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Tournament of Champions: Classic Encounters

The first PSA Platinum tournament of 2019 gets under way next week when the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions takes place inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal from January 16-24.

To get you in the mood for what is sure to be a thrilling nine days of action-packed squash, we take a look back at some classic encounters from years gone by.

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2018 Women’s Tournament of Champions Final: Nour El Sherbini v Nour El Tayeb

It was an all-Egyptian battle in last year’s women’s Tournament of Champions final as then-World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb went head-to-head for the title.

El Sherbini was targeting her second title in New York, however, it was El Tayeb who took a 2-1 lead to leave the Egyptian World No.1 needing to recover from a bad start.

2018 Men’s Tournament of Champions Quarter-Final: Gregory Gaultier v Nick Matthew

Two familiar rivals collided in this titanic 90-minute battle inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal as the then-World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and England’s former World No.1 Nick Matthew contested for a place in the semi-finals.

The two players were facing each other for the 36th time on the PSA World Tour and with the opening game lasting 30 minutes alone – who would come out on top in this classic?

2018 Women’s Tournament of Champions Round Two: Sarah-Jane Perry v Olivia Blatchford Clyne

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry found herself starring down the barrel of defeat as home hope Olivia Blatchford Clyne played some of her best squash to take a commanding two-game lead.

Would the Englishwoman be able to fight back to avoid a shock defeat?

2017 Men’s Tournament of Champions Semi-Final: Gregory Gaultier v Mohamed ElShorbagy

This was a match that had it all.

The Frenchman strutted around court with style during the first two games as he dominated proceedings before a pivotal decision from the video referee in the third saw him capitulate as ElShorbagy pounced.

An injur break, complaints from ElShorbagy and much more followed as the match drew to an epic conclusion much to the delight of the crowd inside Grand Central Terminal.

2017 Women’s Tournament of Champions Quarter-Finals: Sarah-Jane Perry v Raneem El Welily

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry had halted home favourite Amanda Sobhy to secure an unexpected berth in the last eight of the tournament – but faced an even tougher task to reach her first ever PSA Platinum tournament semi-final in the form of 2015 event winner Raneem El Welily.

2017 Men’s Tournament of Champions Round Two: James Willstrop v Nick Matthew

James Willstrop hadn’t beaten compatriot Nick Matthew in 19 consecutive PSA attempts – spanning over a decade – when they clashed in the second round of the 2017 Tournament of Champions.

And with Matthew reaching the latter stages of both the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic during the season, could that streak end in New York?

2016 Women’s Tournament of Champions Quarter-Final: Nouran Gohar v Laura Massaro

Then-World No.2 Nouran Gohar had been making waves in the build up to the 2016 Tournament of Champions after defeating the likes of Malaysian icon and eight-time World Champion Nicol David and Frenchwoman Camille Serme in the latter stages of 2015.

The teenager – then 18-years-old – was up against England’s Laura Massaro as she aimed to reach a first ever PSA Platinum semi-final, while Massaro was appearing in her first tournament since claiming the World No.1 spot in the January 2016 World Rankings.

2015 Women’s Tournament of Champions Semi-Final: Alison Waters v Nour El Sherbini

After stunning defending champion and then-World No.1 David in the last eight, Alison Waters took on the dangerous El Sherbini for a place in the showpiece finale.
A strong start from the young Egyptian saw her take a one-game lead, leaving Waters up against it as she looked to reach the final of the distinguished tournament for the first time.

2013 Men’s Tournament of Champions Final: Ramy Ashour v Gregory Gaultier

Arguably the greatest Tournament of Champions final in recent history, reigning World Champion Ramy Ashour took on Gregory Gaultier in his eighth consecutive PSA World Tour final.

The New York-based Egyptian was in the midst of a sensational 25-match unbeaten run and stunned the watching crowd with some outrageous squash.

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