‘This season is far from over from me – I want that number one ranking back’
By SEAN REUTHE in Zurich
World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy is the 2019 Grasshopper Cup champion after getting the better of fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen in the final of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament at Zurich’s Halle 622.
ElShorbagy was a losing finalist here 12 months ago to compatriot Ramy Ashour, but the 28-year-old played at a ferocious pace to overpower Momen en route to claiming an 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 victory in 50 minutes.
Both players had overcome Egyptian opposition in the semi-finals, with ElShorbagy seeing off World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad, while World No.3 Momen dispatched World No.8 Abouelghar in straight games.
Momen, the 2014 Grasshopper Cup runner-up, was appearing in a third successive PSA Tour final for the first time in his career and had already beaten ElShorbagy twice this month, first in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships and also two weeks ago at the same stage of the Canary Wharf Classic.
ElShorbagy built on a strong start to take the opener and came back from game ball down to take a crucial second game after a no let decision in Momen’s favour was overturned to a yes let by a video referee decision. Momen kept on fighting in the third, but there was no stopping ElShorbagy as he closed out the win to lift his 36th PSA Tour title and his first of 2019.
“I’m really proud to win it,” said ElShorbagy afterwards. “This is the third time I’m coming back here, and a lot of great names have won this trophy like Gregory Gaultier and Ramy. To put my name besides the greats of squash is an honour, and I’m really proud to lift this trophy in front of this crowd. They’ve been amazing all week, and I’m really glad I won at the end.
“He [Momen] has been playing the squash of his life this season. He made three finals this month, and I know how hard it is to back it up after every tournament. He should be really proud of what he achieved this month.
“The second game was crucial, and I thought that if I could go 2-0 up it would have been a mountain to climb. I’m really glad I was able to finish that off and win the title. It’s been an up-and-down season for me, but I wanted to show what I can do and play well.
“This season is far from over for me. There is still the World No.1 spot to play for this season. I’m going to be trying to get that spot back by the end of the season, and I’m going to give it my all.”
ElShorbagy’s win sees him take home over $17,000 worth of prize money and is his third PSA tournament win of the season.
In addition to the men’s PSA tournament, a women’s exhibition event was also played, with French World No.4 Camille Serme beating Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the final. New Zealand’s Joelle King got the better of Belgium’s World No.27 Nele Gilis in the third place play-off.
PSA Men’s Gold $110,000 Grasshopper Cup 2019, Halle 622, Zurich, Switzerland.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 (50m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA