November 2011

And the winner is: James Willstrop!

Englishman James Willstrop (pic ri) claimed his 2nd consecutive World Series title as he beat Egyptian Karim Darwish (pic le) 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2 in the final of the Kuwait Cup, his 5th World Series crown overall.

After last week’s Hong Kong victory Willstrop was able to win a World Series tournament back to back for the 1st time in his career. During the last 15 years, only Nick Matthew, Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana have been able to win World Series titles back to back.

It’s Willstrop and Darwish again!

The two Hong Kong Open finalists, Englishman James Willstrop (pic front) and Egyptian Karim Darwish have been able to set up the same situation in the Kuwait Cup final, as Willstrop beat Frenchman Greg Gaultier (pic back) in straight games 11-9, 11-6, 11-3. As the English World No3 played one of his best matches ever, Gaultier never did much wrong in this semi-final.

Willstrop’s final opponent has been selected in the all-Egyptian encounter between World No6 Karim Darwish and two times Junior World Champion and World No8 Mohamed El Shorbagy. While Darwish managed to play the big points more successful, he overcame his younger compatriot in 4 games (11-4, 11-9, 5-11, 15-13) to set up his chance of a revenge of the Hong Kong defeat.

Matthew injured, Gaultier and Willstrop won!

World No1 Nick Matthew conceded his quarter-final match against Egyptian Karim Darwish as a consequence of an adductor injury that he has got since the World Open. Darwish now meets his compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy in the semis, who beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7.

The 2nd semi-final will see the Hongkong finalists James Willstrop and Greg Gaultier (pic ri), as the Englishman beat his compatriot Peter Barker 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 and Gaultier came back from 1 game down to beat Australian Stewart Boswell (pic le) 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5.

Top two seeds meet in Kuwait quarters!

The random draw method for the quarter-finals of the Kuwait PSA Cup has been made the 1st time in professional squash and it saw the top 2 seeds Nick Matthew (pic le) and Karim Darwish (pic ri) drawn to play each. The draw took place during the gala dinner held at Kuwait Towers, with Sheikha Fadya Al Sabah pulling the 1st numbered ball out of the bowl.

It was Stewart Boswell, and the Aussie drew his own opponent, Gregory Gaultier. Next out was an all-English match between Peter Barker and James Willstrop, and when Darwish was next out of the hat there was a one-in-3 chance that the top 2 seeds playing each other. Darwish duly pulled out ball No1, and the ‘dream quarter-final’ was set. That left Mohamed El Shorbagy and Laurens Jan Anjema.

Anjema beat Lincou to make Kuwait quarters!

It was Laurens Jan Anjema (pic ri) who produced the only upset in the 3rd round of the Kuwait Cup. The 10th seed Dutchman won in 5 tough games (11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9) against 8th seed Frenchman Thierry Lincou (pic le) to reach the quarters.

Further 3rd round results: [1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [13] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (52m); [7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [9] Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 (50m); [3] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [16] Alister Walker (BOT) 11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (34m); [15] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 12-10 (67m); [5] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (50m); [6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [14] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-1 (55m); [2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [11] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (34m).

Rosner downs Shabana in Kuwait!

It was Germany’s Simon Rosner (pic ri) who earned the biggest scalp in the 2nd round of the Kuwait Cup. The World No24 beat the 4-time World Champion Amr Shabana (pic le) in straight games 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 to claim a place in the last 16 of a World Series event for the 1st time in his career.

Except this major upset all seeded players have gone through with more or less problems. Daryl Selby (ENG), Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY), Alister Walker (BOT) and Adrian Grant (ENG) had to go for the full distance to overcome their opponents Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW), Borja Golan (ESP), Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) and Ryan Cuskelly (AUS).

2nd round results:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-6, 11-3, 11-1 (29m)
[13] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (58m)
[9] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (66m)
[7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 2-11, 12-10 (85m)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-6, 13-11, 11-6 (47m)
[10] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-2 (70m)
[16] Alister Walker (BOT) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 (85m)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-0, 11-8, 11-9 (27m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [4] Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (22m)
[15] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (40m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (18m)
[5] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (34m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (42m)
[14] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-6, 11-13, 5-11, 11-4, 11-3 (76m)
[11] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5 (67m)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Mohammed Abbas (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (28m)

3rd round line-up:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [13] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[9] Daryl Selby (ENG) v [7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v [10] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) v [16] Alister Walker (BOT)
[15] Stewart Boswell (AUS) v Simon Rosner (GER)
[5] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v [14] Adrian Grant (ENG)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [11] Omar Mosaad (EGY)

2012 ATCO World Series Finals returns to Queen’s!

The ATCO World Series Finals will return to The Queen’s Club in London (4-8 January 2012). The flagship PSA event, which celebrates its 18th staging since 1993, will feature the top 8 players from the 2011 World Series standings in this year’s 9 PSA World Series events (2 of which have yet to be completed).

But new for 2012 will be the simultaneous staging of the WISPA World Series Finals – featuring the top 8 women in the now-completed 2011 WISPA World Series, led by Malaysia’s record 6-time world champion Nicol David. The women’s event, launched in 1998, has not been staged since 2004. It will be run alongside the men’s championship for the 1st time.

Here come the girls!

Check out the December issue of InternationalSquashMagazine – favourite story: Here come the girls, including world most famous female squash player’s pics of Vicky Botwright. “Nothing has come close to the ‘Thong’ photographs taken of former England International …”

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