Finals Day at Drexel – Elshorbagy and Serme are the Champions

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Camille Serme and Mohamed Elshorbagy are the 2016 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Champions …

Delaware Investments U.S. Open FINALS 2016 –
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[6] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)     11/8, 7/11, 12/10, 11/9 (54m)
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[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-2 [4] Nick Matthew (Eng)  10/12, 12/14, 11/1, 11/4, 3/0 rtd (68m)+++

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Camille claims US Open crown

sp_22608Capping off a week of tremendous performances, France’s Camille Serme added the current world champion and world number one to her list of scalps as she claimed her first U.S. Open title with a four-game win over top seed Nour El Sherbini – having already beaten the world number two and defending champion in the quarter-finals and the home favourite in the semis.

sp_22609The first two games were shared, Sherbini getting the better start in the first as she advanced from 2-all to 6-3 and holding that lead to take it 11-8, Serme did the same in the second, going from 3-4 to 8-4 and levelling the match 11-7.

There were a number of swings in the third, Sherbini led 4-2 and 6-3, Serme pulled back to lead 8-7 but Sherbini responted to reach game ball at 10-9. That was saved, and after the Egyptian tinned Serme’s serve landed in the backwall nick to give her the game and the lead.

sp_22617Sherbini regrouped and came out attacking in the fourth, taking a 4-0 lead. Serme’s defence has been outstanding all week tough, and it was no less so today. Often at full stretch she would just keep getting balls back, and anything loose would probably be punished as Serme’s volley drops have been just as good.

sp_22612The Frenchwoman took five points in a row to lead 5-4, then 8-5, and quickly 10-7 for three Championship balls.

Two lets, two tough rallies both won by Sherbini, but on the third a loose ball presented itself and Serme fired it into the front corner to claim her second career World Series title, and a well deserved one at that.

sp_22615“I just can’t believe it,” said Camille. “Two weeks ago, I was so far from this, and now, you are telling me I’m the U.S. Open Champion… It’s crazy!

“Today was a completely different match from the semi against Amanda, we all know that Nour has got unbelievable shots as well, she is not number one for nothing…

sp_22632“It’s crazy because I felt I was behind, I just kept pushing and she gave me some important points, and I thought OK, you can do this, you can win and I just pushed so hard, and at the end, I just tried and played a few shots as well.

“I’m so happy, thank you so much for the support.”

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Elshorbagy takes his second

sp_22619World No. 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy won his second Delaware Investments U.S. Open title after world No. 4 Nick Matthew was forced to concede due to injury early in the fifth game of a final played out in front of a sold out Drexel crowd.

Although the match ended in unfortunate circumstances, the two champions of the sport showcased exemplary sportsmanship and determination to the very end.

The first game gave 2007 champion Matthew hope of capturing a second U.S. Open title, but also proved to be the thirty-six-year-old’s downfall.

sp_22620After shooting his way to a 6-3 lead, Matthew pulled up grabbing his upper hamstring mid-rally. Two rallies later, Elshorbagy tumbled into the Englishman causing a brief injury break while Matthew appeared to favor his back. But Matthew pressed on, holding off the twenty-five-year-old at both nine-all and ten-all to win the twenty-minute first game 12-10.

Despite the physical discomfort, Matthew’s determination shone through in the second as the two battled through long rallies and remained within one or two points of each other until Matthew held two game balls at 10-8.

After Elshorbagy fought off one game ball, Matthew called his ball down to concede a second game ball.

Elshorbagy then went up 11-10, but also called his next ball down to level the score at eleven-all. After a Matthew tin gave Elshorbagy a second game ball, the Egyptian squandered his second opportunity. After a drop winner, Matthew earned a two-game lead on a stroke call to go up 14-12 after twenty-four minutes.

sp_22635Matthew’s injury became clear from the onset in the third game as he struggled to move around the court and only managed to win points off clear winners.

The fourth was more of the same, and just a few points into the fifth game, Matthew saved his body any further distress and offered his hand to Elshorbagy.

Elshorbagy, the 2014 champion, is the fifteenth male to win two U.S. Open titles.

sp_22628“I have great memories here, two years ago, when I won it, it took me to the top of the rankings, whenever I come back here, I’m just so happy to be back.

“It really gives me a lot of confidence, and I’m really happy I found my best squash this week. It had been a while since I found the way to play the way I like to play, I got it back again…

“I grew up watching Nick playing, he comes out from my generation, we call it the Golden Generation, for me, he is the greatest of all of them. What I have learned from him is just incredible. He pushed himself, he deserves respect from everyone in this world, what he did this week, what he did today, was unbelievable, and I think that people will only realise how important he was for the game when he stops.

sp_22639“Shabana has been great with me all week, we Egyptian players are so lucky he’s played all the generations, he knows them inside out, and we speak about the tactical side of the game before every match. Of course, my mum, she is here with me, such a great support mentally..

“To win my first World Series of the season is giving me a great confidence, for sure, thanks for the people that came to support us all week, USSquash for organising the event, Delaware Investments, and I really cannot wait to be back here next year. Thanks everyone.”

sp_22641Matthew commented: “I wanted to give the crowd the best spectacle possible but you need two good legs to beat Mohamed, he is the best player in the world, so, I tried my best.

“This week I found myself. I might not have won the tournament, but I won my squash back, on and off the court, I found that method to enjoy my squash, to play with a smile on my face, but ultimately, my body let me down. But the mind was in the game, I was just enjoying it, I had no pressure, I loved it, I loved being on this stage. I was a winner this week, full stop, regardless of the result tonight.”

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