MANCHESTER, Dec 18 — Mohamed Elshorbagy had to overcome mixed emotions to win the world title by beating his brother Marwan 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 in the first ever final between brothers.
Mohamed has twice lost world finals by the narrowest of margins to fellow Egyptian Ramy Ashour, but he was not prepared for an even harder opponent — the younger sibling with whom he has been competing since they were both old enough to walk.
“I was in shock when Marwan won his match last night,” Mohamed admitted.
“I was lying in bed for hours thinking I have to beat my brother to win the world title. It was not a nice feeling at all.”
It was a contest of sensational hitting, breath-taking movement, and obvious emotion between two men who could often guess what the other might do.
Mohamed, twice a British Open winner, led by a game and 9-7 but was pegged back, while Marwan went 6-4 up in the decider but could get no closer to the finish line.
It ended in a flurry of lets and penalty points as both men tired, with Marwan starting to miss with his short game in the last few points.
It may have been Marwan’s later schedule the previous night and subsequent shorter recovery time which eventually made a difference.
The end came with a ferocious cross court forehand winner from Mohamed, after which Marwan responded by applauding Mohamed for his achievement.
Mohamed tried to soften the blow by lifting Marwan’s arm as the crowd clapped, and there followed a very long hug between the brothers.
“I waited a long time for this moment and it was such a hard feeling,” said Mohamed.
“It is something we must share for the rest of our lives, although maybe both of us will not enjoy it.”
Earlier, Raneem El Welily ended a three-year wait for atonement after losing the 2014 final when she won the women’s world title by upsetting her Egyptian compatriot Nour El Sherbini 3-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5. — AFP