Down 0-2 in matches at the break, England’s squash heroes Nick Matthew and James Willstrop rallied past Amr Shabana and Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt in the 2nd half to win Showdown at Symphony IV in Boston by one point.
Every match went the distance in the shortened game format of the 4th annual World Champions Challenge in Boston’s venerable Symphony Hall.
Shabana thrilled the 700+ crowd with a 1-point shootout tiebreaker victory over James Willstrop (11-9, 10-11, 1-0) in 19 minutes. El Shorbagy followed with a tremendous effort against Matthew resulting in another 2-1 victory for Egypt (11-5, 8-11, 3-2) in 31 mins to talk the 2/0 halftime lead.
James Willstrop clawed back by beating El Shorbagy by 1 point in their shootout tiebreaking 3rd game (9-11, 11-10, 3-2) in 24 mins, leaving 2-time World Champion Matthew to face 4-time World Champion Shabana in the decider. After sharing the 1st 2 games (11-5, 10-11) Matthew called “3” in the tiebreak decider to win the shootout with 3-2 winning the trophy for England by a single point 85-84.
Tournament Chairman John Nimick said, “Squash put its best foot forward before a packed audience in a great venue and with 4 of the world’s squash superstars.