Shabana outs Matthew in ToC quarter-final!

Amr Shabana (le) is enjoying his 14th appearance in the ToC since making his debut in 1999, as the maestro won the title in 2006 and 2007 (pic: Steve Line).

Egypt’s 4-time World Champion Amr Shabana (le) pulled off a major upset in the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions when he beat England’s 3-time World Champion and World No1 Nick Matthew (ri) in a thrilling 5-game quarter-final in New York.

Despite victories by Matthew in each of their last four meetings, it was the 34-year-old from Cairo who showed his world class calibre this time to seal the 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 2-11, 11-9 victory. “That was probably one of the best matches that I have played in a long time. Nick is the world champion and the world No1 and he’s beaten me in the last four or five games that we played – so I had to play at my very best to beat him. I had a game plan and I stuck to it and thankfully it worked,” said Shabana, the No7 seed.

Shabana will now ace England’s James Willstrop in Thursday’s semi-finals after the 4th seed from overcame fellow countryman Peter Barker 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5. ” It’s not been my best week of squash, but I improved again a little bit today. It excites me to be in the semi and I’m going to enjoy that for 48 hours. I like playing here and I like playing Shabs so I’m looking forward to it”, said 30-year-old Willstrop after the match.

[7] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [4] James Willstrop (ENG)

[7] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 2-11, 11-9
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [6] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5
[3] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [8] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Simon Rosner (GER)