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Motor City Open 2010
27-Jan - 01-Feb, Michigan, Usa, $40k
01-Feb, Final:
Devastating Darwish Drives
Home In Motor City Final

Karim Darwish reproduced the form which took him to the top of the world squash rankings for all but one month of last year when he despatched Malaysian Azlan Iskandar in straight games in the final of the Motor City Open to lift the title at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit.

"If there were any doubts about Karim Darwishís form following a month off to nurse a sore back, they were quashed in the final," said event spokesman AJ Hakim. "The Egyptianís supreme performance capped an event in which he did not lose a game."

Darwish dazzled a sold-out crowd at Michiganís premier squash venue en-route to taking home his $6,400 share of the record $40,000 purse and a Rolex watch from Greenstone Jewellers.

The 28-year-old from Cairo quickly found his rhythm, building a 9-2 lead in the first game. Dictating the pace, he forced Iskandar Ė coming off an exhausting five-game win over second seed Thierry Lincou the night before - into a quicker game than he could withstand.

"Last time (I was here) was in 2004 and I lost in the semis," Darwish said of his upset loss to Olli Tuominen in his last appearance at the MCO.

"Itís such a great feeling to win this tournament," added the world number five after his 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 triumph.

"Today I was really focused, and really wanted to finish it as quick as possible," said Darwish. "I didnít want to go in and play a long match, so I think I played really well today. I didnít expect that Iíd be that comfortable, but I know that he is a little but tired from yesterdayís match.

"I took advantage of it, and I tried to play more offensive, tried to attack every ball and tried to get him to the back as much as possible."

The win marks the Egyptian's sixth successive Tour victory over the Iskandar since May 2003 - and brings up the 17th PSA Tour title of Darwish's career.


Motor City Open 2010
27-Jan - 01-Feb, Michigan, Usa, $40k
Round One
29 Jan
30 Jan
31 Jan
01 Feb
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11-9, 11-7, 11-4
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
[1] Karim Darwish
11-7, 11-3, 11-2
Mark Krajcsak
[1] Karim Darwish

11-4, 11-5, 11-3

[7] Omar Abdel Aziz

[1] Karim Darwish

11-3, 11-7, 11-4

[3] Azlan Iskandar
[6] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
16-18, 10-12, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8
Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
[4] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6
Julian Wellings (Eng)
[4] Olli Tuominen
11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6
[7] Omar Abdel Aziz
[7] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
10-12, 6-11, 12-10, 20-18, 11-3
[Q] Yarir Butt (Pak)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
11-4, 11-9, 11-7
[5] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
Chris Ryder
11-4, 11-5, 11-1
[3] Azlan Iskandar
[3] Azlan Iskandar

5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4

[2] Thierry Lincou

Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11-2, 11-5, 11-6
[3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
12-10, 11-3, 11-2
[8] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly
11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6
[2] Thierry Lincou
[Q] Scott Arnold (Aus)
11-5, 11-3, 11-6
[2] Thierry Lincou (Fra)

Qualifying Finals:

Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Bernardo Samper (COL) 4-11, 11-7, 14-12, 8-11, 11-6
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-4, 10-12, 14-12, 11-5
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-6, 13-11, 11-7
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-5, 11-6, 13-11=

Qualifying Round One:

Alan Clyne bt Max Lee , 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6
Waller bt Christopher Gordon  11-4, 11-3, 11-8
Arnold bt Fred Reid ( 11-4, 11-6, 11-5
Samper bt Adil Maqbool (w11-8, 13-11, 11-6
Karwalski bt Mick Joint 11-8, 13-11, 11-6
Butt bt Edward Marks 11-8, 11-3, 11-6
Cuskelly bt Wade Johnstone 11-5, 11-8, 11-5
Koukal bt Dick Lau 11-8, 11-2, 11-?

31-Jan, Semis:
Azlan Topples Thierry
to make Motor City Final

Third-seeded Malaysian Azlan Iskandar scored a notable upset over Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the No2 seed, in the semi-finals of the Motor City Open to reach the final at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Lincou, the 2003 runner-up from Marseille making his PSA Tour debut this year, built up a two-games-to-one lead

"I was feeling really well, started really well," said the 33-year-old Frenchman, ranked nine in the world, afterwards. ďI had a good game plan. Then he started to pick everything up, limit his mistakes, so it was much harder for me to make a point. On the day, I think he was just fitter than me.Ē

Iskandar, ranked eight places lower, used the court to his advantage, playing at a quick pace and forcing Lincou into long, exhausting rallies.

The 27-year-old from KL went on to record a 5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4 victory to earn his 21st appearance in a PSA final.

Hi opponent will be top seed Karim Darwish, last year's world number one from Egypt who needed just 35 minutes to overcome compatriot Omar Abdel Aziz 11-4, 11-5, 11-3.

"Omar is a very good player," said Darwish, who is trying to regain his 2009 form as world No1 after a back injury sidelined him in December. "His fitness is really good, but today he was a little bit tired from yesterdayís match, so I took advantage of it.

"Overall, Iím happy with my performance so far," added Darwish, now in his 28th Tour final. "My confidence is coming back again. To be in the semis in New York, and to be in the final here, itís a great achievement and Iím looking forward to my match tomorrow."


30-Jan, Quarters:
Omar Ousts Olli In Motor City Upset

Egypt's Omar Abdel Aziz claimed an unexpected place in the semi-finals of the Motor City Open after upsetting fourth seed Olli Tuominen in the quarter-finals at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit, Michigan.

The 26-year-old seventh seed from Cairo defeated Tuominen, runner-up in the championship in 2004, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 - and will now face fellow countryman Karim Darwish for a place in the final.

Darwish, the event favourite and former world number one who is making his first appearance in the Detroit event since 2004, beat top-ranked Hungarian Mark Krajcsak 11-7, 11-3, 11-2.

Aziz considers Darwish an older brother. The duo train together while also maintaining a close relationship outside squash. "Iím going to play my big brother, Karim," Aziz said of his semi-final match. "And I want to play a good match."

That brotherhood paid dividends in Azizís quarter-final bout against Tuominen. Darwish warned Aziz of the Finn's volleying skills and advised him to work his backhand.

"I had to bring it to the back because Olli likes to volley it. Karim told me: ĎYou have to push the ball to the back of the court, and his mistakes will start to appear',Ē said Aziz of his strategy afterwards.

"So, I put the ball a lot to the back corner Ė one time, two times, three times. After that I started to volley."

The other semi-final will see France's No2 seed Thierry Lincou take on Azlan Iskandar, the third seed from Malaysia. Iskandar despatched unseeded Englishman Chris Ryder 11-4, 11-5, 11-1, while former world champion Lincou needed four games to see off Australian qualifier Ryan Cuskelly 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6.

"Heís a strong player - heís really improved a lot," said Lincou of Cuskelly. "He gave me a hard time on the court, and itís good I won in four. Itís pretty tough to play on these courts because itís really bouncy. So itís hard to be offensive too much, and you have to mix between patience and offence.

"You need to be precise, very accurate and save your energy as much as you can," added the 33-year-old from Marseille.


Ryder Leads Motor City Crashes
In Detroit

Hopes of the first domestic success in the 12-year history of the Motor City Open were dashed when unseeded Englishman Chris Ryder upset five times US national champion Julian Illingworth in the opening round  at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit, Michigan.

Ryder, the 29-year-old world No39 from Leamington Spa, defeated the fifth seed from New York - ranked nine places higher - 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 in one of three upsets on the opening day of the established Tour event.

Rising Egyptian star Mohd Ali Anwar Reda, who arrived in Detroit after winning the Pyramid International title in New York state at the beginning of the month, also suffered at the hands of a lower-ranked player.

An in-form Mark Krajcsak, the unseeded world No44 from Hungary, survived a match featuring four tie-break games to beat the 20-year-old sixth seed from Cairo 16-18, 10-12, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8.

But Ryan Cuskelly became the only qualifier to claim a place in the last eight when he triumphed 12-10, 11-3, 11-2 in an all-Australian clash with eighth seed Aaron Frankcomb.

Meanwhile the top two seeds progressed to the quarter-finals without incident - Egyptian favourite Karim Darwish beating Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne 11-9, 11-7, 11-4, and Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the No2 seed making his first Tour appearance of the New Year, despatching Australian qualifier Scott Arnold 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.

Four Qualifiers advance to
Motor City main draw

Friday First Round will feature two former world Number Ones:
by A. J. Hakim

Birmingham, Mich. Ė The main draw is set for the 2010 Motor City Open, presented by Suburban Volvo, as qualifying concluded Thursday night with four players advancing into Fridayís opening round.

With an upset and epic five-setter, the four matches provided a glimpse of the excitement, skill and speed that will be on display this weekend at the Birmingham Athletic Club. Michiganís premier squash venue, the BAC is hosting the MCO for the 11th year, featuring a record $40,000 purse plus Rolex watch from Greenstone Jewelers.

Aussie Ryan Cuskelly, Pakistanís Yasir Butt, Scott Arnold of Australia, and Scot Alan Clyne all posted victories.

The eveningís best bout featured Arnold (world #64) against Colombiaís Bernardo Samper (world #65). The pair occasionally train together in New York, and they seemed to anticipate one anotherís every move in a match that became a five-game marathon. Arnold survived 4-11, 11-7, 14-12, 8-11, 11-6. . . .



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