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Merrill Lynch Cambridge Cup 2014
04-06 March, Toronto                
Ticket Info

06-Mar, Final:
Mohamed Elshorbagy bt Amr Shabana  11/4, 11/3, 12/10

Shorbagy steams to second
Cambridge Cup title

Chris Hollow reorts

The draw complete, the fans in the building, the time that we were all waiting for was here: Finals Night! After being treated to an entertaining 7/8 match won by Peter Barker over Cam Pilley, the battle for the title of Cambridge Cup champion was set to unfold.

The usual suspects could be found in their regular seats along the glass; long-time tournament supporters Joe Mercurio, Vance Cooper and Mike Capombassis. They were here to see a rematch of last year's electric final between the old and new guards of Egyptian squash as Amr Shabana and Mohammed El Shorbagy were to battle out for the right to hoist the Cambridge Cup (again).

The match started with a bang. Shabana slotted a cross-court winner from the back left corner that never went above knee height to go up 1-0. And that would be about as good as it got for him on this evening. It was all downhill from there, as they say.

Obviously a bit beat-up from his long five-gamer against Laurens Jan Anjema, he came out a step slower than his young counterpart. He fell behind quickly to 7-2 where Shorbagy would give a sign of things to come with a beautifully constructed rally that would eventually flat-foot Shabana on the tee as the defending champion feathered in a backhand straight drop from just in front of the tee. The game would end 11-4 Shorbagy in just 8m.

Shorbagy jumped out to 3-0 in game two on an air-tight straight forehand length that Shabana couldn't claw off the glass back in the deep blue ocean that is the Cambridge Club back-right corner of the glass court. Shorbagy raced out to a 7-3 lead at which point Shabana looked skyward and mumbled "Thanks LJ", crediting yesterday's opponent for his heavy legs. Game two to Shorbagy 11-3.

Shabana would do his best to stay in the fourth. At 2-1 up, it was the first lead he'd had since 1-0 in game one. Seemingly answering the call of the Cambridge faithful urging him on, he'd keep it close all the way up.

"I'm doing my best." he replied. He earned a game ball at 10-9 but a determined Shorbagy refused to let up on the elder statesman. 10-10 went to 11-10 and, despite a valiant effort by Shabana on match ball, Mohammed El Shorbagy finished him off 12-10 to win in straight sets. In joining Ramy Ashour as the only 2x Cambridge Cup champion he would deny Shabana entry to the same club.

In closing, Shabana promised to train even harder and keep the heat on the youngster eleven years his junior.

Thanks to all our sponsors Merrill Lynch Bank of America, Cooper Mediation, Bar Mercurio, City Stone and Polar Securities for their continued support of this great event. See you in 2015!
Chris Hollow

3rd/4th: Borja Golan bt LJ Anjema 3-1

For a 3rd year in a row, the Georgetown Racquet Club, was pleased to host a match in the Cambridge Club Cup Tournament. This year it was the 3 /4 match and the competitors were Borja Golan (3rd seed and #6 in world) vs Laurens Jan Anjema (LJ) (7th seed and # six 16 in world).

LJ had a significant upset win in the first round defeating the number one seed Greg Gauthier (world #1). Borja defeated the #6 seed Simon Rosner. The players have met several times in the past with Borja securing the edge in their series. A crowd of 80 people came out to watch some stellar squash.

True to form, Borja played the match with surgical precision. With utmost patients, he executed precise drops that refused to rise more than centimeters above the floor and responded to LJ's hard-driving shots with soft hands and incredible gets. Borja has a reputation for holding both his forehand and backhand shots making him one of the most deceptive players on the tour. Even under pressure from LJ, Borja was able to execute volleys with immaculate precision keeping the pressure on LJ. Though close, Borga squeaked the first game.

LJ came out swinging in the second game. His amazing lightning quick reflexes allowed him to play with flair and bravado on most of his shots. His quick flat drive gave Borja little time to retrieve the shot. Though the game was even closer in score, Borja was able to fight back and take the second game.

Somehow LJ found new energy for the third game. He kept the error count down, used his reach to take every microsecond off Borja’s shots. His lobs were flawless keeping Borja in the backcourt and then with amazingly soft hands, found many nicks. LJ took the third game.

With renewed determination Borja was focused and dedicated his concentration to make a shots tighter, deeper and shorter. Famous for his quickness and balance, he was not only able to retrieve shots, he made them almost impossible to return. With new rhythm, holding his shots until the last moment and then snapping his returns, he forced just too many errors from LJ taking the fourth game 11-8.

These players espoused the values of true competitors, respecting each other's shot-making abilities, skills and strategies…. they did not attempt to gain points from unnecessary let calls. Each one would go out of their way to play the ball when they could have easily called for lets and, in many cases, granted a stroke. Their focus, dedication and sense of humor on the court were appreciated by the whole audience.

Though they had to get back to the wind-up dinner at the Cambridge Club, they kindly fielded many questions from the audience giving the attendees an idea how intense they train to perform at the highest levels possible.

Many thanks for to Shahier Razik for arranging the Tournament and allowing the GRC to host this 3 /4 match.

Murray Jans

Simon Rosner bt Gregory Gaultier 3-2

What a match! Gaultier coming off a Championship in the Windy City testing out Rosner's patience early, which was a test that Rosner Aced in the end. The pace was high and the gets unbelievable. Pick-ups from everywhere and Gaultier managed to orchestrate a jumping through legs shot while he was at it followed by a well warranted roar from the crowd in the first.

Rosner took the 2nd and 3rd in phenomenal fashion. Dying length with jumping nicks from the forehand and backhand thrown in for flavour.

Gaultier Battled back taking the 4th in true grinders fashion with flashes of the 7 days of pro squash setting in.

Rosner, closed it out in the 5th 12-10 with Gaultier not trying to give an inch. A roll out nick off Rosner's forehand and the match was over by the worthy German victor.

Classy match from the start with Ooo's and Aaahhh's from the crowd throughout. Amazing to watch and a great treat once again for the Cambridge Group of Clubs hosting squash royalty.

Jonathon Madruga

Ticket Info

Barrie Athletic Club:

Whoa, what a night!

The Barrie Athletic Club was proud to host the second round consolation match between Peter Barker and Gregory Gaultier, a match that they weren’t expecting at the start of the 2014 Cambridge Cup. Both players were odds on favorites to win their first round match but that’s squash and the Barrie fans were ecstatic about getting Gaultier back to Barrie where he has wowed the crowd many times before. It was Peter Barker‘s first trip to Barrie and it didn’t take him long to get the attention of the partisan crowd.

For some reason a small contingent of Collingwood players that made the trip to Barrie took Barker as their man and as the match wore on they were pushing him to keep pace with the higher ranked Gaultier.

Right from the start Barker felt the support and volley lobed his way to a 12-10 victory in the first game. Gaultier feeling that maybe this was going to be another off night came out strong in the second and although he dominated most rallies, he barely snuck through with an 11-9 victory.

Third game was more of the same with some incredible gets and unbelievable rallies, the lead changed hands 12 times. With the crowd on the edge of their seats, both players kept returning unreturnable balls, the crowd went crazy. Game to Gaultier 12-10.

It was hard to tell who was more tired, both players having gone all out in the first two games. Gaultier seemed to gain strength from the crowd as he made some of his trademark “what the heck was that shots” and got the fans on his side. He rolled to a 6-3 lead before the Collingwood contingent pushed Barker to fight back. At 10-10 one error by Barker and one backhand reverse volley drop to the nick by Gaultier and game over 11-9.

By this time both players are showing signs of fatigue, but pumped by the crowd and don’t want to lose, game on. Once again it’s a see-saw battle with both players alternating between retrieving and attacking. Gaultier seems to have found his rhythm and starts hitting consistent length mixed with brutal drops, Barker keeps coming back for more and finally forces the odd mistake by the Frenchman. At 11-10 the crowd is convinced they’re going to game five, but a tin by Barker makes it 11 all and fives swings later we have our winner Gaultier 13-11. Match to Gaultier 3-1

[ * reading the text it looks like 4-1 to us, but what the hey!!]

Many in the Barrie crowd that have been to most of the Cambridge Cup matches from years past and other world class matches held at the club ranked tonight’s match as one of if not the best they have ever seen. It was a combination of the intensity and desire to win along with the natural ability to perform and entertain that made it such a special night.

Thanks to Carter Robitaille and Jaryd Osborne, two of Canada’s top juniors for putting on a terrific opening match and getting the night off to a good start.
A Special thanks also to Krown Rust Control, the local Sponsor that made it possible for Barrie to host such an incredible match

Paul Ryan

05-Mar, Semi-Finals:

Mohamed El Shorbagy 3-1 Borja Golan
       11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9
Amr Shabana 3-2 Laurens Jan Anjema
       11-13, 11-5, 12-10, 18-20, 11-7

5-8 semis:

Simon Rosner 3-1 Cameron Pilley
       11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (44m)
Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Peter Barker
       10-12, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 13-11  *

Cambridge Club:

Shorbagy bt Borja in a tough 3-1 and Shabana bt LJ 3-2 in a thriller to set up a repeat final from the 2013 Cambridge Cup!

by Cambridge Club Squash Reporter Chris Hollow

First up on centre court was another all-lefty affair between 2010 Cambridge Cup champion Amr Shabana and giant-killer Laurens Jan Anjema, the big Dutchman having secured his spot in the semis with an upset victory over number one seed Gregory Gaultier the night before.

The first game was fairly conservative in the early going, the players opting for sensible shots and longs rallies. Shabana will be Shabana however, pulling out the full-swing complete miss fake at 8-9, freezing Anjema on the tee while he feathered in a straight-drop winner on his second swing. Shabana would go on to lose in extra points 13-11 in a long first game .

Shabana looked to be on auto-pilot in game two, running away with it 11-5 in just under 9m. Merrill Lynch Bank of America's Mike Capombassis appeared to be suggesting a game of three-way when the players returned, joining them on court. His offer was politely declined.

LJ put his incredible reflexes on display down 5-7 in game three. He'd set up shop in front of the tee-line right behind Shabana, ready to cut-off the straight drive. When it came cross court he switched up and somehow still got a racquet on it, finely slicing it just above the tin. It got an eye-brow raise from Shabana and a hearty round of applause from the crowd. "Never a doubt," he joked. They'd exchange cross-court forehand nick kills to go to 10-8 and despite pulling it back to 10-10, Anjema lost the third 12-10.

An absolute barn-burner of a fourth game had the guys clawing tooth and nail, requiring 20 points to settle it with Anjema finally coming through 20-18 to set up the fifth.

It's game fives like this where Shabana shows why he's a four-time World Champion. He turned up the heat on the Dutchman with relentless combos of length and attacks. He'd go ahead 9-6 and never look back, sealing it with a bread-and-butter backhand straight drop 11-7.

Match to Shabana 11-13, 11-5, 12-10, 18-20, 11-7 (65m)

The second match of the evening pitted defending champion Mohammed El Shorbagy against emerging star Borja Golan. They took the court at 7:33p to decide who would face Shabana in the final.

This match took a different tone than the first with the players hitting at a very fast pace right from the get-go. A huge rally at 5-2 Shorbagy ended in a let but had the Spaniard taking hard breaths as he regrouped in the service box to receive. Shorbagy unleashed one of his cross-court kill speacials to go to 7-6. Not to be outdone, the Spaniard recreated the shot on the following serve getting a good rise out of the crowd. Knotted at 7-7, it was all Shorbagy down the stretch, taking game one comfortably 11-7.

The young Egyptian opened the second by continuing where he left off in the first, racing out to 5-1 lead. The cries of encouragement came from the crowd in Golan's native tongue. "Vamos! Vamos!" rained down from the gallery as Borja gave himself a stern talking to. Despite a semi-toasted Peter Ellis ensuring the Spaniard it was "his time," Shorbagy would go another 11-7 win in game two.

Realizing that he had to do more if he was to stand a chance, Golan opened the third game playing extremely tight squash up and down the walls. He'd let an early lead slip into a tie at 4-4. "Ariba! Ariba!" he yelled, amping himself up for a stretch run. He held a narrow lead through the game but a stalwart Shorbagy would capitalize on a couple of loose errors in the business end and force extra points. Up to the challenge, Golan squeezed an error with a tight backhand drive that Shorbagy couldn't scrape off the wall. Game to Golan 12-10.

The comeback was short-lived. Shorbagy showed off the skills that have catapulted him into fourth in the world rankings. Unlike the crowd, it didn't appear as though he wanted to see a fifth game. Slotting winners from everywhere, the Egyptian was setting them up and knocking them down. He was just too strong for the Spaniard, maintaining a 3 point lead for most of the game and finishing 11-9 to set up a rematch of last year's Cambridge Cup final against Amr Shabana.

Match to El Shorbagy 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 (45m)

White Oaks:

The crowd at White Oaks was treated to a great match up of skills between Simon Rosner and Cameron Pilley, with both players exhibiting a fantastic array of shots and retrievals. A fifth game seemed imminent, but Simon closed off the recorded match in fashion


04-Mar, Round One:
Top seed tumbles in Toronto

The quarter-finals of the 2014 edition of the Cambridge Cup took place at three Toronto Clubs and produced one big upset  ...

Mayfair Parkway:
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Greg Gaultier   11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (52min)

LJ upsets top seed at the Parkway!

Gregory Gaultier, coming off a major win in Chicago, had a slow start and a pumped up LJ took full advantage of the first game and eventual match. The court coverage of both players was phenomenal.

In spite of Gaultier's superb shot making it was not going to stop a determined LJ from closing the match in four. The long week for Gaultier in Chicago looked like it may have taken a toll on his body.

Willie Hosey

Toronto Athletic Club:
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Cameron Pilley   11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 (61min)

Shorbagy edges past Pilley

The Toronto Athletic Club hosted the quarter-final match between world number 3 Mohamed Elshorbagy and world number 15 Cameron Pilley.

Cameron started the match whacking the ball to back corners and got off to a good start. By the midpoint of the game Mohamed was used to the pace, found his rhythm and started to dig into Cameron’s lead, which he eventually overtook and earned the first game.

In the second game the TAC crowd was treated to Mohamed’s full arsenal of shots (which included a few between the leg drops into the nick) as he cut, and spun the ball at will into the front corners.

Cameron put in a solid effort to weather the storm, but came up just short losing the game 12-10. The third game saw Cameron slam a few nicks of his own and unfortunately for Mohamed the magic he had in the second game wasn’t there and he lost the third 11-6.

Cameron continued with his winning form and held a 10-7 lead, but Mohamed wasn’t to be counted out. Slowly Mohamed clawed back and eventually took the 4th game and the match 3-1.

Matthew Serdiak

Cambrige Club:
Borja Golan bt Simon Rosner     11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (44min)
Amr Shabana bt Peter Barker    11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10 (46min)

Revenge for Golan, vintage Shabana

The opening match of the Cambridge Cup saw two emerging talents of the PSA Tour lock horns.

World number 11 Simon Rosner of Germany fell to Spain's Borja Golan (WR#6) in a well-contested four games.

After showing signs of life in the third game, the slimmed-down Rosner couldn't pull out the fourth getting to 10-9 match ball down.

It was a solid victory for the higher-ranked Spaniard and likely some sweet revenge after being bounced from the second round of the Windy City Open in straight sets by the German just days before.

He'll move on the semis to face a tough opponent in the young Egyptian Mohammed El Shorbagy who advanced with a 3-1 'W' over Cameron Pilley.

The Battle of the Lefties would be fought on Centre Court next with England's Peter Barker taking on 'The Maestro', past-champion Amr Shabana. Enjoying a return to form of late, the Egyptian would fire his way to a 3-1 victory over the Englishman.

Contrasting styles met head-on: Peter Barker the consummate grinder and Amr Shabana's All-World hands.

Barker, somewhat resurgent himself following recent injury woes, would do well to take the third and offer some fierce resistance down the stretch in the fourth. He'd show some good grit by fending off a couple of match balls at 8-10 but he came out on the losing side of an end-to-ender knotted at 10-10.

 With beauty hold and a flash of the racquet The Maestro punched his ticket to the semis with a backhand drop melting into the nick....vintage Shabana.

Chris Hollow

Ticket Info



As Toronto remains mired in one of the coldest winters on record, the squash fan can look forward to some red-hot action as the Fifth Annual Merrill Lynch Cambridge Cup returns to the city March 4th-6th.

Last year's tournament saw a dizzying array of squash royalty descend up on the city. With the world's number one and two players in the fray along with a cast of squash's brightest stars, it would be an up-and-coming member of the Egyptian powerhouse, 22 year-old rising star Mohammed El Shorbagy, who would raise the trophy in front of the packed Cambridge Club crowd.

As has become tradition, this year's edition of the Cambridge Cup features a star-studded line-up of PSA stars.

The number one player in the world is becoming a main-stay at the tournament with Gregory Gaultier, who is set to reclaim the number one spot in February, again confirmed to bring his electrifying brand of squash to the Cambridge Cup. Along with past champs Shorbagy and squash legend Amr Shabana, this year's tournament promises to be another cracker!

Boasting a purse of $60K in prize money, the best of the best will be here with the following players confirmed:

1. Gregory Gaultier:
        World #1, 4x World Open Finalist
2. Mohamed El Shorbagy:
        World #3, World Open Finalist 2012
3. Borja Golan:
        World #6, Windy City Open Champion
4. Peter Barker:
        World #8, English National Team.
5. Amr Shabana:
        World #9, 4x World Champion
6. Simon Rosner:
        World #11, German #1,
7. Cameron Pilley:
        World #14, World Record Holder for
         Hardest Hit Squash Ball (282 km/)
8. Laurens Jan Anjema:
        World #14, 6x Dutch National Champion

The Cambridge Club will be the main venue for the event.

Matches will be spread across 7 Ontario venues with the Cambridge Club being the main venue hosting 2 quarter finals , semi finals, and finals. Venues include, Adelaide Club, Barrie Athletic Club, Georgetown Racquet Club, Toronto Athletic Club, and White Oaks Resort & Fitness Club.

Ticket Info

Ticket Info

Draw and Schedule

2013 Event


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