England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy defeated France’s Victor Crouin, winning the first Platinum title of the season and his fourth Qatar Classic championship in the final on Saturday.
Held at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, ElShorbagy and Crouin faced off in a 48 minutes heated battle, which ended at 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8.
After beating Egypt’s Mostafa Asal, the four-time champion qualified for the finals to go against Crouin, who was considered an underdog.
An emotional ElShorbagy praised Qatar after accepting the tournament’s trophy from the President of the Qatar Tennis Squash and Badminton Federation, Nasser Al Khelaifi.
“I can’t express how I feel right now. It’s the first tournament of the season, and Qatar has a special place in my heart,” said ElShorbagy.
“It was the first-ever Platinum event I won, here in 2013. Now, almost ten years later, I’m winning my fourth title. It’s the place I’ve had the most success in my career and will always have a special place in my heart.”
Ranked fifth in the men’s world squash rankings, ElShorbagy’s win in Qatar is his first as an England athlete after he switched his nationality from Egypt.
ElShorbagy would have shared the final spotlight with his brother Marwan if he hadn’t lost to Egypt’s Asal in four games in the quarter-finals.
Al Tamimi’s impressive performance
The Classic Squash Tournament witnessed the unexpected run of Qatar’s Abdulla Mohamed Al Tamimi.
The hometown hero shocked audiences in the stands as he defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll, who is ranked second in the men’s ranking.
Playing for 94 minutes, the Qatari ignited the glass court with his fast response time.
Ranked 43rd in the world, Al Tamimi charted through the match with cramps in his fingers.
Al Tamimi was ousted in the tournament by France’s Crouin, who defeated the rising star in the quarter-finals 13-11, 11-6, and 11-7.