Four-times world champion says he is still hungry for more success in Qatar
By NATHAN CLARKE – Squash Mad PSA Correspondent
Four-time World Champion Amr Shabana, one of the most successful squash players of all-time, says he’s hungry to add a fifth title to his name ahead of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship which get under way in Doha on Friday.
The 35-year-old from Cairo, who now resides in Toronto, became the first Egyptian player ever to win the prestigious title when he beat Thierry Lincou in the 2003 final. Having gone on to become only the fourth man in history to win the title four times, he says he’s hungry for more.
“Winning the World Championship is huge as the title is the biggest in our sport,” said Shabana.
“As a kid I used to daydream of playing the World Championship against the top guys so to actually win it once, and to be the first Egyptian to win it after all the amazing Egyptians that played before me, is something I am still proud of today.
“But I’m not going to this year’s ever just to show up. I’m going to try and win – whether that results in me losing first round or winning it is unknown, but I will try my best going in to each match.
“As long as the mind and body are still healthy then I’m confident going in to this event.”
Having beaten current World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and World No.5 Ramy Ashour to the title in 2007 and 2009, respectively, Shabana knows exactly what it takes to lift the coveted trophy and he says the battle between Gaultier, current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and defending World Champion Nick Matthew to top the PSA World Rankings this year could play a huge role in the outcome of the Worlds.
“To win the World Championship it takes a few factors to all fall in to place in that week,” said Shabana.
“You need to train hard and be ready for the competition and you need to focus on each round as it comes because everyone there will be just as prepared as you.
“I just treat it as any other tournament but I know the rankings can have a huge effect in those situations. It shows and reflects how well you played through the year but it can drain you or push you forward as well and we’ll see if there’s been any effect next week.”
The 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship takes place at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar fromFriday November 14 – Friday November 21 with the action to be shown live on SquashTV: www.psasquashtv.com.