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Ramy rules in Mumbai

other Updated: Dec 11, 2009 00:50 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times
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The end of the first game is hardly a time to get frustrated. But then Nick Matthew had not lost a game so far into the tournament and the way he was outplayed in the opening game of the final against Ramy Ashour he could not resist throwing his racquet.

The Englishman was promptly given a code warning by the referee but the incident was a clear indication that Matthew was nowhere near his best. The same could be said about Ashour, but the 22-year-old Egyptian is never the one to play the waiting game and his attacking style always meant that he was prone to making mistakes. However, the winners outnumbered the unforced errors and with Matthew also not his usual self, the risk taking ability helped Ashour overcome the Englishman's challenge 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 in one hour and 19 minutes to lift his maiden PSA Masters crown.

With the Egyptians and Europeans separated in the two halves of the draw the final was the first real occasion to witness the tussle between two different styles of play and the sizeable crowd at the Bombay gymkhana was looking forward to a keen contest.

But despite the close game scores the match failed to rise to the high standard both the players are known for and the constant breaks and time wasting tactics were booed by the spectators at times.

Ashour was off the block first taking a 6-2 lead in the opening game before Matthew began to settle down but the Englishman never stood a chance to take the lead. The two players reversed the roles in the second with Matthew dominating the exchanges through out and had six game balls. However, the two-time British Open champion allowed Ashour to come back as made a flurry of errors in an attempt to close the game soon.

Ashour admitted that it was not the best match. “I am really happy with the way I played this week and will look to continue the same way.”