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Elshorbagy Eliminates Shabana; Matthew Ousts Rodriguez

World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy ended all hopes of Amr Shabana retaining his J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title with an impressive 3-2 victory over the 35-year-old

in what was one of the most impressive matches ever seen at Grand Central Terminal in the competition’s eighteen-year association with the iconic venue.

Shabana was in sublime form throughout the contest, finding his range from the opening exchanges and pulling out all of his trademark winners to dazzle the capacity audience and give Elshorbagy, 11 years Shabana’s junior, all sorts of trouble but the younger man showed just why he is number one with a defying display of retrieving as he dug deep to complete a remarkable victory.

“When you play against Amr you have to accept that he will make you look like an idiot on court at times and I accepted that today,” said Elshorbagy. “You can never look good when you play him because he is the most talented player on tour. To beat him I just had to hit and run and keep going and giving everything to get the ball back and it worked.

“He was very tired in the end, and I was too, but I’m glad I was able to push through in the end because I’m in my first ever final here and I’m looking forward to playing in front of this great crowd here in Grand Central Terminal once again.”

Elshorbagy twice went behind to the four-time World Champion but used all of his pace and six-foot-plus reach to keep himself in some of the most punishing rallies seen so far during the tournament and it paid dividends for him when, after levelling the game at 2-2, he took the sting from Shabana’s relentless attacking play and managed to find just enough in his locker to book his place in the final to face England’s Nick Matthew.

Matthew ensured he remains in contention to claim a second title in New York, to add to his 2012 ToC triumph, with a dominant 3-0 win over high-flying Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez – who had beaten World No.6 Peter Barker and World No.2 Gregory Gaultier to reach the semi-finals.

It was good fun out there tonight against Miguel,” said Matthew who will b playing in his fifth Tournament of Champions final. “Sometimes it felt like there were four of him on the court he’s so fast. But thankfully I was able to use my experience, one of the only things I have more of than him, and it paid off for me.” 

 Results: Semi-finals – 2015 J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Amr Shabana (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7 [87m] 
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 [50m]
 
Draw: Final – To Be Played Friday Jan 23
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)