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13/01/2016
Tournament of Champions 2016

ToC Men's Event 2016


Tournament of Champions 2016
 

2015 Champion
Mohamed Elshorbagy

The court at
Grand Central Terminal

2015 Champion
Raneem El Welily

 

LATEST | DRAW | NEWS | SCHEDULE

INFO | TICKETS | SPONSORSHISTORY | OFFICIAL SITE  

REPORTS & RESULTS BY ROUND 

Preview

Qualifying

Round One

Round 2

Quarters

Semis

Final

 

Latest

 

DRAWS

Tournament of Champions 2016
Men's Draw $150k
Grand Central Terminus, New York 
 
First Round
07-08 Sep
Second Round
09-10 Sep
Quarters
11-12 Sep
Semis
13 Sep
Final
14 Sep
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (30m)
[Q] Adrian Waller
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-5, 11-9, 11-9 (47m)
Cameron Pilley
Mohamed Elshorbagy
9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 (76m)
Omar Mosaad
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 (49m)
Mathieu Castagnet
Mohamed Elshorbagy
8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 (93m)
Nick Matthew
 
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
11-4,11-3,11-3
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
11-6,8-11,11-5,11-1
(Q) Raphael Kandra (GER)
Nicolas Mueller
11-5, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7 (73m)
Omar Mosaad
(Q) Lucas Serme (FRA)
11-8,11-6,11-4
[5] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
7-11,11-4,11-7,11-6
Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Mathieu Castagnet
10-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4 (73m)
Max Lee
 
Mathieu Castagnet
11-9, 13-11, 11-4 (72m)
Borja Golan
Max Lee (HKG)
9-11,11-6,11-4,11-9
(Q) Farhan Zaman (PAK)
Leo Au (HKG)
11-6, 11-9,11-7
(Q) Gregoire Marche (FRA
Leo Au
11-6, 11-5, 11-13,
4-11, 11-4 (80m)
Borja Golan
Borja Golan (ESP)
11-6,11-6,11-5
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (32m)
[Q] Ramit Tandon (IND)
Gregory Gaultier
11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (62m)
Fares Dessouki
Gregory Gaultier
11-8, 8-11, 14-12, 12-10 (78m)
Simon Rösner
Gregory Gaultier
3-3 ret. (14m)
Nick Matthew
Fares Dessouki (EGY)
11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 (52m
[WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
James Willstrop (ENG)
11-7, 3-0 retired (12m)
Alister Walker (BOT)
James Willstrop
9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 16-14 (80m)
Simon Rösner
Tom Richards (ENG)
11-8, 11-7, 11-1 (40m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER)
[8] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-5, 11-1, 11-3 (30m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Marwan Elshorbagy
12-10, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Marwan Elshorbagy
12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 6-11 (81m)
Nick Matthew
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (69m)
[Q] Nasir Iqbal (PAK)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-8 (75m)
Daryl Selby (ENG)
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (48m)
Nick Matthew
[Q] Diego Elias (PER)
11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8 (65m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG)
Tournament of Champions 2016
Women's Draw $150k
Grand Central Terminus, New York 
 
First Round
08 Sep
Second Round
09-10 Sep
Quarters
11-12 Sep
Semis
13 Sep
Final
14 Sep
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
[Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
Raneem El Welily
11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)
Amanda Sobhy
Amanda Sobhy
12-10, 11-3, 11-9 (38m)
 Alison Waters
Amanda Sobhy
11-9, 11-9, 12-10 (38m)
 Nouran Gohar
Amanda Sobhy
11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)
 Nour El Sherbini
[10] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (25m)
[Q] Deon Saffery (WAL)
[14] Delia Arnold (MAS)
7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6 (37m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Delia Arnold
11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (29m)
 Alison Waters
[6] Alison Waters (ENG)
8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (37m)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-5, 11-7, 11-6
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 
Nouran Gohar
7-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)
 Heba El Torky
Nouran Gohar
10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 (77m)
  Laura Massaro
Heba El Torky (EGY)
9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (42m)
[12] Joelle King (NZL)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
14-12, 11-9, 11-4 (56m)
[11] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Coline Aumard
11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10 (51m)
 Laura Massaro
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-7 (38m)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (31m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Camille Serme
11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11 (52m)
 Emily Whitlock
Camille Serme
4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11 (74)
Nour El Sherbini
Nour El Sherbini
11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (26m)
 Nicol David
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)
[Q] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (34m)
[13] Dipika Pallikal (IND)
Mariam Metwally
11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)
 Nour El Sherbini
[7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
16-14, 11-2, 11-1 (27m)
[Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
11-9,, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (50m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)
 Joshna Chinappa
Omneya Abdel Kawy
6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 3-11, 5-11 (56m)
 Nicol David
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (59m)
[WC] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY)
[9] Annie Au (HKG)
11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (35m)
Joey Chan (HKG)
Annie Au
11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (27m)
 Nicol David
[2] Nicol David (MAS)
11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (25m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) 

Qualifying

Qualifying Finals:

Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5
Diego Elias (PER) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4, 11-3 
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5
Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7
Grégoire Marche (FRA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-9, 11-2, 15-13

 

 

REPORTS

Final                                                                     click on images for larger view

Elshorbagy and El Sherbini Take Tournament of Champions Spoils

World 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 triumph.

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.

"Nick 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 same tournament."

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 ever.

El 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."

 

Semi Finals                                                                click on images for larger view

Elshorbagy to Meet Matthew in Tournament of Champions Final While Sobhy Sets up El Sherbini Clash

Defending 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 for him.

“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 Tour.

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."

Elsewhere, history maker Amanda Sobhy (left) has moved into her first ever PSA World Series final with a scintillating victory over Egypt’s Nouran Gohar.

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 Sobhy said.

“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 to me."

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, 11-6 victory.

“It 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 advantage."
 

Quarter Finals (Lower Half)                                    click on images for larger view

Shocks Galore as Gohar and Sobhy Progress in Tournament of Champions

A 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.

“I’m 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.”

Meanwhile, 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 semi-final 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."
 

 

Quarter Final (Top Half)                                          click on images for larger view

Castagnet to Meet Elshorbagy in First Tournament of Champions Semi-Final

French 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 No.1."

Defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy (left) continued his attempts to retain the crown he won a year ago with a superb triumph against compatriot Omar Mosaad.

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."

The 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 round fixture.

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 Champions Upset

Team 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 paid off.

“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 suggests.

“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.”

Sobhy 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.”

In 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 Rösner.

“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 quarter-finals here.”
 

2nd Round (Top Half)                                                 click on images for larger view

Title Favourites On From In Tournament Of Champions

On 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 (gelow) 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 race.

After 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 played today.

“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.”

David (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 match.

“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.

Elshorbagy 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 Elshorbagy.

“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.”
 

1st Round  (Lower Half)                                           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 Central Terminal.

Tournament 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.”

Indian 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 32-minute encounter.

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 opportunity.

“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.”

World 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.”

 

Round 1 (Top Half)                                                                  click on images for larger view

Spaniard Golan Downs No.4 Seed Rodriguez In TOC Upset

On 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 Adrian Waller.

After 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 days time.”

In 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 Yamba.

“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.”
 

Preview

First Round 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 patc@nyac.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.”

 

 
NEWS
 

Schedule

Round One
07/08 Jan
Round Two
09/10 Jan
Quarters
11/12 Jan
Semis
13 Jan
Final
14 Jan
 

INFO

 
 

TICKETS


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
  
 

 

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