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Shabana Shakes Off Momen In Grasshopper Cup Final

Grasshopper Cup 2014
21-27 Apr, Zurich, Switzerland, $50k
Round One
23/24 Apr
25 Apr
26 Apr
27 Apr
[1] James Willstrop (Eng)
11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
James Willstrop
11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (61m)
Simon Rosner
James Willstrop
11-6, 1-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (93m)
Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen
11-6, 11-9, 4-11,
8-11, 11-8 (79m)

Amr Shabana
[5] Simon Rosner (Ger)
9-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 11-7 (82m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
[6] Tarek Momen (Egy)
11-5, 12-10, 11-8 (30m)
[Q] Kristian Frost Olesen (Den)
Tarek Momen
11-3, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5 (61m)
Daryl Selby
[4] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (36m)
WC Reiko Peter (Sui)
Alister Walker (Bot
11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (36m)
[3] Amr Shabana (Egy)
Amr Shabana
14-12, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
Mohamed Abouelghar
Amr Shabana
11-3, 13-11, 12-10 (43m)
Borja Golan
[Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)
11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6 (62m)
[8] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
[Q] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-3 (49m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
Omar Mosaad
12-14, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 (112m)
Borja Golan
[Q] Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)
[2] Borja Golan (Esp)
RESULTS:    Grasshopper Cup, Zurich, Switzerland

Qualifying finals:
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG)                     11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2 (48m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS)           11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 (43m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG)                 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (63m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG)             11-2, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)

2013 Event


Shabana Shakes Off Momen In Grasshopper Cup Final

Amr Shabana outlasted young compatriot Tarek Momen in five games in today's all-Egyptian final of the Grasshopper Cup, the PSA International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in the Swiss city of Zurich, to become became the oldest winner of a PSA World Tour title this year.
The 34-year-old third seed from Cairo went into the match, his 47th Tour final, after a straight games semi-final victory over second-seeded Spaniard
Borja Golan – whilst Momen, the No.6 seed, had taken his surprise place in the final after pulling off his second hour-plus-long upset in 24 hours, defeating favourite James Willstrop in a 93-minute marathon.
But four-time World Champion Shabana showed his class in the final when, after squandering a two-game lead, he fought back in the decider to win 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8 after 79 minutes.
The triumph marks Shabana's second title of the year and the 33rd of his career – and extends his Tour title-winning run to a remarkable 16 years!
"It's been a great week, everything fell in place together," admitted 'The Maestro' later.  "I know I was a bit fortunate with a couple of matches - playing my opponents who had gruelling monster matches the day before - but I still had to seize my opportunities.
"As you saw today against Tarek, I was 2/0 up and going smoothly towards the finishing line – and all of a sudden he came back with energy and focus and it took every ounce of energy, concentration and experience to be through in the end.  
"The last few points could have gone either way," added modest former world number one Shabana.  "Fortunately it was me."
Momen, ranked 12 in the world, said:  "I'm happy with my performance today. Of course I'm a bit disappointed for being unlucky with my strings on match ball. But I guess this is karma because yesterday I had a lucky shot on match ball.
"But there are many positive things I can take out of this tournament.  Me and Amr had an amazing match today so I'd like to congratulate him and I hope I can keep up this level of performance until the end of season!"

Semi Finals

Top Seeds Downed As Shabana & Momen Set Up All-Egyptian Zurich Final

After despatching the top two seeds in contrasting semi-finals,
Amr Shabana and Tarek Momen will contest the first all-Egyptian final of the Grasshopper Cup, the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in the Swiss city of Zurich.
Third seed Shabana, the rejuvenated 34-year-old four-time World Champion from Cairo, was at his awesome best as he defeated No2 seed
Borja Golan, the World No.5 from Spain, 11-3, 13-11, 12-10 in 43 minutes.
"I really felt going into this match I was very sharp and very focused," said the left-hander (pictured below) on the eve of his 47th PSA World Tour final appearance.  "In this phase of my career it's all about gathering different aspects going into the match and I really felt I was ready to play. 
"Movement-wise I felt I was moving well.  Of course it helped me that he had a two-hour match yesterday that prevented him from coming out firing and I took full advantage of that.  All credit to him after the first, he managed to shift the pattern of play, making it very uncomfortable for me, changing the pace.
"It all came down to winning the big points in the end.  Luckily for me it came my way."
It took almost an hour longer to resolve the second semi – a match in which the fortunes ebbed and flowed between the two players for a full 93 minutes.
Momen, the No.6 seed from Cairo, had never before beaten top seed
James Willstrop in five meetings with the World No.6 from England since 2009.
Games and points were traded right up to eight-all in the decider – but underdog Momen, ranked 12 in the world, held his nerve to win 11-6, 1-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9.
"I really surprised myself with the way my game has matured," said Momen (pictured below raising his arms in delight), now in his 10th Tour final.  "I knew that recently I found a way to be more patient but I haven't been consistent with it but so far in this tournament I kept my cool and calm and I've been very patient.
"Also this helped to reduce the error count and I feel playing this way will allow me to eventually progress in the rankings."
Asked whether the vociferous crowd had played a part in his win, Momen was quick to say
:  "We players really appreciate the crowd coming in every day right from the first round – the attendance has been huge from the beginning.
"This is by far the best crowd in the world.  It's my first time playing in this tournament and I'm planning on coming back again and again!"

For all the latest Tour news:



Quarter Finals

Momen Sinks Selby To Make Zurich Semis

England's former champion
Daryl Selby was denied the chance to make the Grasshopper Cup final for the third year in a row when he was beaten by Egypt's Tarek Momen in the only quarter-final upset in the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in the Swiss city of Zurich.
Just two world ranking positions separated the pair who went into the sixth meeting of their careers with Momen leading 3/2 in their head-to-heads.  And it was the World No.12 from Cairo who took an early two-game lead before Selby, the World No.10 who won the title in 2012, survived a tie-break third game to reduce the deficit.
But Momen (pictured below, in green shirt) regained the advantage in the fourth to close out the match 11-3, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5 after 61 minutes.
"I'm very happy with my performance today," said 26-year-old Momen, making his Zurich debut.  "I felt I was sharp from the beginning - I had a game plan and I was very patient and didn't make many errors.
"I wish I could keep this up and repeat such a performance for the next matches and until the end of the season!"
Momen will now face
James Willstrop, the top seed from England who recorded his seventh successive career win over Simon Rösner when he beat the fifth-seeded German 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 in 61 minutes in the final match of the day.
"It's been a long day, but it was worth the wait because the crowd was great to play in front of – and the atmosphere was exciting even though it was getting late in the day," said the World No.6 from Yorkshire.
"It's not always easy to hold your concentration when you're thinking about the match all day but I think we both played some quality squash."
It was first match of the session which disrupted the schedule – one which finished 134 minutes after it started, but included a 22-minute break when a power-cut caused the court lights to fail.
Borja Golan finally emerged triumphant over Egypt's No.7 seed Omar Mosaad – the No.2 seed from Santiago de Compostela avenging his defeat to the World No.13 from Cairo in last week's PSA World Series El Gouna International Open in Egypt to win 12-14, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 in 112 minutes.
"I knew that today's match was going to be really hard," said Golan, the 31-year-old World No.5 and highest-ranked player in the championship.  "I played him last week and didn't feel very confident.
"In the first game I felt the same, I didn't feel comfortable with my shots and I was playing on his rhythm.  But then in the second I felt more comfortable and attacking more and playing faster and it was working.
"I needed a big victory like that - hopefully it will help my confidence for the next match!"
Golan (pictured below, in all-white) will now face Egyptian
Amr Shabana, the 34-year-old four-time World Champion from Cairo who ended qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar's run when he beat his 20-year-old protégé  14-12, 11-4, 11-8 in 30 minutes.
"It was tough playing him, I wish nothing but the best for him," said former World No.1 Shabana of his opponent, currently ranked 57 in the world.  "He is an amazing player – I think he has a tremendous future – I hope he makes it to the very top!
"Today I experienced the circle of life. During the first game, I remembered the first time I played Jonathon Power when I was 17 and he was 22.  And I remembered the respect I gave him that day and today I really sensed that with Mohamed.
"I'm happy to be in the semi-final.  It's been a healthy season for me so far - I've put in the work. Hopefully it can carry me through to some decent results."

1st Round Bottom Half

Abouelghar Ousts Pilley In Grasshopper Shock

Mohamed Abouelghar produced the biggest win of his career when he defeated eighth-seeded Australian Cameron Pilley in the first round of the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland to become the only qualifier to make the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in Zurich.
The youngest player in the draw, 20-year-old Abouelghar battled for 62 minutes to see off World No.17 Pilley 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6 in his first appearance in the main draw of a PSA Tour event this year after four successive qualifying disappointments.
"I'm very happy - finally a losing streak has come to an end!" said the World No.57 (pictured below, in black) from Cairo.  "Cameron is such great player and I never thought I could keep up with him and have a tough four-setter.

"I need to thank some people:  First of all my coach Mohamed Farid, and my fitness coach Mahmoud.  They've been doing a great job with me over the past 10 years and maybe I couldn't play squash without them!"

Abouelghar will now take on distinguished fellow countryman
Amr Shabana, the four-time World Champion also from Cairo, for the first time on the Tour.   Third seed Shabana, the left-hander making his Grasshopper debut (pictured below), ended champion Alister Walker's reign – beating the World No.19 from Botswana who won the title last year for the first time 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 in 36 minutes.
There will be further Egyptian interest in the fourth quarter-final line-up settled on the second day of first round action.  No.7 seed
Omar Mosaad survived an all-Egyptian clash with Cairo club-mate and qualifier Mohd Ali Anwar Reda, winning 11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-3.
"It's the first time playing Reda on PSA," explained the World No.13 after his 49-minute victory.  "He's my team mate - we play at the same club in Egypt, the Heliopolis club, so we usually train together at the club.  We know how each other plays.

"Today I started really well, especially at the end of the first game - but in the second he started to change his tactics and he played more basics and I struggled a little bit and I think that worked for him.  In the third game, especially in the first five points, it was a mental game because we were both trying to lead - so I think in the middle of the third I played two more good shots and I started to create a lead.
"In the fourth I started early and was able to move ahead.  I'm really happy to play with Mohd Reda - he did good work in the qualifiers.  Now I'm going to watch Henrik and Borja, have dinner, and enjoy Zurich!"

Borja Golan was the victor in the final match of the day, beating Finnish qualifier Henrik Mustonen 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 in 35 minutes.
"Henrik was a really tough opponent, attacking all the time, so you have to be patient and play a good basic game," explained the No.2 seed, but highest-ranked player in the draw.
"I think the difference today was that he made more errors at crucial times in the first and second game," added the World No.5 from Santiago de Compostela.  "Looking forward to my match tomorrow."

1st Round Top Half

Rösner Resists Local Hero Mueller In Zurich

Fifth seed
Simon Rösner claimed his anticipated place in the quarter-finals of the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland – but the World No.11 twice had to come from behind to overcome local hero Nicolas Mueller, the highest-ranked Swiss player of all-time, in the opening round of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in Zurich.
"Really happy to beat my good mate @MuellerNicolas in a real tough battle that was decided in the 5th," tweeted the German champion after the 9-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 11-7 victory in 82 minutes which maintains the 26-year-old's unbeaten Tour run over his European rival, ranked 25 in the world.  "Very fair & clean match. Truly enjoyable!"
Rösner (pictured below, in red, against Mueller) will now line up against
James Willstrop, the top seed from England.  On his debut in the event, the World No.6 from Harrogate in Yorkshire eased past Finland number one Olli Tuominen, the event's champion in 1999, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 in 32 minutes.
Swiss hopes were also dashed in an earlier clash when England's No.4 seed
Daryl Selby beat Lucerne-born wild card Reiko Peter 11-7, 11-8, 11-8.
"Great crowd tonight, lovely and vociferous!" 2012 champion Selby (pictured below in yellow, foreground, with Peter) told his Twitter followers later.  "Managed to win in 3 but Reiko definitely improving all the time.  Tarek up next on Friday."
Selby, the World No.10 from Chelmsford in Essex, will now face sixth seed
Tarek Momen as he bids to reach the final for the third year in a row.
Egyptian Momen, ranked 12 in the world, defeated Danish qualifier
Kristian Frost Olesen 11-5, 12-10, 11-8 in 30 minutes.


Olesen Makes Grasshopper Cup Line-Up

Kristian Frost Olesen became the lowest-ranked player to qualify for the 2014 Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland – and added a ninth nation to the main draw line-up of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event taking place at the EWZ Selnau in Zurich.
The Grasshopper Cup, which dates back to 1979, returned to the PSA Tour in 2012 – and this year, with the tournament level raised to PSA International 50 status, has attracted a star-studded field including nine players from the world top 20, led by England's World No.6
James Willstrop.
Olesen, ranked 64 in the world, battled for 63 minutes to overcome England's
Eddie Charlton, ranked nine places higher, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in the qualifying finals. 
The 25-year-old from Odense will now take on No.6 seed
Tarek Momen, the World No.12 from Egypt.
Fellow qualifiers include Finland's
Henrik Mustonen and Egyptian pair Mohamed Abouelghar and Mohd Ali Anwar Reda
Mustonen, the World No.38 from Hollola, defeated England's
Charles Sharpes 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, whilst Reda beat higher-ranked Jaymie Haycocks, also an Englishman, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 and Abouelghar overcame Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8.
Top seed Willstrop, who is making his Grasshopper Cup debut, begins his campaign against
Olli Tuominen, the former World No.13 from Finland who has twice reached the event's final and was champion in 1999.
The 30-year-old Englishman is expected to contest Sunday's final against second seed
Borja Golan, the World No.5 from Spain who was a semi-finalist in 2013.
Grasshopper image below, courtesy of Helen Ree, shows Olesen and Charlton in action