SUPER SERIES FINALS MANCHESTER 2007
Super Series Title
Ramy Ashour Wins Historic Super Series Finals Title
Ashour continued his rapid run towards absolute supremacy in world
squash when he beat France's Gregory Gaultier in the final
of the ATCO Super Series Finals – Manchester 2007 to become not
only the first Egyptian, but also the first event debutant since 1996,
to win the flagship PSA Tour title.
seventh seed from Cairo, the only player in the eight-man event at the
National Squash Centre in Manchester to reach the
play-offs unbeaten, had never before beaten Gaultier - the world No4
from Aix-en-Provence who was also making his first appearance in the
Super Series Finals.
lasted 62 minutes, but it was Ashour who emerged triumphant, beating the
Frenchman 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 4-11, 11-4 in a dramatic climax to the 2007
expected to win this, I didn't really expect to be here when I had an
injury a few days ago, so to win it - playing four matches in a row
against the top guys in the world - is just amazing,"
"Greg and I
haven't played much, but it's always been tough. We both pushed really
hard today and it was a really tight game. I was just trying to keep the
ball deep and wait for the opportunity to attack. We were both doing
that, and it was the first one to put the ball loose who lost the point.
"I had a little
problem with my ankle in the third, so I tried to change my game, to
slow the ball down. I knew that if that didn't go well I could speed it
up again in the fourth.
"I'm really glad
I did well and won today. It feels good," exclaimed Ashour, the world
number two who now has four PSA Super Series event titles to his
name this year.
expressed mixed emotions afterwards: "It's pleasing to be in the final,
especially for my first time in the event - but I just wanted to win!
"I had a tough
match yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, so I knew
I had to start well and I really had to win the first. I lost my
concentration a little after that, and towards the end I started feeling
the effect of those games.
"I enjoyed it
all though, I love playing in front of this crowd and I'm looking
forward to coming back to try to win the British Open – I won the
British Junior Open, but that's not the same!"
also making his debut in the event, beat Egyptian compatriot Amr
Shabana 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 in the best-of-three play-off for third
Ashour & Gaultier To Contest Super Series Finals
Egypt's world number two Ramy Ashour and
France's Gregory Gaultier, the world No4, will contest the final
of the ATCO Super Series Finals – Manchester 2007 after
highly-contrasting victories in the third and final pool round of the
flagship PSA Tour squash event at the National Squash Centre
in Manchester, England.
Seventh seed Ashour extended his status as the only
unbeaten player in the eight-man event after two days' play by romping
to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win in just 28 minutes over France's former
champion Thierry Lincou, the No4 seed.
It was a stunning win by the 19-year-old from Cairo
in his debut in the event - and perfectly complemented the victory hours
earlier by his compatriots on the other side of the globe in Hong Kong
where Egypt clinched the Women's World Junior Team title. It was
Ashour's own record second-time win in the Men's World Junior
Championship in 2006 which means that Egypt are now celebrating holding
all four world junior squash crowns!
Third seed Gaultier was made to battle for 87 minutes
- and twice had to come from behind - before overcoming England's No6
seed Nick Matthew 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-4, 11-10 (2-0) in the most
dramatic clash of the day.
"This tournament is so hard, I'm not
used to playing four days in a row against the top players,"
"That was a really hard match – big pain now!
"It was patchy, some games went for me, some for him,
and I felt good in patches and sometimes lost my concentration.
"It's just good to be here and play the games, get my
fitness back and test out my shots against the top guys. I came to win
of course, but the most important for me is to get the games in and get
my movement and shots back," added the 24-year-old from Aix-en-Provence
in his debut in the event.
In the other match in the ATCO Group, Egypt's
world No1 Amr Shabana made sure of a place in the play-off for
third place with an 11-7, 11-4, 3-11, 11-4 win in 53 minutes over
England's James Willstrop. It was a strange match for
Willstrop who, after beating Gaultier in the opening round, would have
earned a place in the final had he beaten Shabana - but, instead, will
contest the seventh-place play-off!