World Squash Championship 2013: Ashour’s 49-game run ended

World Squash Championship 2013: Top seed Ramy Ashour sees his 49-game run come to an end in the semi-finals

By Joel Durston
Ashour
World No1 Ramy Ashour Photo: VOXSPORTSdotNET

Ramy Ashour’s 49-game unbeaten run came to an end in shock fashion in Manchester as he was forced to retire with a leg injury in the third game, with the tie perfectly poised at 1-1.

The world No1 had got off to a flying start, playing with his usual speed and artistry which he had not quite displayed in these World Championships up until this point.

In the second, Nick Matthew got the better of things, winning several points with pitch-perfect drops and squeezes – and the turning of the tide, up until the last few points at least, seemed far more to do with Matthew’s play than anything wrong with Ashour.

But in hindsight – after the only two rallies in the third, which Ashour played with a grimace – it was clear that at least some of it was due to the leg “niggle” which he has been mentioning this week.

It was a great shame, not just to Ashour, but to the crowd, who were very much enjoying the encounter – and to Matthew too, who, to his credit, said he did not consider his opponent’s run over because he wants to beat him properly.

“I was expecting something [injury-wise] but just trying to stay positive. Obviously it’s a very big disappointment for me, and I’ll have to go back again and see what’s wrong with my legs again,” Ashour said.

“I have had a great season and I can’t complain of course, and you can’t win everything. You just have to……..do what you can and accept the loss and take it like a man.”

Matthew said: “It’s certainly not how you want to get to the final.

“I’m disappointed for Ramy, and disappointed for the crowd as well. I don’t feel selfish – at some point I feel I am going to have to get selfish and prepare for tomorrow.

“But I just to need to digest that because it’s an awful way for things to happen, and I’m just coming to terms with it.”

In the other semi-final, Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed Elshorbagy had the full-house crowd – many of whom new to squash – enthralled in a match full of spectacular squash which the Frenchman, eventually, won 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10.

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