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Mohamed Elshorbagy lifts the Tournament of Champions title aloft

ToC Update: Elshorbagy Downs Matthew to Defend Crown

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World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy continued his recent dominance over England’s Nick Matthew in the final of the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to defend his crown in the stunning setting of New York’s Grand Central Terminal and extend his unbeaten run over the 35-year-old to four matches.

The Egyptian, who also beat Matthew in last year’s final, has been in superb form after capturing both the Qatar Classic and the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open in recent months and his latest victory sees him strengthen his lead on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings with a third consecutive PSA World Series title.

Matthew came into the final after being on court for just 14 minutes during his semi-final clash with World Champion Gregory Gaultier, which was cut short due to the Frenchman picking up an injury, and his fresher legs seemed to give him a slight advantage after a number of lengthy, high quality rallies went in the Yorkshireman’s favour as he struck up a 1-0 lead.

Elshorbagy, who defeated Mathieu Castagnet to book his place in the showpiece event, lit up the second game with some fantastic shots into the front left corner allowing him to outmanoeuvre the three-time World Champion and draw level.

The duo have one of the most intense rivalries on the PSA World Tour and both players showed their frustrations at each other’s movements during a third game that was punctuated by a series of lets and strokes. However, Elshorbagy upped the pace towards the end of the game and some errors from Matthew resulted in the 25-year-old claiming the lead for the first time in the fixture.

Points ebbed and flowed in the fourth with Matthew coming out on top in the pair’s many battles in the front of the court and ‘The Wolf’ levelled things up to send the match into a dramatic fifth-game showdown.

A plethora of high-octane rallies enraptured the packed crowd in the majestic Vanderbilt Hall with Elshorbagy eventually pulling away mid-game to earn an extremely hard-fought 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 triumph.

“It’s a great start for me to 2016 and I’m glad,” said Elshorbagy.

“Nick and myself always have such great battles. I told him after the match that it’s always an honour to play him in a World Series final and I was really happy to get my second title here. I really enjoyed the match today and I look forward to having more great battles with him in the future.

“I think that’s the best I’ve seen him [Matthew] play so far this season and I’m really glad to see him back at his best again because the game needs him and he is very important for the game. I want to congratulate him for his great performance. He had already beaten my brother [Marwan] and I didn’t want him to beat both of us in the same tournament.

“One day he will beat both of us in the same tournament I’m sure. I’m really happy to be back here again and am looking forward to being back next year.”

Result – Final: Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions 2016
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 (93m)

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