ElShorbagy and King are the Champions

ElShorbagy and King are the Champions

Just four players left and two Hong Kong Champions to be crowned. We knew that at least one would be Egyptian, and in the event it was just one as Mohamed ElShorbagy retained his title and Joelle King claimed her first PSA Major, with contrasting three-nil wins over Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily.


[5] Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0[2] Raneem El Welily (Egy)     11-4, 12-10, 19-17 (48m)

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [2] Ali Farag (Egy)   11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (39m)



Joelle claims first ‘Major’

Joelle King claimed her first Platinum series title with a straight-game win over world champion Raneem El Welily – the Kiwi’s third straight win over the soon-to-be world #1.

Joelle dominated the first game, opening up a 9-1 lead and converting 11-4. The second was closer, Joelle eked out a 10-8 advantage but needed extra points to take it 12-10.

The lead changed hands in the third, and at 9-all Joelle was awarded a stroke to bring up championship ball. Raneem appealed and the decision was ‘no let’, so game ball it was. Raneem tinned that, then in extra points Joelle had five match balls, Raneem two game balls. On the sixth chance another video decision came up no let to Raneem and Joelle was the champion.

“I just kept thinking that it’s the last match of the tournament – just leave it all out there,” said Joelle.

“Raneem is such a tough competitor and she showed in the third why she is No.1. She just kept coming back at me and never let it go until the end.

“I guess if you’ve beaten a player before then it gives you a bit of confidence, but every day is a new day and she’s not No.1 for no reason, so I knew she was never going to let it go. I’m just extremely happy to win my first platinum event ever.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but to be on a stage like this, with such great fans means a lot. I just want to go on from here and keep playing good squash.”

Mohamed still the Master of Hong Kong

Mohamed ElShorbagy captured is fourth Hong Kong title in five years with a dominant performance over Ali Farag in a repeat of last years final.

On top from the start, the world champion never let Farag get more tan a sniff of equality as he maintained is fine form of the week, accelerating away whenever Farag threatened to close the gap, and taking the title in a comparatively subdued manner in keeping with the performance.

“I’m really pleased to be able to come here and play my best squash,” said Mohamed.

“It’s always great when it all comes together. I’m really proud of my performance but not to take anything away from Ali, I have nothing but respect for him. He came to the Tour later than all of us, he came up the rankings very fast. Very few people can do what he did and he’s coming after me but I’m trying to hold him a little bit.

“We’ve played twice already this season, he beat me once and now I’ve beaten him. I’m sure we will have many more battles and compete in more finals.”

Quick Gallery – lots more in the full Gallery

ON THE BLOG : The Junior Clinic with Leo Au and Nour El Tayeb

Celebrity Challenge Match :
2-1 to the Celebs over HK Squash (photos in the Gallery)