Marwan ElShorbagy & Raneem El Welily Claim El Gouna International Titles

Marwan ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily were crowned champions at the 2018 El Gouna International with respective victories over Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini in contrasting all-Egyptian finals at the PSA World Series tournament held in El Gouna’s marina.

World Champion El Welily came back from a game down to defeat the World No.1 as the Alexandria-born 29-year-old played some spell-binding squash to take a 2-1 lead. However, the mercurial Egyptian required five match balls to eventually overcome her determined compatriot with El Sherbini fighting back to force a tie-break. A crucial tin from the younger Egyptian handed the initiative back to El Welily who was eventually able to convert and claim the title with a memorable 5-11 11-8 11-3 14-12 victory.

“What a match that was, Nour played fantastic and was fighting back all the way to the end,” said El Welily. “Even at 10-5 down at the end she wasn't letting go all the way to 11-10. I still can't believe that, last time it happened I lost that match so I'm very happy that I managed to win it at the end."

Marwan ElShorbagy claimed the first World Series title of his career after he overwhelmed Farag to complete a comfortable 39-minute victory.

The 24-year-old had won three of their preceding five matches on the PSA World Tour, with all their previous meetings coming in semi-finals, including last year’s AJ Bell PSA World Championships in Manchester where ElShorbagy came through a dramatic five-game, 75-minute thriller.

But ElShorbagy was rarely troubled by an out-of-sorts Farag, playing an impeccable match and outclassing his compatriot to take an 11-8 11-5 11-4 victory to win a World Series final at the third attempt, and join his brother Mohamed among the list of previous El Gouna International winners.

"To win my first ever World Series title here in Egypt means a lot to me," said ElShorbagy. "Especially to win it here at home means the world. I'm so happy, I'm over the moon and I can't even describe how I feel.

"I've lost a few major finals before, but coming into this one I just had to learn from the losses I had and I had to be more relaxed and more focused. Me and my coach put a good game plan together before the match."

2018 El Gouna International, El Gouna Marina, Egypt
Men’s Final:

[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-4

Women’s Final:
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 14-12