Egypt’s world No. 3 Tarek Momen won his first PSA World Championship title–also his first PSA Platinum title–after an emphatic three-game final against New Zealand’s Paul Coll Friday, November 15, in Doha, Qatar. The result means Momen and Raneem El Welily–the 2017 PSA World Champion–have become the first married couple in squash history to become world champions.
The thirty-one-year-old was appearing in back-to-back World Championship finals after falling to world No. 1 Ali Farag in Chicago eight months ago, and had finished as runner up in all three previous major finals he had appeared in leading up to the final.
But a masterclass of attacking squash saw him draw world No. 5 Coll into the front of the court time and time again to power into a two-game lead to put him on the verge of matching his El Welily, who won the women’s World Championship in 2017. Coll, who was the first male Kiwi since Ross Norman in 1986 to appear in a final, returned to court in the third game with strapping on his right quad as a brutal week–which saw him spend almost an hour more on court than Momen throughout the tournament–looked to take its toll.
There was no stopping Momen in the third game as he closed out the win by an 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 scoreline to lift the biggest prize in men’s squash.
“If I tell you how many times I imagined making this speech my whole life, it’s countless, and now I just don’t know what to say, it’s so hard to digest,” said Momen after winning his seventh PSA Tour title. I just worked so hard for this. For years, I’ve been trying and trying, I came up this close but then it didn’t happen for me. I haven’t won a Platinum event and the first major I ever win gets to be the World Championship, it’s unbelievable.”
Momen becomes Egypt’s sixth men’s world champion, following Amr Shabana, Ramy Ashour, Karim Abdel Gawad, Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali Farag. Farag, the defending world champion, was forced to withdraw from the event a week prior to it following a family emergency.
“It has been a childhood dream of mine to become the World Champion at some point,” Momen said. “I am thirty-one now, and I was wondering whether I would have the opportunity to do it, so to be able to do it at this age and to still feel that I can give it my all for a few more years is just unbelievable.”
Following the conclusion of both the women’s and men’s 2019-2020 PSA World Championships this month, the sport’s biggest event will return stateside in 2021, where both competitions will be held alongside each other in Chicago.
For more tournament coverage visit psaworldtour.com.