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Shabana secures TOC semi-final spot!

Defending champion Amr Shabana (ri) kept alive his hopes of repeating his last year’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title, as he beat compatriot Tarek Momen (le), the World No.7, in an 85 minutes in 4 games 11-6, 17-19, 11-8, 11-9 in New Yorks’s Grand Central Terminal.

The 35-year-old 4-time World Champion, who became the oldest ever PSA World Series winner with his 2014 triumph, withstood a ferocious challenge from 8-year-younger Momen, to secure his semi-final spot after a nail-biting encounter.

Shabana will now take on another Egyptian, current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, in the semi-finals. Elshorbagy booked his place in the last 4 with a dominant 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 victory over World No.12 Borja Golan.

Semi-finals:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [4] Amr Shabana (EGY)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-6, 17-19, 11-8, 11-9 (85m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

2nd round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-3, 5-11, 15-13, 11-6 (62m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) w/o
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 (55m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (60m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 13-11 (94m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (75m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 (120m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (43m)

1st round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (59m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6 (99m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (76m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 (42m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 (49m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10 (79m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 (70m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4 (66m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER) 11-3, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5 (68m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (87m)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (47m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-1, 11-7, 11-2 (44m)


Diving King Rodriguez downs Barker in New York!

29-year-old Colombian World No.8 Miguel Angel Rodriguez became the 1st ever South American player to reach the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event after wearing down England’s Peter Barker in a 120-minute titanic battle at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions.

Two of the fittest and most fluid movers on tour, the duo served up a titanic battle of attrition that was packed with lung-bursting rallies as they tried to break each other down but it was Rodriguez, the highest ranked South American player of all time, who managed to edge it, taking the match 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 and record his first ever win over the World No.6.

“This is one of the best wins of my career so far because it is the 1st time I have beaten him on the PSA Tour and also the 1st time I’ve made it to the quarter-finals at one of the major events,” said Rodriguez.

In the other action, only French World No.2 Greg Gaultier came up with a straight games win in round 2, while all other seeds needed 4 games in between 55 and 94 minutes.

Quarter-finals:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [6] Borja Golan (ESP)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [7] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

2nd round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-3, 5-11, 15-13, 11-6 (62m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) w/o (injury)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 (55m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (60m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 13-11 (94m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (75m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 (120m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (43m)


Top seeds into 2nd round in New York!

All top 8 seeds have moved passed their opponents in the 1st round of the Tournament of Champions at New York’s Grand Central Station. German No.8 seed Simon Rösner (ri) faced the biggest problems as he needed 4 very intense games to shake of South African fellow Stephen Coppinger (le). Two of the most physically imposing players on the PSA World Tour, the duo tested each other to the brink in an mammoth 87-minute battle that saw them trading points in a continuous series of brutal, energy-sapping rallies.

There were also victories for Omar Mosaad, Mathieu Castagnet, Peter Barker and Miguel Angel Rodriguez while English qualifier Tom Richards pulled off the biggest upset of the day to knock out Alister Walker, the former world No.12 from Botswana, in straight games.

2nd round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Tom Richards (ENG)

1st round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (59m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6 (99m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (76m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 (42m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 (49m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10 (79m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 (70m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4 (66m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER) 11-3, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5 (68m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (87m)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (47m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-1, 11-7, 11-2 (44m)


Shabana to defend Tournament of Champions title!

Four-time World Champion Amr Shabana (ri) says he is relishing the prospect of returning to New York for the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to defend his last year’s title at Grand Central Terminal.

The 35-year-old Egyptian, dubbed the ‘Maestro’ by his peers, got past current World No.4 Nick Matthew and World No.2 Gregory Gaultier en-route to the 2014 title and he’s hoping to find his rhythm again in 2015. “Starting the new year at the TOC is very exciting especially because it is the first major of the year and I have had some good memories there over the years there,” said Shabana.

“Winning the TOC title in 2014 was very important for me. I had been putting in a lot of time training leading up to that point, with no real success, and that win was a reminder for me that hard work does pay off,” the Champion added.

Shabana goes into the 2015 edition ranked World No.3 and is scheduled to meet World No1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (le) in the semi-finals.

1st round draw:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Qualifier]
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [6] Borja Golan (ESP)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [4] Amr Shabana (EGY)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Qualifier]
Alister Walker (BOT) v [Qualifier]
Max Lee (HKG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)


England reclaims Women’s World Team Championship title!

In a dramatic climax to the 2014 SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Championship in Canada, 2nd seeds England defeated 1st-time finalists Malaysia 2/1 to win the championship for the 7th time.

England began their latest campaign in convincing style when squad number 3 Sarah-Jane Perry beat Malaysian Delia Arnold 11-8, 11-9, 11-7. Next on the ASB all-glass showcourt were the two teams’ top-strings – World No1 Nicol David facing England’s World No1 Laura Massaro for the 30th time since 2005. The Malaysian was in dominant form – extending her ten-year unbeaten record in the event to beat Massaro 11-8, 11-9 11-3 and force a decider. “I’m so pleased with my performance today,” David said later.

England looked set to claim the title in straightforward style when Londoner Alison Waters took the first 2 games and led 8-6 in the 3rd. But plucky Low Wee Wern – the world No.7 from Penang who had clinched Malaysia’s historic place in the final the day before by winning the decider – reeled off 5 points in a row to reduce world No.5 Waters’ lead. But, from 2-3 down, the England No2 picked up 7 successive points before Wee Wern again took serve – then grabbed the next two points to close out the match 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 after 69 minutes and give the title to England.

England team coach David Campion said: “It’s been a great week for us, despite the ups and downs, and our success is down to the professionalism of the players and the spirit in the camp. It was a superb final.

The triumph marks England’s seventh title since 1985 – but the first since winning it in Edmonton, Canada, in 2006.

Final: (all ties played in team order 3, 1, 2)
[2] ENGLAND bt [3] MALAYSIA 2/1
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Delia Arnold 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)
Laura Massaro lost to Nicol David 8-11, 9-11, 3-11 (44m)
Alison Waters bt Low Wee Wern 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 (69m)

3rd place play-off:
[1] EGYPT bt [4] HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (23m)
Raneem El Welily bt Annie Au 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)

5th place play-off:
[6] USA bt [5] FRANCE 2/0
Natalie Grainger bt Laura Pomportes 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (25m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Camille Serme 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)

7th place play-off:
[7] AUSTRALIA bt [8] IRELAND 2/0
Sarah Cardwell bt Breanne Flynn 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (21m)
Rachael Grinham bt Aisling Blake 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-8 (49m)

9th place play-off:
[10] WALES bt [9] NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Jennifer Haley lost to Kylie Lindsay 12-14, 11-6, 4-11, 7-11 (33m)
Tesni Evans bt Amanda Landers-Murphy 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (25m)
Deon Saffery bt Megan Craig 11-3, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8 (33m)

11th place play-off:
[11] CANADA bt [12] SOUTH AFRICA 2/0
Nikki Todd bt Alexandra Fuller 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 (40m)
Samantha Cornett bt Siyoli Waters 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)

13th place play-off:
[13/16] MEXICO bt [13/16] INDIA 2/0
Karla Urrutia bt Sachika Ingale 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7 (27m)
Samantha Teran bt Joshana Chinappa 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9 (48m)

15th place play-off:
[13/16] GERMANY bt [13/16] COLOMBIA 2/0
Nicole Fries bt Karol Gonzalez 12-10, 12-10, 11-4 (27m)
Franziska Hennes bt Catalina Pelaez 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 13-11 (52m)

17th – 20th place play-offs:
[17/20] CHINA bt [17/20] AUSTRIA 2/1
Duan Siyu lost to Lisa Kaserer 8-11, 6-11, 11-13 (23m)
Li Dongjin bt Birgit Coufal 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 2-11, 11-8 (38m)
Gu Jinyue bt Jacqueline Peychar 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (35m)

[17/20] SPAIN bt [17/20] GUATEMALA 3/0
Margaux Pitarch Moros bt Nicole Anckermann 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 (17m)
Xisela Aranda Nunez bt Winifer Bonilla 11-1, 11-5, 11-1 (18m)
Marina de Juan Gallach bt Pamela Anckermann 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (20m)

Final positions: 17 Spain, 18 China, 19 Austria, 20 Guatemala


Malaysia dethrones Egypt to set up World Championship final with England!

After two dramatic semi-finals in the Women’s World Team Championship in Canada, 2nd seeds England will face 3rd seeds Malaysia in Saturday’s final in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

In the biggest upset of the championship, Malaysia – bronze medallists in the past four events – reached the final for the 1st time after a sensational 2/0 upset over defending champions Egypt, the favourites who boasted a squad of four players in the world’s top ten.

Former champions England claimed a new record 11th successive appearance in the final after surviving 2/1 against Hong Kong China – semi-finalists for the first time ever.

In a battle on the stunning ASB all-glass showcourt described by event MC Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion, as “the match of the tournament”, underdogs Malaysia took the lead when world number one Nicol David beat Egypt’s world No.3 Raneem El Welily 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 54 minutes.

“She’s so on the ball – I had to work really hard,” said the jubilant David who extended her unbeaten record in the event since 2004 to 32 matches. “I’m just so pleased to get a point for Malaysia.

David then sat back as team-mate Low Wee Wern, a fellow Penangite who is ranked seven in the world, took on Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini, the world No.4 from Alexandria who boasted a 2-1 head-to-head record over the Malaysian.

After the first two games were shared, Wee Wern came out fighting in the third to reclaim the lead after dropping just two points. But former world junior champion El Sherbini refused to buckle and took the fourth, and led 3-0, 5-3 and 7-6 in the decider. Wee Wern pulled back three points for 9-7 to lead for only the second time in the match – but El Sherbini rallied to bring the score to nine-all. At the first match-ball for Wern, it was a stroke which finally signalled the historic win for Malaysia as Wern raised her arms in victory and quickly became engulfed by her ecstatic team-mates.

“It’s amazing to be in the final for the first time,” said an overwhelmed Wee Wern after her 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9 triumph in 86 minutes. “The Egyptian girls really gave it their all.

Egyptian team coach Omar Elborolossy was not too despondent: “I’m so proud of my girls – they gave their best efforts. Nicol played one of the best matches I have ever seen and Wee Wern definitely played her best match ever.

Semi-finals: (all ties played in team order 1, 2, 3)
[3] MALAYSIA bt [1] EGYPT 2/0
Nicol David bt Raneem El Welily 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (54m)
Low Wee Wern bt Nour El Sherbini 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9 (86m)

[2] ENGLAND bt [4] HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Laura Massaro bt Annie Au 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (35m)
Alison Waters lost to Joey Chan 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 3-11 (43m)
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Tong Tsz-Wing 10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (40m)


Women’s World Team Championship!

Egypt are seeded to retain their title in tomorrow’s SHOP.CA WSF Women’s World Team Championship in Canada. The defending champions will be one of 20 nations represented – with all the world’s top ten players in action – in the 19th staging of the biennial World Squash Federation championship at White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, from 1-6 December.

The Egyptian squad is led by world No3 Raneem El Welily and includes three further players from within the world top 11 – including Nour El Sherbini (world No4), Nour El Tayeb (8) and experienced campaigner Omneya Abdel Kawy (11).

The full Pool line-ups (with seeding in brackets) are as follows:
Pool A: [1] EGYPT, [8] IRELAND, [9] NEW ZEALAND, [13/16] COLOMBIA, [17/20] CHINA
Pool B: [2] ENGLAND, [7] AUSTRALIA, [10] WALES, [13/16] GERMANY, [17/20] SPAIN
Pool C: [3] MALAYSIA, [6] USA, [11] CANADA, [13/16] MEXICO, [17/20] GUATEMALA
Pool D: [4] HONG KONG CHINA, [5] FRANCE, [12] SOUTH AFRICA, [13/16] INDIA, [17/20] AUSTRIA


AJ Bell British Grand Prix live on BT Sport!

Mohamed Elshorbagy, Gregory Gaultier and England’s Nick Matthew, the world’s three highest ranked players, will be playing to a brand new audience at the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after it has been confirmed today that it will be broadcasted live in the UK by BT Sport.

The pioneering agreement will deliver a comprehensive live and highlights package from the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, and is a further endorsement of the sport’s growing appeal following the unprecedented success of the AJ Bell World Squash Championship staged in Manchester last year.

“Having BT Sport on board is a major boost for the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix and the sport in general,” said Paul Walters of event promoters internationalSPORTgroup. “Alongside title sponsor AJ Bell and Manchester City Council we have invested considerable resource and time over the past year in pulling together the right package of domestic TV which will help enhance the status of the event. We are grateful for the help and support of recently formed FozMuz agency for their considerable help in finalising this agreement.

Billy Mackay, Marketing Director for investment platform provider AJ Bell, added: “Squash continues to grow in popularity on the back of a successful 2013 World Championship and the recent Commonwealth Games.”

Tickets can now be booked online at www.isportstore.com or by telephone on 0844 8797 949.

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