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PSA World Series Finals 2014

19-Mar, Final: 
     Ramy Ashour
3-1 Mohamed Elshorbagy
                       15/17, 11/7, 11/4, 11/5 (63m)

Ramy regains World Series title

Ramy Ashour won his second World Series Finals title with an assured victory in the final against fellow Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Shorbagy, who had soundly beaten Ashour in their opening best-of-three pool match, got the better of a high-quality first game in which there was rarely more than a point between them, Ashour led 10-8 but Shorbagy would not be denied and took the lead 17-15 after 27 minutes of play.

Shorbagy led 5-2 in the second, but from then on his efforts in the last two days seemed to catch up with him, while Ashour stayed at the same high level and dominated the next two and a half games.

“It was a brutal match and both of us were really hungry to win that opening game and it’s credit to him that it went his way,” said Ashour.
“He deserved to win that game and I had to come back with a different plan from the second game and thankfully it worked.

“I’m really, really proud to win such a prestigious event,” added Ashour. “Everyone would love to win this event and I really pushed myself and focused from the first point of the week until the last point of the week which gives me a lot of confidence mentally.

18-Mar, Semi-Finals :
Ramy Ashour 3-0  Gregory Gaultier
                       13/11, 11/8, 11/7 (47m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-2 Nick Matthew
                       9/11, 11/7, 11/6, 4/11, 11/3 (94m) 

Ashour and Shorbagy set up
all-Egyptian final in Richmond

Egypt’s Ramy Ashour, who started the tournament looking very tentative as he lost his first match in double quick time, continued his improvement in for with a tremendous victory over France’s Gregory Gaultier in the first semi-final in Richmond.

The Frenchman started strongly, leading 6-1 and then 10-6 in the first game, but Ashour started to find his best form, and his best shots, as he stormed back to take the game 13/11.

Gaultier was never out of it, but was now struggling to contain Ashour’s exuberant play, and the Egyptian took the next two games 11/8, 11/7 to claim his place in the final.

“I think when I can beat Greg in three straight games in the form he has been in recently then I can say that I’m almost back at my full potential,” said Ashour.

And it will be an All Egyptian final, as young Mohamed Elshorbagy won a tough seesaw battle against the World Champion and World number one Nick Matthew to reach his first WSSF final.

Matthew looked extremely good in the first game, and in the fourth, but Shorbagy was brilliant in the second, and third!

The score in the decider doesn't reflect the intensity of the match, but although Matthew won't be happy to not have been able to restrain his young opponent, perhaps it  it came down to who wanted it the most on the day.

“I’m really happy to win today,” said Elshorbagy. “That’s the second time in a row I have beaten him 3-2 and today it was a very tough battle. I was really pleased with how I started in the fifth game and I think I broke him down mentally."

Day Five Photos

Day Four Photos


Day Three Photos

Mon 17th, Day THREE
Group A:
  Nick Matthew 2-0 Borja Golan                   11/8, 11/9 (36m)
  Simon Rosner 2-0 Gregory Gaultier        13/11, 12/10 (30m)
             1st Gaultier, 2nd Matthew, 3rd Rosner, 4th Golan
Group B: 
  Mohamed Elshorbagy
2-0 James Willstrop 11/9, 11/7 (32m)
  Ramy Ashour 2-0 Tarek Momen                 11/6, 11/6 (20m)
            1st Shorbagy, 2nd Ashour, 3rd Willstrop, 4th Momen

Day Three - Semi-finalists decided

The final round of group matches started with all eight players still in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

First up was world number one Nick Matthew against Borja Golan with the Spaniard needing a win to stay in contention. Golan made a good start, leading the first 8-5 but Matthew stepped up to take the lead 11-8, The second was close all the way but again it was Matthew who finished the stronger, taking the last two points from 9-all to finish 11-9.

With Matthew on two wins and a 4-2 game difference it meant that Golan and Simon Rosner were out, and not even a surprise win for Rosner over Gregory Gaultier - getting the better of two close games 13-11, 12-10 - could deny the Englishman and Frenchman their place in the semis, Gaultier topping the group on the basis of having beaten Matthew yesterday.

No chance of a 'dead rubber' in Group B, where the winner of each match will advance to the semi-finals.

In the first of those matches Mohamed Elshorbagy trailed James Willstrop at the midway point of both games, but the young Egyptian, who could so easily have clinched his semi-final place last night, wasn’t to be denied this time as he powered through to win 11/9, 11/7.

“I don’t think anyone can imagine how tough it was to take that loss last night especially as I had match balls,” said Elshorbagy. “I had played so well against Ramy in the first match and I was playing well against Tarek so, it was so tough to know that if I went wrong today I would have gone out of the competition."

In the final match of the day Ramy Ashour, who started the event with a comprehensive loss to Shorbagy, continued his improved form to beat Tarek Momen 11/6, 11/5 in a quickfire match on the cooling Westwood Club court.

“The court conditions were cold tonight and it was very rewarding because when you hit a good shot it just goes right and I love playing on a cold court,” said Ashour.

In the semis it will be Ashour v Gaultier and Shorbagy v Matthew.

Sun 16th, Day TWO:                         

Group A:   
Simon Rosner (W1) 2-1 Borja Golan (W0)
                      10/12, 11/6, 11/6 (60m)
                  Gregory Gaultier (W2) 2-0 Nick Matthew (W1)
                       11/7, 11/4 (35m)

Group B:    Ramy Ashour (W1) 2-1 James Willstrop (W1)
                       7/11, 11/7, 12/10 (50m)
                  Tarek Momen (W1) 2-1 Mohamed Elshorbagy)W1)
                       5/11, 17/15, 12/10

All still to play for in both groups
after Day Two in Richmond

Day two of the World Series Finals in Richmond, with the possibility of semi-final places being sealed, or for some a last chance to stay in contention.

First up was Group A, with Simon Rosner and Borja Golan both looking for their first win. In the longest match of the event so far, Golan edged a close first game but Rosner fought basck strongly to win 10/12, 116, 11/6.

Yesterday’s winners, Gregory Gaultier and Nick Matthew were next, and after a hard-fought opening it was Gaultier who seized the initiative at the end of a tough first game and kept it going as he dominated the second to move to the top of the group.

“It was a very tough first game," said Gaultier. "He was always in front of me and I had to find a solution to that which I did and I’m very happy to win.”

In the final round it’s Gaultier v Rosner and Matthew v Golan with the possibility of a simple 3-2-1-0 wins, three players ending up on two wins, Gaultier on three with all the others on one, or .... let’s wait and see!

Ramy Ashour made sure that Group B remained tight as he came from a game down to beat James Willstrop in an entertaining 7/11, 11/7, 12/10 that could easily have gone either way, the Egyptian playing much better and with more confidence than yesterday, Willstrop doing nothing wrong but falling just short with a couple of errors at the end.

Mohamed Elshorbagy continued his sparkling form from yesterday with an impressive 11/4 first game against Tarek Momen, but Momen fought back from a 10/5 at the end of second, saving eight match balls to level it 17/15. Momen saved one more match ball at the end of a third game that went point for point, eventually taking the win 12/10.

“I’ve never come back from that sort of deficit before and it’s just unbelievable really,” said Momen.

Shorbagy next meets Willstrop with Ashour facing Momen, and with all four players on one win the scenario is simple - winners go through to the semis!

Day Two Photos

Day One Photos

Sat 15th, Day ONE:

Group A :
Gregory Gaultier
2-0 Borja Golan              11/4, 11/9 (42m)
Nick Matthew 2-0 Simon Rosner                 11/7, 11/2 (30m)

Group B :
Mohamed Elshorbagy
2-0 Ramy Ashour     11/5, 11/5 (17m)
James Willstrop 2-0 Tarek Momen             11/8, 11/8 (40m)

Shorbagy shines on day one in Richmond

Day One of the World Series Finals in Richmond saw all eight players in action in the first of three pool matches.

First up was Group A, where Gregory Gaultier and Nick Matthew both won 2-0 to seize the early advantage.

Gaultier beat WSSF first-timer Borja Golan 11/4 11/9 and the Frenchman was clearly delighted to get a measure of revenge for his contentious defeat by the Spaniard in Qatar at the end of last year.

Matthew faced Simon Rosner, in to replace the injured Karim Darwish, and the world champion won with increasing authority 11/5, 11/5.

Gaultier and Matthew meet tomorrow in a repeat of their World Champs final, the winner almost certainly bagging himself a place in the semi-finals, while Rosner and Golan will know that the loser of their clash is probably out of contention.

In Group B it was Mohamed Elshorbagy and James Willstrop who set the early pace.

Shorbagy was in sparkling form, beating a slightly out-of-sorts fellow-Egyptian Ramy Ashour 11/5, 11/5, while Willstrop got the better of an entertaining match against Tarek Momen - another first-timer in the event - coming from 1-6 down in the second to win 11/8, 11/8.

Tomorrow Willstrop - the only non-Egyptian in the group - meets Ashour while Shorbagy plays Momen.

STATS: tournament winners, performance history, head to heads

World Series Finals set for US debut

The PSA has announced that the 2013 World Series Finals will take place in Richmond, Virginia, USA from March 15 – 19, 2014.

With the iconic Tournament of Champions returning to New York in January and Chicago’s Windy City Open joining the World Series line-up in February, the World Series Finals will add a further North American feel to the 2014 calendar.

The top eight players in the World will be hosted at the luxurious Mobil 5 Star and AAA 5 Diamond rated Jefferson Hotel before going head-to-head at Richmond’s Westwood Club for the right to be crowned World Series Champion.

“Following on from the successful 2013 NAO, Pro Squash Promotions are thrilled the PSA WSF's will be held here in Richmond from March 15-19,” said Gus Cook and Dave Maraghy, 2013 World Series Finals organisers.

“It is great to see the past 9 months of preparation and continued support culminating in the opportunity to host this most prestigious event featuring only the very best of the best.”

Canadian squash legend Jonathan Power, founder of 2013 World Series Finals title sponsor Power Courts, said;

“I'm very excited to be in the position to sponsor and give back to the sport that has given me so much.

“Since my retirement I've looked to grow the game in many ways. Power Courts is a natural extension of that. One of quality that I'm very proud of."

One of the pinnacle events in the squash calendar, the World Series Finals have been staged at London’s Queens Club for the past four years but the PSA have decided to take the event ‘on the road’ to help increase global awareness of the PSA World Series and PSA World Tour.

Sponsored by Power Courts, the 2013 World Series Finals will be the first ever held on American soil with Richmond extending their already long-standing association with world class squash, having staged the North American Open for the past five years.

“The World Series Finals have enjoyed a superb few years at London’s Queens Club but we felt that a change in schedule for this event was necessary.

“The Finals have taken place in the UK since the mid-1990s but with PSA World Tour events taking place in all corners of the globe, we want to maximise on the international reach of squash.

“Richmond has a well-established reputation on the World Series circuit as one of the best-run events, having grown from Challenger level into one of the biggest events on the circuit in recent years.

“Taking the pinnacle event in the World Series there is just reward for the unwavering dedication to squash that has been so evident in that area and is an example to all other tournaments of what can be achieved.”

PSA Chief Executive

Tarek Ready for first appearance

Rosner replaces Darwish

2013 WSSF

2013 NAO

Rosner in to replace Darwish

German national champion Simon Rosner has replaced Karim Darwish in the upcoming Power Courts World Series Finals after the Egyptian was forced to withdraw from the event due to an ankle injury.

Rosner will now compete in the event for the second time, after making his debut during the 2012 World Series Finals, and he’s looking forward to testing himself against the world’s best players in the shorter, best-of-three format when the event gets underway at the Westwood Club in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday March 15.

Rosner goes into the World Series Finals in a rich vein of form having beaten top ten players Borja Golan and Karim Darwish in recent events as well as taking World No.2 Gregory Gaultier close on two occasions, something he’ll hope to build on in Richmond.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the World Series Finals.

"I played in it last year and it was an amazing experience to play against the world’s top players every day and I think the shorter match format suits my game a lot as well.

“You don’t get as tired as in a best of 5 match so you have more energy for each game and that allows you to play at your best.”
“My recent results have given me a confidence boost of course because I have managed to beat some of the top 10 players,” he said.
“I know I'm not too far off those top ranked players and can actually beat them on a good day, or at least make them work very hard for their win! Hopefully I can continue that at the World Series Finals.”

Momen aims to come out firing

26-year-old Egyptian Tarek Momen says he is relishing the opportunity of taking part in the Power Courts World Series Finals in what will be his first ever appearance in the annual showcase event.

The Cairo native, who reached a career high World No.10 ranking in 2013, will travel to Richmond, Virginia aiming to come out firing on Saturday March 15 and ensure he makes the latter stages.

Momen will be up against compatriots Ramy Ashour and Mohamed Elshorbagy, the World No.3 and No.4, respectively, along with England’s World No.5 James Willstrop in the group stages, when the matches are played in a best of three games format.

“I'm very excited to play my first World Series Finals - it was a goal that I set in my mind at the beginning of 2013.

“I wanted to play all World Series events and do well to make the cut and I'm so glad I did eventually.

“The World Series Finals has its own unique atmosphere and I'm guessing it has to do with the players feeling more relaxed and more willing to entertain the audience.

“They're not playing for ranking points which relieves them from an immense amount of pressure and helps them bring out the best they've got so I’m really looking forward to it.

“To be selected among such a distinguished group of players is a great honour for me and it's like a childhood dream come true,” he said.

“I hope I can bring out my A-game to rise up to the occasion, and I'm looking forward to seeing how well I can play against these top players in a best of three format.

“I'm sure it'll be more challenging for me as I'm quite the slow starter so I'll need to come out firing from the very first point and we'll see how it goes.”

North American Open 2013

World Series Finals 2013

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