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All the Video Highlights of the Egyptian Matches of the Tournament of Champions...

Photo: Mike Pepper

Tournament of Champions (Draws, Etc) 

[5] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-2 [4] Laura Massaro (Eng)   Video Highlights
                             13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (73m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 [3] Gregory Gaultier         Video Highlights
                             6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 (64m)

Winning the Tournament of Champions, here in this venue, is an amazing feeling and I feel absolutely fantastic right now.

Matches with Greg are always tough and they can change at any moment. He has beaten me so many times before that I know even at match ball up he isn't beaten. I've learnt a lot from him and I thought it was a great match tonight.

It's been an amazing week. I'm over the moon. To win three big titles like the World Championship and Qatar Classic is a great feeling and I have to thank my coaches for the support and hard work that has been put in for the past few years.

I'm really enjoying my squash at the moment so hopefully I can keep that going in the next tournament.

I had a great week here and I gave it all that I could. I gave beyond 100 per cent.

I can't believe it.

Winning this title and winning two World Series titles in a row, beating the World No.1 and No.2 and coming from 2-1 down today to beat Laura, it is absolutely amazing.

I can't believe I managed to come back today. It was such a big match for both of us. I had to fight myself, because I felt tired and flat, but I could see she was as well. We didn't play our best - we were both tired and nervous.

But after third game my coaches tried to wake me up, they said the right things and they told me to try and play like I did at the US Open so I went out there in the fourth like I was going into a boxing ring. I just had to fight and fight for it.

I've been working hard in training and to see it all pay off like this is so encouraging - I'm delighted.



[5] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [1] Nour El Sherbini      11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (49m)
[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [11] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)  

[3] Gregory Gaultier 3-1 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 12-10 11-9 9-11 4-11 11-7 (84m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 James Willstrop                      11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (42m)

This match was so different from yesterday. Nour is so talented, if you give her the time to attack, you are dead. I had to up the pace to take the time away from her and prevent her from playing her shots. I was just trying to play fast and strongÖ

Iíve been working on my shots a lot for the last few months, and I have to keep working if I want to match up and play like the Egyptian girls, but Iím on the right trackÖ

Men PSA Reports:
Gaultier Wins Bizarre Clash With ElShorbagy

In one of the most bizarre matches ever seen in Grand Central Terminal it was Gregory Gaultier, World No.3, who emerged victorious in a crunch battle with Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach the 2017 ToC title-decider with a perormance straight out of broadway.

The Frenchman, as fired up as ever seen, strutted around court during the first two games as he dominated proceedings, playing with pace, precision, control and guile at a breakneck pace, exhaling the crowd with every point as he gesticulated with abandon.

He was on course for a straight forward 3-0 win when, at 8-7 up in the third, a pivotal decision from the video referee, incorrectly calling a reviewed pickup good, he capitulated. And it was Jekyll and Hyde as the Gaultier of game one and two vanished to be replaced by a new incarnation, unable to strike clean as ElShorbagy pounced. Drama ensued as well as Gaultier took an injury break to treat an injury to his left glute and he looks to be on the way home after losing the fourth 4-11.

But in the fifth game the match turned again. A stunned Gran Central, silenced by what they were witnessing, watched on as Gaultier, playing on one leg, displayed all the traits of his ĎGeneralí moniker as he resumed total control. And he win through to a huge roar as he took the fifth 11-7 courtesy of a sumptuous crosscourt winner.

I felt my glute go during my match with Tarek and it was sore this morning - but after warming up today it was fine and I had no problem in those first two games.

In the third game I could feel it tighten and then at 8-7 that decision should have gone my way and I lost my dynamic. I could have gone through to win 3-0 and then it was 2-2. At that point I just wanted to shake hands - I was in a lot of pain.

But my coaches told me just to fight for every point. I played smart and it maybe got in his head and he got a little shaky. I was injured all year in 2016 - so I am very determined to come back. This is a beautiful place to play squash and you want to give your all in these kind of locations.

There's a lot of talk about Egyptian players dominating at the moment but there are players from other countries here as well, and we're showing that we are still competing and that our names deserve to be on trophies as well.

Who Played Who When
(thanks SquashInfo)


Who Played Who When
(thanks SquashInfo)


Tournament of Champions (Draws, Etc) 
Men Quarters, Women Quarters

[5] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [3] Nouran Gohar         11-5, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 (69m)
[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [8] Omneya Abdel Kawy       11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (35m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-2 [6] Nicol David (Mas) 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-8 (64m)
[11] SJ Perry (Eng) 3-2 [2] Raneem El Welily 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 5-11, 11-5 (56m)

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 [8] Simon RŲsner (Ger)   2-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (52m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Tarek Momen                                 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (60m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy                   11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (44m)
in the last quarters, James beat Paul 3/1


The plan was to slow down the pace. I was just trying to stay in the rally and hang out in there, itís like getting punched, and you try and stay standing!

Nouran beat me twice last year in very tough five game battles - I think it was 11-9 and 11-8 in the fifth on both occasions - so I knew it would be hard today.

But I had no pressure on me. She's No.2 in the World and I felt like the pressure was on her - I just focused on what I needed to do, which is exactly what I done at the U.S. Open as well, so I'm very, very happy.

It was such a battle, mentally, physically, she hits the ball so hard, but Iím glad because she gave me the will to fight, Iíve been focusing on that game for months, and I think I can see my improvement on that type of game, that was such an incredible match to play.

That's my first win over Raneem, to reach my first ever World Series semi-final, and I get to play here again inside Grand Central Terminal tomorrow - so I'm very pleased and very proud.

"I've been working hard on and off court for the past year and I've got more confidence and belief in myself. And having that self-belief is imperative at this level because I was 2-0 up and all of a sudden she was back and I was down in the fifth - so I had to really work hard to make sure I got back on track.

I didn't realise I won 9 points in a row. I was just focusing on each point, getting my discipline back, and refusing to stop believing and I'm excited about the semi-finals tomorrow.

I've played Laura many times and it's a massive match. I'm just going to focus on trying to play how I want to play and do my best."

Iím really happy to sneak the win Ė it was very important for me to win that match today.

I played Nicol a lot of times, she is the best player ever. What she achieved in her career is amazing, and nobody has ever achieved what she did. Every time I play Nicol, I feel like Iím the contender, that Iíve got nothing to lose, and that she is the top player, I guess thatís why Nicol gets the best out of me, always.

The fourth game was really important for me. I really wanted to finish it, but it was point for point. It was a question of who would make a single error would lose the game. Nicol came back very strong in the 4th, I was trying to finish it, but I really couldnít.

But Iím glad I was able to finish it in the 5th, I gave it everything I had, that last game was really hard, for both of us, physically, mentally.

Beating a player of her calibre at any point is special. This is the first time Iíve been the defending champion at a World Series tournament, so itís a new challenge and Iím just giving everything to make sure I play as well as I can.

I feel like my game is getting better with every match and my confidence is growing so hopefully I can produce another good performance tomorrow.

Iím really happy with the way I played today, looking forward to the next round.

[5] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [3] Nouran Gohar    11-5, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 (69m)

Camille varied the height

The Frenchgirl wanted her revenge. Badly. She was beaten three out of the four times they played, last two matches were huge matches in 5Ö And Cam wanted it bad, was ready mentally for it Ė think Mohamed Elshorbagy the first time he played James after being beaten in the Worlds in SeattleÖ.

Camille dominated the first game, being very strong on the backhand volley drop shot in particular, and controlling the T. Nouran never seemed to get in the match, 4/1, 7/3, 10/4, 11/5 in 8m.

But Nouran is famously a slow starter. She takes her time feeling the weaknesses of her opponent, and grinds her. Logically, she was up for it in the second, not a point between the players from 0/0 to 8/8, Nouran finding some powerful accurate length that Camille couldnít save, 11/9 in 9m.

The third is huge, 25 minutes, you read well, 25m! Itís a weird one, that logically, Nouran should have won. Did she relax a bit up 8/3, having scored 8 points in a row? Camille woke up, slowed down the pace, found her front and back corner, taking the pace off the ballÖ 8/8, 9/9, Nouran saves a game ball at 10/9, will have 2 game balls of her own, 11/10, 12/11, but itís the Frenchgirl that clinches that crucial one, 14/12.

Thatís the turning point.

Even if Nouran never gave up, far from it, Camille now had the belief she could overcome Nouranís power. 6/6. 7/7. 8/7, stroke Cam, overturned let. 9/7, stroke Cam, overturned let. 9/9, itís still possible for the young Egyptian, but the confidence is in the French camp, and itís 11/9 in 17mÖ

[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [8] Omneya Abdel Kawy   11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (35m)

Laura too strong, and too accurate

The English never gave a chance to Omneya to get into the first game, 7m, 11/4. A much better performance in the second one, Onny steps in front, reads the ball well, finds the corners and put a lot of pressure on her opponent. Laura is always a couple of points ahead, but Omneya is right in there. At 6/9, it seems over, especially when Laura gets three game balls, 10/7. But Omneya finds her best game, save those three game balls, to force a tie-break, 10/10. Still Laura gets that crucial second, 12/10, in 13m.

Mountain is a bit high 2/0 down against a player of Lauraís calibre, unforced errors creep in (Omneya did 10 the whole match, not bad really) 5/2, 10/4, 2 match balls saved but itís too little too late, 11/6 LauraÖ.

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-2 [6] Nicol David (Mas)  11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-8 (64m)

Nour/Nicol: A match to remember

In a few years, this is a match people will say "I watched it". It was one of those battles that prove Squash doesn't have to be nasty and open war to reach a sublime level. Those two girls were fierce, gave everything and more, dig in, pushed themselves, but in the respect and fairness. No cheating. No double bounces. No pushing. No blocking. Fairplay and respect.


Nour hadn't impressed in her first two rounds, and the general conscientious was that Nicol was due a win. A warm court, perfect for Nicol, hungry and probably not ecstatic being down to WR7. But Nour whizzed in that opener with apparently no pressure at all, zooming at 7/1, 8/3, taking the game 11/5 in 8m.

But Nicolís response was immediate. Finding her backhand attacks, Nic zoomed to 4/0, 6/1. Still, Nour, moving exceptionally well, clawed back to 6/6. At that point a huge rally that seems to take a lot from the Egyptian, and itís Nicol the whole way to 11/6, 8m.

Nicol seemed a bit out of sort in the 3rd, making uncharacteristic 6 unforced errors Ė well, under pressure really Ė for 0 to Nour. From 5/5, itís all about Nour, 11/6 in 9m.

The 4th is one to put on Nicís Hall of Fame when she retires, in 10 or 15 years. She goes up 5/0. Some truly brutal rallies, with both girls leaving their blood on the floor (itís a image, donít panic) and itís back at 7/7. 9/9. Nic gets a game ball 10/9, but a kill saves it. A match ball for Nour, saved by a stroke. Another game ball for Nic at 12/11, a lovely squeeze on the forehand takes care of it. And a 2nd match ball for Nour, 13/12, again that lethal backhand volley drop shot from Nic.

A remarkable incredible rally, ended with a ďNicolawyĒ volley reflex, even Nicol smiles, sets up a 3rd game back for the Malaysian, and a Ref Video decision stroke gives her the 19m game.

Nic, 0 error. Nour, 1 (and 11 winners). Incredible stuff.

I have to say I thought that Nicol was done at the start of the 5th, she looked tired Ė I didnít write those words often Ė 5/1 Nour. But Nicol, 10 times world Champ, digs in, and claws back to 7/8. A huge huge huge rally, ending on a superb backhand crosscourt, 9/7. But if Nicol manages to come back so close 8/9, she clips the tin, third match ball, 10/8. This time, Nour closes it, 11/8, 9m.

I truly and utterly wished there was no loser to that one.

Men Quarters (Split), Women 2nd Round

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-1 [Q] Salma H. Ibrahim       8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11 (70m)
[3] Nouran Gohar 3-2 [15] Nour El Tayeb       9-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (56m)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-1 [16] Victoria Lust       11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3 (44m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 3-1 Dipika Pallikal Karthik      15-17, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (44m)

[3] Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Tarek Momen                  11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (60m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy     11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (44m)

Tuesday 16th Jan
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad v [8] Simon RŲsner



[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-1 [Q] Salma H. Ibrahim 8-11 11-9 13-11 13-11 (70m)

Not easy for Nour

What a match, what a start of the day! When a promoter packs in 10 match on the glasscourt and a warm one as well, you really want to start the day with 70m match bless them!

Salma, full of confidence and hungry as it comes, was Miss GoldenBackhand today. Basically, every attack on that side Ė with very few exceptions Ė found the nick and truly put Nour under tremendous pressure. A Nour that seemed not to move in and out of the front corner as quickly as she would have wished, and never relaxed or able to impose frankly her game.

First game, excellent start from Nour, 5/2, 8/5, but the backhand of Salma truly dented Nourís confidence and attacks, and the contender zoomed with 6 points up to 11/8, 10m.
Second game, not a point between the girls from 3/3 to 9/9, Nour finally getting two vicious forehand drive kills to finish it in 11m.

For the third, Nour produced tin as she was paid for it, allowing Salma to get a serious advance, 5/1, then 7/4. Nour feeling the danger closed it down to 7/7, 9/9. She needed 3 game balls to clinch that game Ė Salma never got a chance to close it, 13/11 in 16m

A little fright for Salma at the star of the 4th, as she bangs her head against the wall as she goes for a shot. A little interruption, but ďplus de peur que de malĒ all is well that ends well, and back we are on court.

From 3/3, Salma gives it a big push and takes a comfortable lead, 7/3, 9/7. Nour doesnít want a 5th game, digs in, 9/9. Two game balls for Salma, but itís the World number 1 that clinches that last game, 24 very long minutes, 13/11Ö

[3] Nouran Gohar 3-2 [15] Nour El Tayeb  9-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (56m)

Nouran/NOur: All the way...

At times scrappy, at times sublime, World No.2 Nouran Gohar did just enough to scrape into the last eight in New York and defeat compatriot Nour El Tayeb in 56 minute battle to set up a quarter-final match with Camille Serme.

Gohar quickly found herself on the defensive and doing everything in her power to avoid defeat to El Tayeb. With a huge contrast in styles Ė Gohar the power-puncher, El Tayeb tout en finesse Ė it was the elder Tayeb who struck the first blow, winning the opener 11-9. But Gohar took the second for the loss of a solitary point, after El Tayeb appeared to have aggravated a back muscle - she had asked for the physio at the end of the first game -to level and set up what looked like an easy win.

And the momentum was with the Junior World Champion in the 3rd, when a few strange decisions from the ref seemed to fire up Nour, who from 2/6, 3/7 down managed to clinch the 14m 11/8, scoring 7 points in a row!

There was not much between them in the 4th up to the middle of the game, where Nouran produced a few of her killer lenghts dying at the back, 11/6 in 9m. Same story in teh 5th really, close up to 6/6, but Nouran finding her groove at the end.

Interesting stat, 5 unforced errors for Nouran, 17 for Nour... It had to play a part here...

Nouran  will now face Frenchwoman and US Open winner Camille Serme for a semi after the Frenchwoman killed off Joshna in less than 30m....

[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-1 [16] Victoria Lust 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3 (44m)

Vicky is a great player, she beat me last time in the British Open 2015, and it was on my mind, I wanted to get my revenge.

She played really well today, she kept getting everything, when I upped the pace, she kept with me, she made me feel that she had no trouble getting the ball, she was relaxed, and made it look easy.

So it was not easy at all, I had to focus on every single shot. Holding my shots doesn't come easy, I have to weigh all the different choic
es, and it messes with my head!

So sometimes I have to play some straight forward squash, I try to mix it up.

When she slipped, I knew that she hurt herself, but I kept saying to myself that it was an act, I had to convinced my mind that it was just an act to be able to stick to my game, not to feel sorry, or simply relax thinking "oh, she is injured".

So I convinced myself the match was still going, and that I had to finish it. Only when I hear match ball, and then 11 something, that's when I can relax.

Now, I'm  just going to relax and recover, Laura is a great player, she beat me the last, well, how many times!!! I'll keep it in mind, focus on my match, focus on my game plan, and try and reverse the result tomorrow Inshallah.

"Salma and I played a lot a lot of times, weíve been playing in the same club since the age of 5! We practice a lot together, we travel a lot together, and I know her game very well! She is very skilful, she can drop from anywhere in the court.

So it was very hard for me, a very tricky match. I was glad I could finish in the end, but every game was a tie-break, it wasnít easy at all.

We are friends and sisters before being opponents so when she hit her head [at the start of the 4th] I was worried about her, and I wanted to know if she was ok. And you know, we had a lot of lets during that match, but itís because we care about each other and we donít want to hurt each otherÖ"

For sure playing Nour second round is unfair for any player, she is a great player, she was a top 5 before her surgery, she is so tough to play.

We have really different style of play, I like to play fast pace, hit the ball hard, ruuuuuuunnnnnÖ. Nour has got really good hands, and she was trying to take off the pace, so it was the case of who would play better, and impose her game.

We are a lot in Egypt! Nour is 4 years older than me, but we are always training together, playing a lot and itís a bonus for us to have so many talented players, and thatís why we are not too bad in squash!

With Camille, we player 5 setters every time, in about 80m, so Iím sure it will be a great match for the crowd tomorrow, and may the best player win..

"I think people enjoy watching us but it's not fun competing against each other and it's hard for everyone in the family.

"But we have to deal with it and I'm very glad to have won today and to be coming back here to compete in another match in this amazing location.

"The crowd here make it very special and they show us some great support so I'm looking forward to the next round."

Disappointed to lose to my bro in 3 games.. he kinda gave me a squash lesson which I learnt a lot from!

Good to see him playing well again

Marwan Elshorbagy
on Twitter

Men 2nd Round (Split), Women 1st Round (Split)


[Q] Paul Coll 3-1 [6] Ali Farag                                11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (60m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Cameron Pilley     8-11,11-4,11-6,8-11,11-9 (82m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Ryan Cuskelly                    11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy
3-1 Stephen Coppinger     4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (59m)
Tarek Momen 3-0 [7] Omar Mosaad                                 11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (34m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier 3-2  Fares Dessouky     9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (81m)


[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0 [Q] Hania El Hammamy    11-9,11-8,11-9 (40m)
[11] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-2 Mariam Metwally
 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (64m)
[2] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [Q] Hollie Naughton (Can)       11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (23m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Joey Chan (Hkg)          11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (30m)
[3] Nouran Gohar
3-0 [Q] Mayar Hany                11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (26m)
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim
3-2 [9] Alison Waters (Eng)
                                                  8-11, 11-1, 11-13, 11-9, 11-2 (62m)
[15] Nour El Tayeb 3-1 Heba El Torky         11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)

Went down 11-9 in the fifth against Gawad. Overall happy with how I've played this week, just a bummer not to get the win today!

Cameron Pilley on Twitter

I lost to Steve a couple of times before, he is a real great player and he's been playing really well recently, he's had a great tournament in December in London. He is always giving a hard time to the top players, so I knew how hard this match would be.

I wasn't playing really badly in the first, Steve was too good. He didn't give me any chance to get into the match, all credit to him. I knew I had to slow it down a little bit, play a little bit tighter as he was staying in front of me at the start of the game. I wanted to play the T away from him,

He plays at a really fast pace, so I got a little bit tried in the third game, but I was happy with the way I delt with it mentally and I came back very strong in the 4th.

But it was tough, the third game could have gone either way, it was stricky, the third was very important today, it was the key of the match. Glad I won that one.

It was a tough match and I'm happy to win it, a victory against Cops is a good win, any day of the week.

I'm excited to be in the quarters. To play my brother in the last eight in a setting like Grand Central Terminal is something I never dreamed would happen.

I've been close to him a few times and I'll try to step up another level on Monday. He's playing well, but so I am, so we'll see what happens.

Very happy and satisfied today with my performance and reach another quarterfinal here. Will be up against my brother for our second battle this season.

I've won all our matches so far but he's learning every time we play and he's getting closer and closer to that win.

It's something special to have two brothers playing and competing against each other - it's like the Williams sisters in tennis - and it's something our family can be very proud of.

One day he will beat me, but hopefully not at this tournament because I felt like I played very high quality squash today. I have trained hard in the past month and I'm feeling good, so hopefully I can carry that on.

It took me nine attempts to defeat Shabana and Greg and I had to take everything out of them to get those first wins. I make it as hard as possible for my brother as well because I know when he beats me he will be a complete player - when that happens I will be incredibly proud.

It's the second World Series event this season where we've met at this stage and he's been playing well, so I'm looking forward to a good match.

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Cameron Pilley     8-11,11-4,11-6,8-11,11-9 (82m)

Cameron Pilley doesnít need introduction, he is one of the most experienced players on tour, he started playing on tour before I started playing, he is very experienced and very tough to play.

It was the 4th time I was playing him, and each time, it went to five, so today I was expecting a very tough match. Pilley is very talented, very strong and nice hands, very good physically, he is always tough to play.

To win today, I had about 4 plans to get through the match! Omar Abdel Aziz, my coach, told me different plans, and finally one of them worked!
Iím happy to have a rest day tomorrow, to get fresh for the quarters, and ready to play.

[5] Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Stephen Coppinger
                     4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (59m)

A very sluggish start for Marwan in the first, nearly slow motion, with Cops full blast firing from all guns!

A good response in the 2nd, 9/1, 11/2 in 6m for the Egyptian. Hard work produced in the 3rd, from 6/2 up, Marwan was pushed to visit the court so many times, excellent squash from Steve making the court very big for his opponent. 7/7, 8/8, but Marwan finds some lovely shots and closes it down, 11/8 in 19m.

The fourth is very close the whole way up to 6-6, suddenly Cops makes error upon error, offering the match to his opponent, only too happy to oblige!!!

Tarek Momen 3-0 [7] Omar Mosaad   11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (34m)

An incredible performance from Tarek, from start to finish, 1 error the whole match, calm, composed, and believing in himself against 13 errors for Omar that never seemed to be completely in the match.

Obviously Iím over the moon with my performance.

Iíve been trying to come back for a while now, I had some set backs. But I am feeling pretty good about my game for a week, a few months now and Iím just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

As for Omar, those of you who are not Egyptian citizens, you have no idea of the kind of rivalry we had, literally weíve been competing since we are 8 years old. Weíve been the top of our age group, weíve always been close, none of us has been dominant on the other one.

There was much greater pressure in our matches then. For a long time, we didn't even speak to each other!We are good friends now. For the past 20 years, there has never been more than an inch between us!

So for me, getting a 3/0 victory against him today is just unbelievable. Last year, I lost against him 3 times, a couple of times 3/0, and a 3/2 while I was 2/0 up. So I needed a win you knowÖ Iím so glad I made it todayÖ

I wish Omar all the best, he is a great player, he should know that he has what it takes to make it back. Itís just a little set back and Iím sure heíll come back much stronger.

The turning point was Al-Ahram back in September. I had to take a step back and reassess what was happening in my squash. I was training so hard, but I was not playing as well as I should have.

So I took some time off, revaluated things, and made things in my team. So now Iím blessed with a great team, my squash coach, Haitham Effat who is here with me, my fitness coach, Samy Farrag, Mohamed Abbas, coaching me at Gezirah Club as well. This team has been doing great things for me. Thankfully, Iím getting better and better every day.

Of course, there is my wife, Raneem, she is my support system, sheís been with me all the way, sheís seen some really tough times with me, without her help, without her support, not only her, but my mum and dad, my sister, my family, my close friends back home.. Without them, I wouldnít have been able to make it so far. Thanks ever so much.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Ryan Cuskelly                    11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)

There will be more than just a place in the semi-final of one of squash's most iconic tournaments - the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions - at stake inside New York's Grand Central Terminal come Monday (Jan 16) as family bragging rights will also be on the line for ElShorbagy brothers Mohamed and Marwan.

The 26-year-old World No.1 and 23-year-old World No.6 made light work of second round opponents Ryan Cuskelly and Stephen Coppinger respectively to set up a last eight showdown that will see them meet for the seventh time on the PSA World Tour - with elder brother Mohamed enjoying a 100 per cent record to date.

They last met at the same stage during the 2016 U.S. Open, when Mohamed claimed a 3-0 win on the way to the title, but after defeating Cuskelly in straight-games tonight the defending ToC champion admitted that he expects his brother to push him to the limits this time around.

[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0 [Q] Hania El Hammamy  11-9,11-8,11-9 (40m)

Hania is a good player, she is a tough one to play, her basic game is so, so good, and then, she can play a really great drop shot, she beat me like three weeks ago in my homeclub as well, so I was very focused to take my revenge today!

Last time we played, I couldnít play my basic game, and if you give Hania a loose ball, you are done! She will smack it back, like a really good drive and then if you get it back, sheíll find a really good drop shot as well in the nick. So you have to focus 100% for every shot. Add to that she is a very good runner as well.

So I was trying to push her into the corners, really far, and then putting my drop shots in. And not thinking about wining, just shots, wait for the next shot and think the next one is going to win it. And thatís why I won today.

I used to be the younger one who plays the old ones, and I remember the feeling I had when I was playing them, and now, my turn to play the young ones, itís tough to play younger players, especially from your own countryÖ. Itís the karma that comes round!

[3] Nouran Gohar 3-0 [Q] Mayar Hany 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (26m)

A very mature start for Mayar who was making her apperance here for the first time on the glass court, and as most of the talented Egyptians coming up, she went fearless, 5/1, taking Nouran to the throat, and forcing actuall 4 errors out of her! Still, Nouran calmed her nerves, 6/6.

Again Mayar attacked, a little bit ahead, 8/6, 9/7, but Nouran's power and experience spoke, two stroke for the World Junior Champion from 9/9, 11/9 in 9m.

The second was pretty straight forward, 7m, 11/7 for Gohar, but the third was closer up to 4/4, again, a few strokes for Nouran as Mayar failed to clear the ball quick enough, and 11/6 in 6m...

On a personal note I feel that Mayar is not taking advantage of her height and power, she would benefit from volleying more... But what do I know...

I was trying not to put too much pressure on me, but the first round is always tricky and she is a very good player. It's never easy to play against Joey

There is more pressure coming into the event as defending champion Ė it's really hard and it's a challenge

It's the first tournament of the year after a big gap since the World Team in November. So you have to be focused and mentally steady, also physically. But I'm really happy with the way I handle that first round.

You always want to play your best, and in the first match, you make sure that every shot is the best you can play. So the fact I only played four errors is really giving me confidence for my next match, as I feel I'm mentally and physically good.


Mayar and I play in the same club, Wadi Degla, since we are 10 years old! Weíve been playing all the finals, National Finals, BJO semis and finalsÖ

She is a really tough opponent to play and Iím really glad Iím through.

Hong Kong was like a fairytale for meÖ Meeting Nicol, Laura, all the great players, after the world Juniors was unbelievable. But I was trying not to put too much pressure on myself, I still try not to as I play my best squash when Iím relaxed, Iím playing freely, Iím playing better and today, it workedÖ.


First Round, Split

13th Jan 2017

[6] Ali Farag 3-2 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)    
11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (54m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 Zahed Mohamed           10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (58m)

12th Jan 2017

[7] Omar Mosaad 3-0 Mohamed Abouelghar                         11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Daryl Selby (ENG)            11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 (63m)
Tarek Momen 3-1 [Q] Tom Richards (ENG)                   11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2 (36m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 [Q] Declan James (ENG)      16-14, 11-5, 11-6 (52m)
Fares Dessouky 3-0 [WC] Todd Harrity (USA)                       11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)

Women Qualifying finals

Salma Hany Ibrahim 3-0 Milou vd Heijden (Ned)                  11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
Mayar Hany 3-2 Samantha Teran (Mex)          12-10, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-3 (57m)
Olivia Blatchford (Usa) 3-2 Kanzy El Dafrawy    11-9, 2-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 (58m)
Hania El Hammamy 3-1 Line Hansen (Den)                 4-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)

Qualifying 1st round

Salma Hany Ibrahim 3-1 Sina Wall (Ger)   11-7, 8-11, 15-13, 11-8 (40m)
Mayar Hany 3-1 Sam Cornett (Can)          12-10, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)
Olivia Blatchford (Usa) 3-0 Hana Moataz              11-5, 11-6, 15-13 (36m)
Kanzy El Dafrawy 3-0 Haley Mendez (Usa)           11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (24m)
Hania El Hammamy 3-0 Mariam Kamal (Usa)       11-1, 11-6, 11-7 (27m)

[6] Ali Farag 3-2 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)  11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (54m)

It was back in Wadi Degla at the start of November that Ali played his last competitive match, before going under surgery for a hernia that had been troubling him for months. It was not his dad that performed the surgery - he is one of the best orthopedics surgeon in Egypt - but still, the surgery went well.

Still, recovery took time, no squash or event hitting the ball for weeks. So it's truly exceptionnal to see Ali not only competiting so soon but also moving so well - although he seemed a bit cautious when he was pushing to the front and slipped a few times as he didnt put his right foot as he normally does.

In front of him, one of the rising stars of Hong Kong, who I truly discovered back in Seattle for the Worlds last year. Quick, clever, so fast to move and a lethal crosscourt kill midcourt that truly hurt the Egyptian today.

It was a mental battle today, as Ali kept drifting in and out of the match, dominating completely only to see his opponent capitalising on a few tactical or execution errors....

First game, Ali was cruising 5/0, 6/1, only to be caught up 7/7, up 9/7, 10/8, and despite three game balls, it's the HK player that takes it in 12m, 13/11.

Second again, Ali is up 6/2, Yip comes up 5/6 but the Egyptian closes it down and takes it in 8m, 11/6, the 6 unforced errors from Yip helped...

The Egyptian keeps going with the same momentum in the third, 11/5 in 7m, from 5/1 6/3, but it all goes out of the window in the 4th, focus gone, and Yip finding some exquisite balance between short and deep, 7/2, 9/3, 10/5. Ali tries and come back, but too little too late, 11/8, 10m.

The 5th is close up to the middle, 5/5, 6/6, but there again, the unforced errors creep in for the HK players (6 in that one) and it's 11/6 finally for the world number 7....

Nothing comes easy, even in the first round. Yip is such a great player, he's got a very lean technique and he's got all the shots in the book!

So it was very tough playing him today, especially as it's my first tournament after the break, so I'm quite happy to get a win today.

I feel fine, the body is ok, its more in my head, and all it needs is matches to get back in it. It's a new challenge, and I love it. I love having new challenges, and hopefully, it's going to improve as the tournament goes on.

I always go into a match not at a top 10 player, but as the underdog, and I just play my best to try and win the match. I don't care about ranking that much to be honest, I just want to have good matches, and the results will come.

We've played each other since we were kids and we've always had tough matches so I knew it wouldn't be easy today.

I've been working very hard since May to move up the rankings. To be seeded number two brings a lot of tough mental challenges, and you have to be very consistent, but these are the things you have to deal with if you want to be number one.

Gave it everything last night but lost to the better player @Karimsamy91 wish him luck next match.

Zahed on Twitter

[7] Omar Mosaad 3-0 Mohamed Abouelghar     11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)

Omar had beaten Abou 3 times on the PSA, fully of confidence he was... A truly great performance from the Hammer of Thor tonight, with a first game point for point to 6/6 in the 1st game, 12m opener.

Second, the start completely dominated by a very powerful/accurate Hammer, 6/1, 7/2, a good come back from Abou, 6/8, but that's the last point Abou scored, 11/6 again in 13m.

The third will be like the first, close up to 6/6, but Omar just too powerful/precise/focused, Abou just didn't have the game to cause him trouble tonight.

To be noted, very few calls, 15 the whole match, and the normal 14 errors for Mohamed...

[5] Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Daryl Selby (ENG)
                                                              11-6, 11/7, 6/11, 11/8 (63m)

Daryl arrived here full of the confidence that comes from giving Ramy Ashour a very good run for his money, and beating the World number 1 in the last event of 2016, reaching the semis of 100K St George's.

Marwan on the opposite was beaten 3/0 by compatriot Tarek Momen in the quarters of that same event, and was not happy with that turn of events, especially as his sponsor was watching and sponsoring the tournament!

So, confidence against hunger. Tonight, hunger won. A good match, with Marwan dominating the first two games, taking the opportunities away from Daryl and forcing a very high unforced (uncharacteristic) errors out of him. Third, change of tactics for the Englishman, better lenght/width, able to attack in a better position, and putting finally the Egyptian under pressure.

A bit of a scrappy 4th, very tense, a few too many calls, nothing between the players up to 7/7, but Marwan too confident at that point, and it's 11/8 in the longest game of the match, 18m.

Tarek Momen 3-1 [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2 (36m)

Tom Richards, probably one of the most gifted of the English players, whose career has been riddled by numerous injuries, like somebody we know... He started extremely well against the ChannelVas St George's Runner Up in the opener, 5/3, only to see Tarek score 7 points in a row, and take the game in 7m, 11/6.

A better start for Tarek in the second, 3/1, with Tom finding confidence and accuracy again, 4/4, 5/5, and even up 7/5. But Tarek felt the danger, stepped up the court, 7/7, 8/8, but Tom quite rightly took that game, 11/8 in 9m.

Tarek was on fire basically the next two games, never gave a sniff to his opponent, 7/1, 11/5 and 5/1, 11/2....

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 [Q] Declan James (ENG)
                                                            16-14, 11-5, 11-6 (52m)

PSAReports: World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy began his second consecutive J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title defence with a straight-games victory over English challenger Declan James inside New York's Grand Central Terminal today, albeit courtesy of a scoreline that belied the intensity of the duo's 52 minute encounter.

James, the 23-year-old qualifier who was making his debut appearance at the PSA World Series tournament, showed no signs of being overawed by either his opponent or the setting as he took the match to the top seed from the off.

The Nottingham-based man matched ElShorbagy's trademark ferocity during the opening exchanges, forcing the Egyptian into a series of errors to earn the first game ball opportunity. But ElShorbagy dug deep to take the opener against the run of play, turning the match on its head and setting up the platform for a 16-14, 11-5, 11-6 victory - one that sees him take the first steps towards making up for a 'disappointing' start to the 2016/17 season.

Last time I played against Mohamed, I won three one, so i was thinking about that match.

Abouelghar is a talented player and he played really well. I had put my tactics in place with my coaches, and I think I did a great job today.

I tried and focused 100% every point, I tried and saved my energy for next round, so I'm really happy to make it in three. Truly looking forward to the next match.

I think that tonight, I played a similar game to his, I probably did it much better than him in the first two games, and then he stepped it up in the 3rd game, he started to move me around, I felt a bit in trouble, I had to do something in the 4th game, I was sort of using that slow pace in the first two games, and I had to play a little faster in the 4th game.

Every time I get on court, I just want to make the most of it, I just want to be satisfied with my game, whether win or lose. Iím just happy to win my first match, and hopefully, I can keep it upÖ

"too slow out the blocks today,Xmas break took away the match sharpness! Got better as it went on, disappointed to lose but Marwan too solid"
Daryl Selby on Twitter

I was trying to be a bit more patient as everyone has been criticising me as I attack too soon, so I try to be a little more disciplined. And I think I am, in a way..

But maybe because I'm a little fast, so it doesn't really bother me to go to the front a bit early on, like it can bother other players, as I feel I can cover the court a little bit better, but still, it's always good to have a good balance.

So I can't keep on hitting to the front immediately, as most players would attack me and it would make it very difficult for me on the court. I've tried to get better...

As ever, it all depends on the error count! Some days, I have a very high error count, and it sort of puts me into trouble. But today, I think I did pretty well [only 9].

I think that Tom had a tough match yesterday, he must have felt the effects half way throught the match, so I made sure I capitalise on this. Tough for him to back it up every day. That's a bit of an advantage for the main draw players.

Declan played very, very well out there. I was playing at a very quick pace in the first game, and with it being his first match here in this setting I thought he would struggle to settle into the match. But he stepped up and controlled me. I was defending for large parts there and had to really dig in.

Winning here the past few years was great, but nothing lasts for ever and if you start to take things for granted you can lose them pretty quick.

This season so far hasn't gone the way I wanted - it's been very up and down. So in the past month I've been training very hard and addressing what went wrong and I'm really looking forward to the second half of the season now. This week I need to keep focused and keep improving.

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