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SQUASH: Farag, El Sherbini win Tournament of Champions title

Ali Farag Tournament of Champions

Photo: PSA

Egypt’s squash players and won the 2019 J.P. Morgan in an all-Egyptian final that included World No.1s Mohamed Elshorbagy and Raneem El Welily.

Ali Farag snatched the title from Elshorbagy at New York’s Grand Central Terminal on Friday which will make him replace Elshorbagy as World No.1 on March 1.

“It’s been a dream of mine since a very young age to reach that No.1 spot,” Farag told the press after the game.

Despite struggling at the beginning being two games behind, Farag was able to return to his form in the next two games and levelled the score 2-2, before he managed to win his first Tournament of Champions trophy as he won 3-2: 10-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 in 84 minutes.

“To do it in such a fashion in front of so many greats of the game, in front of the love of my life [wife, Nour El Tayeb], and my parents watching at home, it couldn’t get any better really… It was very emotional.

“Mohamed is such a warrior, he never gives any points away. It’s been one of the biggest spectacles for the sport, and to be played in such a clean spirit is a great showcase for our sport,” he added.

In the women’s competition, El Sherbini faced fellow Egyptian Raneem El Welily in the final who she defeated 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 in 38 minutes, lifting her 18th career PSA title.

“This is my lucky place, this tournament was my first ever [Platinum] win and now it’s the first one I’ve won three times,” said El Sherbini, who also won the Tournament of Champions in 2016 and 2018,” the new champion said.

“It’s really big to put my name on this trophy and to win this tournament, but to win it three times is something that I will never forget in my life.

“We’ve been battling against each other for so long, the head-to-head is 10-10, so that shows how tough it’s been. We’ve been battling in a lot of finals, sometimes it goes my way, sometimes it goes her way. At the end of the day, the better player is going to win, and I think I was better than her today. Maybe she was suffering after yesterday’s match, but I’m going to take the win and I’m going to look forward to the next one.”

In addition to being a hardcore football fan, Abdelrahman is a communications enthusiast who works in marketing, advertising, content creation and PR.

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