May kicked off with the simultaneous Asian and European
Team Championships. India kept up their momentum with a
first-ever title in the women's event in Kuwait, Pakistan
retained the men's title and England did another double in
Nurnberg (swiftly followed by the U17s who did the same in
it was on to the last World Series even of the season, the
back at last Allam British Open at London's O2 Arena.
It was a spectacular return as Nick Matthew beat Ramy Ashour
to claim a third title, and Nicol David continued to sweep
up the big women's trophies, and
managed to hold onto it better than Nick did ...
The last big European trophy went to Olli Tuominen who
delighted his home fans as he became European Individual
champion in Helsinki, while Camille Serme kept up the
tradition of a French winner in this event as she took the
In the Land of the Legends (well, Belgium) new boy David
Palmer took on all comers to take the Namur Legends
June was, as far as the big events were concerned, a fairly
barren month, although the WSA girls enjoyed a week in Paris
for the ever-popular Pyramides event as Alison Waters
continued her comeback, Arthur goes native as the girls take
to the Pyramids in Mexico, and it was far from barren
for the prolific Aussie Mike Corren, who won four PSA
tournaments in a row to take his tally to 41.
In other news Samantha Teran opened her new club in
Mexico, the WSF opted for a 13" tin for some doubles
matches, filming started for the Olympic bid video, Nicol
David and Mohamed El Shorbagy took squash to the masses in
The month ended with the European and Asian junior
championships, and eyes turned to a bigger prize coming up
in July ...
It was a fairly quiet
period, as Omar Mosaad won a new $25k PSA event in
Hong Kong and Nick Matthew retained his Canary Wharf
Classic title with a three-game win over James Willstrop
that took 78 minutes.
Waters marked over a year out of WSA action with a win
in Montreal’s’ Atwater Cup, but she would still be the one
no-one wanted in qualifying draws for a few more months yet.
At the end of March Mosaad captured his biggest title yet in
KL after first round and final matches that both took 112
minutes, and Nicol David fittingly retained the title
that now bears her name.
the somewhat cooler climes of Nova Scotia the ever-growing
Bluenose Classic moved onto a glass court and Thierry
Lincou proved he could still win the big titles,
reprising his 2010 win over Daryl Selby, this one lasting a
mere 92 minutes.
saw the return of the El Gouna International where Ramy
Ashour beat the world’s top two on his way to victory in
the Red Sea on a court with door in the side wall and sand
on the floor.
Other notable winners this month were Camille Serme in
Texas, Daryl Selby hopping to the top in Zurich, AW
pairing (Alison Waters and Alister Walker) in Dublin.
Olympic bid picked up pace as the WSF unveils its Back
the Bid Brochure and Sue Wright is announced as an
Ambassador, James Willtrop’s book starts its climb up the
bestsellers list, Sarah Fitz-Gerald officially becomes ads
Australian Legend, and Nick Matthew acquits himself well on
Question of Sport.
year started, as ever, with Egyptian domination at the
British Junior Open - seven out of eight titles - as
Marwan El Shorbagy and Nour El Sherbini
spearheaded what was going to be a pretty successful year
for themselves and their teammates.
The one that went missing went to Pakistan, but it was an
‘oldie’ who took some of the credit for that, Gogi Alauddin
who came up with the quote of the tournament: “that’s me on
that photo ...”
Just a couple of days later Amr Shabana finally won a
tournament in the UK a he overcame Gregory Gaultier in a
tremendous 91-minute climax to the World Series Finals,
and it was live on Sky too.
“Thank God I’m not going to be asked that question about
winning in the UK again,” said Shabana, whose desire and
shape would continue to impress throughout the year.
A certain Malaysian took the women’s title. “I’ve felt good
all week and I’m very pleased to be playing well,” said
Nicol David after beating Madeline Perry 11/9, 11/9,
11/9 in the final. “Hopefully there’s more to come.” There
top of the rankings would be hogged all year by two
Englishman who fittingly contested the first major final of
the year in New York.
Nick Matthew came from a game down to beat new world
number one James Willstrop and claim his first
Tournament of Champions title.
Raneen El Weleily started off a good year by taking
the Greenwich Open title the first biggie on the women’s
calendar saw Nicol David restore order in the Cleveland
Classic where she avenged a rare loss by beating Laura
Massaro in the final, while Greg Gaultier started February
by bouncing back from world series disappointment to claim
the title in the ever-popular Swedish Open.
The Egyptian steamroller was already well into gear and they
denied hosts India to claim the inaugural U21 World Cup
in front of a passionate Chennai crowd.
Matthew, who had now retaken the world number one spot,
continued to hold sway over James Willstrop as he again came
from a game down to claim a fourth British National
title, but Willstrop turned in a masterful performance in
the final of the North American Open to beat Ramy
Ahour, who had beaten Matthew in the semi.
Ramy was going to have to wait for the big prizes to come
his way, although winning the $60k Cambridge Cup in Toronto
to finish February wouldn’t have hurt his spirits or bank
balance even if no points were on offer.
In other news Tania Bailey called time on her playing
career, and a “very emotional” Ong Beng Hee rolled
back the years (how did he get the ‘veteran’ tag, by the
way?) by winning the Motor City Open.
U21 World Cup