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Greg Lobban gains first win over Alan Clyne in Grasshopper Cup

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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Greg Lobban gets in front of Alan Clyne in Zurich

Egyptian pair beat French in qualifying 
By NATHAN CLARKE in Zurich

 

Egyptians Mazen Hesham and Omar Mosaad inflicted misery on French duo Mathieu Castagnet and Gregoire Marche as qualification came to a close at the 2018 Grasshopper Cup, PSA M100 event.

Hesham, who dropped out of the top 50 last year following shoulder and hip injuries, was back to his sublime shot-making best as he dismantled Castagnet 3-0 to book his main draw berth courtesy of a dominant display.

The maverick, attacking Egyptian showcased all the skills that have marked him out as an outstanding talent since he burst onto the scene a few years ago as he unleashed his full arsenal from the start – hitting crosscourt winners from deftly struck flicks, powerful slams and deceptive touches in all four corners of the court, even powering back from 6-2 down in the third to reel off five straight winners to perplex Castagnet and turn the momentum around to take the match in style.

“To be honest that result was better than I expected,” said Hesham. “I felt like I played a good basic length game and kept the errors low and it’s always a good sign when you can get a result against a top player like Mathieu.”

Mazen Hesham in action against Mathieu Castagnet

He’ll now face compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in the first round of the $100k event while Mosaad ensured it was a bad day for French squash as he eliminated Marche 3-1.

The hard-hitting Hammer of Thor recovered from a slow start, going 8-0 down in the opener, before gaining control of the court to assume the role of aggressor and take Marche’s speed away from him and see out the match and secure a first round berth against World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Joining Mosaad and Hesham in the main draw are Greg Lobban, the Scotsman who recorded his first ever win over compatriot Alan Clyne, and German Raphael Kendra, who overcame a tough test against England’s Adrian Waller in five games. 

Raphael Kandra (left) in action against Adrian Waller

Tarek Momen, runner-up to ElShorbagy in the Canary Wharf Classic, meets Spain’s Borja Golan, while England’s James Willstrop and Daryl Selby meet familiar friends and rivals in Saurav Gosal (India) and Simon Rosner (Germany).

Number one seed Gregory Gaultier of France, who beat Rosner in the final two years ago, meets Swiss wild card Nicolas Mueller.

The star they all want to see is Egyptian super star Ramy Ashour, who will be in action against Kandra.

PSA M100 $100,000 Grasshopper Cup 2018, Halle 622, Zurich, Switzerland.

Results – Qualification Finals:
[1] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [5] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [8] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 4-11, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5 (66m)
[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (41m)
[7] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [4] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6 (81m)

First Round – Main Draw:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[7] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [4] Simon Rösner (GER)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [8] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
[Q] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 

Pictures by CLAUDIA SCHURMANN

 

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