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Ali Farag (left) and Nouran Gohar (right) with the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions trophy

Gohar And Farag Secure J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions Crowns

After a week of incredible action at the epic Grand Central Terminal in New York City, Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and Ali Farag have secured the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions titles, after beating USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Peru’s Diego Elias, respectively, in the finals on Saturday evening.

The women’s final saw World No.1 Nouran Gohar take on World No.4 Amanda Sobhy, with the pair facing off for the second time in as many months, after they came up against each other in the semis of the Allam British Open at the start of April.

The American started strongly, winning five of the first six points, but ‘the Terminator’, who already had six titles to her name in the 2021-2022 season, fought back, and played at a slightly slower pace than normal, disrupting the game somewhat to take the first 11-7.

World No.4 Sobhy dug in once again in the second, but Gohar once again proved too much to handle as she pulled out some of her best squash from the week so far to double her advantage before comfortably converting the third, 11-3. She now has seven titles this season, including a first J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions crown.

“It sounds awesome [to be champion], you guys [the crowd] are really fair!” Gohar said after the final.

Nouran Gohar in action in the final

“I thought no-one would clap for me because Amanda is the favourite, but everyone is unbelievable and has been all week. Thank you for coming and supporting us.
 
“It feels really good to win the title. I’m over the moon, I’ve wanted this title for so long, it’s one of the best venues that you can play at and I really wanted to add my name on a prestigious trophy like this one. I wanted it badly and I thought this year seemed like a good year for me so why not take it.

“Having a big entity like J.P. Morgan sponsoring the event is huge for the sport and I’m very proud of this and proud to be part of such a big event. US squash has great female players playing right now and it’s good for our sport. I’ve always loved to play in Egypt because it’s my home, but since I moved here the US has been treating me really well.”

Three years on from claiming a first title in New York City, World No.2 Ali Farag doubled up at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions with a victory over Peru’s World No.5 Diego Elias in a pulsating four-game final, in which the pair played some incredible squash.

The first game was a marathon 27 minutes, with both men saving multiple game balls before it came to a conclusion. Elias saved four of them, but at the fifth attempt, Farag was able to take the game 16-14. The second game then went the way of the ‘Peruvian Puma’ 11-9, to level the contest.

Ali Farag (black) and Diego Elias (grey) in action during the final in New York City

It looked as though the World No.5 might have been able to sneak ahead in the third as the two continued to trade blows, however, accuracy from Farag at the crucial moments proved to be the difference as he once again edged into the lead before comfortably converting the fourth to clinch the PSA World Tour Gold title.

“I’m over the moon, the ToC is one of the biggest titles you want to win,” the World No.2 said.
 
“I got to World No.1 on this court for the very first time, so I’ve got nothing but great memories. New York is always a great city to come back to, the vibe, there’s a lot of familiar faces. This crowd is extremely knowledgeable.
 
“Thanks to John Nimick [Tournament Director] and his Squash Engine team for the great job they’ve done and the challenges they’ve had to face with omicron and everything. I have missed it, the ToC is one of the tournaments you really look forward to and this time I’ve got my parents and my aunt watching as well, so I’m really happy to lift this trophy in front of them.
 
“Diego, we played an incredible match. It was very physical, very technical, required a lot of skill and stamina, I think it had everything in there and it was played in good spirit as well. It wasn’t easy.”

Following on from the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions will be the biggest event on the sport’s calendar, with the PSA World Championships taking place in Cairo from May 13-22. All the action from Cairo will be streamed live on SQUASHTV, with the later stages of the tournament being shown on broadcasters around the world.

Men’s Final: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 16-14, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (76m)

Women’s Final: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (34m)

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