Egypt’s Mohamed Elshorbagy bounced back from last month’s shock World Championship exit to James Willstrop in style, retaining his Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open title to ensure that he will reclaim his place at the top of the World Rankings come the New Year.
The 24-year-old returned to winning ways in Hong Kong with a series of sumptuous displays, culminating in victory over Australia’s Cameron Pilley in the final which yielded his second successive PSA World Series title after also winning the Qatar Classic in November.
After a superb year which has seen Alexandria-born Elshorbagy top the rankings for all but one month and lift five PSA World Tour titles, we decided to take a look back at the match that saw him lift the most prestigious title of his career – the 2015 Allam British Open final against current World Champion Gregory Gaultier.
Elshorbagy came into the event after back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Windy City Open and El Gouna International while two-time winner Gaultier was appearing in his third straight British Open final and was looking to defend the title he won a year previously by defeating Nick Matthew.
The Egyptian’s form was decidedly wobbly in the opening stages of the tournament. After moving past Willstrop in four, Elshorbagy flirted with elimination during a gruelling battle with Spain’s Borja Golan in which he only just prevailed courtesy of a 3-2 triumph. He recovered though and scythed through Simon Rösner and Matthew, against whom he fell to a semi-final exit the year before, to book his place in the final.
Gaultier meanwhile was scintillating throughout the iconic tournament, downing Nafiizwan Adnan, Tom Richards, Mazen Hesham and Miguel Angel Rodriguez without dropping a single game.
The pair went head-to-head in a high-octane battle that left spectators on the edge of their seats as they witnessed the duo duke it out to take the sport’s oldest prize.
You can watch the highlights of the thrilling finale below:
More stunning showdowns between Elshorbagy and Gaultier can be found on SQUASHTV – including the 2014 Hong Kong Open final.