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Shabana Is Comfort Inn Open Champion

Amr Shabana continued his spectacular start to 2012 when he picked up his second PSA World Tour title of the year at the Comfort Inn Open in Canada. The Egyptian maestro defeated fellow countryman Hisham Mohamed Ashour in a 50-minute final of the PSA International 50 event at the Evergreen Squash Club in Vancouver.

It was the Cairo pair’s eighth Tour meeting in exactly ten years – and not only Shabana’s eighth success but also Ashour’s second successive defeat in the Vancouver event’s final.

But Shabana’s path to victory was not easy.

In the opening game, the 32-year-old former world number one built up a 4-1 lead only to see Ashour draw even at 4-4. Shabana retook the lead but, with unforced errors from both players, it was second seed Ashour who went on to win the game.

Favourite Shabana again built a substantial lead in the second. Ashour closed the gap but Shabana maintained the lead before drawing level one-all.

After Shabana took the third relatively easily, the fourth – much against the will of the gallery, who were desperately hoping for a fifth – saw only one unforced error difference between the two Egyptians.

Shabana held his nerve and ultimately closed out the match 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 to notch up the 29th PSA Tour title of his career.

“It was a hard fought, much deserved win for Shabana,” said tournament organiser Paul Marley. “As documented earlier, he started the tournament on shaky grounds as he almost lost a first round match to the 2010 champion Martin Knight and suffered a bagel along the way.

“Maybe that provided much needed motivation, but as the tournament progressed he seemed to gain momentum and confidence in his game and emerged a winner for the second consecutive week.”

Final:
[1] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [2] Hisham Mohamed Ashour (EGY) 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (50m)

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