Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fram chats to the Defending Champion

After winning the title last year in Zurich, Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy has risen to world number 17, and after the decision to hold the event annually, has an unexpected opportunity to defend the title ... Framboise talks to the defending champion with a week to go ...

Mohamed, just tell me how you feel right now…

I’m fine Fram, and everything is fine. I’m just training for the World Juniors, it’s so soon now, I’m going to Chennai this Saturday and hopefully, I can do well and win.

Would you have ever thought you would defend a World Title?

To be honest, I didn’t expect myself to be defending a title as big as the World Juniors… I have been lucky throughout my career... and this time around I am too.

It’s the first time they are having the individuals every year, so I’m lucky to be playing it. I put in a lot of hard work and effort last year for the WJ, and I guess even more this year, because defending a title takes much more effort. The pressure will be all on me, everyone wants to win this title so badly so it’s going to be very tough.

There are pros and cons being the top seed, but I have learnt a lot about how to deal with pressure over the years and hopefully I can perform well.

Inshallah, Mohamed. But would you like to change anything in your game?

No, I don’t think so. My game has worked for me till now and I don’t think I would change anything in particular. I’m 18, I still have a a lot more to learn about the game, and I’m learning something new everyday.

And anything you like in particular in your game?

Over the years with Jonah, I’ve learnt to adapt to different styles of games, and at the senior level you have to be able to adapt to any game… and I have worked a lot about it with Jonah… I change my game when necessary so I think that’s what's good in my game.

Your best squash memory?

Of course, the WJ last year!!! It’s always been a dream and this title will always be very special to me. I still remember when I won and my mum came on court and hugged me and cried. That was the most emotional moment I had in my life.

And I was so happy to have my father and my mum supporting me there and sharing that moment with me. They did a lot for me and they are still doing a lot for me in my life, and without them I wouldn’t have done anything of what I have done.

Your parents are special, aren’t they…

I remember last year in Switzerland, I was so nervous and I called my dad and my mum, and told them “I am so nervous, I need you to be with me”. The day after, they flew all the way from Dubai to Switzerland for me, the minute they knew that, once again, I needed them to support me. Without them with me last year, I wasn’t going to win the tournament.

What do you expect from this tournament, Mohamed?

This title means a lot to me, and I’m going to do everything I need to win this title. Last year during the finals I went on court and Aamir Atlas had more pressure than me. This year, it’s going to be the other way around, I’m the one who’ll have the whole pressure of the tournament…

It’s going to be big if I can defend my title this year. But you know what? I’m just going to let my racquet do the talking…

Full article with more quotes and photos

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