Ashour defies the odds to land third world crown

2014 World Champion, Ramy Ashour.
2014 World Champion, Ramy Ashour.
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INJURY-PLAGUED Ramy Ashour prevailed in a ‘brutal’ final against compatriot Mohamed Elshorbagy to lift a third World Championship title in Doha

Due to injury, the 27-year-old Egyptian had not played a competitive tournament since the British Open in Hull in May when he lost in the semi-finals to Gregory Gaultier.

Both he and world No 1 Elshorbagy squandered match points before Ashour eventually brought an end to 90 minutes of frenetic action with a 13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12 triumph.

“It was dramatic and it was brutal – it was like a fight,” said Ashour, who reached the final having defeated world No 2 Gregory Gaultier in straight games in Thursday’s semi-finals. “We were both trying to get inside the other’s game but nobody succeeded – we were both producing our best squash.

“In that last game we both had match balls and it was back and forth between us, we both wanted it so badly.

“Winning my third World title means so much to me – this is a very special moment.”

Ashour’s success can rightly be regarded as a remarkable achievement, given his injury troubles – an issue which has affected most of his professional career, particularly in the last three years.

Regarded as the game’s most naturally gifted player currently on the men’s tour, the crowd’s reaction to his triumph was further evidence of his popularity.

As for Elshorbagy – who defeated Sheffield’s 3-0 in the semi-finals – he has time on his side, although he will have a found a repeat of his defeat to the same player two years ago in the same final, hard to stomach.

He said: “It was a 50/50 match all the way. Of course I’m very disappointed, last time I was three points away, this time I am two points away and I had match ball.

“But I will come back stronger. And if someone was going to stop me winning it was going to be Ramy.”

Results – 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship

Final: [4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12 [90m]

Semi-finals: [4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0: 17-15, 11-7, 11-5 [56m]

[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 [60m]