SUPER SERIES RACE:
Top eight almost settled
with one to go ...
With just one event Super Series event left in 2008 the race to
Queen's Club for May's
ATCO Super Series
Finals is down to its last leg.
The Egyptian trio of Amr Shabana, Karim Darwish
and Ramy Ashour lead the standings - echoing their
current 1,2,3 in the world rankings - and are assured of their
places in the prestigious Finals.
Europe's top pair of Gregory Gaultier and James
Willstrop share fourth place and also already have enough
points to book their places, with David Palmer, Wael
El Hindi and Thierry Lincou currently occupying the
final three places on offer.
These three know that good performances this week in Saudi
Arabia will clinch their places - for Palmer simply stepping on
court in the first round is enough - but should El Hindi or
Lincou slip up then one of Peter Barker, Adrian Grant
and Azlan Iskandar could all take advantage, but they
will need a place in the final, and in all probability a victory
there too, to make it to Queen's Club ...
Current Super Series Standings
1 (3) Amr Shabana (EGY)
2 (1) Karim Darwish (EGY)
3 (2) Ramy Ashour (EGY)
4 (6) Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 5081
4 (4) James Willstrop (ENG)
6 (5) David Palmer (AUS)
7 (7) Wael El Hindi (EGY)
8 (8) Thierry Lincou (FRA)
9 (9) Peter Barker (ENG)
10 (10) Adrian Grant (ENG)
11 (11) Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 2118
12 (13) Nick Matthew (ENG)
13 (12) Olli Tuominen (FIN)
14 (15) Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 1687
15 (14) LJ Anjema (NED)
16 (-) Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Deja vu for some in Saudi Draw
Preview from Malcolm Willstrop
many of the players there is a horribly familiar look about the
draw for the prestigious and financially rewarding Saudi
I'm sure Borja Golan and Laurens Anjema would not have wished
for a repeat of their first round meeting in Hong Kong. They
will both be aware that they will probably destroy whatever
chance they would have had in the second round.
Shabana, Ramy Ashour and Karim Darwish,1,2 and 3 in the world
all find themselves in the top half with Shabana and Darwish
scheduled to meet in the last eight.
Adrian Grant, who didn't offer much against David Palmer in Hong
Kong, meets Alister Walker in an all English clash in the first
round which will certainly be of interest to the England camp.
Nick Matthew, who was not well in Hong Kong, suffered a reverse
in Macau to Amir Atlas Khan. They meet again in the first round
in Saudi Arabia, when the Englishman will be keen to put things
right. Should he do so he may well face Peter Barker in the
second round, whose performance in Hong Kong against Darwish was
a major disappointment.
Wael el Hindi, if his wrist is better, could meet David Palmer
in the second round, another heavyweight match on paper at
As usual there are lots of interesting match-ups, with a quarter
final line-up seeded as follows:
Shabana v Darwish
Ashour v Matthew
Willstrop v Palmer
Lincou v Gaultier
It is unlikely, though that it will work out - there are too
many other possibilities and it is almost certain there will be
Several of the last eight have had recent problems: Ashour and
Palmer came off in Hong Kong; Matthew was not well, but seems to
be over whatever affected him, as does Willstrop. Shabana and
Gaultier look the likeliest finalists, but I would not bet the
rest of what is left of my life on it.
Saudi set for Squash Spectacular
Back to its traditional December dates, the fourth edition of
the Saudi International Squash Tournament features, once again,
the highest prize fund ever offered in squash as the world's
best 32 players battle it out for the $250,000 prize fund.
Qualifying took place in October at Millfield School in
Somerset, England, with the eight winners booking their places
among the elite 32.
Action starts on Sun 14th Dec with the final on Friday 19th.
Draw & Schedule