Scotsman advances at Rowe British Grand Prix
Sept 16, 2010, by Howard Harding © 2010 SquashTalk.com , Independent News; SquashTalk LLC
(updated 16-sep-10 22:04
RESULTS: ROWE British Grand Prix, Manchester, England
1st round (lower half of draw):
 Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [Q] Amr Swelim (ITA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (23m)
 David Palmer (AUS) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
 Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt Rafael F Alarcon (BRA) 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (31m)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (28m)
 Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 13-15, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (75m)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (45m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt  Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 16-14 (61m)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Laurence Delasaux (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)
Flying Scot Clyne Claims First ROWE British Grand Prix Upset
British interest in the ROWE British Grand Prix Squash Championship was unexpectedly boosted in Manchester tonight when Scotland's Alan Clyne claimed the first upset in the $92,500 PSA Super Series event, the biggest event in Europe this year, at the National Squash Centre.
The 24-year-old qualifier from Edinburgh took a two-game lead over 16th seed Farhan Mehboob - but the world No29 from Pakistan struck back to level the match before forging an 8-0 lead in the decider.
The flying Scot reclaimed seven points in a single hand, however, and went on to save three match balls before finally celebrating a sensational 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 16-14 victory after 61 minutes.
"That's definitely my best win ever," said the Inverness-born world No55. "He's the first top 30 player I've beaten - and it's in a Super Series event too. It's a great result!"
Clyne now faces second seed Ramy Ashour, the new world No1 from Egypt who dismissed English qualifier Laurence Delasaux, from Hull, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5.
It was third time lucky for Mohd Ali Anwar Reda earlier when he recovered from two games down to beat unseeded New Zealander Campbell Grayson 13-15, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 in 75 minutes - the longest match in the first round.
It was the 15th seed from Egypt's first win in Manchester in three attempts. "When I was two games down, I thought 'oh no, not again'," said the jubilant 21-year-old from Cairo.
Reda will line up against experienced Frenchman Thierry Lincou after the sixth seed from France, one of six former world number ones in the event, beat Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5.
Veteran Australian David Palmer saw off rising US star Julian Illingworth in straight games in the afternoon session - then admitted that he is still far from being at full strength after being laid low by tonsillitis back in his home country last month.
Eighth seed Palmer, the 34-year-old from New South Wales who slipped to No12 this month to end a remarkable unbroken ten-year run in the world top ten, despatched Illingworth, the world No35 from New York, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 to reach the last 16.
"To win three love on a pretty dead court is not bad," said the US-based Palmer after his 38-minute win. "We play a lot in the US. He's done well - he's dangerous."
The former world No1 and two-time world champion was struck down by tonsillitis a week before the Australian Open, and was on antibiotics for a month. "I haven't quite got back to my full strength. I still feel a bit run down - though my results haven't been disastrous.
"But I was terrible in Australia," admitted Palmer.
Winner of four British Open titles in England, Palmer now has his sights on success in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi: "It's my fourth Commonwealth Games, and I'm pretty proud of that. I've got a few medals, but I'm still missing the gold!
"It's going to be pretty tough - but I feel, on my day, I can pull off an upset. I just hope I get my health back."
Ambitions? "I would love to get back into the top eight again - and also get one more World Open title!"
The reigning World Open champion Amr Shabana also progressed in straightforward fashion to the last sixteen with an 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 victory over Italian Davide Bianchetti 28 minutes.
The distinguished Egyptian, a four-time winner of the world title and the world number one for 33 months in a row until December 2008, has yet to win a title in England - and was reminded of the fact by tournament MC Andrew Nickeas.
"There are still a few tournaments here - we'll see if it can happen," quipped Shabana, who boasts 26 PSA World Tour titles.
The 31-year-old from Cairo also admitted that he is fighting back to full fitness after suffering with tendonitis in both knees, coupled with a back injury.
"I'm on my way back - but I feel I am currently only at about 60%!
"It's been about two years now that I've been suffering with injuries - and my main ambition is to get back my world number one ranking.
"But first, I've got to get my health back," concluded the third seed.
Shabana will meet Hisham Mohd Ashour in the next round after his compatriot, the No13 seed, beat Brazilian Rafael F Alarcon 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7.
Palmer will take on Aamir Atlas Khan, the 12th seed from Pakistan who defeated Cairo-based Italian Amr Swelim 11-3, 11-5, 11-7.
2nd round line-up:
[Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v  Stewart Boswell (AUS)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v  Adrian Grant (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Alister Walker (ENG)
 David Palmer (AUS) v  Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) v  Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) v  Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)