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Mohamed ElShorbagy

Tournament of Champions SF: ElShorbagy Beats Gawad to Take One Step Closer to World No.1

Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy booked his place in the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and also took one step closer to reclaiming his World No.1 spot after he defeated compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in straight-games.

Following Ali Farag’s defeat to Tarek Momen in the previous semi-final that means that should ElShorbagy win the tournament tomorrow then he would retake his place at the top of the World Rankings.

ElShorbagy played like a man without any pressure though as he weathered the storm in a high quality first two games, before powering to the finish line in the third to close out an 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 win and reach the final without dropping a game.

Two-time winner ElShorbagy will take on reigning World Champion Tarek Momen in tomorrow’s final to decide who will take the PSA World Tour Platinum crown.

“Karim just beat me in Channel VAS,” said ElShorbagy afterwards.

“I actually think he is more dangerous when he has tough matches before he plays you because he is the most talented player on tour and when he has tough matches, he’s physically maybe a bit more tired, so he starts to go for more winners.

“This was the match that I was most nervous for so far in this event. He was going for it in the first two games and created such a high pace and I was a bit nervous as well with Ali [Farag] losing the match before me and giving me the possibility of maybe going to World No.1 if I win tomorrow – I had all these things going through my mind.

“I had to use all of my experience and I’m really happy to be back here in another final. This is my sixth tournament this season and I’ve made five finals – It’s not easy to back it up every season, but there’s nothing else I would want to be doing than playing finals like this.

“I thought Tarek [Momen] did so well to win the World Champs because after me, Gawad and Ali were out, some people think that’s easier to win but it actually made it more difficult for him to win because all of the pressure was on him and I thought he dealt with it well. I was very happy for him.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (47m)

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