By Howard Harding
After two years in Canadian hands, the 2014 Women’s Montreal Open title went overseas when top-seeded Egyptian Heba El Torky beat New Zealander Amanda Landers-Murphy in the final of the WSA World Tour 5 squash event at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal on Monday.
And it took the 23-year-old from Alexandria just eight minutes to claim the seventh WSA World Tour title of her career when Landers Murphy, the second seed from Rotorua, withdrew injured after just one game.
El Torky reached the final dropping only one game along the way while her opponent had to battle twice from two games down to beat third-seeded compatriot Megan Craig to make the final.
“At 7-1, it becomes very noticeable that Landers-Murphy was struggling to move and even limping slightly between the rallies,” reported event spokesman Radu Neascu.
El Torky won the game 11-1 and Landers-Murphy took an injury time-out before starting the second game.
“Upon closer investigation, and with a very heavy heart, she conceded the match,” added Neascu. “A rather anticlimactic ending to a highly anticipated match, however we wish her a very speedy recovery and much success on the WSA tour.”
Gregory Gaultier lifted the 2014 METROsquash Windy City Open title at the University Club of Chicago on Tuesday, following a 3-0 victory over Egyptian World No.3 Ramy Ashour.
The Frenchman took just 25 minutes to ease past a visibly hampered Ashour, whose recent run of bad luck with injuries appeared to resurface in his eighth title match-up with Gaultier, taking the match 11-7, 11-3, 11-4.
The victory gave Gaultier his first win over the Cairo-native in nine attempts, but he celebrated in reserved fashion.
“It is tough to win in this way and it makes it hard to enjoy the victory in the same way,” said a subdued Gaultier after the match.
“It is not enjoyable when you see your opponent injured and he has had so many injuries in the past and it is a shame as he is such an unbelievable player.
“But I am happy with how I played through the whole week. I had some tough matches and of course I’m happy to win the trophy as it is these moments that we all work so hard for.”
Victory saw Gaultier add to his 25 PSA World tour titles exactly a decade after losing in his last appearing in the final at the University Club of Chicago, when he lost to Nick Matthew, and lift a trophy for the first time since the 2013 US Open in October.
“I’ve lost a few finals here and a few in my career and obviously I always try to change that,” he said.
“The level of competition with guys like Ramy, Nick (Matthew), Mohamed (Elshorbagy) and all the others guys is so tough that there are only small things that make the difference now.
“Without all my team at home and the support of my family and sponsors I would never be in these finals and these moments would never happen so I’m really thankful to them.”
Speaking after the match, Ashour said: “I’m happy I reached the final today but I felt a little niggle.
“Sometimes these things get in the way of your dreams but that takes nothing away from Greg’s win as he’s an incredible athlete.”
England’s world No2 Laura Massaro stormed to her 13th title on the WSA World Tour when she beat Raneem El Welily, the world No3 from Egypt, in the final of the Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open, the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Gold 50 event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.
Massaro went into the match 10-6 ahead in her career head-to-head Tour tally with El Welily – but the younger Egyptian was the winner the last time they met, in the Malaysian Open semi-finals last September.