TODAY at the Qatar Classic -
Daily updates from Doha
02-Nov, Day FIVE, Round TWO, Top
Lee and Cuskelly keep the upsets rolling
We're down to one court from today onwards, as the last sixteen
in the Men's and Women's events take to the glass stage.
men's session, shortened by the withdrawal though injury of
Adrian Waller to put Miguel Rodriguez through to the
quarters, started with an all-Egyptian affair which saw top seed
Mohamed Elshorbagy beat qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar in
Two upsets followed, as first Max Lee took out a tired
looking fifth seed Simon Rosner in straight games, and finally
Australian qualifier Ryan Cuskelly continued his run of
great form to beat Chris Simpson, also in straight games - both
reaching a World Series quarterfinal for the first time.
were no upsets in the afternoon's women's matches as Joshana Chinappa
followed up her win over the top seed with a three-nil victory
over Yathreb Adel, and will face a third successive Egyptian
opponent after Omneya Abdel Kawy beat Sarah-Jane Perry in
World Junior champion Nouran Gohar eased past qualifier
Amina Yousry, while fourth seed Laura Massaro was pushed
all the way in four games against fellow Englishwoman Fiona
Men's Round Two (top):
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar
11/6, 11/8, 11/3 (38m)
Max Lee (Hkg) 3-0  Simon Rosner (Ger)
11/5, 11/8, 11/9 (38m)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 3-0 Chris Simpson (Eng)
11/4, 11/6, 11/7 (47m)
Rodriguez (Col) w/o
Adrian Waller (Eng)
Women's Round Two (top):
Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 3-0 Yathreb Adel (Egy)
16/14, 11/8, 11/8 (37m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-0  Sarah-Jane Perry
11/9, 11/7, 15/13 (38m)
 Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Amina Yousry (Egy)
11/2, 11/5, 11/2 (23m)
 Laura Massaro 3-1 [Q] Fiona Moverley (Eng)
14/12, 11/9, 5/11, 119 (50m)
say no more
It’s the best I ever played in the second round ever. Like I
told him at the end, it’s because I have a lot of respect for
him, and I knew how dangerous he could be. I’m happy to get away
in three, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to do that again.
He is one of the new generation, which is coming up now, my
brother’s generation, and I’m lucky because my brother has
played those guys all his life, and I’m been watching him all my
life. And it was funny today, normally, I’m the one giving my
brother a game plan for his matches; but today, I’m the one who
went to my brother and asked, so what’s the plan today??
I’m lucky that I was already here at that level when I was his
age, so I know what he was feeling, how you want to go after the
ones at the top, but now, I’m the one people are hunting! But I
was able to weather the storm. And I’m so happy with the way I
Last season, I won 4 tournaments in a row, but I peaked too
early, whereas this season, I’m nowhere near as good as I was
last year, but I’m improving each tournament. And as everybody
knows, my aim is the World Title, I guess Greg and myself are
the same, the only ones of the top guys that didn’t get the
title yet. And I feel I’m in the right tracks here, going in the
right direction, getting better and better.
Always happy to come here, I’ve reached the final the last three
years I was here, I always play well here, thanks everybody for
the support we are always getting from that amazing crowd.
Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-0
[Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 11/6, 11/8, 11/3
Top seed safely through
very nervous Mohamed, who noticed the people moving on the
frontwall (one of the photographers), then somebody coming in
the venue, chatting to the Egyptians players in the crowd just
before he re-entered the court for the second game, asking the
referee to “concentrate a bit on the match” …
No, Mohamed never took that match for granted, and gave young
Birdsbrain all due respect.
Amazingly, Abou made less errors than Shorbagy, only 1 error per
game, and played a very mature squash. He cannot have any
He found some good shots, wrongfooted and surprised Mohamed a
few times. But today, Mohamed was playing at another level and
never gave him a chance to really impose his mad and with flair
Like the World number said “I know how dangerous he can be now,
but also in the future”. Today, Mohamed was just the Boss on
(Hkg) 3-0  Simon Rosner (Ger) v
11/5, 11/8, 11/9 (38m)
Another seed falls
strong performance from the HK boy, 27, WR15, a good win against
Simon, same age, WR7, who had a pretty gruelling first round
against Cops, and maybe didn’t recover that well from it.
Max dominated the German in the first two games, taking them
rather quickly, 9 and 11 m.
The third is different, with Simon ahead and leading for most of
the game – not huge gap, but ahead the whole time but a couple
of unforced errors helped Max to draw level at 9-all….
A gigantic rally, that Max finishes with a lovely winner, and
then at 10/9, a no let as Simon charges past Max towards the
front right corner and asks for a let.
The referees award a 'no let', and after a suitable pause so
does the video ref, and Max is through to his first World Series
you work with David Palmer, you just don’t stop working.
Sometimes, we train, and we are tired, and we say, we want to
stop. David says no, not before the end of the next exercise..
But we are grateful…
We all know how hard you must play to beat Steve Cops, I know, I
train with him! And Simon did that two days ago, I think he was
still feeling it in the legs, and that his movement was not
today as good as he could be. On the other hand, I was fresh.
tried to play my best, I’m happy with my performance, I think I
played very well, well maybe not very well, but good average. In
the 3rd, I just couldn’t control him, so I tried and stayed
focused, he is such a strong player, and keep doing the best I
It’s the first time ever to beat him, we played 4 times, and I
never won. Last time was here, and I lost [in 5, 11/7 in the
5th, in the qualifying]. So today, I’m reaching my first
quarter-final of a World Series, and I beat him for the first
I really wanted to win that one. I didn’t think about the win,
or what would happen if I would win. I just focused on my game,
my length, on the simple things. And focus on what I had to do.
all about confidence. I guess I didn’t believe I could win
before, but now, I do believe I can beat the top players in the
world. I had my doubts, I stayed at the WR40 for 9 years, and I
thought what’s the point, am I ever going to make it? But I
stuck to it, kept working hard, and it finally paid off.
So my coach Rodney Martin told me to change my approach, to just
be more aggressive. “You may lose a few matches, but you will
get some good wins as well”. So I changed my training, started
to attack more, and for the past six months, I’ve had some great
I cannot believe it, this is I think the first time ever I get
past the first round of a World Series and here I am in the
quarters. And I have a chance to get to the semis as well, I’m
playing Miguel, I think I can give him a good run for his money,
even if I had a few matches in the legs already, but I have a
rest day tomorrow, so, I will try and take my chances there.
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly
(Aus) 3-0 Chris Simpson (Eng)
11/6, 11/7 (47m)
Who is going to stop Ryan???
not like Chris did anything wrong, or played the wrong game, or
went crazy or tinned the ball (7 errors the whole match). It
just the belief that Ryan carries as a flag around his racquet
at the moment that gives him that extra power.
The score doesn’t tell the story in the first two games, how
hard they worked, 16m for a 11/4, and 13 for 11/6.
the third, Chris managed to take the lead for the first time of
the match, 3/0, but was caught out, 3/3. And against Ryan was
ahead, so sharp at the front, and wining some pretty gruelling
Very few decisions, no discussions, or contacts, a clean and
fast pace game, great way to finish the day, thanks guys.
It was very hard not to over think things, after the victory
over Raneem, so I just tried and kept it as simple as I could,
like I did with Raneem. Yathreb is a dangerous opponent, she
just beat Dipika 3-0, which proves how strong she is at the
I made it hard for myself when I allowed her to get away with
the score, but I made sure I concentrated on getting the ball
deep, because I could feel at times my height not being good
enough. This court is very rewarding when you get your length
right, it really cling to the walls…
This is my first quarter final of a World Series for a while [2
years, HK], I feeling good both mentally and physically… Like I
already mentioned yesterday, you work hard, and you just try and
execute the plan.
Chinappa (Ind) 3-0 Yathreb Adel (Egy)
16/14, 11/8, 11/8 (37m)
was a good start for young 19 year old Yathreb, already 31 in
the world despite being a full time student in Roehampton, in
England against 29 years old Joshna, Indian number 2 and WR17.
She was leading 6/2 and truly looking strong and sharp out
suddenly, change of momentum, the Indian strings 5 points in a
row. 7/7, 8/8, 9/9, and all the way to 16/14, with Yathreb
unable to transform the 5 game balls she had, while Joshna only
There were a lot of decisions in that game, 15, which prompted
the central ref to ask the girls to make more effort to clear
and play the ball. It worked, as we didn’t have many more calls
a great start for Yathreb in the second, 6/3, and again, Joshna
find her shots and power at the back, 7/7, 8/8, and a quick game
this time, 7m, after a long 18m one…
Annnd the same for the 3rd, Yathreb is up 4/1, 5/2, and yes,
you’ve guessed, 5 points in a row. From that point on, Joshna
will always be in front, to take the third, 11/8…
Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-0
 Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11/9,
11/7, 15/13 (38m)
Omneya edges through
Jane didn’t show she was nervous today, she probably was, but
just started very strongly, leading 6/3 with very short rallies
until Omneya got into the groove and turned the tables to take
the game 11/9 in 9m.
The second is more dominated by the Egyptian from the start,
rallies are very short, 3/0, 5/2, 6/3 – two review on decisions
for SJP, one she wins, one she loses - a few discussions from SJ,
nothing out of the ordinary.. 8/4, 9/6, and game Omneya 11m.
Omneya relaxes a bit in the 3rd, or just SJ relaxing with the
back against the wall, 3/0, 5/1 for the 25 years old English
lady, with the rallies getting longer and more constructed. SJ
is really looking strong, dominant, she now has cut the
discussions, and is truly focussed. It’s working for her, 9/5!
But that’s when Omny decides that a 3/0 would be muuuuch better
than a 3/1 or worse, and find the accelerator to score 5 points,
back to 9/9! SJ will have 1 game ball of her own, will save with
a few loud COME ON three match balls to finally bow 15/13 in the
longest game of the match, 16m, the winning point a mishit from
the back of the court for a clean winner!
A high quality match, very few tins, and two attacking ladies
for an intense and fast pace squash!
Yes, it was exciting in the end, wasn’t it… I like to keep
The court is much better than the old one, it still has got a
few weird bounces, but it’s more in tune with the other
glasscourt we have in the rest of the world, whereas the other
one was really different!
She played very well at the end, my length got a bit short, and
she was able to do more or less what she wanted with the ball.
If I managed to keep the rallies very short, 2, 3 rallies for
the first two games was because I was hitting the ball very
hard. So at the end of that third, I made sure I came back to
that game, medium power, and then short but not trying to win
quickly, just making her hard, trying to make her go to the back
and deceive her while I played to the front.
She is a player I find very difficult to read, I can’t see her
hands, I think it’s because she’s got a low swing, I cannot
predict her shots that well, she can use her wrist very well. I
had to make sure she didn’t have the time to use that wrist,
making the court very big to prevent her to lob or flick, to
allow her only to return the shot.
I am so happy to get away in 3, I really didn’t want to lose
that third, when you do that, your opponent gets his confidence
up while yours is getting down.
Amina is so talented, so nice, she is like my little sister, and
she is always supporting me for the big tournaments. So today
was a big dilemma for me: being nice or getting to my first ever
quarter final of a world series. Sorry, but the quarters was
more important today…
Amina didn’t play her game today, but she had an amazing match
against Emily, congratulations to her for that. We are both
playing in the same club, Wadi Degla, the “community of
If I was to play Laura, it would the 5th times and she beat me
the 4 times before, including our last match, the final in
Macau, 3/0. I hope I would play better and turn that tide. And I
hope her and Fiona will have a 150m match, and also that we’ll
have a great match with or Fiona, or Laura in the Quarters…
Gohar (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Amina Yousry (Egy)
11/2, 11/5, 11/2 (23m)
Gohar asserts her authority
pupuce…. Poor mite… For you who just discovered Amina on
SquashTV and think mmm, I wonder what the fuss is all about, she
is 15 and 140 in the world.
She played amazing squash to beat Emily Whitlock with a fighting
spirit I rarely saw.
Today, on the glass, she was a bit lost poor thing, and in the
5m first game, she didn’t have much to say about what was going
in the second, she started to get used to the conditions, and
got a few nice rallies/shots against one of her best friend
Nouran, very very very much older, 18, and already 9 in the
So the “older lady” got much stricter in the third, she know how
those babies can be dangerous, and it was again a short affair,
7 m, 11/2 for Nouran…
Massaro 3-1 [Q] Fiona Moverley (Eng)
14/12, 11/9, 5/11, 119 (50m)
A star is born
Am I allowed to say “a Star is born”??? Of course I am. It’s my
article I can do what I want really. More seriously, we saw some
pretty serious new comer on there today. Just in case you
haven’t read my previous article on Fiona, she is 28, stopped
the circuit a few years back, had a life cause she didn’t have
the money to go on the tour full blast, got divorced, decided to
face her unfinished business, and is now back at 48 in the world
in a year back on the Tour!
she was asking some tips on playing on the glass court bless
her. Well, she obviously had a speedglasscourt lesson from
someone I tell you! The minute she got on there, the rallies
were long, disputed and Laura was on the backfoot! Didn’t know
what to expect I guess, was a bit late on the ball, got wrong
footed a few times, even served out at 8/6, and the 12m game
couldn’t have been closer! Laura needed 4 game balls to finally
clinch that game, 14/12!
The second is the turning point. Fiona, having completely
unsettled Birthday Lady from the start, 3/1, 6/4, goes 8/4, and
even 9/6! And the brain – blond, like me – start chatting to
She stops her volleying that has been so great up to now, loses
a bit of her power in her length/width, and makes her first
errors of the match in no time. Laura is in there in a shot, and
will take the game 11/9 scoring 5 points.
would think that would be it, but it’s not. Again the underdog
is at Laura’s throat again, dominating completely the world
number 3, 5/1, 7/4, 11/5, not one unforced errors, like in the
The fourth will be again close, nothing between them, some
ridiculous rallies at the end, lovely, disputed, and it’s the
longest game of the match, 14m. At 9/9, Danny Massaro is a
nervous, bless him, but it’s a great length for Laura with a
funny bounce, and a backhand lob that goes out of court for
Fiona… 11/9 Laura….
Remember the name. That’s Fiona Moverly.
Well, I couldn’t be that mean on her birthday, now, could I….
Shame I don’t take that 2nd, up 8/4…. Suddenly, I found myself
thinking Oh my God, I’m about to take a game from Laura
And I became a bit defensive, stopping doing what I did
to get to that point…
That kind of match helps you set up the benchmark and allows you
to know where you are, what level you are playing at. Today
shows that, on my day, I can compete with anyone.
It was my first
time in a World Series event, and the first time playing a top
4. So I can’t be too disheartened, it will be a case of building
up for the next time I get the opportunity again…
And you know what? Despite the lack of experience, I felt quite
at home on the glasscourt today, what did Nick Matthew say?
“It’s the same dimension as the other courts….”
He was right.
thought Fiona played really well. The glass court and the lower
tin really suited her game and she used height and attacked and
mixed it up to make it really tough.
“I didn’t play 100 per cent at my best and when you do that
against someone as dangerous as her you can get hurt but I felt
like I worked her game out as the match went on. Every game was
tight so I’m pleased to get off in four games.
“My first round match was quick and then I had a rest day
yesterday so I feel like I’ll be better for the remainder of the
tournament after having a tough test today.
“It was tough to regroup after winning the U.S. Open and deal
with the emotions and the jet lag and then getting back into
training ahead of Qatar was hard but I’m happy to win today and
I’ll enjoy my birthday now.”