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Further WSA Prize-Fund Boost Brings Parity For ToC


Elshorbagy Is 2015 ToC Champion


24-year-old World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy reinforced his position at the top of the squash ladder with an
impressive performance in the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to see off England's Nick
Matthew 3-1 and claim his fourth major PSA World Series title.

Under the chandeliers in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall the duo, who have developed a testy-rivalry on the tour in the last two years, produced a thrilling spectacle in front of a sold-out crowd with Elshorbagy eventually out-powering the man ten years his elder.

"I told Nick at the end of the match that he is an inspirational player," said Elshorbagy.

"He's the king when it comes to playing tough matches because he seems to come back fresh every day but I'm really pleased with how I played and to get my first title here.

"I wanted to win so badly and I'm proud to see my name join the illustrious list of previous Tournament of
Champions winners."

Matthew started the match in the ascendency and used his wealth of court-craft to take the opening game but
Elshorbagy's ferocious pace and power saw him claw his way back into the match and turn the tide, to establish
a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth game Matthew looked en route to levelling the scores once again but saw the opportunity slip from
his hands after an unforced error when 9-7 ahead, followed by an unlucky bounce at 9-8, saw Elshorbagy rally and from then on the Bristol-based-Egyptian refused to give in.

Despite saving one match ball Matthew couldn't find enough in his locker to hold on as Elshorbagy romped home to complete a memorable night for Egyptian squash in the Big Apple, with Raneem El Welily also taking the women's title with victory over Alison Waters.

"This has been a very tough week for me mentally," added .

"When I saw Raneem win in the women's final it really inspired me because we both recently lost in World
Championship finals even though we both had match balls.

"She showed me that you can rebound and I'm really proud of how I played and that I proved I can come back stronger than before."

34-year-old Matthew said: "I really enjoyed the match tonight. You get to a stage in your career when you just have to enjoy the experience because you might not have many more of them."

The Court At Grand Central
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. Semi Finals
Quarter Finals Lower Half
Quarter Finals Top Half
2nd Round Lower Half
2nd Round Top Half
. 1st Round Top Half
1st Round Lower Half
. Qualifying

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Women's Event

World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in impressive form to see off England's Nick Matthew

Official Website: 
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Tournament of Champions 2015
New York, $115k

Grand Central Terminus, New York 

Click here for 2015 Women's Event

Round One
16/17 Jan
Round Two
18/19 Jan
20/21 Jan
22 Jan
23 Jan
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-6, 11-7, 11-8 [37m] 
[WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-3, 5-11, 15-13, 11-
Nicolas Mueller
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-7, 11-9, 11-8  [52m]
Borja Golan
Mohamed Elshorbagy
9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9
Amr Shabana
Mohamed Elshorbagy
5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 [83m]
Nick Matthew
Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
9,11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 [59m]
[Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Chirs Simpson (ENG)
11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6
[Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX)]
Chirs Simpson
Borja Golan
[7] Borja Golan (ESP)
12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 [76m]
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-5, 11-7, 14,12 [42m]
Adrian Waller (ENG)
Tarek Momen
11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 [54m]
Saurav Ghosal
Tarek Momen
6-11, 19-17, 11-8, 11-9 [85m]
Amr Shabana
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
11-7, 11-5, 12-10 [49m]
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10 [79m]
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Cameron Pilley
11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 [60m]
Amr Shabana
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY)
11-7, 11-4, 11-3, [31m]
Olli Tuominen (FIN)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG)
12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 [70m]
Daryl Selby (ENG)
Nick Matthew
7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 13-11 [94m]
Omar Mosaad
Nick Matthew
10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 [66m]
Simon Rösner
Nick Matthew
11-7, 11-9, 11-5 [50m]
Miguel A. Rodrigez
Omar Mosaad (EGY)
11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4
[Q] Mohamed Abouleghar (EGY)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
11-3, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5 [68m]
[Q] Diego Elias (PER)
Mathieu Castagnet
11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 [75m]
Simon Rösner
Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10
[8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG)
11-6, 11-5, 1103 [47m]
Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Peter Barker
11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 [120m]
Miguel A. Rodrigez
Miguel A. Rodrigez
11-13, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 [88m]
Gregory Gaultier
Miguel A. Rodrigez (COL)
12-10, 11-4, 11-7 [51m]
[Q] Joe Lee (ENG)]
Alister Walker (BOT)
11-6, 11-6, 11-5 [37m]
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG)
Tom Richards
11-6, 11-5, 11-3 [43m]
Gregory Gaultier
Max Lee (HKG)
11-1, 11-7, 11-2 [44m]
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

RESULTS: PSA World Series JP Morgan Tournament of Champions,
New York, USA

Final Qualifying Round
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) def. Mohamed Reda (EGY) 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 54 mins
Alan Clyne (SCO) def Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-11, 11-3,11-7, 11-4 57 mins
Cesar Salazar (MEX) def. Zac Alexander (AUS) 4-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 58 mins
Joe Lee (ENG) def. Martin Knight (NZL) 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 67 mins
Mohd Abouelghar (EGY) def. Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 41 mins
Campbell Grayson (NZL) def. Alfredo Avila (MEX) 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 62 mins
Tom Richards (ENG) def. Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 48 mins
Diego Elias (PER) def. Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 37 mins

Qualifying Round 1:
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) def. Chris Hanson (USA) 11-8, 11-6, 10-12 53 mins
Mohamed Reda (EGY) def. Shawn Delierre (CAN) 14-16, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 74 mins
Lucas Serme (FRA) def. Chris Gordon (USA) 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 11-1 69 mins
Alan Clyne (SCO) def. Faraz Khan (USA) 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 29 mins
Zac Alexander (AUS) def. Leo Au (HKG) 9-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 74 mins
Cesar Salazar (MEX)def. Ahmed Kalek (EGY ) 7-11,11-6, 11-3, 11-6 48 mins.
Martin Knight (NZL) def. Mike Lewis (USA) 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 31
Minshd Abouelghar (EGY) def. Bradley Ball (ENG) w/o
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) def. Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 64 mins
Campbell Grayson (NZL) def. Raphael Kandra 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 55 mins
Alfredo Avila (MEX) def. Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-2, ret. 3 min
Tom Richards (ENG) def. Eddie Charlton (ENG) 9-11,11-8,11-5 11-3 54 mins.
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) def. Samuel Kang (SGP) 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 23 mins.
Diego Elias (PER) def. Greg Lobhan (SCO) 10-12, 11-8,3-11,13-11,11-2 90 mins
Mazen Hesham (EGY) def. Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-4,11-0, 11-8 24 mins.

Semi Finals

Elshorbagy Eliminates Defending ToC Champ


World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy ended all hopes of Amr Shabana retaining his J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title with an impressive 3-2 victory over the 35-year-old in what was one of the most impressive matches ever seen at Grand Central Terminal in the competition's eighteen-year association with the iconic venue.

Shabana was in sublime form throughout the contest, finding his range from the opening exchanges and pulling out all of his trademark winners to dazzle the capacity audience and give Elshorbagy, 11 years Shabana's junior, all sorts of trouble but the younger man showed just why he is number one with a defying display of retrieving as he dug deep to complete a remarkable victory.

"When you play against Amr you have to accept that he will make you look like an idiot on court at times and I accepted that today," said Elshorbagy.

"You can never look good when you play him because he is the most talented player on tour. To beat him I just had to hit and run and keep going and giving everything to get the ball back and it worked.

"He was very tired in the end, and I was too, but I'm glad I was able to push through in the end because I'm in my first ever final here and I'm looking forward to playing in front of this great crowd here in Grand Central Terminal once again."

Elshorbagy twice went behind to the four-time World Champion but used all of his pace and six-foot-plus reach to keep himself in some of the most punishing rallies seen so far during the tournament and it paid dividends for him when, after levelling the game at 2-2, he took the sting from Shabana's relentless attacking play and managed to find just enough in his locker to book his place in the final to face England's Nick Matthew.

Matthew ensured he remains in contention to claim a second title in New York, to add to his 2012 ToC triumph, with a dominant 3-0 win over high-flying Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez - who had beaten World No.6 Peter Barker and World No.2 Gregory Gaultier to reach the semi-finals.

"It was good fun out there tonight against Miguel," said Matthew. "Sometimes it felt like there were four of him on the court he's so fast.

"But thankfully I was able to use my experience, one of the only things I have more of than him, and it paid off for me."





Click on Images for Larger View

Elshorbagy (above) wiil Meet Matthew (below) in the Final


Quarter Finals Lower Half

Magnificent Miguel Motors Past Gaultier In Manhattan


Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez pulled off the biggest victory of his career, reinforcing his credentials as a genuine top-ten player, with a dramatic and thrilling 3-2 victory over 2014 runner-up Gregory Gaultier in the quarter-finals of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York today.

After beating World No.6 Peter Barker in a gruelling 120-minute encounter in the second round to book his place in the last eight of a PSA World Series for the first time ever, Rodriguez continued his coming of age, producing a suburb all-round display to take out the World No.2 in 88 exhilarating minutes.

The 29-year-old had failed to take even a game off Gaultier from five previous occasions but after breaking into the top ten for the first time this month, to occupy the World No.8 ranking, he produced the most composed performance of his career to take out the four-time World Championship runner-up in emotional scenes.

"I'm really happy to be in the semi-finals and I'm going to enjoy it," said Rodriguez.

"I was ready to play against Greg tonight and the strategy that I prepared with my coach David (Palmer) paid off. I knew if I was going to play long rallies against Greg I wasn't going to win so I tried to volley more and use the boast and I'm very happy with the way I played.

"For me Greg is the toughest player on tour as he's very strong and it is so difficult to win rallies against him. I was very patient, but more offensive than I was against Peter and I felt like it all worked."

Traditionally a crowd favourite at the iconic Grand Central Terminal, Gaultier found himself in reversed roles as the crowd got behind the flamboyant man from Bogota, and he delighted the packed auditorium with an acrobatic display that mixed unbelievable retrievals with audacious shot-making from start to finish.

After seeing three game-ball opportunities disappear from his hands as he went one-game down to the Frenchman, Rodriguez would have been forgiving for doubting himself, but he showed true character to rebound and level the scores before going on to cause Gaultier difficulties in all four corners of the courts.

In the decisive fifth-game Rodriguez found himself 9-5 down but steeled for a spirited last hurrah and it paid off, as he won six consecutive points to take the match at the first opportunity and set up a semi-final match against World No.4 Nick Matthew.

"I have played Nick a few times before on tour but I have time to recover and rest so I'll be ready for tomorrow," he said.

"When I lost that first game, I knew it would be tough to come back because mentally that is so hard but I felt good when I got that second game.

“Then I was playing very good at the start of the fifth and I played some nice drop shots and I could feel he was getting tired and at 9-6 I told myself that I was capable of winning and I so pleased to come through."






Click on Images for Larger View

Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez pulled off the biggest victory of his career with victory over Gregory Gaultier

Nick Matthew will meet
Miguel Angel Rodriguez in Semi Finals

Quarter Finals Top Half

Shabana Seals TOC Semi-final Spot


Defending champion Amr Shabana kept alive his hopes of winning back-to-back J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions titles with a gutsy 3-1 win over compatriot Tarek Momen, the World No.7, in an 85-minute match-up in Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.

The 34-year-old, who became the oldest ever PSA World Series winner with his 2014 triumph, withstood a ferocious challenge from 27-year-old Momen, currently enjoying his highest ever ranking on the PSA World Tour, as he dug deep and used his wealth of ability and experience to squeeze over the line in a nail-biting encounter.

"All credit to Tarek because I spent every single bit of energy I had to beat him today," said Shabana.

"It took all the experience that I hve to beat him and I think the next time we play he's going to get me."

Shabana opened up the match with an array of spectacular winners, taking the opening game in the process, but saw his advantage eradicated after a gallant effort from Momen saw him bounce back from squandering numerous game-balls to eventually take the second game 19-17.

The duo continued to trade points in compelling fashion throughout the next two games but it was four-time World Champion Shabana that emerged victorious as the match ended in bizarre circumstances, with both players seemingly disappointed following the referee's decision to award a stroke that handed the match to the elder man.

"The last point could have been a let, but it's a win and I'll take it," added Shabana.

"I've known Tarek since he was a young junior and he's always been a very hard worker. He's always improving his game and he has a very good future ahead of him but I was able to stop him today and I'm happy to be through."

That victory will see Shabana take on another Egyptian, current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, for a place in the final when the semi-finals get underway on Thursday January 22.

Elshorbagy booked his place in the last four with a dominant 3-0 win over World No.12 Borja Golan.





Click on Images for Larger View

The victory For Amr Shabana (Above) will see him take on another Egyptian, current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Below)

2nd Round Bottom Half

Colombia's Rodriguez Makes History In New York


29-year-old Colombian World No.8 Miguel Angel Rodriguez became the first ever South American squash player to reach the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event after beating England's Peter Barker in a 120-minute epic at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions.

Two of the fittest and most fluid movers on tour, the duo served up a titanic battle of attrition that was packed with lung-bursting rallies as they tried to break each other down but it was Rodriguez, the highest ranked South American player of all time, who managed to edge it, taking the match 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 and record his first ever win over the World No.6.

"This is one of the best wins of my career so far because it is the first time I have beaten him and also the first time I've made it to the quarter-finals at one of the major events," said Rodriguez.

"I prepared very hard for the match and I'm delighted to win. I think I played very well - it was not an easy match because he is a very tough player."

After taking the opening game, which in itself lasted 26-minutes, Rodriguez found himself 2-1 down after Barker closed out a gritty tie-breaker in the third and the Englishman appeared to have the ascendency as he moved 9-7 ahead in the fourth game and within two points of the match.

But two consecutive errors gave the Colombian an opportunity and he pounced to keep the match alive and in the deciding game he continued to set a relentless physical pace that 31-year-old Barker couldn't live with.

"I worked very hard on the physical side of the game last year and I played a lot of events as well so had a good rhythm and it has all payed off for me," sad Rodriguez.

"I've started the year in the top ten and at my highest ever ranking and I'm into the quarter-finals for the first time so i already feel like this is definitely going to be my best year."

In a mammoth day of action in Manhattan there were also wins for German World No.10 Simon Rösner, French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and England's World No.4 Nick Matthew, with Gaultier claiming the quickest win of the day with his 43-minute, 3-0 triumph over qualifier Tom Richards.





Click on Images for Larger View

Miguel Angel Rodriguez became the first ever South American squash player to reach the quarter-finals

Nick Matthew is into the Quarter Finals

2nd Round Top Half

Egyptian Trio Go Forward In Grand Central


The quarter-finals of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will be full of Egyptian flavour after Mohamed Elshorbagy, Amr Shabana and Tarek Momen, the World No.1, No.3 and No.7 respectively, came through their second round encounters in New York's Grand Central Terminal today.

World No.1 Elshorbagy, the 24-year-old Egyptian based out of Bristol, England, became the first man through to the last eight after edging his way through a challenging encounter with Swiss national champion Nicolas Mueller.

In a thrilling 62-minute encounter Elshorbagy had to be at the very top of his game to overcome an inspired Mueller, who produced one of his best ever performances on the PSA World Tour in the 11-3, 5-11, 15-13, 11-6 defeat.

With the scores tied at one-game-all a crucial tie-break in the third game ultimately determined the outcome as both men refused to give an inch in what was a brutal display of world class athleticism and shot-making. Despite having several game-ball opportunities, Mueller couldn't convert to establish a lead in the match and Elshorbagy made the most of the reprieve to storm home.

"In that third game I told myself not to give up because I knew whoever won that game would break the other player," said Elshorbagy.

"When I got the game ball opportunity I didn't want to let it go. I wanted to make sure that I didn't waste it because Nicolas played a great match and it was a very tough battle against him."

Defending champion Shabana, who became the oldest ever winner of a PSA World Series event when he won here aged 34 in 2014, kept alive his hopes of retaining the title with a 3-1 win over Australian Cameron Pilley while Momen got the better of Indian Saurav Ghosal, winning 3-1 in a mixed performance.

Momen was in masterful form as he stormed out of the blocks and found himself one-game up after just six minutes of action, extending his lead to 2-0 with little opposition, but a series of errors allowed Ghosal back into the match before he regained his composure to move into the last eight.

"I tried to stick to a more conservative game plan against Saurav than I normally would do," said Momen.

"He's such a fast player and we have very similar styles so mentally he is a tough opponent for me and he made it very hard for me today so I'm just really pleased that I managed to stick to my plan and get through."


Mohamed Elshorbagy, Amr Shabana and Tarek Momen, the World No.1, No.3 and No.7 respectively, came through their second round encounters

Tarek Momen


Amr Shabana

1st Round Bottom Half

Gaultier And Matthew Secure Second Round Spots In New York


English three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier, the man Matthew beat to claim two of his world crowns, moved one step closer to a potential semi-final showdown at the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after coming through their first round match-ups in Manhattan today.

In the opening PSA World Series event of 2015, taking place at the iconic Grand Central Terminal, the duo prevailed in strikingly different styles with Gaultier effortless against Hong Kong's Max Lee while Matthew was given a stern test by compatriot Daryl Selby.

After opening proceedings with a gut-busting rally that set the scene for what was to follow, the English pair served up a 70-minute battle of attrition that saw them trade blows with spectacular retrievals interspersed with pinpoint accurate winning shots but it was Sheffield-man Matthew who withstood an early Selby onslaught to complete a hard-earned 3-1 victory.

"That was a very tough match against Daryl today," said 34-year-old Matthew.

"When he moves well he is a top ten player without any doubt. He's had a few problems with his body over the past year but he's been moving well again recently so I knew it was going to be a tough one.

"In the first game it took me a little while to find my range. He came out with an aggressive plan, making it tough to break him down, and that game was crucial.

"If he'd snuck it then it would have been a very tough ask as he always seems to counter me well so I was pleased to get off in four at the end and I'll rest up tomorrow ready to return on Monday."

2014 Tournament of Champions runner-up Gaultier took 44-minutes to get past Lee and never looked troubled against the World No.16.

"I maybe relaxed a little bit in the second game and let him get into it but it was a good first round match for me as it was fast paced and really got my body working," said Gaultier.

"I had a few weeks off over Christmas but I was feeling fluid today so I'm happy with the win."

Earlier in the day German World No.10 Simon Rösner came through a thrilling encounter with Stephen Coppinger, the South African World No.18, to book his place in the second round.

Two of the most physically imposing players on the PSA World Tour, the duo tested each other to the brink in an mammoth 87-minute battle that saw them trading points in a continuous series of brutal, energy-sapping rallies.

Coppinger took first blood with a 12-10 win in the opening game but Rösner showed the battling spirit that has taken him into the top ten for the first time in his career to bounce back and secure an impressive 3-1 win, taking the match 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10.

"There were a lot of very tight decisions today and it was a tough match for both of us," said Rösner.

"Stephen is a top quality player and we've had some very tough battles in the past so I'm just really pleased to get through and win.

"I tried to play the match point by point and keep my focus all the way through and I'm just happy to still be in the tournament."

There were also victories for Omar Mosaad, Mathieu Castagnet, Peter Barker and Miguel Angel Rodriguez while qualifier Tom Richards pulled off the biggest upset of the day to knock out Alister Walker 3-0
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Women's Event

Click on Images for Larger View

Gregory Gaultier

Nick Matthew (above) and Peter Barker (below) go into round 2









Cameron Pilley (above) and Surav Ghosal (below) Safely Through To Round 2

1st Round Top Half

Defending Champion Shabana Steams Through In Grand Central


2014 champion Amr Shabana began the defence of his J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title in New York's stunning Grand Central Terminal today (Jan 16) with an impressive 3-0 win over Finland's Olli Tuominen.

Shabana was in sublime form as he dispatched his fellow 35-year-old 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 to move into the second round and set up an encounter with Cameron Pilley after the powerful Australian pulled off a 3-1 victory over Karim Abdel Gawad.

Shabana became the oldest ever winner of a PSA World Series event when he clinched the 2014 title with victory over French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and he'll be aiming to build on his own record in 2015 as he bids to win PSA World Tour title number 50.

"I'm feeling very good about the match today because you never really know how you're going to get on until you actually get on court," said Shabana.

"Olli is a fighter and he never gives you any points so I had to be focused today and I'm very happy to get the win.

"I went on holiday with my family over the Christmas break before getting back into training and I feel like it's starting to pay off. At my age you can't really step up training or anything ahead of events - it's all about putting in the effort and the hard work and I've been working hard every day to get my mind sharp and be ready for battle.

"Squash is a very tough sport and it's not the kind of sport where you can cruise along. You have to enjoy it and you have to be in there 100 per cent especially against the players these days so I'm just happy to be in the mix."

Earlier in the day World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy got off to a winning start in 2015, opening his campaign with a 3-0 victory over American wildcard Todd Harrity, in a repeat of their 2014 encounter, ending all hopes of home success in the process.

Harrity was the only US representative in the main draw and despite putting in a valiant performance against the Egyptian, in which he forced Elshorbagy to work hard to earn every point, he couldn't find enough in his locker to cause an upset and eventually fell to an 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 defeat.

Elshorbagy went 23-matches unbeaten in 2014, a run that saw him win four consecutive tournaments including the US Open and Hong Kong Open, before falling to Ramy Ashour during the final of the 2014 World Championships and he'll be keen to resume winning ways in the 'Big Apple' and will now face Swiss national champion Nicolas Mueller in the second round.

“I’m very happy to be back in New York and Todd has definitely improved since we played here last year,” said Elshorbagy.

“This is one of the best events we play on tour and the atmosphere is always fantastic so I’m looking forward to being on court again in a few days.”

Elsewhere there were wins for Chris Simpson, Tarek Momen and  while Spaniard Borja Golan survived a huge scare against qualifier Ong Beng Hee, coming from two-games down against the Malaysian to win 3-2 and move into the second round, which gets underway on Sunday.


Final Qualifying Round

Elias, Abouelghar and Salazar To Make Their Main Draw Debuts

A Peruvian player will grace the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions glass court for the first time when 18-year-old Diego Elias plays Mathieu Castagnet of France on Saturday afternoon. “It is a dream come , true,” said Elias after defeating Egyptian Mazen Hesham 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 in just 37 minutes to earn the trip to the squash tournament’s main draw and the majestic venue in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. After a scrappy victory in the prior round where he had to fight off three match balls, Elias was pleased to be in better form for his match with Hesham. “Last night’s match was tough, but it helped me get over my stress. I knew I couldn’t let him attack so I focused on playing the ball very tight to the wall and deep,“ said the only teenager to be make it into in the main draw.

Mexico’s Cesar Salazar and Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar defeated two Australians to also earn main draw debuts in the tournament considered to be one of the three majors on the international squash tour. Salazar eliminated Zac Alexander in four games and will take on Englishman Chris Simpson in the first round. Abouelghar defeated Ryan Cuskelly, also in in four games. Abouelghar and Cuskelly split the first two games of the match which featured high quality, classic squash. The third game, however, was more contentious as both players started feeling the pressure. It was Abouelghar who stepped up to meet the challenge, playing aggressive and attacking squash and hitting decisive winners from the center of the court. Abouelghar next plays countryman Omar Mosaad, world no. 9.

Veteran Ong Beng Hee earned a return trip to Grand Central by defeating Egypt’s Mohamed Reda. Beng Hee’s ball placement gave him the edge in a close three game contest between the two experienced veterans. The Malaysian plays seventh seed Borja Golan of Spain.

Frenchman Luca Serme got off to a spectacular start against Alan Clyne winning the first game 11-3. The Scotsman turned the tables in the second game, winning it by the identical score. Clyne’s relentless ball retrieval wore down the 22-year-old Serme who was completely spent by the time Clyne wrapped up the match in the fourth game. .Saurav Ghosal of India will be Clyne’s first round opponent. New Zealand's   Campbell Grayson played very patient, classic squash – straight low balls to the back of the court followed by short balls to the front corners – to defeat Mexico’s Alfredo Avila in four games. Grayson will be taking on Nicolas Mueller of Switzerland in his first round. Englishman Tom Richards’ experience carried the day in his qualifying encounter with India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar. Richards, who made it straight into the main draw at last year’s ToC, was undaunted by this return to the qualifying rounds ”I I love competing and I train to play match after match after match. So I just have to make sure I get up for it mentally,” the pragmatic 28-year-old said. ”And I did feel confident that I should qualify.” Richard’s first round opponent will be Alister Walker who represents Botswana and now calls Greenwich, Connecticut home after growing up in England.

England’s Joe Lee earned his ticket to Grand Central by defeating New Zealand’s Martin Knight. Lee faces world no. 8 Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia.
Qualifying Round 1

Teen Elias Elicits Victory, Serme Soars And Beng Hee Bounces Back

New York, NY – Jan. 14, 2015. A mix of veterans and new faces advanced in first round qualifying matches for the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the world’s largest spectator squash event,

On his very first visit to New York City, Lucas Serme enjoyed a day of sightseeing before earning a hard fought four-game victory over American Chris Gordon. With the partisan crowd at the Harvard Club cheering him on, Gordon snagged the first game 11-7. The second game was nip and tuck the whole way, as both players pushed each other to the four corners of the court. After Gordon couldn’t convert two game balls at 12-11 and 13-12, Serme closed out the game at 15-13. “I think the difference in the end was fitness,” said the 22-year-old Frenchman who closed out the match 11-6, 11-1. Serme’s next opponent will be Scotsman Alan Clyne who eliminated Faraz Khan in straight games.

In a 90-minute epic encounter, Peru’s 18-year-old Diego Elias, the 2014 World Junior Champion, fought back three match balls in the fourth game to defeat 22-year-old Greg Lobban of Scotland. Elias’ next opponent will another ToC newcomer, 20-year-old Mazen Hesham of Egypt, who attacked his way to victory as he defeated Malaysia’s Muhd Asyraf Azan in straight games, in just 24 minutes. Playing error free squash punctuated by deceptive holds, Hesham prevented his opponent from scoring a single point in the second game, and kept Azan constantly guessing as to where the ball might end up.

Veteran Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia, who won the 1998 World Junior title, played what he called “jet lagged squash” to defeat American Chris Hanson in four games. He will next take on Mohamed Reda who dropped the first game 14-16 to Shawn Delierre of Canada before winning the next three games in a 74-minute-contest. “The difference in the end was my shooting, “said Reda, who recently moved to Philadelphia from Egypt with his wife Engy and three month old son.

Englishmen Tom Richards and Joe Lee both advanced, with Richards next slated to play ToC first-timer Mahesh Mangaonkar of India while Lee takes on New Zealand’s Martin Knight. Cesar Salazar of Mexico meets Aussie Zac Alexander; Egyptian Mohd Abouelghar plays Aussie Ryan Cuskelly and Alfredo Avila of Mexico goes up against Campbell Grayson of New Zealand.



Shabana Relishing Return To New York For ToC


35-year-old, four-time World Champion Amr Shabana says he is relishing the prospect of returning to New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal for the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and the scene of his last major PSA World Series triumph.

The Egyptian, dubbed the 'Maestro' by his peers, put in an impeccable performance in 2014 to get past current World No.4 Nick Matthew and World No.2 Gregory Gaultier en-route to the title and he's hoping to find his rhythm again in 2015 as he returns to one of his favourite venues.

"Starting the new year at the TOC is very exciting especially because it is the first major of the year and I have had some good memories there over the years there," said Shabana.

"Playing the TOC in Grand Central is a great experience. I am always excited to step onto the court for this event because there's always a huge number of people who are exposed to the court, and a large gallery of fans, and you can feel the anticipation and excitement in the crowd.

"Winning the TOC title in 2014 was very important for me. I had been putting in a lot of time training leading up to that point, with no real success, and that win was a reminder for me that hard work does pay off."

Shabana goes into the 2015 edition ranked World No.3, his highest ranking on the PSA World Tour since October 2010, but he says he can't get too far ahead of himself in what is the first major tournament of 2015.

"I've been working a lot on the body and mind over the recent holidays and keeping healthy and injury free is my main priority," he said.

"I'm not looking at retaining the title anymore than anybody else in the draw who's looking to win it for the first time.

"You know it's going to be five tough rounds competing against the best in the world if you are going to be in with a chance of going all the way so you have to take each round as it comes and give it everything."

Shabana begins his campaign against Finnish No.1 Olli Tuominen on Friday January 16.

Tickets for the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions range in price from $8 to $170 and may be purchased at Patron packages are also available at

Willstrop Ruled Out Of Tournament of Champions


Former World No.1 James Willstrop, the 31-year-old Englishman who underwent surgery on a hip operation in September 2014, has been ruled out of the upcoming 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions following a setback to his injury recovery.

The 2010 Tournament of Champions winner and two-time runner-up had targeted a return to action at the 2015 staging of the iconic event, which takes place in the unique backdrop of New York's Grand Central Terminal, but hasn't been able to complete his recovery in time.

Willstrop's withdrawal is however good news for Frenchman Gregoire Marche, the 2014 French national champion, as it sees him gain automatic entry into the main draw to take on England's World No.6 Peter Barker while German World No.10 Simon Rösner moves up the seedings to occupy the position vacated by Willstrop.

"We are disappointed, as we know James is, that he will miss this year's Tournament of Champions,” said Tournament Chairman John Nimick.

"James is a great friend of the tournament and of our charities StreetSquash and CitySquash. Perhaps one of the younger players will make his big breakthrough here, just as James did when he was 19-years-old and defeated several top-seeded players to establish himself as a contender."

The amended J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions Draw is:

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Qualifier]
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [6] Borja Golan (ESP)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v [4] Amr Shabana (EGY)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Qualifier]
Alister Walker (BOT) v [Qualifier]
Max Lee (HKG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

World Champion Ashour Out Of Tournament Of Champions
2014 PSA World Champion Ramy Ashour, the maverick Egyptian who stunned squash fans to win a magnificent third world title in Qatar in November 2014, has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, PSA World Series event, due to injury.
After enduring an injury-plagued 12 months, Ashour appeared to have conquered his injury-demons following his World Championship victory but has been forced out of the ToC, the opening PSA World Series event of 2015 which takes place in New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal from January 16 - 23, with a knee-meniscus injury.
As a result, Ashour's first round opponent Tarek Momen will now face England's Adrian Waller, who gains automatic entry into the main draw following Ashour's withdrawal, in the first round.
Tournament Chairman and Director John Nimick said; "Like all squash fans, I am saddened that Ramy will not have the opportunity to go for his fourth career ToC title this year, but I am excited about the depth and strength of the men's draw and have no doubt ToC '15 will be tremendous.  
"We look forward to seeing Ramy Ashour on court again in Grand Central Terminal next year."

2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions - Entry List
(1) Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) - World No.1
(2) Gregory Gaultier (FRA) - World No.2
(3) Nick Matthew (ENG) - World No.3
(4) Amr Shabana (EGY) - World No.4
(5) Ramy Ashour (EGY) - World No.5
(6) Peter Barker (ENG) - World No.6
(7) Borja Golan (ESP) - World No.7
(8) James Willstrop (ENG) - World No.8
(9) Tarek Momen (EGY) - World No.9
(10) Simon Rösner (GER) - World No.10
(11) Omar Mosaad (EGY) - World No.11
(12) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) - World No.12
(13) Daryl Selby (ENG) - World No.13
(14) Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) - World No.14
(15) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) - World No.15
(16) Max Lee (HKG) - World No.16
(17) Nicolas Mueller (SUI) - World No.17
(18) Cameron Pilley (AUS) - World No.18
(19) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) - World No.19
(20) Stephen Coppinger (RSA) - World No.21
(21) Chris Simpson (ENG) - World No.22
(22) Saurav Ghosal (IND) - World No.23
(23) Alister Walker (BOT) - World No.25
(24) Wildcard) Todd Harrity (USA) - World No.73

Tickets for the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions range in price from $8 to $170 and may be purchased at Patron packages are also available at


Ramy Ashour winner 2014 but out of 2015 Tournament

World's Elite To Descend On Grand Central Terminal


Egyptian World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy will head a star-studded field when the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, PSA World Series event, gets underway in the iconic location of Grand Central Terminal in New York on Friday January 16.

The biggest spectator squash event in the world, the Tournament of Champions has been a staple on the PSA circuit since 1993 and is regularly watched by over 200,000 spectators during its week-long occupancy of Grand Central's stunning Vanderbilt Hall. Fans will be treated to yet more world class action in 2015 when 32 of the world's best players will descend on the 'Big Apple'.

Elshorbagy is joined in the line-up by the man who beat him to the 2014 PSA World Squash Championship title, World No.5 Ramy Ashour, who will be gunning for his fourth ToC title, alongside the likes of four-time World Champion and defending Tournament of Champions title-holder Amr Shabana, three-time World Champion Nick Matthew from England and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, winner of the 2009 title.

With the top 18 PSA-ranking players, and 23 of the world’s top 25 entered in the main draw, the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will see the PSA World Series get off to a blockbuster start in one of the most impressive venues in the world of sports.

"The J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions has always been an extraordinary championship because of the depth of the draw, and 2015 entry list is exceptional. We are looking forward to an exhilarating and intense week of competition here in New York," said tournament promoter John Nimick, President of Event Engine, Inc.

"Then 34-year-old Amr Shabana showed us just how tight the competition is on the PSA World Tour is when he secured a stunning victory here last year to win his third Tournament of Champions title. With the level set to be even higher in 2015, there is no venue better suited than the spectacular Grand Central Terminal to showcase that competition."

Further WSA Prize-Fund Boost Brings Parity For ToC

Promoters of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions have confirmed that the total prize-fund for the Women's Squash Association championship in 2015 will nearly double in size to $118,000 to ensure prize money parity for participants at the world's largest spectator squash event which will be held in New York in January.

The 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will take place for the 18th year at New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal, from 16-23 January.

"Thanks to JP Morgan and their commitment to make the Tournament of Champions a worldwide leader in squash, we are thrilled to make this added commitment to the women's division for 2015 and to plan for prize money parity and draw size equality in 2016 and beyond," confirmed Tournament Chairman John Nimick, President of Event Engine, Inc.

The 2015 men's purse will pay $150,000 to 32 main draw players, while the newly-increased women's purse will pay out to 20 players, ensuring parity on a round-by-round basis.

WSA CEO Tommy Berden is delighted with the breakthrough news: "We are very thankful to John Nimick and JP Morgan for their support and their gigantic efforts to almost triple last year's prize money for the women's draw.

"These are exciting times for women's squash and we are looking forward to working even more extensively with John and JP Morgan in the future."

The Tournament of Champions has been a staple on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) circuit since 1993 and is regularly watched by more than 200,000 spectators during its week-long occupancy of Grand Central's stunning Vanderbilt Hall. With entries confirmed, in both the 32 player men's and 16 player women's main draws, spectators can look forward to an action-packed week of competition as the 2015 championships include virtually all of the top ranking players in the world.

The 2015 WSA championship has already attracted 18 of the world's top 20 women, led by defending champion Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia, and including world No.2 Laura Massaro (ENG), No.3 Raneem El Welily (EGY), 4 Nour El Sherbini (EGY), 5 Alison Waters (ENG), 6 Camille Serme (FRA), 7 Low Wee Wern (MAS), 8 Nour El Tayeb (EGY), 9 Annie Au (HKG) and world No.10 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY).

For all the latest WSA Tour news:







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