New names were etched into the record books of both the Men’s and Women’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions on Thursday as Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad, World No.2, and France’s Camille Serme, World No.4, were crowned 2017 champions on an electric night inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
The pair, both competing in the PSA World Series tournament title decider for the first time in their careers, prevailed in thrilling encounters with Gregory Gaultier and Laura Massaro, respectively, to take the spoils and add their names to an illustrious list of past winners.
The 25-year-old Gawad came from behind against World No.3 Gaultier to win 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6, extending his unbeaten streak to 16 matches to win a third consecutive major title – adding to the Qatar Classic and World Championship titles he won last November.
“Winning the Tournament of Champions, here in this venue, is an amazing feeling and I feel absolutely fantastic right now,” said Gawad.
“It’s been an amazing week. I’m over the moon. To win three big titles like the World Championship and Qatar Classic is a great feeling and I have to thank my coaches for the support and hard work that has been put in for the past few years.
Reflecting on the tournament, beaten finalist Gaultier said: “I had a great week here and I gave it all that I could. I gave beyond 100 per cent.”
Serme meanwhile proved that she truly is the player to beat at present on the Women’s Tour by downing No.2 Nouran Gohar, No.1 Nour El Sherbini and No.5 Massaro to add the Tournament of Champions title to the U.S. Open crown she won last October.
The 27-year-old French World No.4 started strong against Massaro, taking a tie-break opening game 13-11, but faded fast as the Englishwoman’s will and determination came to the fore. But at 2-2 Serme responded impressively, stepping up the court to get the better of Massaro and run out an 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 winner.
“I can’t believe it,” said Serme.
“Winning this title and winning two World Series titles in a row, beating the World No.1 and No.2 and coming from 2-1 down today to beat Laura, it is absolutely amazing.”
“I’ve been working hard in training and to see it all pay off like this is so encouraging – I’m delighted.”
Results – Men’s Final: 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-1: 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 (64m)
Results – Women’s Final: 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (73m)