34-year-old Englishman Nick Matthew produced a squash
masterclass to see off World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 to
win the final of the 2015 Windy City Open presented by
Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in
Chicago earlier today.
The victory sees Matthew become the oldest ever winner of a
PSA World Series event and also sees him collect his 32nd
career title - and first PSA World Series trophy since
winning the 2013 Hong Kong Open.
The Sheffield-based man played with precision and
determination from the opening point as he dominated
proceedings, absorbing everything the powerful Egyptian
threw at him to secure the title 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 in
62-minutes, with the opening game alone taking 27-minutes.
"You always go into a match with a game plan but it's
another thing being able to execute it against someone like
Mohamed because he plays at such a fast pace and takes away
your thinking time," said Matthew.
"But I felt I played well when under pressure today. I was
patent and picked my times to attack well and I'm just
delighted to get another World Series win."
In an display of ultimate precision the three-time World
Champion made just two errors throughout the entire match as
he kept up a relentless pace to win his second tournament
inside a month, adding to the CASE Swedish Open he collected
"I'm really enjoying my squash at the minute," he said. "I
guess I'm in the twilight of my career - the end is closer
than the beginning - but I managed to take my change tonight
against someone who has been in incredible form recently.
"I'm sure we're going to have a few more battles to come
before I retire and hopefully I can come back here next year
to defend the title."
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (red top, right) and World No.3 Nick Matthew
will meet in a second consecutive PSA World Series tournament
title-decider after reaching the final of the 2015 Windy City Open
presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance
The pairing contested January's J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions
final in New York, where Elshorbagy prevailed a 3-2 victor, but with
Matthew coming off the back of success in February's CASE Swedish
Open and an impressive victory over World No.2 Gregory Gaultier to
reach the final, the showdown looks set to cause a storm in the
Elshorbagy is aiming to collect a fourth consecutive PSA World
Series title and booked his bert in the decider with victory over
his younger brother, World No.14 Marwan Elshorbagy.
"It was tough mentally tonight to stay fully focused but I knew I
had to do a professional job and get to the final as fresh as I
possibly could," said Elshorbagy.
"I had to play well. My brother proved that he didn't get to this
stage by luck and I'm looking forward to having him in my corner
tomorrow for the final because he a great source of support for me.
"It's great to be in another major final. I've had a good year so
far and I'm looking forward to competing for another title
Matthew was in commanding form as he beat long time adversary
Gaultier, the man whom he beat to World Championship glory in 2011
and 2013, in a gripping encounter at the prestigious University Club
of Chicago, winning 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 in 79-minutes.
"Greg seemed to get better as the games went on today and I was
hanging on in there at points but fortunately I managed to sneak
it," said Matthew.
"It was a tough match. He's the defending champion and he's been in
great form this week so I'm just happy to have got through and off
court in four games."
Elshorbagy Brothers To
Face-off In Windy City Open Semis
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (blue top), the 24-year-old
Bristol-Based Egyptian from Alexandria, will take on younger
brother Marwan, the 21-year-old World No.14, for a place in
the final of the 2015 Windy City Open presented by
Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in
The brothers have met three times on the PSA World Tour,
with Mohamed undefeated so far, but with Marwan making his
debut appearance in the semi-finals of a PSA World Series
event their showdown in the prestigious University Club of
Chicago will be the biggest of their careers so far.
After winning January's J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions
in January, his third World Series title in six months,
elder brother Mohamed will be gunning for another trophy as
he aims to continue his streak of dominance on the PSA World
Tour while Marwan will be hoping to secure a maiden
appearance in the final of one of the sport’s biggest
"I'm in the semi-final of a World Series event and I'm only
21-years-old, I'm very, very happy," said Marwan in the wake
of his 3-2 victory over Karim Abdel Gawad in the
"Before I came out here for this tournament I was relaxing
with some of my friends back home in Bristol and they said
that I have nothing to lose and I just gave it my best and
I'm so happy to be in the semi-finals - I'm speechless.
"Mohamed and I have never played each other in such a big
match before so to compete against each other on this stage
will be an amazing experience."
Mohamed booked his place in the final with an impressive 3-0
win over Tarek Momen, the World No.7, producing his best
performance of the week so far after narrowly avoiding exits
in both the first and second rounds.
"I'm so happy to have won three-nil today because the second
and third games could really have gone either way," he said.
"I had to play so well to beat Tarek and I'm happy to get
through especially because I now get to play my brother in
the semi-final of a world series event for the first time.
"Hopefully that will become something that happens a lot in
the future but one Elshorbagy is guaranteed to be in the
final and it is great for our family to have us booth reach
The second semi-final will see long-time arch rivals Nick
Matthew and Gregory Gaultier go face-to-face for the 32nd
time in their PSA World Tour careers, with the Frenchman
hoping he can put a halt to Matthew's recent two match
winning streak over him.
No.3 Nick Matthew and Peter Barker, the World No.8, emerged
triumphant during their second round encounters with fellow
Englishmen Daryl Selby and James Willstrop during a 'Battle of
Brits' at the 2015 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners
and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in Chicago.
Essex-based Barker ensured his place in the quarter-finals with a
hard-fought 3-2 victory over former World No.1 Willstrop in what was
a brutally physical 81-minute back-and-forth battle.
Having got off to a superb start by winning the opening game
courtesy of some perfectly placed winners, Barker then found himself
struggling to shake off Willstrop as the 6'4" man continued his
comeback following a five month injury lay-off with a spirited
But in the deciding game the relentless high intensity and pace
began to take its toll on Willstrop and despite saving one match
ball he couldn’t prevent Barker from completing an 11-6, 9-11, 11-4,
8-11, 11-6 win – only his second ever PSA World Tour victor over the
man from Yorkshire.
“James has been out of action for a while and he’s getting better
and better with each week and even though it was a bit scrappy at
times today, I’ll take that win with both hands,” said Barker.
“Although on paper I’m the higher seed, James is a former World No.1
so it certainly wasn’t going to be an easy match and with him coming
back I tried to make it very physical out there.
“I’ve had more match practice in the last few months than he has and
I think that ultimately made the difference in the end today.”
Barker will now face Willstrop's long-time domestic rival Matthew,
the three-time World Champion from Sheffield, in the last eight
after he put in an assured performance against World No.17 Selby.
Matthew started slowly but managed to up his levels and use his
physical attributes to keep himself in a series of punishing rallies
and his trademark determination paid dividends as he sealed an 11-8,
11-9, 11-9 win.
"I think tactically we were both up and down and made errors at
important times and I was lucky to escape in three games," said
"I was disappointed that I didn't make the most of early advantages
in the games today so there's definitely a few things to work on
ahead of the quarters tomorrow."
There were also wins for Egyptian Omar Mosaad and French World No.2
Gregory Gaultier as the second round came to a close at the
prestigious setting inside the University Club of Chicago.
2nd Round Top Half
Sweep For Egyptians In Chicago
23-year-old Karim Abdel Gawad headlined a clean sweep of victories
for Egyptians during the first day of second round action at the
2015 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust
Life Insurance Company in Chicago today with a surprise 3-2 victory
over World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
The World No.20, who had failed to make it past the first round in
four of his last five PSA World Series event appearances, produced
his best display in recent month, combining delicate touch with
deception and length, to trouble the highflying Colombian from the
outset in what was a nail-biting matchup.
In a 78-minute encounter, Gawad, who came into the event fresh from
winning the 2015 Pittsburgh Open, played with patience and composure
during some ferocious rallies before eventually completing a
well-earned 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4 win.
"Miguel is one of the best players on the tour and it was a tough
match against him today," said Gawad.
"I haven't been playing at my best for a while and my focus today
was to change that and try and make sure I put in a good performance
and I am very, very happy to have managed to get a win.
"In the fifth game I had to use all my concentration to make sure I
kept my level up and I'm happy with how I managed to do that."
Gawad will face fellow Egyptian Marwan Elshorbagy in the
quarter-finals after the 21-year-old Bristol-based man from
Alexandria also earned a surprise berth in the last eight after his
opponent, four-time World Champions Amr Shabana, retirement
Elshorbagy will be making his first ever appearance in the
quarter-final stage of a PSA World Series event and is joined there
by his elder brother, and World No.1, Mohamed Elshorbagy.
After narrowly avoiding a first round exit at the hands of Fares
Dessouki in a gripping opening encounter, 25-year-old Mohamed hung
on once again, drawing on all his reserves to see off a spirited
challenge from Indian Saurav Ghosal - winning 3-2.
"All credit to Saurav for an amazing performance today because h put
me under a lot of pressure from the start," said Elshorbagy.
"I'm not feeling at my best physically but I'm going to fight for
every point in every match and I'm really glad to have won and still
be in this tournament."
World No.7 Tarek Momen completed a clean sweep for Egypt with a 3-1
win over Swiss champion Nicolas Mueller.
English Quartet Into Round Two In Chicago
World Champion Nick Matthew led a four strong contingent of English
players into the second round of the 2015 Windy City Open presented
by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in
Chicago earlier today with an accomplished 3-0 win over Spaniard
Matthew took 62-minutes to see off a spirited challenge from the
Spanish champion, eventually prevailing 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 in a
scoreline that didn't do justice to the World No.9's performance,
and he was joined in the second round by fellow Yorkshire-man James
Willstrop and Essex-duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby.
Adopting his typically attritional style fro the outset,
Sheffield-based Matthew was matched point for point by Golan in the
early exchanges, with little separating them as he took the opening
game 11-9 and despite some spirited play from Golan that tested
Matthew in all four corners of the court, the 32-year-old couldn't
do enough to halt the Englishman's charge as he completed a
well-earned straight-games victory.
"That was the hardest first round match I could have had," said
Matthew in the wake of the victory.
"Borja is the World No.9 so on paper it was the hardest draw
possible and I’ve played him in World Series finals and semi-finals
before so to have him in the first round was tough.
"I knew I had to be on my game today and while I was a little up and
down in the first game I felt I played well and I was happy to get
off with a 3-0 win."
Matthew's long-time national rival Willstrop began his campaign with
a 3-1 win over Mexican qualifier Cesar Salazar. Willstrop had been
absent from the tour for five months prior to making his competitive
return during February's Swedish Open and he continued to show
steady progression against World No.38 Salazar.
Earlier in the day Barker, the World No.8 from Essex, completed an
impressive win over dangerous South African Stephen Coppinger while
Selby, the World No.14, proved too good for wildcard Chris Hanson.
Elsewhere there were victories for Alister Walker, Cameron Pilley
and Gregory Gaultier while 6'4" Egyptian Omar Mosaad won a battle of
the colossus' as he got the better of 6'3" German Simon Rösner in a
physically bruising match-up.
Narrowly Avoids First Round Exit In Chicago
Egyptian World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (right in white top) came
within a whisker of suffering a shock first round exit during the
opening day of action at the 2015 Windy City Open presented by
Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in Chicago
Elshorbagy has been in phenomenal form since August 2014, winning
three World Series events and reaching the World Championship final,
but 20-year-old compatriot Fares Dessouki, the World No.23, tore up
the form book in a compelling battle of attrition as he took the
tournament-favourite to the brink - coming within one point of what
would have been a famous victory.
But after failing to capitalise on a match-point opportunity,
Dessouki allowed 24-time-finalist Elshorbagy back in and he made no
mistakes, eventually sealing an 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11
victory after 101 punishing minutes.
"Being World No.1 one is about being able to win when you are not at
your best and that's what I was able to do today," said Elshorbagy.
"It was a tough match today but I'm just really happy to be coming
back for another day."
The duo both started the match strongly with Dessouki in particular
racing out of the blocks and looking composed as he opened up a 7-4
lead. Elshorbagy showed why he is atop the world rankings however as
he responded to take the opening game 11-9 and set the scene for
what promised to be an enthralling battle.
The younger man from Alexandria upped his level in the second and
brought the scores even and he continued to attack during the third,
holding his nerve during some tense exchanges, mixing up his
approach with great effect to take the lead for the first time.
But it was short-lived as Elshorbagy restored parity after just
edging the fourth.
High drama accompanied almost every shot in the deciding game, with
both players fighting tooth and nail for the upper hand and when he
survived match ball to gain one of his own, Dessouki looked on the
brink of glory. But a simple error into the tin allowed Elshorbagy
back in to seal the match.
"I've known Fares for a long time, since we came through the same
club, and he's already competing with the top players and he's only
20," added Elshorbagy.
"It was experience that made the difference at the end but it's only
a matter of time until he's competing in the finals of major
Earlier in the day four-time World Champion Amr Shabana, the
35-year-old Egyptian who paved the way for the current plethora of
top class Egyptian stars, moved into the second round with an
assured victory over Chris Simpson.
Shabana never looked troubled as he saw off the Englishman 3-0 to
set up a second round match-up with World No.14 Marwan Elshorbagy,
the younger brother of World No.1 Mohamed.
There was further joy for Egyptian squash with victories for World
No.7 Tarek Momen and World No.20 Karim Abdel Gawad while Indian
Saurav Ghosal, Swiss star Nicolas Mueller and Colombian live-wire
Miguel Angel Rodriguez rounded out the top half of action with
Scottish duo Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban, the World No.36 and No.53
respectively, moved into the first round of the Windy City Open
presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance
Company after securing impressive victories during a day of upsets
at the University Club of Chicago.
Clyne, the highest ranked Scottish player on the world tour, ensured
his place in the main draw with a huge upset victory over number one
seed Adrian Waller. The 28-year-old took out the Englishman in a
tightly fought 3-2 encounter to set up a first round match-up with
Egyptian World No.7 Tarek Momen.
Lobban, the 22-year-old from Inverness, was equally as impressive as
he dispatched another Englishman, former World No.12 Tom Richards,
to reach the first round of the Windy City Open for the first time
in his career where Australian Cameron Pilley awaits him.
Former World No.9 Laurens Jan Anjema, the Dutchman returning to the
tour following an injury enforced absence, was another casualty as
he fell to a shock 3-0 defeat to Henrik Mustonen while there were
also victories for Mohamed Abouelghar, Zahed Mohamed and Cesar
Salazar over higher ranked opposition while Omar Abdel Meguid and
Gregoire Marche also triumphed to earn their places in the first
round of competition.