Gawad downs Khan in World Open 1st round!

It was Egyptian youngster Karim Abdel Gawad (pic ri) who produced a major upset in the 1st round action of day 2 when he beat Aamir Atlas Khan (pic le, PAK) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5. Martin Knight (NZL) and Jan Koukal (CZE) played the longest match (94m) today so far (3-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).

More results: [4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Max Lee (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (33m); Shahier Razik (CAN) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6 (65m); [Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-6, 11-8 ret. (28m); [11] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-2, 13-11, 11-7 (48m); [15] Hisham Mohamed Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-6, 13-11, 11-6 (36m); [5] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (32m).

Matthew eased through his World Open starter!

The last 8 matches of today’s World Open 1st round action did not produce any notable upset. Tarek Momen (EGY) and Chris Ryder (ENG) were able to beat higher ranked players as they won against England’s Tom Richards (11-9, 8-11, 11-1, 11-5) and Finnish Olli Tuominen (8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4).

World No1 Nick Matthew (pic le) was in full control of Italian fellow Stephane Galifi (pic ri, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9), same as Peter Barker (ENG) in his 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 victory over Aaron Frankcomb.

Further results: Simon Rosner (GER) bt [Q] Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 (40m); [9] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 (36m); [16] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-2, 11-3, 11-8 (32m); Steve Coppinger (RSA) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-1, 12-10, 11-8 (46m).

Lincou and Palmer just survived!

The matches of the 2 former World Champions Thierry Lincou (FRA) and David Palmer (pic, AUS) have been the most thrilling encounters of today’s World Open 1st round action so far. Palmer needed 90 minutes to beat Scotsman Alan Clyne 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 4-11, 11-8 and Lincou had to save 2 match ball of Canadian Shawn Delierre to take the 13-11, 4-11, 11-3, 4-11, 15-13 victory after 98 minutes.

More results: Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (48m); Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (46m); [14] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Omar A Meguid (EGY) 14-12, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 (59m); Borja Golan (ESP) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 (59m); Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 6-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-1 (35m); [3] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-2 (21m).

Kandra romps into World Open main draw!

On his 21st birthday Germany’s Raphael Kandra (pic ri) produced the only upset in the 2nd part of the qualifying finals at the World Open in Rotterdam, as he beat Frenchman Julian Balbo (pic le) 6-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-4 in 75 minutes. Further results: Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2 (56m); Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (40m); Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-5 (76m); Joe Lee (ENG) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6 (62m); Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 12-14, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (63m); Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-6 (76m); Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Steven Finitsis (AUS) 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (73m).

First eight World Open qualifiers been selected!

It was Italian Stephane Galifi (pic le) who had to go for the full distance as he beat Dick Lau (pic ri) from Hong Kong 12-10, 4-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-2 in the longest match of the final day of qualification action at the World Open so far. Further results: Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (56m); Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (62m); Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (31m); Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (68m); Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2 (56m); Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (40m); Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 12-14, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (63m). 8 more matches to come.

Finitsis fells Krajcsak in World Open qualifying upset!

Australian Steven Finitsis (pic le) rounded off a packed day of qualifying action in the 2011 PSA World Open in Rotterdam when he despatched the 2nd highest-ranked player in the draw to reach the qualifying finals of Rotterdam. The Dutch-based Aussie, ranked more then 50 places lower than top-ranked Hungarian Mark Krajcsak, delighted the appreciative audience with his 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 51 minutes. Though almost all the 32 matches went according to expectations, England’s Eddie Charlton removed higher-ranked US No2 Christopher Gordon 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 in another notable upset. There was no joy for the home fans who were supporting their local players, as all went down on the 1st day of qualifying.

Qualifying finals:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) v Dick Lau (HKG)
Eric Galvez (MEX) v Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN)
Max Lee (HKG) v Joel Hinds (ENG)
Zac Alexander (AUS) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Shaun le Roux (RSA)
Jens Schoor (GER) v Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) v Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) v Shawn Delierre (CAN)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Wade Johnstone (AUS)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v Robbie Temple (ENG)
Joe Lee (ENG) v Eddie Charlton (ENG)
Yann Perrin (FRA) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Julien Balbo (FRA) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)

1st qualifying round results:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) bt Rasool Hashim Abdullah (IRQ) w/o
Dick Lau (HKG) bt Lucas Buit (NED) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (48m)
Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Gabor Marges (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-1 (23m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (39m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Tomas de Paauw (NED) 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
Joel Hinds (ENG) bt Tom Lucas (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (17m)
Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8 (55m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-4, 11-1, 11-1 (30m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Rick Penders (NED) 11-6, 13-15, 11-2, 11-5 (39m)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Marc ter Sluis (NED) w/o
Jens Schoor (GER) bt Stephen Cooke (NED) 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7 (57m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Rene Mijs (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt Kim Are Killingberg (NOR) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (23m)
Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Sander van Tour (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Michael Ernst (NED) 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (25m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (51m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 (45m)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Neeraj Aggarwal (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Andre Haschker (GER) 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (75m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Guido Ploem (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Roshan Bharos (NED) 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 (22m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (58m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Frank Hartkoren (NED) 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Sebastian Weenink (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-13, 11-4 (63m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Bart Ravelli (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)

Matthew prepared to defend World Open title in Rotterdam!

Despite crashing out of last week’s Qatar Classic in the 2nd round – ending a sensational run of 10 successive Tour finals in a row for the world No1 – England’s Nick Matthew (pic le) is confident of his form as he prepares to defend his title in tomorrow’s PSA World Open in Rotterdam.

Featuring a stunning line-up including 5 former world champions and 7 world number ones, the World Championship will be held for the 1st time in Rotterdam, from 28 October to 6 November. After qualifying (28/29 October) and early rounds at the renowned Victoria Squash club, the event will move onto an ASB all-glass court which will be erected at the New Luxor Theatre in the Dutch City of Sports.

“Losing so early in Doha obviously wasn’t part of the plan, but it could well prove to be a blessing in disguise,” said Matthew. “It has enabled me to have more time at home preparing for the worlds. You need a reality check sometimes and perhaps mine was in Qatar.”

Matthew is expected meet his greatest rival Ramy Ashour (pic ri), the world No2 from Egypt, in the Rotterdam final. Does he feel any added pressure – going into the event as favourite, defending champion and the world’s leading player.

“I don’t think that’s an issue really, particularly after Qatar,” said the Yorkshireman, who is hoping to become the first man to retain the World Open title in 15 years. “If anything, that result has probably taken a bit of pressure off me really.”

Matthew begins his title defence against a qualifier – and is expected to meet his England team-mate Peter Barker, the world No7 from London, in the quarter-finals. And Egyptian rival Karim Darwish, the No3 seed from Cairo, is his expected semi-final opponent.

The dream final between the world’s top two players would mark Matthew and Ashour’s fifth meeting in 2011 – with the Egyptian boasting a 3/1 advantage over the year, and a 9/6 career lead.

Ashour, winner of the 2008 title and already champion of three PSA World Series events in 2011, also begins his Rotterdam campaign against a qualifier. The 24-year-old from Cairo would expect to meet top-ranked Frenchman Greg Gaultier in the quarter-finals

Gaultier, the 6th seed from Aix-en-Provence, is currently riding high on the PSA Tour after emerging as the 2011 Qatar Classic champion in Doha, where he beat Willstrop in the surprise final.

Dutch interest will be led by Laurens Jan Anjema, the 6-time national champion from The Hague who is the 12th seed. Anjema, winner of the recent PSA International 35 NetSuite Open in the USA, will be making his 8th appearance in the event – and looking to reach the quarter-finals for the 1st time.

Main draw, 1st round:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Qualifier
Tom Richards (ENG) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Qualifier
[9] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[16] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Qualifier
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) v Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
[8] David Palmer (AUS) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
Joey Barrington (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Stewart Boswell (AUS) v Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
[10] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Qualifier
[14] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Qualifier
Borja Golan (ESP) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[3] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier
Shahier Razik (CAN) v Qualifier
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) v Qualifier
[11] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Qualifier
[15] Hisham Mohamed Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier
Jan Koukal (CZE) v Martin Knight (NZL)
Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[5] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Qualifier
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Dylan Bennett (NED)
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Qualifier
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Qualifier
[12] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Qualifier
[13] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Alister Walker (BOT) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier

Qualifying draw, 1st round:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) v Rasool Hashim Abdullah (IRQ)
Dick Lau (HKG) v Lucas Buit (NED)
Eric Galvez (MEX) v Gabor Marges (NED)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) v Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
Max Lee (HKG) v Tomas de Paauw (NED)
Joel Hinds (ENG) v Tom Lucas (NED)
Zac Alexander (AUS) v Piedro Schweertman (NED)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Joan Lezaud (FRA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Rick Penders (NED)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) v Marc ter Sluis (NED)
Jens Schoor (GER) v Stephen Cooke (NED)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) v Rene Mijs (NED)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) v Kim Are Killingberg (NOR)
Kashif Shuja (NZL) v Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) v Sander van Tour (NED)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Michael Ernst (NED)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Charles Sharpes (ENG)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) v Fabien Verseille (FRA)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) v Neeraj Aggarwal (AUS)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Philip Nightingale (ENG)
Robbie Temple (ENG) v Joe Chapman (IVB)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v Guido Ploem (NED)
Christopher Gordon (USA) v Eddie Charlton (ENG)
Joe Lee (ENG) v Roshan Bharos (NED)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Mazen Gamal (EGY)
Yann Perrin (FRA) v Lewis Walters (ENG)
Leo Au (HKG) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Julien Balbo (FRA) v Frank Hartkoren (NED)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) v Reiko Peter (SUI)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Sebastian Weenink (NED)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v Bart Ravelli (NED)
Mark Krajcsak (HUN) v Steven Finitsis (AUS)

World Open start 2 days ahead!

2 more days to go and the World Open starts with the men’s qualification. Following the schedule:
Fri 28th: Men’s Qual R1 (12.00-16.00 & 17.00-21.30)
Sat 29th: Men’s Qual Finals, Women’s Qual R1 (12.00-16.00 & 17.00-21.30)
Sun 30th: Men’s Round One (1), Women’s Qual R2 (12.00-16.00 & 17.00-21.30)
Mon 31st: Men’s Round One (2), Women’s Qual Finals (12.00-16.00 & 17.00-21.30)
Tue 1st: Men’s Round Two, Women’s Round One (12.00-16.00 & 17.00-21.30)
Wed 2nd: Men’s Round Three (1), Women’s Round Two (1) (13.00-17.00 & 18.30-23.30)
Luxor Theatre – Tickets still available for Thursday & Friday
Thu 3rd: Men’s Round Three (2), Women’s Round Two (2) (13.00-17.00 & 18.30-23.30)
Fri 4th: Quarter-Finals (13.00-17.00 & 18.30-23.30)
Sat 5th: Semi-Finals (16.00-18.00 & 18.30-21.00)
Sun 6th: World Open Finals (14.00-15.30 & 16.00-18.00)

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