Ong Beng Hee On Course In Detroit

27 January 2013

RESULTS: PSA International 70 Motor City Open, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA

1st round:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 12-14, 11-0, 11-6, 14-12
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) 15-13, 11-3, 11-7
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 6-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-3
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) 11-3, 11-7, 11-2
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-3, 11-3, 11-7

Defending champion Ong Beng Hee successfully overcame his first hurdle in the Motor City Open presented by The Suburban Collection when he beat Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event at Birmingham Athletic Club in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, USA.

But the Malaysian’s title defence looked to be in jeopardy as qualifier Cuskelly took the first game and was on the verge of a commanding 2/0 lead. But world No20 Beng Hee fought off four game-balls and evened the match at one-all.

After winning the third game, the former world No7 then fended off three more game balls in the fourth to take the match 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10.

“Winning the second game changed the whole match,” Beng Hee said later. “I’m a little bit tense because it’s the first match of a very big tournament and I won it last year so the pressure is on. Ryan actually played really well and didn’t make many mistakes. It was just maybe my day today.”

The 32-year-old Malaysian, now in his 19th year as a world-ranked player, now faces his sternest test – against top seed Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 22-year-old Egyptian who was four years old when Beng Hee joined the PSA!

El Shorbagy was one of four seeded Egyptians who won convincingly in straight games. The 2011 MCO winner, now ranked five in the world, needed just 30 minutes to defeat qualifier and world No41 Abdullah Al Muzayen of Kuwait, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Then in a battle of former MCO champions, 2010 winner and former world number one Karim Darwish looked in top form as he dominated 2007 winner Olli Tuominen of Finland, 11-2, 11-3, 11-7.

Qualifier Marwan El Shorbagy – Mohamed’s younger brother – lost to fellow Egyptian and third-seed Omar Mosaad 15-13, 11-3, 11-7. And former world No1 and fourth-seeded Amr Shabana buried drop shot after drop shot against Switzerland’s world No21 Nicolas Mueller en-route to an 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 win.

“Karim, Omar, and Amr are all great players and I’ve learned a lot from them,” said El Shorbagy senior after his match. “They’re like big brothers for me and they’ve helped me all through my career.

“To be able to compete with them and try to beat them is an honour for me. Hopefully we all reach the semi-finals together and it’ll be like an all-Egyptian tournament.”

In the last match of the day, South African Stephen Coppinger produced the day’s only upset when he beat world No19 Hisham Mohd Ashour of Egypt in a highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s four-game semi-final match – won by Ashour.

This time Ashour struggled with his consistency and Coppinger nailed an 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 victory.

“The score line is convincing but I never felt comfortable,” Coppinger said afterwards. “Hisham’s always got something different to hit you with, but I felt like it was all up to him whether he’d hit a winner or give me a free point.”

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)

More details on the official event site: http://themotorcityopen.com

For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com


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