The husband and wife who won their first major squash titles on the same day

Neither Ali Farag nor Nour El Tayeb had won a top-tier World Series event until they became US Open champions in the same venue on the same afternoon

By James Willstrop for Willstrop’s World, part of the Guardian Sport Network

When Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag won the US Open squash titles in Philadelphia earlier this month, the squash world knew they had broken some kind of record. This pair aren’t just from the same country; they are from the same house. The two Egyptian players, who married last summer, have been on the rise over the last few years but neither is in the habit of picking up major titles. In fact, neither had won a top-tier World Series event until they spurred each other to victory on the same day. They are now the only husband and wife in sporting history to have won a major singles title on the same day.

The squash world has embraced and enjoyed their unique achievement, even if some players probably think it’s a bit greedy of them to grab everything at once. This sort of family success is much rarer than siblings winning in tandem. The Brownlee brothers and Williams sisters can take advantage of the same propitious genes and nurturing environments. The El Shorbagy brothers and Grinham sisters have made it right to the top in squash in recent years – and their achievements are exceptional – but there is something truly special about two people meeting each other slightly randomly, falling in love and then winning massive sporting events for the first time on the same afternoon.

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