England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy beat Frenchman Victor Crouin to claim the first Platinum title of the season on Saturday and his fourth Qatar Classic championship in the final.
Held at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, ElShorbagy and Crouin faced off in a heated 48-minute battle, which ended 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8.
After beating the Egyptian Mostafa Asal, the quadruple champion qualified for the final against Crouin, considered an outsider.
An emotional ElShorbagy praised Qatar after receiving the tournament trophy from Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation President Nasser Al Khelaifi.
“I can’t express what I’m feeling right now. It’s the first tournament of the season, and Qatar has a special place in my heart,” said ElShorbagy.
“It was the very first Platinum event I won, here in 2013. Now, almost ten years later, I win my fourth title. It’s where I’ve had the most success in my career and will always have a special place in my heart.
Ranked fifth in the world men’s squash rankings, ElShorbagy’s win in Qatar is his first as an English athlete after changing citizenship from Egypt.
ElShorbagy would have shared the final starring role with his brother Marwan had he not lost to Egypt’s Asal in four games in the quarter-finals.
The impressive performance of Al Tamimi
The classic squash tournament saw the unexpected run of Qatari Abdulla Mohamed Al Tamimi.
The hometown hero shocked the crowd in the stands by beating New Zealander Paul Coll, who is ranked second in the men’s standings.
Playing for 94 minutes, the Qatari ignited the glass court with his quick response time.
Ranked 43rd in the world, Al Tamimi traced the game with finger cramps.
Al Tamimi was ousted from the tournament by France’s Crouin, who beat the rising star in the quarter-finals 13-11, 11-6 and 11-7.