Full draw & Results
 Ramy Ashour
3-2  Mohamed El Shorbagy
2/11, 11/6, 11/5, 9/11, 11/8 (90m)
& Quotes on the BLOG
Ramy takes it all in Doha
Ramy Ashour is the new World Champion - and World Number One -
after winning a dramatic five-game final against compatriot
Mohamed El Shorbagy in Doha ...
DEAD MEN PLAYING…
This was the weirdest match ever. We had two “Dead Men Walking”,
playing slow motion for about 90% of the match, and to a
ridiculous pace for the left 10%.
Mohamed was dead from dead after his matches against Karim and
James, he was still using his brain fine, thank you very much.
Meanwhile Ramy, with bandages all over the body (after his match
against Nick, he had four packs of ice on his body, from
shoulders to hamstring to the back and most importantly the
So, to give you the atmosphere of the match. Imagine a boxing
ring yes? People everywhere, chanting Ramy, or Mohamed, and on
the ring, our two exhausted boxers starting the 15th and last
round. And that was the start of the match. You think I’m
exaggerating?? Have a look at the video. I’m not.
Ramy was so cautious with his body when they started. He was
testing it, stretching to try and catch whatever a “giving it
all from the start Shorbagy” was throwing at him. Trying to tell
his demons to go away and leave him alone while the contender
was stringing the points away. And the people that thought we
were going to have a quickie 3/0 in 20m for Ramy were very
surprised. First game to Mohamed in 10m, 11/2. The plot suddenly
of pace in the 2nd, at 0/2, Ramy decides that yes, his body can
take the strain, and start hitting “Ramy’s Shots”, you know, the
volleys that ends in the nick with no effort, just a flick of
the wrist? Yes, those ones. Short rallies. One long one at 5/4
Ramy to serve. Ramy with the momentum 8/4 and finishes it off,
tiring a bit the young man in the process, 12m, 11/6.
The third, Mohamed is just showing how exhausted he is. Ramy
takes full advantage of the 5 errors his opponent gives him,
8/2. But Shorbagy hasn’t said his last word. Slowly he starts to
“reprendre du poil de la bête”, to recover his composure, not
his second wind yet but close. Two great rallies at 9/4, 10/4,
with a young man extremely positive. He loses the 3rd 11/5, in
The fourth is a classic. Shorbagy, now with his second wind well
in place is leading the dance, finding perfect width and length,
coupled with stunning attacks that leave Ramy on the backfoot.
At 8/5, Mohamed looks suddenly very tired, and tins two points.
And he is saved by his racquet, string gone. He goes out, and
the little time he gets is actually enough to give him the bit
of fresh air he needs. At that age, God they recover so
9/9. At that point, those two play the most ridiculous rally I
have ever seen. It’s just unreal, surreal, incredible, sublime,
ridiculous, you call it the way you like. And it’s Shorbagy that
finally wins that one, the crowd is just on their feet. 10/9
Mohamed, and in three shots, he has forced a decider. That game
“Easy 3/0 for Ramy”. I’m still smiling when I think of the
number of people that told me that before the match….
5th. Ramy is taking an excellent start, but still playing slow
motion. He can’t push on the legs, he can’t really stretch, and
he is trying to avoid to run. Easy to play squash with those
parameters. But then again, Shorbagy has been running on fumes
since yesterday, bless him!!!!
4/1, 5/2 Ramy. Shorbaby gets his second, no, third wind, and
with three amazing rallies, comes back to 7/7. We are honestly
all at the edge of our seats. I don’t have any nails. And I
don’t think Basma Shorbagy (Mohamed’s mother, who celebrated her
birthday today) has many left either.
that slow motion from Ramy, and it’s Shorbagy that gets a little
edge, 8/7. Everything is still possible. But the fumes are
dissipating, there is nothing, absolutely nothing left in
Shorbagy’s tank. An error, a stroke for Ramy, match ball, 10/8.
A let that could have been a stroke, Ramy raises his arms. “Let”
says the ref. But a last tin for Mohamed. And this time, it’s
for good, 25m, 11/8 for Ramy.
Against all odds, a not so good draw to say the least, multiple
injuries, and an amazing Shorbagy with nothing to lose in 90m of
a surreal match, Ramy Ashour is not only World Number 1, but
also World Champion for the second time.
And as I predicted, I’m crying with Mohamed, and laughing with
Normal day at the office, really.
When I got on court, I knew my body could snap at any minute [he
shows me the different bandage on the quads, shoulders], and we
were both exhausted. Just look at the video, you’ll see it was a
very different match from what we normally play.
The only thing I was trying to do today was to stay calm.
Because my thoughts were like, how can I describe it, a washing
machine in my head. And I had to calm myself down, So, the
hardest thing is to think only of the ball, your opponent, and
on NOW. And yes, I am getting stronger, that makes a big
He played amazing squash and this is the most relaxed I EVER saw
him play!!! He was nicking shots from everywhere, and any loose
shot he would go for it. This was an amazing match, with
Shorbagy, you never know where the ball is going to go, unless
you are reading his mind, which is not easy to achieve….
I’m so glad I’ve won this tournament, after coming back from
injury, this is the best reward I could get. The second time is
actually the sweetest. The first time round, it was nice, but
somehow, it didn’t feel as good as this time, because I’ve been
through so much. And it’s only when something it taken away from
you that you truly appreciate it. So, after all what I just live
and survived to, this victory, this title, feels different. I’m
glad and I’m proud.
Shorbagy is such an amazing player, and we did Egypt proud
tonight. Hopefully, more of the same finals to come….
many people I need to thank, the credit list is a bit long!
First, my parents, who always supported and believed in me. My
brother, always on my side. I don’t have a coach in the academic
sense of the word. I don’t have a coach in the academic sense of
the word, I have training partners, Hossain Shahhad, Haitham
Ashoush, and coach Amin Dabo.
To the list we add Christiano Eirale, Richard Allen, John the
physio without whom I wouldn’t be even walking today, Alex the
masseur, and in Egypt, Tino my physio. Also, my sponsors Egypt
Air and Dunlop for their support, my manager Fatma Kader for
being there for me and supporting me all the way.
And you Fram, for giving
me the inspiration to come to Aspetar Hospital and get myself
sorted. And my Squash Academy, Inspire, all the kids that have
been watching the matches every day. I want to dedicate this
victory to them and to the Moderate Egyptians people…
Today, I really wanted to win, and I’m proud because one, I
managed to handle the immense pressure I had put on myself –
I’ll have to try and work on that for next time, being more
relaxed, although how can you be relaxed when you are in the
final of the Worlds! – and two, he was playing so well. I can
predict he is going to stay in the top 5 for a while…
Hard to take right now. Hard when you were only 3 points away
from the World Title. Yes, it’s a hard feeling I’m feeling, but
I have played a squash level I wouldn’t have expected that early
in my career. I was hoping one day to play at that level, but
not at this point in time. Today, this week, I really surprised
I knew that if I had tried and match his pace, I would have
lost, as nobody is as good at him at the pace, I couldn’t not
have kept the pace… So I tried and made it simple.
I would like to thank once again my parents, my brother, Amr
Mansi, and of course Jonah. And Alex the physio, without him I
just wouldn't be walking this morning. He kept me alive!!!.
And like Ramy said, I think we are going to play a lot of finals
together in the future. Again, I thought we were one day going
to play in a final together, but not now, and what a time to do
it, the final of the Worlds!!!!
Now, nothing can stop me from playing those top guys, maybe they
will be a bit more weary for me next time they play me as well…
And I’m really really, really hungry now.
I am so happy for Egypt, we didn’t have an all Egyptian final
for a while, it’s been more an English domination recently, so
for our country, this was precious. And I hope it continues for
a little while!!!!
Now, Ramy is back, world number 1, World Champion, and nobody
deserves it more than him because after what he’s been through,
coming back from that injury… And he says that Nick is the
strongest playing mentally. Well, he is one of a kind too, I
don’t think that many people would have managed to come back to
that level from where he was. He has an amazing talent.
I just hope that in the future, we’ll also have an amazing
rivalry for the years to come, that all the matches will be like
this one. This is what I train for. This is what I live for.