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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Diego Elias lifts U.S. Open title but says “I don’t know how to feel” after Ali Farag quits with an early injury

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

Diego Elias lifted his first U.S. Open men’s title in the early hours of this morning but admitted he didn’t know how to feel after top seed Ali Farag quit after just two minutes of the final because of injury.

World No.4 Elias and women’s World No.1 Nouran Gohar captured the 2022 U.S. Open titles at Philadelphia’s Arlen Specter US Squash Center, with Gohar beating world champion Nour El Sherbini (see separate report).

The history books will show that Elias has become the first Peruvian to win the tournament, but his contest with two-time champion Farag was cut short after just two minutes due to an injury to the Egyptian.

Farag, a winner in 2017 and 2019, was carrying a knee problem sustained during his semi-final match with World No.8 Marwan ElShorbagy.

It was clear that he couldn’t move properly during the first couple of rallies and he stunned the crowd by shaking hands with his opponent and leaving the court.

“I’m happy but I just don’t know how to feel,” Elias said after being presented with his second Platinum title for his third tournament win of 2022 and the 12th PSA title of his career.

Diego Elias phones home to share his news with his family

Earlier in the week Elias said he had come to Philadelphia to win. But he never imagined triumph would feel so empty.

Elias added: “I feel very bad for him, I was ready for a big battle. I’m super happy, I just didn’t want it to be this way.

“I’m going to have a beer for sure, but I have a match on Wednesday at the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland, so I can’t have too many.

“I just spoke to my family and they’re all super happy that I made history. I still don’t know what happened to Ali.

“I’m usually very happy after I win matches and tournaments, but I don’t know how to feel, I still can’t believe what’s happened.”

Farag is top seed for the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich and organisers and fans worldwide will hope that he is able to compete.

He has a bye in the first round and is due to play his second round tie against Nicolas Mueller (Switzerland) or Sebastien Bonmalais of France on Wednesday.

Nouran Gohar beats Nour El Sherbini to win third U.S. Open title in a row

PSA Platinum 2022 U.S. Open, Arlen Specter National Squash Center, Philadelphia, USA.

Men’s Final:
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 2-0 retired (2m)

Women’s Final:
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 

 

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