Squash: Shorbagy denies Shabana in Champions tournament

  • Squash
  • Friday, 23 Jan 2015

Amr Shabana (right) dives to retrieve a shot against fellow Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy in the semi-finals of the Tournament of Champions in New York on Friday.

PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Mohamed El Shorbagy dug deep into his reserves to deny compatriot Amr Shabana a shot at defending his Tournament of Champions (TOC) title.

The 24-year-old Mohamed was put to the sword by the 35-year-old Amr in the semi-finals at the Grand Central Station but mounted a fightback to clinch a 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7 win in New York on Thursday.

Four-time world champion Amr went in front twice with his energetic play as the younger Egyptian failed to cope with the situation.

Mohamed however held on to the game as Amr’s legs started to waver.

Patience paid off in the end as Mohamed took the fourth set and completed a fine win in 87 minutes.

“When you play against Amr you have to accept that he will make you look like an idiot on court at times and I accepted that,” said Mohamed.

“You can never look good because he’s the most talented player on tour and I had to hit and run and keep going to get the ball back.

“He was very tired in the end ... but I’m glad I was able to push through because this is my first ever final here.”

Mohamed will meet third seed Nick Matthew of England in the final.

The 34-year-old Matthew, a winner in 2012, subdued a flashy and acrobatic Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Colombia 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 in the other semi-final.

In the women’s event, England’s world No. 5 Alison Waters extended her fine run as she too came from behind to deny Egyptian world No. 4 Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals.

Waters came out tops with an 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11 win in 76 minutes.

Raneem, who narrowly lost out to Nicol David in the World Championship final last month, sparkled with an 11-7, 11-2, 11-13, 11-6 win over England’s world No. 3 Laura Massaro.

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