Darwish and King claim Macau crowns

PSA International 50 Macau Open, Taipa, Macau
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9

Karim Darwish survived the all-Egyptian battle against Mohamed El Shorbagy in the final of the Macau Open – but the top seed was taken the full distance before claiming the title in the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event on an all-glass court sited by the famous A-Ma Temple in Macau.

Both players dropped games in their semi-finals – second seed El Shorbagy prevailing in his first Tour meeting with younger brother Marwan while world No4 Darwish held off the challenge of another up-and-coming fellow countryman Karim Abdel Gawad.

World No8 El Shorbagy went into the final 6/1 down in his career record against Darwish – but immediately took the advantage by winning the opening game.

Darwish drew level – but again underdog El Shorbagy recovered the initiative to regain the lead.

However, former world number one Darwish – ten years his opponent’s senior – dug deep, calling upon all his experience to close out the match 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9 to take the title.

“I’m really happy to win the Macau Open,” said the new champion later. “It was a very tough match against Shorbagy in the final.”

Darwish, now celebrating the 22nd Tour title of his career, was marking his third appearance back on the PSA Tour after the birth of his son Omar.

“It’s a kind of a special win for me because it’s the first after having my first baby in May.

“I’m happy about my performance now after having a minor injury few weeks ago and am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The match flagged up 21-year-old El Shorbagy’s tenth PSA final appearance: “Another crazy battle against Darwish,” tweeted the runner-up later.

“Lost a lot of close matches this year and I think it’s time that I do something about it!!!”

King Claims Title In Macau

Joelle King clinches her sixth WSA World Tour title after beating Omneya Abdel Kawy in the Macau Open 2012 final.

The New Zealand international surprised audiences in Philadelphia last week by nearly scalping Nicol David in the Delaware Investments U.S Open semi-finals, but was seeded first for the competition in Taipa, Macau.

The 24-year-old made a strong case to justify her top seeding and was yet to drop a game heading into the final.  She dispatched Siti Munirah JusohDelia Arnold and unexpected semi-finalist, qualifierJoshna Chinappa on the way to her 13th WSA tour final.

King’s final opponent, former world No.4 Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt, had a tougher route as she dispatched second seed Dipika Pallikal in five games after beating qualifier Tong Tsz-Wing in round one.  She cemented her Macau Open final slot after beating No.7 seed Aisling Blake in straight games.

Third, fourth, fifth seeds all faced exits in the early stages of the event, as Samantha TeranDonna Urquhart and Joey Chan all succumbed to shock first round defeats.

King dominated the early exchanges of the final, looking comfortable after her forays in last week’s World Series event, and quickly established a two game lead.  The experienced Egyptian fought back however, much like her opponent’s U.S. Open tie against David last week, and levelled the contest in the fourth to force the deciding game.

King, world No.12, was able to regain her composure for the final game, rebuffing the Kawy’s comeback attempt and closing out the win.  She will now head to Shanghai, China where she is seeded 7th in the Lujiazui Finance City China Open later this week.


[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt [8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)  11-5, 11-1, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6