Monday, December 4, 2023

All systems Mo as Shorbagy reigns in Hong Kong

This feels great says Egyptian star as he takes out Gaultier in final


Egyptian ace Mohamed Elshorbagy claimed the greatest victory of his career in Hong Kong last night beating Gregory Gaultier in a 97-minute battle to be crowned 2014 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Open Squash champion.

The Bristol-based man world number three came through a tough, gritty encounter to win only his second ever PSA World Series tournament, after the 2013 Qatar Classic, inflicting a fifth Hong Kong Open final defeat on the World No.1 in the process in a result that left the talented star elated.

“It feels great to be the champion,” said Elshorbagy.

“I had a really good summer of training and to see all the hard work pay off in this way, to have won the Malaysian Open last week and to back that up here in Hong Kong, has been marvellous and I just can’t describe how I am feeling right now.

“It was my first final here and to win is something that I will remember for the rest of my life and I would say that this is the most important win of my career so far.”

Elshorbagy raced into a two-game lead early in the match before the Frenchman, who cruised to the final without dropping a single game, levelled the scores at 2-2 to force the match into a dramatic decider that the Egyptian eventually edged, winning 11-9, 11-2, 4-11, 8-11, 11-4.

The deciding game had its share of drama when an accidental collision, that saw Gaultier sustain an ankle injury, halted the match forcing both players to re-focus and despite losing the first two points after the resumption of play, Elshorbagy managed to regain the ascension and withstand a second spirited fight-back from Gaultier.

“When we play each other we always seem to raise our game and after going 2-0 up Greg definitely improved for sure,” said Elshorbagy.

“I could sense he was tiring at the start of the fifth game and it was very hard to refocus after the injury break especially as he came back very strong. I lost a little bit of concentration and lost the first two points, but I had a couple of lucky bounces which got me back into it and that was important.

“It’s the start of the season and to begin like this, by beating the World No.1, is huge for me and my confidence. I’m hungry for more titles and I want to keep on going.”

[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 11-9, 11-2, 4-11, 8-11, 11-4 (97 mins)




Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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