Top Seed Thierry Toppled By Sharp Shabana In Chicago
23 Jan 2006
Egypt's world champion Amr Shabana confounded the seedings in the SSA Global Windy City Open at the University Club in Chicago when he upset French favourite Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals of the richest PSA Tour event in North America.
Shabana, the fifth seed, dominated the match, winning 5-11 11-8 11-4 11-3 in 54 minutes to register his first victory over the Frenchman since November 2004. It was Lincou's sixth successive failure to achieve his seeding in a PSA Tour event since winning the Pakistan Open in July last year.
Shabana, winner of last week's Canadian Classic in Toronto, now faces Canadian Jonathon Power, his victim in the Classic final. A relaxed Power, the world number one yet fifth seed in the event, defeated Australia's third seed Anthony Ricketts 11-7 11-9 11-7 in 43 minutes, the shortest game of the day.
In the match of the quarter-finals, Willstrop beat England team-mate Nick Matthew in a no-holds-barred match which went the full distance. Matthew played inspired squash to force a fifth game, but Willstrop ultimately prevailed 11-6 6-11 11-6 7-11 11-8 in 67 minutes.
After winning the first game, Scotland's John White had little energy left to contest fourth seed Palmer. The Australian beat White, the title-holder, 7-11 11-4 11-4 11-6 in 49 minutes.
 Amr Shabana (EGY) bt  Thierry Lincou (FRA) 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 (54m)
 Jonathon Power (CAN) bt  Anthony Ricketts (AUS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (43m)
 David Palmer (AUS) bt  John White (SCO) 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (49m)
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt  Nick Matthew (ENG) 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 (67m)