the Tournament of Champions, here in this venue, is an amazing
feeling and I feel absolutely fantastic right now.
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.
I had a great week here and I gave it all that I could. I gave
beyond 100 per cent.
can't believe it.
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.
 Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1
 Nour El Sherbini 11-7,
7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (49m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0  Sarah-Jane Perry
11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
This match was so different from
yesterday. Nour is so talented, if you give her the time to
attack, you are dead. I had to up the pace to take the time away
from her and prevent her from playing her shots. I was just
trying to play fast and strongÖ
Iíve been working on my shots a lot for the last few months, and
I have to keep working if I want to match up and play like the
Egyptian girls, but Iím on the right trackÖ
Men PSA Reports: Gaultier Wins Bizarre Clash With ElShorbagy
In one of the most bizarre matches ever seen in Grand Central
Terminal it was Gregory Gaultier, World No.3, who emerged
victorious in a crunch battle with Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach
the 2017 ToC title-decider with a perormance straight out of
The Frenchman, as fired up as ever seen, strutted around court
during the first two games as he dominated proceedings, playing
with pace, precision, control and guile at a breakneck pace,
exhaling the crowd with every point as he gesticulated with
He was on course for a straight forward 3-0 win when, at 8-7 up
in the third, a pivotal decision from the video referee,
incorrectly calling a reviewed pickup good, he capitulated. And
it was Jekyll and Hyde as the Gaultier of game one and two
vanished to be replaced by a new incarnation, unable to strike
clean as ElShorbagy pounced. Drama ensued as well as Gaultier
took an injury break to treat an injury to his left glute and he
looks to be on the way home after losing the fourth 4-11.
But in the fifth game the match turned again. A stunned Gran
Central, silenced by what they were witnessing, watched on as
Gaultier, playing on one leg, displayed all the traits of his
ĎGeneralí moniker as he resumed total control. And he win
through to a huge roar as he took the fifth 11-7 courtesy of a
sumptuous crosscourt winner.
I felt my glute go during my
match with Tarek and it was sore this morning - but after
warming up today it was fine and I had no problem in those
first two games.
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
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
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.
Men  Karim Abdel Gawad3-1  Simon RŲsner (Ger) 2-11, 11-9, 11-5,
11-8 (52m)  Gregory Gaultier
3-1 Tarek Momen
11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (60m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0
 Marwan ElShorbagy
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (44m)
in the last quarters, James beat Paul 3/1
The plan was to slow
down the pace. I was just trying to stay in the rally and
hang out in there, itís like getting punched, and you try and
Nouran beat me twice last year in very tough five game battles -
I think it was 11-9 and 11-8 in the fifth on both occasions - so
I knew it would be hard today.
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.
It was such a battle, mentally, physically, she hits the ball so
hard, but Iím glad because she gave me the will to fight, Iíve
been focusing on that game for months, and I think I can see my
improvement on that type of game, that was such an incredible
match to play.
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.
"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
Iím really happy to sneak the win
Ė it was very important for me to win that match today.
I played Nicol a lot of times, she is the best player ever. What
she achieved in her career is amazing, and nobody has ever
achieved what she did. Every time I play Nicol, I feel like Iím
the contender, that Iíve got nothing to lose, and that she is
the top player, I guess thatís why Nicol gets the best out of
The fourth game was really important for me. I really wanted to
finish it, but it was point for point. It was a question of who
would make a single error would lose the game. Nicol came back
very strong in the 4th, I was trying to finish it, but I really
But Iím glad I was able to finish it in the 5th, I gave it
everything I had, that last game was really hard, for both of
us, physically, mentally.
Beating a player of her calibre at any point is special. This is
the first time Iíve been the defending champion at a World
Series tournament, so itís a new challenge and Iím just giving
everything to make sure I play as well as I can.
I feel like my game is getting better with every match and my
confidence is growing so hopefully I can produce another good
Iím really happy with the way I played today, looking forward to
the next round.
The Frenchgirl wanted her revenge. Badly. She was beaten three
out of the four times they played, last two matches were huge
matches in 5Ö And Cam wanted it bad, was ready mentally for it Ė
think Mohamed Elshorbagy the first time he played James after
being beaten in the Worlds in SeattleÖ.
Camille dominated the first game, being very strong on the
backhand volley drop shot in particular, and controlling the T.
Nouran never seemed to get in the match, 4/1, 7/3, 10/4, 11/5 in
But Nouran is famously a slow starter. She takes her time
feeling the weaknesses of her opponent, and grinds her.
Logically, she was up for it in the second, not a point between
the players from 0/0 to 8/8, Nouran finding some powerful
accurate length that Camille couldnít save, 11/9 in 9m.
The third is huge, 25 minutes, you read well, 25m! Itís a weird
one, that logically, Nouran should have won. Did she relax a bit
up 8/3, having scored 8 points in a row? Camille woke up, slowed
down the pace, found her front and back corner, taking the pace
off the ballÖ 8/8, 9/9, Nouran saves a game ball at 10/9, will
have 2 game balls of her own, 11/10, 12/11, but itís the
Frenchgirl that clinches that crucial one, 14/12.
Thatís the turning point.
Even if Nouran never gave up, far from it, Camille now had the
belief she could overcome Nouranís power. 6/6. 7/7. 8/7, stroke
Cam, overturned let. 9/7, stroke Cam, overturned let. 9/9, itís
still possible for the young Egyptian, but the confidence is in
the French camp, and itís 11/9 in 17mÖ
The English never gave a chance to Omneya to get into the first
game, 7m, 11/4. A much better performance in the second one,
Onny steps in front, reads the ball well, finds the corners and
put a lot of pressure on her opponent. Laura is always a couple
of points ahead, but Omneya is right in there. At 6/9, it seems
over, especially when Laura gets three game balls, 10/7. But
Omneya finds her best game, save those three game balls, to
force a tie-break, 10/10. Still Laura gets that crucial second,
12/10, in 13m.
Mountain is a bit high 2/0 down against a player of Lauraís
calibre, unforced errors creep in (Omneya did 10 the whole
match, not bad really) 5/2, 10/4, 2 match balls saved but itís
too little too late, 11/6 LauraÖ.
In a few years, this is a match people will say
"I watched it". It was one of those battles that prove Squash
doesn't have to be nasty and open war to reach a sublime level.
Those two girls were fierce, gave everything and more, dig in,
pushed themselves, but in the respect and fairness. No cheating.
No double bounces. No pushing. No blocking. Fairplay and
Nour hadn't impressed in her first two rounds, and the general
conscientious was that Nicol was due a win. A warm court,
perfect for Nicol, hungry and probably not ecstatic being down
to WR7. But Nour whizzed in that opener with apparently no
pressure at all, zooming at 7/1, 8/3, taking the game 11/5 in
Nicolís response was immediate. Finding her backhand attacks,
Nic zoomed to 4/0, 6/1. Still, Nour, moving exceptionally well,
clawed back to 6/6. At that point a huge rally that seems to
take a lot from the Egyptian, and itís Nicol the whole way to
Nicol seemed a bit out of sort in the 3rd, making
uncharacteristic 6 unforced errors Ė well, under pressure really
Ė for 0 to Nour. From 5/5, itís all about Nour, 11/6 in 9m.
The 4th is one to put on Nicís Hall of Fame when she retires, in
10 or 15 years. She goes up 5/0. Some truly brutal rallies, with
both girls leaving their blood on the floor (itís a image, donít
panic) and itís back at 7/7. 9/9. Nic gets a game ball 10/9, but
a kill saves it. A match ball for Nour, saved by a stroke.
Another game ball for Nic at 12/11, a lovely squeeze on the
forehand takes care of it. And a 2nd match ball for Nour, 13/12,
again that lethal backhand volley drop shot from Nic.
A remarkable incredible rally, ended with a ďNicolawyĒ volley
reflex, even Nicol smiles, sets up a 3rd game back for the
Malaysian, and a Ref Video decision stroke gives her the 19m
have to say I thought that Nicol was done at the start of the
5th, she looked tired Ė I didnít write those words often Ė 5/1
Nour. But Nicol, 10 times world Champ, digs in, and claws back
to 7/8. A huge huge huge rally, ending on a superb backhand
crosscourt, 9/7. But if Nicol manages to come back so close 8/9,
she clips the tin, third match ball, 10/8. This time, Nour
closes it, 11/8, 9m.
I truly and utterly wished there was no loser to that one.
What a match, what a start of the day! When a promoter packs in
10 match on the glasscourt and a warm one as well, you really
want to start the day with 70m match bless them!
Salma, full of confidence and hungry as it comes, was Miss
GoldenBackhand today. Basically, every attack on that side Ė
with very few exceptions Ė found the nick and truly put Nour
under tremendous pressure. A Nour that seemed not to move in and
out of the front corner as quickly as she would have wished, and
never relaxed or able to impose frankly her game.
First game, excellent start from Nour, 5/2, 8/5, but the
backhand of Salma truly dented Nourís confidence and attacks,
and the contender zoomed with 6 points up to 11/8, 10m.
Second game, not a point between the girls from 3/3 to 9/9, Nour
finally getting two vicious forehand drive kills to finish it in
For the third, Nour produced tin as she was paid for it,
allowing Salma to get a serious advance, 5/1, then 7/4. Nour
feeling the danger closed it down to 7/7, 9/9. She needed 3 game
balls to clinch that game Ė Salma never got a chance to close it,
13/11 in 16m
A little fright for Salma at the star of the 4th, as she bangs
her head against the wall as she goes for a shot. A little
interruption, but ďplus de peur que de malĒ all is well that
ends well, and back we are on court.
From 3/3, Salma gives it a big push and takes a comfortable lead,
7/3, 9/7. Nour doesnít want a 5th game, digs in, 9/9. Two game
balls for Salma, but itís the World number 1 that clinches that
last game, 24 very long minutes, 13/11Ö
At times scrappy, at times sublime, World No.2 Nouran Gohar did
just enough to scrape into the last eight in New York and defeat
compatriot Nour El Tayeb in 56 minute battle to set up a
quarter-final match with Camille Serme.
Gohar quickly found herself on the defensive and doing
everything in her power to avoid defeat to El Tayeb. With a huge
contrast in styles Ė Gohar the power-puncher, El Tayeb tout en
finesse Ė it was the elder Tayeb who struck the first blow,
winning the opener 11-9. But Gohar took the second for the loss
of a solitary point, after El Tayeb appeared to have aggravated
a back muscle - she had asked for the physio at the end of the
first game -to level and set up what looked like an easy win.
the momentum was with the Junior World Champion in the 3rd, when
a few strange decisions from the ref seemed to fire up Nour, who
from 2/6, 3/7 down managed to clinch the 14m 11/8, scoring 7
points in a row!
There was not much between them in the 4th up to the middle of
the game, where Nouran produced a few of her killer lenghts
dying at the back, 11/6 in 9m. Same story in teh 5th really,
close up to 6/6, but Nouran finding her groove at the end.
Interesting stat, 5 unforced errors for Nouran, 17 for Nour...
It had to play a part here...
Nouran will now face Frenchwoman and US Open winner
Camille Serme for a semi after the Frenchwoman killed off Joshna
in less than 30m....
is a great player, she beat me last time in the British Open
2015, and it was on my mind, I wanted to get my revenge.
She played really well today, she kept getting everything, when
I upped the pace, she kept with me, she made me feel that she
had no trouble getting the ball, she was relaxed, and made it
So it was not easy at all, I had to focus on every single shot.
Holding my shots doesn't come easy, I have to weigh all the
different choices, and it
messes with my head!
So sometimes I have to play some straight forward squash, I try
to mix it up.
When she slipped, I knew that she hurt herself, but I kept
saying to myself that it was an act, I had to convinced my mind
that it was just an act to be able to stick to my game, not to
feel sorry, or simply relax thinking "oh, she is injured".
So I convinced myself the match was still going, and that I had
to finish it. Only when I hear match ball, and then 11 something,
that's when I can relax.
Now, I'm just going to relax and recover, Laura is a great
player, she beat me the last, well, how many times!!! I'll keep
it in mind, focus on my match, focus on my game plan, and try
and reverse the result tomorrow Inshallah.
"Salma and I played a lot a lot of
times, weíve been playing in the same club since the age of 5!
We practice a lot together, we travel a lot together, and I know
her game very well! She is very skilful, she can drop from
anywhere in the court.
So it was very hard for me, a very tricky match. I was glad I
could finish in the end, but every game was a tie-break, it
wasnít easy at all.
We are friends and sisters before being opponents so when she
hit her head [at the start of the 4th] I was worried about her,
and I wanted to know if she was ok. And you know, we had a lot
of lets during that match, but itís because we care about each
other and we donít want to hurt each otherÖ"
For sure playing Nour second round
is unfair for any player, she is a great player, she was a top 5
before her surgery, she is so tough to play.
We have really different style of play, I like to play fast
pace, hit the ball hard, ruuuuuuunnnnnÖ. Nour has got really
good hands, and she was trying to take off the pace, so it was
the case of who would play better, and impose her game.
We are a lot in Egypt! Nour is 4 years older than me, but we are
always training together, playing a lot and itís a bonus for us
to have so many talented players, and thatís why we are not too
bad in squash!
With Camille, we player 5 setters every time, in about 80m, so
Iím sure it will be a great match for the crowd tomorrow, and
may the best player win..
"I think people enjoy watching us
but it's not fun competing against each other and it's hard for
everyone in the family.
"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
"The crowd here make it very special and they show us some great
support so I'm looking forward to the next round."
Disappointed to lose to my bro in 3 games.. he kinda gave me a
squash lesson which I learnt a lot from!
Went down 11-9 in the fifth
against Gawad. Overall happy with how I've played this week,
just a bummer not to get the win today!
Cameron Pilley on Twitter
I lost to Steve a couple of times
before, he is a real great player and he's been playing really
well recently, he's had a great tournament in December in
London. He is always giving a hard time to the top players, so I
knew how hard this match would be.
I wasn't playing really badly in the first, Steve was too good.
He didn't give me any chance to get into the match, all credit
to him. I knew I had to slow it down a little bit, play a little
bit tighter as he was staying in front of me at the start of the
game. I wanted to play the T away from him,
He plays at a really fast pace, so I got a little bit tried in
the third game, but I was happy with the way I delt with it
mentally and I came back very strong in the 4th.
But it was tough, the third game could have gone either way, it
was stricky, the third was very important today, it was the key
of the match. Glad I won that one.
It was a tough match and I'm happy to win it, a victory against
Cops is a good win, any day of the week.
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.
happy and satisfied today with my performance and reach another
quarterfinal here. Will be up against my brother for our second
battle this season.
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.
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 Shabana and Greg 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.
Cameron Pilley doesnít need
introduction, he is one of the most experienced players on tour,
he started playing on tour before I started playing, he is very
experienced and very tough to play.
It was the 4th time I was playing him, and each time, it went to
five, so today I was expecting a very tough match. Pilley is
very talented, very strong and nice hands, very good physically,
he is always tough to play.
To win today, I had about 4 plans to get through the match! Omar
Abdel Aziz, my coach, told me different plans, and finally one
of them worked!
Iím happy to have a rest day tomorrow, to get fresh for the
quarters, and ready to play.
very sluggish start for Marwan in the first, nearly slow motion,
with Cops full blast firing from all guns!
A good response in the 2nd, 9/1, 11/2 in 6m for the Egyptian.
Hard work produced in the 3rd, from 6/2 up, Marwan was pushed to
visit the court so many times, excellent squash from Steve
making the court very big for his opponent. 7/7, 8/8, but Marwan
finds some lovely shots and closes it down, 11/8 in 19m.
The fourth is very close the whole way up to 6-6, suddenly Cops
makes error upon error, offering the match to his opponent, only
too happy to oblige!!!
An incredible performance from
Tarek, from start to finish, 1 error the whole match, calm,
composed, and believing in himself against 13 errors for Omar
that never seemed to be completely in the match.
Iím over the moon with my performance.
Iíve been trying to come back for a while now, I had some set
backs. But I am feeling pretty good about my game for a week, a
few months now and Iím just trying to enjoy it as much as
As for Omar, those of you who are not Egyptian citizens, you
have no idea of the kind of rivalry we had, literally weíve been
competing since we are 8 years old. Weíve been the top of our
age group, weíve always been close, none of us has been dominant
on the other one.
There was much greater pressure in our matches then. For a long
time, we didn't even speak to each other!We are good friends now.
For the past 20 years, there has never been more than an inch
So for me, getting a 3/0 victory against him today is just
unbelievable. Last year, I lost against him 3 times, a couple of
times 3/0, and a 3/2 while I was 2/0 up. So I needed a win you
knowÖ Iím so glad I made it todayÖ
I wish Omar all the best, he is a great player, he should know
that he has what it takes to make it back. Itís just a little
set back and Iím sure heíll come back much stronger.
The turning point was Al-Ahram back in September. I had to take
a step back and reassess what was happening in my squash. I was
training so hard, but I was not playing as well as I should
So I took some time off, revaluated things, and made things in
my team. So now Iím blessed with a great team, my squash coach,
Haitham Effat who is here with me, my fitness coach, Samy Farrag,
Mohamed Abbas, coaching me at Gezirah Club as well. This team
has been doing great things for me. Thankfully, Iím getting
better and better every day.
Of course, there is my wife, Raneem, she is my support system,
sheís been with me all the way, sheís seen some really tough
times with me, without her help, without her support, not only
her, but my mum and dad, my sister, my family, my close friends
back home.. Without them, I wouldnít have been able to make it
so far. Thanks ever so much.
PSAReports: 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
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.
is a good player, she is a tough one to play, her basic game is
so, so good, and then, she can play a really great drop shot,
she beat me like three weeks ago in my homeclub as well, so I
was very focused to take my revenge today!
Last time we played, I couldnít play my basic game, and if you
give Hania a loose ball, you are done! She will smack it back,
like a really good drive and then if you get it back, sheíll
find a really good drop shot as well in the nick. So you have to
focus 100% for every shot. Add to that she is a very good runner
So I was trying to push her into the corners, really far, and
then putting my drop shots in. And not thinking about wining,
just shots, wait for the next shot and think the next one is
going to win it. And thatís why I won today.
I used to be the younger one who plays the old ones, and I
remember the feeling I had when I was playing them, and now, my
turn to play the young ones, itís tough to play younger players,
especially from your own countryÖ. Itís the karma that comes
A very mature start for Mayar who was making her apperance
here for the first time on the glass court, and as most of the
talented Egyptians coming up, she went fearless, 5/1, taking
Nouran to the throat, and forcing actuall 4 errors out of her!
Still, Nouran calmed her nerves, 6/6.
Again Mayar attacked, a little bit ahead, 8/6, 9/7, but Nouran's
power and experience spoke, two stroke for the World Junior
Champion from 9/9, 11/9 in 9m.
The second was pretty straight forward, 7m, 11/7 for Gohar, but
the third was closer up to 4/4, again, a few strokes for Nouran
as Mayar failed to clear the ball quick enough, and 11/6 in
On a personal note I feel that Mayar is not taking advantage of
her height and power, she would benefit from volleying more...
But what do I know...
There is more pressure coming into the event as
defending champion Ė it's really hard and it's a
It's the first tournament of the year after a big gap
since the World Team in November. So you have to be
focused and mentally steady, also physically. But I'm
really happy with the way I handle that first round.
You always want to play your best, and in the first
match, you make sure that every shot is the best you can
play. So the fact I only played four errors is really
giving me confidence for my next match, as I feel I'm
mentally and physically good.
Mayar and I play in the same club, Wadi
Degla, since we are 10 years old! Weíve been playing all
the finals, National Finals, BJO semis and finalsÖ
She is a really tough opponent to play and Iím really
glad Iím through.
Hong Kong was like a fairytale for meÖ Meeting Nicol,
Laura, all the great players, after the world Juniors
was unbelievable. But I was trying not to put too much
pressure on myself, I still try not to as I play my best
squash when Iím relaxed, Iím playing freely, Iím playing
better and today, it workedÖ.
was back in Wadi Degla at the start of November that Ali played
his last competitive match, before going under surgery for a
hernia that had been troubling him for months. It was not his
dad that performed the surgery - he is one of the best
orthopedics surgeon in Egypt - but still, the surgery went well.
Still, recovery took time, no squash or event hitting the ball
for weeks. So it's truly exceptionnal to see Ali not only
competiting so soon but also moving so well - although he seemed
a bit cautious when he was pushing to the front and slipped a
few times as he didnt put his right foot as he normally does.
In front of him, one of the rising stars of Hong Kong, who I
truly discovered back in Seattle for the Worlds last year.
Quick, clever, so fast to move and a lethal crosscourt kill
midcourt that truly hurt the Egyptian today.
It was a mental battle today, as Ali kept drifting in and out of
the match, dominating completely only to see his opponent
capitalising on a few tactical or execution errors....
First game, Ali was cruising 5/0, 6/1, only to be caught up 7/7,
up 9/7, 10/8, and despite three game balls, it's the HK player
that takes it in 12m, 13/11.
Second again, Ali is up 6/2, Yip comes up 5/6 but the Egyptian
closes it down and takes it in 8m, 11/6, the 6 unforced errors
from Yip helped...
The Egyptian keeps going with the same momentum in the third,
11/5 in 7m, from 5/1 6/3, but it all goes out of the window in
the 4th, focus gone, and Yip finding some exquisite balance
between short and deep, 7/2, 9/3, 10/5. Ali tries and come back,
but too little too late, 11/8, 10m.
The 5th is close up to the middle, 5/5, 6/6, but there again,
the unforced errors creep in for the HK players (6 in that one)
and it's 11/6 finally for the world number 7....
Nothing comes easy, even in the first round. Yip is such a great player,
he's got a very lean technique and he's got all the shots in the
So it was very tough playing him today, especially as it's my
first tournament after the break, so I'm quite happy to get a
I feel fine, the body is ok, its more in my head, and all it
needs is matches to get back in it. It's a new challenge, and I
love it. I love having new challenges, and hopefully, it's going
to improve as the tournament goes on.
I always go into a match not at a top 10 player, but as the
underdog, and I just play my best to try and win the match. I
don't care about ranking that much to be honest, I just want to
have good matches, and the results will come.
played each other since we were kids and we've always had tough
matches so I knew it wouldn't be easy today.
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.
Gave it everything last night but lost to the better player
@Karimsamy91 wish him luck next match.
arrived here full of the confidence that comes from giving Ramy
Ashour a very good run for his money, and beating the World
number 1 in the last event of 2016, reaching the semis of 100K
Marwan on the opposite was beaten 3/0 by compatriot Tarek Momen
in the quarters of that same event, and was not happy with that
turn of events, especially as his sponsor was watching and
sponsoring the tournament!
So, confidence against hunger. Tonight, hunger won. A good
match, with Marwan dominating the first two games, taking the
opportunities away from Daryl and forcing a very high unforced (uncharacteristic)
errors out of him. Third, change of tactics for the Englishman,
better lenght/width, able to attack in a better position, and
putting finally the Egyptian under pressure.
A bit of a scrappy 4th, very tense, a few too many calls,
nothing between the players up to 7/7, but Marwan too confident
at that point, and it's 11/8 in the longest game of the match,
Richards, probably one of the most gifted of the English players,
whose career has been riddled by numerous injuries, like
somebody we know... He started extremely well against the
ChannelVas St George's Runner Up in the opener, 5/3, only to see
Tarek score 7 points in a row, and take the game in 7m, 11/6.
A better start for Tarek in the second, 3/1, with Tom finding
confidence and accuracy again, 4/4, 5/5, and even up 7/5. But
Tarek felt the danger, stepped up the court, 7/7, 8/8, but Tom
quite rightly took that game, 11/8 in 9m.
Tarek was on fire basically the next two games, never gave a
sniff to his opponent, 7/1, 11/5 and 5/1, 11/2....
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.
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
Last time I played
against Mohamed, I won three one, so i was thinking about that
Abouelghar is a talented player and he played really well. I had
put my tactics in place with my coaches, and I think I did a
great job today.
I tried and focused 100% every point, I tried and saved my
energy for next round, so I'm really happy to make it in three.
Truly looking forward to the next match.
I think that
tonight, I played a similar game to his, I probably did it much
better than him in the first two games, and then he stepped it
up in the 3rd game, he started to move me around, I felt a bit
in trouble, I had to do something in the 4th game, I was sort of
using that slow pace in the first two games, and I had to play a
little faster in the 4th game.
Every time I get on court, I just want to make the most of it, I
just want to be satisfied with my game, whether win or lose. Iím
just happy to win my first match, and hopefully, I can keep it
"too slow out the blocks today,Xmas break took away the match
sharpness! Got better as it went on, disappointed to lose but
Marwan too solid" Daryl Selby on Twitter
I was trying to be
a bit more patient as everyone has been criticising me as I
attack too soon, so I try to be a little more disciplined. And I
think I am, in a way..
But maybe because I'm a little fast, so it doesn't really bother
me to go to the front a bit early on, like it can bother other
players, as I feel I can cover the court a little bit better,
but still, it's always good to have a good balance.
So I can't keep on hitting to the front immediately, as most
players would attack me and it would make it very difficult for
me on the court. I've tried to get better...
As ever, it all depends on the error count! Some days, I have a
very high error count, and it sort of puts me into trouble. But
today, I think I did pretty well [only 9].
I think that Tom had a tough match yesterday, he must have felt
the effects half way throught the match, so I made sure I
capitalise on this. Tough for him to back it up every day.
That's a bit of an advantage for the main draw players.
Declan played very,
very well out there. 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.