James Willstrop denied in World Series Finals by resurgent Mohamed ElShorbagy

Yorkshire's James Willstrop was denied winning the PSA Dubai World Series Finals after losing out to world No 3 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

James Willstrop, lefvt, in action against Mohamed ElShorbagy in Dubai. Picture courtesy of PSA
James Willstrop, lefvt, in action against Mohamed ElShorbagy in Dubai. Picture courtesy of PSA

Harrogate-based Willstrop, 33, was appearing in the final of the prestigious season-ending tournament for the first time after beating World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the previous round .

He was out for revenge after losing 2-0 to ElShorbagy in their Group B clash, which used a best-of-three games format.

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But he was unable to match the ferocity of ElShorbagy’s hitting as the Egyptian fought through to a 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 victory in 57 minutes.

Mohamed ElShorbagy and James Willstrop collide during their World Series Finals showdown. Picture courtesy of PSA.

“I thought I could win and went in giving it all I can,” said Willstrop.

“It’s an incredible group here this week, so to make the final was a great pleasure.

“I was loving every minute, apart from losing. He responded today and unified everything I tried to do. Full credit to him, he stopped me playing so there are no complaints.”

After winning his 254th tour title, ElShorbagy added; “To win this tournament has been a dream for so long.

Mohamed ElShorbagy and James Willstrop collide during their World Series Finals showdown. Picture courtesy of PSA.

“It’s a very emotional win. I lost some confidence in myself during the season but I feel like I bounced back this week.”