Prince, Ramy's sponsor must be really happy with their decision to sign Ramy Ashour. Not only has he not lost a match since he switched back to them but he left court in the final game to get a new Prince Airstick 130 because the last one he grabbed after breaking a string did not have the logo stencilled on the strings! While not technically allowed in the rules of the game I am sure it was definitely appreciated by Prince!
Ramy Ashour is the 2013 Allam British Open Champion!
What an impressive win it was. He came through every round except the final itself with out dropping a game. There were two competitive games with James Willstrop but you could sense that when the business end of things came that Ramy had the extra gear required to win those games. The final was hard fought for the most part though.
The first game saw Ramy come out a little flat and Greg was definitely dictating play. Ramy seemed to be fighting to get mentally in to the match. Greg certainly was not having any of those issues though. He was moving brilliantly as always and was really putting Ramy under a lot of pressure. Ramy was busy pounding his head between points, admonishing himself and overall trying to get the mental focus needed to be victorious in this match.
The 90 second break between games 1 and 2 seemed to be just what Ramy needed to get in to this match. He came back in game 2 very focussed and the whole game seemed to change. There was a real spring in his movement which was not there in game 1. There was focus and determination in his eyes that this match was going to be his.
The second game very quickly went Ramy's way. Greg was not able to respond in this game to the elevation in Ramy's play.
Games 3 and 4 were absolutely terrific. They were back and forth in the early to mid parts of the games but Ramy was able to close them both out at the business end of the game. You could really see the magnitude of the match though in the tension in the game. There was a sense of urgency in both players and some ferocious play.
Greg's incredible movement and the competitiveness of this match really brought out the best in Ramy's play. Ramy did not seem to be able to find the cross court nick in this game reliably which really forced him to move Greg and to vary his play. While he was not hitting the nicks at will he certainly was putting the ball in very difficult spots for Greg. Greg was sent to all 4 corners in patterns that made it very difficult. If Ramy felt the slightest bit of pressure he would lift the ball, and thus himself out of trouble. It truly was a master class of squash.
When the match finally ended and Ramy had become the 2013 Allam British Open Champion the emotion just poured out. It was definitely understandable. It was something he had never accomplished before. It is such a prestigious event and you could just see that he wanted it so bad that when he had actually won the match he was truly overcome in the moment and in his truly amazing accomplishment.
Ramy has now won the World Championships, the British Open and has gone a whole year without losing a match. So what is left to accomplish for "The Artist"? Let's hope he gets a shot at winning Olympic gold in 2020!