‘I need to pay my fitness coach a very big bonus’
By ELLIE MAWSON – Squash Mad Reporter
Nour El Tayeb and Mohamed ElShorbagy made it another Egyptian double on finals day at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company. El Tayeb overcame New Zealand’s Joelle King in a five-game marathon and ElShorbagy beat his younger brother Marwan in straight games to claim the sport’s most lucrative World Series titles.
World No.3 El Tayeb, the Cairo-born player who won her first World Series title at the U.S. Open earlier this season, had already endured three five-game battles, coming from 2-0 down in two of those, to reach the title-decider and once again showed her resilience to edge a tense encounter with King.
The 24-year-old came from 2-1 down and saved two championship balls to defeat World No.9 King 11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 in 78 minutes and claim her share of a record $250,000 prize purse, equal to that on offer in the men’s draw.
“I can’t believe it,” said El Tayeb following her second World Series title win. “I felt like I lost this match three or four times! I was down in the fourth, then I was down in the fifth but looking over at Haitham [Effat] and Ali [Farag] – they gave me the encouragement, but I really can’t believe that I won the tournament.
“Everyday that I’ve woken up I’ve felt tired but I knew that I can do it. I don’t think I’ve ever only played five-setters in a tournament. I think I will have to give my physical fitness coach a very big bonus!”
Meanwhile, in the family battle on the men’s draw, it was Mohamed who came out on top against younger brother Marwan as he produced a masterclass performance to claim the title in straight-games.
It was the second meeting between the brothers in a major final, following their clash in the PSA Men’s World Championship final in December – and it was the elder statesman who yet again took the spoils.
Mohamed, who returns to World No.1 today with the publication of the March rankings, was in formidable form all week, not dropping a single game throughout the entire tournament and continued his winning momentum to dispatch his brother to claim his sixth title of the season.
“It’s been an incredible season,” said Mohamed. “After last season, I worked really hard, set new goals that I wanted to achieve, and it just shows that nothing can stop anyone achieving their dream if they work hard for it.
“I’m really glad to get through this match with my brother. He has played incredible this season and he will still get better. This is the second time we’ve played in a big final and his first World Series title will come at the right time – I just wanted to keep it a little bit later than today.”
After the final, tournament organisers Tweeted that Chicago will host the PSA men’s and women’s World Championships in 2019, making it squash’s first first million-dollar event.
🚨BREAKING!! @ChicagoSquash will host the @PSAWorldChamps in 2019, becoming the most lucrative #squash tournament ever with a record-breaking $1 million prize fund – split equally across both the men’s and women’s draws!!!
— ChicagoSquash (@ChicagoSquash) March 1, 2018
PSA $500,000 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company 2018, Cathedral Hall, University Club of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 3-2: 11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA