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BritOpen Update: Elshorbagy Retains Title With Win Over Ashour

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Defending champion and World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy successfully retained his title at the 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, after ending a four-match winless streak against compatriot and 2013 winner Ramy Ashour in Hull’s Airco Arena.

Ashour came through a series of brutal matches en route to the final, including a semi-final with World Champion Gregory Gaultier, and the time on court – 287 minutes to Elshorbagy’s 196 minutes – looked have taken its toll, resulting in a restricted range of movement, particularly in the first two games.

Elshorbagy dominated from the off to take the opener for the loss of just two points as Ashour struggled to adjust to the pace of the match and there was to be no respite for the 28-year-old in the second as Elshorbagy claimed the second 11-5.

An encouraging roar from a packed crowd inspired Ashour to come out fighting in the third as he took up the task of trying to force an unlikely comeback.

‘The Artist’ displayed some exquisite shots as he sought to find his way back into the encounter but it was to no avail as Elshorbagy closed out the game courtesy of an 11-9 victory to take one of most coveted titles in the sport – lifting his fifth consecutive World Series crown in the process.

“I’m really happy to be able to defend my title and win my second British Open,” said Elshorbagy.

“It’s been a crazy season for me. Last season, when I won four World Series titles, I was telling my mother and my brother that I didn’t know how I was going to keep up with that next season but I’ve won five already so this is a dream for me. I’m just really proud of what I have been achieving this season.

“I have to be thankful to my team, they are the ones that are keeping my body healthy because our matches are just something different. We give something different to our sport and I really hope we keep playing for the future and we have such a great rivalry. It’s great to have him [Ashour] back here again.”

Ashour, who has endured a long battle against injuries, showed great character to make it to the final, but it proved a step too far.

“I’m disappointed but he is an extremely amazing athlete, he’s strong and powerful,” he said.

“He played better than me today, maybe I wasn’t focused, maybe I didn’t choose the right plan but that’s how this sport is, I guess. You have to keep fighting, keep trying to come back stronger, look back at what happened and try to analyse it. I can’t ask for too much and that is something that I should have just broke inside my head mentally but I couldn’t break it today.”

Result – Final Men’s 2016 Allam British Open
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (28m)

By James Hall

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