Egypt and world number-eight squash player Amr Shabana revealed on Sunday that he had considered retiring a year ago but that his friends and family had persuaded him to take part in the World Series of Squash, in which he ended up snatching the title.
“I can’t play better. I was nearly out last year, wondering if it was time to simply watch the players rather than compete with them,” Shabana said at a post-match press conference.
“If it wasn’t for my friends and family – one of whom was Greg, who kept telling me to push – I think I would have retired. I tried my best,” the Egyptian star added.
The 32-year-old Shabana edged out France’s Gregory Gaultier, who is currently ranked world number-three, in the final game of the tournament.
Shabana, former world number-one – and currently in eighth place –expressed his pleasure over beating Gautier 3-2 (6/11, 12/10, 11/7, 7/11, 11/8) to clinch the first England-based tournament in his career.
“I’m not going to miss that question, so I thank God I won’t be asked it again now that I’ve won,” he said.
Gaultier, for his part, claimed he had learned from Shabana and expressed hope of winning the title next year.
“I’m disappointed to lose, but I’m happy for him (Shabana), as he was struggling last year,” Gaultier said at the press conference.
“I learned a lot from him (Shabana); he is great for the game,” the Frenchman concluded. “Hopefully, I’ll win the next one.”
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