March 2016

Frenchman Castagnet Canary Wharf Classic Champion!

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet became the first non-English winner of the iconic Canary Wharf Classic since 2006, when World Champion Thierry Lincou took the title. Castagnet came through a gruelling 83 minute battle with Egyptian Omar Mosaad to lift the Canary Wharf Classic trophy inside London’s East Wintergarden.

The World No.10 downed 4-time winner James Willstrop and World No.12 Cameron Pilley en route to the finale where he played with grit, determination and great skill to gain revenge for his quarter-final defeat to Mosaad 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 just two weeks ago in the 2016 Windy City Open and lift just the 3rd, and most prestigious, PSA World Tour title of his career.

“I can’t believe I have won this title tonight,” said Castagnet. “This is such a prestigious tournament and to put my name on the trophy with players like Thierry Lincou, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew – some of the best players in the World – is a great pleasure for me and a huge achievement.

“Omar and I had a great battle in Chicago a few weeks ago when he won 3-1 but today it was my turn. I tried to be more aggressive and play to the front of the court and force mistakes from him.

“He came back very strong in the first game and in the second he started to come back again and I was worried. But getting that point to go to 7-4 was important mentally and I am happy with how I played.

“I have to thank my family, my girlfriend, my coaches and my sponsors for helping me all the way and thanks to the crowd here as well who have been amazing all week.”

Speaking after the match World No.4 Mosaad said: “I have played three tournaments in a row and it was tough on the body, but I’m really happy with reaching the final in two out of three.

“I truly enjoyed playing in front of the Canary Wharf crowd this week and I hope I’ll be back next year.”

Elshorbagy and El Welily triumph in Chicago!

Egyptian duo Mohamed Elshorbagy, the men’s World No.1, and Women’s World No.3 Raneem El Welily triumphed in their respective title-deciders at the 2016 Windy City Open in Chicago.

El Welily overcame compatriot Nour El Sherbini (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 in 35 minutes) to win her first PSA World Tour title since September 2015. “I’m lost for words right now,” said an emotional El Welily after the match. “I’m very, very happy to have won today. It’s the first title in a long time.

Elshorbagy collected his 4th consecutive World Series crown after opponent Nick Matthew, the English World No.3, was forced to retire in the 3rd game (11-6, 11-3, 1-0 retired an minute 22) of their encounter due to injury. For Elshorbagy celebrations were muted as he collected his maiden Windy City Open crown.

“I noticed at the start of the second he was struggling to move. I live for great battles and to play against great players like Nick. It’s unfortunate what happened today as that’s not the way that I wanted to win”, said the Egyptian.

Speaking afterwards Matthew said: “I don’t mind losing – it’s just disappointing when you can’t do yourself justice and give Mohamed the fight he deserves.”