Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy, the powerhouse from Alexandria
who will top the PSA World Rankings for the first time on
November 1st, capped of the most successful week of his
career by claiming the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open at
Philadelphia's Drexel University.
Elshorbagy, who is based out of Bristol, England, saw off
compatriot and four-time World Champion Amr Shabana to win
the 2014 event and extend his winning-streak to 18-matches,
a run that has seen him win back-to-back PSA World Series
titles in Hong Kong and Philadelphia either side of further
victories in Malaysia and Mexico.
going down one game to nil early on to an in-form Shabana,
Elshorbagy ramped up his play to storm to an 8-11, 11-9,
11-3, 11-3 victory and claim his 199th match victory on the
PSA World Tour.
"I'm feeling so happy right now," said an elated Elshorbagy.
"I just can't believe what has happened. It's just been such
an unbelievable week for me - I knew I could become number
one coming into this tournament but I didn't think both
things would happen.
"I had a tough draw to get to the final, I had to beat World
No.1 Gregory Gaultier and a legend like Amr Shabana to win
so not only did I get to number one, I feel like I have
proved it as well."
will now go into next month's 2014 Qatar PSA World Series
Championship in the form of his life and he'll be hoping to
maximise on his momentum to take the tittle away from
current holder Nick Matthew.
"It's been a great season until now but there's the World
Championships in three weeks so I'm hopefully going to make
it very hard for the other players and keep my momentum
going," he said.
"I'm feeling confident right now but that's not fooling me,
I know I still need to work very hard.
"For me becoming World No.1 is just the first step on the
23-year-old Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy
(left) has climbed to the
top of the PSA World Tour rankings, overtaking 31-year-old
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier to become the fourth youngest
player ever to become squash World No.1.
Elshorbagy enters the record books behind only Pakistani
legends Jahangir and Jansher Khan, who both topped the
charts aged 18, and compatriot Ramy Ashour who became number
one aged 22, courtesy of his victory over Gaultier in the
semi-finals of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open and
Nick Matthew's (below right) defeat to four-time World Champion Amr
Shabana in the other last four encounter.
He now goes into Saturday's (October 18) final knowing that
he will sit atop the charts for the first time in his career
when the latest rankings come out on November 1 in what he
described as a dream moment come true.
"It feels unbelievable right now," said Elshorbagy.
"It's been a dream to get to that spot and I can't believe
I'm there right now. I came into this tournament knowing
there was a big chance to get that World No.1 ranking for
the first time in my life but I was able to control that
"However when I woke up this morning I was so nervous. I
spoke to Jonah (Barrington) and my mother and managed to
control it and I think actually those nerves helped a little
bit today and I'm really glad I was able to win.
“Once I knew that I could become No.1 at this tournament I
called my mum and told her I needed her out here for the
competition and I’m so pleased it has happened."
Elshorbagy will now take on Shabana, 12-years his senior, in
his fourth consecutive PSA World Tour finale where he'll be
aiming to keep his 17 match winning-streak alive.
World Champion Amr Shabana (left) eased into the semi-finals
of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open courtesy of a
comfortable 3-0 victory over compatriot Omar Mosaad at
Philadelphia's Drexel University earlier today.
The two-time US Open champion took just 36-minutes to see
off Mosaad, nine years his junior at 26-years-old, in a
standout performance that saw the 'Maestro' produce some
dazzling skills whilst displaying his impressive physical
Shabana will now take on current World Champion Nick
Matthew, whom he beat at the quarter-final stage of the J.P.
Morgan Tournament of Champion in New York in January, for a
place in the final on Saturday.
"I was fortunate in that I played my best today and Omar was
a little off his game as he usually gives me a pretty tough
battle," said Shabana.
"But I'll take it to get to the semi-finals and I'm happy to
"Nick is an unbelievable athlete and I will have to give it
my all against him in tomorrow's semi-final. I will need to
be at my best to be able to compete with him but I hope I
can do that and put on a great show for the fans."
Victory in that match-up against Matthew could see Shabana,
who held the number one ranking slot for 33-months from 2006
- 2009, deny the Englishman the chance of regaining the No.1
ranking he last held in March as he enters a three-way
battle with current incumbent Gregory Gaultier and World
No.2 Mohamed Elshorbagy to top the chart in November.
who booked his semi-final place following a 3-0 win over
Fares Dessouki, has to win the tournament in order to have
any chance of returning to No.1 but he says his eyes are not
fixed on the rankings table.
"All the talk about rankings has been about Mohamed and Greg
and I'm happy to fly under the radar at the moment," he
"A lot has been said about those two and rightly so, they
are the best two players around at the moment and everyone
else is trying to get up to their level but there's a lot of
good squash to be played in the bottom half of the draw as
well and it’s always a great game against Shabana.
"This is my first tournament back after a long summer break
after the Commonwealth Games so I'm taking the pressure off
and just enjoying playing my squash."
Quarter Finals Top Half
Gaultier And Elshorbagy
Set Up US Open Semi Showdown
No.1 Gregory Gaultier (right) and World No.2 Mohamed
Elshorbagy will go head-to-head in the semi-finals of the
2014 Delaware Investments US Open in a mouthwatering
encounter that could have significant ramifications at the
top of the PSA World Rankings.
The duo last met in the final of the Hong Kong Squash Open,
the first PSA World Series event of the season, when
Elshorbagy won 3-2 to claim just his second ever World
Series title and victory in Friday's encounter at
Philadelphia's Drexel University could see him topple the
Frenchman at the top of the rankings to become World No.1
for the first time in his career.
The pair are in the midst of a three-way battle with current
World Champion Nick Matthew, who takes on Egyptian Fares
Dessouki in his quarter-final encounter on Thursday, to
occupy the No.1 ranking slot in November but after beating
German Simon Rösner 3-1 to move into the semis, Gaultier
says his focus is not on the rankings.
"That was a very tough four games agains Simon," said
Gaultier after his win. "He was playing very well, being
very aggressive and playing some lovely winners which made
"He played with no pressure and he was very fluid but I'm
happy with my performance to get the win in four and I'm
delighted now to be in the semi-finals and I'm looking
forward to playing against Elshorbagy.
"Lat time we played he won 3-2 and I'm ready to play him
again. I've had a good three weeks of training and he's
confident so I'm looking forward to a good battle.
"I've been number one this year and I'm not looking at the
rankings. I'm not here with my calculator and checking every
day to see if I'm going to be number one or number two, I'm
here to play and my focus is on playing well and trying to
win the tournament."
(left) booked his place in the semi-finals following a well
earned 3-0 victory over England's Adrian Waller in his
quarter-final encounter, meaning he's made it to the last
four without dropping a single game in the competition so
"When the top four players get to the semi-finals we all
raise our game and I think that's what's going to happen
against Greg," said the 23-year-old from Alexandria.
"I know I've beaten him the last two times, but he's beaten
me nine times before that. He's the World No.1 and such a
strong player and if I play my best there's still a chance I
can loose so I have to hope I get it right on the day.
"Every player wants to be No.1 and I think the pressure is
on Greg to defend his ranking. Players say they just come to
play and enjoy themselves but I'm sure they'd enjoy it a lot
more if they are the No.1 at the end of the tournament.
"I'm No.2 now and people say that's great but No.2 has
always been my worst enemy. You feel you are so close I
think you'd rather be 100 than number two so I'm going to do
everything I can this week to get that top ranking."
Shabana Survives Scare At US Open While Matthew Marches On
Squash World Champion Nick Matthew booked his place in the
quarter-finals of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open with
a 3-0 win over Guernsey's Chris Simpson during the second
day of second round action at Philadelphia's Drexel
Matthew was forced to produce some of his best squash
against the spirited Simpson, who came into the second round
following a 3-0 demolition of South African Shaun Le Roux,
before eventually emerging an 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 winner in the
battle of Commonwealth Games flag bearers.
"I really enjoyed that battle," said 34-year-old Matthew.
"It seems to be a familiar tale for me to be hanging in
against Chris at the end of the third game and you could see
he was desperate to take that one.
not had a match at that pace for a while now and it did
wonders for me and really opened up my lungs.
"I have a day off to now to enjoy and do some work with my
coach on a few areas and prepare for the next match."
Matthew will now face Egyptian Fares Dessouki (left) in
Thursday's quarter-finals, after the 20-year-old saved five
match points against Karim Abdel Gawad to complete a
remarkable comeback and secure his place in the last eight,
while Egyptian duo Amr Shabana and Omar Mosaad triumphed to
set up an all-Egyptian encounter.
Four-time World Champion Shabana had to use all his guile
and experience to survive the onslaught from Hong Kong's
No.1 player Max Lee and scrape his way into the
quarter-finals after an epic 78-minute encounter.
seemed very powerful on court tonight and all credit to him
for the fight he put up as I needed every second of my
experience to beat him today," said Shabana (right).
"We played at the British Open and I think he definitely
learnt few things from that match but I was pleased with how
I dug in as it shows that I still have some fight left in me
at my age.
"Omar is a player who is up and coming and already banging
on the door of the top eight players. He's incredibly strong
and it will be a tough match."
2nd Round Top Half
Pilley In Testing US Open Encounter
World No.2 Mohamed Elshorbagy (left) booked his place in the
quarter-finals of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open
courtesy of a hard-earned 3-0 victory against Australian
national champion Cameron Pilley at Philadelphia’s Drexel
University earlier today.
Pilley, one of the most powerful hitters in world squash,
came out of the blocks firing against the 23-year-old from
Alexandria and produced some of his best squash in recent
times, but Elshorbagy proved up to the challenge and
weathered an early storm to eliminate the man from Yamba.
Despite them being separated by 20 places on the PSA World
Rankings there was little between the players on court and
Elshorbagy looked a relieved figure as he snuck the opening
game 13-11 after a tense tie-break.
The second game was equally tight with both players
displaying a dazzling array of shot-making ability, but
again it was the Egyptian who edged it 11-9 before
completing a 13-11, 11-9, 11-6 victory.
"I don't know what it is about Cameron but he always seems
to play his best against me and that was a really great
battle today," said Elshorbagy.
"He's such a hard hitter and fast player. The first two
games really were 50-50 and I tried to match him in the
first game, but I changed my tactic in the second game and
luckily I got the the better of the games to get off in
"I'm really happy to come through that match as it was a
tough one and I think will help me in the next round."
will now take on England's Adrian Waller (right) in
Wednesday's quarter-finals where he'll be hoping to set-up a
potential encounter with World No.1 Gregory Gaultier, who
got past a spirited Alan Clyne in his second round match, in
a match-up which could have massive repercussions at the top
of the PSA World Rankings.
Victory for Elshorbagy in a potential encounter with
Gaultier, who faces German Simon Rösner in his
quarter-final, would see him take a huge step towards
claiming the World No.1 ranking for the first time in his
career, adding extra motivation for the dynamic star.
"I'm into the quarter-finals now and there's only three more
matches to go to win this title and capture that dream of
becoming World No.1," said Elshorbagy.
"There is such a great battle going on between Greg (Gaultier),
Nick (Matthew) and myself for that top ranking at the
moment. Those are the kind of things that we all play the
game for and I'm going to give it my all this week to try
and make it happen."
Waller earned his place in the last 16 courtesy of a
battling performance against Egyptian Mazen Hesham which
sees him into the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event
for the first time in his career while Rösner breezed past
Leo Au in the other match in the second round, which
continues with bottom half action tomorrow (Tuesday October
Dessouki And Mueller Come Through Epics In US Open
Egyptian Fares Dessouki (right) and 25-year-old Swiss star
Nicolas Mueller came through epic first round encounters
against Saurav Ghosal and Stephen Coppinger, respectively in
the first round of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open in
Victory for Dessouki over Ghosal sees him move into the
second round of a PSA World Series event for only the third
time in his career where he will face compatriot Karim Abdel
Gawad, the man he beat in the first round of the Allam
British Open in May.
During that competition Dessouki made it to the
quarter-finals before falling to World Champion Nick Matthew
and he'll be hoping to reach that stage again by emulating
the performance that saw him conquer number eight seed
Ghosal, taking the Asian Games Gold medal winner out with an
88-minute 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 victory.
"I'm very happy with that win," said Dessouki afterwards.
"Saurav is a very good player who is really fast around the
court and a dangerous opponent.
"I had to give it everything I had to get past him and keep
my focus at 100 per cent for the whole match but I'm
delighted to have got the win."
Swiss squash star Mueller came through an even more brutal
encounter with South African national champion Coppinger in
their first round encounter, eventually prevailing 3-2 in a
Just three places separate the pairing on the PSA World
Rankings, with 25-year-old Mueller the higher ranked at
World No.21, and there proved to be little between them on
court, with epic rallies aplenty in a match which had the
duo playing out of their shoes, literally.
In a rare incident Coppinger was forced off court during the
final game after tearing through the soles of his shoes such
was the ferocity of movement demanded of both players but it
was Mueller who held on to claim an impressive victory,
coming through 6-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-7, 11-9.
"That was probably the most brutal match I've ever played in
my life," said Müller afterwards.
"Steve was a true warrior throughout the whole encounter and
we both really dug deep. I had to dig in and find some extra
energy and luckily I managed to find a hidden reserve and
come out with the win."
seed Nick Matthew (left) eased his way into the second round
with a comfortable 3-0 win over compatriot Eddie Charlton in
his first encounter on the PSA World Tour since losing the
final of the Allam British Open in May.
The Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner showed no signs of
rustiness as he sealed an 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 win which will
see him take on Chris Simpson in the second round, after the
man from Guernsey got past South African Shaun Le Roux 3-0.
Elsewhere there were wins for Amr Shabana, Max Lee and Omar
Claims Biggest Career Win At US Open
Adrian Waller (right), the 24-year-old from Enfield, pulled
off the biggest win of his career to date to knock World
No.7 Borja Golan out of the 2014 Delaware Investments US
Open during the opening round of action at Philadelphia's
Drexel University earlier today.
The World No.27 scraped through what was a tense and
attritional 92-minute battle against the Spanish national
champion, coming from behind early in the encounter to hold
his nerve in a nail biting final game and eventually seal an
impressive 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 victory that sees
him beat a top ten ranked player on the PSA World Tour for
the first time in his career.
"That was definitely the biggest win of my career to date,"
said Waller. "I've never beaten a top ten player before in
my career, so to do that in the opening round of a major
tournament like the US Open is very big for me.
"I've been in good situations before against big players and
it's never gone the right way for me. You have to just try
and keep focused on your own game, not get too caught up in
the moment and it was great to come out on the winning side.
"I'm really looking forward to the second round now. In many
ways the pressure is off me so I'm going to enjoy the match
and hopefully I can put in another good performance."
Waller will now take on Egyptian Mazen Hesham in the second
round on Monday after the 20-year-old survived a tough
battle with Frenchman Lucas Serme during an opening day that
also saw Leo Au of Hong Kong and Scotland's Alan Clyne, who
was bumped into the main draw following the withdrawal of
World No.10 Karim Darwish ahead of the tournament, pull off
surprise upsets against higher ranking opposition.
the World No.38, claimed one of the biggest scalps of the
day in the opening match of the tournament to see off
England's World No.23 Adrian Grant in emphatic fashion,
taking the match 11-2, 13-11, 11-7, while Au, ranked World
No.41, stunned World No.29 Gregoire Marche to take an
equally impressive 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 win.
Elsewhere during the opening day of action Simon Rösner came
through an epic battle against Mathieu Castagnet to secure
his place in the second round while Australian Cameron
Pilley saw off compatriot Ryan Cuskelly and the top two
seeds, Gregory Gaultier (left) and Mohamed Elshorbagy,
eased through their opening match-ups against Mohamed
Abouelghar and Greg Lobban, respectively.