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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

World champion Ramy Ashour out of US Open

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Brief encounter: Ramy Ashour in action against Mathieu Castagnet before injury struck
Brief encounter: Ramy Ashour in action against Mathieu Castagnet before injury struck

Egyptian ace limps off after five minutes against Castagnet
By NATHAN CLARKE in Philadelphia

 

Three time world champion Ramy Ashour’s 2015 Delaware Investments US Open campaign ended in misery today as the 28-year-old Egyptian conceded his second round match against Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, while World No.1s Mohamed Elshorbagy and Raneem El Welily successfully negotiated their respeictve encounters.

Ashour, the charismatically talented man from Cairo, has endured an injury-plagued 18 months on the PSA World Tour and has failed to compete in more than two consecutive events since he limped off court against Nick Matthew at the 2013 World Championship.

Victory today would have seen Ashour reignite his ferocious rivalry with No.1 Elshorbagy but his injury troubles appeared to strike again as he exited the court after less than five minutes of action to hand victory to World No.9 Castagnet.

“It’s really difficult for me to be happy to win like this,” said Castagnet. “Ramy is such a great and fair player and we all want to see him playing because he’s such a special player, so it’s very hard to be happy right now.

“It’s a busy period on the tour so it’s important that we all work hard and manage our bodies well in order to perform at all these events and I’ll go away and prepare for the next round now.”

Mohamed Elshorbagy ends the run of Scotland's Greg Lobban
Mohamed Elshorbagy ends the run of Scotland’s Greg Lobban

Castagnet will now take on the defending champion Elshorbagy after the 24-year-old from Alexandria secured his quarter-final berth with a comfortable straight games win over Scotland’s Greg Lobban, withstanding an early onslaught from the World No.38 before easing to an 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 win.

“I have great memories of playing here in Philadelphia, especially as winning and becoming number one here last year was a great moment for me,” said Elshorbagy.

“I love playing here so I’m pleased to get through today and keep my tournament hopes alive for another round. Greg is a good player and I admire how he plays, but I’m happy that I was able to get the win today.

“I’m going to have a tough match on Wednesday with Mathieu because he’s always a very tough guy to play. The last time we played he won so I’ll certainly have to be at my best if I’m to get through that one.”

Raneem El Welily fights back to beat Jenny Duncalf
Raneem El Welily fights back to beat Jenny Duncalf

In the women’s draw, top seed and World No.1 El Welily continued her journey towards a maiden US Open title with victory over former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf in an entertaining four-game encounter.

The 26-year-old was caught flat as Duncalf, the current World No.17, came out on fire, hitting a succession of flamboyant winners to take the first game 11-4. But El Welily showed the composure and skill that has taken her to the top of the rankings as she overturned the deficit to complete an impressive victory 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 and set up a last eight encounter with compatriot Nour El Tayeb.

“She was playing really well and taking every opportunity that was put in front of her in that first game especially so I had to come out more alert in the second game,” said El Welily.

“It’s great to see her playing so well again but I’m happy to be through to the next round. It’s definitely going to be hard playing against a friend like Nour but it’s a great time for Egypt at the minute with five girls in the top ten – so we all know we’ll have to play each other at some point.”

El Tayeb booked her place in the quarter-finals courtesy of a battling victory over England’s Emma Beddoes. The first game was a close call, with the Egyptian winning 14-12 before opening up big leads in the second and third games.

The 2014 runner-up, Nour El Sherbini, had to dig deep to complete a hat trick of Egyptian wins and avoid a shock defeat against Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart, who led 2-1 in games before fading in the fourth and fifth.

Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.

Women’s Second Round, Top Half:
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [15] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-1: 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [10] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 3-0: 14-12, 11-5, 11-3 (34m)
[7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (48m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [11] Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v [16] Dipika Pallikal (IND) – To Be Played Oct 13
Joshana Chinappa (IND) v [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) – To Be Played Oct 13
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Amanda Sobhy (USA) – To Be Played Oct 13
[12] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [2] Nicol David (MAS) – To Be Played Oct 13

Men’s Second Round, Top Half:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (42m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 6-1 retired
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (48m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (33m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Daryl Selby (ENG) – To Be Played Oct 13
Tarek Momen (EGY) v [6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) – To Be Played Oct 13
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Fares Dessouki (EGY) – To Be Played Oct 13
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) – To Be Played Oct 13

Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and US Open

 

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