World Series quarter-final since the 2013 Tournament of
forgotten what it is like to win and get through to the quarter-finals of a
World Series event,”
had that for a long time after reaching them consistently for eight or nine
years so it’s feeling good.
“I have to
dedicate myself 100 per cent if I want to win matches, if I don’t then I get
beat in the first round which is only fair but I’m looking forward to playing on
the glass court in the quarter-finals tomorrow.”
Elsewhere French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier was in superlative form to beat
South African Stephen Coppinger 3-0 while victories for English duo Peter Barker
and Daryl Selby sees them complete a triumvirate of foreign hopefuls.
Ashour Leads Home Hopes Into Second Round At El Gouna
Egyptian squash superstar Ramy Ashour remains on course to retain
his EL Gouna International Squash Open title after romping to a 3-0
victory over Finnish challenger Olli Tuominen in his opening match
in the 2014 event.
The World No.4, who won the last staging of the PSA World Series
event on the Red Sea in 2012, took just 37-minutes to see off
Tuominen 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 and will take on dangerous German Simon
Roesner in the second round tomorrow.
“Sometimes the first round in events like this can be more
pressuring than finals and Ollie made it very tough for me today,”
knew it was going to physical and he pushed me hard. I had to be
really focused and concentrated from the first point all the way to
the last point and maintain my rhythm so I’m pleased to get through.
“It’s amazing to be back in El Gouna and playing a World Series
event in Egypt. It’s great for the country especially at this moment
in time and it’s thanks to tournament organiser Amr Mansi who has
worked very hard to put this event on and to help raise squash in
Former World No.1 Karim Darwish kept up his hopes of overturning his
recent run of poor form on the PSA World Tour and winning a first
World Series event since the 2010 Qatar Classic by beating
compatriot Ali Anwar Reda 3-1.
The World No.9, who admits to reducing his training regime in recent
months, failed to progress past the first round in the recent Windy
City Open and Canary Wharf Classic but is aiming to put in a strong
run on home soil.
“Overall this season hasn’t been that great as far as my squash is
concerned,” said Dawrish.
know I’m not training as much as I should and previously did but I
still don’t want to lose and especially not in Egypt and not with my
wife and baby here.”
And Ashour Lead Seeding At EL Gouna
French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and Egyptian World No.3 Ramy Ashour will top
the draw when the 2014 El Gouna International gets underway at the El Gouna
Marina, Egypt on Sunday April 13.
The pair are seeded to meet in the final on Friday April 18 in what would be
their second World Series title decider so far in 2014, with Gaultier having
taken the spoils during the Windy City Open in Chicago.
With the absence of World No.1 Nick Matthew, both Gaultier and Ashour will be
determined to make up ground on the Englishman and solidify their positions at
the top of the rankings chart.
Elsewhere in the Egyptian-strong field, World No.4 Mohamed Elshorbagy will face
a challenging opening round match against Columbian livewire Miguel Angel
Rodriguez while Top 2o players Omar Mossad, Karim Darwish and Tarek Momen all
face qualifiers on home soil.
No.5 seed Amr Shabana will face compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in his first round
match when the Maestro will be aiming to lift his second World Series title of
2014 to add to January’s J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions crown.
Gaultier And Ashour Lead Seeding At EL Gouna
French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and Egyptian World No.3 Ramy
Ashour will top the draw when the 2014 El Gouna International gets
underway at the El Gouna Marina, Egypt on Sunday April 13.
The pair are seeded to meet in the final on Friday April 18 in what
would be their second World Series title decider so far in 2014,
with Gaultier having taken the spoils during the Windy City Open in
With the absence of World No.1 Nick Matthew, both Gaultier and
Ashour will be determined to make up ground on the Englishman and
solidify their positions at the top of the rankings chart.
Elsewhere in the Egyptian-strong field, World No.4 Mohamed
Elshorbagy will face a challenging opening round match against
Columbian livewire Miguel Angel Rodriguez while Top 2o players Omar
Mossad, Karim Darwish and Tarek Momen all face qualifiers on home
No.5 seed Amr Shabana will face compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in his
first round match when the Maestro will be aiming to lift his second
World Series title of 2014 to add to January’s J.P Morgan Tournament
of Champions crown.