Squash: Mohamed El Shorbagy dashes Gregory Gaultier's dream of history at world championships

French top seed Gregory Gaultier (above) was denied the chance of becoming the oldest ever men's world champion after losing to Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy on Dec 16, 2017.
French top seed Gregory Gaultier (above) was denied the chance of becoming the oldest ever men's world champion after losing to Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy on Dec 16, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER (AFP) - Mohamed El Shorbagy, twice denied the world title by only a whisker, earned himself a third shot at the elusive title with an impressive performance on Saturday which gained him a place in the World Championships final.

The third-seeded Egyptian's 12-10, 11-4, 11-9 win over Gregory Gaultier, the French top seed, guaranteed an Egyptian will win the world title for the fourth time in six years and denied Gaultier the chance of becoming the oldest ever men's world champion.

Gaultier, who turns 35 in a week's time and is short of sleep after the birth of his second son, still played with superb skill in the first and third games and might have become very dangerous indeed against a less focused and consistent opponent.

El Shorbagy, who has looked the best player in the world for a while, hit the ball relentlessly hard and ran down almost everything.

The 26-year-old has had to do it the hard way - Gaultier is the third all-time great he has beaten this week having already disposed of Ramy Ashour and Nick Matthew.

"I had to be focused and clever the whole way through," said El Shorbagy. "To drop only one game throughout the tournament so far I had to be very calculating.

"I really needed to finish it in three today against Greg to be fresh for tomorrow."

He will face his younger brother Marwan El Shorbagy in the final. The sixth seed beat fourth-seeded compatriot Ali Farag 11-8, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 in the other last four clash.

No brothers have competed in the world championships final before

Earlier another Egyptian, Nour El Sherbini, maintained her chances of a third successive world title with a 11-2, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-0 win over her compatriot Nour El Tayeb.

The outcome ended hopes of simultaneous husband and wife champions - which Tayeb and spouse Farag became at the US Open in October.

Sherbini's success depended on her halting Tayeb's surge while taking the second and third games and advancing to 3-1 in the fourth.

Sherbini did this by allying more consistency to her wide-ranging attacks, thus earning a final against the winner between Raneem El Welily, her second-seeded compatriot, and Camille Serme, the third-seeded Frenchwoman.