Cambridge Cup 2015
17-19 Feb, Toronto
Final: Gregory Gaultier 3-0
11/7, 13/11, 11/9
3rd/4th: Miguel Rodriguez 3-1
12/14, 11/2, 11/8, 11/4
5th/6th: Peter Barker 3-1 Daryl Selby
7th/8th: LJ Anjema 3-0 Martin Knight
Gaultier Tames “The Beast”
in Cambridge Cup Final
The final at the Cambridge Cup could not have been hand
selected any better with the two best squash players on the
planet facing off, and the Frenchman was clearly keen to
de-throne the previous back to back Champion Elshorbagy.
an opening 37 shot rally both players quickly burn off their
adrenaline with Elshorbagy on the winning end of the point
followed by a “Here we go” glance at Greg and a coy grin. At
the mid-game point these two are quickly living up to their
best in the world titles, with Gaultier’s lightning fast
counter drops and Elshorbagy’s digs off the playcon, the
Cambridge Club fans are watching in awe.
Greg rallies on, showing variety with an unexpected trickle
boast, wrong footing Shorbagy. Some late focus turns to the
ref with a couple controversial out calls, which rapidly
intensifies the mood between the competitor’s, both wanting
to raise the trophy high! Gaultier is up one game after a
rare error from the world #1, 11-7 Gaultier.
Both men come out trading “showman” shots and the crowd is
immediately captivated. Mohamed continues on and sells a
lean left drive right forehand with the Frenchman watching
from mid-court. Shorbagy’s not done… next rally has the
Egyptian leaping for a full extension backhand volley that
he manages to flick down into the crosscourt nick, with Greg
applauding as a true fan of excellence in the sport.
Gaultier is seeking an answer against the world #1, but
Elshorbagy shows no signs of letting up. Continuing to
exhibit his bag of tricks he anticipates a cross drive from
Greg and quickly snaps the ball straight, leaving the
Cambridge Cup attendee’s howling. Gaultier is inspired and
has had enough. He storms back with quick put away holds and
carving nicks to pull the game to 11-11. Both players
hesitant to end the game and go for the winner, trade
errors. Elshorbagy goes for it with one of his most famous
shots, the through the legs forehand straight nick drop off
the back wall, but finds tin.
The Frenchman leads by two, 13-11.
Elshorbagy comes out in the third with a show-stopper of a
shot. His token full swinging crosscourt racquet motion that
deceptively drives the ball straight and has Gaultier
leaning and looking for the cross. These guys are in their
element, with fakes and holds everywhere trying to catch the
other off guard….Mohamed proceeds to do so with a triple
forehand fake that he crushes left when Greg inches right….
Special to watch.
class of these two is next level. Deep into a late rally
Elshorbagy hits a behind the back off Gaultier’s cross and
Greg responds with a through the legs drop nick into the
front left giving the World #1 a “There’s more where that
came from” look and friendly smirk.
With Elshorbagy trying to get on the board, Gaultier steams
ahead with crushing low drives to perfect length and
successfully becomes the 2015 Cambridge Cup Champion winning
3-0 against world #1 Elshorbagy, 11-9!
Amazing stuff… Thanks to all that came out, supported
Cambridge Cup and see you all next year!
Fantastic battle for 7/8th
place between LJ Anjema and Martin Knight!
Knight came out focused and strong and lead the whole way
towards the end of the first. However Anjema like a man
possessed mounted a great comeback and managed to force a
tie break and took a see-saw 15-13 marathon first game
The next two games were as tight as the first , with amazing
retrievals , displays of athleticism and many variations of
nicks which pleased the crowd all evening!
LJ managed to pull through towards the end of each game
taking the match in a highly competitive 3-0 victory.
Wonderful night at Valhalla!
Rodriguez’s Speed tops the
Legend of Shabana
Finals day at the Cambridge Cup and the crowd is buzzing. We
start things off with the ¾ match finding World #5 Amr
Shabana Vs #6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and it was just as
great as it looks on paper.
Believe it or not the start to this battle was slow. Flashes
of attacking and pace, but quick exchanges of errors had
both players settling into the match early and waiting for
chances. Amr finds his range with a classic, what we at the
Cambridge like to call, “carving the turkey” cut drop into
the front right and un-gettable.
Match is underway now with Rodriguez flashing around the
court picking up get after get, Shabana hits a lefty
backhand philly, Miguel retrieves, Shabana hits a forehand
philly to perfection that comes across glued to the back
wall and Rodriguez looks at Shabs with a sheepish smile. 4-3
Angel answers with some flare of his own crushing a forehand
cross nick. With a lot of front to back movement these two
exchange points to 10 all with Shabs closing a grueling
rally out, with another perfect forehand philly. He follows
it up with a pouncing hold no look backhand drop off the
Rodriguez loose ball. Shabana takes the game with a late tin
Game 2 starts off with a bang. The Colobian Cannonball hits
a jumping forehand crosscourt nick to open game two and has
a refreshed determination in his eyes to make is mark at the
Cambridge cup. He keeps the momentum going keeping Shabs a
half step behind and working in some unassuming trickle
Amr punches back with a low controlled volley touch that
finds the nick, but the Colombian was fired up in this game
salivating at the front wall waiting for a defensive off the
back wall shot from Shabs and proceeds with a forehand
volley drop that finds the nick…unbelievable. Games are tied
and crowd is alive.
Now into the meat of the match the players go back and forth
exchanging penetrating length’s and high pressure drops,
while displaying their class to the onlookers. Shabana is
going for it, nick’s Miguel’s serve, then hits a brilliantly
poised hold freezing Rod on the T and popping the ball down
the rail. The Columbian Cannonball won’t be stopped and
keeps on rolling, exhibiting a swing around the ball
forehand that pauses Shabana and continues to drive wide of
the Egyptian. Miguel continues with an effective power boast
and a late error from Shabs makes it 2-1 Colombia.
Rodriguez is determined and displaying deception not many
have witnessed by motioning to grab the ball mid-rally, but
then quickly retracting the grab and driving the ball down
the forehand side, Shabana gets it and steps up on a Angel
loose ball, hitting a backhand no look drop while walking
away, Rod scrapes it up, but just for Amr to pound the ball
into the back….stellar.
From here the Colombian pushed forward with fait on his
side, he hits a top spin cross lob off his backhand with
high-arching dead weight and the ball pops straight up on
the back wall with Shabana stuck to the glass in disbelief
and smiling through the glass at the crowd while clapping
his racquet for his competitor. Rodriguez takes the bronze
medal match 11-4 in what was a highly entertaining contest!
The Adelaide Club crowd witnessed an amazing display of
squash this evening between the two Englishmen and long
The match started with a huge 70 shot rally, both players
really pushing the pace and looking to start strong and
develop an early lead.
Pete just edged the first game playing some excellent
attacking shots and varying the pace well throughout.
Daryl started getting into the match more in the second
game, finding his trademark length and width and pushing
forward looking to take the ball early and attack more. Pete
again ended strong though and hit some outrageous forehand
drops to clinch the game and a two love lead.
The third game was nip and tuck throughout with long rallies
and both players making some incredible gets, showing the
crowd why they are considered two of the fittest players on
the pro tour. Daryl made a big push towards the end of the
game and just managed to scrape it.
Pete jumped out to an early lead in the fourth game and
never looked back, mixing powerful hitting with deft touch
in the front court. A great late game comeback from Daryl
almost saw the match go to a decider but it was the higher
ranked Barker who came through in the end in a hard fought
The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the match and showed their
appreciation to both players. A big thank you to Pete and
Daryl for putting on such a great show and taking the time
to chat with everyone afterwards. We hope to see them back
in Toronto for the Cambridge Cup next year!
3-2 Miguel Rodriguez
9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7
Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Amr Shabana
9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
ceases Rodriguez "The Columbian Cannonball" '
And we're off on day two of the 2015 Cambridge Cup in what is
sure to be a match with no shortage of intensity.
starts off in Rodriguez's favor with Elshorbagy making a few
early uncharacteristic errors making it 3-0 for the
Columbian. Short attacking balls is the early theme of the
match with quick counter drops being witnessed by the packed
Tied at 5-5 both players start to loosen up
and wait for opportunities. Miguel applies more pressure
(this man has no brakes) ripping a cross court roll out nick
followed by more Shorbagy errors, has the Colombian up 9-5.
Mohamed responds and pounces on a midcourt ball driving a
forehand boast into the front left nick. Rallies lengthen
with Shorbagy grinding back 9-10, but to no avail. The
Colombian Cannonball steams ahead to the second up 1 game.
game finds players trading points early on and still feeling
out their surroundings. Shorbagy starts to display his token
fake power backhand cross that brushes the face of the ball
driving it into the front left corner nick... outrageous.
The beast is becoming uncaged with an imagination for shots
that is endless.
Miguel, turns it into high gear and tracks
down everything, goes the wrong way and throws his body back
doing a spin-o-rama and picks up what the other #7 + players
in the world would give up on, but Elshorbagy drills a hard
deceptive cross to end the oohh'sss and aaahhh's. Mohamed is
up 9-3 and closes the next two points out quickly reading
Miguel's attack's and stepping in early. 11-4 Elshorbagy.
Game three is underway and tightly contested with neither
opponent giving an inch. Rodriguez mixes it up with a fake
drop top spin lob from the front left and Elshorbagy follows
with a dying backhand drive. 7-6 Rodriguez. There's no let
up in The Colombian Cannonball with Elshorbagy pacing around
court scrappily picking up impossible pressure shots from
Miguel, but comes up short when Rodriguez hits a finessed
slow backhand flick drop into the front left to short and
dead for the Egyptian to get under. Rodriguez stays tough
forcing a late error from Elshorbagy ending the 3rd 11-9
Mohamed feels the momentum turning Miguel's way and won't
accept it with crushing forehand low weighted drives dying
to perfection. Rodriguez cuts an attacking backhand drop to
dampen the Egyptian's force, but the game is over in 5
minutes with "The Beast" dominating game four 11-5. Games
are tied two all.
Into the business end of the match we go to determine the
finalist. Things start quiet ... the calm before the storm.
Elshorbagy quickly livens things up in the 4th point, once
again busting out the token power backhand brush cross
driving the ball into the short straight nick. The current
best squash player in the world starts to run away with it
going up 6-1. Rodriguez's helps him along with a couple
Fate begins to turn with Miguel on the
receiving end of a stroke call and errors from Mohamed. 6-10
now and into a 45 shot rally the Colombian hits a no look
backhand drop off the back wall retrieval from Elshorbagy
drawing the game closer to 7-10.
Elshorbagy roots himself,
holds position and forces the last error giving him a birth
into the Cambridge Cup Final to defend his 2014 title and
closing the semi-final out with a 3-2 score.
Redemption is sweet for Gaultier at The
second semi-final was off to a quick start with both
opponents raring to go.
Gaultier strikes first looking to be
in fine form with his familiar high leaping skip forehand
snapped short and straight into the nick. The Frenchman
follows this with another cross nick and adds some
separation at 6-4. The poised Shabana begins to lull
Gaultier into his unreadable deceptive play showing a hard
cross, waits for Greg to take the bait and then re-directs
the drive straight with humbling power.
With Shabana under
pressure he tries for a float crosscourt drop hitting the
tin and hitting his wrist in the process and looking up for
crowd/ref sympathy. With no one giving into the Maestro's
showmanship he backs up his efforts jumping on a short front
left ball from Gaultier and push floating it into the front
right nick from about 2 feet off the front wall threading
the needle. With confidence in the Egyptian corner he rips a
forehand drive and then squeezes Gaultier on the backhand to
close out game 1, 11-9 Shabs.
Gaultier opens up game 2 with a carved backhand straight
nick that manages to roll out. Shabana tries to respond by
going for some quick attacks that find the tin. Quick 3-0
Greg. Shabs, steadies himself and steps in to a short length
slicing in the forehand drop to get on the board. The
Frenchman is starting to dictate the game with patience
winning him position and Shabana chasing. Greg stays the
course and keeps his thumb on Amr forcing him to go for a
nick off the serve... he converts.
Amr follows by showing a
hard cross and dropping his shoulder for a soft forehand
drop into the front left. Not done yet, Shabana pounces into
the front right on a short ball and opts for a up the middle
drive that is bye Gaultier, but still has him sheepishly
glancing at the ref hoping for a let to be offered...no
luck. The Frenchman is happy to earn his points and ends any
chance of a comeback closing out game 2, 11-6. One all in
Best of 3 here we come... Shabana kicks things off with a
lefty forehand drive nick roller from centre court with the
Egyptian contingent in attendance chanting for Shabs and
fueling his fire. Gaultier is a bull dog and won't back
down, hitting refined shots with pin point accuracy takes
the lead at 6-4.
Shabana digs in through a grueling rally
and finishes it, waiting to the last second snapping a low
cross off his forehand wrong footing Greg. Deep in the 3rd,
the longest rally of the match ensues and 53 shots in
Gaultier goes for a half paced forehand drop roller and gets
it. 2-1 Frenchman.
The Egyptian won't roll over Vs the #2 and forces two back
to back strokes to start off the 4th. Next rally Shabana
quick steps upto a short ball fakes the forehand, steps
around and pushes the backhand into the front right with
Gaultier needing a scraper to unglue him from the front left
wall. Gaultier starts to rise to the occasion with a sense
of urgency in his step. He starts popping drives with the
most power the Cambridge crowd as seen yet.
The Frenchman is
not taking anything for granted picking up tight balls,
forcing Shabana to hit what seems to be 5 winners to get one
bye Gaultier. Amr pushes back to a 8-8 tie with an inside
out backhand drive. The more patient man prevails in this
match with Greg leaning in on a few more dying power tight
lengths to close this one out 11-8 and 3-1 in games.
Redemption is the Frenchman's tonight, beating out the
Egyptian who took him out in 2014.
#1 Mohamed Elshorbagy Vs #2 Gregory Gaultier in the heavy
hitter Cambridge Cup final tomorrow showcasing the world's
Cedar springs was the host club for the 5/8 play off between
Daryl "Bobby Dazzler" Selby and Laurens "Terminator"
Both players had a career high ranking of 9 so the match
should be a tight one on paper.
LJ as the terminator is known is coming back from an injury
break and was visibly pumped, fresh, keen and ready to get
back on court.
On the other hand Daryl is in the middle is a
heavy tournament schedule and needed the get psyched up.
The first game was tight and the ball was thrashed around by
LJ from the word go, Daryl tried hard but got out hit. 11-9
to the Dutchman.
Daryl came out in the second with good
intentions but it was a copy of the first 11-9 LJ, however,
the Terminator was suffering - just a little.
Daryl could not afford to let the big guy dominate and
slowly but surely Daryl began to find the angles and space
to twist and turn the Dutchman 11-8 to Daryl.
The fourth game saw a subtle change in momentum but it was closer than
Daryl would have liked 11-8.
Fifth game and all to play for
four all, five all, six all - deep breathing from the
Dutchman, splits and sliding from the Brit who managed to
take the fifth 11-7.
Once again It was a great night of squash and fun at
What a great match we were treated to this evening at
Whiteoaks between world #8 Peter Barker of england and our
own local star Nick 'the hammer' Sachvie.
Amazing gets, nefarious nicks and superb sportsmanship were
on display as barker took the match 3-1 and kept the crowd
on edge of their seats.
3-0 Shahier Razik
11-9, 16-14, 11-8
Miguel Rodriguez 3-2 Peter Barker
11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6
Amr Shabana 3-1 Daryl Selby
9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8
Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Laurens Jan Anjema
11-8, 11-8, 16-18, 11-7
a great night at Mayfair Parkway with Shahier Razik and
Mohamed El Shorbagy playing in front of a packed house.
Razik fought with his precise length and soft touch to the
front. After Shorbagy took the first, the crowd was hoping
Razik would take the equalizer to bring it 1-1 but after a
couple game balls from Razik and couple from Shorbagy, the
latter pulled it out in a marathon 16-14.
a hard fought third game Mohamed El Shorbagy showed why he
is number one in the world with an incredibly accurate short
game and powerful holds. Shorbagy took the match 11-9,
Shabana v Selby
"The Maestro Conducts Play Vs
Selby in Cambridge Cup Quarters"
ceremonies of the 2015 Cambridge Cup started off in the
quarters, with the 35 year old #3 in the world Egyptian
squash legend Amr Shabana facing off against England's #14
Daryl Selby. What a way to kick off the event on the home
court. Here's how it played out...
This match started off as a bit of a chess match with the
opponents trying to be patient for their openings while
finding their length on the frigid Canadian courts, although
you couldn't tell from the intense pace of play.
Shabana, dubbed "The Maestro" was quickly feeling
comfortable in the early points exhibiting his effortless
holds followed by dynamic low power dying lengths that were
catching Selby a step behind. Not to be one upped Selby
started to dig into his deep bag of tricks and hit a driving
backhand into the nick off of a high volley where there was
a 20 degree angle to work with drawing the score closer to
6-7. The englishman was not done and followed this up with
another backhand nick and then a fake backhand drive moving
Shabs a half step out of position and then a driving dead
length making it 9-7 to the Englishman. With the end in
sight Daryl keeps the deception going, motioning for a soft
drop, Shabs moves up and Selby has enough time to snap the
cross court by the Egyptian. A late error makes it 11-9
Selby, 1 game to love.
2 is underway and Shabana opens with a nick and looks at the
crowd with fire in his eyes and goes 3-0 up in 30 seconds
with quick attacking kill shots. Rallies later, Selby fights
back and hits a leaping forehand volley soft drop to
perfection clawing back to 3-5. Shabs tightens up with tight
length squeezing Selby on the side wall. Selby won't have
it, pushing the next rally and hits a forehand top spin drop
from deep to the front left after 37 shots and The Maestro
is on it with a dead counter drop into the nick...
unbelievable... 8-8. Amr is really starting to display his
variety at this point hitting a hard inside out boast from
the front centre, wrong footing the Englishman and closing
it out with a low volley straight length kill. 11-9 Shabana
and 1-1 in games.
3 saw Amr in control from the start with inspiring "play
through it" squash on display, leaving every point earned
and not relying on the ref. Selby starts to dig in, chasing
down everything and being down 4-1 hits 5 balls off the back
wall in gets of desperation while the Cambridge club patrons
were groaning louder than he was and the bearded Selby
finished off the grinder of a rally with an exceptional
inside out straight drive. The mental strength of Shabana
was evident, he stuck to the game plan and added his
calculated deception to close out the 3rd 11-7.
Into the 4th we go. Both come out guns a blazing firing
attacking Jabs at each other with a power boast from Selby
and a deft touch forehand drop from Shabana, the game is
tight through the early points. Selby, moves up quick to
what looks to be a open stance hard cross off shabs short
ball and pushes it down the line catching Shabana moving the
wrong way. Game's tied at 5's.
is a dog fight, no one giving an inch and everything being
picked up. At 8-8 Shabana takes 3 tennis style backward
steps to volley Selby's lob and smashes a left handed
overhead into the nick with federer-esque style. Advantage
Shabana. Daryl tries to get the momentum back, but to no
avail and Amr closes out the match with an unreadable
11- 8 and match finishes 3-1 Shabana with a well warranted
roar from the Cambridge crowd!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's Semi- final action, live from the
Gaultier v Anjema
The Toronto Lawn Tennis Club was treated to an exciting
evening of squash by Gregory Gaultier (WR 2) and Laurens Jan
Anjema (WR 29).
Anjema has recently returned to competitive play after
recovering from an injury, having previously reached a
career high ranking of 9.
However Gaultier, who has held the world number 1 spot
numerous times over the last 5 years, proved too strong for
the Dutchman in this first round match of the Cambridge Cup.
Gaultier won the first two games 11-8, 11-8 with a tempo too
high for Anjema. The third was hard fought by Anjema, who
managed to sneak the game 18-16, with several incredible
rallies and many crowd-pleasing shots from both players.
Unfortunately for Anjema, Gaultier regrouped and came out
strong and fast in the fourth game winning it 11-7 to take
With plenty of showmanship throughout the match, the
70-strong crowd had quite a spectacle, getting behind both
players and thoroughly enjoying the performance.
Barker v Rodriguez
Barker runs off to a 7-0 lead hitting deep and tight length
keeping Miguel off the T, slowing the pace as soon under the
slightest bit of pressure.
Miguel gets a few points and claws it back to 6-10 with some
stellar gets, killer holds, and unexpected winners from the
back of the court. A little too late for Miguel, but it
looks like he's finding his form.
Miguel looks ready to play and the first few points show
it. His holds from the back of the court increase, as does
his proactive squash off the T. The volley drops increase as
do the kills, but Barker weathers the storm with strong
fundamentals and a few short kills with holds from the front
of the court. 4-3 Miguel.
Miguel runs away with a few points with strong forehand
kills from the mid-court.
Then Miguel's fitness kicks in to overdrive. Pick ups that
the crowd can't comprehend begin...and so Miguel wears
Barker down, leaving his opponent in disbelief along the
way! Games are tied 1-1
First couple of rallies and Miguel attacks too soon
opening up the court. Barker capitalizes. Miguel then
tightens up and comes back.
A monster rally at 8-6 with great pick ups by both players,
and Barker goes up 8-6. A couple more gets by Barker and
some tight, basic drop shots take him to 10-6 (game ball).
Barker leads 2 games to 1.
Barker comes out and races off to a 3-0 lead. Miguels
speed though is appreciated even by Barker as he comes off
the court and says to the crowd "is it possible to be that
quick? I didn't even see him". The crowd laughs.
Miguel brings it back and more by moving ahead 5-3. The
rallies get tight with good attacking and defensive squash.
Barker appears to be feelign the effects of some tough
rallies and tries to slow the pace up. Miguel is up 9-5 at
One incredibly tight length on the backhand by Miguel and
it's 10-6. Barker claws is back by one point, but then
Miguel ends it off with a cross court nick off the serve!
11-6 Rodriguez. We're going to a 5th and final decider!
Tight rallies ensue, and the players trade points. 2-2.
Miguel then begins pouncing on the ball like a cat and picks
up the pace. Barker is hurting physically but stays in it.
After a super fake attempt goes wrong by Miguel. 4-3 Miguel.
Some brutal holds by Miguel make Barker work, and he quickly
moves ahead to 7-3.
Barker claws a few back, but Miguel maintains a lead at 9-6.
A tight straight drop on the forehand by Miguel leads to a
stroke against Barker. 10-6, and match ball Miguel. Another
tough rally, and it ends the match 11-6, Miguel.
A fantastic match that leaves the crowd enthralled.
The best squash on the planet returns
to Toronto February 17-19 with the sixth installment
of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Cambridge Cup.!
Squash fans witnessed a dominant performance by then-rising
star Mohammed El Shorbagy in last year's edition, who
steam-rolled through the field en route to capturing his
second consecutive Cambridge Cup trophy.
It was a sign of things to come as the young Egyptian,
surely leveraging the experience he gained in the Cambridge
Cup, would attain the coveted World Number One ranking later
in the year and come within a point of winning his first
World Open Championship.
El Shorbagy will be back this year seeking a record third
consecutive title, along with the best and brightest stars
on the Tour.
Mohamed El Shorbagy:
World #1, World Open
Finalist (2012, 2014), 2x World Junior Champion, 2x
Defending Cambridge Cup Champion
World #2, 2x British Open Champion (2006, 2014), 4x
World Open Finalist
World #3, 4x World Champion, World #1 2007-2009, 2010
Cambridge Cup Champion
World #6, 2013 Colombian Open Champion, 2013 Canary
Wharf Classic Finalist
Miguel Angel Rodriguez:
World #8, 2x Colombian Open Champion (2008, 2010),
Highest-ever Ranked South American
World #14, British National Champion (2011), Member of
England's National Team
Laurens Jan Anjema:
World #17, Dutch #1, 6x Dutch National Champion
Three local squash pros will share this spot for the
chance to upset a squash super-power.
The 2015 Cambridge Cup
will be played across eight Ontario clubs:
The venue line up includes Adelaide Club, Cedar springs,
Mayfair Parkway, Toronto Athletic Club, Toronto Lawn, White
Oaks, Valhalla Goodlife and home venue the Cambridge
The Cambridge Club will host Finals & 3/4 playoff Feb
19th, Semifinals Feb 18th, and the event opening match
featuring Amr Shabana v Daryl Selby Feb 17th.
For Cambridge Club
2014 Event |
2012 Event |