Egypt’s world No. 1’s Nour El Sherbini and Mohamed ElShorbagy triumphed on a thrilling final day of action at the 2017-2018 ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals to claim the prestigious season-ending titles inside Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Overcoming compatriots Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily—the respective men’s and women’s world No. 2’s—ElShorbagy and El Sherbini etched their names onto the trophies to bring the curtain down on what has been one of the most competitive and thrilling seasons in the history of the PSA World Tour—with ElShorbagy successfully defending the title he won twelve months ago and El Sherbini claiming the coveted crown for the first time in her career.
El Sherbini, the 22-year-old from Alexandria who has occupied the world No. 1 position unchallenged for the past 26-months, underlined her dominance over the rest of the field as she swept El Welily aside in a one-sided 11-3 opening game. El Welily, who defeated El Sherbini to win the 2017 World Championship final, managed to find her footing in the second game but it proved to be in vein as El Sherbini regained the upper hand to move 2-1 ahead, before controlling the fourth game to seal the win courtesy of an 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 scoreline.
“It feels amazing to have won this title,” El Sherbini said. “I was proud just to be one of the eight players who came here. It’s been a long season so I’m really proud and happy to end the season with this title. This season has been one of the most successful of my career but there are still improvements to be made and I can still become a better player.”
El Sherbini claimed four World Series titles leading into the World Series Finals, including the British Open, Tournament of Champions, Saudi PSA Masters and Hong Kong Open.
“Raneem and I keep playing each other and battling against each other on court, but we both go to Russia together in just a few days to cheer on Egypt in the World Cup,” El Sherbini said. “It’s difficult when you play against the same player so many times.”
“All credit to Nour tonight, she played very well,” El Welily said. “I was maybe a little slow and not at my best on court. I’m happy with my week and my season but there are certainly things to work on over the summer, hopefully next season will be even better.”
In the men’s final, it was Farag who started stronger against ElShorbagy in the men’s final to take the opening game as he looked to exploits the tired legs of ElShorbagy—with the 27-year-old from Alexandria having reached twelve finals from fourteen events played during the campaign.
But ElShorbagy showed just why he’s know as ‘The Beast’ on tour as he showed tremendous fighting spirit to level the match before prevailing in a physically punishing third game to set up the platform for victory—which sees him end the season as world No. 1, World Champion and World Series Finals champion.
“It’s been an amazing week here in Dubai,” ElShorbagy said. “There have been some great matches and I’m very proud to have been part of this event at the end of the season and to have won it. Ali and I have played so many battles this season and I’m happy that we managed to end the season playing against each other – he’s a great guy and great player and I look forward to being back on court battling with him again next season.”
Leading into the World Series Finals, ElShorbagy had claimed the Qatar Classic, Hong Kong Open and Windy City Open this season.
“Mohamed has been proving day in and day out that he is the best player in the world,” said Farag, who defeated ElShorbagy in the U.S. Open final. “Every time I feel like I match him, he keeps fighting back—I will work hard over the summer to try and match him next season.”
2018 marked the third year the PSA World Series Finals were staged in Dubai.