ALI FARAG: BIGGER THAN THE WORD BIG!

For his first participation in the event, Ali Farag's impressive display against James Willstrop allowed Egypt to reclaim the World Team title. A few minutes after the match, the 25 year old from Cairo was still over the moon.

By Jérôme Elhaïk

Pictures from Nathalie Goossens and Philippe Rochais

What this victory means to him

To say that I am happy is an understatement. What it means to me is much bigger than the word big! I was not playing only for myself, but for my teammates, my staff, the squash community in Egypt and beyond, so I had all that pressure on my shoulders. I really wanted them to make them proud, and thank god I did. Now we can celebrate but only tonight, because the World Individual Championship is coming very soon. I'll get back to Egypt for a few days and then I'll fly to England.

Farag Willstrop

Four years ago, I was still in college and I remember watching the MWTC final. Representing Egypt has always been a dream of mine, so I'd say this is the higlight of my career, I hope Nour won't mind if I say that (author's note: Ali Farag and his wife Nour El Tayeb made history a few weeks ago at the US Open, being the first married couple to win a sporting major event together).

Egypt now hold every single World title, except the Men's World Junior Team Championship

This is something we can be proud of, and is well deserved considering all the hard work that has been done. This also shows how close-knited we are, we always give other advice. I hope we can keep on going ... Yes, Egyptian squash is very strong at the moment, a lot of players could have made the team and we would still have had a great chance to win. Look at Ramy, he values the team more than himself and accepted the coach's decision today to leave him out. In fact, he deserves this title more than anybody else. (Asking to compare his country's current domination with Pakistan's in the 80s). It's difficult to say, it depends how you look at it. Jahangir and Jansher Khan are the best players in history, but maybe we have more depth than they had.

His years at Harvard

It made me grow as a person and discover different cultures. As far as squash goes, I had the chance to meet Mike Way, I've had some great coaches over the years, Ashraf Hanafi, my brother Wael, Karim Darwish, but Mike has been really special. Yes I know that Victor Crouin (France's number 1 in U19) is going to Harvard next year. He's obviously a great player, World Junior Championship runner-up and all, and a very smart guy as far as I've been told. Of course I hope that an Egyptian player will win the British Junior Open in January, but of course Victor has a chance. He will be a great addition for Harvard.

David Campion, England national coach

"We're disappointed we were not able to push Egypt harder. Nick had a problem with his ankle prior to go on court, and it impaired his movement. It was a real shame because him winning would have put some pressure on Farag. But Ali was too good today, he played very freely. I am still happy with how we performed this week, we really played as a team. Yes, it was Nick's last World Team Championship, but James has no plan to stop playing so it's no over for this team, although we do need to bring some fresh legs in the future."


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