Watching the quarter-final’s was a treat for all last night, with three out of the four matches showcasing some breathtaking squash.
An in-form Azlan Iskandar faced experienced Egyptian Amr Shabana in a hugely entertaining display of attacking shots and retrieval from both players. The higher ranked player was tested throughout the match but eventually won his place in the Semi’s with a 11/7, 6/11, 12/10, 12/10 win.
Shabana will face Nick Matthew for the third time this year, after the Englishman was award his Semi-final place by default when opponent David Palmer was forced to retire with a foot injury. Both players had been neck and neck until 9-all in a really physical and fast paced first game, until a collision with Matthew resulted in Palmer turning on his ankle, eventually resulting in his withdrawl from the match.
In an all-English contest, James Willstrop proved too strong for Peter Barker with a promising 3/1 win in 49mins. Despite losing the first game 11/7, Willstrop recovered to claim a deceptively close three games in a row, 11/4, 11/4, 11/5.
Willstrop will now face Egyptian favourite Ramy Ashour who played a delightfully gripping quarterfinal match against Frenchman Gregory Gaultier. The match was an absolute pleasure to watch, a display of staggering trademark winners and retrievals from not just Ashour, but matched by Gaultier throughout.
It remains to be seen how much the 68minute match will have taken out of the Egyptian ahead of his Semi this evening, but the 11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 6/11, 11/8 win will certainly have proved to Ramy that he can outplay the Frenchman who’s clearly regaining some of the best form of his career.
The semi-final matches start at 6pm local time (11pm GMT) and can be watched live, accompanied by entertaining commentary and banter from Joey Barrington and Chris “flash” Gordon at PsaSquashTv.com