Saudi International Squash Tournament 2009

It is now a two horse race in Al-Khobar for who will begin 2010 as the PSA squash world number number one. The pretenders to the crown are England's Nick Matthew and Egypt's Ramy Ashour...

Online PR News – 15-December-2009 – – Darwish and Gaultier out injured

The draw for the tournament has been altered following the withdrawals of the squash world number one and two. Karim Darwish is struggling with a back injury, whilst Gregory Gaultier is out with a thigh injury, but it is also believed that the Frenchman was mentally exhausted and in need of a period of rest. This promotes Ramy Ashour to number one seed, Amr Shabana to number two and Nick Matthew to number three, signifying that the Englishman would be on course to meet his fellow countryman James Willstrop in the second round.

Early rounds update in Al-Khobar

Shabana v Barrington

The first round has seen a few upsets, most notably the exit of Amr Shabana who retired in the second game of his match with Joey Barrington, obviously not over the injured that he incurred in Mumbai at the PSA masters. David Palmer battled through in five sets against fellow Aussie Cameron Pilley. Alastair Walker was the fresher than his opponent, the in-form Daryl Selby, winning 3-0, with Selby evidently feeling his recent run hard games. Jonathon Kemp will be very pleased to have put out eleventh seed Laurens Jan Anjema 3-1, to record an upset. Monday 14th December Nick Matthew bt James Willstrop (3-1) Matthew once again produced the goods against Willstrop to enhance his one-to-one record with the Pontefract based player. Willstrop took the third game, and was leading throughout the fourth before Matthew staged a comeback to take the match after 70 minutes played.

PSA Squash World Number One

After Amr Shabana’s exit in the first round, we appear to have a two horse race on our hands for the number one spot, involving Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour. lt would seem that whoever wins the Saudi title will be crowned number one in January and these two are now seeded to meet in the final. Should this become a reality it would make a hugely compelling spectacle and end to the year as both players, neither of whom have reached the top spot before, battle for supremacy.

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