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Ali Farag Defeats Diego Elias To Win J.P. Morgan Tournament Of Champions

Will Weissman

Ali Farag (right) plays a shot against Diego Elias (left) on January 26, 2024.

On January 26, Ali Farag defeated Diego Elias in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) to win his fourth title of the season, adding another Platinum tournament victory to his resume. As Farag continues to play superb squash in recent years, he has further etched his name into history as one of the greatest players to pick up a squash racket. 

The ToC, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, hosts 48 players in the men’s and women’s draws with a total prize of $190,000 each. First played in 1930, the event has taken place in 17 different cities and now resides in Grand Central Station in New York City. 

Playing in his first tournament of 2024, Ali Farag looked to bounce back in the new year after losing a thrilling 5-game match to World No. 3 Paul Coll in the Hong Kong Squash Open back in December. His campaign began with a first-round bye and a quick 3-game victory against fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad. Farag continued through the draw, only dropping a game apiece to France’s ​​Baptiste Masotti and Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the third round and the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, he faced France’s Victor Crouin, who forced a major upset against New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the previous round. However, the Egyptian played three excellent games to take his spot in yet another ToC final. 

The championship match comprised Peru’s Diego Elias, the tournament’s defending champion, and a matchup of the two best players in the world. While Farag had won their three previous matches, Elias put these results aside as he stormed out with a 6-0 lead in the first game. The Peruvian took the first game 11-7, controlling the center of the court, while Farag passively extended each rally with a few attacking shots. Farag gained momentum in the second game by regaining position on the “T” and moved Elias to all four corners of the court. The Egyptian’s strategy proved effective in the second and third games after he won 11-6 and 11-4. While Elias tied the match at two games apiece, Farag relentlessly worked his opponent around the court. As Elias faced fatigue, Farag easily won the final game 11-5, adding another trophy to his collection. 

With another Platinum title in the year, Ali Farag further separates himself as the best squash player in the world. Through the PSA’s point ranking system, Farag has attained an average of over 2,260, for a total of 25,730 points in 13 tournaments. In comparison, World No. 2, Diego Elias, has a point average of only 13,450 for a total of 16,040 points in 14 tournaments. Ali Farag’s recent dominance in the PSA distinguishes him as the best player in the world. At only 31 years old, he still has many years to secure his legacy.


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