Elshorbagy and El Sherbini Take Tournament of Champions Spoils
No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy continued his recent dominance over
England’s Nick Matthew in the final of the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan
Tournament of Champions to defend his crown in the stunning setting
of New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal and extend his unbeaten
run over the 35-year-old to four matches.
The pair have one of the most intense rivalries on the PSA World
Tour and went head-to-head in a nail-biting 93-minute spectacle that
saw Elshorbagy repeat his heroics against the Englishman, who he
defeated in last year’s final, with an 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6
Elshorbagy has been in superb form after capturing both the Qatar
Classic and the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open
in recent months and his latest victory sees him strengthen his lead
on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings with a third consecutive PSA
World Series title.
"It’s a great start for me to 2016 and I’m glad," said Elshorbagy.
and myself always have such great battles. I told him after the
match that it’s always an honour to play him in a World Series final
and I was really happy to get my second title here. I really enjoyed
the match today and I look forward to having more great battles with
him in the future.
"I think that’s the best I’ve seen him [Matthew] play so far this
season and I’m really glad to see him back at his best again because
the game needs him and he is very important for the game. I want to
congratulate him for his great performance. He had already beaten my
brother [Marwan] and I didn’t want him to beat both of us in the
Meanwhile, the Women’s event saw Egyptian No.2 Nour El Sherbini
scoop the most lucrative title of her career to date after
overcoming home favourite Amanda Sobhy to claim part of the biggest
prize fund in the tournament’s history after 2016 saw the
prestigious event offer parity in prize money for the first time
Sherbini was in the form of her life after defeating 2014 winner
Nicol David in the previous round and the 20-year-old played with a
maturity beyond her years as she rose to claim an 11-4, 9-11, 12-10,
11-8 victory and capture her first ever PSA World Series crown.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling, I can’t express it," said El Sherbini.
"Words can’t describe how I’m feeling now. This one is really
special and to win it is something that I’m never going to forget.
I’m really glad that I won this year, I’m really happy."
Elshorbagy to Meet Matthew in Tournament of Champions Final While
Sobhy Sets up El Sherbini Clash
champion Mohamed Elshorbagy (right) moved through to the final of
the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after a
commanding victory over Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet underneath the
chandeliers in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York.
The Egyptian controlled the early portions of the match by forcing
Castagnet into the front corners of the court before stepping up to
punish the number seven seed on the volley. After falling 2-0
behind, Castagnet cut the deficit to a single game by drawing out
some errors from 25-year-old Elshorbagy but a series of punishing
rallies saw the hard-hitting Elshorbagy take control of the match
once more in game four and he held off a late attempt at a comeback
from the Frenchman to see out an 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 triumph.
“He [Castagnet] is a great competitor,” said Elshorbagy.
“He’s been making so much progress lately and has made it into the
top eight and then played in his first ever World Series final. He
is an inspiration to all players on how they should work hard in
their career because he has worked so hard. To be able to make it to
the semi-final here is such a great achievement and I’m really happy
“We played such a great match together, we always do. I’m really
happy for him and I want to congratulate him.”
Last year’s runner up Nick Matthew will meet the World No.1 in the
final after a serious injury to his semi-final opponent, World
Champion Gregory Gaultier, handed the Englishman the win.
The match began on an even keel with the packed crowd looking
forward to some exciting squash between the two players who had
battled against each other 33 times previously on the PSA World
However, with the score level at 3-3, Gaultier rolled his ankle
painfully after contact with Matthew and was carried off the court
in real distress. Despite receiving treatment, the Frenchman was
unable to continue the match to ensure that Matthew will advance to
face World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy for the distinction of lifting
the prestigious title in a repeat of last year’s final.
"My heart goes out to Greg," said Matthew.
"The match had barely got going. We were feeling each other out on
the first few points. I feel bad for everyone who came down to see a
great match but that’s nothing to what I’m feeling for Greg because
it’s his livelihood.
"I’ve got to take advantage of the fact that my legs will be fresh
tomorrow and it will be my sixth Tournament of Champions final. I’m
really proud of that record but I have only won one out of those
five so far. I need to improve that ratio tomorrow."
history maker Amanda Sobhy (left) has moved into her first ever PSA
World Series final with a scintillating victory over Egypt’s Nouran
Sobhy, who yesterday became the first American-born woman to reach
the last four of the prestigious tournament, started on the back
foot after a fast start from Gohar saw the 18-year-old rattle off a
number of early points. Roared on by a raucous crowd, World No.8
Sobhy battled back and came out on top after a multitude of frenetic
rallies saw the United States No.1 seize the win with a 11-9, 11-9,
12-10 margin of victory.
“I’m a little shocked, I don’t really have any words,” a breathless
“It was a battle. Even though it was 3-0 it was so tough from the
beginning to the end. I just tried to stay in my bubble and not let
the pressure of getting to the finals in front of my home crowd get
Nour El Sherbini will go head-to-head with Sobhy in a mouthwatering
final fixture after she produced a spellbinding display to down 2014
winner Nicol David.
The 20-year-old came through a brutal five-game encounter with World
No.4 Camille Serme in the previous round but no signs of fatigue as
she pounced on any loose drops from David to claim an 11-8, 11-5,
was very special to beat Nicol 3-0 and it was one of the best things
that is ever going to happen to me,” said El Sherbini (right).
“I’m really happy. With Nicol you have to attack any shots you can
so I was trying to finish the points off. Nicol seemed like she was
struggling with her movement today so I think that it gave me an
Shocks Galore as Gohar and Sobhy Progress in Tournament of Champions
number of surprise results lit up the quarter-final stage of the
2016 Women’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions with Egypt’s Nouran
Gohar and United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy (right) catching the eye
after they both rose to cause stunning upsets against World No.1
Laura Massaro and England No.2 Alison Waters, respectively.
World No.10 Gohar had lost to Lancashire’s Massaro in all six of the
pair’s previous meetings on the PSA World Tour but a virtuoso
performance from the young Egyptian saw her end her losing streak
with a 10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 victory and add Massaro’s name
to her list of scalps this season, which also includes Malaysian
superstar Nicol David and World No.4 Camille Serme who she beat in
August’s Stars on the Bund China Open.
so, so happy, I can’t feel anything right now,” said Gohar (left).
“It’s my biggest win. Laura is the World No.1 and she beat me six
times before so to beat her 3-2 in a very tough match like this is
awesome. It’s unbelievable for me.
“Laura is so strong. You can’t give her any balls in the middle so I
was trying to keep my balls in the back and then attack.”
Sobhy will meet the Egyptian in a mouthwatering semi-final fixture
after she achieved an impressive straight games victory over last
year’s runner-up Waters.
Both players traded some fine drop shots in an even start to the
match before Waters pulled away to amass three game balls at the end
of game one. Sobhy battled her nerves though and came back with a
number of thunderous drives to take five points on the bounce and
move into a one-game lead in front of a partizan crowd.
From there, the triple PanAmerican Games Gold medallist dominated
the fixture and swept to victory in the final two games to wrap up a
12-10, 11-3, 11-9 victory in 38 minutes and become only the second
American-born woman to reach the last four of the prestigious
Tournament of Champions.
“It feels great, I’m really relieved that I managed to win in the
end,” said a delighted Sobhy.
“She started to come back and I thought I had it in the bag but
she’s a strong opponent and she kept fighting until the end. I’m
just very, very happy that I could pull through and get to the
semi-finals. The first game is always critical because you want to
go out there and make a statement.
“I told myself that I just had to keep fighting. Even at 10-7 down I
knew that it wasn’t over yet. I knew how critical the first game was
so I’m very happy that I won it.”
World No.3 Nick Matthew had to call on all 18 years of his vast
experience to recover from a 2-0 deficit and defeat Egypt’s Marwan
Elshorbagy in the Men’s event - keeping alive his hopes of adding to
the title he last won in 2012.
An irresistible display from Elshorbagy in the first half of the
match looked poised to hand the 22-year-old his first victory over
the Englishman but ‘The Wolf’ roared back with a performance that
embodied the mental resilience that has personified his career,
taking the match 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 to move on to the
where he will meet long-term adversary Gregory Gaultier (right).
“Credit to Marwan, I felt really good in the first game and felt
like I was playing well,” said Matthew.
“I put together some really good stuff and all of a sudden I found
myself 2-0 down and it shows you in any sport, but especially in
this one, how quickly things can go away from you. I really had to
regroup. I’ve not won from 2-0 down for a good while."
Final (Top Half) click on images for larger view
Castagnet to Meet Elshorbagy in First Tournament of Champions
No.2 Mathieu Castagnet (right) overcame former World No.5 Borja
Golan in a lengthy battle in the quarter-final of the 2016 Men’s
J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York’s Grand Central
Terminal – reaching the last four of a PSA World Series event for
the first time in his career.
Castagnet put in a fine performance throughout the 72-minute
encounter and showcased his jaw-dropping retrieval skills and
electrifying speed on court as he rose to an 11-9, 13-11, 11-4
victory to set up a meeting with World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in
the last four.
"I can’t believe it," a delighted Castagnet said after the match.
"I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight. I might need another day
off to make sure that I am in good shape for the semis! I’m trying
to forget it."
"I’m going to try to sleep and think of something else so I can
prepare for my match. It’s not finished yet - I need to prepare for
the next round and try to reach the final by beating the World
Mohamed Elshorbagy (left) continued his attempts to retain
the crown he won a year ago with a superb triumph against compatriot
The man from Alexandria, playing the day before his 25th birthday,
conceded the first game to the older Egyptian after a high quality
start to the match saw ‘The Hammer of Thor’ Mosaad edge ahead to
take the lead.
The 17-time PSA World Tour title winner responded by injecting an
influx of pace into proceedings and a barrage of attacking artistry
at the front of the court, in addition to fatigue creeping into
Mosaad’s legs, saw him overturn the one-game deficit to claim a
9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 victory in 76 minutes.
"Omar is a great guy and a great player," said Elshorbagy.
"We’re great friends on and off court as well. I think that it
showed he has matured and he has had such great results lately. The
way that he has been backing up tournament after tournament shows
that he is a world class player right now.
"It was such a great match and Im just happy that we were able to
play such a great match in front of a great crowd. I can’t wait
already to be back here and playing in front of everyone again."
Women’s event saw Camille Serme (right) join compatriot Castagnet in
the latter stages of the tournament after she came through a
hard-fought encounter with England’s Emily Whitlock in her second
The World No.4 took the opener in confident fashion and overturned
deficits in games two and four, sandwiched either side of a defeat
in the third, to claim an 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11 triumph.
“I think that Emily wasn’t really in the match in the first two
games,” said Serme.
“Suddenly she played better and used the height more and I got
surprised. The rallies were longer and tougher and I just had to
stay in the game. In the last one I’m happy I came back."
Serme is paired up with Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini in a mouthwatering
quarter-final tie and it was the latter who triumphed in the duo’s
most recent meeting at November’s Qatar Classic.
2nd Round (Lower Half) click on images for larger view
USA’s Sobhy Stuns Defending Champion El Welily In Tournament of
USA's 2015 triple-PanAm Games Gold medal winning hero Amanda Sobhy
(right) pulled off the biggest win of her career, and arguably one
of the most significant triumphs in the history of US Squash, as she
eliminated defending champion and World No.2 Raneem El Welily in the
second round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions - the
prestigious PSA World Series tournament currently taking place in
her home city of New York.
In the stunning setting of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall
the recent Harvard graduate, who only transitioned to life as a full
time pro last summer after completing a degree in Social
Anthropology, played with devastating attacking precision as she
reeled off winner after winner to complete a 3-1 victory in 40
minutes and send the capacity crowd into raptures.
“I’m a little shocked to be honest because the last three times
we’ve played it has not gone well for me at all and to get the win
today was way above what I expected,” said Sobhy.
“I knew I had nothing to lose against her and I couldn’t have done
any worse than the last time we played in Hong Kong (when Sobhy lost
3-0 in 22 minutes) so I just went out there and tried to stick to
the game plan. I had to go out of my comfort zone and mix up the
pace to get her on the back foot and I’m very, very pleased that it
“It’s definitely one of, if not the single, biggest wins of my
career. She’s a phenomenal player, she won here last year and she’s
been World No.1 but I felt relaxed and knew I had my coach, my
friends and the crowd behind me so I was excited to go in there and
do my best.”
El Welily, who held the World No.1 mantle from September to
December, was a hot favourite to retain the title she won in
convincing fashion twelve months ago but it was Sobhy, playing
without fear, who wrote her name into TOC folklore. After taking the
opening game 11-5 she pressed on the front foot throughout the
encounter, and despite dropping the second, looked every bit the
genuine title contender her current career high ranking of No.8
“I was nervous when we played here last year, which was the only
time I took a game off her, but I wasn’t nervous tonight,” added the
22-year-old who currently trains in Boston under the guidance of
former Men’s World No.1 and World Champion Thierry Lincou.
“Thierry has made a huge difference to my game. I started working
with him when I was a junior and his experience and knowledge has
been amazing and both he and my other coach, Shahid Zaman, have
really helped me push on.
“Hopefully I can back it up now in the quarters on Tuesday.”
will face Alison Waters in the last eight after she recorded a
comfortable 3-0 victory over Delia Arnold while fellow Englishwoman
Laura Massaro (left), the current World No.1, was forced to call on
all her mental strength to come through a difficult second round
match with Frenchwoman Coline Aumard during which she struggled to
find her best form.
Massaro looked on course to seal a straightforward victory after she
dominated the first game, taking it 11-3, but found herself
embroiled in a tense battle from there on in and had to use her big
match experience to save game ball in the fourth and progress after
a hard-earned 3-1 win.
“I didn’t feel at my best on court but I’m very happy to come
through because winning is the important aspect,” said Massaro.
“I’m relieved and honestly just happy to still be in tournament. I
have a rest day now to work on the things and come back better in
next match because I know I need to raise my level.”
the men’s draw hard-hitting German Simon Rösner (right) pulled off
one of the most impressive wins of his career to defeat 2010
champion James Willstrop and book a quarter-final beth against crowd
favourite Gregory Gaultier, the current World Champion.
Rösner and Willstrop treated the capacity crowd to an 80-minute
thriller which came to a crescendo during a fourth game that saw the
German squander four match balls before saving three game balls to
finally to secure the win 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 16-14.
“To beat James, in the form he has been in recently, on this stage
is one of the most significant wins of my career in recent years and
especially so as I struggled a bit at the end of last year,” said
“I had a few tough defeats at the end of 2015 and was maybe losing a
little bit of confidence so to be moving well on court again and
winning a big match like this is very important for me. I’m really
happy that I managed to close it out in the end and move into the
Round (Top Half)
click on images for larger view
Title Favourites On
From In Tournament Of Champions
the opening day of Women’s action at the 2016 J.P. Morgan Tournament
of Champions, which for the first time in tournament history is
offering equal prize money across both the Men’s and Women’s draws,
title favourites Nicol David, Laura Massaro
and Raneem El Welily (right), the defending champion,
signalled their intentions to triumph on the sport’s grandest stage
with a trio of dominant first round performances.
Under the stunning chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s
Vanderbilt Hall the triumvirate, who are currently embroiled in a
compelling battle for dominance atop the World Rankings, ruthlessly
dispatched their opposition as they sent warning signs to each other
ahead of what promises to be a crucial week in the World Rankings
enduring a series of disappointing results during the second half of
2015 recently deposed No.1 El Welily, for whom victory here 12
months ago laid the foundations for her surge towards dethroning
Nicol David and ending the Malaysian’s nine-year rankings reign,
hinted at a timely return to form as she breezed past Tesni Evans.
The victory sees her move closer to a potential semi-final encounter
with in-form Massaro, who took out home hope Olivia Blatchford with
a composed performance.
“I’m really happy to be back here in New York,” said El Welily, who
came through 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 after 30 minutes. “It’s a great crowd,
great venue and great atmosphere to play in and I’m happy with how I
“I was trying hard to make sure I moved up the court and increased
the pace and I’m glad that it worked. It’s a good start and
hopefully I can keep it going.”
(right), who at World No.3 is at her lowest ranking in ten years,
returned to form in December with a decisive victory at the 2015
Hong Kong Open and she picked up from where she left off prior to
the Christmas break with a destructive victory over England’s
Victoria Lust, dropping just seven points throughout the 25 minute
“It’s great to be back here in New York in what is one of the most
amazing places in the world to play squash,” said David.
“There’s no better way than to start the year here, especially now
that this tournament has taken a huge step and is offering parity in
prize money between men and women for the first time ever. Hopefully
I can continue to play well this week.”
While the top seeds moved through unscathed there were surprise
victories for qualifiers Mariam Metwally and Coline Aumard who took
out established World Series performers Dipika Pallikal and
Sarah-Jane Perry, respectively, while in the Men’s draw 2015 winner
Mohamed Elshorbagy (below) came through a difficult second round
encounter with a resurgent Cameron Pilley.
beat Pilley less that a month ago to take the Hong Kong Open title
and once again consigned the dogged Australian to defeat as he
played at an intense pace to out gun the 33-year-old in an
exhibition of ferocious hitting.
“Cameron has been playing really well lately so I knew it would be
difficult tonight and I’m really pleased that we managed to play a
high quality match in front of this amazing crowd here in this
amazing place because that always makes it even more special,” said
“I felt good throughout the week in Hong Kong and came here wanting
to defend my title. I started 2015 in the best way possible by
winning here and I’ll be giving everything I have this week in order
to do the same thing at the start of 2016.”
click on images for larger view
Home Hopes Fall At First Hurdle In 2016 Tournament Of Champions
The second day of first round action at the 2016 J.P. Morgan
Tournament of Champions in New York saw local favourites Todd
Harrity and Ramit Tandon crash out of the prestigious PSA World
Series tournament at the first hurdle as the competition’s top seeds
stamped their authority on proceedings inside the iconic Grand
Wildcard Harrity, the highest ranked male American player on the PSA
World Tour at No.52, produced one of his most notable performances
to-date on the sport’s grandest stage but, despite taking a game and
frequently dominating proceedings during a back-and-forth encounter,
couldn’t find enough in his locker to overcome 21-year-old Egyptian
talent Fares Dessouki (right in dark top).
Competing at the tournament, which exposes the sport to record
crowds during the week-long extravaganza in Vanderbilt Hall, for the
first time in his career Dessouki at times cut a distracted figure
on court as he struggled to find any consistent rhythm but the World
No.21 eventually managed to secure passage to the second round 11-6,
8-11, 11-6, 11-8.
“It’s my first ever time here at this tournament and I enjoyed being
out on the court here today,” said Dessouki. “The crowd is amazing
and it was good to hear them being loud and vocal today.
“I think that he probably played better than me today but I am happy
to win and I need to work hard now and try and come back better for
the next match.”
Speaking after the match Harrity said: “It’s always special and
exciting to play here and it was great to have so many friends and
supporters behind me. It’s always a bit edgy when playing on a stage
like this and while the loss is disappointing there’s lots of
positives to take.”
World No.255 Tandon, the former Columbia University student and
current New York native, defeated Harvard graduate Ali Farag, the
World No.22, in qualification to book an unexpected place in the
main draw against World Champion Gregory Gaultier (left) and
acquitted himself with pride in front of vocal support during a
While never true troubling Gaultier, the 23-year-old, who as a
part-time athlete was playing in just his 40th career match, managed
to notch up a series of points courtesy of some intelligent play in
a performance that will serve to bolster his credentials to one day
join the tour on a full time basis while for Gaultier it was back to
business as usual as he bids to begin 2016 by winning one of the
sport’s most iconic titles.
“I have never played, or even seen him play before, so I had to go
on YouTube to see see footage of him playing in order to prepare for
the match,” said Gaultier.
“I saw he was talented and I spoke to some of the guys on tour who
told me the same thing so I prepared myself to make sure I was
careful on court and put the ball away when I was given any
“I had a good break over Christmas and New Year to recharge. I was
tired towards the end of last year having played so many matches
during the second half of the year but I feel star and fresh here so
I’m looking forward to the next round an playing in front of such a
great crowd in this amazing venue.”
No.3 Nick Matthew, Gaultier’s seeded semi-final opponent, began his
campaign by navigating a tricky encounter with Peruvian teenager
Diego Elias, the current World Junior Champion, who showed just why
he is billed as a future World No.1 as he stuck with the
ever-physical Matthew throughout the duration of their 65-minute
battle, playing with patience and composure to trouble the
35-year-old on numerous occasions.
It was Matthew’s unrelenting physical style and his ability to
retrieve and extend rallies that made the difference in the end as
the exertions took their toll on the youngster during the latter
stages of the match as the experienced ‘Wolf’ pulled away to secure
his place in the second round 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8.
“I’ve seen him play and I’ve trained with him before but he
surprised me tonight with how well and how long he managed to stick
with the pace and hang in the match,” said Matthew.
“He showed a very mature all-round game and the quality of his play
on the back foot was impressive. In the next round I need to make
sure that I step on the gas when I’m ahead in games and not allow
the opponent a chance to get back into it.
“All credit to him for how he fought back, especially in the second,
but certainly a few things for me to work on ahead of the second
Round 1 (Top Half)
click on images for larger view
Spaniard Golan Downs No.4 Seed Rodriguez In TOC Upset
the opening day of action at the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament
of Champions staged in the iconic setting of New York’s Grand
Central Terminal it was Spaniard Borja Golan who stole the headlines
as he knocked adopted crowd-favourite Miguel Angel Rodriguez out of
the prestigious PSA World Series tournament at the first hurdle.
World No.5 Rodriguez, returning to the scene of his 2015 heroics
when in a career-defying week he downed current World Champion
Gregory Gaultier en-route to a maiden World Series semi-final
appearance, was odds-on favourite to come through against the
33-year-old but found himself on the receiving end of a performance
of clinical precision from Golan - which will serve to bolster his
hopes of reclaiming a place within the world top ten.
It took the World No.19, who ranked as high as No.5 just 18 months
ago, 35 minutes to complete the straight-games win against an
under-par Rodriguez who, after a particularly ferocious rally in the
heart of the second game, looked to be struggling with inhibited
movement and cut a dejected figure as he left the court in front of
a subdued capacity crowd who had taken the ‘Colombian Cannoball’ to
their hearts 12 months ago.
“I’m really happy to win today,” said Golan. “This is one of the
biggest tournaments on the circuit and the first event of 2016 so to
start by beating a player of Miguel’s ability is a good confidence
boost for me.
“I struggled with my consistency last year and I had a few matches
where I was close to winning, but just couldn’t see it out, and I
lost some of my confidence. I worked hard throughout the Christmas
break and changed some of my training with the aim of feeling good
on court so to get off to such a good start in 2016 is great for me
“I’m very pleased to be in the second round and I’m just going to
focus on the next match and not look too far ahead. I’m going to
enjoy being on court and try to put into practice the things that I
have been working on and hopefully I will continue to play well.”
Golan will now take on Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the second round after
he and compatriot Max Lee impressed during first round wins over
Gregoire Marche and Farhan Zaman, respectively, while defending
champion Mohamed Elshorbagy began his bid to retain the prestigious
title with a comfortable straight-games victory over England’s
winning December’s Hong Kong Open in emphatic fashion Elshorbagy,
who regained the World No.1 spot on January 1st, picked up from
where he left off in the first tournament of 2016 as he controlled
proceedings to get past the World No.33 in just 30-minutes.
“Adrian is a good player and we have had some very tough matches in
the past so I knew I had to play well today and I’m happy I was able
to do that,” said Elshorbagy.
“I started 2015 in great form here by winning this trophy so I’m
hoping to start 2016 in the same fashion and look forward to playing
in front of the fantastic crowd here in New York once again in two
the opening match of the tournament Australian Cameron Pilley, who
lost out to Elshorbagy in Hong Kong in what was his first ever PSA
World Series tournament final, continued his recent resurgence with
a comfortable straight-games victory over Egyptian Tarek Momen.
The tall hard-hitting Aussie cited recent changes to his game, most
notably the introduction of a new grip, as the keys to his
impressive run in Hong Kong, in which he defeated World No.2 Gregory
Gaultier and World No.3 Nick Matthew en route to the final, and the
dividends contained to come as he nullified an under-the-weather
Momen during an 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 encounter.
“I finished 2015 in some of the best form of my career and with
three of the biggest wins I’ve ever had,” said the 33-year-old from
“I’m not really sure exactly what is going on but I made some
changes to my game and things just seem to be going well for me. I
didn’t have a long break over Christmas and New Year. I tried to
keep in shape and keep that form from the back end of the year and
I’m delighted that I was able to play so well today and turn the
tables on him, because he normally beats me 3-0 when we play.”
of ToC Qualifying Gets Underway Today
Intensity, Drama and Great Squash Expected in Qualifying Matches at
Four Area Clubs
New York, NY - January 5, 2016. 32 of the world’s top-ranking squash
players will commence play today in the first round of qualifying in
the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions. As the glittering
four-walled glass court in the middle of Grand Central is
constructed to beready for main draw play on Thursday, January. 7,
qualifying rounds will beplayed at four area clubs today and
tomorrow. Eight qualifiers will earn a coveted spot in the main draw
one of the sports’ most prestigious championships. .
SCHEDULE: Please note that business attire is required to
enter all the clubs hosting qualifying matches. Entry procedures are
different for each club as indicated below
Princeton Club, 15 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
5:30 pm Supreet Singh (IND) v. Adrian Waller (ENG)
6:15 pm Paul Coll (NZL) v. M. Reda (EGY)
7:00 pm Ali Farag (EGY) v. Ramit Tandon (IND)
7:45 pm Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v. LJ Anjema (NED)
Click here to purchase tickets for matches.. Tickets may also be
purchased at the door.
Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017
5:30 pm Wael El Hindi (EGY) v. Greg Lobban (SCO)
6:15 pm Diego Elias (PER) v. Sam Gould
7:00 pm Alfredo Avila (MEX) v. Harinder P. Sandhu (IND)
7:45 pm Abdulla Al Tamimi (QAT) v. Raphael Kandra (GER)
Tickets may be purchased at the door
Harvard Club, 35 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
5:30 pm Cesar Salazar (MEX) v. Farhan Zaman (PAK)
6:15 pm Chris Gordon (USA) v. Declan James (ENG)
7:00 pm Nasir Iqbal (PAK) v. Osama Khalifa (EGY)
7:45 pm Joe Lee (ENG) v. Alan Clyne (SCO)
New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
5:30 pm Gregoire Marche (FRA) v. Chris Hanson (USA)
6:15 pm Faraz Khan (USA) v. Campbell Grayson (NZL)
7:00 pm Lucas Serme (FRA) v. Mike Lewis (USA)
7:45 pm Shawn Delierre (CAN) v. Moh’d Abouelghar (EGY)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire as
to seating availability
Elshorbagy Tops 2016
Tournament of Champions Draw
Defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy, the 24-year-old Egyptian who
will regain the World No.1 ranking on January 1st, will top the draw
when the 2016 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions gets underway on
January 7th for its 19th anniversary of presenting the world’s best
squash players in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.
The PSA World Series Event, the biggest ToC to date - with equal
prize money in both the Men’s and Women’s events for the first time
in its distinguished history - promises a block-buster beginning to
the new year.
Elshorbagy‘s stuttering start to the 2015-16 season caused him to
relinquish his hold atop the PSA rankings but the 2015 ToC champion
returned to dominant form at last week’s Hong Kong Open, winning the
title to reclaim the No.1 spot. Although the fiercely competitive
Egyptian will be favoured to retain his ToC title he will have to be
at his best to triumph in New York, given the talent-laden draw
which includes World Champion and current World No.1 Gregory
Gaultier of France, England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew
and the in-form duo of World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad and
Hong Kong Open runner-up Cameron Pilley.
Gaultier, who ended nine years of heartbreak when he etched his name
onto the World Championship trophy in November, last won the event
in 2009 and will be aiming to begin his year in the best fashion
possible, with a potentially dramatic semi-final encounter with
long-time rival Matthew on the cards. Elshorbagy is seeded to meet
countryman Mosaad, who also finished as runner-up at the U.S. Open,
in the top half of the draw.
Australia’s Cameron Pilley, who shocked the squash world by downing
Gaultier and World No.3 Matthew en-route to the final of the recent
Hong Kong Open, will be eyeing up yet more giant killings stateside
when he begins his event against Tarek Momen of Egypt.
Home-Favourite Todd Harrity is the wildcard for this event and
currently sits at a career-high World No.52 ranking. He is hoping to
ride the wave of confidence engendered by a career best performance
at the recent World Championship in Seattle where he reached the
second round, but the reigning US champion has a tough first round
clash with Egypt’s Fares Dessouki.
The opening round match of number four seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez
against Spain’s Borja Golan promises to be fierce and dramatic
encounter. Both players have struggled for form recently and will be
eager to start the new year in New York with a decisive victory. For
Rodriguez, a long-time ToC fan favorite, it’s a return to the scene
where he stunned Gaultier last year to reach the semi-finals - a
victory that announced his emergence as one of the leading players
in the world.
“The entire metropolitan New York community eagerly awaits the
appearance of the world’s greatest squash players on our spectacular
all glass NetSuite Challenge court in Grand Central,” said
Tournament Promoter John Nimick.
“With record prize money offered in both the Men’s and Women’s
events and parity in the prize money for the first time in the
tournament’s history, the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions is
proud to continue its legacy as a pioneering event that showcases
the best of what the sport has to offer.”
Ticket prices range from $8 for early round matches, going
up to $170 for the sought-after Men’s and Women’s Finals on
the evening of Thursday, January 14th.
Tickets are available online at
ToCSquash.com or by calling (718) 569-0594