Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Darwish Bids For Double Revenge

Egypt's world number one Karim Darwish will be after revenge next month in Kuwait where he is seeded to win the Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009, the premier event on the PSA World Tour which will be staged at the Salmiya Club and Green Island Resort from 1-7 November.

Darwish, who has topped the PSA world rankings since January, is expected to face second seed Gregory Gaultier in the World Open final on Saturday (7th November).  The anticipated meeting will give the 28-year-old from Cairo the chance for double revenge against the Frenchman, who is expected to replace Darwish at the top of the November PSA world rankings which will be announced on the eve of the championship.

But Darwish will also want to avenge the outcome of his last Kuwait clash with Gaultier - in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Kuwait Open, which the Frenchman won in straight games.

However, the Cairo King celebrated a notable victory over his European rival in their last meeting on the international circuit, in the final of the Sky Open in his home town in September - when Darwish won 11-6, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3 to record the 16th PSA World Tour title of his career and his third Super Series crown.

"This is the first big tournament I've won in Egypt," said Darwish afterwards.  "I had full confidence in myself in the final and really wanted to win.

"I think Greg and I played a good game, but the difference came probably from my motivation to win," added the charismatic Egyptian star.  "And winning a tournament is such a great feeling!"

Darwish's incentive to win the Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 - which boasts a prize-fund of US$277,500, the largest ever offered by any World Tour event - is further boosted by his runners-up finish in the 2008 World Open in England.  The favourite begins his campaign against experienced Pakistani Mansoor Zaman, the former world No11 from Peshawar.

A tough last 16 encounter with 11th seed James Willstrop, the former world number two from England, should be followed by a quarter-final encounter with eighth-seeded Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the 2004 World Champion.

And - according to the draw - awaiting the favourite in the semi-finals will be third seed Amr Shabana, Darwish's Egyptian team-mate who is bidding to become only the fourth player in history to win the title for a fourth time.

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