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15 Jul 2024

Elshorbagy Shakes Off Matthew For ToC Title

24 Jan 2015

Mohamed Elshorbagy, the 24-year-old world No.1 from Egypt, reinforced his position at the top of the squash ladder with an impressive performance in the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to see off England's Nick Matthew 3/1 and claim his fourth major PSA World Series title.

Under the chandeliers of Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in New York, the duo produced a thrilling spectacle in front of a sold-out crowd with Elshorbagy eventually out-powering the man ten years his elder.

"I told Nick at the end of the match that he is an inspirational player," said Elshorbagy, who has developed a testy Tour rivalry with the 34-year-old Yorkshire over the last two years.

"He's the king when it comes to playing tough matches because he seems to come back fresh every day but I'm really pleased with how I played and to get my first title here.

"I wanted to win so badly and I'm proud to see my name join the illustrious list of previous Tournament of Champions winners."

Matthew, the 2012 champion, started the match in the ascendancy and used his wealth of court-craft to take the opening game - but Elshorbagy's ferocious pace and power saw him claw his way back into the match and turn the tide, to establish a 2/1 lead.

In the fourth game Matthew looked on course to level the score once again, but saw the opportunity slip from his hands after an unforced error when 9-7 ahead. This was followed by an unlucky bounce at 9-8 which saw Elshorbagy rally - and from then on the Bristol-based-Egyptian refused to give in.

Despite saving one match ball, Matthew couldn't find enough in his locker to hold on as Elshorbagy romped home to complete a memorable night for Egyptian squash in the Big Apple - with Raneem El Welily also taking the women's title with victory over Alison Waters.

"This has been a very tough week for me mentally," continued Elshorbagy.

"When I saw Raneem win in the women's final it really inspired me because we both recently lost in World Championship finals even though we both had match balls.

"She showed me that you can rebound and I'm really proud of how I played and that I proved I can come back stronger than before."

World No.4 Matthew added: "I really enjoyed the match tonight. You get to a stage in your career when you just have to enjoy the experience because you might not have many more of them."