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2014 - Year of the Epic final
a quick look back at some of the highlights of the squash year ...

This year started off in Sheffield with two hour-long upsets in the British Junior Open U19 finals, and while Yathreb Adel and Ahmad Alsaraj’s wins didn’t quite fall into the “epic” category, they certainly set the scene for many more dramatic finals, some of which certainly did fit that description.

What would prove to be a good year for Mohamed Elshorbagy started with a comeback 3-2 win over Peter Barker (and another Rolex) in the Motor City Open final.

The next epic came in Linkoping as Nick Matthew claimed his fourth Swedish Open title with a seesaw 3-2 win over Ramy Ashour in 90 minutes. Matthew took almost as long to take a sixth British Nationals title, overcoming James Willstrop again in an equally arduous final.

The first women's epic came in Chicago's Windy City Open as Laura Massaro beat Raneem El Welily in five. Not long after Laura was at it again, this time coming from 2-6 down in the fifth against Nour El Sherbini in the Women's World Champs final  in Malaysia.

In April David Palmer and Thierry Lincou were tied at two games all in the final of the Bermuda Legends, and it was the Aussie who won the one-point shootout decider (oh to be the ref that calls "love all, match ball" !).

Later in the month it was Ramy Ashour who prevailed in a terrific El Gouna International final, denying Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Not long after there was another all-Egyptian final, and in Zurich's Grasshopper Cup it was Amr Shabana taking the five-game win over Tarek Momen.

In May's UK's Premier League Final defending champions Surrey came from two down to beat Duffield and retain their title. In Frankfurt there was another "shootout" final, this time Nick Matthew beating Gregory Gaultier 3-2 in the deciding game of the Grand Slam Cup final.

Still in May, Chris Simpson retained his Jersey Classic title but it took him over 100 minutes to see off Adrian Waller in the final.

The Summer was dominated by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the men's final was definitely an epic, Nick Matthew beating James Willstrop in five thrilling games after 99 minutes.

After the Summer break it was back to business with the Malaysian Open, featuring another all-Egyptian five-game final, this time in the women's event with Raneem El Welily beating Nour El Tayeb.

In the Hong Kong Open it was the men's turn to deliver a dramatic finale as Mohamed Elshorbagy almost blew a two game lead before beating Gregory Gaultier, this one took 97 minutes.

September in Shanghai, and both finals of the China Open went the distance, James Willstrop and Low Wee Wern taking the titles in front of a spectacular backdrop after 98 and 102 minutes of effort.

Another thrilling Team final in the UK saw B&W Worms deny Paderborn in the all-German men's European Club Champs climax.

Moving on to October and Mathieu Castagnet earned the nickname "marathon man" ah he took the title in the FBN Montreal Open after matches of 67, 129, 85, and finally 100 minutes.

No let up in November as Nouran Gohar won the latest all-Egyptian classic, beating Omneya Abdel Kawy in five in the final of the Monte Carlo Classic.

Then, in Qatar, came one of the all-time epic finals as Ramy Ashour, on crutches not long before, somehow managed to claim a third PSA World Championship title in Qatar, despite losing a 10-5 lead and then saving a match ball in the decider against Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Chris Simpson played another five-setter in the final of the Dubai Cup, this time losing out to Karim Abdel Gawad.

That left December free for the women, and they didn't disappoint. The final of the Women's World Teams in Canada went down to the wire, and it was Alison Waters who clinched the win for England, adding the title to the one already held by their male counterparts.

Nicol David was disappointed that day, and a week later in Cairo Raneem El Welily was poised, at 2-1 and 10-6, to add more disappointment. But David was having nothing of it, and her comeback in the final of the Wadi Degla Women's Worlds capped off an eighth world title and a year of epic finals.

We may have missed some, but hopefully you'll agree
that there were plenty of dramatic finals in 2014 -
here's hoping for many more next year ..

BJO Finals Day

Swedish Open Final

British Nationals Final

Premier League Final

Jersey Classic final

English CG Hat-trick

Shanghai setting

Worms in Nottingham

Monte Carlo Magic

Ramy rejoices

David's delight

Check out all the events in the 2014 Calendar

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