By Nathan Clarke
Egyptian squash maestro Amr Shabana dominated Gregory Gaultier in the final of Friday’s 2014 JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, beating the Frenchman 3-0 to seal the title in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
Shabana was in ominous form from the very first point, looking back to his best, and displayed the calibre of talent that saw him occupy the No.1 ranking for over 30 consecutive months between 2006 and 2008.
Shabana’s victory, his first PSA World Series event title since 2011, also prevents Gaultier from becoming World No.1 outright in February as the Aix En Provance man now goes level with England’s Nick Matthew atop the rankings.
“Greg wasn’t maybe at his 100% best tonight, but I took full advantage of that,” said Shabana.
“I can remember so many times when he has beat me 3-0 when I have been playing my best so I’m happy to win today, especially as it has been eight years since I last won the title here, and playing a final here is such an amazing experience.
“Everything came together for me this week. You can do all the training you want but you still need things to go your way and that’s what happened for me this week so I’m going to remember it for a long time.
“I had a tough few years with injury and every time you get injured you don’t know if you’ll be back again. I’ve had moments when I’ve thought that would be it for me, but luckily, I’ve kept my head down and I’m ok for now.”