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Squash Pro Reunion 2011
20-25 Jun, Saint Pierre, Reunion Island, $25k

En Français
 fuller coverage on the French 

"It was a good match for a return, especially compared to yesterday, where I was very tense against Julien. Today, I reacted well I thought, and was able to raise my game. I know it mustn't have been easy for Mohamed to play here, but the match was high quality.

"It was so hot on there today, I thought at some point I was going physically die. We were both really out of breath, dead, and it would take us up to 30, 40 seconds to recover between points. And I could see some points I was actually fresher than he was, but he's got such fantastic hands, in two shots, he puts you in the red again!!!!!

"Yes, of course, a bit disappointed to have lost a match with a few match points, buy hey, can't complain, can I! I won so many matches like this, saving match balls....

"Globally very positive, especially when I think the state I was two months ago, so depressed as my knee wouldn't get better, losing in Baillargues, a small tournament, in the semis... So I'm yet to realise how far I'm coming back from...

"Means that I have probably a few more things to say and do, that's a pleasant thought..."

25-Jun, Final:

[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [1] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
            5/11, 11/5, 11/4, 10/12, 15/13 (112m)

Shorbagy shades it in Saint Pierre

Second seed Mohammed El Shorbagy triumphed in the longest match of the young Egyptian's career as he came from 10/7 down in a fifth game shootout against top seed and local favourite Thierry Lincou, eventually winning 15/13 in a little under two hours on the hot and humid courts in Saint Pierre.

With the pair currently ranked 8 and 9 in the world a close match was to be expected, but few would have expected the 35-year-old Lincou to come back after his 20-year-old opponent recovered from losing the first game to lead two games to one.

But the former world champion and world number one stormed back, as he does, taking the fourth on extra points without allowing his opponent a match ball, and established what the home fans must have thought was a winning lead before Shorbagy mounted his own comeback to dash their hopes and claim his third PSA title.

"What can I say after this marathon ... I am out of words right now...

"I have never in my whole life seen someone at that age playing like this ... after I won the second and the third I heard him telling Julien Balbo that he is really dead ... and look at how he pushed and pushed and pushed all the way in the 4th and the 5th!

"He is such a great example not only for the french players but to all of us ... he just never gives up. I just wish one day when I am at his age can play like this.

"There were two players on court killing themselves every point in these hot conditions and I was just the lucky one at the end ... I saved four match balls by hitting the nick almost every time from the return of the serve ... how lucky I am!!!!

"This is for sure the hardest and longest match I have played in my career ... and playing him its such a great honour for me.... HE IS A TRUE LEGEND!!! "

Squash Pro Reunion 2011
20-25 Jun, Saint Pierre, Reunion Island, $25k
Round One
22 Jun
23 Jun
24 Jun
25 Jun
[1] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
 11/5, 11/2, 12/10 (35m
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
[1] Thierry Lincou
11/5, 11/7, 6/11, 11/1 (45m)
[Q] Olivier Pett
[1] Thierry Lincou

10/12, 11/8, 11/3, 11/7 (59m)

Julien Balbo

[1] Thierry Lincou

5/11, 11/5, 11/4, 10/12, 15/13 (112m)

[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy

[Q] Olivier Pett (Eng)
11/8, 7/11, 11/8, 11/3 (46m
Chris Gordon (Usa)
[Q] Rasmus Nielsen (Den)
11/3, 11/6, 11/8 (24m
[Q] Billy Patton
[Q] Rasmus Nielsen
11/8, 11/6, 3/11, 11/6 (42m)
Julien Balbo
Julien Balbo (Fra)
1/11, 11/7, 11/6, 14/12 (78m
[4] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
[3] Alan Clyne (Sco)
 11/8, 11/8, 4/11, 4/11, 11/8 (87m)
Yann Perrin (Fra)
Yann Perrin
13/11, 11/8, 11/7 (41m)
Mark Krajcsak
Mark Krajcsak

11/5, 11/9, 13/11 (36m)

[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy

Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11/8, 11/8, 8/11, 5/11, 11/2 (92m
Kristian Frost (Den)
Kamran Khan (Mas)
11/7, 7/11, 7/11, 12/10, 11/6 (75m)
[Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
Kamran Khan
11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (37m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy
Geoffrey Demont (Fra)
11/8, 11/3, 11/8 (28m
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy

En Français
 fuller coverage on the French 

24-Jun, Semis:

[1] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)
              10/12, 11/8, 11/3, 11/7 (59m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Mark Krajcsak (Hun)  
              11/5, 11/9, 13/11 (36m)

Top seeds in Reunion Final

Home favourite Thierry Lincou will meet second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in the final of the Squash Pro Reunion after both triumphed in today's semi-finals.

Very happy to win again in three. I played much better than yesterday....

I started very well and then till 6/1 up in the second, I lost a bit of concentration which is normal to lose sometimes but I was happy that I was able to get it back quickly and win the game...

He played really well in the 3rd and I was really lucky to win it at the end...

He is a very good player and I am actually surprised his ranking isn't much better than this...

For tomorrow, that's the final the crowd wanted hopefully it will be a good match... Lincou and I are good friends off court and hopefully we will give a good match for the crowd...


23-Jun, Quarters:
Lincou on course in Saint Pierre

Top seed Thierry Lincou continued his progress towards a home final when he beat English qualifier Olivier Pett in four games to reach the semi-finals in Saint Pierre.

"Good match for me tonight, with some good pace in the first two games, good attacking game," said Lincou. "And overall, I was dictating the rallies.

"But in the third, he played better at the back, his length got better, and made me work very hard, visiting the court a few times! I did let go of that game rather quickly.

"Then, I regrouped, played a simpler game, more efficient too, and didn't give away anything anymore. Happy with my reaction really."

A French finalist is guaranteed, as Lincou will meet Julien Balbo for a place in the final after Balbo also beat a qualifier, Denmark's Rasmus Nielsen, also in four games.

With two matches held over until this morning due to nose injuries, the bottom half of the draw saw four matches completed today. Third seeded Scot Alan Clyne recovered sufficiently to play, but went down in an 87-minute marathon to Yann Perrin, but the Frenchman failed to get past Hungarian Mark Krajcsak in the evening quarter-final.

Malaysia's Kamran Khan, like Clyne, also had to stop play due to a nose injury last night, but he came back out to beat qualifier Marwan El Shorbagy after falling 2-1 behind.

Khan found Marwan's elder brother Mohamed a sterner challenge in the quarter-final though as the second-seeded Egyptian went through in straight games to set up a semi-final meeting with Krajcsak.

"I'm happy to win in three," said El Shorbagy. "Kamran surpised me with how well he played first two games after having a hard match against my brother this morning.

"It's my first tournament since the KL in march so I know I am not playing at my top game but I am playing better everyday and I hope I can play better tomorrow. Mark is a very nice guy and very fair and it's my first time playing him so hopefully it will be a good match for the crowd.

"I really like the place here it's my first time - the people are really nice and the organisers are helping the players when they need anything so I'm really happy to be here...."

En Français
 fuller coverage on the French 


22-Jun, Round One:
Nose stops play - twice!

The first round of the Squash Pro Reunion saw a significant French upset, and bizarrely, two matches having to be rescheduled due to nose injuries!

Top seed and home favourite Thierry Lincou came through his opening match comfortably enough and now meets qualifier Olivier Pett who scored a significant upset against American Chris Gordon.

"This was a good day for me," said Lincou. "A bit tense for this first round back home, but my tactic was good in the first two. I did relax slightly in the third, and it led to a tie-break.

"But I'm willing, and so are my legs apparently!!!!"

A second qualifier progressed as Rasmus Nielsen beat fellow qualifier Billy Patton, and a second Frenchman when Julien Balbo upset the national rankings with a marathon 78-minute win over fourth-seeded Mathieu Castagnet.

"I'm of course extremely happy to have won that franco-french duel," said Balbo, "and to feel I'm able to compete again...."

In the bottom half of the draw second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy and Hungary's Mark Krajcsak are both waiting to see who their quarter-final opponents will be.

First, after 20 minutes of play and the score tied at 8-all, Yann Perrin's racket collided with Alan Clyne's nose. The Scot was allowed time to recover, and the match was rescheduled for the morning.

Amazingly the same thing happened in the match between Marwan El Shorbagy and Kamran Khan, with the Malaysian also being allowed until tomorrow morning to recover.

En Français
 fuller coverage on the French 


21-Jun, Qualifying Finals:

Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) v Pierre Canto (Fra)
Billy Paton (Fra) v Alexandre Benard (Fra)
Rasmus Nielsen (Ded) v Christophe Andre (Fra)
Olivier Pett (Eng) v Pascal Lincou (Fra)

20-Jun, Qualifying Round One:

Pierre Canto (Fra) bt Fabien Tessier (Fra)         14-12, 9-11, 7-11, 1-0 rtd (46m)
Alexandre Benard (Fra) bt Julien Gregoire (Fra)     11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8 (32m)
Pascal Lincou (Fra) bt Fabrice Moullan (Fra)                    11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (26m)

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