Mohamed ElShorbagy Claims Third Qatar Classic Crown

Egypt's Mohamed ElShorbagy won his third Qatar Classic courtesy of an impressive 11-8 10-12 11-7 11-7 victory over compatriot and surprise finalist Tarek Momen inside Doha's Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
 
Competing in his sixth consecutive Qatar final, the 26-year-old from Alexandria showed his championship calibre throughout the event as he swept past World No.8 Fares Dessouky, World No.4 Ali Farag and World No.1 Gregory Gaultier to reach the title-decider - where his big game experience proved too much for debutant finalist Momen.
 
It was ElShorbagy who took the opening game as Momen, competing in his maiden PSA World Series final, showed signs of nerves and while the 29-year-old showed his mettle to take the second game he was ultimately a step behind ElShorbagy in the end as the former World No.1 prevailed in four-games to add the 2017 title to his wins in 2013 and 2015. 
 
"I'm extremely proud of how I performed at this event," said ElShorbagy.
 
"When I saw the draw pre-event I knew it would be tough. I had to play the World No.9, the No.5, the No.1 and the No.7 to win, but playing tough opponents is the challenge that I live for. To be the best you have to beat these players.
 
"At the end of the day you want to challenge yourself against the best. Backing it up mentally each day was not easy - but I'm really happy. Last season I didn't play like a winner - this week I feel like I played at my best level and that was my focus coming here."
 
After dropping the second game ElShorbagy looked to be up against it in the third as Momen, utilising his speed and agility, attacked in the mid-stages to string together a series of punishing rallies and sap energy from ElShorbagy's legs.
 
But the Bristol-based player showed just why he has won 28 PSA World Tour titles - 14 of which have come at World Series level - as he dug in with dogged determination to come through a crucial stage of the match and complete the win.
 
"This week I got it right and I felt I played the big points well," said ElShorbagy.
 
"What made the difference today was my experience. I have been in so many finals. But it was his first. I knew the emotions he was going through.
 
"I was trying to contain him but at times he was like a train - I just couldn’t stop him. When he took the second game it was a big blow for me. He really pushed me and I feel this is just the beginning for him. If he can keep that momentum, he’ll be hard to stop.
 
"But today it didn’t matter how tired I was - it was about how much I wanted to win. I just killed myself on every shot and I'm so happy to have won."
 
After the match Momen said: "It's been an incredible week for me. I didn't know what to expect coming here and making my first ever World Series tournament final was very special. Obviously, I'm disappointed to lose but think it was a good match."
 
2017 Qatar Classic Final:
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7
 
"I'm extremely proud of how I performed at this event … when I saw the draw pre-event I knew it would be tough. I had to play the World No.9, the No.5, the No.1 and the No.7 to win, but playing tough opponents is the challenge that I live for. To be the best you have to beat these players”
Mohamed Elshorbagy

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