Top seeds crash out in Delhi Semis

The quarter-finals of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in Delhi saw in-form James Willstrop and Gregory advance to the semi-finals, but the third and fourth seeds will face unexpected opposition after the top two seeds, both Egyptian, were beaten …


With a 13-1 head to head record going into the first quarter-final, Gregory Gaultier showed no sign of letting Laurens Jan Anjema get as close as he did in their last meeting in Rotterdam where the big Dutchman went 2-0 up.
The Frenchman was on top from the beginning and never let up as he went through to the semi-finals with some ease, and in the process ended the Dutchman’s remote chance of making January’s World Series Finals.

The second match saw a big upset as Mohamed El Shorbagy claimed his first ever win over compatriot Karim Darwish, to #2 seed who had reached the final in both of the last world series events.

Shorbagy got the better of a tight first game, Darwish levelled, then the youngster pulled away from 5-all in the third to take the lead and quickly built a 9-0 lead in the fourth, which Darwish never looked likely to overhaul.

Next up was an all-English match between the in-form James Willstrop and Daryl Selby, appearing in his first world series quarter-final of the year. Willstrop, who needs to win the tournament to become world number one for the first time, had the edge in the first two games but Selby played well to get back into the match by taking the third game.

Willstrop got a good start in the fourth, and although Selby pegged the lead back, Willstrop was able to close out to make it 14 wins out of 14 against Selby, and yet another world series semi-final.

The final match saw another upset as top seed Ramy Ashour, returning to action after pulling up in the World Open with a hamstring injury, appeared to suffer a recurrence in the middle of his second game against Peter Barker.

The Englishman had taken an 8-4 lead in the first, but Ashour took that 13/11 displaying his marvelous skills and built a lead in the second too, but from midway through the game was clearly struggling with his movement.

He made a valiant effort to stay in the match in the third, to no avail, and Barker went through to another meeting with Willstrop after a processional fourth.

Quarter-Finals:

[4] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt [8] LJ Anjema (Ned)  11/5, 11/2, 11/5
[6] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [2] Karim Darwish (Egy) 11/9, 8/11, 11/5, 11/3
[3] James Willstrop (Eng) bt [7] Daryl Selby (Eng)  11/7, 11/7, 9/11, 11/5
[5] Peter Barker (Eng) bt [1] Ramy Ashour (Egy)   11/13, 11/7, 11/8, 11/1

Full Coverage:  www.squashsite.co.uk/psamasters2011

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