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Tournament of Champions 2017

ToC Men's Event 2016

Tournament of Champions 2017

Jahingar Khan,
Mohamed Elshorbagy,
Jonathon Power,
Nicol David and Camille Serme


2017 Champions

The court at
Grand Central Terminal

Champions Past and Present






Round One

Round 2








Tournament of Champions 2017
Men's Draw $150k
Grand Central Terminus, New York 
First Round
12 - 13 Jan
Second Round
14 - 15 Jan
16 - 17 Jan
18 Jan
19 Jan
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
16-14, 11-5, 11-6 (52m)
[Q] Declan James (ENG)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (44m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
Mohamed Elshorbagy
12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-7 (84m)
Gregory Gaultier
Gregory Gaultier
6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 (64m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8 (73m)
Max Lee (HKG)
Borja Golan (ESP)
11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 (63m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Stephen Coppinger
4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (59m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
[5] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
16-14, 11-5, 13-11 (69m)
Daryl Selby (ENG)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Omar Mosaad
11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (34m)
Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen
11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (60m)
Gregory Gaultier
Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2 (36m)
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG)
Fares Dessouky (EGY)
11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)
[WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Fares Dessouky
9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (81m)
Gregory Gaultier
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (39m)
Diego Elias (PER)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (58m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Nick Matthew
11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4 (73m)
James Willstrop
James Willstrop
7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (82m)
Paul Coll
James Willstrop
11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (42m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
James Willstrop (ENG)
12-10, 11-8, 12-10 (53m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Chris Simpson (ENG)
4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (64m)
[Q] Paul Coll (NZL)
Paul Coll
11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (60m)
Ali Farag
[6] Ali Farag (EGY)
11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (54m)
[Q] Yip Tsz Fung (HKG)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER)
2-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (76m)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Simon Rösner
11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (41m)
Nicolas Müller
Simon Rösner
2-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (52m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (47m)
[Q] Nicolas Müller (SUI)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (55m)
[Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Cameron Pilley
 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (82m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (58m)
 Zahed Mohamed (EGY)


Qualifying finals:
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-2, 11-5, 11-8
Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 10-12, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-8, 12-10, 11-4
Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 5-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-9
Declan James (ENG) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) Score unknown
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-2, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10

Tournament of Champions 2017
Women's Draw $150k
Grand Central Terminus, New York 
First Round
14 - 15 Jan
Second Round
16 Jan
17 Jan
18 Jan
19 Jan

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (30m)
Joey Chan (HKG)

Nour El Sherbini
8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11 (70m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim
Nour El Sherbini
11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-8 (64m)
Nicol David
Nour El Sherbini
11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (49m)
Camille Serme
Camille Serme
13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (73m)
 Laura Massaro


[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
8-11, 11-1, 11-13, 11-9, 11-2 (62m)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG)

[12] Annie Au (HKG)
11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (32m)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)

Annie Au
11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (30m)
Nicol David

Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (24m)
[6] Nicol David (MAS)

[5] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (37m)
Tesni Evans (WAL)

Camille Serme
11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (36m)
Joshna Chinappa
Camille Serme
11-5, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 (69m)
Nouran Gohar

[Q] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 15-13 (57m)
[13] Joshna Chinappa (IND)

[15] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)
Heba El Torky (EGY)

Nour El Tayeb
9-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (56m)
Nouran Gohar

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

[4] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (30m)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)

 Laura Massaro
8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3 (64m)
Joelle King
 Laura Massaro
11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (35m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
 Laura Massaro
11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
Sarah-Jane Perry

[WC] Natalie Grinham (NED)
11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (27m)
[10] Joelle King (NZL)

[16] Victoria Lust (ENG)
13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 (58m)
[Q] Nele Gilis (BEL)

Victoria Lust
11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3 (44m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy

[Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
11-9, 11-8, 11-9 (41m)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)

[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (24m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)

Amanda Sobhy
9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5 (67m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 5-11, 11-5 (56m)
Raneem El Welily

Delia Arnold (MAS)
11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (64m)
[11] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

[14] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
13-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3 (39m)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)

Dipika Pallikal Karthik
15-17, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (44m)
Raneem El Welily

[Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (23m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)


Qualifying finals:
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (34m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
Mayar Hany (EGY) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 12-10, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-3 (57m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (62m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 (40m)
Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 2-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5 (51m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY) 11-9, 2-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 (58m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 4-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)




Gawad And Serme Etch Names Into TooC Champions History With 2017 Victory

New names were etched into the record books of both the Men's and Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions today (Jan 19) as Egypt's Karim Abdel Gawad, World No.2, and France's Camille Serme, World No.4, were crowned 2017 champions on an electric night inside New York's Grand Central Terminal.

The pair, both competing in the PSA World Series tournament title decider for the first time in their careers, prevailed in thrilling encounters with Gregory Gaultier and Laura Massaro, respectively, to take the spoils and add their names to an illustrious list of past winners.

25-year-old Gawad came from behind against World No.3 Gaultier to win 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6, extending his unbeaten streak to 16 matches to win a third consecutive major title - adding to the Qatar Classic and World Championship titles he won last November.

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

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

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

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

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

Serme meanwhile proved that she truly is the player to beat at present on the Women's Tour by downing No.2 Nouran Gohar, No.1 Nour El Sherbini and No.5 Massaro to add the ToC title to the U.S. Open crown she won last October.

The 27-year-old French World No.4 started strong against Massaro, taking a tie-break opening game 13-11, but faded fast as the Englishwoman's will and determination came to the fore. But at 2-2 Serme responded impressively, stepping up the court to get the better of Massaro and run out an 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 winner.

"I can't believe it," said Serme.

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

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

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

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

Semi Finals

French Duo Derail Egyptian Title Defence In Semi-finals

French duo Gregory Gaultier, Men's World No.3, and Camille Serme, Women's World No.4, derailed the challenge of 2016 tournament winners Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini to come through two dramatic and enthralling semi-final encounters at the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions Semi FInals.

Inside Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall Gaultier, 2009 champion, prevailed 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-7 in an 84-minute encounter with 2015 and 2016 winner ElShorbagy that had the theatrics, drama and intrigue befitting a broadway classic.

The 34-year-old strutted extravagantly around court, playing with pace, precision and guile to take a 2-0 lead, delighting the crowd with his theatrical celebrations before a contentious referee decision at 8-7 in the third swung the match. The Frenchman capitulated, first mentally and then physically - as a troublesome left glute hampered his movement - allowing ElShorbagy to level 2-2. But a stunned crowd, silenced by what they were witnessing, watched on as Gaultier, playing on one leg, displayed all the traits of his 'General' moniker to regain control and seal a dramatic victory.

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

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

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

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

Gaultier will face Egypt's World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the title-decider after he produced a sublime performance to beat James Willstrop in straight games while it was Gaultier's compatriot Serme who captured attention in the Women's draw with a 3-1 defeat of World No.1 El Sherbini.

Serme beat World No.2 Nouran Gohar yesterday and injected pace from the off today to unsettle El Sherbini, working her favoured backhand with relentless accuracy, to win 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 and secure her first appearance in the iconic event's title-decider.

"I was so focused on the match and making sure I played as well as I could that it hasn't really sunk in that I'm into the final yet," said 27-year-old Serme.

"I dreamt of playing this event - the venue is unbelievable - so it's amazing to know I will be playing in the final here tomorrow with a chance to win. I've beaten the #1 and #2 players so I have to take confidence that I'm playing some of my best ever squash.

"I feel like there's still improvements to be made but I'm on the right track. Tomorrow will be a different challenge again so I'll give it my best and see what happens - it's very exciting."

Serme will face England's Laura Massaro, 2014 runner-up, in the decider ensuring a new Women's champion will be crowned.

Quarter Finals

Perry Conquers 2015 Champion To Lead English Trio Into Semis

England's Sarah-Jane Perry, World No.11, triumphed in a remarkable rollercoaster encounter with 2015 tournament winner Raneem El Welily, World No.3, in New York today (Jan 17) to reach the semi-finals of the iconic 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament Champions and secure her first ever appearance in the last four of a PSA World Series tournament.

Perry halted home favourite Amanda Sobhy, 2016 runner-up, in an epic five-game thriller yesterday but showed no signs of fatigue as she raced to a 2-0 game lead over El Welily. But the wheels looked to have come off the track as the Egyptian levelled up at 2-2 before taking a 4-1 lead in the decider.

A sublime run of nine consecutive points however swung the match back in favour of Birmingham-based Perry as she completed the 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 5-11, 11-5 win to set up a seismic clash with compatriot Laura Massaro, guaranteeing an English finalist.

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

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

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

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

Perry will take on Massaro, World No.5, after the 33-year-old from Preston dominated last eight opponent Omneya Abdel Kawy, World No.9, winning 11-4, 12-10, 11-6, while World No.1 Nour El Sherbini kept her title defence alive with a narrow victory over 8x World Champion Nicol David in a thrilling 64 minute battle.

El Sherbini will now meet Camille Serme, World No.4, after the Frenchwoman knocked out World No.2 Nouran Gohar in a hugely impressive 3-1 win that was inspired by a newly adopted training technique - yoga.

"Nouran beat me twice last year in very tough five game battles so I knew it would be hard today,' said Serme, who beat El Sherbini 3-1 in the U.S. Open final last October.

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

"I'm trying to get into the same state of mind as I was in Philadelphia. I started Yoga recently and anytime I feel nervous I use the respiration techniques to try and let it go - and it seems to be helping!"

In the men's draw it was another No.11, James Willstrop, who backed up his headline grabbing defeat of perennial rival Nick Matthew - his first win in 20 attempts over his old adversary - with an accomplished 3-1 win over New Zealand's Paul Coll to reach his first World Series tournament semi-final since the 2013 Kuwait Cup.

33-year-old Willstrop, the 2011 tournament winner, utilised his exquisite court-craft and ball placement to counter the unrelenting physicality of the 24-year-old, ending Coll's 10-match winning streak, and set up an intriguing battle with Egyptian World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad.

"I'm very happy to get through today because he's flying at the moment and arguably one of the in-form players out there - to break that run I had to play very well," said Willstrop.

"I had to make sure I didn't lose sight of the end goal. He makes the court so small with his physicality and speed that you have to keep putting the work in, move him around as much as possible and try to break him down

"You have to put the ball in good areas against guys like Nick and Paul because they're such wonderful athletes. I've done that well in the past two rounds and I'm excited at the chance to be out on that stage against tomorrow and I'm keen to soak it up.

"But there's no reason that I can't look to progress further. I feel alright and if I'm beating players like Paul then I'm set to go and hopefully I can produce it again. It's my favourite event - the venue speaks for itself - and there's nothing like being here. I've had some great moments here and hopefully I'll have a few more still to come."

Quarter Finals Top Half

England's Perry Stuns Sobhy In Tournament of Champions Upset

England's Sarah-Jane Perry, World No.11, stunned a capacity crowd inside New York's Grand Central Terminal as she downed crowd favourite and 2016 runner-up Amanda Sobhy in a thrilling five-game battle to reach the last eight of the iconic J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

The 26-year-old from Birmingham produced one the best performances of her career as she thwarted Sobhy's all-out attacking style to claim a huge win that sees her into a PSA World Series tournament quarter-final for the first time since the 2015 British Open, on a day that also saw Egyptian World No.3 Raneem El Welily, No.2 Nouran Gohar and defending champion Nour El Sheribi, World No.1, come through in unconvincing fashion.

"I beat Nicol (David) in September which was huge for me and this win today is similar to that," said Perry, who won 9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5 after 67 minutes.

"They were both big matches in amazing locations (Grand Central and the Pyramids of Giza) against very strong opponents. You don't get to play in better venues than those so it's great to get that win today.

"I watched her (Sobhy) here last year and saw how much she enjoyed playing in front of a loud supportive crowd, so I just had to put that out of my mind. I had to focus on playing my way, not going short too much, and I stuck to my plan just enough to edge it.

"I changed coach about 14 months ago and have had some good results in the past six months. It's all about believing in myself, approaching the game slightly differently mentally and going on court believing that I can compete with anyone and I know if I can stick to my game plan, win or lose I'll be happy."

Perry will face 2015 winner El Welily for a place in the semi-finals after she edged past Indian Dipika Pallikal Karthik while 8x World Champion David put in a second consecutive performance of total domination to down Annie Au 3-0 to underline her championship credentials and set up a quarter-final encounter with El Sherbini.

David and El Sherbini met here at the same stage last year, when El Sherbini recorded the second of five consecutive wins over David en route to the title, but the Malaysian will likely have her best chance yet to halt that run and install a needed confidence boost with El Sherbini struggling to hit her stride in the event to date - having narrowly beaten Salma Many Ibrahim in four games today.

"I'm pleased with my performance today," said David.

"You don't get to experience something like playing in Grand Central Terminal every day and when you train so hard and work all your life, you just want to be in venues like this competing with the best players and enjoying it.

"I'm excited to play Nour here. I'm going to give it my all tomorrow and we'll see what happens."

In the Men's tournament World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy kept his title defence alive by beating younger brother Marwan, World No.6, in straight games to secure his place in the semi-finals where Frenchman Gregory Gaultier awaits after beating Tarek Momen 3-1.

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

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

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

Second Round Lower Half

Willstrop Ends 10-Year Losing Streak While Qualifier Coll Conquers Farag

England's 33-year-old James Willstrop ended a 10-year, 19-match losing streak against perennial domestic rival Nick Matthew to knock the 36-year-old from Sheffield out of the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions with a 73-minute 11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4 second round victory in New York today (Jan 15).

The pair met for the 34th time last month when Matthew scored an impressive straight-games win in the final of the British Grand Prix. But under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall Willstrop turned recent history on its head, producing a free-flowing attacking performance that saw him pull out every tantalising trick in his repertoire and recover from going 1-2 down in games to complete the victory, his first over Matthew since the 2007 English Open Final.

"It's taken me a long time to notch that win against him, so I'm pleased," said Willstrop.

"Last month I didn't play well against him and I was more disappointed with the performance than the result.

"I think the squash today was as good as it has ever been between us and we both played some very accurate stuff. I know what I'm capable of and I've been trying to work out the way to break him down for a long time. Today I did just enough to come through.

"And the best thing is I get to play here once again because I love being here at this event. To be out there and performing well in a good game of squash, it's just brilliant."

After the match Matthew said: "He deserved it - even when I was 2-1 up I didn't feel like I was on top.

"He was the aggressor today and I felt like I was chasing it. He's a class player and we've played some massive matches, so that win was coming some day. He's too good a player to have a record like that."

Willstrop will now face tournament surprise package Paul Coll for a place in the semi-finals after the 24-year-old qualifier from New Zealand scored an unexpected win over World No.7 and ex-Harvard student Ali Farag to reach the last eight of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in his career.

The physical powerhouse, who competes in Crossfit games for pleasure when not in squash action, prevailed 3-1 to extend his unbeaten streak on the PSA World Tour to 10 consecutive matches.

Coll came through qualification to defy the odds and claim the PSA M100 Channel Vas Championship in December - a victory that saw him become the first Kiwi since 1995 to break the top 20 rankings - and continued to enjoy a purple patch as he nullified the supremely talented Farag 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7.

"I'm very happy - I'm was worried that I'd get knocked out in qualification here so to reach the quarter-finals is very pleasing," said Coll.

"I know Ali from juniors and know he's a quality player who's very talented with the racket, so I told myself just to focus on countering what he does and take it from there.

"I've been training hard, like I always do, and it has started to pay off recently. I just try to play the way I like to play. I love the physical side of the game and I'm just embracing that and it's working for me at the minute.

"Winning in December gave me a tonne of belief that I can compete with these guys up at the very top and to be backing that up again this week is a huge confidence boost."

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad won a five-game war of attrition with Australian Cameron Pilley to keep his tournament alive and set up a meeting with Germany's Simon Rösner.

In the Women's event 2016 runner-up and local New York crowd favourite Amanda Sobhy got her 2017 campaign off to an emphatic winning start by demolishing Australia's Donna Urquhart 3-0 in just 24 minutes.

Sobhy put in a performance packed with typical aggressive shot making as she out-gunned and out-though Urquhart to send out a strong signal to the opposition as she looks to improve on last year's result.

"It's great to be back here in New York at one of my favourite events - I love it here and just enjoy being out there in front of so many supporting fans," said Sobhy.

"It fuels me that I got to the final here last year and I want to do better. I've also lost two World Series finals and they say three's the charm, so hopefully that'll be this week.

"It would be great to do well here. It's a goal to win this event. I've been putting in the work and I know I'm fit enough to compete with the top players and have the confidence to be the best, so hopefully that can carry me through and help convert some of that into wins."

Second Round Top Half

ElShorbagy Brothers Set Up ToC Quarter-final Showdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahead of the match up Marwan said: "I'm excited to be in the quarters. To play my brother in the last eight in a setting like Grand Central Terminal is something I never dreamed would happen.

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

The victor of their battle could find themselves lining up against 2009 Tournament of Champions winner Gregory Gaultier in the semis after the 2015 World Champion staged a resurrection in his second round encounter, coming from 0-2 down to defeat an inspired Fares Dessouky.

The 22-year-old Egyptian recorded his first career win over Gaultier in their last meeting, during last August's Hong Kong Open, and looked to have gotten under the Frenchman's skin as he recorded 11-9, 11-8 opening game wins. But the man know as "The General' found a way back into the contest, stepping up and asserting his physicality to extend the rallies and edge a decisive fifth game 11-7.

"Last time in Hong Kong he played very well and I was on the back-foot throughout so today I was very focused as I knew what could happen," said Gaultier.

"But in the first two games I was rushing and making too many errors. At 0-2 down I tried to just make him work harder and be constructive and I could see he was beginning to tire.

"I had to dig in and play at the right pace. I'm glad I made it through, it was a good fight and I'm happy with how I managed to come back."

In the Women's tournament, which got underway with first round action today, it was plain sailing for defending champion Nour El Sherbini and eight-time World Champion Nicol David as they recorded dominant 3-0 wins.

El Sherbini easily dispatched Hong Kong's Joey Chan while David, who fell to a 12 year low of No.7 on the World Rankings in December after a disappointing 2016 campaign, got her 2017 off to a positive start with a 23 minute demolition of former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf.

"2016 was a disappointing year in terms of results but I felt like I was enjoying my squash again towards the back end of the year and I feel like I've carried that through into 2017," said David.

"It was a tough year and I really had to work hard because of the challenges. But that made it one of the biggest years of learning in my career and I'm still very motivated.

"I had to come out strong today and I felt like I was seeing the ball well and moving well. I put her under pressure from the start and I'm happy to start with a good win."

World No.2 Nouran Gohar secured similarly straight forward passage into the second round with a 3-0 win over Mayar Hany while Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim produced the upset of the day to down England's top ten ranked Alison Waters.

First Round Lower Half

English Stalwarts Matthew And Willstrop Set Up Second Round Clash

Veteran English duo Nick Matthew and James Willstrop will write another chapter into their long-standing rivalry after coming through their opening match-ups at the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions - taking place inside New York's Grand Central Terminal - to set up a tantalising second round encounter.

Winners of the 2012 and 2010 iterations of the iconic PSA World Series tournament respectively, the 36 and 33-year-old Yorkshire-men have met 34 times previously on the professional circuit and both looked on form as they dispatched Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Scotland's Alan Clyne to start their title-bids in impressive fashion.

"Alan played incredibly well today and in the early stages I struggled to match him physically and mentally," said Matthew, who came from a game down to defeat the Scottish number one.

"He really woke me up and shook off any cobwebs from the Christmas break so I'm happy to come through, but there's plenty to work on for the next match against James."

Elder statesman Matthew has dominated the head-to-head with Willstrop, winning their past 19 consecutive matches, including the final of last December's British Grand Prix. But having watched Willstrop complete an impressive 3-0 win over former World No.4 Rodriguez he knows he will have to be on form to keep his streak alive in what is a rare early-tournament meeting between the duo.

"You have to focus on what you're doing out there but it is great to see James back in form," he added.

"We played in the final of the British Grand Prix before Christmas and we're used to playing in semis and finals of big tournaments, so to meet in a second round match will be something new.

"There won't be four of five matches in our legs and we both have a day off tomorrow, so we will be fresh. He's playing well and he's hungry for that win, so it's going to be tough."

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, the 25-year-old vying for his first Tournament of Champions crown, also came through his opening encounter but was made to work hard by compatriot Zahed Mohamed, who also took him to the brink during last year's Qatar Classic.

Mohamed stunned the in-from Gawad in the opening game as he game from multiple game balls down to take it against the run of play but Gawad showed the traits that have seen him rocket up the rankings over the past six months as he came back to take the match 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7.

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

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

Gawad will face Australian number one Cameron Pilley in the second after the 34-year-old beat German Raphael Kandra 3-0.

First Round Top Half

ElShorbagy Gets Title Defence Off To Winning Start

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

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

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

"Declan played very, very well out there," said ElShorbagy, who celebrated his 26th birthday today.

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

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

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

"This week I need to keep focused and keep improving."

ElShorbagy was joined in the second round by a quartet of compatriots as younger brother and World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy, Omar Mosaad, Tarek Momen and Fares Dessouky all secured opening day victories while charismatic Frenchman Gregory Gaultier returned to the court that derailed his 2016 campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win over Peruvian Diego Elias.

Gaultier suffered an ankle injury during his semi-final encounter with Nick Matthew here 12 months ago and looked to send out a message to his title-contenders as he ruthlessly dispatched Elias in just 39 minutes.

"I was very fired up today because I had a poor year in 2016 with injuries and I was unable to perform as I wanted for most of the year," said Gaultier.

"But I'm back fully fresh physically and mentally and I wanted to show that 2016 was nothing compared to what will come in 2017.

"I played very aggressive today and my shots were going well so I'm very happy with how I played."


Upsets Abound on Final Day of ToC Qualification

The top three qualifying seeds in the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, PSA World Series event fell to surprise defeats on the final day of qualification, with Cesar Salazar, Gregoire Marche and Omar Abdel Meguid all missing out on a place in the main draw, which will be staged in New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

Salazar, the World No.26, came up against Raphael Kandra in his fixture, but fell two games behind after a strong start from the German World No.43.

Salazar prevailed in the third to halve the deficit, only to see a resilient Kandra hold firm in the fourth to triumph on the tie-break and seal a place in the main draw of the Tournament of Champions for the second year in a row, where he will take on Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley.

Meanwhile, Marche and Meguid fell to the same fate as Salazar as they lost out to Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip and Scotland’s Alan Clyne, respectively.

Yip’s reward is a main draw clash with World No.7 Ali Farag, while Clyne will need to navigate his way past three-time World Champion and 2012 winner Nick Matthew.

England’s World No.38 Declan James upset Hong Kong’s Leo Au to set up a main draw meeting with defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, while New Zealand’s Paul Coll continued his recent good form, beating compatriot Campbell Grayson to secure a maiden Tournament of Champions main draw berth against England’s Chris Simpson.

Botswana’s former World No.12 Alister Walker saw his qualifying campaign come to an end at the hands of Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller, while there were also wins for Nafiizwan Adnan and Tom Richards as qualification drew to a close.

The main draw of the Men's Tournament of Champions takes place from January 12-19, with the Women's main draw beginning on January 14 and finishing on January 19.



Ashour Out Of Tournament of Champions

Egyptian three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour has withdrawn from the upcoming J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions due to injury.

The 29-year-old, a three-time winner of the event that gets underway inside New York's Grand Central Terminal this Thursday (Jan 12), conceded the final of the 2016 World Championship last November due to injury and has failed to recover in time to compete this week.

As a result German number one Simon Rösner moves up inside the main draw to number eight seed with Egyptian Zahed Mohamed moving into the main draw from qualification, where a first round encounter with current World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad awaits.

20th ToC In Grand Central Terminal Guarantees Blockbuster Start To 2017

Squash in 2017 is set to start with an emphatic bang when the iconic J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions returns for its 20th anniversary amidst the grandeur of one of world sports most breathtaking locations – New York City's Grand Central Terminal –
between January 12 – 19, 2017.

With the lure of competing in one of the world's most popular cities and with equality in prize money assured, the 24 top-ranking men’s and women’s players have been confirmed amidst a draw that will see 128 players descend on New York to compete for the first major honours of the year, and one of the sport's most sought after titles.

Defending champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, both of whom currently hold the respective World No.1 rankings, will face stiff competition to retain their titles, with ElShorbagy going up against a quartet of past champions in the form of Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, English duo James WIllstrop and Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour of Egypt. El Sherbini meanwhile heads a women's draw that contain three previous champions; compatriot Raneem El Welily, Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands and Malaysia’s Nicol David.

El Sherbini faces a tricky first round encounter with unorthodox Hong Kong player Joey Chan before a potentially mammoth quarter-final encounter with David, while El Welily is seeded to meet American number one and 2016 runner-up Amanda Sobhy in a last eight encounter that will see a capacity crowd cheer on the US starlet.

In the men's draw Gaultier will face former World Junior Champion Diego Elias in one of the stand out first round encounters while Willstrop, the 2010 winner, will face 2014 semi-finalist and crowd favourite Miguel Angel Rodriguez in what promises to be a thrilling battle of styles. Should Willstrop come through then a second round encounter with perennial domestic rival Nick Matthew is likely to await while 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad and three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour are seeded to meet in an electrifying last eight encounter.

“It is fitting that on the 20th anniversary of staging the ToC in the awe-inspiring setting of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall we have been treated to one of the strongest line-ups and most compelling draws in the tournament's history,” said John Nimick, President of Squash Engine, Inc., the tournament promoter.

“To have all of the world's top male and female players, a host of current and past champions, and some of the most promising talents in the game come together for the first event of the year is incredibly exciting. The strength of the field is testament to the enthusiasm of the ToC crowds and the allure of competing on one of the sport’s grandest stages.”

“The uniqueness and energy of competing in Grand Central Terminal has created an unparalleled spectator experience for our onsite sell -out crowds, as well as fans worldwide who follow the action on live web-streaming or broadcast TV and we look forward to what promises to be another exciting edition of the ToC this January.”




Round One
12/13 Jan
Round Two
14/15 Jan
16/17 Jan
18 Jan
19 Jan


In 1995, the Tournament of Champions was one of the first events to be staged in Vanderbilt Hall when the venue was made available for public use. The 83-year-old tournament celebrates its 20th anniversary in Grand Central in 2017.



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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