Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini claim biggest title wins
By NATHAN CLARKE
Egyptian pair Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini have been named the PSA World Tour Players of the Month for January, 2016 after breakthrough performances over the past month saw them claim the biggest titles of their careers in a whirlwind month of action.
The 23-year-old Farag, the Harvard graduate who is engaged to Women’s World No.9 Nour El Tayeb, produced the most impressive week of his career as he stormed through the field at the 2016 Motor City Open presented by The Suburban Collection to take the trophy in the most unexpected of victories.
The Cairo-based player first saw off the challenge of World Junior Champion Diego Elias before recording one of his most significant wins by defeating World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the quarter-finals, downing the sport’s dominant force 3-2.
Victory over World No.8 Mathieu Castagnet followed before Farag sealed an impressive quartet of wins by defeating Nick Matthew 3-1 in the PSA M70 finale – outplaying the seasoned Englishman is a virtuoso display that saw him rack up an eighth PSA Tour title.
“Winning the Motor City Open shows me that I can compete with the world’s best players and I need to build on this momentum now,” said Farag, who rose to a new career high World No.13 ranking courtesy of the win.
The promising Egyptian will head to this month’s Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and Equitrust Life Insurance hoping to excel in the PSA World Series tournament which will also see his compatriot, El Sherbini (right), aiming to back up her impressive January performances.
The 20-year-old played with maturity and skill beyond her years as she cut through the draw under the iconic chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal to clinch her first ever PSA World Series trophy at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
Straight-forward 3-0 victories over Samantha Teran and Mariam Metwally saw the Alexandria-native through to the quarter-finals where she had to call on all her ability to get past a determined Camille Serme 3-2.
She followed that performance with a comprehensive 3-0 demolition of living-legend Nicol David to reach the final before silencing a fervent home crowd as she nullified determined home star Amanda Sobhy, 3-1, to take the title and the most significant win of her career.
“Winning the TOC is incredible – it’s very special and something I will never forget,” said El Sherbini.