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World Stars in Toronto, 16-18 Feb 2010
Macquarie Private Wealth Cambridge Pro Singles Championships
Final round - Feb 18:

Final:
Shabana bt Gaultier     12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10

3rd/4th:
Razik bt Power               11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (52min)

Round 2 - Feb 17
Shabana bt Razik           8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11 (65min)
Gaultier bt Power   5-11, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9 (85min)
 
Round 1 - Feb 16:

Shabana bt Power        11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10 (70min)
Gaultier bt Razik            7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (55min)
 

Shabana Wins in Five
Chris Hollow reports

After over 60 minutes of amazing squash, Amr Shabana, currently World Number 3 in the PSA Rankings, emerged victorious over Gregory Gaultier to claim First Annual Cambridge Club Pro Singles Squash title.

A standing-room only crowd of over 100 squash enthusiasts from the Cambridge Group of Clubs surrounded centre court to witness the event. They were not disappointed, treated time and again to displays of amazing shot-making and unbelievable retrievals.

The evening began with two local boys squaring-off on the very court they can be found training on throughout the year. PSA Number 36 and current Canadian Number 1 Shahier Razik was pitted against a man needing no introduction, winner of 36 PSA event including the World Open, British Open, Super Series Finals and the Tournament of Champions, an immeasurable talent widely regarded as having the best hands in the history of the sport, Canada's Jonathon Power.

Razik opened the match taking game one in a contest that featured some classic JP, both with the racquet and with his trademark banter with referee Dean Brown. Power cleverly negotiated his way around a conduct stroke for racquet abuse by playing the last rally of the game with half a racquet, the handle having inexplicably become detached from the head after some minor contact with the floor following a call that went the way of his opponent. Attempting a shot for the ages, Jonathon cut a behind-the-back slice drop into the front-left corner with what remained of his racquet.

It was not to be however, as the shot found tin, giving the first game to Razik. In game two, Power showed the skill and shot-making that propelled him to Number One in the world, wrong-footing Razik on a couple of occasions to level the match at one game each. However, on this day, It would be Razik's top-flight fitness, economy of movement and a dogged-resistance to losing on the court he calls home that would prevail. Razik slowly but surely pulled away in both of the next two games. Four games and two racquets later, match to Razik three games to one.

...and on to the Main Event.

What was being touted as the Final of this great event, the south-pawed Amr Shabana took the court against one of his main rivals in recent years, France's Gregory Gaultier. Both former World Number 1, the contest matched up two of the hottest talents in the sport today.

The match began with Shabana taking a somewhat well-measured game one, the players feeling each other out and warming into their groove. From there on, it was fire-works, both players looking to entertain with an array of holds, flicks, deceptions and kills. Gaultier took the second in a game that featured a rally that resembled a fitness drill with the Gaul lobbing and the Egyptian responding with boasts, quickly followed by Shabana dropping to the ground and performing a push-up before retrieving the next shot! Not to be outdone, the Frenchman dropped to the deck and pushed in a dead-nick drop winner to the front right...while lying flat on his stomach!! Shabana took the entertaining third game on points 13-11 but lost the fourth, ending in three uncharacteristic errors.

That set the stage for a barn-burner, everything-but-the-kitchen sink fifth game. Perfect Philadelphias, back-wall boast retrievals and head-fakes were mixed in with the tightest up-and-down rails one will ever see. In the end, this phenomenal match was secured by the incredible wrist of Amr Shabana, executing a cross-court flick to win the 50+ shot rally, the game (13-11) and the match.


The Cambridge Club would like to thank the players and the membership for their support of this event. Toronto has been without a softball pro event for over two years. Judging from the turn-out, that was about two years too long.

In closing, a very special thanks goes out to the sponsors: Macquarie Private Wealth and Gold Sponsors Sheraton Center, Points.com, Torontopath.com, Merrill Lynch, Dundee Capital Markets, Bar Mercurio, Ridley Windows and the Cambridge Group of Clubs, without whom this great event would not be possible.

Thanks again. Looking forward to next year!


 
 

TORONTO – Former world champion Jonathon Power of Montreal,  current world champion Amr Shabana of Egypt, recent world number one Gregory Gaultier of France and Canadian number one Shahier Razik of Toronto will compete in the inaugural $25,000 Macquarie Private Wealth Cambridge Pro Singles Championships from February 16-18.

Four different Toronto clubs will host the round robin tournament. On February 16, Power faces Shabana at the Toronto Athletic Club while Razik and Gaultier clash at the Adelaide Club.

On February 17, it is Razik vs Shabana at the Toronto Cricket Club and Power vs Gaultier at the Cambridge Club.

On February 18, Cambridge hosts the matches between Razik and Power as well as Gaultier and Shabana.


Power, who retired from the pro circuit in 2006, was the first North American to ranked number one in the world reaching the top in 1999, a year after winning the world title. He won 36 pro events and reached 58 finals.

Shabana is a four-time world champion earning the titles as the ninth-seed in 2003, seventh seed in 2005, top seed in 2007 and third seed in 2009. He was ranked number-one in the world for 33 consecutive months before being dethroned by compatriot Karim Darwish in January 2009.

Razik is a seasoned international veteran who climbed four spots to number 31 in the most recent world rankings and is currently enjoying one of the best starts to a year in his career. He has already reached two finals on the pro tour in 2010 as he looks to climb back into the world’s top 20.

Gaultier is another familiar name on the pro tour. He reached the finals at the 2006 and 2007 world championships, was world number one in November 2009 and is currently ranked third.


“Our goal is to see this tournament grow every year and eventually become part of the pro tour,” said Razik.

“It’s exciting because we haven’t had a tournament in the last couple of years.”

All the matches are already sold out.

The same foursome will compete in a separate event on February 19 in Barrie, Ont.
 

 

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