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Mohamed ElShorbagy and James Willstrop contest last year's final

Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2017 Men’s PSA Dubai World Series Finals

There is less than a week to go until the 2017/18 ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals take place at the Emirates Golf Club from June 5-9.

The PSA World Series Finals brings together the top eight players on the men’s and women’s World Series Standings as they battle it out for a share of the $160,000 lucrative prize fund.

To get you in the mood for another week of thrilling squash, we take a look back at the story of last year’s men’s tournament….

Round One
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-1: 11-13, 11-8, 11-7 (49m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 (48m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (39m)
[8] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7 (28m)

The tournament began with a best of three format which saw Germany’s Simon Rösner stun then-reigning World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad as he defeated him 2-1.

Rösner had never beaten Gawad on the PSA World Tour prior to the tournament but the best of three games format played into the German’s hands as he completed an 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 victory.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ali Farag stunned French General Gregory Gaultier as he brought his 27-match winning streak to an end when he defeated him 2-0 in round one.

Round Two
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 11-6 (21m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 11-8, 4-11, 11-6 (40m)
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 11-9, 11-4 (28m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 (56m)

Mohamed ElShorbagy sealed his place in the last four of the Men’s 2016/17 after he beat Egypt’s Ali Farag on day two, which meant that defending champion Gregory Gaultier crashed out at the group stage after he lost to Willstrop in straight-games.

Round Three
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 13-11, 11-8 (39m)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 12-10 (33m)
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-7 (17m)

Gawad, Willstrop and Rösner all joined ElShorbagy in the semi-finals of the men’s event.

Gawad topped Group A following wins over Nick Matthew and Marwan ElShorbagy which saw him go ahead of Germany’s Rösner in the group due a higher games won percentage.

[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 14-12, 11-6 (43m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 9-11, 11-8, 14-12 (62m)

Willstrop and ElShorbagy ensured it would be an England v Egypt final after they defeated reigning World Champion Gawad and Germany’s Rösner, respectively.

Willstrop played superb squash to win 14-12, 11-6 and reach his first ever World Series Finals final.

Meanwhile, ElShorbagy came through a gladiatorial battle with Rösner after he twice overturned match balls to reach his first Tour final since November.

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (57m)

ElShorbagy ended a difficult season on a high to lift his first ever World Series Finals crown and his first Tour title since November after beating Willstrop by a 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 in 57 minutes.

The Egyptian was in impressive form to put Willstrop to the sword and win his 25th PSA World Tour title.

“To win this tournament has been a dream for so long,” said ElShorbagy following his win.

“It’s a very emotional win. I lost some confidence in myself during the season, but I feel like I bounced back this week.

“I don’t want to lose. I hate losing. This season I didn’t play with my spirit, but I’m really proud I got that back this week. It was my best squash since being World No.1.”