TODAY in Hurghada
Framboise reports from Hurghada
Sun 20th, FINALS
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
bt  Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 9/1, 9/4, 9/2 (34m)
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt  Amr Shabana (Egy)
12/10, 9/11, 11/7, 9/11, 12/10 (79m)
 Ramy Ashour
(Egy) bt  Amr Shabana (Egy)
12/10, 9/11, 11/7, 9/11, 12/10
Ramy wins a thriller
World number one Amr Shabana made the better start in the men's
final, moving ahead from 4/4 reach game ball at 10/7.
Shabana attacked to finish it off, but some great retrieving and
then a barrage of kills and nicks from his opponent Ramy Ashour
saw the first game go the youngster's way.
Errors from Shabana gave Ramy a 3/0 lead in the second, but the
world champion steadied, levelled, and moved ahead 7/5 in part
thanks to some stunning service returns. Ramy leapt in vain
after a crosscourt, 9/6 Shabana, then 10/7 once more. Two game
balls saved, but Shabana levelled on the third opportunity, 11/9
on a stroke.
Looking up for it now, Shabana took a 3/0 lead in the third and
extended it to 5/1. The rallies grew longer, but still Shabana
held sway, 6/3 before he hit his first tin of the game. The
second half of the game belonged to Ramy though, as he rallied
to take seven points in a row to win the game 11/7.
The fourth was close all the way, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8.
Shabana, displaying more patience and giving Ramy nothing to
attack, edged ahead 9/8, 10/8, and levelled the match 11/9.
In the decider Ramy maintained a slender lead, but there was
little in it. 10/7 match ball. 10/8. Three lets, then Shabana
sensationally levelled as the crowd went wild. A horrible
backhand mishit from Shabana gave Ramy a third chance and this
time he made no mistake, with a superb low drive glued to the
"My mistake tonight was not to keep
pushing when I was ahead, I had a chance to finish the game in
the first, and in the third, but I let him come back into the
match. This is a good lesson to be learned, and I’ll try and
learn from my mistakes.
"At 10/10 in the fifth, it’s a flip of a coin, and that backhand
shot, I must have played it 2000 times, and never missed it. I
could have played so many others shots too! But hey, I lose
against the number two in the world, I’m happy to be in the
final, it’s a good tournament for me.
"And the season is still young, there are plenty of
opportunities to win matches and tournaments…"
SPEED, NICKS AND ROLLS…
two were inventing shots that hadn’t been played before, at a
pace rarely reached, attacking with all the weapons they had,
standing on the head, from outside the court, intercepting,
reacting, pure guts, pure instinct, pure genius, I had a flash
of a good English Coach, trying to teach his players about
patience, and length, and tight drives. And I saw him as he tore
up his guide book, and left the arena to go and plant cabbages
in North Yorkshire.
maybe, what, 10 up and down the wall rallies in the whole match.
All the rest was magic, pure magic, with it seemed a slight
domination from Shabana that had what seemed comfortable leads,
but let Ramy claw back, with his now world famous forehand
dropshot and volley drop shots, sometimes letting him score 3,
4, 5 points within seconds.
5th, the Gods of squash were on Ramy’s side, when at 6/7,
Shabana serving, those two had a rally from Hell that Shabana
seemed to have won, when Legend Ramy found a pure reflex touch
the wood volley that should have found the floor, and found the
nick instead… In disgust, the Prince of Egypt threw his racquet
(as a joke, of course) at his opponent, and as the Prince he is,
turned the decision from the marker, who called the ball down,
to give the point back to Ramy who thanked him, and thanked God.
That was the difference between 7/7 or 8/6. Huge…
You know the rest, 3 match balls saved by Shabana in rallies
that got all the spectators on the feet, chanting, amazing,
astonishing control and domination from the Prince, that then
plays the worst shot in the history of SquashKind, and Ramy who
ends with a stunning forehand low drive.
The Legend continue… til their next encounter…. next week…?
Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 9/1, 9/4, 9/2 (34m)
Omneya claims second Hurghada crown ...
Appearing in her fourth consecutive Hurghada final, the crowd's
darling Omneya Abdel Kawy made a great start in the 2008
edition, racing to an 8/0 lead in the first game before taking
Second seed Jenny Duncalf slipped a couple of times in that
first game, causing the court cleaners to be brought on, giving
a playing time of 7 minutes in the 10-minute game.
The Englishwoman made a better start to the second, leading 4/1,
but the Egyptian bounced back with nine unanswered points to
double her lead in 9 minutes.
Bolstered by a two-game advantage, Omneya came out firing in the
third, seemingly on a mission as her volleys proved too good,
powering her into a 5/1 lead.
A few errors started to creep into
the Egyptian's game but still she moved ahead to earn a first
match-ball at 8/2. Jenny saved that, but it was only a brief
respite as Omneya took the next two points to claim her second Hurghada
extremely well today, I took an awful start, and then couldn’t
find a way to get into the match.
"She is so good at the front, so you don’t want to give her too
much, but I didn’t succeed to do much else!
"Disappointed really, it’s such a good setting, a great crowd,
shame I couldn’t do better today, but Omneya just played too
"I was so nervous at the start, and normally, when you start a
match, you get a few shots down, but today, all my shots were
getting in, and my confidence grew from there. The court was a
bit slippery, and I could see that Jenny never really settled in
the match. But thank God, I’m so happy I’ve won this tournament.
"I feel that the fitness was the key. Before, I used to try and
finish the point too early, because I was getting tired quickly.
Whereas now, I know I can stay on the court as long as I need
to, and that’s thanks to my two fitness coaches that makes me
work one on strength, one on technique.
"It was so nice to hear the people chanting my name! It’s my 5th
final here, so it felt like here, I was more famous than Shabana
and Ramy! It’s such a nice feel to feel that the people love
you, and they support you, and they take your picture, and ask
autograph… It’s great!"