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Mohamed ElShorbagy

DPD Open: Finals - As It Happens

The DPD Open Squash reaches its conclusion today as an all-Egyptian affair takes place in both the men’s and women’s finals at the PSA World Tour Gold tournament.

The action begins at 15:00 local time (UTC+2) with a top of the rankings battle between World No.1 Raneem El Welily and World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

The two players have faced each other 21 times in total, with the last 11 meetings all coming in finals.

El Welily narrowly leads the head-to-head 11-10 after she claimed the last meeting in the final of last month’s DPD Open Squash. However, three-time World Champion El Sherbini will be looking to level the scores again as she looks to reduce the gap at the top of the World Rankings.

They are followed on court by Egypt's World No.1 Ali Farag and World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy at 16:00 local time.

The two Egyptians have become familiar rivals on the PSA Tour and it will be the first meeting between the pair since Farag took the World No.1 spot from ElShorbagy.

28-year-old ElShorbagy leads the head-to-head record with nine wins to Farag’s six, however, Farag did claim the last meeting between in the pair in the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

Both matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and Facebook (Indian subcontinent only).

Can't watch the action? You can also follow the live scores.


El Welily Beats El Sherbini in Thriller

Egypt's World No.1 Raneem El Welily claimed her second successive PSA title at the DPD Open Squash women's title after coming from 2-0 down against compatriot and reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

It was the 12th successive meeting between the two players in a final, with El Welily getting the better of her compatriot in their last match in the final at the Black Ball Squash Open last month.

El Welily, who had gone to five games in all of her matches in Eindhoven, held four game balls in the first, but El Sherbini battled back to rattle off the points in quick succession, eventually taking the first on a tie-break after an error from the World No.1.

The three-time World Champion then doubled her lead in the second, with both players showing some unbelievable skill on court much to the delight of the packed-out crowd in Eindhoven.

El Welily began to put some work into the legs of El Sherbini, who had spent almost an hour less on court than the World No.1, to take the third game and begin to edge back into the contest.

23-year-old El Sherbini began to stretch her lead once again in the fourth, before El Welily was able to reign her back in to draw level and take the match to a fifth game for the fourth time this week for the World No.1.

In all the time they’ve faced each other, it has only gone to five-games three times with El Welily claiming on all of those victories and she ensured to keep up that trend as she showed her mental strength to close out a 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 victory and claim her 21st PSA title.

“The five-setters really paid off eventually,” said 30-year-old El Welily.

“I’m really happy. To come back from 2-0 down against Nour is almost impossible, mentally at least, so I’m really happy with the way I managed to push myself mentally and physically and show some character towards the end. To win is absolutely fantastic.

“It’s very easy being good friends off court, it’s very difficult being as compeitive as we are on court. I enjoy it on and off court, so that’s what makes it easy. She is very hard to dislike.

“It was crucial, after I lost the first when I was 10-5 up, I thought I blew it up, but I just told myself it’s not the end of the world just keep pushing. You need to come off court doing your best, if you mess things up sometimes you fight hard to make things right again.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (65m)

Farag Wins Men's Title

Egypt's World No.1 Ali Farag defeated compatriot and World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy to be crowned the inaugural men's DPD Open Squash champion in Eindhoven.

It was the first meeting between the two players since the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions final when Farag won to take the World No.1 spot from ElShorbagy and Farag ensured he continued his dominance with a 3-1 win against his biggest rival.

The first game looked as though it was going to set the tempo for the rest of the match, with both players showcasing their ability to send it all the way to a tense tie-break, which ElShorbagy claimed. However, Farag came out firing in the second and never looked back as he powered to the finish line.

However, that accuracy did not continue for the World No.2 in the second game, as Farag took full advantage of a lapse in concentration from the ‘Beast of Alexandria’ to equalise.

The World No.1 and World Champion continued to push higher up the court and dominate the ‘T’ position to leave ElShorbagy little chance to build any momentum as Farag powered to a 2-1 lead.

Farag continued his sheer dominance over the match with his incredible movement causing problems for ElShorbagy as the 26-year-old continued to rattle off the points, eventually closing out an 11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in 46 minutes.

“The first game was really tough and it was a tough one to lose,” said the 26-year-old Farag afterwards.

“I’m glad I regrouped myself and Nour [El Tayeb] gave me a very good tip after the first. I would like to thank Mohamed for his kind words, it really means a lot to me coming from such a champion. It’s always a pleasure to share the court with someone who is one of the greats of our sport and I’m looking forward to many more battles in the future.

“I always go onto court with Mohamed as him being the favourite. He was No.1 when I was starting so Mohamed is always going to be favourite. I don’t put much pressure on myself but obviously I’m very happy with the way I handled things. I think I played good squash and I’m looking forward to taking that on next week in El Gouna.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (46m)