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ATCO World Series Finals 2013
02-06 Jan, the Queen's Club, London

Nicol David 3-0 Laura Massaro                 11/3, 11/2, 11/9 (37m)
Amr Shabana 3-1 Nick Matthew   4/11, 11/2, 11/4, 11/7 (57m)

David & Shabana retain
World Series Titles ...

Amr Shabana and Nicol David lifted the 2013 ATCO PSA World Series Squash trophies after dazzling performances on a thrilling final day at Queen’s Club.

Shabana, from Egypt, beat England’s Nick Matthew 3-1 (4/11 11/2 11/4 11/7) in 57 minutes to successfully defend his title. David, who was also defending champion in the women’s event, defeated England's Laura Massaro 3-0 (11/3 11/2 11/9) in 37 minutes.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win here again,” said Shabana, who dedicated to his win to his wife Nadjla. “I’ve been playing this tournament for ten years and I love it. When everything is so well taken care of and you feel like all you need to do is come and play squash, then it really makes you want to raise your game.”

He was full of praise for Matthew after their high-octane final. “Nick is one of the best athletes out there. When you play him there are very few areas of the court to hit to where he won’t punish you.”

“I didn’t play badly at all, he was just too good for me but I think he would have been too good for most people today,” said Matthew. “I tried to get my game in gear but he just wouldn’t let me. In the end it was a steam train.”

Malaysian superstar David remains unbeaten at Queen's Club, which hosted the women's World Series Finals for the first time last year. It was the second tournament in a row in which she and Massaro have met in the final after the World No.1 edged out the Englishwoman at the Cayman World Open last month, to win a record seventh World Open title.

"I knew that I had to start strong against her because she's in front of her home crowd and otherwise she'd feed off the crowd. Instead I ended up feeding off the crowd myself,” said David.

Massaro was disappointed but said she would leave Queen’s Club in a positive frame of mind. “I’d say this week has been 80% positive and the key is to take the good from that and learn from the 20% that wasn’t so good,” she said.

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Sat 5th, Semi-finals:

Laura Massaro
2-1 Jenny Duncalf  
                                           6/11, 11/8, 11/9 (45m)
Nicol David 2-0 Camille Serme
                                                     11/5, 11/8 (23m)
Amr Shabana 2-1 James Willstrop
                                          11/7, 8/11, 11/7 (69m)
Nick Matthew 2-1 Gregory Gaultier 
                                         10/12, 11/9, 11/8

Massaro and Matthew aim for home wins against champions in WSSF finals  ...

Laura Massaro and Nick Matthew will be hoping to take home advantage when they compete for the ATCO PSA World Series Finals titles at Queen’s Club on Sunday. Massaro will take on Malaysian superstar and World No.1 Nicol David, while Matthew faces experienced Egyptian Amr Shabana.

Both David and Shabana are defending champions.

Matthew had to battle for 65 minutes against feisty Frenchman Gregory Gaultier before eeking out a 2-1 (10/12 11/9 11/9) win.

“It came down to one or two points and it was a viscous pace,” said Matthew.

“The crowd was great and Greg had his fair share of support as well. In the end I think the crowd just wanted it to be as close as possible. I’m looking forward to playing Amr. He took me to the cleaners when we played earlier in the week. Hopefully I can get some revenge.”

Shabana proved too strong for England’s James Willstrop in their semi-final, despite a battling performance from the Yorkshireman in front of a home crowd.

“It’s very intimidating playing in front of a crowd like that and I definitely think James rallied the more they supported him,” said Shabana. “Nick is one of the fittest guys out there and he covers the court very well. I’ll have to play well against him.”

Massaro, from Lancashire, earned a place in her first final at Queen’s Club when she beat countrywoman Jenny Duncalf 2-1 (6/11 11/8 11/9 in 45 minutes) before David sealed her place in the final with a 11/5 11/8 23-minute win over France’s Camille Serme.

"I felt like it was a really competitive match against Jenny. There are definitely a few things I can improve on but Jenny played really well. She's improved a lot and she's obviously started the year really well,” said Massaro.

Massaro has already notched up one win over David this week, having beaten her in their round robin pool match on Thursday.

"To be honest it's a nice little confidence boost but she's definitely a player who raises her game and she hates to lose so I'd expect things to be a lot tougher against her in the final," said the Englishwoman.

David said she expected another strong challenge from Massaro, whom she beat in the Cayman World Open final last month.

“In our pool match, Laura was just playing better on the day and she’s a tough player but I just know that as the week develops you feel better and better.

"I’m just looking forward to playing the final against her and putting it all out there. Hopefully I can save the best for last.”

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Semis & Finals

Sat 5th Jan, Semis

Laura Massaro 2-1 Jenny Duncalf
Nicol David 2-0 Camille Serme

Gregory Gaultier 1-2 Nick Matthew
Amr Shabana 2-1 James Willstrop


Sunday 6th Jan

Finals from 16.00

Pool Matches (best of three)
Wednesday 2nd Jan

Group A
Laura Massaro 2-0
Natalie Grinham
Nicol David 2-0
Annie Au
Group B
Raneem El Weleily 1-2 Jenny Duncalf
Nour El Sherbini 0-2 Camille Serme

Thursday 3rd Jan

Group A:

Annie Au 0-2 Natalie Grinham
Nicol David 0-2 Laura Massaro
Group B:

Raneem El Weleily 0-2 Nour El Sherbini
Jenny Duncalf 0-2 Camille Serme

Friday 4th Jan

Group A:

Nicol David 2-0 Natalie Grinham
Laura Massaro  1-2 Annie Au
Group B:
Raneem El Weleily  2-0 Camille Serme
Nour El Sherbini  1-2 Jenny Duncalf
Wednesday 2nd Jan:

Group A
Mohamed El Shorbagy 2-0
Peter Barker
Nick Matthew 0-2 Amr Shabana
Group B
James Willstrop 2-0
Karim Darwish
Gregory Gaultier 2-1
Simon Rosner

Thursday 3rd Jan:

Group A:
Amr Shabana
2-0 Peter Barker
Nick Matthew 2-0 Mohamed El Shorbagy
Group B:
James Willstrop 0-2 Gregory Gaultier
B: Karim Darwish 0-2 Simon Rosner

Friday 4th Jan:

Group A:

Nick Matthew  2-0 Peter Barker
Mohamed El Shorbagy 1-2 Amr Shabana
Group B:
James Willstrop 2-0 Simon Rosner
Gregory Gaultier 0-2 Karim Darwish

Thu 4th, Final Pool Matches:

Nicol David
2-0 Natalie Grinham            11/4, 11/8
Annie Au  2-1 Laura Massaro        11/5, 7/11, 11/6
Raneem El Weleily 2-0 Camille Serme  11/6, 11/8
Jenny Duncalf  2-1 Nour El Sherbini  18/16, 4/11, 11/9

Semis: Massaro v Duncalf and David v Serme

Men's Matches:
A: Nick Matthew 2-0 Peter Barker           11/2, 12/10
A: Amr Shabana  2-1 Mohamed El Shorbagy 
                                                        11/7, 8/11, 11/9
B: James Willstrop 2-0 Simon Rosner         11/4, 11/8
B:  Karim Darwish 2-0 Gregory Gaultier      11/3, 12/10
Semis : Shabana v Willstrop and Matthew v Gaultier

Brits storm through
on Day Three at Queen's

James Willstrop and Nick Matthew set up the tantalising possibility of an all-British men’s final at the ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals after both reached the semis on Friday.

Matthew was cheered on by Team GB Olympians Greg Searle, Victoria Pendleton and Joanna Rowsell in Friday’s final pool match against compatriot Peter Barker.

“I want to say thank you to the Olympians for coming. It means a lot to have them supporting squash,” said Matthew, after delivering a 11/2 12/10 win, which proved enough to see him finish second in his group behind Amr Shabana of Egypt.

“It was getting a bit edgy towards the end of the second. I got a bit tentative but that’s what happens when it’s all on the line,” said Matthew, who faces a tough semi-final against feisty Frenchman Gregory Gaultier on Saturday.

Willstrop will take on Shabana on Saturday after sealing his spot in the last four with a vital 11/4 11/8 29-minute win over Germany’s Simon Rosner in what was a must-win final group match for him.

“It was a very physical match. Simon’s improved massively. He’s very strong and an incredible athlete. I had to be really on it tonight to win it,” said Willstrop.

In the women’s event, Laura Massaro and countrywoman Jenny Duncalf will play an all-English semi-final on Saturday. Duncalf earned her semi spot with a hard-fought 18/16 4/11 11/9 win over 17-year-old Egyptian Nour El Sherbini.

“Here’s hoping I’ll be fresh for tomorrow,” said Duncalf afterwards. “These youngsters don’t seem to feel it too much! I was just relieved to get that first set in the bag. That’s always the key with this best-of-three format.”

Massaro’s wins in her first two group matches (including victory over World No.1 Nicol David on Thursday) were enough to see her through, despite an 11/5 7/11 11/6 defeat in her final group match to Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

David, the defending ATCO PSA World Series Final women’s champion, stormed into the semis with a 2-0 (11/4 11/8) win over Natalie Grinham (NED).

David will play France’s Camille Serme in the last four. Serme had already secured her place in the knockout stage before Friday’s group match defeat to Raneem El Weleily (EGY).

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Olympians on hand

Wed 3rd, Day TWO:

Group A
Amr Shabana
  2-0 Peter Barker                 11/8, 11/6
Nick Matthew 2-0 Mohamed El Shorbagy     11/5,11/6

Group B
Gregory Gaultier
2-0 James Willstrop      11/6, 13/11
Simon Rosner 2-0Karim Darwish               11/4, 11/8

All to play for in Pool A as Rosner keeps hopes alive in London ...

After all the upsets in the women's matches, there were 'only' two against the head in the evening's men's second round of pool play at Queen's Club.

In Pool A Amr Shabana made it two out of two and Nick Matthew bounced back from yesterday's defeat. It's still any two from three though, with Mohamed El Shorbagy needing to beat Shabana and hoping for winless Peter Barker to beat Matthew in tomorrow's final pool matches.

Pool B is clearer cut - Grégory Gaultier's win over James Willstrop puts the Frenchman through to the semis, where he'll be joined by the winner of Willstrop and Simon Rosner, who won the day's last match to put Karim Darwish out of contention.


Greg Gaultier

I played better than yesterday,” said Gaultier. “I enjoyed playing against James. He doesn’t open the court up much so you have to work really hard.

James Willstrop
“I think it was a high standard. I played well for long periods of that match and didn’t come out with anything to show for it.”

Simon Rosner
"It's awesome. I didn't expect to be here, but my last-minute preparation went well. I'm really playing my best squash here.
To win a match here on this great court is amazing. I'm very happy."

Nick Matthew
"I had to make sure I didn't get too down after last night's defeat - and now have to make sure I don't allow myself to get too upbeat after tonight's win, as I have to win tomorrow's match to have a chance of qualifying.
"Back in contention after a 2-0 win tonight. Better length & faster start but Mo generous with his errors!"

A: Natalie Grinham 2-0 Annie Au            14/12, 11/4
A: Laura Massaro 2-0 Nicol David           12/10, 11/9

B: Nour El Sherbini 2-0 Raneem El Weleily 11/8, 11/8
B: Camille Serme 2-0 Jenny Duncalf          11/7, 11/4

Upsets all round on women's Day Two

It was an afternoon of upsets in the women's pool matches on Day Two at Queen's as all four matches went against the seeding.

England's Laura Massaro heads pool A with two wins after beating world champion Nicol David in two close games.

In Pool B it's Camille Serme on two wins after she beat Jenny Duncalf, while Nour El Sherbini won the all-Egyptian clash against world number two Raneem El Weleily.

Those two are guaranteed semi-final spots, to be joined by the winners of tomorrow's David v Grinham and Duncalf v Sherbini matches.


Laura Massaro:
I thought I played well, I mean you have to played well when you’re playing Nicol otherwise you’re off court before you know it. She’s just won her seventh world title and she’s playing really well and that means winning today is even more special. She’s such a great champion that she’ll come back for sure.”
“I was really focused on what I wanted to do in there today. She’s beaten me comfortably the last few times we’ve played but it was just a case of me executing my game plan. I’ve beaten her before so when I got myself in that position it’s not a surprise anymore, it’s just you don’t get yourself in that position against her unless you’re playing really well

Nicol David:
When the other person is playing better on the day there isn’t a lot you can do. I was just trying to get into the game and play my shots but I was making too many errors. I just have to go back and to reassess for the next match. Both games were close. You just have to be sharp straight away in this format. I just knew that I had to come in and stay with her but she just played her shots better than me.

Natalie Grinham: “With this format it’s really important to try and get the first game. After that you can relax and play your game once you’re ahead.

Nour El Sherbini:
I think I love playing here. I’ve time I’ve come here I play well and I play my best squash. I just played my game, I didn’t have any particular tactics. She’s the World No.2 so I just had to go out there and play my best.”

Camille Serme:
I’m happy with my performance. I’m working on new things with my coach at home and it seems like it worked today. We had some upsets today so you never know what can happen. I’ll see how I play tomorrow.
En Français : "Je suis très contente de commencer l'année de cette manière: 2 victoires et 2/0 les deux fois, ça fait plaisir!
J'aime beaucoup ce court, il est super beau et c'est vraiment agréable de jouer dans cet environnement.
Je prends énormément de plaisir sur le court et j'en profite pour travailler ce que nous avons vu avec Philippe.
Que du bonheur, pourvu que ça dure... :)

Jenny Duncalf:
“It wasn’t great at all but Camille played really well. She was too good today. Tomorrow’s another day isn’t it?”

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Tue 2nd, Day ONE:

Group  A
Laura Massaro 2-0 Natalie Grinham               11/8, 11/8
Nicol David 2-0 Annie Au                              11/7, 11/4

Group B
Jenny Duncalf
2-1 Raneem El Weleily 10/12, 11/8, 11/8
Camille Serme 2-0 Nour El Sherbini            11/9, 12/10

Men's Group A
Mohamed El Shorbagy
v Peter Barker 11/6, 11/7 (22m)
Amr Shabana 2-0 Nick Matthew           11/6, 11/6 (28m)

Group B
James Willstrop
2-0 Karim Darwish     11/9, 11/5 (29m)
Gregory Gaultier 2-1 Simon Rosner
                                                10/12, 11/4, 11/7 (46m)

Mixed fortunes for home stars
on opening day

Egypt's Amr Shabana kicked off the defence of his ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals title in fine style at The Queen's Club in London by upsetting England's second seed Nick Matthew in today's first pool round of the flagship PSA World Tour championship featuring the world's top eight players.

Shabana, the four-time world champion from Cairo whose World Series Finals success last year gave him his maiden title in the UK, despatched world number two Matthew 11-6, 11-6 in 28 minutes.

The illustrious Egyptian was "too sharp tonight" conceded Yorkshireman Matthew later. "I need to improve against @MoElshorbagy tomorrow or I'm going home early," the 32-year-old from Sheffield told his Twitter followers.

But there was better Yorkshire success for top seed James Willstrop. The former world number one from Leeds got his campaign off to a perfect start when he eased past Egypt's Karim Darwish 11-9 11-5 in his opening pool match on the unique all-glass Z-Court.

"When you're No1 in the world and you have losses I think you want to prove yourself a bit," said Willstrop after his match. "This is a big event for me."

But Londoner Peter Barker was unable to exploit his home advantage, losing out to Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy 11-6, 11-7.

Simon Rosner, the world No16 who became the first German to qualify for the event after the late withdrawal of world champion Ramy Ashour, made an impressive debut by taking the opening game against third seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier. But twice winner Gaultier, who has made the final in all his four appearances in the event, recovered the advantage to close out the match 10-12, 11-4, 11-7.

The tournament's round robin format means that both Matthew and Barker can still qualify for Saturday's semi-finals (which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 3). Matthew takes on El Shorbagy on Thursday, while Barker must try and overcome Shabana.

In the women’s competition, World No.1 and defending champion Nicol David lived up to her pre-tournament billing as one of the favourites for the title when she beat Hong Kong’s Annie Au 11/7 11/4 in confident style. Englishwomen Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf also scored wins, with Duncalf coming from behind to earn a 10/12 11/8 11/8 win over the higher ranked Raneem El Weleily of Egypt.

Thursday sees Massaro and David face off in one of the most anticipated matches of the day, with the winner taking a giant stride towards the semi-finals. Duncalf is up against Camille Serme of France, who notched up a win over Egyptian Nour El Sherbini.

I wasn’t feeling well over New Year’s Eve so I’m glad I was able to recover in time to play this week,” said Duncalf. “I didn’t want to miss out on playing this event and playing on this court, because it’s amazing. It’s brilliant to get to play at home because we play everywhere. To have this event, in this setting, is a great way to start the year.”

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Steve Line's Gallery

Back to Queen's for 2012

The annual end-of-season playoffs head for The Queen's Club in London once more as the top eight points earners in the PSA and WSA World Series events of 2012 contest the ATCO World Series Finals.

Three days of pool matches - four women's matches each afternoon and four men's matches each evening - will decide the semi-finalists, and those semis and the finals will be broadcast live on Sky TV in the UK.

New world champion and world number one (as of 1st Jan) Ramy Ashour is missing through injury, but that still leave a fantastic men's field, while Nicol David, fresh from claiming her seventh World Open title in Grand Cayman, heads the women's lineup.

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