Shabana Celebrates Fourth World Open Title Win In Kuwait

Egypt’s Amr Shabana joined the sport’s all-time greats when he lifted the Kuwait Men’s World Open Squash title at Green Island Resort in Kuwait - becoming only the fourth player in history, after Australia’s Geoff Hunt and Pakistanis Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, to win four World Open crowns.

Both Hunt and Jahangir Khan were among the distinguished guests in the record 1,300 Green Island crowd, witnessing the final of the premier event on the PSA World Tour between world number two Shabana and the defending champion Ramy Ashour.  It was the second all-Egyptian in successive years – and one which undoubtedly attracted the standing-room-only crowd.

Third seed Ashour, the 22-year-old from Cairo whose near magical performances had entranced the Kuwait crowds all week, was unable to reproduce the magic in the long-awaited climax to the richest ever event in world squash which boastedS a $277,500 prize fund.

Controlled squash gave the first game to Shabana in just 12 minutes.  The 30-year-old, who reigned as world number one for 33 unbroken months until the end of last year, again took the second game without ever losing the lead.

There was a resigned look to Ashour throughout the third as Shabana seemed on course to maintain his ‘odd’ sequence of world successes – having won the titles previously in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

After being denied a let midway through the third game, Ashour – who was becoming increasingly frustrated by the officials’ decisions – shouted later ‘can I get a let this time?’.

‘Yes, you can get a let’ responded central referee Nasser Zahran.

Shabana reached match ball at 10-4 after wrong-footing his opponent.  But Ashour took the next point and served for the next rally.

But it lasted one single shot as left-hander Shabana pulled off his trademark return of service straight into the sidewall nick to record his historic 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 victory in 50 minutes.

“I felt nervous before the match, and I’m sure he was feeling the same,” conceded the victor – who now boasts 26 PSA World Tour titles, equalling Australian David Palmer’s haul, more than any other current player on the Tour.

“The final always feels different.  And playing such a great player like Ramy, you don’t know what to expect,” added Shabana.

“It was a very mental match – I felt I had to take it point by point.  I was really focussed.

“I think it was just my day – I’m 100% sure he’s going to get days when it’s all him!”

When asked how he felt, equalling the achievements of Hunt and the Khans, the ‘Prince of Cairo’ responded:  “It’s a dream.  You don’t think about it – you just dream about it.

“It will take a month or two for it to sink in,” concluded the new World Open champion.

Ashour was almost inconsolable after his defeat.  “I have nothing to say.  He played well – he was just more consistent than I was.”

Final:
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [3] Ramy Ashour (EGY)     11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (50m)

Semi-finals:
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [11] James Willstrop (ENG)     11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (80m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)     11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (51m)

Quarter-finals:
[11] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Thierry Lincou (FRA)     11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (49m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [9] Wael El Hindi (EGY)     11-1, 11-5, 11-9 (40m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [7] Peter Barker (ENG)     11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8 (51m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG)     8-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-6, 11-4 (82m)

3rd round:
[11] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Darwish (EGY)     11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9 (58m)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [15] Alister Walker (ENG)     11-2, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6 (53m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [22] Daryl Selby (ENG)     11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (48m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt [25] Tarek Momen (EGY)     10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (61m)
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [21] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)     11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (57m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [14] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)     11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [20] Cameron Pilley (AUS)     11-6, 11-3, 11-2 (35m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [13] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)     11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (42m)

2nd round:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [29] Saurav Ghosal (IND)     11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-1 (40m)
[11] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [28] Jonathan Kemp (ENG)     11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (33m)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [18] Stewart Boswell (AUS)     7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-1 (45m)
[15] Alister Walker (ENG) bt Renan Lavigne (FRA)     11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (69m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [24] Omar Mosaad (EGY)     11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (37m)
[22] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)     11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (135m)
[25] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] David Palmer (AUS)     14-12, 12-10, 11-7 (45m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Amr Swelim (ITA)     11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (39m)
[21] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt [10] Adrian Grant (ENG)     13-11, 12-10, 11-9 (44m)
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [19] Olli Tuominen (FIN)     11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (31m)
[14] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [17] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)     11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 (52m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)     12-10, 11-8, 11-3 (39m)
[20] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [16] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)     9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (68m)
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [27] Davide Bianchetti (ITA)     11-2, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
[13] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [31] Tom Richards (ENG)     7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (53m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [32] Julian Illingworth (USA)     11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (50m)

1st round:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Mansoor Zaman (PAK)     17-15, 11-4, 11-7 (30m)
[29] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)     0-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (56m)
[11] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Robbie Temple (ENG)     13-11, 11-7, 11-0 (35m)
[28] Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX)     11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK)     11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (32m)
[18] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [Q] Scott Arnold (AUS)     11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (39m)
[15] Alister Walker (ENG) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN)     11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (49m)
Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt [30] Shahier Razik (CAN)     11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (71m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Shaun le Roux (ENG)     11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
[24] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Abdullah Almezayen (KUW)     11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (62m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)     11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (39m)
[22] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Stephen Coppinger (RSA)     11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (38m)
[6] David Palmer (AUS) bt [Q] Julien Balbo (FRA)     11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)
[25] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Ben Ford (ENG)     11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (22m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Stephane Galifi (ITA)     9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6 (85m)
Amr Swelim (ITA) bt [26] Joey Barrington (ENG)     11-8, 12-10, 11-9 (53m)
[21] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt Chris Simpson (ENG)     6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (54m)
[10] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Chris Ryder (ENG)     11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (36m)
[19] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [Q] Martin Knight (NZL)     11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (40m)
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)     11-7, 11-2, 12-10 (37m)
[17] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Simon Rosner (GER)     11-9, 11-9, 11-5 (34m)
[14] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN)     15-13, 11-6, 11-5 (34m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt [23] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)     11-5, 11-6, 15-13 (57m)
[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX)     13-11 ret. (11m)
[20] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG)     11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (39m)
[16] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)     11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)
[27] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt [Q] Yann Perrin (FRA)     15-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-2 (85m)
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] John Rooney (IRL)     11-6 ret. (12m)
[31] Tom Richards (ENG) bt [Q] Arthur Gaskin (IRL)     11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-0 (36m)
[13] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)     14-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8 (68m)
[32] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL)     11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (46m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)     11-2, 11-5, 11-7 (27m)

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    Latest World Rankings – September 2014

    PSA
    [1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
    [2] Nick Matthew (Eng)
    [3] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy)
    [4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
    [5] Amr Shabana (Egy)
    Full PSA Rankings

    WSA
    [1] Nicol David (Mas)
    [2] Laura Massaro (Eng)
    [3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
    [4] Joelle King (Nzl)
    [5] Camille Serme (Fra)
    Full WSA Rankings

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