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XIV Colombian Open 2011
30 Sep - 05 Aug, Bogota, $20k

04-Sep, Final:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy bt [2] Laurens Jan Anjema
           7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 17-15 (77m)

Shorbagy takes a thriller in Bogota
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

From power to power the two finalists fought to finally give the title of the XIV version of the Colombian Squash Open to the Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy after a five game final with a tie break in the last game.

A technical, deep and highly disputed match filled with winning shots and followed with the behavior of gentlemen and courtesy; the title was given to the Egyptian who showed his enormous capacity to achieve a winning attitude on court.

The first game was for the Dutchman with El Shorbagy adapting and trying to define a winner proposition, to the point that he generated six unforced errors. For the second game the Egyptian was more precise, took control of the attacking position and with left hand drops tied the match to 1-1.

The third game was for El Shorbagy, who with the profound conviction of his winning shots to the Dutch’s left hand took advantage. When the match was 7-7 both players played such a long and disputed rally that it finished with a hug of congratulations to the Egyptian who after at least 30 shots won the point.

The fourth game was filled with contrast. El Shorbagy seemed unfocused at the beginning and with unforced errors allowed the Dutch to win.

The final game was highly emotional. The Dutch, who conquered the public, entered the match cheered by the crowd and the game was exciting. Winning shots and unforced errors committed by both players looking for precision.

El Shorbagy needed four balls to finish the game in his favour, but Laurens managed to keep the match tight and force a tie break that seemed to last forever.

Great match, great level, great champion.

"What can I say after this brutal match ... this is the second long match in the 5th I won this year ...
[our info said 15-13 but we trust Mohamed's memory!]

I came into this match and I know he had an advantage over me that he trained in the high altitude this summer so I needed to play clever squash to overcome that. First game he was just too good for me. When it came to 1/1 and 8/8 we were both absolutely dead at that time and I knew this game would make a lot of difference so I gave it a big push ...

And the fourth I didn't try, I just thought I would take the risk and save my energy for the fifth ... this is actually the first time I let a game go but I guess that's what the altitude can do to you.

The fifth we both just gave it all and when I was 9/5 down I just didn't want to give up, I wanted to win so badly so I gave a huge push. I kept telling myself I need only six points and I can do it.

He had only one match point at 15/13 and I had all the rest, but every time I was match point up he hit a stunning winner ... until at 16/15 I hit that cross court which hit the nick at the back - I think that's the only way I could win!

He is such a great guy and such a great player. That was our first meeting but I'm sure we are going to have a lot of more hard matches. The way he takes the loss, only champions can take it that way...

"I loved the place here it was just amazing and it was such a great experience to play in the high altitude ... AND NOW I NEED TO BE BACK HOME AND SLEEP IN MY OWN BED!!!


Check out the moves

"Losing a final so close in the fifth is painful. It hurts a lot. But at the same time I cannot be that frustrated because I feel I put in a good performance and I hit a bit of bad luck in the end.

"This invisible coin in life sometimes falls your way and sometimes the other way. Today it fell was Shorbagy's way.

"We played hard and fair and although I lost today, I enjoy playing well".


XIV Colombian Open 2011
30 Aug - 04 Sep, $35k
Round One
01 Sep
02 Sep
03 Sep
04 Sep
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
12-10, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy
3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)
Max Lee
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy

11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 12-10 (53m)

[3] Alister Walker

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy

7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 17-15 (77m)

[2] Laurens Jan Anjema

Max Lee (Hkg)
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
12-10,6-11,11-9,11-1 (69m)
[Q] Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
Martin Knight
11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10(54m)
[3] Alister Walker
Andres de Frutos (Col)
11-3,11-3,11-7 (22m)
[3] Alister Walker (Bot)
[4] Miguel Angel Rodrigues (Col)
11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2 (56m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
[4] Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6 (67m)
Rafael Alarcon
[4] Miguel Angel Rodrigues

11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)

[2] Laurens Jan Anjema

Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
11-7,11-4,11-4 (22m)
[Q] Gonzalo Miranda (Arg)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
14-12, 11-3, 11-9 (39m)
Erik Tepoz (Mex)
Henrik Mustonen
12-10,11-0,11-4 (28m
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema
Jan Koukal (Cze)
11-2, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3 (47m)
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)

31-Aug, Qualifying Finals:

Eric Galvez (MexX) bt Jorge Gutierrez (Arg)                        11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (46m)
Erik Tepoz (Mex) bt Jonathan Veloza (Col)                          11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (26m)
Gonzalo Miranda (Arg) bt Javier Castilla (Col)    11-8, 1-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8 (61m)
Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bt Jonathan Ramos (Mex)    5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (42m)

30 Aug, Qualifying Round One:

Erik Tepoz (MEX) bt Manuel Caro (COL) 11-5, 11-5,11-5 (21m )
Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (24m)
Jonathan Veloza (COL) bt Francis Zemanate (Col) 11-5,9-11,11-9,11-1 (32m)
Javier Castilla (COL) bt Andrés González (COL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (35m)
Jorge Gutiérrez (ARG) bt Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 12-10,9-10,11-7,11-8 (39m)
Jonathan Ramos (MEX) bt Esteban Casarino (PAR) 11-4,11-9,4-11,11-6 (38m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) -Rodrigo Torres (COL) 11-5,11-3,11-4 (19m)
Eric Gálvez (MEX) bt Dane Sharp (CAN)


03-Sep, Semis:

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [3] Alister Walker (Bot)
             11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 12-10 (53m)
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt [4] Miguel Rodrigues (Col)
             11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)

Top seeds in Bogota final
based on reports from Juan Carlos Santacruz

As per the seedings, Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy and Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema will play the final of the Colombian Open after defeating Bostwanian Alister Walker and Colombian Miguel Rodriguez in the semi-finals. Both matches displayed great level and cheered the public of Court No.6 of El Nogal Club in Bogota. The final tomorrow will be an excellent match between the No.9 and 12 of the world

Shorbagy imposed an exceptional game against Walker. The Egyptian started the first game by studying his opponent; he was precise in his attacks and took the lead 11/7. For the second game, Walker was faster and attacked with strength; it was a game of high physical standard with highly disputed shots that wore out the Egyptian, Walker won 11/4.

The 1-1 parity seemed to give the match a new direction. Nonetheless, two successive tie break wins demonstrated the enormous concentration by the Egyptian in the crucial moments.

The two final games were tied with attacking shots from Walker with drops and tight lengths that pressured the Egyptian. The pressure passed on from one player to another and at some moments each was forced into errors. In the fourth game the advantage was for Walker and he was cheered by the public who wanted a fifth game. Yet, once again in the crucial moments El Shorbagy played beautifully.

The Egyptian passed to the final and Walker’s heart won over the public.

"I am really happy to win… its my first time playing Alister…

"I think we both played well, it was a good fair match ... today is finally my first day that I felt fine on court so I am happy about that...

"Tomorrow is the last day of the tournament and there are two things I hate in this sport which is losing after being 2-0 up and losing in a final…so I know I am going to be giving it my all tomorrow as I am sure LJ will as well ..."

Dutchman Anjema's fluency neutralized the Colombian favourite Miguel Angel Rodrigues' tactics of playing long rallies at the beginning, but Anjema imposed speed and started to finish rallies with drops and cross court nicks that gave him the victory. The Colombian was firm with his best shots, avoided unforced errors, but the winning shots by the Dutch made the difference.

Anjema attacked in the precise moments, covered all the court to neutralize his opponents skills and a played with millimetre precision. This was the portrait of the first game, long and deep with constant boasts where the Dutch won 11/3.

For the second game Rodriguez changed the rhythm by imposing speed, attacking with firmness and tied the match to one-all, 11/4.

The third game was tight until 7-7 when Anjema played winning shots and took the advantage of 2-1, 11/8. For the final game the fatigue of both players was evident, but the Dutch managed to put the Colombian in a defensive position all the time and eventually gave in to the solid Dutch who won the match, taking the fourth 11/7.

"I am very proud of myself, I did not expect the result due to the injury I had , on the other hand of course I wanted to do great at home with my home crowd, Laurens was very patient and I think we really played a great squash today.

"It is a good start of the season and looking forward to next upcoming tournaments."


Check out the moves

"The first tournament of the season is always tricky!

"However I can’t be upset with how I played but perhaps somewhat frustrated with opportunities missed in the 3rd and 4th games today. I could have had either and maybe ought to have.

"Mohammed played more consistently than in his previous round with fewer errors and came up with some big shot at 10 all in both of the last to games.

"It was a good game and I enjoyed playing. The Columbian crowd got very involved which made for an exciting event with a promising final tomorrow.

"I am sure I’ll be back playing this event in the future."


The Opening Function ... some good moves ...

Top seeds through to
in Bogota
Based on reports by Juan Carlos Santacruz

The quarter-finals of the Colombian Open at Club el Nogal saw he top four seeds progress to the semi-finals, but not without drama.

Second seed Laurens Jan Anjema was the only one of the four to progress in straight games as the Dutch champion beat Henrik Mustonen 12/10, 11/0, 11/4 with the young Finn unable to match LJ's exceptional movement and stunning precision as he hit the nick, particularly on the left-hand side of the court, with regularity.

Anjema is now a firm candidate for the title, but will have to get past Colombia's own Miguel Angel Rodrigues in the semis.

Rodrigues played out a sensational match with Brazilian Rafael Alarcon, which ebbed back and forwards between the two. Rodrigues took the first easily but Alarcon stormed back to take a 2-1 lead, gaining in confidence. The Colombian champion changed his tactics at the start of the fourth, lengthening the rallies before adding attack to his resolute defence as he took the final two games to reach yet another Colombian Open semi-final, with a 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6 scoreline.

Third seed Alister Walker made continuous unforced errors at the start of his match with Kiwi Martin Knight, but the Botswanan made huge efforts to adjust his game to win 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, finishing with an immense rally which Walker closed out with a volley nick to seal his place in the semi-finals.

Top seed Mohamed El Shorbagy was, in his own words, "the luckiest person ever to win a match like that," as he got past Hong Kong's Max Lee by the narrowest of margins, losing the first and then coming from behind in each of the next three games to clinch an unlikely-looking win.


Round One in Bogota

Alister Walker, the former Englishman making his first PSA  appearance for his country of birth Botswana, cast aside Colombian teenager Andres Felipe de Frutos to reach the quarter-finals of the Colombian Open at Club El Nogal in Bogota.

Wildcard player De Frutos was making his PSA debut - and, aged just 17, was the youngest player ever to compete in the long-established Colombian Open.

But third seed Walker, the former England international now flying the flag for Botswana, needed just 22 minutes to overcome the rising Colombian star 11-3, 11-3, 11-7.

New York-based Walker, ranked 21 in the world, will now face Martin Knight for a place in the semi-finals. Knight, the world No46 from New Zealand, battled for 69 minutes to overcome Australian qualifier Matthew Karwalski 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-1.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez led local interest into the last eight after beating Mexican Cesar Salazar 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2 in 56 minutes. The No4 seed from Bogota, returning from the injury which ruled him out of last week's world team championship in Germany, will now line up against Rafael Alarcon.

The top-ranked Brazilian brushed aside Gonzalo Miranda, a qualifier from Argentina, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 in 22 minutes.

Top seeds Mohamed El Shorbagy and Laurens Jan Anjema secured their quarter-final berths in contrasting styles. Egyptian El Shorbagy, the 20-year-old event favourite, defeated Mexican Arturo Salazar 12-10, 11-4, 11-8, while second-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema needed four games to see off Czech champion Jan Koukal 11-2, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3.


Qualifying complete in Bogota
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

Two Mexicans, one Argentinean and one Australian enter the main draw ...

Eric Gálvez (Mex) bt Jorge Gutiérrez (Arg)

This match was favorable to the Mexican Galvez who won in the Pan-American classic. Gutierrez gave all his traditional ability, but his endurance didn’t allow him to defeat his rival.

Erik Tepoz (Mex) bt Jonathan Veloza (Col)

The Colombian’s will top lay was insufficient against the game proposed by Tepoz, who was the first to obtain a place in the main draw. The competitive rhythm and confidence were much stronger than the Colombians expectations in his debut in a PSA tournament.

Gonzalo Miranda (Arg) - Javier Castilla (Col)

An excellent game that needed five games to be defined, allowing the 21 years old Argentinean to reach the main draw for two consecutive years. Castilla played secure and consistent, but couldn’t win his key rallies in the three games he lost. Both players sustained the rallies, but didn’t attack.

Matthew Karwalski (Aus) - Jonathan Ramos (Mex)

With tranquility and follow through to conduct each rally the Australian defeated with great technique, the potent Mexican.
The best will meet in Bogota
Preview from Juan Carlos Santacruz

With four top 20 players and the presence of top 100 players in the main and qualifying draws, Bogota will experience the best PSA tournament in Colombian Open history as the tournament comes to its XIV version.

The entry list contains eight No.1 players in their countries. Holland’s No.1 Laurens Jan Anjema (PSA No.15), Bostwana’s No.1 Alister Walker (PSA No.1), Colombia’s No.1 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (PSA No.26), Mexico’s No.1 Arturo Salazar (PSA No.43), New Zealand’s No.1 Martin Knight (PSA No.48), Czech Republic No.1 Jan Koukal, Brazil’s No.1 Rafael Alarcon (PSA No.57), and Hong Kong No.1 Max Lee (PSA No. 63).

More than 50 players tried entering the tournament, but only 12 entered the main draw with additional 12 for the qualy draw. The remaining spots in the qualy draw were left for 4 local players that will have to win the pre-qualy draw in the Colombian Squash Open 2011.

An unforgettable week for world squash in El Nogal Club in Bogota.


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