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PSA: Top seeds reach Colombia final

Mohamed El Shorbagy in action

Top Seeds Make Colombian Open Final

4 September 2011

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Colombian Open, Bogota, Colombia

[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 Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)

A new Colombian Open champion is assured after Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema beat two-time champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 35 event in Bogota to set up a final against Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy at Club El Nogal.

Colombian number one Rodriguez, the defending champion based in Bogota, was bidding to make the final of his country’s premier event for the fourth time since 2006.

But second seed Anjema, the world No12 from The Hague, was too strong for the recently-injured 25-year-old fourth seed, winning 11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 in 57 minutes to reach the 27th Tour final of his career.

“I am very proud of myself – I did not expect the result due to the injury I had,” explained Rodriguez afterwards. “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 I am looking forward to next upcoming tournaments.”

El Shorbagy, the top seed competing in his first event in Colombia, faced third seed Alister Walker, the former Englishman playing in his first championship since taking on the country of his birth, Botswana.

It was the pair’s first meeting, with the world No9 from Alexandria surviving the loss of the second game, and two tie-break games, to win 11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 12-10 in 53 minutes.

“The first tournament of the season is always tricky,” said Walker, ranked 21 in the world. “However I can’t be upset with how I played but perhaps somewhat frustrated with opportunities missed in the third and fourth 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 shots at ten-all in both of the last two games. It was a good game and I enjoyed playing. The Colombian 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.”

El Shorbagy was delighted to have reached his fourth PSA Tour final this year: “It’s my first time playing Alister, I think we both played well – it was a good fair match,” explained the 20-year-old.

“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!”

Rodriguez Rallies Into Colombian Open Semis

3 September 2011

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Colombian Open, Bogota, Colombia

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)
[3] Alister Walker (BOT) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10 (54m)
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Rafael Alarcon (BRA) 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6 (67m)
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 12-10, 11-0, 11-4 (28m)

Local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez held off the quarter-final challenge of Brazilian rival Rafael Alarcon in theColombian Open in his home city of Bogota to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 35 event atClub El Nogal.

Fourth seed Rodriguez, the Colombian number one who won his country’s premier title last year for the second time, had to battle for 67 minutes to overcome 34-year-old Alarcon.

In a clash described by tournament spokesman Juan Carlos Santacruz as a “sensational match played by Rodriguez and Alarcon in five vibrant games”, the Colombian triumphed 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6 to reach the last four for the fifth time since 2006.

Rodriguez, the world No30, will now face second seed Laurens Jan Anjema after the Dutchman, ranked 16 places higher, despatched Finland’s Henrik Mustonen 12-10, 11-0, 11-4 in just 28 minutes.

Alister Walker, the former Englishman making his first Tour appearance for his country of birth, secured his anticipated place in the last four after a four-game win over New Zealander Martin Knight.

After a series of unforced errors early in the match, third seed Walker – now flying the flag for Botswana – recovered to defeat Knight 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10 in 54 minutes to set up a meeting with Egyptian favourite Mohamed El Shorbagy.

The world No9 from Alexandria, making his Tour debut in Colombia, had to fight back from a game down to overcome rising Hong Kong star Max Lee 3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 in 50 minutes.

Shorbagy later admitted on Facebook that he had been lucky to win. His post read: “I am the luckiest person ever to win a match like that….11/3 lost first game….2nd game was 10/7 down and won 12/10….3rd game was 9/7 down and won 11/9…4th game was 9/3 down and won 11/9….”

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v [3] Alister Walker (BOT)
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)


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