2014

Rosner replaces Darwish in World Series Finals!

German 8 times national champion Simon Rosner (front) has replaced Karim Darwish (back) in the upcoming World Series Finals after the Egyptian was forced to withdraw from the event due to an ankle injury.

Rosner will now compete in the event for the 2nd time, after making his debut last year, and he’s looking forward to testing himself against the world’s best players at the Westwood Club in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday March 15.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the World Series Finals. I played in it last year and it was an amazing experience to play against the world’s top players every day and I think the shorter match format suits my game a lot as well,” said the 26-year-old from Paderborn.

Group A:
Nick Matthew (ENG, WRL 1)
Gregory Gaultier(FRA, WRL 2)
Borja Golan (ESP, WRL 6)
Simon Rösner (GER, WRL 11)

Group B:
Ramy Ashour (EGY, WRL 3)
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY, WRL 4)
James Willstrop (ENG, WRL 5)
Tarek Momen (EGY, WRL 12)


Massaro and Gaultier taking Windy City titles!

England’s Laura Massaro and France’s Gregory Gaultier, both World No2, taking the 2014 Windy City Open titles in Chicago in contrasting styles.

While Massaro had to fight hard for 5 games to beat Raneem El Welily, the world No3 from Egypt, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, Gaultier snatched an easy win (11-7, 11-3, 11-4) over World No3 Ramy Ashour as the Egyptian was facing physical problems from the 2nd game onwards.

“It is tough to win in this way and it makes it hard to enjoy the victory in the same way,” said a subdued Gaultier after the match, which gave him 26th PSA Tour title in his career.

Massaro was able to mark her 13th WSA Tour title and she twittered her followers later. “So happy!! Thanks everyone for the support! Celebration time!!”

Final overview:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6 (59m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (25m)


Massaro meets El Welily in Windy City final!

England’s world No2 Laura Massaro (ri) survived her longest match for more than 6 years when she overcame French rival Camille Serme (le) in a dramatic 5-game Women’s semi-final at the Windy City Open in Chicago. The 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 victory in 90 minutes marks Massaro’s third longest match of all-time – but the longest since the women’s game went point-a-rally (PAR) in 2008.

The top seed will face 2nd seed Raneem El Welily after the world No3 from Egypt despatched New Zealander Joelle King in straight games. By contrast, El Welily reached the 18th Tour final of her career – and her first of the year – in just 30 minutes, defeating No4 seed King 12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (pic: Marian Kraus).

Final line-up (head-to-heads):
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) – (11:7)

Semi-finals:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 (90m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [4] Joelle King (NZL) 12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (30m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Annie Au (HKG) 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (51m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [3] Alison Waters (ENG) 11-4, 14-12, 11-6 (45m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 (74m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)

1st round:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (34m)
Annie Au (HKG) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 (57m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [6] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 (80m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)


Ashour and Gaultier to contest Chicago final!

Ramy Ashour and Greg Gaultier, the world No3 from Egypt and world No2 from France, respectively, are set to renew their long-standing rivalry in the final of the 2014 Windy City Open Chicago.

Ashour, who has recently returned to fitness following an injury-plagued four-month period, booked his place in the final following a 4-game victory over World Champion Nick Matthew in a subdued match which saw the Englishman hampered by a back injury picked up in the third game. “When your opponent is injured it is a very frustrating way to win a match,” said Ashour, who took just over an hour to win 11-9, 10-12, 11-1, 11-4.

Gaultier ensured his place in his 57th PSA World Tour final by defeating rising Egyptian star Mohamed El Shorbagy, the World No4, in an impressive display, his 9th consecutive win over the 23-year-old. “I was very happy to win the match against Mohamed as it is never easy against him,” said Gaultier after the 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 victory.

Final line-up (head-to-heads):
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) – (5:23)

Semi-finals:
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [1] Nick Matthew (ENG) 11-9, 10-12, 11-1, 11-4 (63m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (76m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-3 (44m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (76m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (52m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (75m)

2nd round:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (58m)
[8] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-3, 3-11, 11-6, 11-3 (54m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-4, 11-8, 11-1 (37m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 13-11, 11-7, 11-4 (36m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (45m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 11-7 (50m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [7] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (45m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-1, 11-6, 11-7 (39m)

1st round:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (56m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 (57m)
[8] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [LL] Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (47m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)
Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (35m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (48m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (43m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (34m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [WC] Peter Creed (WAL) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (52m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Karim Darwish (EGY) 6-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (67m)
[7] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-5, 13-11, 11-13, 11-6 (86m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (69m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 11-5, 11-5, 14-12 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 11-5, 11-1, 11-0 (27m)


Camille Crushes Waters in Chicago upset!

France’s Camille Serme (ri) claimed an unexpected place in the semis of the Women’s Windy City Open after despatching 3rd-seeded Alison Waters (le, ENG) in straight games (11-4, 14-12, 11-6) in Chicago, USA. It was the 3rd consecutive Tour victory of the World No6 over Water, the World No4.

Six-time French champion Camille Serme will meet another English opponent, top seed and World No2 Laura Massaro, who celebrated a confidence-boosting triumph after beating Annie Au 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 – thereby ending a three-match losing streak to the Hong Kong number 1.

The other semi-final will be the match predicted by the draw – between 4th seed Joelle King and 2nd seeded Egyptian Raneem El Welily. New Zealander King had to go the full distance to overcome underdog Beddoes 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2. El Welily extended her career head-to-head record over Low Wee Wern to 9-1 when she beat the 5th seed from Malaysia 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.

Semi-final line-up (head-to-heads):
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [7] Camille Serme (FRA) – (5:4)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [4] Joelle King (NZL) – (7: 0)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Annie Au (HKG) 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (51m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [3] Alison Waters (ENG) 11-4, 14-12, 11-6 (45m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 (74m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)

1st round:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (34m)
Annie Au (HKG) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 (57m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [6] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 (80m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)


Ashour overcomes Willstrop in thriller!

Egypt’s two-time World Champion Ramy Ashour (le) was back to his sublime best at the 2014 Windy City Open when he came through an enthralling 76-minute quarter-final encounter against England’s James Willstrop (ri) in 4 games (8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).

“He really came out firing and took the first game and I had to really dig in to win the match”, said the World No3 from Cairo. The 26-year-old Egyptian, who has been plagued by injury in recent months, will now face current World No1 Nick Matthew in the semis, as Matthew beat fellow countryman Peter Barker 11-2, 11-6, 11-3.

The 2nd semi-final will see World No4 Mohamed El Shorbagy take on French World No2 Greg Gaultier after they came through their respective quarter-finals against India’s Saurav Ghosal (11-6, 13-11, 11-7) and Germany’s Simon Rosner. Gaultier was given a stern test by the German, coming from 1 game down to secure his 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 victory.

Semi-final line-up (head-to-heads):
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) – (9:20)
[2] Greg Gaultier (FRA) v [4] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) – (8:0)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-3 (44m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (76m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (52m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (75m)

2nd round:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (58m)
[8] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-3, 3-11, 11-6, 11-3 (54m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-4, 11-8, 11-1 (37m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 13-11, 11-7, 11-4 (36m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (45m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 11-7 (50m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [7] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (45m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-1, 11-6, 11-7 (39m)

1st round:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (56m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 (57m)
[8] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [LL] Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (47m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)
Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (35m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (48m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (43m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (34m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [WC] Peter Creed (WAL) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (52m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Karim Darwish (EGY) 6-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (67m)
[7] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-5, 13-11, 11-13, 11-6 (86m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (69m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 11-5, 11-5, 14-12 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 11-5, 11-1, 11-0 (27m)


Squash and Olympia – a never ending Story?

World Squash Federation President N Ramachandran (ri), who attended the Sochi Winter Olympic Games as the newly-elected President of the Indian Olympic Association, is encouraged by the IOC vision to introduce new sports to the Summer Games programme “sooner rather than later”.

Vladimir Putin (le) hosted a dinner for all the Heads of the National Olympic Committees, at which IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach (mi) introduced Ramachandran to the Russian President. “Naturally, I was able to use my opportunities in Sochi to continue my quest to secure a place for squash on the Olympic Programme, and it is clear that the IOC do have a vision that enables new sports to be admitted sooner rather than later,” said Ramachandran.

However the question is if squash should continue the quest, especially when participating sports producing headlines of doping cases in every Olympic event, like a few days ago again.

What’s the opinion in the squash community, should squash continue bidding for the Olympics?


The Champions are back – KPMG GRAND SLAM CUP 2014!

Some of the best players in the world return to Frankfurt to battle for the title of KPMG Grand Slam Cup Champion for the 2nd time. On May 7th, the international squash stars will compete in this unique “One Night Only” event.

Ramy Ashour, and defending champion, Grégory Gaultier, have already signed on for the KPMG Grand Slam Cup 2014. Last year’s runner-up, Simon Rösner, as well as Nick Matthew, the current world No. 1, will also return to Frankfurt. The new player in the tournament is Amr Shabana, four-time world champion and the winner of this year’s Tournament of Champions.

More players, more thrilling matches to be played on the stunning ASB ShowCourt which will be set up at the architectural icon THE SQUAIRE, beside Terminal 1 of Frankfurts’s airport.

For further information, please visit www.grandslamsquash.com

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