Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)
Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Best man, best woman

The world’s top two squash players, both Egyptian, begin the year on a winning note, reports Abeer Anwar

Al-Ahram Weekly

Newly ranked world No 1 Mohamed Al-Shorbagi of Egypt, together with teammate world No 5 Nour Al-Sherbini won the final of the 2016 Men’s and Women’s  J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to continue the Egyptian dominance of the sport.

Al-Shorbagi dominated England’s Nick Matthew in the final of the event to defend his crown and extend his unbeaten run over the 35-year-old to four matches.

The two arch-rivals had one of their most intense rivalries on the PSA World Tour and went head-to-head almost all through the 93-minute contender that saw Al-Shorbagi repeating his gallantry against the Englishman, who defeated the former in last year’s final edition, with a 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 victory.

Al-Shorbagi has been in great form after capturing both the Qatar Classic and the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open in previous months to strengthen his lead on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings with a third consecutive PSA World Series title.

“It’s a great start for me to 2016 and I’m glad,” Al-Shorbagi told the press after the victory. “Nick and myself always have such great battles. I told him after the match that it’s always an honour to play him in a World Series final and I was really happy to get my second title here. I really enjoyed the match today and I look forward to having more great battles with him in the future.

“I think that’s the best I’ve seen him play so far this season and I’m really glad to see him back at his best again because the game needs him and he is very important for the game. I want to congratulate him for his great performance. He had already beaten my brother Marwan and I didn’t want him to beat both of us in the same tournament.”

The women’s event saw Al-Sherbini beating home favourite Amanda Sobhi to win the most rewarding title of her career.

Al-Sherbini was in the form of her life after defeating 2014 winner Nicol David in the previous round. The 20-year-old played with a maturity beyond her years as she rose to claim an 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8 victory and capture her first ever PSA World Series crown.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling; I can’t express it,” Al-Sherbini said. “Words can’t describe how I’m feeling now. This one is really special and to win it is something that I’m never going to forget. I’m really glad that I won this year. I’m really happy.”

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