Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def  Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8 10-12 11-7 11-7 (64m)
Four events. Four Finals. Three titles. Mohamed ElShorbagy is now 22-1 since the start of Dubai’s World Series Finals last June. His only loss came to Ali Farag in the US Open Final. The Beast of Alexandria is back in rhythm after a mid-season slip last Spring, and is on pace to match his remarkable run in 2015-16, where he won SIX of the seven PSA World Series events on tour.
Here in Doha, he had a tough draw – forced to face World #4 Ali Farag for the third time this season in the Quarterfinals, and World #1 Gragory Gaultier in the Semi’s. As always, his sheer determination was just as powerful as his raw talent.
Mohamed ElShorbagy’s Road to the Championship
- F:  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def  Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8 10-12 11-7 11-7 (64m)
- SF:  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 14-12 11-9 11-1 (55-min)
- QF:  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def  Ali Farag (EGY) 11-7 11-4 9-11 16-18 11-8 (93-min)
- R2:  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def Fares Dessouky (EGY) 11-9 14-12 11-8 (51-min)
- R1:  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) def [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-7 11-9 11-5 (36-min)
The Championship Match
World #7 Tarek Momen gave The Beast a run for his money in the Final. In game-1, the two were neck-and-neck through 5-all before ElShorbagy widened the gap, earning the win in 14-minutes.
Momen refused to fade. This was Tarek’s first career World Series Final, and he was determined to make it competitive. He knew he had the tools and fitness to earn the upset, but with only three victories in their last 10-matches, would he have the belief?
Game-2 answered that question with a resounding YES. From 5-all, the rallies got longer and more physical. Both were patient and decisive with opportunities. Momen extended the lead to 9-6. ElShorbagy leveled it at 9-all, then earned game ball. Remarkably, Tarek saved it, won the next two points and turned the championship match into a best of three.
In the third and fourth games, Tarek Momen controlled the rallies, but an exhausted ElShorbagy used his experience under-pressure to stay in the points, forcing mistakes out of the World #7. If just two or three of Momen’s risks had paid off, this could have been a very different outcome. Mohamed ElShorbagy earned his 3rd Qatar Classic title with a pair of 11-7 victories. (FULL MATCH RECAP)
It was a thrilling final for the packed house of Egyptians, and a magnificent effort from both.
I’m extremely proud of how I performed this week at this event. When I saw the draw pre-event I knew it would be tough, but playing tough opponents is the challenge that I live for. To be the best you have to beat these players. This week I got it right and I felt I played the big points well. What made the difference today was my experience. I’ve been in so many finals, but it was his first. I knew the emotions he was going through…
I was trying to contain him but at times he was like a train – just couldn’t stop him. When he took the second game it was a big blow for me. But today it didn’t matter how tired I was – it was about how much I wanted to win. I just killed myself on every shot and I’m so happy to have won.
Shattering Jansher Khan’s Qatar Record
In the mid-90’s, squash legend Jansher Khan reached five consecutive finals in Qatar. He won them all. Tonight, Mohamed ElShorbagy played in his SIXTH successive Qatar Final.
- 2017 Qatar Classic: Champion
- 2016 Qatar Classic: Finalist
- 2015 Qatar Classic: Champion
- 2014 World Championship: Finalist
- 2013 Qatar Classic: Champion
- 2012 World Championship: Finalist
Mohamed now owns 3 Qatar Classic titles, 14 World Series titles, 28 total PSA Tour titles, and has competed in 43 career Finals. He’s been the sport’s top-ranked player for a combined 28-months, and holds the record for the highest points average in the PSA World Rankings.
With four Finals and three titles in the first four events of the young season, regaining the World #1 ranking is simply a matter of time…
A career-best week for Tarek Momen
It’s been a vindicating and self-affirming run for Momen, as was evident on-court after his defeat of Rösner:
I didn’t think I would be this emotional…It’s my first ever World Series finals…long over due…I think my breakthrough started at the end of last season. I’ve been playing well since January but have had a few unlucky draws – I faced Greg [Gaultier] seven times, and couldn’t get a win against him, only a match ball, then I lost! Overall I was playing well so I was hoping to carry it forward into this season. First two events I wasn’t in the zone mentally but I knew I wasn’t far off and finally it materialized this week and I’m so happy it has.
Tarek Momen’s Road to the Final
- SF:  Tarek Momen (EGY) def Simon Rösner (GER) 11-9 11-5 11-7 (40-min)
- QF:  Tarek Momen (EGY) def  Nick Matthew (ENG) 11-5 9-11 11-7 11-6 (43-min)
- R2:  Tarek Momen (EGY) def Cameron Pilley (AUS) 8-11 11-6 11-5 10-12 11-7 (82-min)
- R1:  Tarek Momen (EGY) def Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-4 11-6 7-11 11-7 (43-min)
Tarek Momen. Consistency Defined
Tarek Momen now owns 4 career PSA Tour titles in 16 Finals. His last title came three years ago in Macau. A consistent Quarterfinalist, he’s kept his ranking inside the top-15 for 61 consecutive months. Last season, his consistency earned him three Finals appearances. In February, he won the Cambridge Cup, defeating Gregory Gaultier to reach the championship match.
He’s insanely talented, remarkably fit, and dangerous when the planets align. It’s safe to say, the planets cued up like soldiers for his 10th Qatar Classic appearance.
I’ve had a rough few years. Last three years killed myself training but something wasn’t clicking. When I got a good draw I’d mess it up. Haven’t been consistent ENOUGH. I was repeating the same cycle season after season and not getting that breakthrough was frustrating me. I always believed I had a chance, but when it doesn’t happen you can start to think it’s not going to happen.
Congratulations on a great week, Viper. At 29-years-old, it’s starting to happen.