Iskandar and Ashour dash US hopes in Halifax!

Hopes of the 1st all-US Bluenose Classic final in Canada were dashed when Julian Illingworth and Gilly Lane crashed out of the semi-finals of the PSA event in Nova Scotia. Lane, a qualifier from Philadelphia, made his breakthrough in the previous round when he ousted highly-rated Egyptian Mohammed Abbas, a former world No13. But the 25-year-old world No66 was unable to reproduce his giant-killing prowess against 2nd seed Azlan Iskandar (pic). It took the world No13 from Malaysia 44 minutes to beat the US number two 11-6, 11-5, 11-3. Second semi-final showed unseeded Julian Illingworth, winner of a record six US national titles, who removed top-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the previous round in his maiden win over the world No11 and his opponent Hisham Ashour. Illingworth, ranked 40 in the world, pushed world No17 Ashour to two lengthy tie-break games – but it was the 28-year-old from Cairo who ultimately emerged triumphant after 72 minutes, winning 14-12, 11-9, 14-12.