23-29 Sep, San Francisco, Usa, $100k
29-Sep, Men's Final:
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-1  Nick Matthew (Eng) 11/7, 9/11, 11/5, 11/4 (59m)
Ashour returns to take SF title
The final of the Men’s $100k
Netsuite Open in San Francisco featured the latest edition of the
long-running rivalry between Nick Matthew - the top seeded
Englishman who is world #2 - and Ramy Ashour - the fourth seeded
Egyptian world champion making a comeback after several months out
with injury -
I was their 26th meeting, their 13th final, and it was the Egyptian
who extended his advantage to 17-9 with a four game win that, at
times, left Matthew wondering what he had to do to stop the flow of
points coming from his opponent's racket.
Not that the Englishman did anything wrong, but when Ashour's game
is on song, as it was in the last two games as he displayed
incredible retrieving and shotmaking abilities, there is precious
little anyone can do about it.
Ramy Ashour added a 37th career PSA World Tour title to his
impressive collection after defeating three-time World Champion Nick
Matthew in the final of the 2015 NetSuite Open in San Francisco
Competing in his first tournament since April Ashour, who has been
dogged by injury since limping off court against Matthew during the
2013 World Championship semi-finals, was in sublime form as he
out-gunned the 35-year-old Englishman to take the match 3-1 and get
his latest comeback off to the perfect start.
The opening exchanges of the encounter were blighted with errors
before Ashour managed to string together a series of winners to take
the first game 11-7.
However Matthew came out strong in the second, levelling the scores
at 1-1 after a controversial overrule from the video referee at 10-9
handed him the game, much to the dismay of his opponent.
But Ashour, competing on the day before his 28th birthday,
recomposed himself and got off to a flying start in the third game -
easing into a 5-0 lead. Matthew dug in to mount a comeback but he
couldn’t live with Ashour’s pinpoint accuracy and unpredictable
With a 2-1 advantage secured Ashour continued his barrage in the
fourth and sealed the match, and his second NetSuite Open title,
after 59-minutes on court.
feels great to be back in San Francisco and to win this title for a
second time,” said Ashour, who beat Gregory Gaultier in the 2013
NetSuite Open final.
“I’ve always had a great rivalry with Nick and we’ve gone back and
forth against each other over the years. He’s a great athlete and a
great ambassador for the sport and it takes a lot to beat him - he
keeps you on your toes and you really have to dig in against him.
“Every time I go on court I try to give 100 per cent. I’m always
trying to learn from every player on court because there is so
little between the top players these days. I know what I can do on
court but it can be anyone’s victory on any day."
“I kept telling myself in the fourth game that it wasn’t over but
Ramy is a different kettle of fish,” said Matthew – who had saved
multiple match balls during his quarter-final encounter with German
“How a guy as good as him doesn’t get the chance to grace the
Olympic Games is a joke really - you’re scratching your head against
him at times but I’ll go away and keep working to catch him and
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.
“Hopefully my body will hold together for a little bit longer as
I’ve really been enjoying my squash recently.”
Sobhy succeeds in SF as
Matthew and Ashour set up men's final
number one Amanda Sobhy delighted a capacity crowd in San Francisco earlier today when she
defeated England’s Sarah-Jane Perry to claim the 2015 NetSuite Open
Sobhy reached the final dropping just one game en route, to line up
against second seeded Perry who had triumphed in their only previous
PSA meeting, but it was the world #19 who took the spoils, clinching
the title on her third match ball to rapturous applause.
feeling great right now and I’m just really happy to get the win
here tonight,” said Sobhy.
“It was a big goal of mine to come here and perform well, especially
leading up to the US Open - I’m playing SJ again there in the first
round and I know she’ll come back stronger.
“Thanks to all the organisers for putting on a really great women’s
event here in San Francisco– it’s been fantastic to play here and
hopefully we can keep growing this event in the future.”
the men's semi-finals top seed Nick Matthew increased his
winning streak over Miguel Rodriguez to six with a four-game win,
while world champion Ramy Ashour maintained his winning
record over second seed Gregory Gaultier, coming from two-one down
to beat the defending champion.
Matthew tweeted: "Good to get back to the business of what we do
best after the [Olympic] disappointment of today. Great crowd again."
Rodriguez admitted: "It was not a good night for me, he was very
accurate today and I could not find my depth on court tonight."
Ashour, who has only competed at three events during an
injury-blighted year, secured a place in his 54th PSA final
where he’ll be hoping to claim title number 37.
The Egyptian took the opening game but Gaultier struck back to
level, then take the lead after missing out on several game balls
in the third.
Ashour dominated the final stages though, taking a 7-0 lead in the
fourth before finishing off the match 11/2, 11/3 in just short of
the hour mark.
amazing to be back in San Fran – there’s a great energy from the
crowd here and it’s good to be here and be performing well,” said
“To play against someone like Greg takes a lot out of you – he’s a
top athlete and it’s not easy to play him – and it’s the same
against all the top ten players.
“We both played well and pushed each other to the limits. We have
great respect for each other on and off court and it’s a fair
rivalry between us and there’ll be more battles to come for sure,
"I’m just happy with my result today and hopefully I can do the same
with Nick tomorrow. We both know each other’s games and it won’t be
an easy match – but I’m certain it will be an entertaining match and
a really tough battle. I’m going to give it 100 per cent and may the
better player win.”
Gaultier keeps defence alive in San Francisco
as Sobhy and Perry reach women's final
Defending champion Gregory Gaultier kept alive his hopes of
retaining the trophy, and of claiming the title for the third time
overall, following a thrilling four-game encounter with England’s
James Willstrop in San Francisco.
The enigmatic Frenchman was taken to the brink against Egyptian Ali
Farag in the first round of action but showed no signs of any
physical weariness as he took the opening game in just nine minutes.
But Willstrop, who has been slowly recovering from a career-threating
hip injury during the past 12 months, responded in style, showing
glimpses of the form that saw him top the world rankings for 11
months in 2012 as he dictated the pace to level the scores.
Drama, tension, and intense rallies in tight third game as both
players traded winners to the delight of the crowd but it was
Gaultier who edged it and the physical exertion took its toll on
6’4" Willstrop as his energy levels dropped in the fourth, allowing
the World No.3 to secure passage to the semi-finals.
“That was a very tough four games tonight,” said Gaultier.
“James is definitely improving and that’s the best I’ve seen him
play for a while. At the beginning I was attacking and I could see
he was struggling to move but in the second he came out and
surprised me and was getting all my shots back.
“Luckily I managed to win the third game which was a big advantage
for me and I was able to let my arm go a little in the fourth so I’m
very happy to go through today.”
The 32-year-old from Aix-en-Provence will now take on World Champion
Ramy Ashour, the man who beat him in the 2013 NetSuite Open
final, when the duo will be facing off for the 31st time on the PSA
Ashour booked his last four berth with a comfortable 3-1 win over
Australian qualifier Ryan Cuskelly while the top half of the draw
will see top seed Nick Matthew take on Miguel Rodriguez for a place
in the final.
Top seeds into women's final
The new women's event saw the semi-finals played out, and it was top
seeds Amanda Sobhy and Sarah-Jane Perry who won
through to tomorrow's final as they beat Line Hansen and Victoria
Top seed Sobhy produced a third emphatic win on the trot to book her
place in the final after halting Denmark’s Line Hansen in four
Sobhy, who saw off her previous opponents Tesni Evans and Samantha
Teran in just 46-minutes combined, continued to plough her way
through the draw and despite dropping a game against the world
#26, she reinforced her credentials as one of the game’s most
promising talents as she responded to take an emphatic fourth game
11-1 and see out the win after 34-minutes.
“It was a fun match out there tonight, she used the boast well
especially in that third game but I’m glad I regrouped well in the
fourth to take the match,” said Sobhy.
“I’m used to being the top seed, especially after playing college
squash where I’ve always had a target on my back, but I love being
the number one seed here in front of a home crowd and hopefully I
can get that last win here tomorrow and have a USA victory in this
26-Sep, Quarters Part One:
Matthew and Rodriguez survive
Colombian third seed Miguel
Rodriguez survived a second successive five-setter as he saved match
ball to edge past
Cameron Pilley to reach the semi-final, while top seed Nick Matthew
also saved match balls - four - on his way to a three-two win over Simon
Matthew Digs Deep Three-time
World Champion Nick Matthew was forced to draw on all his 18-years
of professional experience as he came within a whisker of exiting
the 2015 NetSuite Open at the quarter-final stage against German
In all their seven previous meetings Matthew, the 35-year-old winner
of 33 PSA titles, had never dropped more than a game against the
27-year-old World No.7 but needed all his trademark fighting spirit
to keep his tournament alive when he found himself 10-6 match-ball
down in the fourth game.
traditionally one of the strongest starters on tour, was behind from
the off as Rösner came out firing with precision and pace to take
the opening game and after sealing the third after a nervy
tie-break, the powerful man from Paderborn looked on course to
record a career-defining win. But Matthew called on every fibre of
his Yorkshire-grit to save four match-balls and force a fifth and
deciding game - which he eventually sealed 11-7 after 96-minutes of
compelling, nail-biting drama.
“I’ve a good head to head record against him and normally I’ve
broken him down after a game or two but tonight I never felt like I
did that and I had to fight for every point,” said Matthew.
“He was taking the volley away from me and mentally I had to put in
so much focus to every shot that I struggled to implement my game
plan. I had to dig deep and all credit to him as that’s the best
he’s played against me.
“I used all my experience in that fourth game to make sure I didn’t
panic and stay composed but aggressive as well. There were a lot of
guts in there as well because I just didn’t want to lose tonight.
“Once it got to the fifth I felt like I had the momentum and the
experience behind me. I thought that if I managed a good start then
I could push on and I’m happy I managed to do that.”
Two in a row for Rodriguez Matthew’s
opponent in the semi-final will be the entertaining Colombian Miguel
Rodriguez, who secured his place in the last four courtesy of a
similarly dramatic come-from-behind win over Australian Cameron
Pilley in a titanic 108-minute battle.
Rodriguez too was match-ball down in the fourth game against an
inspired Pilley, who produced some of his best play of the last
18-months to dictate the pace and unsettle the Colombian from the
start, but after a series of nervy exchanges the man from Bogota
managed to save the match and force a decider - which he managed to
played very well tonight and I had to play at 100 per cent in the
entire match to try and match him,” said Rodriguez.
“He’s a very talented player and he was playing amazing today. I was
focusing so much on retrieving the ball and not making a mistake in
that forth game, which was crucial, and I was lucky to win the
Home Star Sobhy shines in San Fran
number one Amanda Sobhy lived up to her billing as the top seed at
the 2015 NetSuite Open as she emphatically saw of Welsh challenger
Tesni Evans in the marquee match-up of the quarter-finals in San
Recent Harvard-graduate Sobhy, world #19, dispatched world #28 3-0
Evans in just 26-minutes to the delight of the partisan crowd,
cruising into the semi-finals where she will face Danish challenger
Line Hansen, who ended hopes of an all-American semifinal as she
beat Olivia Blatchford in straight games.
love playing in the US because the crowd is so amazing and when
people come and support me it makes me want to push harder and play
my best and to play at this venue is amazing,” said Sobhy.
“I’ve finally finished with school so this year my focus is to try
and enjoy being a full-time pro and not to try and squeeze in all
the events I haven’t played due to studying.
“If I can stay injury free and keep pushing hopefully I can crack
the single digits in the rankings and put in some good performances
in the bigger tournaments and see how it all goes.”
bottom half of the draw will be an all-English affair between number
two seed Sarah-Jane Perry and Victoria Lust after
Perry beat Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes in three and Lust knocked out
fourth seed Habiba Mohamed 3-1.
25-Sep, Round One: Gaultier survives dramatic opening day in
SF A dramatic first day of main draw
action in San Francisco, as defending champion Gregory Gaultier
saves match balls before beating Ali Farag in five, Cameron
Pilley upsets Peter Barker, Ryan Cuskelly beats Castagnet
in 101m, Miguel Rodriguez and James Willstrop are also
taken the distance, and in the new women's event home girl Olivia
Blatchford beats third seed Dipika Pallikal while Tesni Evans
comes from two down and top seed Amanda Sobhy gets off to a
PSA media report
Defending champion Gregory Gaultier came within a whisker of a
shock first round exit, saving multiple match balls against Egyptian
Ali Farag to keep his tournament alive following a dramatic
After booking his place in the main draw after a 70-minute match
with French number three Gregoire Marche, the 23-year-old from Cairo
took the match to Gaultier and unsettled the French world #3 from
the off and it was a strategy that paid off for the Harvard graduate
as he came from 2-1 down to level the match and force a fifth game.
Farag’s continued aggression was rewarded when he earned himself two
match balls but he couldn’t convert and it was a relieved Gaultier
who eventually sealed it 12-10 in the fifth.
“He played so well, it was unbelievable,” said Gaultier.
“I haven’t lost many first round matches over the last ten years but
the way he was playing I wouldn’t have had many complaints tonight.
I played quite well, I lost my concentration in places, but there
were only a few points that made the difference and I was lucky that
I won those points tonight.”
After the match Farag said: “Of course it’s disappointing to lose
but he has been in these situations hundreds of times and it was
experience that made the difference in the end.”
Top seed Nick Matthew, the world #2, and world champion
Ramy Ashour, the world #5, suffered no such difficulties as they
began their campaigns with comfortable victories over Mazen Hesham
and Tom Richards, respectively while qualifier Ryan Cuskelly’s
rich vein of form continued as he followed up his surprise win over
top seeded Alister Walker in qualifying with an impressive
performance against Mathieu Castagnet, taking out the world #9 3-2
after a brutal 101-minute battle.
Fellow Australian Cameron Pilley also upset the seeding to
take out world #8 Peter Barker 3-0.
In the women’s event American number two and World No.37 Olivia
Blatchford produced the performance, and shock, of the first
round as she surged to an impressive 3-2 win over Indian third seed
Blatchford stormed into a two game advantage only to see Pallikal
mount a comeback and force a decider, but Blatchford gathered
herself and showed impressive maturity as she held her nerve in a
tense fifth game to take the match.
She was joined in the quarterfinals by compatriot and top seed
Amanda Sobhy, who saw off Mexican Samantha Teran in just 20
minutes as she bids to add a 14th PSA title to her name.
24-Sep, Qualifying Finals Seeds suffer in San Fran qualifying Beth
Rasin reports With a place in the NetSuite
Open draw the winner’s reward, the competitive intensity was fierce
and the players were fired up in today’s final qualifying matches at
the University Club and the Bay Club-San Francisco.
In the women’s draw, England’s Fiona Moverley was the first
to stake her claim to a main draw spot with a nail biting five -
game victory over top-seeded qualifier Coline Aumard. Moverley
started strong, winning the first game 11-5, but the Frenchwoman
roared back to grab the next two. Moverley played her way back into
contention by denying Aumard the opportunity to hit any angle shots,
cutting off her attacking game. Using the high cross court lob
especially effectively, the 28-year-old Englishwoman evened the
match at two all, and hung on for an 11-9 fifth game win.
Millie Tomlinson upended higher-ranked Irishwoman Aisling
Blake in a hard- fought, four-game match in which the two women
played similar attacking and physical games. In the end, the
23-year-old from Duffield made less errors, hit tighter shots and
was ultimately more determined to get to the ball and into the main
New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy stifled a late third game
surge from American veteran Latasha Khan to earn her spot in the
main draw. Pakistan’s Maria Toorpakai Wazir, who now resides and
trains in Canada, dispatched Nouran El Torky of Egypt in four games
to claim the women’s main draw final spot.
Two-time US Intercollegiate champion Ali Farag and
25-year-old Gregoire Marche provided the spectators with “edge of
your seat” excitement as the players seized upon every opportunity
to attack and chased down seemingly ungettable shots throughout
their spirited and sporting match. After an hour and ten minutes of
full throttle play, the 23-year-old Egyptian emerged victorious when
the Frenchman ran out of gas in the fifth game.
Ryan Cuskelly, who plays and trains in New York City,
eliminated the highest ranked player in the qualifying draw when he
dispatched Alister Walker in three games, while Cesar Salazar
of Mexico defeated Dutchman Laurens Jans Anjema in straight games.
Englishman Tom Richards and Scotland’s Alan Clyne treated the
fans to classic squash, as both players hit pinpoint shots to all
corners of the court. Tight rails and front corner drop shots were
countered with lobs that dropped into the rear corners with no pace.
Clyne drew first blood, taking the first game. Unbowed, Richards
took the second to even the match and eked out the third game at
12-10. The relentless pace of the match took its toll first on the
Scotsman who started to fade at the end of the third and Richards
closed out a decisive fourth game to earn his place in the main
Qualifying Round One Seeds prevail in San Fran qualifying The NetSuite Open Squash
Championships got underway with all the seeded players prevailing in
their opening matches in the qualifying draws played at the Olympic
Club, the Bay Club - San Francisco and the Bay Club – Marin.
Although top seed Coline Aurnard of France dropped the first game to
Brazil’s Thaisa Serafini, the Frenchwoman rebounded to win the next
three games decisively. She will play England’s Fiona Moverley who
dispatched Belgian Nele Gillis in three games.
Fourth seed Nouran El Torky of Egypt and Maria Toorpakai Wazir of
Pakistan will play for a spot in the main draw after easily
defeating their local opponents, Jessenia Pacheco and Tara Arya.
Veteran USA player Latasha Khan of Seattle eliminated fellow
American Madeleine Gill and will face off against second seed Amanda
Landers- Murphy of New Zealand who dispatched local player Mariam
Another local player, Toby Eyre, lost to third seed Aisling Blake.
The Irishwoman will next face England’s Millie Tomlinson who
defeated Canada’s Hollie Naughton in three games.
A mix of veteran players and rising stars won their matches in the
men’s draws. World #23 Alister Walker needed four games to dispatch
Mexico’s Alfredo Avila and will next take on Australia’s Ryan
Cuskelly who defeated American Chris Hanson in straight games.
It took four games with two injury timeouts for Egypt’s Ali Farag to
defeat Abdullah Al Tamami of Qatar. The Harvard graduate and
two-time US National Intercollegiate champion will next face
France’s Gregoire Marche who claimed three closely contested games
from Finland’s Henrik Mustonen.
Nine-time US national champion Julian Illingworth was defeated by
Mexico’s Cesar Salazar whose next opponent will be Dutchman Laurens
Jans Anjema. The former top ten player, who is returning the PSA
tour after an injury hiatus, eliminated Germany’s Raphael Kandra in
World #24 Tom Richards dispatched the Bay Club pro and fellow
Englishman Charlie Johnson to set up a main draw determining match
with Scotsman Alan Clyne after he defeated local player Gabriel