Ashour overcomes Willstrop in thriller!

"Playing James is never easy," said Ramy Ashour. "When you play such an accurate player you have to be 100 per cent. Today James was playing some immaculate squash (pic: Marian Kraus).""Playing James is never easy," said Ramy Ashour. "When you play such an accurate player you have to be 100 per cent. Today James was playing some immaculate squash (pic: Marian Kraus)."

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)