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15 Apr 2024

Arnold Battles Into Baltimore Final

15 Nov 2009

Australian Scott Arnold pulled off a five-game upset over top-seeded Mexican Arturo Salazar in the semi-finals of the Baltimore Cup to earn a surprise place in the final of the $10,000 PSA Tour squash event at Baltimore Country Club in Baltimore, USA.

After beating two qualifiers to reach the semis, 23-year-old fourth seed Arnold was facing his first seed in the event.

"This was a high quality match with Arnold's attacking style battling against Salazar's relentless retrieving," said tournament organiser Ben Garner, the club's Head Squash Professional. "There were some fantastic rallies, with the majority of the points ending with winners rather than errors."

The Brisbane-based Aussie started the fifth game with a series of winning kills and volley drops to move out to an 8-1 lead before closing out the game and the match 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4 to reach the ninth Tour final of his career.

Arnold will face Cairo-based Italian Amr Swelim in the final. The No2 seed had reached the final after surviving two five-game matches in the previous rounds - in both cases saving match balls in the deciders. His opponent was third seed Mohammed Abbas, the former world No13 from Egypt who was making his Tour comeback after a long injury layoff.

"Swelim showed no signs of fatigue from his two epic five setters in the tournament so far," explained Garner. "Abbas was slightly off the pace, and Swelim took full advantage, looking very sharp as he won three close games. There was some excellent shot-making from both players."

Swelim's 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 victory takes the 25-year-old into the seventh PSA final of his career - and his first meeting with Arnold since October 2007.

Semi-finals:
[4] Scott Arnold (AUS) bt [1] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4
[2] Amr Swelim (ITA) bt [3] Mohammed Abbas (EGY) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8