Tournament of Champions 2014

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18-24, 2014

Official Website

2014 Women's Event

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Shabana Wins 2014 Tournament of Champions
Egyptian squash maestro Amr Shabana dominated Gregory Gaultier in the final of today’s 2014 J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions, beating the Frenchman 3-0 to seal the title in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
Shabana was in ominous form from the very first point, looking back to his best, and displayed the calibre of talent that saw him occupy the No.1 ranking for over 30 consecutive months between 2006 and 2008.
Shabana’s victory, his first PSA World Series event title since 2011, also prevents Gaultier from becoming World No.1 outright in February as the Aix En Provance man now goes level with England’s Nick Matthew atop the rankings.
“Greg wasn’t maybe at his 100 per cent best tonight but I took full advantage of that,” said Shabana.
“I can remember so many times when he has beat me 3-0 when I have been playing my best so I’m happy to win today especially as it has been eight years since I last won the title here and playing a final here is such an amazing experience.
“Everything came together for me this week. You can do all the training you want but you still need things to go your way and that’s what happened for me this week so I’m going to remember it for a long time.
“I had a tough few years with injury and every time you get injured you don’t know if you’ll be back again. I’ve had moments when I’ve thought that would be it for me but luckily I’ve kept my head down and I’m ok for now.”


The Court At Grand Central Terminal


. Semi Finals
. Quarter Finals Lower Half
Quarter Finals Top Half
2nd Round Lower Half
2nd Round Top Half
. 1st Round Top Half
1st Round Lower Half
. Qualifying

Women's Event

Click on Images for Larger View

Semi Finals

Shabana and Gaultier to Contest 2014 ToC Final
Four-time World Squash Champion Amr Shabana and French star Gregory Gaultier will contest the final of the 2014 J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York’s Grand Central Terminal on Friday.
The duo booked their final berths with impressive victories over James Willstrop and Mohamed Elshorbagy, respectively, and will contest a final in which there is more than a title at stake.
Victory against Elshorbagy saw Gaultier draw level with England’s Nick Matthew atop the world rankings but victory in the final would see him surpass the Sheffield-player to become Squash World No.1 outright.
“Becoming World No.1 again by winning this match was a big goal for me,” said Gaultier.
“Being World No.1 is a big thing for every player and I’m happy I got through today. Everybody was talking about it and I just tried to focus on the match and my tactics - but it gives you a bit of tension and I started the game flat and he came out on fire.
“Today was my turn – one day it will be his – but I keep pushing to try and beat these young players. One day he’ll be up there instead of me so I’m going to enjoy it for a bit but I have another match to play tomorrow.
“Shabana has been unbelievable this week - when he playing like this he is probably the best player.
“To me he his the most inspiring guy and technically I think he is the best. When I’ve watched him this week he has inspired me – but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to beat him – I want to win tomorrow.”
Shabana, who impressed in a 3-1 win over Willstrop in an enthralling contest, will also be hoping to end what has been a tough period of time for him with injury and illness having interrupted his past few seasons and win his first PSA World Series ranking event since 2011.
“I’m really over the moon,” said Shabana after his 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 win.
“Any time you get a win over a player the calibre of James Willstrop you have to be playing your best.
“I’ve made it to the final and I’m happy but I’m just trying to take it day by and day and do my best. Playing in a final at Grand Central is an amazing experience.
“The crowd really get behind the players and we love it so win or lose you just try and enjoy the experience.”


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Amr Shabana (above) and French star Gregory Gaultier (below) will contest the final

Official Website:

Tournament of Champions 2014
17-24 Jan, New York, $115k

Grand Central Terminus, New York 

Round One
18/19 Jan
Round Two
20 Jan
21/22 Jan
23 Jan
24 Jan
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-4, 11-5, 11-4
Adrian Grant (Eng)
Nick Matthew
3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-4
Steve Coppinger
Nick Matthew
3-2: 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 2-11, 11-9
Amr Shabana
Amr Shabana
3-1: 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5
James Willstrop
Amr Shabana
3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 [42 mins]
Grégory Gaultier
Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11-8, 11-4, 11-9
[Q] Ali Anwar Rda (Egy)
Laurens Jan Anjema
3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-5
Amr Shabana
[7] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11-3, 11-6, 11-7
[Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng)
5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 11-3
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
Peter Barker
3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 13-11
Mathieu Castagnet
Peter Barker
3-1: 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5
James Willstrop
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
3-2; 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4
[Q] Grégoire Marche (Fra)
Cameron Pilley (Egy)
3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-2
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
Cameron Pilley
3-0: 13-11, 11-1, 13-11
James Willstrop
[4] James Willstrop (Eng)
3-1: 7-11, 11-1, 12-10, 11-5
[Q] nicolas Mueller (Sui)
Todd Harrity (Usa)
3-0:11-3, 12-10, 11-2
[3] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10
Tarek Momen
Mohamed El Shorbagy
3-1: 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8
Daryl Selby
Mohamed El Shorbagy
3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 14-12
Grégory Gaultier
Tarek Momen (Egy)
3-0:11-5, 11-6, 11-8
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
Chris Simpson (Eng)
3-1: 9-11, 11-0, 12-10, 11-5
[Q] Ali Farag (Egy)
Chris Simpson
3-1: 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6
Daryl Selby
[Q] Adrian Waller (Eng)
3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-5
[8] Daryl Selby (Eng)
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
3-2: 6-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9
[5] Karim Darwish (Egy)
Karim Darwish
3-0: 11-2, 12-10, 11-5
Simon Rosner
Simon Rosner
3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-7
Grégory Gaultier
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
3-2: 12-14, 16-14, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5
Simon Rosner (Ger)
Alister Walker (Bot)
3-0:  13-11, 11-7, 18-16
Miguel Rodriguez (Col)
Alister Walker
3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-7
Grégory Gaultier
Tom Richards (Eng)
3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-6
[1] Grégory Gaultier (Fra)

RESULTS: PSA World Series JP Morgan Tournament of Champions,
New York, USA

Qualifying finals:
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-13, 11-9, 11-3, 3-11, 11-8 (79m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 (80m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 (41m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 7-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-1 (69m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (76m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 7-5 ret. (86m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 13-11 (64m)

1st qualifying round:
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Bradbury Thompson (USA) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (20m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9 (74m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (34m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 12-10, 11-5, 11-2 (33m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (44m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Samuel Kang (SIN) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Mike Lewis (USA) 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (24m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Adrian Leanza (USA) 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (24m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 (74m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-8, 14-12, 11-3 (38m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Bradley Ball (ENG) 11-1, 13-11, 11-9 (31m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (28m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (36m)
Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-2, 11-5 ret.
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Dane Sharp (CAN) 11-5, 11-6, 11-2 (29m)

Quarter Finals Lower Half
Gaultier Glides to TOC Semi-Final Spot

Quarter Finals Top HalfFrench World No.2 Gregory Gaultier booked his place in the semi-finals of the 2014 J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions earlier today, dispatching German Simon Rosner 3-0.
The victory, in what was his 34th consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event, will now see Gaultier compete in his third consecutive Tournament of Champions semi-final - an event where he finished runner-up in 2013.
“It’s always good to win and Simon has been improving a lot recently,” said Gaultier.
“The past few months especially, since he won in Kuwait, has been a big confidence boost for him and he has had a few big wins this week and it highlights how tough the tour is at the moment, so I’m glad to still be able to win these matches.
“I still want to be the best in the world and I’m happy when I’m still able to beat these young guys.
“I’m going to recover now and take tomorrow as another day. I will go in with a game plan and I will try and stick to it. I have been working a lot on my mental side recently and it seems to be working and I’m quite happy with the way I played so I’m looking forward to the semi-final tomorrow.”
Gaultier came through 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 and he will now take on Egypt’s Mohamed Elshorbagy in tomorrow’s semi-finals who earned his place in the final four with a 3-1 win over Daryl Selby of England.
“I’m very excited to be in my first TOC semi-final,” said Elshorbagy. “The match today was such a tough battle and Daryl played very well.
“It was a very flowing game played in great spirit as well and he put me under a lot of pressure so I’m happy that I came through that match to win.
“I have never played in a semi-final here before but I hope that I can win in the semi-finals because it would mean a lot to me to make it through to the final.
“It was be very special if I could play Amr Shabana in the final because that would be a dream come true for me – to play my idol in the final of a world series event so hopefully we can both win tomorrow.”

Click on Images for Larger View

Gaultier (Above) Wil Contest Semi Final With ElShorbagy (Below)

Quarter Finals Top Half

Sublime Shabana Stuns Matthew

Four time World Champion Amr Shabana pulled off the upset of the tournament so far at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions earlier today, defeating World No.1 Nick Matthew in a thrilling 3-2 contest.
Shabana was at his sublime best to get past Matthew, who has been in arguably the best form of his career in recent months since winning the 2013 World Squash Championship in Manchester in November.
In each of their last four meetings it was the English-man who triumphed but Shabana showed his world class calibre to seal the victory 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 2-11, 11-9.
“That was probably one of the best matches that I have played in a long time,” said Shabana,
“Nick is the World Champion and the World No.1 and he’s beaten me in the last four or five games that we played so I had to play at my very best to beat him. I had a game plan and I stuck to it and thankfully it worked.
“Every time you lose you learn something new and even today I felt he was pushing very hard. He’s probably the best guy out there at the moment but we’re all competitors and you can’t always win and thankfully today it was me who snuck the victory today.”
Shabana will face England’s
James Willstrop in Thursday’s semi-finals after the Pontefract player got past compatriot Peter Barker 3-1.
“It’s not been my best week of squash,” said WIllstrop after his match. “But I improved again a little bit today.
“Pete gave me a lot to think about but I’m through to a semi-final and I’m old enough now to know that you can turn things around and get through the rusty patches.
“I’m not playing badly but I haven’t set the world on fire.
“Every player would say that Shabana is at the top of their list. His ball striking and natural purity is great and I enjoyed watching him play Nick. It was  along game but he’s used to it and he’s strong so I don’t think that will have a big impact.
“It excites me to be in the semi and I’m going to enjoy that for 48 hours. I like playing here and I like playing Shabs so I’m looking forward to it.”


Click on Images for Larger View

Amr Shabana Stuns World No. 1 Nick Matthew To Reach Semi Final Berth

James Willstrop in Thursday’s semi-finals after the Pontefract player got past compatriot Peter Barker 3-1

2nd Round Bottom Half

Rampant Rosner Ousts Dawish at TOC
German World No.13 Simon Rosner put in an emphatic performance to record a comprehensive 3-0 victory over World No.5 Karim Darwish in the second round of the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York earlier today.
Rosner showed class, composure and control to come through 11-2, 12-10, 11-5 in a 45 minute encounter in what was only his second ever PSA World Series win over the event’s No.5 seed.
“I’m very pleased with how I played tonight - I think that was one of the biggest scalps of my career so far,” said Rosner.
“I ended 2013 with a great win in Kuwait and my momentum has really been going since then and I think I played a solid, aggressive game tonight with few mistakes which was important.
Rosner will now face World No.2 Gregory Gaultier in the quarter-finals on Wednesday after the Frenchman dispatched Botswana’s Alister Walker 3-0 in his second round match.

“The win is important but the performance is a huge confidence boost and I’m really looking forward to the next game now," said Rosner.
“I can go into the game with Greg without any pressure as he is the favourite and those are sometimes the best games to play as you can relax a little more.”
England’s Daryl Selby booked his place the quarter-finals after beating fellow Englishman Chris Simpson 3-1 to book his place against Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy, the man who beat him in the semi-final of the Qatar Classic in 2013, who defeated compatriot Tarek Momen 3-1.
“Chris has had a few good wins in recent months so I knew going into the game that it would be tough so I’m very happy to get through,” said Selby.
“I think I played well in the first game and just managed to sneak the second game and that made a big difference – 2-0 is very different to 1-1 and it could of gone either well.
“He picked it up in the third game but I’m fairly happy with how I played. I didn’t use the front of the court like I should and that’s something I’ll have to address before playing Mohamed.
“He’s in the top four and deservedly so, he’s been playing fantastic for the last year or so. He handles himself well on and off court as well so I think it will be a good match.
“He’s never been past the quarter-finals here before though so hopefully my experience can help me a bit against him and I’m looking forward to it.”



Simon Rosner comprehensive 3-0 victory over World No.5 Karim Darwish

Daryl Selby booked his place the quarter-finals after beating fellow Englishman Chris Simpson

2nd Round Top Half

Willstrop Withstands Pilley Pressure in New York
England No.2 and World No.4 James Willstrop came through a challenging encounter with Australian Cameron Pilley at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions earlier today to book his place in the quarter-finals.
Willstrop came through in straight games but was forced to work hard for his victory with two games decided on a tie-break.
“It was a tight game and a bit of a scrap in places, especially in the first and third games,” said Willstrop.
“I played well in the second game but I’m not managing to my put my game together on a consistent enough basis at the moment but you always take a win and to win when you’re not at your best is a bonus.
“It was testament to Cameron in how he came back in the third. I was getting on top and he could have let his head drop but he’s a world class player and showed his talent.”
Willstrop will now face compatriot Peter Barker who beat French World No.25 Mathieu Castagnet 3-1 to earn his place in the quarters.
“Pete and I have played a lot and I think we’re both finding our feet in ways this week,” said Willstrop.
“He’s shown that he’s worked hard to come back from injury and win two matches so far so he’s obviously in great shape at the moment.
“He’s a great athlete and never gives you anything lightly and he’s tough to crack so I need to try and put my game together to get past him. I’m in another quarter-final which is exciting so hopefully I can keep going and get the win.”
Egyptian maestro Amr Shabana came through his second round game, putting in a superb performance to dispatch Laurens Jan Anjema 3-0 and book a quarter-final berth against World No.1 Nick Matthew, who dispatched South African Stephen Coppinger 3-0.
“I think today I played as well as I ever could,” said Shabana. “LJ is a big guy with a lot of great skills so I was very focused to play the right game against him.
“Every game is different but I was very happy with my game today and hopefully I can keep that up,
“I have a lot of found memories of playing here and especially from earning the No.1 ranking in this event so to go further this week, in the first event of the year, would be amazing.
“First I have to get past the World Champion and that will be an extremely hard task. Nick is in a great run at the moment but I’ve been close a few times in our last few matches so I’ll just concentrate on playing my game and see what happens.”


Willstrop Survives Pilley Pressure

Nick Matthew Safely Through
1st Round Bottom Half

Rosner Rallies to win marathon in Manhattan

German squash star Simon Rosner survived an epic 100-minute encounter against Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal during the second day of action at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York today.
In a contest which saw both players give their all, Rosner twice came from behind to eventually triumph 12-14, 16-14, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5 and record his first ever PSA World Tour win over Ghosal.
“I knew it would be a really tough match,” said Rosner. “Saurav is a great player with lots of skill. Whenever we’ve played before the matches have always been very close.
“The first few games today were crazily intense and we both played some great squash. He played some unbelievable shots throughout the match so I’m just really happy to win.
“I ended 2013 on a high so hopefully I can continue to build on that now. I’ve got nothing to lose going into the next round so I’m going to enjoy it and give it my best.”
Rosner will take on No.5 seed Karim Darwish in the second round on Monday after the Egyptian former World No.1 survived a similarly dramatic encounter against countryman Omar Mossad.
Former World No.1 Darwish was forced to dig deep and showed his championship pedigree, coming from 2-0 down to record a 3-2 victory in an 81-minute match-up.
“It was a very tough match, especially for a first round of an event,” said Darwish. “He’s is in the top ten but that is just a sign of how tough squash is right now.
“I was 2-0 down but I told myself to relax and enjoy myself. I had to change a few things in my game and my tactics and thankfully I came back strongly and won.
“This tournament is a very special event in the PSA calendar. There are thousands of people passing by every day and it’s a great feeling to play here as a player and credit goes to John Nimick who runs the tournament for making it such a great event.”
Elsewhere England’s Chris Simpson recorded his first ever victory on the glass court at Grand Central, surviving an early scare against Egyptian qualifier Ali Farag to prevail 3-1 after losing the opening game.
Farag was forced off court during the second game due to a facial injury suffered when Simpson accidentally caught him with his racquet and it proved a vital moment as the Englishman went on to win the game in emphatic fashion 11-0 before clinching the match.
“That was my first win on the glass court here which was very special for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Simpson.
“During the injury break I was telling myself to keep warm and keep focused. I felt that I had found a bit of a zone before it happened so I didn’t want momentum to shift and I managed to do come out with a good win.”
No.1 seed Gregory Gaultier and No.3 seed Mohamed Elshorbagy began their title campaigns with comfortable 3-0 victories over Tom Richards and Todd Harrity, respectively, while Tarek Momen, Daryl Selby and Alister Walker also booked their places in round two.


Click on Images for Larger View
Karim Darwish wins in 5 over Omar Mosaad

Rosner Rallies to win marathon in Manhattan

Alistair Walker through to Second Round

1st Round Top Half

English Trio Triumph on Opening Day in New York
Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Peter Barker led an English charge in the opening round of the 2014 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions which got underway in New York’s Grand Central Terminal earlier today.

World No.1 Matthew eased past fellow countryman Adrian Grant 3-0 to book his place in the second round where he will face South African Stephen Coppinger on Sunday.

Matthew recorded an 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 victory over Grant in a performance which he feels sets him up well for the rest of the tournament.

“I’ve played against Adrian for a long time now and we’re good friends,” said Matthew. “Sometimes it can be hard to go into that kind of match so I’m pleased with how I performed today and to get off in three.

“This tournament gives you a real buzz as a player. That can sometimes make you a little reckless so it was important to keep focused on the match.

“I built up some momentum before Christmas but we’ve had a few weeks off so I’m approaching this like starting all over again. I’m not thinking about the rankings or anything like that and just concentrating on playing well and hopefully I can keep improving.

“I’m playing Copps on Sunday now. He’s a hungry player and he done well here last year so I know it will be a tough game but I’m looking forward to it.”

World No.5 Willstrop came from behind to get past Swiss qualifier Nicolas Mueller, eventually prevailing 3-1 while Barker, who returned to PSA World Seires action for the first time in over two months, defeated rising Egyptian star Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2.

Barker missed the final two World Series events of 2013, the Qatar Classic and Hong Kong Open, after picking up a calf injury during the 2013 World Squash Championship in Manchester last October but he came through today’s 73-minute match with no signs of trouble.

“I’m really pleased to get through,” said Barker. “Karim is great player who’s highly ranked – he was one of the toughest first round draws – so I’m pleased to get through that.

“I don’t feel like I played great but I wasn’t expecting to be at my best.

“I haven’t played on a glass court for over two months so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I felt like I moved pretty well and there were no effects afterwards, so that’s the most important thing.

“It was tough few months for me but it’s good to be back and get through without any issues. I have a day off tomorrow now as well so hopefully I’ll improve from here.”

Elsewhere on the opening day there were wins for Dutch star Laurens Jan Anjema, France’s Mathieu Castagnet, Australian Cameron Pilley and Egyptian maestro Amr Shabana.



Click on Images for Larger View

Above Nick Mathew, below James Willstrop and Peter Barker, All three brits safely through to second round

Click on Images for Larger View


Farag Earns Tournament Of Champions Breakthrough

Unranked Ali Farag (right) became one of four Egyptians to qualify for the main draw of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after despatching Mexico's Cesar Salazar in straight games in the qualifying finals of the first PSA World Series squash event of the year at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

The 21-year-old Harvard student played focused and composed squash to defeat World No.43 Salazar 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 in 41 minutes to earn his first trip to the iconic Grand Central Terminal glass court.

"I cannot even describe this feeling," said the exhilarated Farag . "I have dreamed of playing on the ToC glass court for ages."

For Farag, the pressure of the Tournament of Champions qualifying draw is exacerbated by the fact that the Harvard University senior plays only one professional tournament during the year. "Because it is the only PSA Tour event all year that I play, I can become almost too desperate to win," he said. Indeed, in last year's ToC qualifying, Farag had more than one match ball, but couldn't convert them for the coveted trip to the glass court.

Farag's game plan was to mitigate Salazar's foot speed by holding his shots as long as possible. The first game seesawed back and forth until Farag stepped up to take command and win the game 11-9. The second game was all about the Farag attack and too many unforced errors by Salazar. Farag seemed to have the match well in hand at 10-7 in the third, but Salazar managed to tie the game at 10-all.

"I started thinking about the match balls I had last year," Farag explained. "But then I composed myself." Two points later, Farag won the game 12-10 and was on his way to a first round main draw ToC match in Grand Central terminal where he will play England's Chris Simpson, ranked 26 in the World.

All the other qualifiers had to fight lengthier battles to secure their appearances on the Grand Central glass court. Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller, the top-seeded player in the qualifying draw, needed five games and 79 minutes to defeat Leo Au of Hong Kong.

The first game was a back and forth battle as both players played solid defence and hit attacking shots when they had an opening. Au drew first blood as he eked out the 13-11 first game win. Mueller won a close second game 11-9 and completely dominated the third, winning 11-3. Au clawed his way back with effective attacking shots in the fourth. The fifth game was another seesaw until the very end when Mueller, with more life in his legs, closed out the victory 11-8. The Swiss number one meets England's 2011 ToC champion James Willstrop in his opening round in the main draw.

Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan took a quick 2/0 game lead against Alan Clyne. The Scotsman then ratcheted up his play with clean, attacking squash to win game three. At 10-9 in the fourth, Adnan hit a volley kill into the nick to earn a main draw first round match against Australian Cameron Pilley.

Local hopes were dashed when Christopher Gordon of the US was unable to overcome Egypt's Omar Abdel Meguid. Although the US champion won the first game 11-7, Meguid claimed the second and third games in tie-breaks and the fourth 11-6. The 25-year-old from Giza next plays compatriot Tarek Momen.

Omar Abdel Aziz defied the seedings when he defeated fellow Egyptian Marwan Elshorbagy in five games. Aziz's first round opponent is Egypt's two-time ToC champion Amr Shabana.

The fourth and final Egyptian into the main draw is Mohd Ali Anwar Reda who dropped the first game to Hong Kong's Max Lee but recovered quickly to win in four games. Reda will meet Laurens Jan Anjema of the Netherlands on the glass court.

Adrian Waller will play English countryman Daryl Selby in the main draw by virtue of his victory over New Zealand's Campbell Grayson, who retired in the fourth game due to injury. Frenchman Gregoire Marche, who defeated England's Charles Sharpes with a 13-11 tie-break win in the fourth and deciding game, faces compatriot Mathieu Castagnet next.


Qualifying 1st Round

Farag Flourishes In Tournament Of Champion Qualifiers

Harvard University senior Ali Farag scored the biggest upset in the first qualifying round of the 2014 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions when he defeated Australia's Ryan Cuskelly in three games at the Princeton Club in New York to secure a place in the qualifying finals of the first PSA World Series squash event of the year.

It was a tense, hard-hitting match from the very start, marked by physical play. As 26-year-old Cuskelly, the World No.33 from Australia, grew increasingly frustrated, young unranked Egyptian Farag capitalised to win 11-7, 11-7, 11-9.

Farag, a 21-year-old from Cairo, now lines up against Cesar Salazar. The Mexican's attacking game proved too much for the less experienced Princeton University senior Samuel Kang as World No.43 Salazar clinched an 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 victory over the 23-year-old from Singapore.

Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller needed just 20 minutes to overpower American Bradbury Thompson and send the 23-year-old from Philadelphia packing. Leo Au of Hong Kong, on the other hand, had his hands full with Canadian veteran Shahier Razik in a 74-minute battle that ended in Au's favour after four games.

Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan despatched his fellow countryman Muhd Asyraf Azan to set up a qualifying final match with Alan Clyne, the top-ranked Scot who eliminated Pakistan's Farhan Zaman.

US champion Christopher Gordon dominated compatriot Mike Lewis in straight games at the Harvard Club and will next play Omar Abdel Meguid of Egypt, who eliminated American Adrian Leanza.

Three other Egyptians moved into the second round at the Harvard Club: Marwan Elshorbagy, whose brother Mohamed is the tournament's No.3 seed, defeated Joe Chapman of the British Virgin Islands in three quick games - while Omar Abdel Aziz battled back from two games down to overcome England's Eddie Charlton.

Mohd Ali Anwar Reda, a former World No.23 now languishing outside the top 40, earned a confidence-boosting 11-8, 14-12, 11-3 win over rising compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar.

At the New York Athletic Club, the highest-ranking American Julian Illingworth was forced to retire due to injury after two games, leaving England's Charles Sharpes with the win and a second round match against France's Gregoire Marche.

New Zealand's Campbell Grayson and Pakistan's Yasir Ali Butt were neck and neck until midway through each of their games until the steady and resolute Grayson pulled away to record a 3/0 victory. Grayson next plays England's Adrian Waller, whose power and experience overwhelmed his younger American opponent Faraz Khan.



Ramy Set For Record-Equalling Fourth ToC Title

Egypt's Ramy Ashour, who topped the PSA World Rankings throughout 2013, is seeded to win a record-equalling fourth J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title at the first PSA World Series squash event of 2014 in New York in January.

Ashour, 26, from Cairo, became the youngest Tournament of Champions winner in 2008 at the age of 21 - and will now be bidding to emulate the four-title record held by Canada's Jonathon Power.

"The action on the glass court in Grand Central Terminal at the 2014 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will be electrifying," said John Nimick, president of Squash Engine, Inc., the tournament promoter, as he announced the draws for the world's largest spectator squash event.

"Virtually all of the world's top-ranking men and women players are entered, representing 23 nations and six continents. In the men's draw, we have five returning titleholders in the hunt for the title - all of whom have been ranked #1 in the world."

Ashour will be succeeded at the top of the world rankings in January by 2012 ToC champion Nick Matthew. The 33-year-old Englishman will go into the ToC in a rich vein of form having won the PSA World Championship for the third time in November and his first Hong Kong Open title in December.

Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the 2009 ToC champion who went toe-to-toe with Ashour in the five- game 2013 ToC final, has been ranked No.2 since June 2013 - and defeated Matthew to win the 2013 US Open title in October.

Mohamed Elshorbagy served notice in 2013 that he will be a title contender. The 22-year-old Egyptian notched victories over higher-ranked players Matthew, James Willstrop and Karim Darwish en-route to two PSA titles and his highest world ranking of 4 in December. Rounding out the top six seeds are two former World No.1 players - England's James Willstrop, the 2011 ToC champion, and Egypt's Karim Darwish, who has been a top 10 player since October 2007.

University graduate Todd Harrity, the first American in 21 years to win the US Intercollegiate Singles Championship when he took that title in 2011, will receive the tournament's wild card entry.

The 2014 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will celebrate the event's 17th staging at the iconic Grand Central Terminal in New York since 1995.





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