Egyptian double as Mohamed Elshorbagy cements his place as world number one on a night of drama in New York
From NATHAN CLARKE – Squash Mad PSA Correspondent in New York
Mohamed Elshorbagy reinforced his position at the top of the squash ladder with an impressive performance in the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to see off England’s Nick Matthew 3-1 and claim his fourth major PSA World Series title.
The 24-year-old World No.1 made it an Egyptian double after compatriot Raneem El Welily had beaten England’s Alison Waters in the women’s final.
Under the chandeliers in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall the men’s finalists, who have developed a testy rivalry on the tour in the last two years, produced a thrilling spectacle in front of a sold-out crowd with Elshorbagy eventually out-powering the man 10 years his senior.
“I told Nick at the end of the match that he is an inspirational player,” said Elshorbagy.
“He’s the king when it comes to playing tough matches because he seems to come back fresh every day but I’m really pleased with how I played and to get my first title here.
“I wanted to win so badly and I’m proud to see my name join the illustrious list of previous Tournament of Champions winners.”
Matthew started the match in the ascendency and used his wealth of court-craft to take the opening game but Elshorbagy’s ferocious pace and power saw him claw his way back into the match and turn the tide, to establish a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth game Matthew looked en route to levelling the scores once again but saw the opportunity slip from his hands after an unforced error when 9-7 ahead, followed by an unlucky bounce at 9-8, saw Elshorbagy rally and from then on the Bristol-based-Egyptian refused to give in.
Despite saving one match ball Matthew couldn’t find enough in his locker to hold on as Elshorbagy romped home to complete a memorable night for Egyptian squash in the Big Apple, with Raneem El Welily also taking the women’s title with victory over Alison Waters.
“This has been a very tough week for me mentally,” added Elshorbagy.
“When I saw Raneem win in the women’s final it really inspired me because we both recently lost in World Championship finals even though we both had match balls.
“She showed me that you can rebound and I’m really proud of how I played and that I proved I can come back stronger than before.”
The 34-year-old Matthew said: “I really enjoyed the match tonight. You get to a stage in your career when you just have to enjoy the experience because you might not have many more of them.”
Result: Final – JP Morgan Tournament of Champions
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 [83m]
Picture courtesy of PSA