Despite beginning his 19th year as a professional squash player, 33-year-old Amr Shabana proved that he is still the one to beat when he recovered from a game down to defeat England’s World No2 Nick Matthew in the final of ATCO PSA World Series Finals to retain last year’s title.
The Queen’s Club in London which featured the top eight players from last year’s elite PSA World Series championships. Staged on the unique ASB all-glass Z-court, the final was broadcast live to more than 300 million homes around the world for the first time.
Two-time world champion Matthew, the event’s No2 seed from Sheffield, looked in commanding form as he took the opening game for the loss of just four points.
But a reinvigorated Shabana, the four-time world champion from Cairo, immediately turned the tables in the second and drew level after dropping just two further points.
The illustrious left-hander continued his assault on the home hero, taking the next two games to record a magnificent 4-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 victory in 57 minutes.
The win marks the 30th PSA World Tour title of Shabana’s career – a milestone which puts him three titles ahead of compatriot Ramy Ashour, the world No1 and reigning world champion, and five in front of Matthew.
“When everything is so well taken care of and you feel like all you need to do is come and play squash, then it really makes you want to raise your game.”
He was full of praise for his final opponent after their high-octane clash: “Nick doesn’t have any weaknesses – he’s an amazing athlete. I’m just happy to still be able to play like this against players like Nick today.
Matthew, denied the chance of becoming the first home winner of the title since 2001, was not unhappy with his own game: “I didn’t play badly at all, he was just too good for me – but I think he would have been too good for most people today,” said the 32-year-old Yorkshireman.