Nour El Sherbini joined Jonathan Power as the only four-time J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions winners, while Peru’s Diego Elias lifted his first title in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall Thursday, January 26.
The ToC marked the end of its twenty-fifth anniversary in Grand Central celebration with two historic finals.
Egypt’s El Sherbini elevated her name to the top of the ToC champions list with her fourth title at just twenty-seven-years old—joining Jonathan Power. The women’s final ended abruptly and in unfortunate circumstances when Gohar offered her hand to El Sherbini in the second game after twenty minutes of play due to illness.
El Sherbini has already cemented her place as one of the most successful players in Grand Central—the same court where the six-time world champion lifted her first Platinum title in 2016 at twenty years old.
“There are a lot of people I would like to thank. Firstly, I would like to thank Nouran for what she said,” El Sherbini said. “As she said, we have had a lot of battles together from a long time ago and I am glad we are still having them now. I wish her a speedy recovery and hopefully she will be back again quickly, recover well and we can play another final at the next Platinum event hopefully. I just want to thank everyone back home. My parents, my brother, my sister, my fiance, everyone who has been supporting me and believing in me the last year and a half. I would also like to thank my squash coaches for all the support.”
After falling short in the 2022 ToC final last May, Elias stormed to his first ToC title with a three game win over Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy. Elias and Elshorbagy, world No. 5 and 6 respectively, battled through grueling rallies in a fifty-minute final, but it was the Peruvian who proved to be sharper to win 11-2, 11-6, 11-4.
Elias adds the ToC title to his U.S. Open win in October and Hong Kong finals run last month so far this season.
“First of all, I am just super excited, I still can’t believe it! It is like a dream come true,” Elias said. “This tournament, it has always been my favorite. This is such an amazing city, and it’s always full for all the matches. I can’t believe I am here! I just want to thank everyone for making this tournament possible. J.P. Morgan, John [Nimick, Tournament Promoter] and everyone that has made it possible. I also want to thank my team. The week it was very special, I had my dad, Jonathon [Power], Wael [El Hindi] and Greg [Gaultier], the four people who have helped me throughout my whole career. It is just like a dream come true, having them all here with me this week. Also to the people that have helped me in my whole career outside the career. To Marwan, I think he is playing great squash and I want to congratulate him, and I hope we can play many more finals together!”
The 2023 ToC champions were the first to hoist the model of a new perpetual ToC Trophy designed by renowned artist and longtime supporter of the ToC, Frank Stella. Before the finals, Stella was honored as the 2023 Honorary Champion for his contributions over the past twenty-five years.