And the Best Men’s matches, PSA says…


Mohamed ElShorbagy v Youssef Ibrahim
Qatar Classic Round 3

Youssef Ibrahim 3-2 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy       11-9, 6-11, 3-11, 15-13, 11-6 (65m)

Coming in at No.5 on our list is one of the biggest shocks of 2020, as World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy, who came to Doha looking to take back the summit of the World Rankings, was dumped out of the Qatar Classic at just the third round stage.

Golden Boy Youssef Ibrahim was the man to beat ElShorbagy having already taken out Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller and Mexican No.1 Cesar Salazar to reach the last 16.

After winning the first game, the young left-hander found himself 2-1 down in quick time, with ElShorbagy winning the third game 11-3. However, ‘The Beast’ failed to capitalise, and missed his chance on a couple of match balls, allowing Ibrahim to take the fourth.

It would be the World No.41 that won the first ever meeting between the pair on the PSA World Tour, surprising the world, and booking his place in the quarter-finals of the Platinum level Qatar Classic.

Mohamed ElShorbagy v Ali Farag
St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic Final

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-1 [2] Ali Farag      11-8, 1  0-12, 11-6, 15-13 (79m)

The 2020 St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic final became an instant classic, with Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali Farag going head-to-head in front of a packed crowd at East Wintergarden in the middle of London’s financial district.

It is the only four-game battle that makes either our men’s or women’s list, showing the quality that the top two players in the world displayed during the last men’s match before the six-month suspension of the PSA World Tour.

After two tight games, the scores were level at 1-1, and it looked like the 20th match between the two on Tour would be going all the way. The drama really started to unfold in the fourth game after ElShorbagy had taken a 2-1 lead in the contest.

The fourth went all the way to a tie-break, with both players having several opportunities to take the game, and in ElShorbagy’s case, the match. He eventually did so, winning it 15-13 to claim victory, in one of the best matches of the year.

Gregory Gaultier v Omar Mosaad
Tournament of Champions Round 2

Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2 Omar Mosaad       11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9 (78m)

This match comes in at No.2 for several reasons. Firstly, it was a high-quality affair between two longstanding giants of the game. Secondly, it was a repeat of the 2015 World Championship final. Thirdly, it was the ‘French General’s’ long-awaited return to the PSA World Tour after more than 14 months out through injury.

It was the year-opening J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and Gregory Gaultier was back. He took on Omar Mosaad in his first match on the tour since the 2018 FS Investment U.S. Open Squash Championships.

Gaultier went behind after the third game, with the ‘Hammer of Thor’ doing what he needed to to take a 2-1 lead. However, the 37-year-old Frenchman showed his class, and was able to fight his way back into the contest, sending it to a decider.

It would be the former World No.1 that took the victory, winning out in 78 minutes to the delight of the crowd in Grand Central Terminal, and he showed off his dancing moves in celebration.

Ali Farag v Paul Coll
Windy City Open Final

[1] Ali Farag 3-2 [5] Paul Coll (NZL)     12-14, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 (77m)

The best men’s match of 2020, as chosen by our panel of experts, comes from the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family. The final was played between World No.2 Ali Farag and World No.5 Paul Coll, with the Kiwi having already dispatched two former World Champions in Mohamed ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad to make it to a first Platinum final.

It was the New Zealander who came out of the gates the quickest, and after taking the first on a tie-break, he then also won the second to hold a two-game advantage in the contest, and it looked like his first major title would be his, and his biggest since his victory in Canary Wharf in 2019.

However, Farag seemed to find another gear, and after taking the third game, it looked like it was his to lose, despite still being 2-1 down in the contest.

The World No.2 took the victory after blitzing Coll in the deciding game, claiming victory in Chicago for the second straight year, having won his World Championship title at Union Station twelve months earlier.