Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
Today Mohamed changed his tactics completely. No mad pace, no ridiculous zigzag squash. He knew he couldn’t stand that fast pace with all the squash he had in the legs, and he didn’t want to open the court too much, Tarek would have loved it!
Needless to say the first game was crucial. A few errors from both in that opener, but overall a very high quality game, Mohamed making his move from 7/7, starting to hit the ball harder than in the beginning. 10/7, game ball.
Tarek, as often, played his best squash back to the wall. He levelled 10/10 with a couple of lovely winners, saved another game ball before getting another chance at it, 12/11, but Mohamed’s short game was just too sharp and it’s 14/12 in 16m game.
In the second, Mohamed will never lose the lead, and will take the second game in 12m, 6/2, 8/5, 11/8, giving away 5 points but still making 10 winners, only 3 for Tarek.
The third, the Momenator will kick himself for a few days, having finally managed to see the rewards of the hard work, up 3/0 and 6/1, he squandered the lead with 3 unforced errors in 4 points, getting Mohamed right back in the game, 8 points in a row, bowing 11/7, an 11m game.
Happy Mohamed was….
First I want to congratulate Mohamed, on his amazing week. What he does is inspiring. He fights back every time his level deeps, he always finds a motivation somehow to come back although he has almost achieved everything. It’s quite inspiring, congrats on another win this week.
If I have only one regret this week, it’s today’s last game, the third. It was inexcusable losing this big lead but if you had told me last Thursday I would be in the final today, I wouldn’t have believed it. Not because I don’t believe in myself, it’s just I had some serious struggles leading up to this event, I could barely walk without taking any pain killers for the past three weeks, and if it wasn’t for Dr Wafaay and all his team who have been working with me those past few weeks, I wouldn’t be able to step on court.
I didn’t know if I was going to play this event, it was a huge struggle, I remember that I had a phone call with Omar Abdel Aziz my coach on Friday, I was in tears, I didn’t know what I was doing at the hotel, and suddenly, I find myself on court, playing a very good match against Fares, saving 8 match balls, and then coming from 2/0 down the next day, then playing the final the next day. It’s just overwhelming for me… I just can’t absorb it all
So very pleased with what happened.
Thanks to my coach Omar Abdel Aziz, I’ve been struggling now for the past 6 months, and he’s been there trying to cheer me up and give me back the confidence that I need. This is the first step in the right direction for us.
Thanks to my wife and my family to always supporting me and having my back, my fitness coaches, my sponsors, without their support, I would find it very difficult to keep playing on tour, CIB, Expression Networks, Harrow Sport, Gezira Sporting Club, and finally my sister’s Farah Momen’s Academy in Dubai.
🗣 "We’ve had everyone speak about the quality of the matches and the quality of the sport… that’s what we really want."@MoElshorbagy takes the mic following his @BlackBallSquash triumph 🎤 pic.twitter.com/eWNOcQPCUS
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 7, 2023
“First I’d like to speak about Tarek. We go way back and have played so many times over the years. We’ve been great rivals, with respect. His journey is very inspiring. I know he’s had his struggles in recent months and for him to come and play the way he did this week is inspiring.
“In Egypt, there have been a lot of great champions in the past present and, I’m sure, in the future. For me, Tarek is by far the most consistent and best ever Egyptian player to have played in his 30s. By far. It’s very inspiring and I hope to get to play him many more times. We’re both in our 30s and I’m not sure how many times we’re going to have to play each other again and I really appreciate every second we spend together on court.
“Nouran has been so consistent and very inspiring. She inspires me in what she does and her partnership with Rodney Martin has been incredible, he’s definitely taken her to the next level. Congrats, I’m really happy for you.
“I’d like to thank all the sponsors of this event. We’ve had a great week here; there have been amazing matches in the men’s and women’s draw. On social media, we’ve had everyone speak about the quality of the matches and the quality of the sport. And that’s what we really want as a sport and I’m really happy that we can see that and I hope all the players can keep playing this kind of quality and we can take it to the next level at the next tournament, and the tournament after, because that’s the way the sport should be played. With respect and having fun, but as competitors as well.
“I’d like to thank all my sponsors, without them I wouldn’t be here today. And Gregory Gaultier, no matter how much I speak about him, it will never be enough. One of the main reasons I’m here today. I was close to retiring last year and I phoned him needing help. He’s been amazing to me.
My fitness trainer Mark who’s done an amazing job with me. My physio here Khaled, you’ve done an amazing job with all the English players and me. Of course, England Squash, no matter how much I speak about you guys, it will never be enough. David Campion, thank you for being here with me. Every tournament we’ve played this season, I’ve had a team with me. And I would not be here without the support you guys give me. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You’ve given me a new lease of life.
There’s nothing else I need to be able to play and compete at the top level in every tournament consistently right now and I’ll always be thankful to you guys. I promise I’ll keep this up and hopefully win again. I promise, I want to go back to World No.1 again at some point and hopefully I’ll get it soon.”