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Chicago Windy City


28-Feb, Finals:

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 Joelle King (Nzl)     11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)
                    The victory moment...      

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 [4] Marwan Elshorbagy    11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)  

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 Joelle King (Nzl)     11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)

Media previewI canít believe it, I felt like I lost this match three or four times already!

I was down in the fourth, then I was down in the fifth but looking over at Haitham and Ali and Iím very thankful that Raneem and Tarek came to cheer me on and they gave me the encouragement, but I really canít believe that I won the tournament.

Everyday Iíve woken up Iíve felt tired but then I know that I can do it, but I donít think Iíve ever only played five-setters in a tournament. I think I have to give my physical fitness coach a very big bonus!

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 [4] Marwan Elshorbagy    11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)

Itís been an incredible season.

After last season Ė I worked really hard, set new goals that I wanted to achieve, and it just shows that nothing can stop anyone achieving their dream if they work hard for it.

I took it match by match and Iím really glad to get through this match with my brother. He has played incredible this season and he will still get better. He is learning every day this is the second time we play in a big final and his first world series title will come at the right time Ė I just wanted to keep it a little bit later then today.

I remember when I lost last month in New York, I felt like I needed to do more training and itís the part of the season when there are a lot of matches, so you have to be careful of the tournaments you are playing. I want to thank David Palmer for his help and hopefully I will be back again here next year.

Líimage contient peut-Ítre : 3 personnes, dont Tarek Momen

Steve Line

27-Feb, Semi-Finals:

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2  [8] SJ Perry (Eng)  11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 14-16, 11-7 (73m)
Joelle King (Nzl) 3-2 [2] Raneem El Welily   7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (60m)

[4] Marwan Elshorbagy 3-0 [2] Ali Farag                 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (48m)    
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 [6] Tarek Momen       11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2  [8] SJ Perry (Eng)  11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 14-16, 11-7 (73m)

Media previewAfter I won the first two games, I started to feel nervous. I was thinking Ďam I going to be in another final? This is hugeí and I let go of thinking about the actual points and the squash.

In the fourth, I started to play well again but then she won it I was very nervous and Iím happy I won of course Ė I think Iím going to be the queen of 3-2!

I donít think I would have won without my coach and Ali. I had to have Ali sit down and not warm-up so that I could see him after every point...

[4] Marwan Elshorbagy 3-0 [2] Ali Farag                 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (48m)    

Every time I come back to Chicago, I have the best tournament.

Ali has been playing really well recently, he is in great form and has got to World No.3 Ė which is career high Ė and heís just giving a really tough time to all of his opponents.

I really respect him, he has done so well this season and Iím sure heís going to keep playing well and I think he can become World No.1 in the future.

Iím so happy tor reach another final in Chicago and if I could get my first ever World Series title then I would just definitely choose to do it here. Iíve always played well here, I really like the city and the people, and it feels amazing to be playing my older brother in another major final!

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 [6] Tarek Momen       11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)

I think the first game was really crucial.

I think we were both nervous at the start of the match. Each one of us made eight errors in the first game, which is not good enough for either of us, but I think that was the nerves.

Once I took that first game it gave me the confidence to go on and take the advantage and implement my game more. He has been playing well, itís the best season he has ever played, and he is playing with confidence.

Itís great to be in another final, it will be my third final in Chicago, won one, lost one. So, Iím just really happy to be back here in the final and very happy to be playing my brother, he beat me here last year, so I will be looking for revenge.

26-Feb, Quarter-Finals:

[8] SJ Perry (Eng) 3-1 [3] Camille Serme (Fra)      10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (52m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 [1] Nour El Sherbini 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (77m)
Joelle King (Nzl) 3-1 Amanda Sobhy (Usa)          11-8, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6 (44m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 Alison Waters (Eng)              11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)

[2] Marwan Elshorbagy v [7] Simon Rosner (Ger)         11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)
[2] Ali Farag 3-0 Cameron Pilley (Aus)                       11-9, 11-1, 15-13 (46m)
[6] Tarek Momen  3-0 [3] Karim Abdel Gawad            16-14, 11-8, 11-3 (53m)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 Miguel Rodriguez (Col)   11-7, 14-12, 11-4 (39m)

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 [1] Nour El Sherbini 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (77m)

I'm sorry for Ali, and for my parents too!! I think they are watching at home, I'm sure they were very nervous and I need to call them to make sure they are alright!!!

It's an unbelievable match, Nour is an unbelievable player, we had so many battles, it's always hard to play her, she is a good friend, she is a real fighter, she is world number one, she ticks all the boxes..

My coach here, Haitham Effat and Ali told me to dig in, don't worry about the first two games you were playing well and it could have gone either way in the first two.

I had to stick to my plan, I have no idea how I won, I'm going to watch the match and see how I played there!

Two love down against Nour Sherbini is probably the hardest thing in the world on a squash court. I just loose a bit I thought, I am playing so well, but I'm 2/0 down. I might as well let my hands and my mind go and relax, and maybe play better.

I played a little better then but I think it was close all the way.

I'm very happy and I try and talk as much as I could that I can give Ali a bit of time to recover before his warm up so he can be prepared and ready for his match, so if you have any questions, I'll answer them now...

[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 Alison Waters (Eng)            11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)

I'm trying to do the best I can and play each rally as best I can and leave it all on court.

Obviously Tarek was playing before me so I was warming up during his match and it's fantastic that he won today. He's been playing well and it's a big win for him and I'm happy that we're both in the semi-finals Ė it doesn't happen that often.

For me, it's nice to win 18 matches in a row here, hopefully I can make it 19 tomorrow.

[2] Marwan Elshorbagy v [7] Simon Rosner (Ger)      11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)

Simon have been playing really well, he won the TOC in New York, he reached the final in Sweden just a couple of weeks ago, so I had to be very sharp from the start of the match.

Simon likes to play at a very fast pace, I knew I couldn't match him at his own pace, so I tried and kind of mixed it up, played my own game and it was working very well.

He's beaten me the last couple of times so I had to study for the few I did wrong. I thought I played really well today, I was really sharp from start to finish...

I always liked to come back to Chicago, I always enjoyed playing here, I enjoy the venue, I love the City, the crowd, it's my third semi final here, a few years back, it was my first ever semi final, then last year, my first World Series semi-final, so if I can get my first ever world series final here, that would be amazing so but I have to take it match by match, and let's see how it goes...

And there is no day off!!! I need to refocus for my match tomorrow...

Marwan was lethal today, played aggressive and didnít give me anything easy.

Too many errors on my side but gotta be happy with the last couple of weeks-certainly the best in my career.

Time to get some rest and get ready for the CWC in London in a few days.

Simon Rosner on Twitter

[2] Ali Farag 3-0 Cameron Pilley (Aus)                       11-9, 11-1, 15-13 (46m)

Just before my match, Nour played such a gutsy performance. Nour El Sherbini is such a warrior, to come back against her from 2/0 down, it take a real champion to do that, and I'm very proud of her.

For me, I wanted to start up well, because it's not very easy psychologically to come back after this. Cam started off very well, going 5-1 up.

I tried to send him to the back corners until I got my rhythm back. Thankfully I won that one, because I think that gave me the momentum to go in the second, where I found my rhythm better.

All credit to him in the third, he took the game to me, he stepped it up, he was in front of me for most of it, I got away with it thankfully!

Nour and I couldn't ask for a better day really, both of us reaching the semis. But hopefully, the tournament is not over for us, we are here hopefully to win it but we've got very hard contenders tomorrow, I've got Marwan Elshorbaby, she's got Sarah-Jane Perry. You can see how deep is the tour now, everyone is playing so well, you go to every match 50/50, so we hope to keep proceeding further in this tournament.

[6] Tarek Momen  3-0 [3] Karim Abdel Gawad            16-14, 11-8, 11-3 (53m)

I am trying to celebrate my 30th birthday for a week...

I'm so glad that I'm having such a great week here, this is my first semi-final at the Windy City Open

Karim has been my team mate for the past 10 years, we are more than just friends, we spend a lot of time together, he is a younger brother to me. We've had some really tough battles before, most of them went to 5, and a lot of them went to his favour. So I'm really glad that I came through tonight in 3.

The first two games were really tough, highly contested. And it was very disappointing to see him suffering in the end, I hope it's nothing serious, it's probably his shin. I'm happy that we've played a clean match, I got through this time but I wish him the best of luck in the next tournament.

Raneem and I are trying to be the next "Power Couple"!!!! No, we try and enjoy ourselves on court, everyone is so focus on the task, we try and reach as far in the tournament as we can, if we both win it's great, if not, the one that loses supports the winner until the end. That's how we do it and I don't think about it... It's nice to have my wife with me until the very end but we just try and support each other the best we can and whatever the outcome is, we accept it.

I would like to thank my coaches who have been coaching me throughout this tournament not to mention the past five years...


[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy
3-0 Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 
 11-7, 14-12, 11-4 (39m)

I think the match was great quality Ė heís back playing well and heís hungry at the moment.

With some of the shots he plays at times heís just too good. He came back strong in the second game and all credit to him for that, but Iím pleased with how I dug in and how the match went.

Itís great to have my brother in the semi-finals as well. A lot of the Egyptians have been playing well this season. I think weíre giving something different to the sport with the way weíre all playing at the moment. But Iíll be happier when itís the older ElShorbagy who wins the tournament.




[2] Ali Farag 3-0 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)                         11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy 3-1 James Willstrop (Eng) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 Diego Elias (Per)                11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)
[6] Tarek Momen 3-1 Ramy Ashour                 10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (42m)    
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)  11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Olivia Blatchford (Usa)    11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 Tesni Evans (Wal)  11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-4 (65m)
[3] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-0 Mariam Metwally             11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (29m)
Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 [5] Nouran Gohar        8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (39m)
Alison Waters (Eng) 3-2 Hania El Hammamy               11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 Emily Whitlock (Eng)          11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 Tesni Evans (Wal)  11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-4 (65m)

I have no idea how I got out of that one, but one thing I know, what my coach and Ali always tell me, is that I have to dig in, no matter what the score is, no matter the conditions, no matter how well she was playing.

Tes was playing incredibly well today, she was reading me all around the court, and I was struggling: wherever I would play a shot, she was there! So I just had to dig in, I'm lucky, I'm very lucky to be standing here right now...

The 5th game was very hard mentally, but I'm sure it was harder for her because she had the match balls. I tried and relaxed a bit in the 5th to be able to play my squash, and thankfully I did.

It's nice to get the win, and I'm very happy.

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Olivia Blatchford (Usa)    11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)

She's been improving a lot through this season and has beaten a lot of top players.

I'm always trying to improve my game and my fitness. I put a lot of work in over the summer on my fitness especially and I feel like it's showing in my game now.

Today I was just trying not to give up on any point and just keep pushing myself. I'm happy with the way I played and I'm looking forward to the next round.

[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 Emily Whitlock (Eng)          11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)

It's never a good match when someone isn't feeling their best Ė but I'm just happy to be through to the next round.

[4] Marwan Elshorbagy 3-1 James Willstrop (Eng) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)

Before the match, my coach and I sit and made a plan, he gave me a lot of confidence with my backhand you know: you have a good backhan drive, just use it! And I think it was working very well today. I was attacking a little bit from the backhand side, because I had a lot of opening from there so...

Overall, I think I played really well, James and I gave it everything today. He is a great player, he always inspired me when I was younger. I always watched the way he played. And maybe that's why my backhand was good today because I was learning from him the whole time!!!...

He is one of the best player that ever played the sport, just be on court with him means a lot to me. We had only played once in 2011, so it was pretty much our first proper time to play together. And I was really looking forward to play him today.

It wasn't easy. I was just sticking to my plan at the end, that's what I was trying to do the whole match. Good thing that I have one day to recover..

[2] Ali Farag 3-0 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)                 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)

I had the right game plan today and had to work on winning the battle in the back corners and I think I hit those corners today.

It never got easier. But the more I dragged him back, the more the front court opened up. I was happy with how I played and with how I kept my discipline.

It was hard to come back from Nourís match today Ė I got quite nervous watching her match Ė so Iím happy to come through.

[6] Tarek Momen 3-1 Ramy Ashour            10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (42m)    

Itís a very tricky match playing against Ramy. We grew up in the same generation and he is only a few months older than me and for the past 25 years I havenít beaten him once.

He is an incredible athlete, he has had an amazing career and he is still digging deep. The way he played the first game is a taste of what he can do on court.

It was very tough mentally because I haven't played Ramy in four or five years and heís had some struggles for the past few years and heís trying to comeback so, I didn't know what to expect.

Iím very happy with the way I handled the situation, I just tried to focus as much as I could on my game plan.

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 Diego Elias (Per) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)

Against Borja in the first round, I was playing good squash, although maybe I wasn't 100% sharp mentally, a lot of ups and downs in the match.

Diego is only 21 years old and is already in the top 10 but of course, he was not 100% fit today as we could see. He had a couple of injuries unfortunately, but I'm happy to see him today finish the match playing well, moving well at times, even if like I said, he is not 100% fit.

It's always nice to play against him, I played against him in San Francisco in September, it was I think my first time to play him, he was 2/0 up, I came back and won finally! It was a very tough match, a very tough opponent, it's always hard to play such a good player.

Today, I was not playing too much to the front, because Diego is one of the best movers on the Tour, so the plan today - I spoke with Shabana and Omar Abdel Aziz  - they both agreed I had to play a very tough, very strong basic game before I go short.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)  11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)

Heís a tough fighter and he fights all the way Ė heís a warrior on court.

I know Iím going to become the hunted player at No.1 again but Iím more experienced now. I had to do my work last summer to study the players whoíve come up and keep up with them and work as hard as them.

I hope that I can keep the momentum going.


                                                       COMPLETED TOURNAMENTS

Consistency is the key for Marwan Elshorbagy

22-Feb - Round 1
[1] Nour El Sherbini
3-0 Dipika Pallikal Karthik (Ind)  11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)
Mariam Metwally 3-0 [15] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)    11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [Q] Yathreb Adel                  11-7, 2-0 retired (10m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-0 [Q] Nada Abbas                  11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
Annie Au (Hkg) 3-0 [Q] Nadine Shahin                   11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (25m)
[5] Nouran Gohar 3-1 Salma Hany               10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)     
Hania El Hammamy 3-2 [6] Nicol David (Mas)  8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (54m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [Q] Tinne Gilis (Bel)          11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)

[2] Ali Farag 3-1 [Q] Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 (51m)
[5] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-0 Omar Mosaad            11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (35m)
Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Karim Ali Fathi              11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Leo Au (HKG)   11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Borja Golan (Esp) 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-1 (72m)
Ramy Ashour 3-0 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)             11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[6] Tarek Momen 3-1 [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra)  11-7, 11-2, 12-14, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Max Lee (Hkg) 3-0 [8] Mohamed Abouelghar    11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Declan James (Eng) 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [Q] Yathreb Adel              11-7, 2-0 retired (10m)

This morning in practice, I saw her slip, so I knew she was not 100%. It's the ankle that has been causing her trouble for the past year and a half, she has been out of the Tour because of that surgery on that ankle, so I feel very sorry for her.

Even though she was playing on one leg, the first game was really close, so I think I'm probably very lucky she shook my hand in the second game.

She is one of the very skilful players out there, we train a lot together back home, we are good friends, she is very dangerous. If she is planning to go for it, the shot will come.

I had to stay focus, not think about her movement, and keep it as tight as possible.

I haven't played on this court in Chicago for three years so I was very excited to play on it, and I'm very happy I'm playing on it again the day after tomorrow...

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Dipika Pallikal Karthik (Ind)  11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)

Iím glad I won the second and I think it made a huge difference.

Iíve reached the final a couple of times but never won it. Maybe itís because I always face the same opponent in Raneem [El Welily] but hopefully this time we can reach the final again.

I love coming to Chicago and playing at this venue. I think itís a very tricky first round and against Dipika it is always tough so Iím just looking forward to this event and I hope this time it is going to be good.

Hania El Hammamy 3-2 [6] Nicol David (Mas)  8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (54m)

Iím delighted. It was such a good match against a legend like Nicol. I cannot believe it, I was 2-0 down and I tried to stay positive and not let myself get down and not want to play. I just wanted to focus and play as well as I could.

I was telling myself that Iím playing against a legend, Iím 2-0 down and I havenít played my best, so I thought Ďletís go and keep your mind positiveí.

Itís my first win over somebody in the top ten and itís not just anyone in the top ten, itís Nicol and itís an amazing feeling.

Iím more confident than ever now and I can go and enjoy the next round and I donít have to put pressure myself. I will just go and play whoever and enjoy it.

[5] Nouran Gohar 3-1 Salma Hany               10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)     

It is extremely difficult to play against Salma.

After the warm-up they showed the head-to-head and I was really surprised that we have only played once on Tour but actually it was a junior rivalry and we played in all the Junior World Championships and we actually played five days ago at the Nationals Ė I won in five and it was a really tense match.

Itís really tricky to play against her because she has a really tough game to play and has really good hands.

The last time  Amanda played together was a year ago before her injury and we didnít play that much we have only played two or three times before and it was in the final of Hong Kong so itís funny that we are now playing in the second round here but thatís the seeding and Iím really looking forward to it.

[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [Q] Tinne Gilis (Bel)          11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)

The first match of any event is always hard mentally and emotionally.

It takes time to adjust to it and she's been playing very well. You can see from her recent results and how she was on court today that she's hungry.

She's a good player and I think she can go on to be a very good player, but for me I just try to come here and be positive and enjoy every moment of being here.

[4] Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)

I was trying to stick to my plan. The first match is always a little bit tricky, if he had have won that third game then things could have gone a bit differently but Iím just happy to be here and back in Chicago.

I really like this venue and every time Iím back in Chicago Iím happy and hopefully it will be a good week for me.

Iím just trying to enjoy things as much as I can, I have only a few tournaments left until the end of the season so hopefully I can give it a big push.

[2] Ali Farag 3-1 [Q] Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 (51m)

I think the first one was crucial, it gave me a confidence boost going into the second and I was able to run away with the points and it gave me an advantageous 2-0 lead.

He came back very strong in the third but thankfully I had Nour and Marwan in my corner and I could see he was getting a little tired and I was more lucky that I didnít have to play two qualifying matches.

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Borja Golan (Esp) 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-1 (72m)

Today's match was very tough mentally. It's always tough to be 2/0 up, playing very good squash, attacking very well with a strong basic game, and suddenly, you find yourself 2/2, and you are playing a 5th!

You find your opponent is now playing great squash, when you are not! So yes, very tough mentally, especially at 10/8 match ball, very tough decisions at the point.... So very happy to win such a mental battle against such a great competitor.

I had a shin splints since the start of the season in October. Also, I was having trouble with another injury past season, which meant that I couldn't train properly at the end, then I went to Germany to have treatment, and had only three weeks upon my return to get back in training. So not a great pre-season, then the shin splints since October, impairing me for each tournament, not easy to manage it.

But today I felt great, I was moving really well, I had so much confidence today, hope to carry through to the next rounds.

[6] Tarek Momen 3-1 [Q] Grťgoire Marche (Fra)  11-7, 11-2, 12-14, 11-7 (51m)

It would have been a real shame if I lost on my 30th birthday. Itís not my ideal celebration to play a squash match on my birthday but I got the win, so I can have a happy ending to the day.

ďThe past two or three times I have played Greg it has always gone to five and he has beaten me before, so I knew I had to be very sharp today and it helped me a lot to get the 2-0 lead.

He stepped it up a lot in the third and fourth and he was a completely different player, so I had to adapt to that and Iím very happy it didnít go to five and I got through.

Iím trying to get better at the back court, I have been working with my coach on that for a long time and it is starting to pay off and it has been helping me a lot.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Declan James (Eng) 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

I feel good. I came here and wanted to play well and Iím really looking forward to seeing how I can do this year. I have made it to two finals before and I really enjoy playing here and I hope I can go all the way here this year.

I had a very tough season last year, where I lost a lot of tournaments and my ranking and I had to go back in the summer and regroup.

I felt I was out of form last year and lost my hunger. I had to tell myself that this is not why I play the sport, I play because I want to be a winner and I donít think a lot of people thought I could get my number 1 back again but Iím just really glad I am able to get there again but there is still a long way to go for me and itís always hard to keep defending that spot.


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