Nour El Tayeb & Mohamed Elshorbagy Win Windy City Titles
1 Mar 2018
Egyptians Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El Tayeb, ranked two and three respectively in the world, prevailed on finals day at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company to claim the sport's most lucrative PSA World Series titles.
El Tayeb, the Cairo-born player who won her first World Series title at the US Open earlier this season, reached the final after enduring three five-game matches - and once again showed her resilience to edge a tense five-game battle with New Zealand's Joelle King.
The 24-year-old came from 2/1 down and saved two championship balls to defeat King, ranked 9 in the world, 11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 victory in 78 minutes and claim her share of a record $250,000 prize purse, equal to that on offer in the men's draw.
"I can't believe it," said El Tayeb following her sixth and biggest Tour title triumph.
"I felt like I lost this match three or four times! I was down in the fourth, then I was down in the fifth but looking over at Haitham [Effat] and Ali [Farag] - they gave me the encouragement, but I really can't believe that I won the tournament.
"Every day that I've woken up I've felt tired but I knew that I can do it. I don't think I've ever only played five-setters in a tournament. I think I will have to give my physical fitness coach a very big bonus!"
Meanwhile, in the family battle on the men's draw, it was Mohamed who came out on top against younger brother Marwan Elshorbagy as he produced a masterclass performance to claim the title in straight games.
It was the second meeting between the brothers in a major final, following their clash in the PSA Men's World Championship final in December - and it was the elder statesman who yet again took the spoils.
Mohamed - who returns to world No.1 in March - was in formidable form all week, not dropping a single game throughout the entire tournament and continued his winning momentum to dispatch his brother to claim his sixth title of the season.
"It's been an incredible season," said Mohamed.
"After last season - 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'm really glad to get through this match with my brother. He has played incredibly this season and he will still get better. This the second time we've played in a big final and his first World Series title will come at the right time - I just wanted to keep it a little bit later than today."