Mohamed ElSherbini has been in sparkling form of late with four consecutive Tour titles under his belt, as well as being named the April PSA Men’s Player of the Month. The young Egyptian spoke to ELLIE MAWSON about his recent run of outstanding form…
Mohamed ElSherbini was just seven when he was introduced to squash by a friend and he has not looked back since.
“I used to go with a friend of mine that plays squash and I used to always watch and say ‘oh I can hit this ball much harder than him’ then the coach one day told me to come in and try,” ElSherbini said.
“He fed me the ball and I hit it harder than my friend, who had been taking lessons for a year, and then he told me ‘you have to come and train’.”
The cousin of current Women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini – who took the April PSA Women’s Player of the Month award after she retained her World Championship title last month – squash clearly runs in the family and Mohamed is eager for his own name to rise in the sport alongside that of his title-winning cousin.
“Nour has been a great spirit for our family, we used to play, travel and win together!”
“When we were young our last win was the national U19s boys and girls in 2010, so I want to bring back those memories and for the ElSherbini name to rise in squash as it was before.
“I knew she was going to make it happen [at the PSA Women’s World Championships] as she didn’t win any titles this year, so before she left to go to El Gouna we played together and I saw her hunger for this tournament and I knew she was not going to miss this title.”
As well as his younger cousin providing inspiration, the 24-year-old also looks up to another Egyptian icon – four-time World Champion Amr Shabana.
“For me he is the greatest of all time,” said ElSherbini.
“I always watch his game and try to learn from him. I love his movement on court, it’s so smooth.”
Despite making his Tour debut back in 2013, Mohamed had only ever appeared in the main draw on one occasion before lifting his maiden Tour title when he beat Indian qualifier Velavan Senthilkumar in the final of the Assore & Balwin Parkview Open.
The Egyptian then met Senthilkumar one week later in the final of the West Rand Open, with Mohamed coming out on top once more to double his title tally – despite beginning the tournament in the qualification stages.
Title victories at the Keith Granger Memorial UCT Open Squash Championships and Bull Ring Open followed and the 24-year-old admitted after tasting success he is desperate for more in the future.
“My career highlight is winning Player of the Month and winning four titles in a row. I never could have imagined it would work out that well for me in my first [full-time] year but there is still more to go. I’m hungry for more titles this year.
“I have been thrilled to win the title, for me it’s an honour and I hope I can make it happen again many times.”
The current World No.130 was pleased with his form in his last tournament but is constantly striving for improvement and has aspirations to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
“To be honest, in the last tournament I was feeling pretty comfortable with my game and form and I knew what I was doing in court. No-one in those tournaments could have stopped me and it all showed on my results – I only dropped five games in the four tournaments.
“I’m not very happy with my form recently as I need to work more on my fitness and get faster and fitter. I have to keep working hard so I can be ready for bigger tournaments – which will have some real tests.
“I want to get to the top 20 as soon as possible. To join my best friends and teammates Marwan ElShorbagy, Mohamed Abouelghar, Fares Dessouky, Zahed Mohamed and Ali Farag. I just simply want to get back to my original place.”