MATCH REPORTS AND ANALYSIS TO FOLLOW SOON
World No,1 Ramy Ashour had to scrap for his life before booking himself a place in the last eight at the in the AJ Bell World Championship in Manchester.
Aussie bruiser Cameron Pilley took the first game and made Ashour battle all the way to the line in a 62-minute match of sublime, attacking quality.
Ashour eventually ran out 9-11, 11-8 , 11-4, 12-10.
Cameron played so well, he was finding nicks from everywhere, I was under so much pressure, my shots weren’t going in at all today, I had to relay on my fitness to win, and I’m so glad it worked! That win against Cameron gives me a lot of confidence.
I have so much pressure, so many factors, plus that extra ennemy up there in my head….
Everybody wants to win this, and every match you play is a match for the World Champs title. So I’ll just keep on playing, I will keep on doing my best and keep playing…
Yes I know I was wearing the same colour shirt than Ramy, but I did warn the PSA before hand, saying that if I had to change, it would have to be black. Well, I said, first of all, a match against Ramy doesn’t last that long!!!! I guess I may get an invoice in my letterbox, sort of “bad luck, here is the fine”!!!!
Apart from a few period, I played nice lines and lengths, killing the ball at the front as soon as I had the opportunity, keeping the pace up. And against Ramy, you’ve got to vary the pace as well. I did that in patches, but I feel that I had the wrong choice selection at the end of the 4th, I was playing like I was playing at 3/3 in that game, instead of 10/8. I should have taken the initiative I guess, but then again, I just kept on doing what I did to get me there, I guess if I didn’t, if I had changed, I would have wondered why did I change! Grass is always greener….
Nick Matthew maintained his unbeaten record against Egypt’s Omar Mosaad as he became the first player to secure a place in the quarter finals.
The Englishman took the first two games, surrendered the third but finished the job 11/4, 11/7, 11/13 11/4. After the match, Nick joked: “I was wearing red today in case I started ‘Sweating ‘Blood'” …
“He is so young and still, he is so strong, he looks older than me!
“When it got tight in the 3rd, he became very hard to beat. I’m lucky I got to a good start in the 4th.
“Yes, we play the Nationals here, it’s easier to win, there are no Egyptians! I love the court, I’m used to it, I’m used to the bounces, feels home to me, and I’m used to the crowd!
“I had lost a bit of motivation at the end of last season, but as I’m not as skillful as James or Ramy, if I don’t have the fire, I’m half the players they are. But this year, it’s fine, I’m just going to try more for quality than quantity.
“A new tournament starts tomorrow, it’s so exciting, I’m sure we’ll all love it, and the crowd as well, especially with the BBC being there and all…
And before I can even think about playing Ramy, there are a few more challenges to face before that match, if it goes according to seeding, a man that’s got a few world titles under his belt….”
 Amr Shabana (Egy) 3-0  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (37m)
Four time champion Shabana moves into his 11th World Open quarter-final
I’m very happy to be in the quarters for the 11th time then! This is a very high quality tournament, and I’m very proud to be in it.
Miguel is one of those dangerous players, I’ve been playing his four times now, and every time I can feel the sting of his squash, his intensity is getting better, the quality of his shots is getting better, and he is very difficult to beat.
Like I said on the first day, you don’t appreciate something until it’s taken away from you. And when I was off sick for all those weeks, not sure if I’ll be able to step on another every again, I came to regret each time I got on court and didn’t give my all.
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-2 Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (66m)
Fantastic fightback by Ghosal to become India’s first ever World quarter-finalist.
Ghosal: Henrik played umbelievable squash in the first two games. Actually he was much ball down in the first round and came back to win it. That shows how strong he is mentally. He really caught me off guard with the quality of his shots. I had to dig in super super super deep to grind out of that one.
I really feel for Peter, a world open on home ground doesn’t come that often, and I hope he’ll feel better soon. But Henrik has done what he needed to do to be in the last 16, and he nearly got to the last 8! Credit must be given where credit is due.
Personally for me it’s a massive achievement. It’s the first time I’ve made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championship and it’s huge to be in there in the last eight with the world’s best players. I’ve made it one step further than I have before so I’m going to enjoy it but I will be coming back tomorrow and hopefully I can play another good game and give myself a chance of progressing even further.
Hopefully this achievement will give some impetus to the Indian players coming behind me and encourage them to keep playing well and working hard.