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'The Artist' is in action on day five

WORLD CHAMPS - DAY FIVE: AS IT HAPPENS

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the third round action at 2016 Wadi Degla PSA Men's World Championship continues in Cairo.

Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour clashes with England's Daryl Selby in an exciting encounter, while defending champion Gregory Gaultier meets Hong Kong's Tsz Fung Yip.

Word No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy locks horns with compatriot Tarek Momen in an all-Egyptian fixture, with Fares Dessouky taking on Malaysia's Nafiizwan Adnan for a place in the quarter-finals.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)
18:00 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY)
19:00 Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [15] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
20:00 Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
21:00 [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [11] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Ashour Overcomes Selby to Reach Quarters

Three-time winner Ramy Ashour dropped his first game of the 2016 Wadi Degla PSA Men’s World Championship, but still came through to defeat England’s Daryl Selby in an entertaining 66-minute battle.

Ashour, the Egyptian maverick who won the sport’s biggest prize in 2008, 2012 and 2014, began the match with conviction and purpose in game one, with his superb touch at the front of the court showing as he feathered in a number of sublime forehand volley drops on the rare occasion that Selby left a shot loose.

The maverick Egyptian seemed on course to double his lead in the second until, at 8-5 up, he was subjected to a change of pace from Selby who increased the tempo of his hitting, moving Ashour up and down the court to take six points without reply and level the scores.

Ashour was soon back on top though and the 29-year-old raced into a 7-1 lead in the third, before cutting off any notion of another Selby comeback with a composed finish to the game to take it 11-5, restoring his lead in the process.


Game four saw Selby begin the brighter of the two and the Englishman took two of the first three points on offer, but Ashour’s accuracy forced him into the back of the court time and time again, and despite a spirited attempt at a fightback from Selby, it was the man from Cairo who took it for the loss of six points to seal an 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 triumph.

“I think after the first game I wanted to win and that was a mistake,” said Ashour.

“I should just stick to playing right. I got excited and then got hard on myself. Then the second game went well, but he started pushing me into all four corners and I wasn't really playing like I was in the first game.

“He applied more pressure than me and I was very defensive, which wasn't the right plan. He really came out fighting in the second game, and then in the third I got really mad at myself. I just wanted to play the right way, the way I was playing in the first game and I did get back to playing the right way again.

“I’m glad I'm listening more between games, which is good. I'm getting more input and I'm not as stubborn as I used to be. I'm trying to relax myself between games, you may see me getting mad in the games, but I'm learning to listen more because I obviously don't know everything.

“He really pushed me, he really tested my movement big time. It was really deep in all four corners and he was smacking nicks and cross courts. He just really made me work today and I'm glad because I need to work harder and harder, if I'm going to win at some point then I have to earn it.”

Selby was gracious in defeat, saying: “I’m gutted to lose, but Ramy was too good. I just want to stress how much I love playing against him, it’s such a pleasure. I’m happy with the way I played, I made Ramy play his top game.

“Some will say he was not playing his top game, but I know he was, I could hear him pushing hard.

“It’s good to see him play like that, it’s what we all what we want to see, not against me, of course. But we are so happy he is moving like he did tonight, and playing like he did tonight.”

Result:
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 (66m)

Dessouky Downs Adnan to Set Up Ashour Clash

Egyptian World No.16 Fares Dessouky overcame a herculean challenge from Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan to reach the quarter-final stage for the first time in his career – ensuring he will take on compatriot Ramy Ashour for a place in the last four.

The match was highly-charged and swayed between moments of free-flowing squash and periods of scrappy play, with a number of decisions being made in an encounter punctuated with lets and strokes. With the scores tied at two-games apiece, Dessouky – buoyed on by a partizan home crowd – held the nerves at bay to close out a 13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6 victory to seal his last eight berth.

“It was hard for me play the fifth game and be focused from the beginning because of the last two decisions of the fourth game,” explained Dessouky.

“It was a hard match for me. I had to focus in the fifth game, which was good for me to find out how good I am mentally. I kept pushing in the fifth game.

“The crowd was incredible, it reminds me of the El Gouna tournament where they did the same thing to me. They stayed behind me and kept pushing me forward to win the matches and win the semi-finals there. It's something good for me and it's incredible.

“Ramy is a really talented player and it's going to be a tough match for both of us I think. I hope he is doing well and he stays injury free to play a good match the day after tomorrow. I'll do my best.”

22-year-old Dessouky started on the front foot and played with control and composure until, at 9-6 up, he lost his focus, letting Adnan back into the game to build up a game ball after a scrappy period of play that saw the referee called into action a number of times. But Dessouky regained his focus at a crucial time to force a tie-break, where two fortuitous bounces at the back of the court saw him take successive points to go a game ahead.

The momentum of the match shifted in the second as a tenacious display from Adnan put the World No.33 in charge with five game balls. A tinned shot from Dessouky a couple of rallies later wasn’t given in the Adnan’s favour, but an act of sportsmanship from the Egyptian youngster saw him intentionally serve out of court to hand the game to the Malaysian.


Dessouky came out with more urgency in the third, injecting pace to go 10-3 up and, despite a short respite for his opponent in which Dessouky again lost his focus, he steadied the ship to close out the game to reestablish his lead. Another tie-break in game four saw Adnan level once more, but Dessouky dug in in the decider to to claim an extremely hard-fought win.

Result:
[15] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-2: 13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6 (99m)

French General Marches On

Reigning World Champion Gregory Gaultier recovered from a slow start to claim a routine 3-0 victory over Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip and seal his spot in the last eight.

It took a while for the ‘French General’ to get up to speed and Yip took full advantage to go 5-1 ahead, but he couldn’t capitalise fully and some unforced errors from the World No.43 allowed Gaultier to work his way back into the match and he took 10 of the next 13 points to take the lead.

Gaultier improved from that moment onwards as he began to dominate proceedings and the World No.2 took the second 11-2 before following that up with an 11-6 victory in the third to emerge unscathed from round three.

“I felt a bit flat at the end of the warm-up and then I had to wake up and find the solution quite quick or otherwise I would have lost the first game in five minutes without making him work,” said Gaultier.

“He was sharp in the first few points, he was on to my balls quickly and has really good hands at the front.

“Suddenly, I managed to play at a faster pace and wake myself up. He went for the same kind of shots, but he hit a few tins and then I saw myself in a good situation to win the game.

“I won the first and then the confidence came and it was like having another mini man on the court.”

Result:
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (31m)

Momen Battles Past ElShorbagy to Reach Quarters

World No.9 Tarek Momen claimed a maiden quarter-final berth at the PSA Men’s World Championship after halting the run of compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in an all-Egyptian clash.

Momen twice took a one-game lead, only to see a dogged ElShorbagy come back both times to restore parity. It was the latter who would eventually triumph in the decider though, bringing the curtain down on a 78-minute encounter by a 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3 margin to set up a next round meeting with defending champion Gregory Gaultier.


“I’m actually surprised how I managed to get the big lead in the fifth the way I did,” admitted Momen.

“There are a lot of positives to take out of this match. I’m in the quarter-finals of the World Championship and I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

“My mentality is that I have nothing to lose, I have been through everything, I just have to enjoy it.

“I was cramping up in the fifth, I thought that I needed to prevent myself from doing any tough movements. 

“My fingers and toes were clicking, so I was calculating my movement, I didn’t want to do any hard lunges, so if anything came my way I tried to put it away instantly and I was luckily to not hit the tin at all, very lucky to be that accurate, or otherwise I would have been in trouble.”

Momen – who has suffered from injury recently and was making his first appearance since the Al Ahram Open – shot out of the traps in the early stages to build up an early lead, but ElShorbagy stayed within touching distance, before a succession of unforced errors from the 23-year-old handed the game to Momen.

The second game was played at a relentless pace but, towards the end of the game, the errors began to come from the racket of Momen and ElShorbagy duly levelled, only to see Momen reclaim his lead in the third.

The lead changed hands again in the fourth game as ElShorbagy built on a strong start to bring the encounter back to all square yet again, but a fifth-game blitz from Momen saw the older Egyptian close out the win to advance.


Result:
[11] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3 (78m)

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