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El Sherbini Becomes Youngest Ever Women’s World Champion


World No.2 Nour El Sherbini produced one of the greatest comebacks in World Championship history as she overturned a 2-0 deficit to defeat World No.1 Laura Massaro in the final of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia – overtaking the great Susan Devoy, who won in 1985, to become the youngest winner of the biggest title in Women’s squash.

El Sherbini, who will also overtake Massaro to become the new World No.1 in next month’s World Rankings, looked down and out after falling two games behind to a dominant Massaro. The Egyptian is the most in-form woman on the PSA World Tour at present though and she mounted an incredible fightback to earn a 6-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 victory to avenge her 2013 final defeat to the Englishwoman and become the first female Egyptian ever to become the World Champion.

“I'm dreaming right now, I didn't imagine I could win this match,” said El Sherbini, 20.

“I want to say thanks to the Egypt team and everyone here for all the support that pushed me to the end. Laura is a very tough player and even until the end I didn't think i could do it.

“At 2-0 down I though it was over, Shabana just kept telling me to focus and play squash and forget about the score and start again.”

Massaro played with pinpoint accuracy and masterful control to take the match by the scruff of the neck in the early exchanges and she hit a number of winners at the front of the court as she controlled the ’T’ to go two games ahead.

El Sherbini, who defeated Malaysian hero Nicol David en route to the final, came back at her in the third as she finally won the length battle between the two, before stepping forward to hit some devastating volleys into the front of the court to march into a 9-1 lead. Massaro found a bit of momentum towards the end of the game, but was powerless to stop El Sherbini from taking the match into a fourth, which she also won to send the match into a mouthwatering finale.

Each winner was greeted with a crescendo of noise from a vocal crowd and the two traded points with gusto in a bid to get on top. A brutal rally that showcased both players’ grit, determination and passion went in Massaro’s favour with El Sherbini 8-6 up at the time, but the young Egyptian rallied and broke forward to build up two match balls. Massaro teed up a volley on El Sherbini’s backhand side and she caressed it into the nick to make history.

“I’m extremely happy to have two achievements at one time,” El Sherbini said upon hearing the news that she will be the new World No.1.

“It’s really huge for me and I will try to believe that I am the World No.1 now. I didn’t think it would be this early for me, so I’m surprised.”

Massaro was gracious in defeat and was full of praise for the new World Champion.

“It’s an honour and privilege to play in a World Championship final, it’s the pinnacle of our year,” she said.

“I’m obviously disappointed to lose but she played an amazing match from 2-0 down. I have to take it on the chin and come back again.

“Thanks to everyone who has helped me, my family and coaches who can’t be here, it’s been unbelievable. It’s been an amazing tournament and we as players couldn’t have asked for more this week.”

Result – Final: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
[5] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [1] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (63m)

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