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Cambridge Cup 2012
28 Feb - 01 Mar, Toronto, Canada

01-Mar, Final:

Ramy Ashour bt Gregory Gaultier                   9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 61min

3rd/4th:  Karim Darwish bt Amr Shabana       11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 40min
5th/6th:  Hisham Ashour bt Thierry Lincou                8-11, 7-11, 11-9 37min
7th/8th:  Shahier Razik bt LJ Anjema                       9-11, 11-8, 11-8 47mi

Electric Ashour takes Cambridge Cup title
Chris Hollow reports

The main event brought together two of the most electrifying players in the game today. The Final of the 2012 Cambridge Cup saw World Number two Gregory Gaultier take on a resurgent World Number 5 in Ramy Ashour.

Both former World Number One, the match promised to be an epic clash of two of squash's titans. After a huge first rally that toured both players around the court multiple times, the players looked at each from their respective service boxes.

Both smiled, gave a shake of the head or raise of the brow meant to say "So it's going to be like that, huh?" The crowd heartily booed a 'not up' call prompting Wayne Smith to joke "I guess they're watching. Play let." The rally at 2-1 ended with one of the more exciting shots in squash, the poach. After dragging Gaultier hard into the front-left corner, Ramy read that his only option was the cross-court. Racquet prepared on the forehand, he rapid-fire volleyed the shot from four feet in front of the tee line, burying it in the back. After a bad error in which he poked his forehand service return into the wooden floorboards at 6-5, Ashour would mockingly clap his mistake from the service box.

The crowd all secretly felt moderately better about their squash game for a moment. Ramy won a big rally to move to 9-8 and looked poised to run away with the game. But the uber-persistent Frenchmen would buckle down and win the next point with inch-perfect dying length down the forehand side. A headfake straight-drive to the same corner would freeze Ramy long enough that he couldn't catch up to it to put Gaultier to 10-9. Gaultier finished the game with two nicks in succession in a classic short-deep pattern. Game to Gaultier 11-9.

Ramy started the second with an air-tight straight-drop winner on the backhand. Gaultier back-wall boasted high out-of-court on front-wall red line to put Ramy ahead 3-1. "Squash is looking easy for him," said Gaultier to the crowd. Attacking end-to-end squash at it's finest, the crowd was wow'ed by the range of these players, both tracking down impossible shots and making unbelievable get after unbelievable get.

Hitting winners off of winners, Gaultier pulled back from two points down to level the game at 7-7. A cross-court kill would put Ramy ahead 8-7. Ashour would read the head-fake by Gaultier at 9-7 and crush a winning volley down the line to earn a game ball. He only needed on shot at it. Game to Ashour 11-7.

A highly-entertaining exhibition-esque rally greeted the fans back in game three. The 2-1 rally saw every trick in the book including every type of fake one could imagine. At 4-4, what began to look like a straight-drop drill in the front left corner when Gaultier finally left one loose enough for Ramy to come through and wrist one for a cross-court winner. Gaultier showcased his astounding strength in an amazing display of retrieval to win a point at 5-5.

After levelling at 6-6, Ramy pulled away on a three point run. After clawing a couple back, Gaultier got a 'no let' on the serve reception when the referee interpreted his swing as an attempt to return the ball. The next two rallies would end in a stroke to Ashour, pushing him ahead in the match 2-1. Game to Ashour 11-9.

Game four started with another coast-to-coaster, both players doing court-sprints front to back. Ramy hit what he thought was a cross-court kill winner but lost the point when Gaultier made a phenomenal pick-up and re-drop to get on the board at 1-2. At 3-5 Gaultier executed the exciting but extremely difficult volley on a back-wall boast from Ashour, smashing an awesome cross-court winner second-bouncing into the nick in front of the tee line.

Ramy pulled ahead to 6-4 on a head-fake that sent the Frenchman the opposite way of his forehand drive. Ramy missed on a racquet-fake at 8-7 but and lost the next one after getting the bum-end of the deal on a controversial 'no let' decision. A Gaultier tin would level it at 9-9. Great players finish games and Ramy is a great player. He seemed to find a new gear at this point and kept Gaultier off balance for the next two points with the Egyptian-brand of attacking squash. Ashour pushed Gaultier around the court corner to corner, the Frenchman desperately retrieving the relentless attacks, caught on the wrong side of this rally.

Setting up a Championship point, Ramy would finish it in spectacular fashion, smashing a loose cross-court with a volley from high on backhand side, the ball rolling out of the front right corner. Ramy Ashour raised his arms over his head in victory, the Cambridge Cup Champion.

In securing the title for another year, Ramy Ashour takes home the lion's share of the $60K prize pool and a lifetime membership to the Cambridge Club. Game to Ashour 11-9.

Razik takes seventh

The 7/8 playoff featured hometown favorite Shahier Razik squaring off against one of the fittest guys on the tour, World Number 9 Laurens Jan Anjema. LJ jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in game one but Razik battled back to 5-8 with some excellent straight length. The players brought a somewhat contrasting style of game to what the club has seen over the last few days and what would be seen later. Long rallies and tight working shots were the staple of this game. Anjema chipped up to 10-5 on the strength of his grinder-style game. Razik made a contest of it, racking up a couple of quick ones to pull to with one at 9-10, LJ intervened with a stun cross-court kill dying into the short nick. Game to Anjema 11-9

More of the same in the opening of game two with the game surpassing the 6m mark still tied at 2-2. Long, attritional rallies had the crowd marveling at the shots they can get to and just how small they make the court. Razik had LJ on his heels as he put away a cross-court kill to go out in front 5-3. Anjema seemed to think that one of his balls was 'not up' in the next rally, questioning Tournament Referee Wayne Smith about his own get. "My ball was good?" he said shrugging his shoulders and shooting a Razik a smile. A light-bulb went off over Shahier's head at 6-6, poised to server from the right box onto left-handed Dutchman's forehand. Realizing he'd been playing to his opponent's strong suit, he tapped his temple with his index finger before he served left, pointing out his superior tactical correction after a mere half of the match was complete. Ironically, it seemed to work as Razik pulled ahead to 8-6 and 10-7 in front of the partisan home-town crowd. A sprawling Anjema would get a 'not up' call to end the second 11-9 to Razik

LJ opened the third and deciding game with some clinical squash, driving it hard, cutting it off and taking it in short. Opening up a 2-0 lead, Anjema had Shahier shaking his head as he chased down a dying straight-length into the corner only to be D.O.A. when he got there. "Just a let!!" shouted court jester Danny Francouer, getting a chuckle out of the crowd. Razik began to move the tall European around the court with more success and clawed his way to a 5-3 lead. Sensing thy were now on the home-stretch, both players up'ed the pace. Razik won a big rally at 6-4 and the momentum began to shift in his favor. Responding to a Razik boast, LJ fired a big Philly only to see it cut-off and killed deep to Razik's forehand. LJ pulled out all the stops with a well-executed racquet fake underneath the ball and then firing down the line on his second swing. But Razik was just too strong today, not biting on the fake but instead replying with a straight-kill of his own. Razik completed the win with high-up backhand cross-court kill. Game to Razik 11-7 .
All-Egyptian finale
at the Athletic Club

The Toronto Athletic Club was again filled to capacity for the playoff for 3rd and 4th of the Annual Cambridge Cup.

Two childhood friends and competitors in Karim Darwish and Amr Shabana took to the court around 5:45 pm and treated the crowd to some superb racquet skills and court savvy.

It was apparent that these squash experts had spent a lot of time together on the court as each had a genuine understanding of the others game , making it rather thrilling for the audience as the pace of the game was truly high.

After exchanging the first and second games Darwish went on to win the 3rd and 4th to capture the match.

These great ambassadors stayed courtside for about 45 more minutes answering all and any questions pose by the enthusiastic crowd. A marvelous end to the evening.

Fifth for the Frenchman

An amazing display of squash by veteran Thierry Lincou and the exciting Hisham Ashour!

It was a closely contested match but Hisham pulled away in final game to take 5th place.

Thank you to players, our members and squash fans for great evening. We look forward to the next Cambridge Cup.

Dan Sibley, Adelaide Club

29-Feb, Semi-Finals:

Greg Gaultier bt Karim Darwish         4-11, 11-9, 11-4, 7-11 11-9 (42m)              Cambridge club
Ramy Ashour bt Amr Shabana        9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 (49m)              Cambridge club

Hisham Ashour bt Shahier Razik                7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (53m)  Georgetown racquet club
Thierry Lincou bt LJ Anjema            12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-13,11-6 (72m) Cricket Club

Gaultier and Ashour
make Cambridge Cup final
Chris Hollow reports

Gregory Gaultier wins 3-2 over Karim Darwish
       (4-11, 11-9, 11-4, 7-11 11-9)

The first match of the evening at The Cambridge Cup main venue saw The Flying Frenchman, Gregory Gaultier, take on Karim Darwish of Egypt. Currently ranked 3rd and 4th respectively in the World Rankings, this match would put on display the contrasting styles of two of the best players in the world today.

Somewhat well-measured off the top, the Egyptian Prince would never really let Gaultier find his groove in the first. Combining brilliant holds with penetrating length, Darwish would push the Frenchmen to the back repeatedly. It was 7-2 before Gaultier appeared to find any sort of rhythm on the court and he game-ball down at 10-4 when Darwish would punish a missed cross-court kill by Gaultier, the ball dying perfectly into the back corner. Game to Darwish 11-4

Game two opened up in rapid-fire fashion. Darwish pounded the serve cross-court into the front right for winner for 1-0. Gaultier would finish the next rally with his patented backhand cross-court kill from the front left, the ball dying into the right nick before the service line. Darwish service return winner 2-1. Gaultier replies with his own service return winner 2-2. Gaultier fired away accurate front-court attacks up to a 6-4 lead.

A gravity-drop cross-court nick from Gaultier had Darwish lunging into the corner in futility. Darwish responded with a deadly head-fake forehand drive that would send Gaultier the wrong way, smiling as he walked to receive the next server. Kill shots a plenty took us to 9-9 but two consecutive errors by Darwish would hand the game to Gaultier 11-9

Game three was a fire-power display, each player going for spectacular kills, almost trying to one-up the other. Gaultier would fall behind 1-3 before burying consecutive dead-nick kills to pull even at 5-5. Two Darwish errors followed by two perfect cross-court drops by Gaultier would put the Gaul ahead by 8-3.

It would seem that the Frenchman could not miss a nick in this game and quickly ran the score to 10-3. Darwish would fire one last volley in the battle, hammering a dead-nick off the serve but would fall 11-4 on the next point.

Karim Darwish, under the gun at 2-1 down in games, made his stand and came out firing in game four. He'd smash a Gaultier Philadelphia serve into the cross-court right nick, sending a message to the Frenchman that he came to play. Gaultier called one of his shots 'not-up' on a double-hit off side wall. "Yes let," announced Referee Wayne Smith. "You'll give me a let on that? Ok."

Gaultier would chuckle as he passed Darwish the ball. Gaultier missed would mis-play a 'tweener' on the dead-run to allow Darwish to draw even at 5-5. Darwish would roll with a sense of urgency from this point. He'd put his best-in-the-business forehand straight-drop on display, in one rally employing the hold-drop three shots in a row. The hold so severe, the shot so accurate, Gaultier could only bend over and watch flat-footed as the third drop found the nick. Darwish would pull away here, winning an absolutely barn-burning rally at 9-5. Winner, winner, game to Darwish 11-9

Darwish fired two rolling kills to open game five up 2-0. A lethal head-fake drive would put him ahead 3-1.The Frenchman would pull back to 2-3 with a wicked hold-and-drop of his own. Stroke to Gaultier leveled the game at 4-4. Darwish would fall behind but give a fist-pump after grinding out a grueling rally to move to 6-7.

The epic rally that followed would move Darwish back into a 7-7 tie and have the Frenchmen asking the crowd if there was nurse on premises. "Yeah, his name's George!" The look on his face would betray that that was not exactly what he had in mind. Welcome to the Cambridge Club, Mr. Gaultier. Not wanting to make any mistakes at this critical juncture, Gaultier squeezed the next two points with air-tight drives clinging to the side-wall, much to the chagrin of Karim Darwish.

And how else would Gregory Gaultier finish a match but with a head-fake cross-drop that died into the front left nick. Game to Gaultier 11-9

Ramy Ashour wins 3-2 over Amr Shabana
        (9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9) 39m

The second and final match of the evening would be an all-Egyptian affair pitting young gun Ramy Ashour against one of the the elder statesmen of squash, four-time World Open winner, Amr Shabana.

Number one in the world for the bulk of 2010, a hamstring injury sidelined Ashour and he has fallen to number four in the world rankings. Looking fit and hungry, Ramy took the court against his friend and mentor, looking to punch his ticket to Thursday's Final.

The contestants would feel each other out for the first few points of game one. At 3-4, Shabana put a wall-paper drop on Ramy, so tight that even the young phenom could not scrape it off. Ramy would put his stamp on the court with his trademark crosscourt kill roll-out to even up at 5-5. Shabana would pull out to a 9-6 lead in after a rally that saw an amazing display of retrieval from the 24 year-old Ashour.

Youthful legs just weren't enough however as Shabana "The Magician" would finish the rally with beautiful finishing crosscourt kill. The game would end 11-9 Shabana on a backhand drop from Ramy that was a little too tight, clipping the top of the tin.

Ramy would open game two with a brilliant combination at 1-0. He dragged Shabana into the front-left with an attacking volley and pounced on the loose shot he forced, acing Shabana with volley Philadelphia to back right. Amazing stuff. The point played at 4-2 featured 10 consecutive cross-court drops, each player feeding the ball closer into the nick than the last. Shabana would eventually win the cat-and-mouse game with dead nick in the front left.

Gerry Dee looked bemused from behind his slice of chocolate mousse cake. Ramy would be fortunate to win an extremely tough, one-sided rally at 6-3 that had him back-wall boasting onto a waiting Shabana's racquet, only have Shabana's volley-cross clip the tape on the high side wall. Seemingly inspired, it was all Ramy from there, save the one amazing fake executed by Shabana that's worth noting.

The southpaw charged into the front-right, took a huge backhand cut at the ball, only to completely but fan on it and, in the same motion, 360 and catch the ball blindly for a trickle-boast. These guys are good. Game to Ashour 11-5

Ramy was late coming back on to court for game three and left a jetstream of A535 in his wake as he did. This game would feature huge attacks, both players relentlessly pushing the ball into the forward reaches of the court. 1-1 would quickly turn into 4-4. Another cross-drop rally would ensue, this time ending with a Ashour tin to got to 5-6. At 7-7, Shabana would fire a down-the-middle drive over his own shoulder in an attempt to hand-cuff Ramy.

There's not many players in the world that could react in time but somehow Ashour would spring out of the way and cut the ball deep, leaving a dismayed Shabana pinned to the front wall. At 8-8 Shabana entertained the crowd by executing a letter-perfect drop with his right hand and swapping back to his left to crush the defensive cross Ramy would put on his racquet. After two lets a 9-9, Shabana would scrape a 12-10 victory in the game

Ashour would come out firing in game four and quickly move out to a 7-3 lead. After winning the particularly hard rally, Ashour would look over at a hunched-over Shabana and announce "It's over!", the gamesmanship delighting the crowd. Shaba attempted to show why you let sleeping dogs lie and clawed back to striking distance at 6-9.

Shabana gave us a hearty fist-pump after drawing to 9-7 on a hard-fought and well-earned point. But Ashour wasn't done. He ran the score up to 10-7 and closed it out 11-8, in spite of an amazing Shabana service return winner in the meantime.

Game five opened up in the Arms Race fashion that everyone had come here tonight expecting to see. Ramy fired 1-2-3-4 winners on the trot to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Not to be out-done, Shabana would fire an attacking salvo back, leveling the game at 4-4. Perhaps fatigue began to set in to Shabana's 32 year-old legs as he made a couple of crucial errors while taking the ball in just a little too tight. 8-5 Ashour.

A poor error by Ramy would allow Amr back in at 7-8. Shabana guess right on the next point and poach-volleyed a crushing forehand winner down the line behind Ashour to move to 8-8. Shabana clipped the ball while 'coming around' in an attempt to show he could reach it but his play was interpreted by Referee Smith as a mis-hit. "Let Please" requested. "No Let" received. "You finally got that call right," quipped Ashour. 9-8 Ramy.

The young Egyptian kept Shabana off balance for the next three points with his deceptive attacks, finishing the highly entertaining match with an 11-9 victory in game five.

Chris Hollow

The Playoffs

The Georgetown Racquet Club (GRC) posted the first round of the consolation of the Cambridge Cup tournament on the evening of Wednesday, February 29.

Shahier Razik, Canada #1 and PSA 27, played Hisham Ashour, PSA 11 in an outstanding match.

Shahier, often early positive start winning the first game. His speed, agility and shotmaking were too much for Hisham to handle any made a few too many errors.

In the second game, Hisham founded game playing incredibly tight shots with displays of brilliance including one rally where he made a hard drive from behind his back followed immediately by a soft both - also from behind his back.

Shahier fought hard in the 3rd and 4th games making flawless volleys, drives in both but Hisham seem to elevate his game finding ways to retrieve Shahier shots but with much case and flair including famous Mizuki shot. Hisham one 3-1.

Much to the delight of the audience, the players extended the evening by answering numerous questions questions about training, playing tactics, injury treatment and nutrition.

Shahier - it was truly marvelous to have you guys ever club. As you mentioned, the energy in the audience was very evident and everyone had a wonderful time.

Many many thanks

Murray Jans

The Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club members were thoroughly entertained with a world-class demonstration of squash on Wednesday, February 29, during the 'Manulife Financial Night of Professional Squash'.

The night began with an exhibition match (best 2 of 3 games) featuring the now retired Canadian superstar and World Champion, Jonathon Power.

Following this was the Cambridge Cup match between Laurens Jan Anjema (Netherlands) and Thierry Lincou (France) who battled in front of a sold-out crowd to determine who would advance to the 5/6 playoff match the following evening.

Both players played a very physical brand of squash, repeatedly punishing each other with precisely executed shots to all four corners that provided their opponent very few loose balls with which to counter-attack.

In the end, Lincou demonstrated how he won the World Championships in 2004 and why he has remained among the top 10 ranked players in the world for the past 10 years by winning the first and third games, eventually outlasting his much younger opponent 11-6 in the deciding fifth game.

Pat Ryding

28-Feb, Quarter-Finals:

Greg Gaultier bt Laurens Jan Anjema  7-11, 15-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (81m)  Toronto Athletic Club
Karim Darwish bt Thierry Lincou   11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-2 (43m)                     Barrie Athletic Club

Amr Shabana bt Hisham Ashour   11-4, 11-7, 2-11, 11-9 (46m)                          Cambridge Club
Ramy Ashour bt Shahier Razik     11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 (52m)          Toronto Lawn & Tennis club

Shabana v Hisham

The opening match of the 2012 Cambridge Cup went off with a bang, pitting friends and countrymen Hisham Ashour against Amr Shabana in what would be a highly entertaining kick-off to the tournament.

The venerable Randy Klein cut the ribbon on the tournament with his player introductions, along with the help of local boy and fellow self-anointed Supreme Squash Council member Shahier Razik. Without furthur ado, the combatants entered the ring to square off.

Game one started off at an unexpectedly measured pace with the players feeling out both the court and their opponent. At 1-1 Shabana fooled a left-wall poach by Ashour with a clever down-the-middle drive that left Hisham standing on the left side with his racquet up, looking over his shoulder at the ball dying into the back wall. After pulling out ahead, Shabana was put through a grueling rally with Hisham's deceptions forcing him into five consecutive backwall boasts.

Hisham would finish with a spectacular cross-court forehand kill to pull back to 3-6. Not enough, it would appear, as Shabana would bank the next three points on the trot to go out in front 9-3. During this run Shabana showed glimpes of the creativity that propelled him to World Number One, at one point dragging Hisham into a weak shot from the front right only to respond with a crafty Philadelphia into the back left that seemed to hang directly over the head of the retreating Ashour the whole way back. Game to Shabana 11-4.

The second game started on more level ground, the players exchanging the first 4 points in quick succession. After a candid exchange with Referee Wayne Smith over a lob that clipped the line 1-1, Hisham responded with a backhand cross-court kill that found the nick at lightening speed. Not to be outdone, Shabana smoked the next serve he saw with a mirror-image southpaw cross-court kill into the front left nick. At 2-3, after being denied a let on the previous point, Hisham would vehemently protest a let granted to Shabana. "He asked nicely," quipped Smith in response.

Shabana was employing the forehand cross-court drop to perfection, feathering it into the nick from off of his left hip. So effective was the shot that at one point, after failing to pick one out the dead nick, Ashour shook his head and asked the crowd "See that shot??" Hisham would put his trade-mark 'Mizuki' into play a number of times in the second but Shabana would have none of it, doggedly retrieving the deceptive shots with some fleet-footed movement and a -long- lunge. Game to Shabana 11-7.

Shabana seemingly lost focus in game three. The game saw Shabana make a number of uncharacteristic mistakes and even fall prey to a rare service ace at 3-1. A Hisham headfake would send Shabana the wrong way at 5-1. Ashour displayed the finest of touch off a Shababa drive, half-volleying a cut drop into the nick to forge ahead to 7-1. Facing nine game-balls at 10-1, Shabana smash-killed a cheeky Philadelphia service offering, the ball rolling out of the front-left nick. That would be as close he got in the game however. Game to Ashour 11-2.

The fourth and final game of the match was a barn-burner all the way up. Neither player got out to more than a 1 point lead the entire game. Hisham appeared to be on the comeback trail but made a critical mistake by hitting a Mizuki into the tin at 7-7. After back-t-back Shabana lets Hisham screamed in jest "No effort!!" In good fun, Referee Smith assessed him with a conduct warning for dissent. Another boisterous protest was heard from Ashour at 8-8 when given a No Let decision on a tight forehand drop by Shabana. The words "Let....should be stroke....clear....noooo" were heard among the mostly unintelligible tirade unleashed by Hisham.

"The answer is No Let" responded a smirking Smith. Celebrating a small victory was not above Ashour, mockingly raising his arms above his head in triumph upon hearing Shabana receive the dread No Let call two points later at 9-9.

Shabana dispatched the elder Hisham brother in the next two points, 11-9.

Chris Hollow

Ramy v Razik

First round Cambridge Cup action had World #5 Ramy Ashour take on local favorite and Canadian Champion Shahier Razik at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club.

The first game saw Razik get off to his trademark slow start and Ashour took full advantage hitting some sublime winners and wasting little time with a quick 11-4 victory in under 8 minutes flat.

Razik stepped it up enormously in the second game, showing that outside of the glass courts he can complete with any of the top players in the world. Hitting some impressive winners of his own and playing at a higher pace than usual, he retrieved everything Ashour threw his way and held on to win 11-7.

The third game had the crowd cheering loudly after some stunning cross-court nick winners from Ashour and some long rallies with amazing retrieving from both players. Ashour buckled down when it mattered most, upped the pace and took the game 11-7.

The fourth was more of the same, some intensely contested rallies, Razik surprising with some unexpected attacking and Ashour hitting winners from near impossible angles. Again, when he needed to, Ashour took it up another notch, volleying everything he could to close things out with another 11-7 score-line.

An amazing match, a treat to be able to watch squash at this level in such an intimate format and the crowd made their appreciation clear with a standing ovation for their effort!

Andrew Thompson
Darwish v Lincou

The first round Cambridge Cup match in Barrie between the two former world number 1s was played in front of an enthusiastic BAC crowd. While Karim Darwish was the odds on favorite there was a feeling that Thierry Lincou would be ready to start the beginning of a strong come back year in this tournament.

Both players looked strong in the warmup and it was all business. It didn't take long for Darwish to show that he wanted no part of an opponent's comeback. His incredible retrieving throughout the first game had Lncou scratching his head on how he was going to win his points. Darwish's deft touch with his deadly boasts and soft drops began to take their toll on the slightly older Lincou. First game to Darwish 11-4.

Unfortunately for the crowd and the Frenchman the second game was a carbon copy of the first, except for a few long long rallies that got the crowd buzzing. These rallies seemed to take more of a toll on Lincou than Darwish. 11-3 Darwish.

Then something happened, as the crowd began to count out Mr. Lincou and get ready to spend a little more time in the lounge enjoying the Lifford's Wine Agencies supply of fine wines and Sleeman beers, a determined Lincou returned to the court. From the very beginning it was obvious he wasn't going down without a fight. His Aggressive style came back as he started cutting off more balls and taking the offensive more often. His strong play was enough to keep Darwish off balance and the two players exchanged shots and rallies throughout the game, until a couple errors by Darwish led to a 11-7 result. Score 2-1 Mr. Darwish.

Ultimately the comeback was on this night was not to be. Darwish came out with renewed vigor in the fourth and controlled the game all the way through, final score 11-2. All in all it was a very entertaining match enjoyed by an appreciative BAC crowd.

Paul Ryan

Gaultier v Anjema

The Toronto Athletic Club had standing room only for the first match of this year’s Cambridge Cup. This much awaited squash outing was between Greg Gaultier of France, world # 3 and Laurens Anjema from Holland world # 9.

The players seem to leave nothing to the imagination as it was by far the best match most of our members have seen in years. Gaultier winning the event 3 games to 2 ….scores are as follows

First game went to Anjema 11 - 7
Second game went to Gaultier 17 - 15
Third game went to Gaultier 11 - 9
Fourth game went to Antema 11 - 9
And the fifth game went to Gaultier 11 - 8

Dennis Goodfellow
Third time up for Cambridge Cup
TORONTO – Five of the world’s top-10 players and Canadian number-one Shahier Razik are among the entries for the $60,000 Ludwig Financial Recruitment Cambridge Cup men’s professional squash tournament set for seven venues in Toronto February 28 to March 1.

The eight players in the tournament are Gregory Gaultier of France; Ramy Ashour, Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish, all of Egypt, and ranked third through sixth in the world; Laurens Jan Anjema of the Netherlands, Thierry Lincou of France, Hisham Ashour of Egypt and Razik.

Shabana is a four-time world champion, Ashour took the world crown in 2009 and Lincou was tops in 2004.

"This is our third consecutive year, it's growing each year with more clubs looking to host matches and fans contacting us in advance for dates/tickets/etc,’’ said Razik, also the tournament director.

"The goal is to keep growing the interest and build up to a glass court event in a Toronto venue. It would be a dream to bring the Canadian Open back! We have a fantastic field this year and we think the Toronto squash fans will really enjoy the squash!"

The venues hosting the event are the main host Cambridge Group of Clubs (Toronto Athletic Club, the Adelaide Club, the Cambridge Club) as well as the Toronto Lawn and Tennis Club, the Georgetown Racquet Club, the Barrie Athletic Club, and the Cricket Club.

"The Cambridge Group of Clubs is proud to continue our tradition of supporting the game of squash. The Cambridge Cup is a prime example. Not only does it provide our members the ability to watch the finest squash in the World, but also ensures that professional squash continues to have a home in the city of Toronto," said Dean Brown Executive Vice President, Cambridge Group of Clubs.

"Once I, and some members of the Georgetown Racquet Club (GRC), saw a round in the Cambridge Cup last year, we were so impressed that we immediately agreed the we just had to get these world class players to the GRC,’’ said Murray Jans, Squash Director, GRC. "So far, there is great excitement about this event, not only from our members but from surrounding clubs and people from the town.”

In total 12 matches will be played across the host venues.

VENUES & CONTACT (for tickets contact desired venue):

Adelaide Club - Dan Sibley                      416-367-9957 Ext.128            squash@adelaideclub.com
Barrie Athletic Club - Paul Ryan               705-7224792                    pryan@barrieathleticclub.com
Cambridge Club - Jamie Bentley              416-862-1077 Ext.145    squash@thecambridgeclub.com
Cricket Club - Pat Ryding                        416-4581 Ext.2225         pryding@torontocricketclub.com
Georgetown Racquet Club - Murray Jans   905-877-7474                                       maj@cogeco.ca 
Toronto Lawn - Andrew Thompson            416-922-1105 Ext.245       athompson@torontolawn.com
Toronto Athletic Club - Dennis Goodfellow 416-865-0900 Ext.208    dennis@torontoathleticclub.com

Event Enquiries:  info@raziksquash.com 

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