10:26 pm
12 Jul 2024

Elias Clinches Canadian Open Crown

8 Mar 2024

Diego Elias is the Canadian Men's Open Presented by AirSprint Private Aviation champion after beating Mazen Hesham in a gripping encounter in the climax of the PSA World Tour Silver event at Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary.

The Peruvian top seed, who is targeting a return to world No.1, survived a terrific fightback from Hesham to win his second PSA World Tour title of the season.

Going into the match, the form book suggested this was Elias' to lose, with the Peruvian enjoying a 13-4 record against Hesham, winning the most recent meeting - a clash at this year's Tournament of Champions quarter-finals - in straight games.

Hesham, though, has been playing some of his best squash this season, epitomised by a 77-minute 3/2 win over Elias in the semi-final of the Florida Open in January.

The Calgary final was another lengthy battle between the two, with momentum swinging dramatically back and forth.

In the opening games, Elias looked a cut above the Egyptian, with the world No.3 defending brilliantly as he took the first two games 11-2, 11-2 and then opened up an 8-3 lead in game three.

Hesham, however, fought tooth and nail. Despite the overwhelming odds, the No.2 seed dug in, desperately chasing every ball in long, punishing rallies to take eight of the next nine points and pull a game back.

In a nerve-shredding fourth game, in which the court opened up as both players tired, the pair traded points.

Eventually, however, Elias was able to wrestle back the momentum, reestablishing his consistent line hitting and forcing errors from Hesham to clinch the match with an 11-8 victory.

Afterwards, Elias said: "I feel super happy, really happy with the matches I played all week. I was really good and solid. I'm very proud of myself.

"I was up in the third and Mazen just kept pushing and playing so hard, it was so good from him. I got a bit tired but am just happy I could reset and push on in the fourth.

"The crowd has been amazing. Here in Canada, they love the sport and they support us every day. Every day it's been full and thank you everyone for coming all week."

Hesham added: "I want to thank everybody here for coming out today and for supporting us.

"I love everyone here and I love being here in Canada. The court is so hard for me, it goes against my game. I tried to do whatever I could. I fought really hard and am proud of myself for how I changed my game and fought back."

PSA World Tour squash continues throughout the week, with the second half of the Squash In The Land quarter-finals taking place next in Cleveland, Ohio.