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James Willstrop in Kuwait semi finals

Posted: 13.03.13



James Willstrop is rewarded with a semi-final place after beating Karim Darwish 11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-3 in the the Kuwait PSA Cup.

In a repeat of the 2011 Kuwait PSA Cup final, Willstrop won a close first game then stretched the lead to two before fellow former world number one Darwish struck back to take the third to reduce the deficit.

But the 29-year-old from Leeds was in commanding form in the fourth, taking the match 11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-3 after 49 minutes.

“The intensity was up there tonight, one of the top matches, with truly severe intensity,” said Willstrop later. “I think I did well to take the first, but Karim played at his best today.

“Whatever his problem was, it’s now sorted because he was moving very well, hitting the ball very well, and you could see he was really up for it.”

James Willstrop, the defending champion will now face sixth seed Mohamed El Shorbagy.

Mohamed El Shorbagy beat surprise quarter-finalist Daryl Selby in straight games. Shorbagy was well on top for the first two and a half games, but Selby stretched the Egyptian to eight-all in the third before Shorbagy pulled away to close out the match 11-4, 11-4, 11-9.

It was bad news for Peter Barker, the No8 seed from London as he had to retire after 19 minutes, with the score standing at 11-3, 11-2 against Gregory Gaultier.

RESULTS: PSA World Series Kuwait PSA Cup

1 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt 7 Amr Shabana (EGY) 9-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (73m)
4 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt 8 Peter Barker (ENG) 11-3, 11-2 ret. (19m)
3 James Willstrop (ENG) bt 5 Karim Darwish (EGY) 11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-3 (49m)
6 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt 13 Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (35m)

Semi-final line-up:
1 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v 4 Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
6 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v 3 James Willstrop (ENG)