Kuwait PSA Cup Semi-Finals: Ramy Ashour and James Willstrop through in three

PSA $190k World Series Platinum, Kuwait PSA Cup - Wed 13th March, Semi-Finals:

Ashour and Willstrop to meet in Kuwait Cup final
Ramy Ashour extended his unbeaten run to 35 matches with a straight-game win over Grégory Gaultier in tonight's semi-final. The world number one got the better of a tough first game lasting 17 minutes, but from the outset of the second Gaultier's level dropped.

A conduct stroke against the Frenchman early in the second for throwing his racket in frustration didn't help, and Ashour accelerated away to double his lead.

Gaultier barely competed in the third, serving a deliberate fault at 2-10 and Ramy was in a Kuwait final for a fifth time.

"Yesterday’s match was definitely the hardest ever, " said Ashour. "Shabana is so smart, he plays every shot so cleverly, and I so proud I was able to get out of his game. Today, I don’t think that Greg was 100%, maybe something was wrong with his legs."

James Willstrop also reached the final with a three-nil win, but his match against Mohamed El Shorbagy, the young Egyptian who beat Willstrop in the World Championship semi late last year, was a much tougher affair.

Defending champion Willstrop won the first game reasonably comfortably, even if he was having to do a lot of work especially at the front of the court, but the next two games were as tough as they come.

Willstrop needed to save a game ball before taking the second, and was a couple of points behind midway through the third, but powered through at the end of the game to clinch his place in the final.

Mohamed is in great form," admitted Willstrop, "so I needed to bring out my A game and I did. It's great to be in another Kuwait Cup final, it will be hard against Ramy who is in such great form but I'll give everything to try to win another title here."

Semi-Finals:
[1] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-0 [4] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) 11/8, 11/5, 11/2 (36m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 [6] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) 11/5, 12/10, 11/8 (54m)

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