Miguel Angel Rodriguez & Nour El Sherbini Crowned Allam British Open Champions

Miguel Angel Rodriguez became the first South American player ever to win a Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Series tournament after the unseeded Colombian stunned Mohamed ElShorbagy to win men’s title at the Allam British Open, whilst Nour El Sherbini defeated World Champion Raneem El Welily to win her second title at the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’.

Rodriguez, the first unseeded player in the modern era to win the British Open, and ElShorbagy, a two-time British Open champion, contested one of the most dramatic finals the tournament has ever seen, with 32-year-old Rodriguez prevailing 11-7 6-11 8-11 11-2 11-9 in a gladiatorial 102-minute contest.

ElShorbagy, who prior to the final had spent almost an hour longer on court than his opponent during this tournament, fought through the fatigue to take a 2-1 lead but the Egyptian took just two points in the fourth as he recharged his batteries for one last push in the fifth.

What followed was a stunning display of squash from both players, with ElShorbagy sinking to the floor due to sheer exhaustion after a particularly gruelling rally in the latter stages. 

The reigning World Champion fought on heroically but couldn’t deny his South American rival and when the Colombian reached match ball by deceived him with a well-disguised boast, Elshorbagy called an attempted pick-up to be down to ensure that Rodriguez made history.

“I think everything was mental, I dreamed it,” said Rodriguez after claiming the 27th and biggest PSA World Tour title of his career.

“I had emotions during the week but I am just speechless. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to win this major tournament, the greatest of all time. I’m so proud of myself, this is for my parents, my family and Colombia.

“It’s huge, this is like winning the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’. No one in South America has achieved this before, I’m a legend I think I can say. I couldn’t believe that I was able to fight with a top player like Mohamed, he has achieved so many titles. I can’t believe that I am 32 years old and I just won the British Open.”

Women’s World No.1 El Sherbini claimed her second British Open title from three finals after the 22-year-old produced a scintillating performance to overcome compatriot and reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily in straight games, avenging her defeat to the 29-year-old in the final of the El Gouna International which preceded the UK’s premier squash tournament.

The pair were meeting in a fifth major final of the season with each player taking two wins apiece. El Sherbini became the first female Egyptian to win the British Open in 2016 and had also reached the final in 2012 at the age of just 16, while 29-year-old El Welily was contested the title decider of the iconic tournament for the first time in her career.

The younger Egyptian prevailed 11-6 11-9 14-12 in 47 minutes to win her 16th PSA crown.

“The British Open is the biggest tournament on tour, it was an honour to win it once and now I have two and I’m really proud," said El Sherbini.

2018 Allam British Open, Airco Arena, Hull
Men’s Final: 

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9

Women’s Final:
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 11-6, 11-9, 14-12

“I think everything was mental, I dreamed it… I’m so proud of myself, this is for my parents, my family and Colombia”
Miguel Angel Rodriguez

“The British Open is the biggest tournament on tour, it was an honour to win it once and now I have two and I’m really proud"
Nour El Sherbini