Maestro Ashour Masters Matthew To Claim
Second Richmond Title
3 March 2013
RESULTS: PSA World Series Davenport
North American Open, Richmond, Virginia, USA
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt  Nick Matthew (ENG)
11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7 (65m)
Egyptian maestro Ramy Ashour
mastered the tenacious challenge of England's Nick Matthew
to win the Davenport North American Open.
Ashour, appearing in his fifth consecutive
final of the PSA World Series squash event, continued his
long unbeaten run to delight the full-house crowd of almost
1,000 spectators at the Westwood Club in Richmond,
Matthew, who had beaten Ashour in the 2010
and 2011 finals, produced a spirited recovery to win the third
game, but Ashour turned on the style again to clinch a second
His previous win in Virginia had also been
against Matthew in 2009.
Ashour's 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7 victory
was achieved after 65 minutes of high-quality squash from both
After an even start to the first game,
Matthew hit back from 5-3 down to lead 7-6, but Ashour's
electrifying array of winning shots produced four points in a
row to take the game.
The 25-year-old from Cairo - both the
world number one and reigning world champion - opened up a 7-3
lead in the second, and held game ball at 10-6 before weathering
a late revival from the 32-year-old world number two from
Second seed Matthew made a powerful start
to the third and established a 6-1 lead with some stunning
winners of his own.
His powers of retrieval are simply
phenomenal and both players covered every inch of the court as
the crowd roared their appreciation.
After winning the third game with a degree
of comfort, Matthew led 3-1 at the start of the fourth before
Ashour elevated the quality of his play to new heights.
He moved ahead to 7-4 and, at 9-5, when
Matthew was awarded a penalty stroke following a video review,
the Egyptian responded with a dazzling kill shot, slamming his
service return into the nick to move to match ball.
After completing his 31st consecutive
victory in his ninth PSA Tour final in a row, Ashour kissed the
floor of the Westwood Club and thanked his opponent for a
"Nick is a great player and we seem to
feed off this rivalry," said Ashour. "We have met in so many
finals and, whoever wins, the other one gets back to work to
raise their game to meet the challenge.
"We are both inspiring each other to work
even harder. He plays great squash in all four corners of the
court and you have to be playing your best squash to beat him.
"Once again the crowd here in Richmond was
fantastic, the tournament is organised brilliantly, and I think
the whole show this week proves that squash should be in the
"All the players love coming to Richmond
and the Jefferson Hotel is the best we stay at anywhere in the
world so we all look forward to coming back next year."
Matthew added: "I have played well all
week and didn't really do anything wrong tonight in the final
but it shows how well Ramy is playing that you can be playing
your best and he can still win these big matches.
"He is on a long winning run at the moment
and playing some great squash."
The Yorkshireman later told his Twitter
followers: "Tried everything in my power today to stop the Ramy
bandwagon including wearing @uvasquash tshirt in the warm up to
get the crowd on my side.
"But the guy is on a roll at the moment.
30 matches unbeaten is great effort. At least it was final not
semi. Few days rest then on to Kuwait."
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