‘It’s been a hard two years and I am pouring with emotion’
By NATHAN CLARKE
A peerless performance from maverick three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour saw the 30-year-old Egyptian end compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy’s 12-match winning streak to triumph in the final of the 2018 Grasshopper Cup – his first title win in seven months.
Ashour rolled back the years, eliciting memories of the performances that accompanied him during a 49-match winning streak throughout 2012-13, as he stormed through the draw to take the title without dropping a single game – beating World No.1 ElShorbagy 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 after overcoming World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and World No.7 Simon Rösner in straight-games to secure his place in the finale.
Today’s victory, which came after 50-minutes of high-quality play, underlines a return to full fitness for Ashour following a torrid two-year spell that has seen him withdraw from seven events through a seemingly never-ending plague of injuries.
“I’m pouring with emotion right now,” said Ashour after the match. “It’s been a very hard two years – but I have proved to myself that I am there again.
“Mohamed is an amazing athlete. He is the World Champion and he has been doing amazing recently but I’m happy with the way I played today. It was a brutal match but I’m glad I came out on top.
“I won. I’m not surprised because I did a lot of work and I’ve been through a lot – I’m not being cocky – I’m saying what’s really on my mind, because I think I kind of deserve this and I hope we can play more of these matches in the future.”
After the match ElShorbagy said: “We always play matches at a different level. I wish I had more in me to match him today but he was playing so well this week and he was just too good.
“There is no shame in losing to one of the sport’s greatest players and I hope he stays healthy so we can play more of these battles together.”
PSA M100 Grasshopper Cup 2018, Halle 622, Zurich, Switzerland.
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA