Angry Ashour turns the air blue at World Open

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HAMILTON, Bermuda: Hisham Ashour launched into an abusive torrent against his opponent and the referee after upsetting the seedings in the World Open.The world number 24 from Cairo reduced the applauding crowd to silence with his unexpected tirade after bringing down the 16th seeded Englishman Adrian Grant in four increasingly heated games. Ashour appeared to claim that Grant was quietly swearing during their first round encounter, and blocked the loser s path from the court by eyeballing him from close range, shaking with rage as he did it. Ashour then disappeared from the arena only to return, shrieking at referee Wes Barlow: Is this boxing or what? Didn t you hear anything? The Canadian admitted that he didn t, and just when it seemed that the incident might worsen, the victor disappeared down the tunnel, still shrieking as he did so. I don t want to say anything, except to his fat friend who was pushing me when I came off the court, said Grant later. Ashour s fury was not helped by two or three contentious decisions in the fourth game of his 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8 win. One happened at 8-6 to Ashour when he was refused a let, and another occurred in the following rally when the Egyptian was awarded a let even though Grant had not appeared to obstruct. A couple of minutes earlier Grant had left the court to complain about the noise. “He’s screaming so much, it’s off-putting, he said. This infuriated Ashour, who yelled: “you blocked me. And on the penultimate rally Grant was angry that a penalty point awarded against him, for failing to give Ashour a clear view of the ball, and said: “If there weren’t kids here … apparently suggesting he would like to say something stronger. Ashour won because he had spells of remarkable brilliance, which was one of three good performances helping to atone for Egypt’s declining chances of winning the world team title for the second time in a fortnight’s time. The other two came from Omar Mosaad who beat the 14th seeded Olli Tuominen of Finland 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4 and the 12th seeded compatriot Mohammed Abbas who beat Australia’s Caneron Pilley in straight games. It compensated a little for the worrying news about Ramy Ashour, the Super Series champion who is Hisham’s brother, and Karim Darwish, the world number eight, both of whom are absent injured. Ramy has a bad foot and Darwish an injured calf. “It doesn’t look good, said Egypt’s coach Amir Wagih. “It doesn’t look as though they will be fit in time. -AFP

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