Elias & Mohamed Claim Mauritius Titles
12 Jun 2022
Peru's Diego Elias overcame the challenge of England's Mohamed Elshorbagy to win the inaugural Necker Mauritius Open - Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, while Egypt's Farida Mohamed upset the top seed to claim the RMCLUB Women's Open - Presented by Expression Networks, her biggest title to date.
The Mauritius Open final at the RM Club in Grand Bay saw a sublime display from world No.5 Diego Elias, as he defeated Elshorbagy - his third successive Tour upset over the world No.3 - to win the trophy and finish the tournament without dropping a game.
The Peruvian had knocked out world No.2 Paul Coll in the semi-finals and, continuing that incredible form into the opening exchanges of the final, took the first ten points of the match. Although Elshorbagy was able to avoid the infamous 'bagel', Elias won it 11-2 to take the lead.
The 25-year-old controlled the tempo of the match and used his deceptive hold to unsettle the former world No.1, who was appearing in his first final since switching allegiance from Egypt to England. The second game was far more competitive, however, as Elshorbagy recovered from his slow start to take the game to his opponent. The Englishman made the match more physical and made the rallies longer, with Elias struggling slightly physically.
However, Elias switched his plan and moved up the court to nullify his opponent's attacking prowess, before unleashing his own attacks to sneak the second game. The Peruvian continued to hold the advantage in the third game and held off a late fightback from Elshorbagy to seal the PSA World Tour Gold title without dropping a match, and add to the Qatar Classic and Motor City Open titles that he won earlier this season.
"I want to thank everyone for coming here today and I want to thank [Tournament Promoter] Ramy [Mabillon] for organising this amazing tournament," said Elias.
"I love being in this atmosphere, it feels like home. I want to thank all the team, the club and Greg [Gaultier] for helping to organise this, as well as PSA for having a tournament here. I want to thank everyone for organising this huge event.
"I'm really happy to be the first winner of a tournament like this. Hopefully, this keeps happening every year and I can come back next year and try and win it again.
"I want to say thanks to Mohamed. He has been one of the best ever in squash, and I hope one day I can achieve what he has achieved and be like him when he loses. It's like he is a winner too, I appreciate it a lot, you don't see it very often."
The RMCLUB Women's Open came down to a thrilling conclusion with Egypt's world No.18 Farida Mohamed securing the biggest title of her fledgling career after defeating top seed Tinne Gilis in a five-game battle.
The match featured a similar pattern of play throughout each game with both players preferring to go short whenever the opportunity presented itself. This suited Mohamed as she powered into the lead after just seven minutes. Gilis looked off the pace early on and made a number of errors in the opening game, but the Belgian looked more like her usual self in the second game as she improved to draw level.
Both players were able to find their lengths in the third game, with the rallies becoming more drawn out, and it was Gilis who held the advantage. However, the young Egyptian fought back to force a tie-break, one she took to lead the match once again.
The fourth went the way of Gilis, with the top seed dominating proceedings to set up a grandstand finish, but Mohamed kept her focus in the decider to seal a win which sees the Egyptian pick up her fifth PSA title, and her first Challenger 30 level crown.
"No one would believe that before I came here everyone wanted me to pull out of this tournament because of my leg," said Mohamed.
"I've been injured for a month and a half now, my hamstring and my hip. I finally found a way to fix it in the past two days. It was feeling better, but at the end my deep heat was done and I had to put ice spray on it, it went cold again and it felt so bad.
"My coach knows very well that I wanted to win this tournament very badly. Not everyone believed I could do it, so it was such a relief. It's over and now I'm going into a break with a win.
"Tinne has been playing amazing squash lately and she's improved so much. It feels amazing to win my biggest title at the end of the season and finish this way. It's going to give me confidence because I haven't been in top form today and this week because of my leg as I wasn't able train very well."