Mohamed ElShorbagy & Nour El Sherbini Crowned PSA Dubai World Series Finals Champions

Egyptians Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini triumphed on a thrilling final day of action at the ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals to claim the prestigious season-ending titles inside Emirates Golf Club.

Overcoming compatriots Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily, the respective men’s and women’s World No.1’s, etched their names onto the trophies to bring the curtain down on what has been one of the most competitive and thrilling seasons in the history of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour - with ElShorbagy successfully defending the title the won twelve months ago and El Sherbini claiming the coveted crown for the first time in her career.

In what was the tournament’s third consecutive staging in Dubai, El Sherbini, the 22-year-old from Alexandria who has occupied the World No.1 ranking unchallenged for the past 26-months, underlined her dominance over the rest of the field as she swept El Welily aside in a one-sided 11-3 opening game.

El Welily, who scalped El Sherbini to win the 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Championship final in December, fought hard to claim a close second game, but it proved to be in vein as El Sherbini regained the upper hand to move 2-1 ahead, before controlling the fourth game to seal an 11-5 9-11 11-8 11-5 win.

“It feels amazing to have won this title,” said El Sherbini. “I was proud just to be one of the eight players who came here. It’s been a long season so I’m really proud and happy to end the season with this title.

“This season has been one of the most successful of my career but there are still improvements to be made and I can still become a better player. 

In the men’s final, it was Farag who started the stronger to take the opening game as he looked to exploit the tired legs of ElShorbagy.

However, the 27-year-old from Alexandria who has reached 12 finals from 14 events played during this seasons campaign, fought back in typical style to level the match before prevailing in a physically punishing third game to set up the platform for a deserved 51-minute 9-11 11-3 11-9 11-8 victory which sees him end the season as World No.1, World Champion and World Series Finals Champion.

“It’s been an amazing week here in Dubai,” said ElShorbagy. “There have been some great matches all and I’m very proud to have been part of this event at the end of the season and to have won it.

“Ali and I have played so many battles this season and I’m happy that we managed to end the season playing against each other - he’s a great guy and great player and I look forward to being back on court battling with him again next season.”

The championships marked the final PSA World Tour appearance of England’s Nick Matthew who brought the curtain down on a glittering 20-year-career by reaching the semi-finals following impressive wins over Tarek Momen, recently crowned British Open Champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez and World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the group stages.

37-year-old Matthew was set to retire after defeat to Germany’s Raphael Kandra at the Allam British Open meant he failed to qualify for the World Series Finals, but a hamstring injury sustained by World No.3 Marwan ElShorbagy saw the Englishman receive a deserved late call-up.

Having topped his group, Matthew’s tournament, and career, came to an end in the semi-finals at the hands of Farag who progress with an 11-5 11-7 victory. Matthew, the most successful male English squash player of all time, bows out with 35 PSA World Tour titles to his name, including three PSA World Championship crowns, alongside a trio of Commonwealth Games gold medals.

“I dared to dream for a second that I could go all the way. Even a week ago, if you’d have offered me a semi-final place here I wouldn’t have believed it," admitted Matthew.

“A few people this week have been trying to talk me out of retirement but that’s not happening. I’m 100 per cent going to stay in squash, I’m going to have a rest this summer, I’ve got some camps in the US and I’ll have a lot of family time and regroup.

“I’ve got a great role which I’m looking forward to doing with England Squash and I’ll be growing my academy around the world. I’m still going to play, I’m not going to totally stop, I’m too competitive,” added the three-time World Champion who will take on a coaching and ambassadorial role with England Squash.

ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals
Men's Final:
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Ali Farag (EGY) 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8

Women's Final:
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5