Elshorbagy Wins First World Series Crown At Qatar Classic
Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy, 11 years younger
than World Champion Nick Matthew, produced an awesome
performance against the higher-ranked Englishman in today's Qatar
Classic final in the Qatari capital Doha to win the first
PSA World Series squash title of his young career.
The match had all the makings of a great climax to
the seventh PSA World Series event staged before a packed crowd at
the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
Third seed Matthew, the 33-year-old world No 4,
arrived in Qatar fresh from winning a third PSA World
Championship title on home soil last week - and reached the Doha
final without dropping a game.
Meanwhile fifth seed Elshorbagy, the 22-year-old
world No 6 whose previous visit to Doha saw him contesting the final
of the 2012 PSA World Championship, made up for a slow start in the
event by upsetting fourth-seeded fellow Egyptian Karim Darwish
3/0 in the semi-finals.
Vociferously supported by the Arabic crowd,
Elshorbagy set a blistering pace in the opening game - producing
immaculate squash while forcing uncharacteristic errors from the
Matthew racket to win the game 11-5.
Yorkshireman Matthew, marking his third successive
PSA Tour final appearance, struck back in the second - winning five
points in a row from two-all while the Egyptian introduced the first
errors of the match into his game!
Matthew took the game to level the match, and scored
a succession of winners in the third game to move 6-2 ahead.
But suddenly the tables turned and Elshorbagy took
control: the fired-up former world junior champion from Alexandria
reeled off nine winners in a row to close out the game and regain
Elshorbagy continued the rout in the fourth -
continuing his winning run for a further two points before an error
finally returned the initiative to the Englishman. Matthew led 6-4
before Elshorbagy drew level. A massive rally which took Matthew to
8-6 clearly took its toll on the young Egyptian as the Sheffield
star went on to take the game and again level the score.
The decider saw Matthew move 3-0 ahead, then
Elshorbagy come flying back to open up a 5-3 lead before a broken
string to the Egyptian's racket saw Matthew claw back a single
But, armed with a new racket, Elshorbagy was
unstoppable - holding serve through to match-ball at 10-4 before
clinching the title with a trademark back hand volley into the right
"Last year, when I picked up the runners-up trophy, I
promised the promoter that I would come back next year and win the
tournament - so I'm glad I kept my promise," Elshorbagy told MC
Robert Edwards after his stunning 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4 title
triumph in 83 minutes.
On Matthew, Elshorbagy said: "He's just won the world
title for the third time at the age of 33 years old. If I can do
just half of what he has done, I'd be happy.
"To beat him today is such an honour."
Matthew also had praise for the new champion: "It was
a great performance from Mohamed," said the former world No 1.
"When he grows up, he's going to be a great player,"
joked the runner-up.
Elshorbagy & Matthew To Contest Qatar Classic Climax
Emphatic straight games wins in today's semi-finals
of the Qatar Classic in the Qatari capital Doha will
see Egypt's fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy and third-seeded
Englishman Nick Matthew contest the climax of the seventh
PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Khalifa
International Tennis & Squash Complex.
Elshorbagy, who made the final of the 2012 PSA
World Championship on the same court almost 12 months ago,
defied a 9/2 career head-to-head lead by his opponent Karim
Darwish to beat the fourth seed, ranked five in the world, 11-7,
11-5, 11-6 in 35 minutes.
In fact the score was remarkably similar to
22-year-old Elshorbagy's win over his illustrious Egyptian team-mate
- twice a Qatar Classic title winner - when the pair met in last
December's World Championship quarter-finals in Doha.
"I was really looking forward to playing the semi
today. I was confident I could do it - and that was very important
to me," said the world No 6.
"Being in the final after a 3/0 win will mean that I
am fresh tomorrow," added Elshorbagy, now in the 14th PSA World Tour
final of his career.
Elshorbagy made a sensational start - quickly
reaching match-ball at 10-2 before Darwish mounted a fight back.
"I started getting really nervous - thinking 'oh my
god I'm going to lose this game'," said Elshorbagy when asked what
his feelings were at that point. "If I had lost that game, I'm not
sure how I would have handled it. But luckily he made the error at
"Today I think I played the best I've played the
World No 4 Matthew, fresh from his huge success in
last week's World Championship on home soil, took on giant-killer
Borja Golan, the seventh-seeded Spaniard who stunned top seed
Gregory Gaultier in the previous round to earn a place in his
first World Series semi.
The 33-year-old from Sheffield maintained his
straight games run in Doha by beating Golan, who boasts a
career-high world No 8 ranking, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 in 47 minutes.
"It was 3/0 - but it was tougher than the score
suggests," said Matthew afterwards. "The first half of each game was
tough and I was pleased with how I finished each game - I played
good squash at the end."
When asked about the pressure, coming into the event
as World Champion, Matthew responded: "I'm really proud of my
efforts this week - I'm pleased with how I've backed up.
"I could easily have come here and lost first round.
But I want to go all the way."
Golan tweeted later: "Really good week in Qatar.
Today @nickmatthew was too strong for me and he dominated well the
match. Tonight flight home, see u next year Doha!"
Matthew is celebrating the 57th PSA Tour final of his
career - and his third in a row.
Takes Out Qatar Classic Champion Gaultier In Doha
Spaniard Borja Golan scored one of the biggest
scalps of his career when he defeated top seed and defending
champion Gregory Gaultier in today's quarter-finals of the
Qatar Classic, the seventh PSA World Series squash event
of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex
in the Qatari capital Doha.
"It's amazing - I don't have words for it," exclaimed
the seventh seed from Santiago de Compostela after the 80-minute
7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 15-13 victory over world No 2 Frenchman Gaultier
which takes him into his first ever World Series event semi-final.
"He's one of the best players of the last ten years -
but I knew if I played my best, probably I could have a chance.
"I think I was very sharp at the front of the court,"
added the 30-year-old who reached a career-high world No 8 earlier
"I gave it 100% - and played every point as if it was
the last point of my life."
Golan will now meet world champion Nick Matthew
for a place in the final. The third seed from England faced
sixth-seeded Egyptian Amr Shabana in an eagerly-anticipated
battle between two former world number ones.
Matthew had to save two game balls in the opening
game to take the lead over the 34-year-old four-time world champion
The crowd seemed set to enjoy a mighty encounter
between two of the sport's greats - but, just four points into the
second game, Shabana offered his hand to Matthew to concede the
match as the result of a knee injury sustained during the first
"Real shame that Shabs had to pull out tonight,"
tweeted Matthew to his followers later. "Was shaping up in to a
really tough match."
The other semi will be an all-Egyptian affair between
twice champion Karim Darwish, the No 4 seed, and fifth seed
Both ended the runs of second round news-makers:
World No 6 Elshorbagy despatched Daryl Selby, the Englishman
who 24 hour earlier celebrated a 19-year wait by beating world No 2
Selby went down 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2 in 47 minutes
as Elshorbagy took a step closer to a second successive appearance
in a final on the Doha court, having finished as PSA World
Championship runner-up in Doha last December.
World No 5 Darwish, Classic champion in 2008 and
2010, beat unseeded fellow countryman Karim Abdel Gawad 11-6,
Click on Images for larger
Golan scored one of the biggest scalps of his career, Gregory
Gaultier Selby pictured
above, left, with Elshorbagy Nick
Matthew the third seed from England beat sixth-seeded Egyptian Amr
It was a case of 13th time lucky for Daryl Selby
today in the Qatari capital Doha where the world No 11
toppled England team-mate James Willstrop in the second round
of the Qatar Classic to claim his first ever win over the
world No 3.
The upset, which takes Selby into the quarter-finals
of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year at
the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, follows 12
successive Tour defeats by former world No 1 Willstrop since January
2007 - and further losses harking back to the final of the
British Junior U-12 Championship in October 1994 when Selby
mustered just two points!
"It's an amazing win for me," exclaimed the
31-year-old from Essex after his 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 9-11, 13-11 over
the event's second seed in 89 minutes. "I've lost 12 times on PSA
against James and about 100 times in other competitions - so I'm
ecstatic to win.
"I've come close before and thought I've done it, so
it's a massive weight off my shoulders.
"It's a big confidence-boost, especially coming off
making the quarters of the worlds last week. I want to keep going
with the momentum and see where it takes me. Tomorrow will be
another tough day but I'll re-group and go forward.
"There are so few opportunities at this event, the
guys behind the top eight are like a pack of wolves itching to get
into those spots and take the opportunities when they appear."
Selby clinched match-ball with an incredible winner
hit from behind his back!
"I've had big win but not been able to follow them up
before. I've only made one semi-final in one of these big
tournaments before but hopefully I can keep progressing and see
where tomorrow takes me."
Unseeded Selby will now face fifth seed Mohamed
Elshorbagy for a place in the semi-finals after the world No 6
from Egypt beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, ranked 12 places
lower, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8.
"I like playing on this court but I can't get over
confident and I have to make sure that I focus on what I have to do
on court," said the 22-year-old from Alexandria, who was a surprise
finalist in last year's PSA World Championship at the same
"I was really happy that I kept my plan going and I
was really happy to finish in three today - as, after a five-game
match yesterday, I knew I needed to have a quick game to be in with
a chance of going all through the week.
"Hopefully I can keep that momentum going now. I knew
my body wasn't going to be 100 per cent ready in the first round but
I was fully there mentally. I was expecting myself to be a little
off key and the longer the game went on the more accurate and I got
and I was pleased that I managed to push myself mentally that way
and I'm proud of pushing myself through that and I certainly feel up
for it now."
There was another significant upset earlier in the
day when unseeded Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad pulled off a
shock 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10 victory over eighth-seeded
compatriot Tarek Momen.
"I'm very pleased with my performance," said the
world No 22 after his 82-minute win, his first over former world No
10 Momen. "I was expecting a very tough match - we have played many
times in practice over the years and he is a top 10 player in the
world so to win is very pleasing.
"This is I think my first win over a top 10 player
and I hope to be in the top 10 myself soon so to beat a player like
Tarek is a great achievement for me," added the 22-year-old from
Gawad will now face a further fellow countryman in
the quarter-finals: Fourth seed Karim Darwish, twice winner
of the title, beat compatriot Omar Mosaad 11-9, 4-11, 11-6,
There will also be Egyptian interest in the other
half of the draw where sixth seed Amr Shabana takes on
England's No 3 seed Nick Matthew in a mouth-watering
quarter-final between two former world number ones.
Shabana, the 2007 champion from Cairo, took just 28
minutes to subdue South African Stephen Coppinger 11-3, 11-4,
11-5 - while 2009 champion Matthew, winner of a third World
Championship crown last week, defeated Colombian Miguel Angel
Rodriguez 11-6, 11-7, 13-11 in 54 minutes.
Event favourite Gregory Gaultier also
progressed after a straight games win - beating top Australian
Cameron Pilley 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.
The world No 2 from France will now do battle with
top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan, the seventh seed who beat
England's Tom Richards 11-6, 11-7, 12-10.
Survives 'Toughest Draw' To Make Qatar Classic Last 16
England's Nick Matthew survived his first test
as the 2013 World Champion in today's second day of first round
action in the Qatar Classic in the Qatari capital Doha
- but later claimed the match against former England team-mate
Alister Walker was "probably the toughest draw I could get".
Third seed Matthew, ranked four in the world, had
faced Walker on five previous occasions on the PSA World Tour
since 2006 - originally as a fellow Englishman and more recently as
the Botswana No 1.
"Ali knows me inside out and is one of the toughest
players outside of the seeds to play," said Yorkshireman Matthew
after his 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 victory over the world No 15. "I knew I
couldn't kid him and he had a lot more time to think about the match
than me so I'm pleased to come through.
"I knew the first game was going to be very important
and the psychology of that was important," added Matthew, who last
week won the PSA World Championship for the third time.
"I read a good quote this morning which was that
'when people expect you not to be able to do it, but you still do
it, that's real mental strength'.
"I'm determined to go far this week - there's only
two tournaments left this year and I want to do well in both of
Matthew will now face Colombian Miguel Angel
Rodriguez for a place in the quarter-finals of the seventh
PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Khalifa
International Tennis & Squash Complex. The world No 14 from
Bogota despatched qualifier Max Lee 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 in his
first meeting with the Hong Kong No 1.
Top seed Gregory Gaultier, runner-up to
Matthew in the World Championship final, also enjoyed a straight
games win - beating Simon Rosner 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 to extend
his unbeaten run over the top-ranked German.
The Frenchman, ranked two in the world, will now take
on Australia's top player Cameron Pilley after the world No
16 from New South Wales defeated English qualifier Joe Lee
11-3, 11-3, 11-8.
Sixth seed Amr Shabana, the Egyptian winner of
the title in 2007, let slip a 2/0 lead over Saurav Ghosal
when the Indian fought back to take the third game.
But the 34-year-old from Cairo - who made his Doha
debut in 1996 - reclaimed the initiative to close out the match
11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7.
Shabana will now take on South African Stephen
Coppinger after the world No 19 battled back from 2/0 down to
beat qualifier Ryan Cuskelly, an Australian ranked ten places
below, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 in 83 minutes.
But the longest match of the day was endured by
England's Tom Richards and Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan.
World No 25 Richards squandered a 2/0 lead as qualifier Adnan forced
the match into a fifth game.
The decider went to a tie-break, but it was the
Englishman who ultimately prevailed after 91 minutes, winning 11-2,
11-4, 10-12, 7-11, 12-10.
Richards will line up against Borja Golan in
the next round following the seventh-seeded Spaniard's 11-7, 11-7,
11-8 win over Swiss No 1 Nicolas Mueller.
Click on Images for larger
Matthew pictured above with Walker
Gregory Gaultier, enjoyed a straight games win -
beating Simon Rosner 11-9, 11-9, 11-3
Amr Shabana, the Egyptian winner of the title in
2007, let slip a 2/0 lead over Saurav Ghosal But Goes through in 5
Denies Doha Hope In Qatar Classic
England's James Willstrop put paid to local
interest in the second round of the Qatar Classic for the
first time ever when he beat teenage wild card Abdulla Mohd Al
Tamimi in today's first round of the seventh PSA World Series
squash event of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis &
Squash Complex in the Qatari capital Doha.
The 18-year-old from Doha was making his maiden
appearance in the main draw of one of the biggest tournaments on the
world circuit only months after making history by becoming the first
Qatari to reach the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship.
Coached by Australian legend Geoff Hunt, Al
Tamimi is already the senior Qatar national champion and has picked
up a number of notable junior titles including the Dutch Junior
Open and Pioneer Junior Open in Germany.
"It's fantastic to see Qatar producing such a good
quality player," said world No 3 Willstrop after his 11-7, 11-9,
11-3 victory. "He has won a couple of prestigious junior events,
which may not mean much to some people in the audience but they're
important squash competitions - and if he can win such events, it
means he is a great prospect for Qatar and for Squash."
2005 Qatar Classic champion Willstrop, the event's No
2 seed, is making his first Tour appearance since a shock PSA
World Championship quarter-final exit in Manchester earlier this
"I've not done anything amazing this season," added
the 30-year-old Yorkshireman. "I've had decent form in quarters and
semis of recent competition but you have to put those
disappointments behind you and focus on the next competition - which
is Qatar, and this is a massive competition!"
Willstrop will now face England team-mate Daryl
Selby for a place in the quarter-finals. Selby, the world No 11,
beat French qualifier Gregoire Marche 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 in 40
"Happy to get through 3-0 against Greg," tweeted the
31-year-old Essex man later. "Talented young player but I managed to
stick to a good game plan. Lovely day off tomorrow."
The first day of first round action was otherwise
dominated by Egyptians - with wins by Tarek Momen, Karim
Abdel Gawad, Omar Mosaad and twice champion Karim
Darwish already guaranteeing an Egyptian semi-finalist!
Eighth seed Momen reserved his place in the last 16
round in unusual circumstances - when his opponent Kristian Frost
Olesen, a qualifier from Denmark, conceded the match at
match-ball in the third game having lost the first two for just five
Momen, the world No 12 from Cairo, will now face
Gawad, the world No 22 also from Cairo, who had to fight back from
2/1 down to dismiss fellow countryman Mohamed Abouelghar , a
qualifier, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 59 minutes.
Fourth seed Darwish, winner of the title in 2008 and
2010, was fully tested by England's Adrian Grant before
beating the London left-hander, ranked 20 in the world, 11-6, 11-9,
10-12, 11-8 in 64 minutes.
Darwish, who is making his 13th appearance in the
event since 2001, will now face Egyptian team-mate Mosaad, the world
No 9 who defeated veteran Malaysian Ong Beng Hee 11-6, 11-9,
11-5 in the last match of day.
The day's most dramatic match also eventually led to
Egyptian success when fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy recovered
from two games down, then from 3-0 and 5-3 down in the decider, to
beat England's Chris Simpson 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 in
Elshorbagy, the 22-year-old world No 6 who reached
the World Championship semi-finals in Manchester for the second year
in a row, will now face Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the
Anjema, the world No 18 from The Hague, beat Olli
Tuominen 11-3, 14-12, 11-8 in 51 minutes to celebrate his
career-first victory over the experienced Finn, a 34-year-old
qualifier who, like Darwish, was marking his latest appearance in
the event after making his debut in 2001.
Nations Represented In Qatar Classic Qualifiers
Eight players from different nations made it through
today's qualifying finals of the Qatar Classic to earn places
in the main draw of the seventh PSA World Series squash event
of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex
in the Qatari capital Doha.
Veteran Helsinki-based Olli Tuominen became
the sole Finn in the main draw after twice coming from behind to see
off young Englishman Charles Sharpes 5-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-2,
11-6 in 56 minutes.
Having earned his 13th successive appearance in the
event since 2001, the 34-year-old world No 28 will now face Dutchman
Laurens Jan Anjema, the world No 18, in the first round.
By contrast, Denmark's Kristian Frost Olesen
secured his maiden Qatar Classic appearance after beating Kuwait's
Ammar Altamimi 11-9, 11-7, 11-4. The lowest-ranked player to
qualify, world No 63 Olesen has been drawn to meet eighth-seeded
Egyptian Tarek Momen.
England's Joe Lee survived the day's longest
match. The world No 33 was pitted against Egypt's Marwan
Elshorbagy, ranked just a single place higher.
But 24-year-old London-born Lee fought back from 1/0
and 2/1 down and saved two match-balls in the decider to beat
Elshorbagy 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-1, 12-10 in 93 minutes.
Lee's reward is a first round clash with Australian
No 1 Cameron Pilley.
Classic Springs Qualifying Surprises
Upsets were the order of the day in the first qualifying round of
the Qatar Classic as surprise names secured places in the
qualifying finals of the seventh PSA World Series squash
event of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash
Complex in the Qatari capital Doha.
Kuwaiti Ammar Altamimi became the lowest-ranked player to
progress after beating Finland's world No 39 Henrik Mustonen,
the Finn who made the last 16 of the World Championship last week
The 25-year-old world No 98 from Kuwait City despatched Mustonen
12-10, 11-6, 11-5 - and will now face Denmark's Kristian Frost
Olesen for a place in the main draw. Olesen, ranked 63 in the
world, also pulled off an upset, beating Scotland's world No 31
Alan Clyne 13-11, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9 in 111 minutes - the
longest match of the day.
But Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet was the biggest casualty. The
world No 23 from Aix-en-Provence fell to 20-year-old Egyptian
Mohamed Abouelghar 16-14, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 in 56 minutes.
The world No 59 from Cairo will now line up against fellow
countryman Mohd Ali Anwar Reda in the next round.
Five Egyptians will contest the qualifying finals, plus two
Englishmen, together with individual representatives from France,
Finland, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Denmark, India
France's world No 2 Gregory Gaultier will lead
the field at this week's Qatar Classic after Egypt's Ramy
Ashour withdrew from the PSA World Series event following
an injury sustained at last week's PSA World Championship in
"Just got out of the hospital and the doctors advised
me not to play Qatar so that my hamstring injury won't get any
said the world No 1 from Cairo on Facebook.
"Let's thank the LORD for whatever he has for us."
Ashour's withdrawal means Gaultier will look to
regain the Qatar Classic title he won in 2011. The Frenchman will
open his campaign against top-ranked German Simon Rosner, the
world No 13.
The 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence is scheduled to
link up with Spain's world No 8 Borja Golan in the
quarter-finals - before a likely semi-final encounter with England's
Nick Matthew, the man who beat him in last week's World
Championship final in Manchester.
Gaultier and Matthew fought out a blistering
111-minute final which went the full distance - with home hero
Matthew prevailing to win the prestigious title for a third time.
But 2009 Qatar Classic champion Matthew has a lot to
do before reaching the semis: His first opponent is former England
team-mate Alister Walker, the world No 15 who now represents
Botswana. A predicted second round clash with the Colombian
Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the highest-ranked South American of
all-time, could take the Sheffield star on to a quarter-final clash
with sixth seed Amr Shabana.
The distinguished Egyptian made his first major PSA
Tour appearance in Doha in 1996, a full five years before Matthew
began his Classic encounters. Four-time world champion Shabana - the
34-year-old from Cairo whose latest goal is to become the oldest
world No 1 or world champion - has reached the Qatar final on three
occasions, winning the title in 2007.
England's world No3 James Willstrop, elevated
to second seed following Ashour's withdrawal, begins his 11th Qatar
campaign against wild card Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, a
promising Qatari junior who is ranked 99 in the world.
The revised draw now sees Willstrop in the same
quarter as Mohamed Elshorbagy, the fifth-seeded Egyptian who
upset the Englishman in the World Championship quarter-finals.
Willstrop's biggest threat in his half of the draw is
fourth seed Karim Darwish, the only two-time winner of the
title in the draw. The world No 5 from Cairo, champion in 2008 and
2010, begins his latest campaign against a qualifier before an
expected quarter-final meeting with compatriot Tarek Momen,
the new No 8 seed.
The 2013 Qatar Classic, the seventh PSA World Series
event of the year and one of the leading events on the PSA World
Tour since 1992, takes place at the Khalifa International
Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha from
10-15 November, following two days of qualifying.
Ramy Set For Third Qatar Crown
Egypt's world number one Ramy Ashour is seeded to win his
third major squash title in the Qatar capital Doha in
November's long-established Qatar Classic, the seventh PSA
World Series event of the year.
The $150,000 Qatar Classic will take place at the
Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex from 10-15
November, following two days of qualifying.
It was in 2007 that the then 19-year-old Ashour
celebrated his first appearance in the Qatar Classic main draw by
winning his fourth Tour title of the year after upsetting Australian
David Palmer in the final.
Last December, at the PSA World Championship
on the same Doha courts, Ashour completed the year which saw him
return to the top of the world rankings in January by beating
Mohamed Elshorbagy in a 90-minute all-Egyptian final. The
triumph marked Ashour's second world title and his fifth Tour trophy
Ashour faces Qatari wild card Abdulla Mohd Al
Tamimi in the opening round. The 18-year-old from Doha is the
rising star of Qatar squash. Coached by squash legend Geoff Hunt,
Al Tamimi became the country's first ever semi-finalist in the world
junior championships, earlier this year in Poland.
Ashour is drawn in the same half as third seed
James Willstrop, the former world number one from England - and
is expected to line up against France's world number two Gregory
Gaultier in the final.
Gaultier, the 2011 champion, opens his account
against German star Simon Rosner in a repeat of this month's
European Championship final. The second-seeded Frenchman is expected
to meet England's Nick Matthew, the No4 seed and winner of
the title in 2009, in the semi-finals.
But both Willstrop and Matthew have tough openers -
Willstrop against the Spanish number one Borja Golan, winner
of his 28th Tour title earlier this year, and Matthew taking on
former compatriot Alister Walker, the Botswana number one who
is ranked 15 in the world.