World Champs shocks as Selby and Adnan power through
By SEAN REUTHE in Cairo
Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan and England’s Daryl Selby caused big upsets on day three of the 2016 Wadi Degla PSA Men’s World Championship after they rose to respective victories over 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad and French World No.10 Mathieu Castagnet in Cairo.
Adnan was off the pace at the beginning of his encounter with Mosaad and went a game down before overturning that deficit to take a 2-1 lead. A loss of focus from the World No.33 then saw Mosaad restore parity in the fourth, but he battled back superbly from a 9-4 deficit in the decider to seal the biggest win of his career.
“When I was 6-0 down and then 6-3 down, I just told myself that I had nothing to lose,” said Adnan.
“When I was behind, he was winning points off my mistakes. I just thought to myself that I should have fun. I had fun with the moment, the pressure, with everything and I got the luck.
“I’m really happy, I told myself that today could be my last much so I wanted to put in 100 per cent. All my life, my self belief was always low, but today, I proved to myself I could beat those top guys.”
After gaining a place in the second round without setting foot on court, courtesy of first round opponent Tom Richards withdrawing at the eleventh hour due to illness, Selby finally started his campaign in earnest today with an impressive 3-0 win over Castagnet.
Selby played with patience, poise and control throughout the encounter as he dealt with everything Castagnet could muster, as the Frenchman continued to look off the mark from the levels he set himself during his ascent into the top eight last season.
Castagnet has struggled with injury since before the Dubai PSA World Series Finals in May and looked to have returned to something approaching his best with a first round victory over Mazen Gamal. But Selby exposed his limitations to run out a straight-games winner, with the kind of performance that saw the Englishman rise into the top ten back in 2010.
“Mathieu is a great fighter and he plays every point at 100%,” said Selby. “The last few times we played he has beaten me. I always felt I was close and getting him tired in those matches but I was coming from behind in all of them, so was up against it.
“So today I knew the first game would be very important and I got off to a good start. I feel like I played solid squash – there was a good mix of attacking play, mixing pace and lifting, and I think he got a bit frustrated. I felt good out there.”
Elsewhere, three-time winner Ramy Ashour continued his 100 per cent start to this year’s tournament with a superb display against South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger.
The maverick Egyptian continued where he left off after a dominant win over United States No.1 Todd Harrity in round one, and played at a furious pace to come out with a comfortable 3-0 win – setting up a third round clash with Selby in the process.
“I was more relaxed [in the first round], but I felt good and I think that’s natural as the tournament goes on,” said Ashour.
“The better you do, the more pressure you start feeling and I just wanted to back up what I did in the last round, so that was in my mind. I just tried to battle it out.”
Defending champion Gregory Gaultier was also victorious on day three, beating Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal, and the charismatic Frenchman will take on Tsz Fung Yip for a place in the quarter-finals after the man from Hong Kong defeated Germany’s Jens Schoor.
There were also wins for Fares Dessouky – who will meet Adnan in the third round – Tarek Momen and Marwan ElShorbagy, with the latter two set to face off for a place in the last eight. Marwan had to play well to deal with the challenge from England’s Ben Coleman, who fought hard throughout.
$325,000 Men’s Wadi Degla PSA World Championship 2016, Wadi Degla Club, Cairo, Egypt.
Second Round (Bottom Half):
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 1-11, 12-10 (102m)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1:13-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (64m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (49m)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 (31m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3 (54m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 12-14, 11-3, 11-5 (49m)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [Q] Jens Schoor (GER) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 (44m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (37m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Max Lee (HKG)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA