Egyptians in the World ...                      CALENDAR

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[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-1 [2] Raneem El Welily            11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy
3-1 [2] Ali Farag              9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 (51m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-1 [2] Raneem El Welily            11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)

This is the best match weíve played in the whole season. This is the sixth time this season and itís hard to play the same player every month. You have to try and change your tactics and your game.

Weíre always pushing each other and we definitely learn from each other. Iíve been watching her a lot and learning from her a lot and itís an honour to battle with her the whole season.

Iíve reached the semis twice and last year I reached the final, so this time it had to be mine and I just wanted to prove that I deserved to be at the top of the game right now.

This tournament was really important for me and thatís why Iíve been pushing hard from the first match.

Hamdullah, an overall good season for me, finishing it off with another final. But most importantly, a good season for this incredible guy next to me. Very proud of him for ending the season ranked 4, his highest world ranking to date.

Nour played great squash last night, she was the better player and deserved the win. I was maybe a little slow and didnt play as well as I wanted to. But all in all Iím happy with my week in Dubai, caught up (even if for a very short time) with family and friends.

A lot to learn from yesterday, and there are certainly many things to work on and improve for the next season. Hopefully I'll be able to do this with my coaches over the summer.

I would like to thank my team for their never ending efforts, discipline and dedication. My squash coach Haitham Effat @haithamashoush whom I wish a speedy recovery. My fitness coach Ahmed Faragallah @ahmed_optimum, my physio Dr. Mohamed Amin at Dura Clinincs @mohamed_a917 and my nutritionist Dr. Hany Wahba @hanywahba248. My brother Tameem for managing everything behind the scenes for me and for offering all sorts of help whenever, whatever needed.
And I would also like to thank the talented and passionate coach Ahmed Effat, for covering for Haitham on court these past couple of weeks.

So much gratitude for my family and friends for all the love. And to all the supporters as welI thank you for all the messages and kindness

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-1 [2] Ali Farag              9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 (51m)

Itís been an amazing week here in Dubai. There have been some great matches all and Iím very proud to have been part of this event at the end of the season and to have won it.

Ali and I have played so many battles this season and Iím happy that we managed to end the season playing against each other Ė heís a great guy and great player and I look forward to being back on court battling with him again next season.

Mohamed has been proving day in and day out that he is the best player in the world.

Every time I feel like I match him, he keeps fighting back Ė I will work hard over the summer to try and match him next season.


Media preview

Definitely not the season I was hoping for, was a bit unlucky with my injuries in the pre-season and also during the season, felt much better in the end of the season and started to feel confident again with my body but wasnít fit enough to compete with the level of the top guys.

Still came out of this season with lots of positives and for sure will learn from my negatives to avoid in the upcoming seasons ..

Still have to thank my coaches for pushing me throughout the season , and my sponsors for their continuous support even during the bad times, feeling lucky to have them always by my side ..

Looking forward for a good pre-season with my squash coach @omarabdelaziz1 and my physio @m.wafaay , Iím also very excited to start practicing with my new fitness coach @ahmed_optimum


[2] Ali Farag 2-0 Nick Matthew (Eng)                                   11-5, 11-7 (23m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [4] Simon RŲsner (Ger) 12-10, 10-12, 11-3 (47m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-1 [6] Camille Serme (Fra) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (39m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 2-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb               11-7, 11-9 (19m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-1 [6] Camille Serme (Fra) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (39m)

Itís always a tough match playing Camille, she is always a fair player and sheís never done anything wrong on court. But Iím really happy to be in the final again.

The court is really hot today and maybe it suited her game more than me but I was just trying very hard on every point. Iím so sorry for the conduct stroke, but thatís the rule and we have to deal with it.

It was really hard from the first point and I have no idea what I would if it was longer than the best of 3 because I was tired.

Iím really hungry to win it, I never won it before and this is my third year in a row coming here. Itís the second final so hopefully this time itís going to be my title.

[2] Raneem El Welily 2-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb               11-7, 11-9 (19m)

Nour is a really tough opponent. This season has been great for her and weíve had great battles. But itís the end of the season, itís the last tournament and the last push. Weíve all had tough pool matches and Iím happy with the way I pushed myself, even if at the end I let go and gave her a slight opportunity which she almost took.

Iím happy to finish that in two. Makes me kind of nervous in a way, even though some players attack more, with me itís the opposite. I hold back and you can see when I go for my shots Iím either very confident in them or very nervous about them.

They're either a winner or they hit the tin. Iím really glad the last one got to the front wall and Iím happy to be in the finals.

[2] Ali Farag 2-0 Nick Matthew (Eng)                                 11-5, 11-7 (23m)

Itís extremely emotional, I knew that if I was close to winning that they were going to be the last few points of Nickís career. I didnít want to talk about it at all because I think the more I talked about it the more it would have gotten into my head. Only such a legend would get a standing ovation for around 10 minutes.

I always grew up watching Nick and looking up to him in every aspect of the sport. His professionalism, his will, his fighting spirit, his tactics, I even went to him at the British Open and said that he never stops amazing us and giving us more reasons to respect him.

Heís had an unbelievable career and itís his day today.

I dared to dream for a second that I could go all the way but Ali was slightly too good tonight. Even a week ago, if youíd have offered me a semi-final place here I wouldnít have believed it.

A few people this week have been trying to talk me out of retirement but thatís not happening. Iím 100 per cent going to stay in squash, Iím going to have a rest this summer, Iíve got some camps in the US and Iíll have a lot of family time and regroup.

Iíve got a great role which Iím looking forward to doing with England Squash and Iíll be growing my academy around the world. Iím still going to play, Iím not going to totally stop, Iím too competitive.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [4] Simon RŲsner (Ger) 12-10, 10-12, 11-3 (47m)

Every time it gets tough in any match I always tell myself that I live for these kind of moments, these are the moments I was born for.

When I lost that tough second game I knew that I could be in the final already but I told myself to have one more push for this match and it didnít phase me. It was a challenge to back it up after that second game.

I like to challenge myself and Iím happy to get through. Simon was playing well and the closest heís got to taking me out was here last year. I really wanted to play him again and I think we both played better than how we played last year.

Aliís fresh, heís playing well and we havenít played since last November. Itís great to have the last match of the season between the World No.1 and No.2, definitely.

      Pool Groups


Pool B
[6] Camille Serme (Fra) 2-0 [4] Laura Massaro (Eng)         11-7, 11-5 (22m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 2-0 [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11-6, 11-9 (20m)

1: Welily 2: Serme 3: Massaro 4: Perry

[3] Simon Rosner (Ger) 2-0 [7] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 11-8, 12-10 (21m)
[2] Ali Farag 2-0 [7] Karim Abdel Gawad                     11-5, 11-5 (21m)

1: Rosner 2: Farag 3: Gawad 4: Gaultier

Pool A
[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                   11-5, 11-5 (14m)          
[3] Nour El Tayeb 2-1 [5] Joelle King (Nzl)          7-11, 11-7, 13-11 (38m)

1: El Sherbini 2: El Tayeb 3: King 4: Gohar

[8] Nick Matthew (Eng) 2-0 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy    11-6, 11-6 (16m)
[4] Tarek Momen 2-1 [5] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)   11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (40m)

1: Matthew 2 Shorbagy 3 Momen 4 Rodriguez

[2] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 2-0 [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11-6, 11-9 (20m)

I didnít expect SJ to fight that way in the second game. I thought maybe she would be thinking that she was out of the semis so she wouldnít give it 100 per cent but all credit to her for doing her best to try and win today.

I was very pleased to be through to the semis. Itís the second time for me in Dubai, I didnít quite make it last year but Iím definitely happy to be in the semis this year.

I canít help but feel bad for Laura, she won her first two matches and didnít do anything wrong there but she didnít qualify. It was a tough group just like the other one and Iím just glad to be through against such tough competitors.

Dubai is definitely a favourite tournament, we all have a great time here, weíre taken good care of and I really enjoy the crowd and the atmosphere, itís absolutely fantastic to play in front of such a cheerful crowd.

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                   11-5, 11-5 (14m)          

I think it was important for me to win three matches even if I knew I was qualified from yesterday. Every match is important and I want to win every match so I just wanted to focus the same as the first match and Iím really happy with the way I played today.

I think all of the Egyptians started really young with squash and weíve been travelling since we were really young. We watch how a lot of professionals play and we want to play the same game as them. Iíve grown up watching a lot of the top players from Egypt and I wanted to be the same as them. I think thatís one of the reason why Egyptians are good at squash right now.

Camille has been playing so well this week and it will be a tough match Iím sure. I hope Iím going to have a good recovery, relax and Iíll be ready for tomorrow.

[3] Nour El Tayeb 2-1 [5] Joelle King (Nzl)          7-11, 11-7, 13-11 (38m)

I really donít know how I won it, Joelle was playing extremely well at the beginning of the match. She was playing so fast, so accurately and it took me a while to get used to her game. I had to focus on my length, the court conditions today were a bit too warm for my shots to go in and be effective.

I had to dig in and play to the back as much as I could until the easiest opportunities came, but they didnít happen often. I think she was match ball up, we played a great match a few months ago and Iím very lucky to be on the winning side of it and Iím happy to be in the semi-finals.

Iím very excited to be playing it [the World Series Finals] but Iím very nervous because I like the atmosphere here and I want to keep going. Throughout the match I couldnít drink one sip of water because I was too nervous.

Itís obviously different with the best of three format, thereís a lot at stake every point but Iím happy to be in the semi-finals.

Iím sure itís going to be a big match with Raneem. Sheís like my big sister but sheís been playing extremely well here in Dubai. Itís going to be a great match.

[2] Ali Farag 2-0 [7] Karim Abdel Gawad                     11-5, 11-5 (21m)

It was very tough, not only is he a good friend, heís such a lethal player.

Before the match and between games Nour told me that I didnít want to match him at the front of the court. Heís so attacking and so talented, so we had to keep him in the back two corners. Thatís what I tried to do as much as possible, then when I had the opportunity I went short and thankfully it worked.

Last year I was in the exact same position, I won my first match, lost the second and then it was winner takes all in the third match and I lost to James, who played brilliantly.  Today I wanted to learn from that and go through to the semis for the first time ever, so Iím quite delighted.

Weíve been training during Ramadan ever since we were 10. Obviously itís not the optimum atmosphere that you want to play in but I guess weíre used to it. I played with Nour three times where I have to play only in the back of the court and she plays everywhere and she makes me run and run and run, so I think that helped me a lot today....

[4] Tarek Momen 2-1 [5] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)   11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (40m)

Itís a special treat to finish my last match of the season with a win. Whether Iím out or not Iíll be taking my break after a win, which is good. Obviously Iím a bit disappointed for not qualifying. I was very upset after the first day, Nick played amazingly well but I had more to put into the game and I couldnít.

It hit my confidence a bit but yesterday when I came back it gave me a boost because I felt like I needed to see myself playing again because there have been a few rough weeks. Iím very happy with the outcome and hopefully next year I can do better.


[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 2-1 [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 15-13, 7-11, 11-8 (48m)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad 2-1 [7] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)      9-11, 11-8, 11-4 (41m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 2-1 [6] Camille Serme (Fra)             8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [5] Tarek Momen              11-8, 2-11, 11-9 (39m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb                               11-7, 11-5 (15m)
[4] Simon RŲsner (Ger) 2-1 [2] Ali Farag                         7-11, 11-9, 11-3 (40m)
[5] Joelle King (Nzl) 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                              11-8, 14-12 (26m)
Nick Matthew (Eng) 2-1 [6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)  11-9, 9-11, 12-10 (72m)

In a Nutshell...
Gawad will play Farag for a place in the semis... Sherbini only lady already qualified... Gohar out, Momen out....
PLUS: If Serme beats Massaro and El Welily gets the better of Perry, then it will come down to the percentage of games won to decide who qualifies for the last four.

[5] Joelle King (Nzl) 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                              11-8, 14-12 (26m)

Nouranís much younger than me but Iíve never actually beaten her before, so itís nice to come away with a 2-0 win, especially in the pools because it is pretty crucial. I think me and Nour are now tied at one all, so everything to play for tomorrow.

I think weíve just got used to playing Egyptian players. Theyíve been so dominant for the last few years that Iíve been on tour and they play exciting squash, so I guess with a player like me who is more traditional, sometimes it makes for exciting squash, so weíll see what happens tomorrow.

Iím probably more of an attritional player and I like to rely a bit more on my physicality, so this best of three is a completely different game, you have to be more attacking and Iím enjoying trying something different.

[2] Raneem El Welily 2-1 [6] Camille Serme (Fra)             8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)

Camille played really well today as always. I had to push myself really hard to play the way I did today. Mentally and physically, it was hard for me today but Iím happy that at least mentally I was better than I was yesterday.

Camille is one of the fairest players on tour, I think I always vote for her for the female Spirit of Squash award. I love playing with her, sheís fair, she plays great squash and has great technique and physicality, so theyíre always good battles.

Hopefully I can take this performance into the next match.

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb                               11-7, 11-5 (15m)

Iím so happy to win this match, I think last time I lost to her and sheís doing really well this season. Sheís up to No.3 in the world but Iím really glad I managed that I didnít lose a game, it was really important to win this in two games.

She can kill any shot from anywhere and know matter how good a shot is she can get it back. I had to be ready for any surprises from her because I donít know what sheís going to do, so I needed to be ready.

Itís really hard fasting and playing, even if my match is after when we can eat. I break my fast at 7pm and my match was at eight, so you donít have a lot of time to eat.

I just ate a small thing and played my match. I think I had an advantage as yesterday I played at eight and she played later, so maybe I got used to it today.

Thereís just one match to go now and I have to give it the same as the last two matches. Even if I won both matches 2-0 there is still one more to go and Iím playing another tough opponent, an Egyptian but hopefully Iím going to be ready and will be as good as today or even better if I can.

[8] Karim Abdel Gawad 2-1 [7] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)      9-11, 11-8, 11-4 (41m)

I just felt a little bit tired yesterday, for my shoulder today I tried to forget about the pain and tried to play some good squash.

Iíve been playing the whole season so I could come here to play in Dubai at this amazing venue, so I didnít want to let things go without even trying. Today I just tried to stay strong mentally a little bit and Ali talked to me between the games and told me to try and forget about the pain a little bit and enjoy your squash. Hopefully he will come and coach me tomorrow during the games!

I had him by my side during the last two matches and he gave me great tips. Tomorrow Iím playing him, heís a great friend and we grew up together. Hopefully we play a good game and just enjoy our match.

We need different ideas in squash to improve our sport. Squash is very tough physically and mentally too and interactiveSQUASH is doing a great job.

Last year it was in the opera house and it was just amazing. When I heard the venue was moving to another place I was a little bit disappointed but I came here and saw that the venue is amazing. Dubai has great locations to put a squash court in.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [5] Tarek Momen              11-8, 2-11, 11-9 (39m)

I would never have played him that fast paced if it was in best of five. There is no way anyone on tour can survive that kind of pace against him. But when you play him in a best of three itís fast and furious and you have to adapt. You have to be a tactician and you have to see the weaknesses and study the game before you study the opponent.

After you study the game and you know the format youíre playing you can see who youíre playing against and how to play him. I played a completely different kind of game that Iíve never played against him.

It worked in the first game but it hit me in the second game because Iím not used to playing that pace against him. But all credit to him, he kept fighting and weíve had a lot of great battles this season, in Qatar and Canary Wharf the two matches were unbelievable.

This was probably our last battle of the season and itís great to have a new battle with him again. Me, my brother, Tarek and Farag have made it to the top four and itís the first time ever that there are all Egyptians in the top four.

Iíve witnessed a generation when Shabana, Darwish and Ramy were in the top three and I didnít think that we were going to have another generation like that, but Iím happy be a part of history like this and itís something Iíll always remember for the rest of my career.


Pool B
[6] Camille Serme (Fra) 2-1 [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)  8-11, 12-10, 12-10 (50m)
[3] Simon Rosner (Ger) 2-0 [7] Karim Abdel Gawad                   12-10, 11-6 (28m)
[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 2-1 [2] Raneem El Welily             8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
[2] Ali Farag 2-0 [6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)                               11-9, 11-8 (31m)

Pool A
[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [5] Joelle King (Nzl)                           12-10, 11-7 (22m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [5] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 (49m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                                11-5, 11-4 (13m)     
[8] Nick Matthew (Eng) 2-0 [4] Tarek Momen                         11-8, 11-9 (31m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 2-0 [5] Joelle King (Nzl)                           12-10, 11-7 (22m)

Joelleís been playing so well and she has come back after the injury so well and has beaten a lot of top players.

Itís the first match and you could play Joelle in the final of a World Series event, so itís hard to play her in the first round. Iím glad I fired myself up and won the first game.

It really means a lot to finish the season on top and Iíve never won this title before. I reached the final last year but I never had a chance to win it. Iím going to give it 100 per cent this time and hopefully itís going to go my way.

Itís always special playing in the Middle East, there are a lot of Egyptians and a lot of Arab people supporting us so itís really special to have them cheering for us.

[3] Nour El Tayeb 2-0 [7] Nouran Gohar                                11-5, 11-4 (13m)

I was so nervous before the whole tournament and I didnít know how to prepare because itís Ramadan and there are always family gatherings.

I even have Aliís family here watching so itís like a vacation. Maybe this helped me relax a bit for todayís match, Nouran is the only top 10 player I hadnít beaten this year, I lost to her in the first tournament so Iím happy I was able to do it in the last day or two of the season.

Sheís a tough competitor and if I gave her any chances she was going to come back into it. Iíve lost to her more than Iíve won so Iím very happy to get this win.

Last year I came with Ali to watch him and I was very jealous I wasnít on there so I worked very hard to be here and Iím very excited to be in Dubai.

[2] Ali Farag 2-0 [6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)                               11-9, 11-8 (31m)

I was always under the cosh and he was always attacking, itís what he does best. I never felt comfortable on there, he kept me running around all four corners and Iím just glad I dug in and never gave up.

I was a bit tired but I could see he was tired as well so it was about whoever wanted it more was going to win it in the end and Iím very lucky to get it.

Everyone here is in the top eight, everyone is a top, top player and the want to win a prestigious title. You can see already in the first four matches that everyone is doing their absolute best, so Iím just going to do the same and hopefully I can lift that title with my wife.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 [5] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 (49m)

Heís been playing really well recently.

People might think that I wanted revenge, it's not the case. Whatever happened today, it was never going to change that he is the British Open champion and what he did was great and he did his country proud. Heís a such nice guy and weíre really great friends.

Iím just happy we played another great battle, our matches have been clean and fair and today was another one.

Egypt Dominates the PSA Awards

A good evening for CIBSquashTeam

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