DOHA: Ramy Ashour's recapture of the world title suggests that a significant change has been happening in the balance of power on the world circuit.
The 25-year-old from Cairo's 2-11, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 win over his 21-year-old compatriot Mohammed El Shorbagy in Friday's final represented a shift in age groups and across continents.
As well as producing a dramatically fluctuating showdown the two Egyptians delivered two tremendous semi-final performances in which they accounted for the two Englishmen who had had so much success over the past two years.
Ashour overcame the defending champion Nick Matthew in four games, reversing the result of the British Open final in May, while El Shorbagy survived a long slugging match in five games with world number one James Willstrop.
No-one is dismissing the capacity of those two fine players to win big matches from time to time, but it hard to see either Matthew, aged 32, or Willstrop, 29, having a long-term influence on the game.
For the Egyptians the future looks very different.
“I am proud of what I have achieved, but I feel that there is a lot more to come,” said Ashour, whose genius for unorthodox shot-making has this year been allied to improved fitness with the help of sports science knowledge at the Aspire centre in Qatar.
El Shorbagy was even more confident about the coming years.
“I am a decade younger than most of the leading players,” he said, referring not only to Matthew and Willstrop, but two other players in the leading five, Karim Darwish, another Egyptian, who is aged 31, and Greg Gaultier, a Frenchman, who will be 30 next week.
“I can play my game and develop in my own way and my own time, knowing that in a while I will be playing against players of my own age group, all of whom I have beaten.”
“The players in our national squad have already made good progress, and the future for some of them is looking even better,” said Egyptian head coach Amir Wagih, who has led his players to a record-breaking sequence in which his country has become the first to hold all four world team titles, men's and women's, senior and junior.
“We have other younger players who are very good - good enough to make it all the way to the top,” Wagih reckoned, referring to Karim Abdel Gawad, who beat Tom Richards, the 12th-seeded Englishman, last week, Tarek Momen, who scored a sensational win over Matthew in last year's Qatar Classic, and Marwan El Shorbagy - younger brother of Mohammed - who is world junior champion.
The major Egyptian concern is the likelihood that funding of the sport will be significantly reduced following the change of regime and continuing political turmoil in the country.
But there are too many fine young players already at a high level for the troubled nation's squash prospects not to remain very bright in the medium term - or at least until its hoped-for entry into the 2020 Olympics.