King and ElShorbagy claim MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open titles

A week on from winning the New Zealand Open crowns, England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and New Zealand’s Joelle King have claimed the MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open titles, with both winning in straight games in their finals at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy has captured his fourth PSA title of the season after he defeated Peru’s Diego Elias to win the men’s title, putting in yet another sublime performance to win the PSA World Tour Gold crown in straight games on Sunday evening.

The last four best-of-five matches had gone the way of Elias, including the final of the Necker Mauritius Open back in June. However, ElShorbagy continued the incredible form which has already seen him win the Qatar Classic, Oracle NetSuite Open and New Zealand Open this season to claim an 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 victory in 45 minutes.

‘The Beast’ overpowered and outmanoeuvred Elias, playing at an incredible pace which left the Peruvian struggling to keep up. The win marks ElShorbagy’s 48th PSA title, whilst he has won back-to-back titles for the first time since 2020.

Including his wins at the Carrus Nations Cup for England, ElShorbagy is now on a run of twelve matches unbeaten, winning three titles in that time, including his first victory for his new nation.

“I’m feeling very happy to have this tournament for the first time in so many years and to put my name on that prestigious trophy which has the names of a lot of greats from the past, it’s such an honour for me,” said ElShorbagy.

“I’m very happy to win this title, I’m very happy to back it up after last week in New Zealand, and I’m very happy that this is my fourth title this season out of my first six events. I remember last season there were many people that were saying that I could not play four tough matches in a row, but here I am winning my fourth tournament of the season. I’m far from done.

“Lots of people thought that they understood me, they knew who I am, that they knew ‘The Beast’. They don’t know who I am and what I can do when I’m angry. I’m really happy to come back and win events again and I’m very happy to play in front of such a great crowd.

“Diego beat me at the U.S. Open last month, he killed me 3-0 actually. He controlled the whole match, so I think it was my turn to learn something. Next time he will probably learn something from today, and that’s how you improve as rivals.

“Before this match, I had to speak to my team, to Greg [Gaultier] and my brother as well. He just played Diego a couple of weeks ago, so I made a point of calling him last night to understand what he did against him in Switzerland. Luckily, I have a brother [Marwan ElShorbagy] who is playing at the top of the rankings and we can think together sometimes against opponents.

“He’s taught me so much about what I could do today. I think I did everything that he told me last night, and he’s going to be a proud brother, definitely.”

New Zealand’s Joelle King also made it back-to-back wins, as she put in an impressive performance, nullifying World No.6 Nour El Tayeb’s attacking skills to record an 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 victory in 40 minutes.

The Kiwi came through a five-game thriller against unseeded American Sabrina Sobhy in the semi-finals, but she showed no signs of fatigue in the early stages, finding her rhythm quickly on the glass court at the OCBC Arena. El Tayeb struggled early, with her attempts at finding the back corners seeing the ball spray out into the middle, giving King multiple opportunities to put the ball away.

King won the first game 11-6, but El Tayeb showed he qualities in the second. She went 10-8 and had a chance to level the contest, but King produced four perfect rallies, showing supreme composure and confidence, to come back and win the game 12-10. That broke El Tayeb’s resistance, with the Kiwi storming to victory, capturing her 16th PSA title, and her biggest victory since the 2018 Hong Kong Open.

“First of all, we have to talk about Nour,” said King.

“She’s had a baby and she’s been terrorising all of the draws. She’s been unseeded and beating player after player. It was such a tough match, I know it was 3-0, but the intensity was high and there was so much skill and athleticism on display here.

“That’s what you get when you play Nour. Congratulations to her on a great tournament, and I’m very pleased to win today. I was game ball down [in the second game] and I thought that I just needed to fight. I tried to get a bit of rhythm for the next game and get in front and volley, and that seemed to work. That was the turning point, I think, and I came out strong in the third and just tried to protect the lead, so I’m very happy with this win today.

“It’s the first time we’ve brought world-class squash to Singapore for a long time, and I hope to see all the fans again here next year.”

MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open 2022 : Day SIX, FINALS, from 15.00

 [2] Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)    11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (40m)

[4] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng) 3-0 [3] Diego Elias (Per)     11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (45m)

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