Doha, Qatar: Egypt’s world no.3 Tarek Momen put in a sublime display as he overcame New Zealand’s Paul Coll by a 3-0 margin in Doha, Qatar to be crowned the 2019-20 – meaning Momen and wife Raneem El Welily have become the first married couple in squash history to become World Champions.
Momen 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 of the major finals he had appeared in prior to today.
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 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 just two weeks to the day since El Welily fell to World No.4 Nour El Sherbini in the final of the women’s World Championship, held in front of Cairo’s Great Pyramid of Giza.
“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 7th 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.
“It has been a childhood dream of mine to become the World Champion at some point. I am 31 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.
“I want to congratulate Paul on such an event and an amazing achievement. He’s done so well making it this far. He had the better of our last finals appearances, I’m just glad I managed to get this one.
“It was such a strong match, I know he pushed himself hard during the event. Towards the end, I could see he was struggling a bit, but he kept pushing. I only realised this morning we were the only married couple to become World Champions. We are privileged to have achieved something, and I’m so happy we did it.”
Coll said: “It was tough from the word go, Tarek was firing and made me do a lot of work at all stages of the game. It was taking its toll because of his accuracy.
“I’m very proud of my week, a bit disappointed by tonight but all credit to Tarek who delivered on the big stage tonight. I’m so grateful from all the support I got from back home, people waking up at early hours in the morning, it means a lot to me, and I want to thank them.”
Momen – who takes home over $45,000 in winnings – becomes the 18th man to get his hands on the iconic trophy, while he is the fourth Egyptian in a row to win the men’s World Championship.
He also qualifies for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals which will take place in June and pits together the reigning World Champions and PSA Platinum title winners, with the remaining spots going to the highest-placed players on the Road to Egypt Standings, with points on offer at all PSA World Tour events.