Egypt’s Ramy Ashour has been honoured as PSA Player of the Year for the second year in a row at the annual World Squash Awards.
The presentation took place at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions at Grand Central Terminal in New York City. In a further nomination by the PSA Board, fellow Egyptian Marwan El Shorbagy received the PSA Young Player of Year award.
Ashour has become one of the biggest draws on the PSA World Tour over the past few years. Twice a winner of the PSA Young Player of the Year award, the two-time world junior champion rapidly made his mark on the senior tour, becoming world number one for the first time in January 2010, aged 23.
After an injury-affected 2011, the gifted 25-year-old from Cairo enjoyed the best year of his professional career in 2012, becoming the first player for almost two decades to reach the final of all events he played in – winning five titles and capping the year by clinching the PSA World Championship crown for the second time and regaining the world number one ranking this month.
After following in the footsteps of Mohamed El Shorbagy by winning a second World Junior Championship title last year, teenager Marwan El Shorbagy is now emulating his older brother by becoming ‘Young Player of the Year’ – an award won by Mohamed in both 2009 and 2010.
“It’s an honour to be awarded the ‘2012 PSA Young Player of the Year’,” tweeted El Shorbagy later. “Thanks to everyone who has supported me through all this year.”
The 19-year-old from Alexandria, the youngest player in the world top 50, began 2012 in stunning style – becoming the first qualifier for ten years to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Series Tournament of Champions in New York. Continuing success took the UK-based teenager to a career-high world No26 in September, a month before making the semi-finals of theDayton Open in the USA unseeded.
“This year’s Player of the Year award was probably the closest it has ever been, with many candidates all having their claim – but we felt the run of event wins which culminated in being crowned World Champion and getting back to World No1 was enough to secure Ramy’s second award,” said PSA COO Lee Beachill.
“Obviously James Willstrop was another notable contender having spent all of 2012 at number one; Omar Mosaad has had a fantastic year and reached the top 10 for the first time; Borja Golan has fought back from a career-threatening injury to make the top 10 again; and Mohamed El Shorbagy had an incredible World Championship, reaching the final and finishing the year at number five,” added Beachill.
“The Young Player of the Year was a slightly easier decision due to the remarkable breakthrough of Marwan El Shorbagy. As well as having several notable results against highly-ranked opposition, Marwan also won the World Junior Championship and has positioned himself perfectly for a big 2013.
“All these achievements signify the immense depth of talent we currently have on the PSA World Tour and we all look forward to highly competitive 2013 season,” Beachill concluded.
Founded in 2005 by Eventis Sports Marketing, the World Squash Awards are endorsed annually by the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women’s Squash Association (WSA).