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BritOpen Roundup: Farag Stuns Three-time Champion Matthew In British Open Second Round


Egyptian World No.14 Ali Farag stunned the crowd at the 2016 Allam British Open in Hull as he knocked out three-time champion and World No.3 Nick Matthew in the second round of the prestigious PSA World Series tournament to inflict the home-favourite’s worst British Open result since 2002.

Matthew was 2-1 up in an engaging, tightly-contested affair before his movement slowed considerably towards the end of the fourth after sustaining an ankle injury. Farag moved on to level things up and, despite battling bravely, a clearly struggling Matthew was unable to match him in the final game as Farag wrapped up a 4-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 victory to set up a quarter-final meeting with compatriot Ramy Ashour.

‘The Artist’ had gone two games up only to see his lead shattered by a resurgent Cuskelly, who refocused after an injury forced him off court for a short period during the third, before going 9-3 up in the deciding fifth game.

In a remarkable display of tenacity and skill, Ashour battled back and overturned a match ball for Cuskelly at 11-10 to bring an end to a thrilling encounter by an 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 13-11 scoreline.

“Every match I am just pushing myself,” said Ashour.

“Today I was a bit hesitant so in the next match I will be all the way in. The match was scary in patches but it was definitely better than last time [against Cesar Salazar in round one]. I felt a lot freer on court and I didn’t think about my body as much.

“He played amazingly so all credit to him. If it wasn’t for my comeback at the end he could have got it. I’m trying to keep things as simple as I can, I’m not trying to think too much.”

Elsewhere in the Men’s draw, World Champion Gregory Gaultier and Germany’s Simon Rösner have also advanced after respective victories against Stephen Coppinger and Chris Simpson. Gaultier and Rösner will now go head-to-head in the next round for a place in the last four.

The Women’s event saw five-time winner Nicol David cement her place in the quarter-final thanks to a routine win over Australia’s Donna Urquhart.

Malaysian icon David was on the front foot from the off and exhibited some majestic shots throughout an 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 win to move progress to the next round after just 27 minutes on court.

“All the girls are stepping up their games in each round which is exciting for the tour at the moment as we are all pushing each other but I’m really pleased with how I played today,” said David.

“I felt like I was feeling the court better and I know I always have to play good squash on the day, and I’m happy to win 3-0 and have this amount of recovery. I came into this tournament as number two seed and the underdog so I will give it my all and see where it takes me.”

Egyptian duo Nour El Sherbini and Omneya Abdel Kawy also won against Hong Kong pair Liu Tsz-Ling and Joey Chan, respectively, while United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy took out England’s Alison Waters in an impressive three-game salvo.

Result: Second Round (Bottom Half) 2016 Men’s Allam British Open
Ali Farag (EGY) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 4-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 (68m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 13-11 (106m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 (95m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-9 (44m)

Draw – Second Round (Top Half) To Be Played March 24
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
[Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Result: Second Round (Bottom Half) 2016 Women’s Allam British Open
[4] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-1: 11-3, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1 (27m)
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [11] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-3 (28m)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (22m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)

Draw – Second Round (Top Half) To Be Played March 24
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Line Hansen (DEN
Victoria Lust (ENG) v [5] Camille Serme (FRA)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [9] Annie Au (HKG)
[10] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

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