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Throwback Thursday: Story of 2015 Men’s U.S. Open

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The second stage on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings starts on Saturday October 8 when the world’s top players head to Philadelphia for the Delaware Investments U.S. Open.

Only the top eight players on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings will qualify for the lucrative season-ending Dubai PSA World Series Finals – where Egyptian duo Ramy Ashour and Nouran Gohar currently sit at the summit after their Hong Kong Open triumphs in August.

The 2015 instalment of the U.S. Open saw the pioneering tournament commit to parity in prize money across the Men’s and Women’s events for the third time – and the drama was equally exciting in both draws as a series of surprises lit up Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.

We’re taking a look at the Men’s event from last year, which offered players the first opportunity to earn vital points for the PSA Road to Dubai Standings in the 2015/16 campaign.

First Round Results
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (50m)
[Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7 (65m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (33m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-4 (69m)
Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, 5-11, 11-7 (73m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Nicolas Müller (SUI) 3-1: 14-16, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (61m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 12-10 (57m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (38m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (50m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (44m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [8] Peter Barker (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (34m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 (72m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 (63m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (66m)

South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger caused the biggest shock in round after a virtuoso display from the then 31-year-old saw him dispatch ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez in a superb three-game salvo.

After a magnificent year to that point, Rodriguez had firmly established himself as one of the most exciting and popular players on the Tour, in addition to breaking into the world’s top five six months earlier. But he was no match for a devastating Coppinger, who powered to a 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 victory in 70 minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with England’s Daryl Selby.

England’s Peter Barker was the other seeded player to bow out on day one after he fell victim to the enigmatic talents of rising Egyptian star Mazen Hesham.

Second Round Results
[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) 3-0: 6-1 ret.
[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)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-2: 2-11, 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 (96m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 15-13, 11-7, 15-13 (81m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (55m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (38m)

Three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour limped off court a short way through his second round encounter with Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet as the injuries that have ravaged the last three years of his career reared their head again.

The former World No.1 had made a successful return from a five-month injury layoff at the a month previously, winning the NetSuite Open, but was forced to shake hands with his opponent at 6-1 down in the opening game.

Elsewhere, defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, then World No.2 Nick Matthew and two-time winner Gregory Gaultier all advanced to the last eight after respective wins over Greg Lobban, Zahed Mohamed and Tom Richards.

Quarter-Final Results
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 15-13, 11-8, 11-8 (54m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0; 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 (74m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (49m)

Germany’s Simon Rösner bowed out at the quarter-final stage after falling to an imperious Gaultier by a 3-0 margin.

The ‘French General’s’ win set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with World No.1 ElShorbagy, who beat Castagnet, in a repeat of their AJ Bell British Grand Prix semi-final matchup a month earlier, which went in the Egyptian’s favour.

‘The Hammer of Thor’ Omar Mosaad, meanwhile, was forced all the way to five games by a dogged Selby, but hung in to close out the result, setting up a semi-final clash with Nick Matthew, whose victory over Fares Dessouky saw the Englishman move through to a sixth successive U.S. Open last four berth.

Semi-Final Results
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 (76m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7 (65m)

Just two months after the tragic death of his mother and sister in a car accident in Egypt, Mosaad claimed a place in his first ever World Series final after slaying ‘The Wolf’ after a brilliant four-game victory.

After seeing his one-game lead wiped out by Matthew after the second game, the hard-hitting Egyptian dug in his heels and responded with a superb performance to break the then 35-year-old down and take the win in 76 minutes.

In the other semi-final fixture, Gaultier prevailed in a tense five-game thriller with ElShorbagy, ending a five-game losing streak to the world’s top player to set up a climactic final with Mosaad.

Final Result
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (38m)

Gaultier brought a superb week of world-class squash action to a triumphant close after lifting his 29th PSA World Tour title – and his first World Series crown since May 2014 – at the expense of Mosaad.

The fixture would act as a precursor to their World Championship final encounter the following month, with Gaultier taking the honours once more.

Watch the highlights of the 2015 Men’s U.S. Open final below!

Log in to SQUASHTV to watch more action from the U.S. Open – including the 2014 final between ElShorbagy and four-time World Champion Amr Shabana.

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