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Marwan ElShorbagy (left) and Mohamed ElShorbagy (right) embrace during the 2017 Windy City Open

Throwback Thursday: Marwan Scores Emotional Win Over Older Brother Mohamed

One of the most memorable images from the 2016/17 season was the sight of Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy locked in an emotional embrace at the Windy City Open after the latter had finally triumphed over his older sibling at the eighth time of asking.

It was their third meeting of the season after 26-year-old Mohamed – three years Marwan’s senior – had triumphed in comfortable 3-0 wins at the U.S. Open and Tournament of Champions.

Marwan had never taken more than a solitary game against his brother, with Mohamed prevailing in all seven of their previous matches – and Mohamed looked to be on his way to another win after storming to a one-game lead for the loss of just one point.

The contest was more even from that point, however, as Marwan mixed up the pace of his shots to take Mohamed out of his rhythm, duly levelling up the scores in the process.

The brothers – who now reside in Bristol, England – are training partners and, as such, were reading each other in all areas of the court, providing a fascinating spectacle for fans at the University Club of Chicago.

But Marwan finally managed to get the better of his brother in the third game as, for the first time ever, he rose to a 2-1 lead to put himself on the verge of one of the biggest wins of his career.

The prospect of victory looked to weigh heavily on the 23-year-old in the fourth as he slumped to an 11-5 defeat, but he held firm in the decider to halt Mohamed’s title defence and claim a win that sent shockwaves throughout the squash community.

The winning point was followed by an outpouring of emotion from Marwan, while his older brother beamed on with pride and later referred to Marwan’s win as the ‘proudest day’ of his life.

An emotional Marwan said: “It’s tough, we both knew it was going to happen at some point.

“My brother and I have had a lot of personal things to deal with this season – that is life and we have to go through these things, and they’ve been affecting us on court.

“Every time we play it’s a battle on court – but we are best friends off court.”

A semi-final victory over compatriot Ali Farag in the following round saw Marwan through to his maiden World Series final, where his tournament eventually came to an end at the hands of Frenchman Gregory Gaultier.

Marwan would later move into the world’s top five for the first time in April, where he claimed a second successive win over Mohamed at the El Gouna International.

Want to match more of Marwan? Then head to SQUASHTV where you can watch his 2016 Grasshopper Cup final clash with Gaultier.

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