Welcome to ‘Talking Points’ where we take a look back at the biggest moments on the PSA World Tour over the past month.
February saw a trio of high quality tournaments enrapture crowds across the globe with the UCS Swedish Open and the Taeq Squash Colombia PSA Open taking place, while the ongoing Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company continues to showcase a plethora of world class action in Chicago.
Elshorbagy Prevails in Battle of the Brothers in Colombia
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy continued his dominance of the Men’s game with a second PSA World Tour title of the year at the Colombia Open – where he beat brother Marwan en-route to winning the most lucrative squash tournament ever to take place in South America.
The 19-time PSA World Tour title winner was scintillating throughout the event and, after comfortable victories over wildcard Andres Herrera and England’s Tom Richards, he went up against Marwan in the last four, whom he lives with in Bristol, England.
Despite being pushed to four games by his younger brother, Mohamed pulled through to extend his unbeaten run to five matches over Marwan and he went on to dispatch World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad in the final to lift his second PSA World Tour crown in just his third tournament so far in 2016.
Elshorbagy is currently eyeing an incredible fourth consecutive PSA World Series title at the Windy City Open after successes at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open and the Qatar Classic in recent months and, after beating Simon Rösner last night [February 29th], will face Miguel Angel Rodriguez for a place in the final.
Castagnet Stuns the Squash World With Outrageous Retrieval
Daryl Selby can't believe it!
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet was also in action in Chicago and produced one of the most memorable moments on the PSA World Tour in recent memory.
After coming through a tumultuous five-game epic with the in-form Ali Farag in round one, Castagnet went up against Daryl Selby and soon rose into a two-game lead only to see Selby claw a game back to send the match into a fourth.
As the match drew to a close, Selby played a fantastic trickle boast only to see a heroic dive from Castagnet keep the ball alive. Not content with just keeping himself in the rally, Castagnet sprinted the full length of the court to hit an outrageous winner – sparking a video that has since been viewed around 500,000 times on social media alone, in addition to being shared by broadcasting giants such as BT Sport and ESPN.
Watch the unbelievable retrieval below
He may have gone out in the next round to World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad, but it looks like Castagnet’s fellow pro’s were impressed with the Frenchman’s athleticism and hunger.
Massaro and El Sherbini Set Up Semi-Final Clash while Matthew Digs In
Women’s World No.1 Laura Massaro and J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions winner Nour El Sherbini will go head-to-head in a mouth-watering Windy City Open semi-final clash after they impressed hugely in their last eight fixtures.
Massaro came through in three against World No.6 Omneya Abdel Kawy in a near-flawless display that saw her surge to the victory in just 29 minutes, while El Sherbini downed Malaysian superstar Nicol David in a devastating three-game salvo.
Meanwhile, Nick Matthew produced a display that typified the determination and drive that has seen him earn the nickname ‘The Wolf’ as he achieved a breathtaking comeback against former World No.5 Borja Golan.
After winning a record eighth British National Championship earlier in the month, Matthew came into the event full of confidence but soon found himself two games down and on the brink of elimination in his second round encounter with Golan. However, the 35-year-old called on all of the experience that he has accrued throughout an 18-year career to overturn the deficit and claim a stunning victory.
Matthew will meet World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad in the semi-final, while the other Women’s semi-final sees Camille Serme and Raneem El Welily face off.
Gawad Triumphs in Sweden
Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad reaffirmed his credentials as a top ten player by claiming his biggest ever PSA World Tour title at the UCS Swedish Open, PSA M70 tournament at the start of the month – beating compatriot and close friend Tarek Momen in the final.
Gawad eased by wildcard Rasmus Hult in the opening round before battling to a hard-fought win over Chris Simpson to reach the last four. He showed no signs of fatigue though, and a 3-0 rout of England’s Daryl Selby sent him through to his maiden PSA M70 final.
The 24-year-old is something of a five-game specialist and, having seen 71 of his 233 matches go the full distance, it was no surprise to see him and Momen play out an intense 80-minute clash, in which Gawad triumphed 3-2 to lift his first Swedish Open crown.
Meguid at the Double
Omar Abdel Meguid had a superb February, claiming two PSA World Tour titles at the Oregon Open and Ganem Vein Institute Classic – with the latter in particular one of the most unique tournaments on the PSA World Tour.
Held on a single court in a private home at the base of the scenic Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, the grounds boast a swimming pool for the players to relax in and also contains chickens and other domesticated animals such as a friendly pooch.
Meguid swept to the final after downing Jaymie Haycocks, Reiko Peter and Mahesh Mangaonkar en-route before coming up against crowd favourite Todd Harrity.
Despite being pushed hard by Harrity, Meguid came through in four to lift his third PSA World Tour title on the bounce, adding to the Qatar Circuit II crown he claimed at the end of 2015.
- Watch live action from the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance on SQUASHTV. Click here to subscribe.