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15 Jul 2024

Ramy Ashour & Omneya Abdel Kawy Retain Hurghada Titles

5 Apr 2009

Egyptians Ramy Ashour and Omneya Abdel Kawy retained their titles in the Hurghada International Squash Championships - and provided the perfect conclusion for the packed partisan crowd in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada after beating Frenchman Gregory Gaultier and Australian Rachael Grinham, respectively, in the finals of the Tour event being staged on an all-glass court at the Sindbad Beach Resort.

Ashour, who replaced Gaultier as world No3 in this month's Dunlop PSA world rankings, was meeting the 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence in the climax of the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event for the first time since October 2007 - and looking for a third successive win which would bring the pair's career head-to-head tally to three-all.

And, after dropping the first game, the 21-year-old fourth seed battled back to beat third seed Gaultier 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 in 47 minutes.

"Before I went on today I felt a bit sleepy - I had to throw water on my face to try to wake up," Ashour explained to www.squashsite.co.uk later. "I was a bit slow in the first game but got myself moving much better after that.

"Before the game my coach and my brother told me I had to keep it in the back corners, it's very dead on this court and if you can get it there you have a big advantage. I did what they told me, then went for my shots when it came to the front.

"It's always hard with Greg though, he never gives up until the last point and I was so pleased to win it, so pleased," concluded Ashour, who now boasts 12 Tour titles from 18 final appearances.

Omneya Abdel Kawy and Rachael Grinham were celebrating their sixth successive meeting in the Hurghada championships - and their fifth clash in the last six finals! Since losing to the 23-year-old from Cairo in last year's semi-finals, former world number one Grinham has twice beaten Abdel Kawy - once also in Egypt.

The climax of the 2009 $26,000 WISPA World Tour event was an evenly-contested affair which went the full distance. Twice the Egyptian led, and twice Grinham drew level - then built up a 9-6 lead in the decider.

But Abdel Kawy fought back to draw level at nine-all - then had four match-balls before finally clinching her 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 12-10 victory after 63 minutes.

"I don't know what happens when I get game balls! Maybe I'm thinking too much about winning the match, I never seem to play them well - I'll have to work on that with my coach," admitted Abdel Kawy, after winning her third Hurghada title since 2006.

"We both played very well today I thought, we had some very long rallies, especially in the fifth.

"She was leading and helped me back in by giving up a couple of easy points - maybe she has the same problem finishing it off as me, but she gets it sooner!

"The crowd obviously helps, although sometimes they get a bit too much, I wanted to get on with the game and I had to try to tell them to calm down

"I'm really glad to win this one, I dedicate this to my family and my coaches, and all my friends who came down from Cairo to watch and support," said Abdel Kawy, now with six WISPA titles to her name.

Men's final:
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (47m)

Women's final:
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 12-10 (63m)