Friday, April 19, 2024

ToC squash 2023: Diego Elias and Nour El Sherbini claim New York titles

Peru’s Diego Elias won the Tournament of Champions win in New York with family and roster of coaches all watching on in New York, while Nour El Sherbini lifted the women’s final in a curtailed match due to a Nouran Gohar injury.
The ‘Peruvian Puma’ made the final of this event last year, losing out to then-world No.1 Ali Farag in an exciting battle. This year, he came up against another Egyptian, in Marwan ElShorbagy, in the final and he was in sublime form, winning the match in straight games to secure his second Platinum title of the season.
Elias came into the final after a gruelling 85-minute battle with New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the last match of yesterday’s semi-finals, but he showed no sign of any fatigue in the opening exchanges, allowing ‘the Jackal’ to score just two points in the first game.
That form continued, and ElShorbagy had no answer for the Peruvian’s play. Elias was too quick across the next two games as well, and took the victory after 50 minutes of action, becoming the first South American to lift the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions trophy.
“First of all, I am just super excited. I still can’t believe it! It is like a dream come true. This tournament, it has always been my favourite,” Elias said after his win.
“This is such an amazing city, and it’s always full for all the matches. I can’t believe I am here!
“The week it was very special, I had my dad, Jonathon [Power], Wael [El Hindi] and Greg [Gaultier], the four people who have helped me throughout my whole career. It is just like a dream come true, having them all here with me this week.
The women’s final was unfortunately cut short, with El Sherbini claiming her fourth J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions crown after world No.1 Gohar had to retire early on in the second game.
Prior to that point, both women had shown glimpses of their very best squash, but neither had been able to put together a run of points. Gohar saved a couple of game balls late on, but it was the ‘Warrior Princess’ that won the opening game 11-9.
She then opened up a 3-1 lead in the second, before Gohar offered her opponent her hand, retiring from the contest, and relinquishing the crown she had claimed in New York City back in May. El Sherbini now has four wins in Grand Central to her name, adding the 2023 edition to her 2016, 2018 and 2019 triumphs. El Sherbini now also qualifies for the season-ending CIB PSA World Tour Finals thanks to this victory.
“There are a lot of people I would like to thank. Firstly, I would like to thank Nouran for what she said,” El Sherbini said.
As she said, we have had a lot of battles together from a long time ago and I am glad we are still having them now. I wish her a speedy recovery and hopefully she will be back again quickly, recover well and we can play another final at the next Platinum event hopefully.
“I just want to thank everyone back home. My parents, my brother, my sister, my fiance, everyone who has been supporting me and believing in me the last year and a half. I would also like to thank my squash coaches for all the support.”
Men’s Final Result: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (50m)
Women’s Final Result: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 3-1 retired (20m)

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