Egyptian couple Ali Farag and Nour El Tayeb wrote their names into the history books yesterday (October 14) as they triumphed at the 2017 U.S. Open to become the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.
Competing inside Philadelphia’s Drexel University the duo – who married last summer – defied the odds to defeat higher seeded and higher ranking opposition to secure the titles, the first PSA World Series titles of both of their careers.
After felling World No.1 Nour El Tayeb and World No.4 Laura Massaro to reach the title decider – her first appearance in a major final since losing the 2015 iteration of the U.S. Open – El Tayeb continued to play some of the best squash of her career to defeat compatriot and World No.3 Raneem El Welily in a breathtaking five-game affair that saw her twice come from a game behind to take the spoils.
“I’ve been dreaming about it and working really hard for the last two and half years,” said El Tayeb. “I’ve been improving every single tournament – it feels amazing to back-up wins against top four athletes – it’s amazing and I hope this is just the start.
“I soon as I finished my match, I just wanted to watch him and I was so nervous. It’s a dream – I see him every day working hard so it feels really special that both of our first World Series titles happen to be together.”
Meanwhile Farag produced a masterclass performance to dethrone 2016 title winner Mohamed ElShorbagy, the World No.3 who reigned supreme atop the World Rankings from over two years, in straight-games, securing his first major title and firmly establishing his credentials as one of the elite players on the men’s circuit.
“It’s a dream, especially that we have done it together on the same night,” said Farag. “We couldn’t have asked for a better week and I hope it’s the first of many to come together.
“I always believed in myself and this win is going to make me believe even more and hopefully I carry this momentum into future tournaments. I can enjoy it tonight and then tomorrow I have to forget about it and move on.
“It’s a good omen when she plays before me! It was a rollercoaster of emotions but I think I dealt with it really well and I couldn’t be happier!”