Egyptian Squash player Mohamed El-Shorbagy says he is determined to remain on top of the PSA World rankings after making history
Egyptian player Mohamed El-Shorbagy said the sky is his limit after ensuring he would be on top of the PSA World rankings next month for the first time in his career, hoping to make another remarkable achievement by winning the upcoming World Championship, which starts on 14 November in Qatar.
The 23-year-old, who won the US Open, will be the world number one in November's rankings at the expense of Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, who was ousted in the semis of the same tournament.
El-Shorbagy made a perfect start to the season by wining the Hong Kong, Malaysia and Mexico Open before clinching the US Open title this month.
"I worked very hard during the season to make this great achievement," El-Shorbagy said in an interview with Ahram Hebdo.
"I had some fitness problems in the past that affected my performance and saw me stumble in the semis of any tournament, but now things are different and I always end tournaments on a high, with the same power."
El-Shorbagy said he will not rest on his laurels after becoming the world's number one.
"I'm now on the top of the rankings and my target is to remain in that position," he said.
"It will be so difficult to keep my position but I will do my best to remain on top. Gaultier remains close to me so I cannot afford to get carried away.
"Being on top does not merely represent my peak. It's just the beginning."
Next target: World Championship
El-Shorbagy now turns his attention to the upcoming World Championship in Qatar, which he is looking to win for the first time in his career.
"Winning the World championship is my dream. I reached the final in 2012 and the semis in 2013 but this year I am determined to win this title," he added.
El-Shorbagy said he is grateful to English coach Jonah Barrington, who has been his boss since bringing him to England as a 15-year-old teenager in 2006.
"I met him when I was 15 years. He told me that he admires my talent and my way of playing. He helped me move to England and he remains my coach. I have no intention of working with someone else."
El-Shorbagy highlighted the financial difficulties that he faces in Squash, which requires heavy spending, expressing his frustration that no Egyptian businessman has offered to sponsor him.
"My parents are my real sponsors. A German company sponsored me just before the US Open."
"I am an Egyptian player but my sponsors are Germans and I constantly get English scholarships. It's really a shame," he added.
El-Shorbagy heaped praise on compatriot Amr Shabana, a four-time world champion who is ranked fifth in the PSA rankings, labeling him as a 'complete player'.
"Shabana has a simple style but when you face him, you find that it is very difficult to beat him."
"He is a complete player and his style is exceptional. We labeled him as 'the Federer of Squash'.
El-Shorbagy believes he is lucky that his brother Marwan, who is 17th in the PSA rankings, is playing the same sport.
"In an individual sport like squash, you need to have a training partner. I am truly lucky.
"He is my partner and I talk with him about all my defects. I can't do the same with any other player who I might face at some point. I believe that Marwan has also benefited from training with me."
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