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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Squash: Egyptian couple El-Tayeb, Farag snatch US Open titles, upsetting seedings

World number ten El-Tayeb is the first Egyptian woman to win the US Open title, while Farag defied the rankings to beat number two seed Mohamed El-Shorbagy

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 15 Oct 2017
Egyptian squash players
Egyptian squash players Ali Farag (L) and Nour El Tayeb (R) snatch US Open titles, upset top seedings (Photo from the tournament's official website)
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Egyptian squash players Ali Farag and Nour El-Tayeb have simultaneously snatched the men's and women's 2017 US Open titles, beating fellow Egyptians Mohamed El-Shorbagy and Raneem El-Welily respectively on Sunday.

The double victory was made all the more special by the fact that Farag and El-Tayeb are husband and wife.

World number four Ali Farag needed 49 minutes to beat Egyptian star and world number two Mohamed El-Shorbagy 3-0 (12-10, 11-9, 11-8).

Meanwhile, world number ten Nour El-Tayeb defeated her compatriot and world number two Raneem El-Welily 3-2 (8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5) in 52 minutes.

"It’s a dream, especially as we have done it together on the same night," Farag was quoted as saying on the tournament's official website after the match.

"We couldn't have asked for a better week and I hope it’s the first of many to come together."

El-Shorbagy, who has won the US Open twice, gave full credit to Farag.

"Ali played very well, not only tonight, but the whole week," El-Shorbagy said.

"He completely deserved the title this year. He was the best player by far the whole week, and he completely deserves the victory. So I want to congratulate him for his performance tonight. But I’m not going to go anywhere; I’m going to be back and I’m looking forward to more battles with Ali," El-Shorbagy added.

El-Tayeb, who beat top seed Nour El-Sherbini and two-time champion Laura Massaro on the way to the final, is the first Egyptian woman to win the US Open after beating second seed Raneem El-Welily in five games.

"Is this really happening?" said a delighted El-Tayeb.

"It doesn’t seem real. ... I pictured that moment so many times, for three or four years. I dreamed of it, thinking, 'I hope that one day, I can win a major title.' And to be honest, I didn’t think it would happen here," she said.

"Just before I came, I was telling my coach, if I want to win this, I have to beat so many top players, that it didn’t seem real at the time. And now, standing here, I still cannot believe it." the Egyptian squash star said.

"I want to thank my family, my mum and dad who were watching me tonight, and probably are very nervous right now. Thanks very much to everybody back home, and I hope that Ali can win this one too."

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