By Maydaa Abo El-Nadar
New York, Jan. 26 (SEE) – Egyptian duo Nour El-Sherbini and Ali Farag claimed the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Squash Champions (TOC) that took place in the Grand Central Terminal Station, New York, US.
In the men’s final, Farag world number 2, met his compatriot Mohamed El-Shorbagy, World number 1. Although El-Shorbagy controlled the first two games to his favor by a score of 10-12 and 6-11, respectively, Farag managed to turn the tables and won the three following games by 11-6, 11-3, and 11-8, respectively. So the final ended 3-2 to Farag.
Thanks to this victory, Farag will now replace El-Shorbagy at World No.1 on the 1st of March. Commenting such a victory, Farag expressed, “It’s been a dream of mine since a very young age to reach that No.1 spot.”
“To do it in such a fashion in front of so many greats of the game, in front of the love of my life and my parents watching at home, it couldn’t get any better really. It was very emotional.”
Moving to the women’s final, El-Sherbini, world number 2, played against her compatriot, Raneem El-Welily, World number 1. The match that lasted for 38 minutes ended 3-0 (11-9/11-8/11-8) in El-Sherbini’s favor.
El-Sherbini expressed, “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.”
Worth noting is that the championship is one of the most prestigious international squash tournaments celebrated annually. The first edition of the women’s competitions started in 2001. Since then, El-Sherbini is the first female champion to win the event’s title three times. In addition to this year’s victory, she was the champion in 2016 and 2018.
In this regard, she said, “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.
“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.”