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25/01/2018
Tournament of Champions 2018

ToC Event 2018

Tournament of Champions 2018
 

LATEST | DRAW | NEWS | SCHEDULE

INFO | TICKETS | SPONSORSHISTORY | OFFICIAL SITE  

REPORTS & RESULTS BY ROUND 

Preview

Qualifying

Round One

Round 2

Quarters

Semis

Finals

 

Latest

 
     
 

DRAWS

Tournament of Champions 2018
Men's Draw
18-25 Jan
Grand Central Terminus, New York , USA
, $165k
Round ONE
18-19 JAN
Round two
20-21
JAN
Quarters
22-23
JAN
Semis
24 JAN
Final
25 JAN
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)
[WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Gregory Gaultier
11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (33m)
Tom Richards
Gregory Gaultier
12-14, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (92m)
Nick Matthew
Gregory Gaultier
9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1 (69m)
Simon Rösner
 

 

Simon Rösner
11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5 (71m)
Tarek Momen

 

[Q] Tom Richards (ENG)
11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7 (49m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
James Willstrop (ENG)
11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (41m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
James Willstrop
11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 (68m)
Nick Matthew
[6] Nick Matthew (ENG)
11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (43m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
11-7, 11-3, 11-8 (29m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Marwan ElShorbagy
11, 11-8, 4-11, 15-13, 12-10 (76m)
Simon Rösner
Simon Rösner
11-7, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6 (59m)
Nicolas Mueller
Simon Rösner (GER)
11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (75m)
Daryl Selby (ENG)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
7-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (63m)
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Nicolas Mueller
11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 3-11, 11-9 (71m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Joel Makin (WAL)
[3] Ali Farag (EGY)
11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)
[Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Ali Farag
11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez

Ali Farag
11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 (67m)
Ramy Ashour
Ali Farag
11-3, 2-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-9 (80m)
Tarek Momen
 
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
14-12, 11-8, 11-5 (42m)
[Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Ramy Ashour (EGY)
11-5, 11-8, 13-11 (44m)
[Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Ramy Ashour
11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4 (59m)
Paul Coll
[8] Paul Coll (NZL)
11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10 (70m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Tarek Momen
11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (25m)
Diego Elias
Tarek Momen
11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (39m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Diego Elias (PER)
11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10 (62m)
[Q] Declan James (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (54m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Ryan Cuskelly
12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 (90m)
Mohamed ElShorbagy
Leo Au (HKG)
11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
[2]
Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Qualifying

Qualifying finals:
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v Yip Tsz Fung (HKG)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) v Declan James (ENG)
Max Lee (HKG) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v Joel Makin (WAL)

1st qualifying round:
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 15-13 (41m)
Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-9 (47m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 11-7, 11-13, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 (77m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 (51m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Andrew Douglas (USA) 11-6, 15-13, 11-4 (44m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Joshua Masters (ENG) 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (37m)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 (35m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (41m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Spencer Lovejoy (USA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (25m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Dylan Cunningham (USA) 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (55m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11 (70m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Chris Hanson (USA) 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7 (55m)
 

Tournament of Champions 2016
Women's Draw $165k
20-25 Jan
Grand Central Terminus, New York
Round ONE
20-21 JAN
Round two
22
JAN
Quarters
23 JAN
Semis
24 JAN
Final
25 JAN
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (29m)
Joey Chan (HKG)
Nour El Sherbini
11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11 (41m)
Mariam Metwally
Nour El Sherbini
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (33m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Nour El Sherbini
4-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 (46m)
Laura Massaro
Nour El Sherbini
2-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7 (56m)
Nour El Tayeb
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
15-13, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9 (58m)
[16] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[13] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (24m)
[Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
Olivia Blatchford
7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 15-13, 11-7 (66m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (39m)
[7]
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (23m)
[WC] Marina Stefanoni (USA)
Nouran Gohar
11-7, 13-11, 11-7 (40m)
Alison Waters
Nouran Gohar
11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
Laura Massaro
Salma Hany (EGY)
11-2, 3-1 ret. (8m)
[10]
Alison Waters (ENG)
[14] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
12-10, 12-14, 11-3, 11-2 (42m)
Victoria Lust (ENG)
Victoria Lust
6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (52m)
Laura Massaro
Fiona Moverley (ENG)
11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 (65m)
[4]
Laura Massaro (ENG)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (21m)
[Q] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Camille Serme
11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 (53m)
Donna Urquhart
Camille Serme
2-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (50m)
Nicol David
Camille Serme
12-10, 11-6, 11-3 (36m)
Nour El Tayeb

 

Donna Urquhart (AUS)
11-6, 11-7, 5-1 ret.
[11] Annie Au (HKG)
[9] Joelle King (NZL)
11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4 (31m)
[Q] Heba El Torky (EGY)
Joelle King
11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 11-9 (53m)
Nicol David
[Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN)
11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (27m)
[6]
Nicol David (MAS)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (18m)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Nour El Tayeb
11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (24m)
Amanda Sobhy
Nour El Tayeb
6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (43m)
Raneem El Welily
[Q] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3 (37m)
[12]
Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[15] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (39m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Tesni Evans
8-11, 11-3, 15-13, 7-11, 12-10 (67m)
Raneem El Welily
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-4 (37m)
[2]
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Qualifying

Qualifying finals:
[1] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [12] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 13-11 (31m)
[L] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [15] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (24m)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [11] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-2: 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 16-14 (80m)
[10] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt [3] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 5-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10 (51m)
[8] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (26m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt [7] Mayar Hany (EGY) w/o
[5] Heba El Torky (EGY) bt [9] Hollie Naughton(CAN) 3-2: 11-0, 11-6,11-13, 10-12, 11-4 (45m)
[2] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [14] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)

1st qualifying round:
[1] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [L] Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-0, 11-1 (17m)
[12] Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (53m)
[15] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt [L] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (21m)
[L] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [6] Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (41m)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [L] Elani Landman (RSA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (19m)
[11] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (53m)
[10] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt Nikki Todd (CAN) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (48m)
[3] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [L] Reyna Pacheco (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-1 (17m)
[8] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-2: 11-3, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8 (45m)
Haley Mendez (USA) bt [13] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (41m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt [16] Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)
[7] Mayar Hany (EGY) bt [L] Mary Fung-A-Fat (GUY) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-1 (19m)
[5] Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 3-1: 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (38m)
[9] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (21m)
[14] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt [L] Tiffany Hau (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 (17m)
[2] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [L] Weenee Low (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (20m)
 

 

REPORTS

Day 8 Finals

Rösner and El Sherbini Lift 2018 Tournament of Champions Titles

Men’s World No.8 Simon Rösner and women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini prevailed on finals day at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, beating Egyptian duo Tarek Momen and Nour El Tayeb, respectively, under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York to take one of squash’s most prestigious titles.

Rösner became the first ever German squash player to win a PSA World Series tournament after he followed up a stunning semi-final upset of World No.1 Gregory Gaultier to take an 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5 victory over World No.7 Momen in 71 minutes.

The 30-year-old from Paderborn played with precision and guile to go two games up and then showed the grit and determination that took him to his maiden World Series final in the fourth game as he recovered from dropping the third and become the first non-Egyptian male to win the Tournament of Champions since England’s Nick Matthew in 2012.

“It’s a unbelievable feeling,” said Rösner, who will move up to World No.6 in next month’s World Rankings.

“That was the biggest match of my career and to win it is incredible. Coming here this week, I didn’t expect to win the championship.

"But this is what you work for every day. To play on this kind of stage is the reason you wake up, train hard, stay disciplined and go through all of that. And for that to pay off, in New York, in Grand Central Terminal, with the Tournament of Champions title - it’s unbelievable."

Meanwhile, El Sherbini lifted her second Tournament of Champions title, and her third World Series title in a row, after twice fighting back from a game down against U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb.

The 22-year-old was appearing in a fifth successive PSA World Tour final, a run which included World Series wins at the Saudi PSA Women’s Masters and Hong Kong Open, but suffered a disastrous start as she took just two points in a one-sided opening game.

Both players then took a game apiece, until El Sherbini came into her own in the final two games to triumph by a 2-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7 scoreline and lift her 15th PSA World Tour title and her fifth of the season.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling right now, I cannot describe it,” said El Sherbini.

“I’m extremely happy, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2018. I’ve been playing well and this is my fifth final in a row. I worked really hard in the summer and have been trying to enjoy playing when I’m out there and that hard work is paying off right now.

“Hopefully I can keep this momentum going for the rest of the season.”

Both players will pocket $24,000 for their victories, with the Tournament of Champions committing to equal prize money for the third year in succession.

Rösner’s victory sees him overtake Momen to go third on the Men’s World Series Standings to all but guarantee himself a top-eight spot, which will see him qualify for June’s PSA World Series Finals.

El Sherbini, meanwhile, has extended her lead on the women’s standings to 105 points over World Champion Raneem El Welily and El Tayeb, who sit in joint 2nd.
 

Day 7 Semi Finals

Rösner Stuns Gaultier To Become First German World Series Finalist

Paderborn-based World No.8 Simon Rösner became the first German squash player ever to reach a PSA World Series final after he stunned World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions held inside the iconic setting of New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Rösner, 30, reached his maiden World Series semi-final in November’s Qatar Classic, but he surpassed his performances in Doha with a sublime display against the number one seed, against whom he had lost 16 of their previous 17 matches.

A strong start from Gaultier led the Frenchman to go a game up, but Rösner responded with a display of the highest magnitude to take the next three games without reply, claiming a 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1 to cause one of the biggest shocks in Tournament of Champions history.

"It’s definitely the biggest win of my career," said Rösner.

"To beat him at this stage and reach the final is amazing. I think I’ve lost to Greg more than 16 times, I think I’ve lost to him about 30 times including the Europeans and World [Team] Championships.

"I know I’ve beaten him before, but that was a best-of-three format [during the 2013 PSA World Series Finals] so beating him in a best-of-five is unbelievable. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s the best feeling in the world."

There is guaranteed to be a new name etched onto the men’s trophy after World No.7 Tarek Momen overcame fellow Egyptian Ali Farag in a five-game, 80-minute marathon to book a place in his first Tournament of Champions final.

The momentum ebbed and flowed throughout the match, with Farag twice recovering from a game down, before Momen fought back from 8-4 behind in the fifth game to claim an 11-3, 2-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-9 triumph to reach his second World Series final.

"To beat Ali is unbelievable, I can’t believe that I was 8-4 down in the fifth and I made it," said an emotional Momen afterwards.

"I was running on fumes and I just kept pushing and believing in myself. I thought that this is my chance and I had to push until the end. I’m so glad I did, now I’m in a second final this season, I can’t believe that I’m having a very good season and I have one more push tomorrow. I’m going to fight until the end and hopefully I can get my first [World Series] title."

Farag’s first World Series final saw him lift the prestigious U.S. Open title in October shortly after wife Nour El Tayeb took the women’s title, as they became the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.

Farag’s defeat means that history won’t repeat itself in New York, but El Tayeb lives to fight another day after claiming a 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 victory in 36 minutes to send defending champion Camille Serme out.

“Camille is one of the hardest players to play against,” El Tayeb said.

“She’s someone I have learned a lot from and she caught me by surprise, volleying everything and not allowing any balls to pass by. It took me a while to get used to her game, even though we’ve played over 10 times, it’s still hard to get used to her game.

“I’m happy I won the first game, it played a crucial part in the match.”

El Tayeb’s final opponent will be World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, who advanced to a fifth successive PSA World Tour final after recovering from a slow start to overcome 2017 runner-up Laura Massaro.

An impeccable start from the English World No.4 saw her power to an 11-4 victory in game one as El Sherbini failed to connect with her attacking shots and hit a litany of uncharacteristic tins.

However, El Sherbini prevailed in a crucial second game that saw Massaro squander a game ball and the momentum was with the Egyptian player from that point onwards as she pressed on to record a 4-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 victory.

"At the beginning she was killing everything," said El Sherbini.

"Even though I was sure I was going to lose the first game, I just wanted to get some points and play until the last point. I think the second game was very crucial and I think that’s what made the difference."

The winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments will claim $24,000 in prize money each, while players will also be battling it out for maximum points for the PSA World Series Standings.

Only the top eight players on the PSA World Series Standings will qualify for June’s PSA World Series Finals and a title win for Rösner will see him move into the top three of the men’s Standings, while Momen needs to win to retain his place in the top three.

Meanwhile, El Sherbini can strengthen his lead at the summit of the women’s Standings, while a win for El Tayeb will see her move level with World Champion Raneem El Welily in second.

The finals of the 2018 J.P. Tournament of Champions will start from 19:00 local time (GMT-5) tomorrow and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), as well as mainstream broadcasters around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
 

Day Six Quarter Finals

El Tayeb Defeats World Champion El Welily

Egyptian couple Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag both advanced into the semi-finals of the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after claiming huge wins over World Champion Raneem El Welily and three-time winner Ramy Ashour on day six of the PSA World Series tournament taking place under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York.

El Tayeb and Farag made history in October’s U.S. Open as they became the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day and they both remain on course to challenge for honours in New York.

World No.7 El Tayeb, who beat El Welily in the U.S. Open title decider, went a game down to the reigning World Champion but battled back in a high-quality 43-minute affair, which she took in a 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline.

"If someone would have told me that we [El Tayeb and Farag] would both come out as winners, I wouldn’t have believed it," El Tayeb said.

"Raneem is not just the maverick of squash, she’s one of my idols. I learn a lot from here on and off the court, she’s the most graceful, most talented Egyptian female squash player.

"I got so nervous in Ali’s match, it took me a while to get this match going and against someone like Raneem, I can’t afford to start late. I saw how Ali studied his game and was preparing for the match and I tried to do that like him. I hope he’s happy with my performance today and hopefully we can keep it up tomorrow."

Farag, meanwhile, ended Ashour’s 12-match unbeaten run at Grand Central Terminal to reach the semi-finals of this tournament for the first time in his career, inflicting a first Tournament of Champions defeat upon Ashour since 2010.

The duo last met in the final of the China Open in August, when it was Ashour who came out on top in a thrilling five-game encounter that saw the pair put on a free-flowing squash masterclass. But this time around it was Farag who triumphed 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 in a scrappy match that failed to live up to the huge expectation surrounding it.

“Describing Ramy as tricky is an understatement,” said Farag.

“On his day he's the best player on Tour and everyone knows that.

“I just tried to forgot about who I was playing. At times, I look at him as the squash God and because of that I sometimes forget to play my own game, so today the most important thing was to focus on my own game plan that was devised by my team and I think it went well."

Farag will line up against countryman Tarek Momen in the last four after the World No.7 halted the giant-killing run of Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly.

Cuskelly caused one of the shocks of the tournament when he ended World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy’s 21-match unbeaten run in the previous round, but it was a different story against Momen as he struggled to find the impeccable length he was hitting against the World No.2 in round two, while Momen hit an incredible 23 winners en route to a 3-0 victory.

"I’m very glad to get through tonight in three games because it was the last session and you don’t get enough recovery from now on," said Momen, the husband of El Welily.

"I’m very happy with the way I played. Ryan is a very dangerous player, he took out the number two seed and the World Champion, it was an impressive win and I knew I had to have all my horses ready."

The other men’s semi-final will see French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and Germany’s Simon Rösner go head-to-head after yesterday’s wins over England’s Nick Matthew and Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller, respectively, while Gaultier’s compatriot - Camille Serme - moved into the last four of the women’s event with a 3-1 win over 2014 winner Nicol David.

Serme, who recovered from 2-1 down to beat Australia’s Donna Urquhart in the previous round, had never beaten David in 16 attempts until a momentous victory over the eight-time World Champion during November’s Hong Kong Open.

David had the better of the early stages as the Malaysian opened up a one-game lead, but Serme fought back, edging a tie-break to take the second before winning a further two games without reply to seal a 2-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 triumph in 50 minutes that will see her take on El Tayeb for a place in the final.

“Nicol was so strong in the first game, I wasn’t ready,” said Serme.

“The match from yesterday was still in my legs and in my head as well. It was such a big fight today, mentally I had to push very far and I’m just happy I came back."

The other women’s semi-final fixture will see World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and last year’s runner-up Laura Massaro lock horns after respective wins over World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry and World No.5 Nouran Gohar.
 

Day Five Quarter Finals Top Half

Defending Champion Serme Survives Second Round Scare

A dramatic day of action at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions saw men's World No.1 Gregory Gaultier come through a titanic 90-minute, four-game thriller with long term rival Nick Matthew to secure his place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Series event, while defending women's champion Camille Serme narrowly avoided a shock second round defeat at the hands of Australian Donna Urquhart.

Inside New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal, Gaultier, who was up against Matthew for the 36th time on the PSA World Tour, recovered from losing a 30-minute opening game to prevail 12-14, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 in what will go down as one of the finest matches in the history of the event.

Probing back and forth from the off, the pair engaged in rally after rally of physically and mentally testing squash that saw them move the ball, and each other, into all four corners of the court. Gaultier struck a crucial blow when he came from behind to take the third-game from under the nose of Matthew and go ahead on the scoreboard for the first time.

From then on the Frenchman tried to inject pace into the play to tire Matthew. The tactic worked as he eventually prevailed to inflicting defeat upon the 37-year-old in what was his last ever appearance under the chandeliers inside Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall.

"We've been playing each other for 20 years, since we were kids, and he definitely made it tough today," said 35-year-old Gaultier.

"He was dominating the centre of the court with his accuracy and made it very hard for me, he was hurting me on there. I just tried to dig in and retrieve as much as I could to keep the rallies going and make him work as hard as possible.

"We both gave everything. Of course we are rivals but we are friends as well and have a huge respect for each other. Playing here in this atmosphere is amazing and we both emptied the tank - hopefully I can recover well for my next round match now."

After the match Matthew said: "Today he just came out on top even though I think it was the best I have played all season, which shows there's more to come from me over the next few months."

Gaultier will now go up against Simon Rösner of Germany for a place in the title-decider after the 30-year-old from Paderborn beat Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller - his friend and training partner - 3-1 to reach only the second PSA World Series tournament semi-final of his career.

The win comes just three months after Rösner secured his maiden appearance in a major semi-final during October's Qatar Classic.

"It's hard to play someone who you know so well so I'm just relieved to get through the match today," said Rösner.

"I am a little disappointed I couldn't close it out in three, but I'm happy that I got it back in the fourth.

"I had been waiting for a big quarter-final win for a long time and finally managed to get one in Qatar to reach my first World Series semi-finals. To be in a second semi this season here in New York - for the first time in this great venue - is very special."

In the women's draw, defending champion Camille Serme had to call on all her fighting spirit to recover from a 2-1 deficit and come through a difficult clash with Urquhart in what was one of four women’s second round matches to go the distance.

Serme became the first Frenchwoman ever to win the Tournament of Champions last year when she beat England’s Laura Massaro in the final, but the number three seed was on the brink of an early elimination after conceding a one-game advantage following some superb squash from Urquhart.

The World No.16 outplayed Serme for large parts but the 28-year-old from Creteil showed her resilience as she came from 4-1 down in the fourth game to keep the match alive and, after taking the match into a crucial fifth, she maintained her composure to complete the victory.

"When you are losing, you start thinking about not playing again and being out of the tournament, so that’s when you fight even more," said Serme.

"You think that you have nothing left to loose and that’s when you relax a bit. At the end I got a lucky bounce and I just fought as hard as I could.

"I knew today would be tricky. Donna is in really good form and she put on a great match. She made me struggle a lot so I’m happy to be through."

Serme will go up against Malaysian squash icon Nicol David in the quarter-finals after the eight-time World Champion impressed in a 3-1 victory over New Zealand's Joelle King, while current World Champion Raneem El Welily will take on compatriot Nour El Tayeb after scraping through a difficult five-game battle with Welsh number one Tesni Evans.

El Welily suffered a nasty looking ankle injury during her first round win over Jenny Duncalf and was still feeling the effects of that injury during the early exchanges. But the Egyptian managed to find her footing in the second and raced through the gears to produce some spell-binding play that was equally matched by Evans.

The duo traded points through a series of thrilling exchanges, going all the way to a decisive tie-break finish in the fifth game, which El Welily converted to a standing ovation from the crowd.

"Tesni played fantastic today and I think I was a little flat at the beginning," said El Welily.

"It was mentally hard for me today. It felt like I was playing a final, which it isn't, but at least I get to live for another day in this tournament. It definitely wasn't easy at the beginning with my ankle - I just tried to adjust to it.

"The physios put in a lot of work and really helped me to recover for today and I'll need to do a lot of work again to be ready for the match tomorrow."

Elsewhere World No.1 Nour El Sherbini set up a last eight clash with England's Sarah-Jane Perry with Laura Massaro and Nouran Gohar both prevailing in their second round battles to set up a last eight meeting.
 

Day Four Round Two Lower Half

Cuskelly Shocks World Champion ElShorbagy

Australian Ryan Cuskelly pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career as he knocked World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy out of the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in a thrilling second round battle on day four of the PSA World Series tournament taking place inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Coming into the match ElShorbagy had won 28 of his past 30 matches on the PSA World Tour, including a run of 21 consecutive matches that saw him collect four titles on the trot, including December's World Championship, to close the gap on Gregory Gaultier atop the World Rankings.

But the Egyptian found himself out-muscled and out-hustled by Cuskelly in an absorbing encounter as the man who has called New York home for almost a decade produced one of his best ever displays throughout a a match of the highest calibre, coming through a mammoth 90 minute encounter to cause a huge upset.

“That's probably the biggest win of my career,” said Cuskelly afterwards.

“And winning here in New York in front of family and friends makes it extra special. My wife was trying to scout tickets for the day to get everyone in, so I'm really happy to pull the win off and I have to thank everyone for the great support I had today.

“I came in today with a game plan and tried to vary the pace and be aggressive when I could and just hang in there when he got on a roll. I managed to get some errors out of him and hit my winners as well so I'm really happy.”

Cuskelly will line up against another Egyptian, World No.7 Tarek Momen, for a place in the semi-finals after Momen came through to win in straight games against Peruvian World No.10 Diego Elias, who wasn’t at full fitness after suffering an injury scare against England’s Declan James in the first round.

Three-time winner Ramy Ashour also booked his last eight berth after the World No.14 dispatched New Zealand’s Paul Coll in four games.

The Egyptian maverick, who is now unbeaten in 12 matches at Grand Central Terminal after winning the event on his last two appearances in 2011 and 2013, was in sublime form in the first game and, after conceding the second game to Coll, had to dig in before eventually completing an 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4 victory.

“I don’t know how it looks from the outside, but when I watch us playing I see it as very simple movement and a very simple kind of pace, but you have no idea how many details are in there,” said Ashour.

“There’s so much happening on that court, there’s so much energy, so many thoughts, different vibes and strategies. My energy affects his energy and the way he hits the ball affects the way I hit the ball. That’s why it’s a brilliant sport and why I love it so much."

Ashour will take on World No.3 Ali Farag in a mouthwatering quarter-final fixture after a polished performance from Farag saw him oust 2015 semi-finalist Miguel Angel Rodriguez by a 3-0 scoreline.

In the women’s draw, former World No.6 Amanda Sobhy - who became the first American-born woman ever to reach the final of this tournament back in 2016 - capped her return from a 10-month injury absence with a 3-1 victory over 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham.

Sobhy ruptured her achilles while match ball up against compatriot Olivia Blatchford in the semi-finals of the Ciudad de Floridablanca last March, enforcing a gruelling period of rehabilitation, but the Harvard-graduate made a successful comeback in front of her home fans.

"“It feels good to be back,” said Sobhy.

“When you’re out as long as I was, just being on court is a huge accomplishment. I’ve waited for so long and I got pushed, it was my first match and it wasn’t easy.

“I’m relieved to win but I’m also really happy to be back on Tour. She has an impeccable front court game and that tested out my little leg. I’m happy that I could get the majority of her balls and maybe for my next match I’ll be slightly better.”

Sobhy will take on U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb after she dismantled India’s World No.20 Dipika Pallikal Karthik in just 18 minutes, while defending champion Camille Serme got her tournament up and running with a comfortable victory over Sobhy’s younger sister, Sabrina.

"I saw Sabrina play against Coline (Aumard) a few days ago and knew she would be dangerous today,” said Serme.

“I love coming back to New York, it's so much fun to be playing here and I want to enjoy every minute of it and spend as much time on that court as I can.”

Serme will take on Australia’s Donna Urquhart for a place in the quarter-finals after the Australian overcame an injured Annie Au, while 2014 champion Nicol David and New Zealand’s Joelle King will go head-to-head after respective wins over Samantha Cornett and Heba El Torky.

World Champion Raneem El Welily was also in action and recovered from a game down to defeat former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf - despite rolling her ankle painfully at the end of the fourth game - and she will meet World No.12 Tesni Evans in the next round, with Evans seeing off World Junior Champion Hania El Hammamy.

The quarter-finals of the men’s tournament begin tomorrow (January 22), while the women’s tournament hits the second round stage - play starts from 11:00 local time (GMT-5).
 

Day 3 Round Two Top Half

Switzerland’s Mueller Stuns Defending Champion Gawad

Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller secured the biggest win of his career as he dumped defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad, the World No.4, out of the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions on day three of the PSA World Series tournament held inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

The 28-year-old from Zurich came through a tense five-game match with England's Adrian Waller to reach the second round, but he put in one of the best displays of his career as he dominated and controlled the court from the off, taking Gawad out of his comfort zone and playing a high-tempo attacking game that saw him take the first two games untroubled.

The World No.27 then found himself with match ball in hand to complete an unexpected 3-0 victory, but the tension told as he snatched at a golden opportunity at 11-10 up, allowing Gawad back in to punish him and he took the next two games to send the match into a decider. Mueller refused to give in though and he held the nerves at bay to take a massive 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 3-11, 11-9 victory.

“I'm really over the moon,” said Mueller afterwards.

“That's one of best matches that I have played in a long time and it is one of the biggest wins of my career.

“To knock out the defending champion here in New York, inside Grand Central, is pretty special."

2012 winner Nick Matthew got the better of long-term domestic rival James Willstrop after prevailing by a 3-1 margin against his fellow Yorkshireman to avenge his defeat to Willstrop at the same stage of last year’s tournament.

The duo have contested one of the sport’s most captivating rivalries ever, but it was a rivalry dominated by Matthew between 2007-2017 as he struck up 19 consecutive wins against his compatriot until a momentous win for Willstrop in New York last January - but Matthew got his revenge today after prevailing in a high-quality four-game encounter.

"I was relieved to get over the line there and progress in this great tournament," said Matthew.

"I read before the match that this was the 60th time [including 36 PSA World Tour meetings] that James and I have played and that’s an absolutely incredible statistic.

"No matter whether it’s the first time or 60th time, James is an incredible player and hopefully there will be one or two more chapters left yet."

World No.1 Gregory Gaultier stands between Matthew and a place in the last four after the 35-year-old powered past English qualifier Tom Richards in straight games.

Germany’s Simon Rösner made it four European victories out four in the men’s draw today after he defeated World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy, coming through a scrappy affair to win it in five and he will face best friend Mueller for a place in the semi-finals.

The women’s draw saw two players from the United States in action, with the country’s number one player, World No.13 Olivia Blatchford, taking out Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling by an 3-0 scoreline to set up a second round fixture with World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry.

"Being out here is incredible, I’ve been watching this [in the crowd] since I was in diapers, so to have a win on this court is massive for me," said Blatchford, who is one of four American women in the main draw of a PSA World Tour event for the first time in history.

"Playing for my country is one of the biggest honours and privileges that I have ever had in my life. I know how good the US is, I’m proud that the ladies are leading the way and I feel very blessed to be a part of it."

Blatchford’s compatriot, Marina Stefanoni, today became the youngest player ever to compete at the Tournamant of Champions but the 15-year-old bowed out after going down in straight games to World No.5 Nouran Gohar, despite acquitting herself well showing some deft touches and vicious drives that belied her tender years.

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini kicked off her campaign after the 2016 champion eased past World No.19 Joey Chan of Hong Kong with a 3-0 victory in 29 minutes seeing her through to face compatriot Mariam Metwally, who upset World No.14 Joshna Chinappa.

“Joey is a very tricky first round, so I was trying to put her deep in the back of the court,” said El Sherbini, who will face compatriot Mariam Metwally in the next round.

“In the first game I was doing well, I hit zero errors, but after that she was playing better and I found the tin more. But I’m really happy to finish it in three and I’m looking forward to the next round."

Meanwhile, two-time runner-up Laura Massaro lives to fight another day after digging in to come through a difficult encounter with compatriot Fiona Moverley, eventually edging an 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 victory to ensure she will take on another fellow Englishwoman - Victoria Lust - in the last 16.

There was also a victory for 2015 runner-up Alison Waters after her first round opponent, World No.18 Salma Hany, retired shortly after the second game had started. Waters will take on Gohar in the next round.

Round two action from the men’s event and the opening round of the women’s tournament continues tomorrow (January 21), with play beginning at 12:00 local time (GMT-5).

Glass court fixtures inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
 

Day 2 Round One Lower Half

Three-Time Winner Ashour Beats Hesham

Three-time J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions winner Ramy Ashour defeated fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham to cap a triumphant return to New York’s Grand Central Terminal as he made his first appearance at the PSA World Series tournament since 2013.

A litany of injuries over the past five years have prevented Ashour from becoming a regular fixture at the tournament, but he had won his last 10 matches in New York, a run which encompassed title wins at both the 2011 and 2013 instalments.

And, on day two of the 2018 edition, the 30-year-old maverick profited from a series of errors from Hesham to take an 11-5, 11-8, 13-11 victory through to round two, where he will take on World No.11 Paul Coll after the Kiwi beat Zahed Mohamed.

“It’s been a while, last time I came here was 2013 and it’s like a dream come true,” said Ashour.

“The tournament is prestigious, everyone wants to win the Tournament of Champions. It’s really good to be back, a lot has happened and I wasn’t sure when I would be back here and when I would win again on court.

“On the last point I was just looking around and absorbing everything. I don’t even want to win it, I just want to play because I’ve won it three times before and I want to be here. I’m just grateful for everything I’ve been through and I’m glad to be back.”

Ashour will be joined in the last 16 by World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy after he claimed a 21st successive win on the PSA World Tour courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Hong Kong’s Leo Au.

ElShorbagy has won four tournaments in a row - including last month’s PSA World Championships - and picked up where he left off in 2017 to complete an 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 triumph.

“I played him during my junior career and I know how dangerous he is,” said ElShorbagy, who won the Tournament of Champions in 2015 and 2016.

“He’s been in very good form, he beat Ramy in Hong Kong and he took his team into the semis of the World Team Championships last month as well.

“He’s been playing very well and I had to be focused from the first point.”

ElShorbagy will face Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly for a place in the last eight, while compatriot Ali Farag also won on day two with a 3-1 victory against Kiwi qualifier Campbell Grayson.

"To get off to such a start against a tricky opponent is always good and I’m very glad to be through to the second round," said Farag.

"Campbell likes to play at a mid-pace and he is very accurate, so I had to push up the court a little bit and play with more intensity and I’m happy I was able to do that in the third and the fourth."

Colombia’s former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez awaits Farag in round two in a repeat of their quarter-final meeting at the World Championships last month, in which Farag prevailed.

Rodriguez made his breakthrough at this event back in 2015 when he beat current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier en route to a maiden World Series semi-final and he advanced to the second round of this year's tournament courtesy of a 14-12, 11-8, 11-5 victory over Tsz Fung Yip.

"Yip is a very talented player, he’s very fast and he’s a big guy," Rodriguez said.

"The last time I played him, I lost in Hong Kong two years ago but I was ready to play this match. The end of the year for me was excellent, so I’m trying to keep that momentum and it worked."

World No.7 Tarek Momen, meanwhile, defeated compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in a captivating five-game encounter and he will take on Peruvian World No.10 Diego Elias, who required four games to beat England’s Declan James.

Elsewhere, qualifying for the women’s tournament came to an end today with Harvard Junior Sabrina Sobhy beating World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby to ensure that there will be four American women in the main draw of the Tournament of Champions for the first time in history.

Sobhy - who will compete alongside older sister Amanda, United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford and 15-year-old wildcard Marina Stefanoni - will take on World No.3 Camille Serme in round one.

Meanwhile, Amanda is set to make her return from a 10-month injury absence against 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham after the Australian defeated United States No.3 Haley Mendez in the final round of qualifying.

Former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf was also a victor as she edged experienced Mexican Samantha Teran 16-14 in the fifth game of a dramatic 80-minute clash at the Yale Club and she will take on World Champion Raneem El Welily in round one.

The main draw of the women’s tournament begins tomorrow (January 20), while the men’s tournament reaches the second round stage.
 

Day 1 Round One Top Half

Rivals Matthew And Willstrop To Contest Second Round Clash

Long-term rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop will meet in the second round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions for a second year in succession after the Englishmen defeated France’s Gregoire Marche and Australia’s Cameron Pilley, respectively, on day one of the PSA World Series tournament taking place inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

World No.13 Willstrop ended a 19-match, 10-year losing streak to Matthew during last year’s tournament and he will look to end Matthew’s run at the prestigious tournament for a second year running after he saw off World No.19 Cameron Pilley by an 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 margin.

“I love playing here, the Tour is strong and to beat Cameron here is really tough,” said Willstrop.


“I’m very happy. Every single event brings up either a new player or someone who is very good like Cameron, so I don’t really look at the draw anymore because you know you’ve got to turn up and be ready and that’s what I’m trying to do from the very beginning.”

Matthew, meanwhile, began his final ever Tournament of Champions campaign with an 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 victory over World No.29 Marche.

Matthew, 37, will retire at the end of the season and has been a regular participant at the Tournament of Champions over the past 16 years, with five runner-up finishes to go with his title triumph in 2012.

Matthew and Willstrop will meet for the 36th time on the PSA World Tour, with Matthew currently leading their head-to-head record 26-9.


“You try and take it like any other match but there’s something extra special about playing at this station, never mind with it being the last time,” said Matthew.

“The first match of any tournament is the trickiest, especially here because no matter how many times you play the noise and the ambience takes some getting used to.

“I’ve started this tournament a little slowly [in the past], even when I’ve won it I’ve dropped games, so I was really determined to start well and he’s a tricky first round opponent. I was really delighted with how I played.”

Meanwhile, World No.1 Gregory Gaultier became the first male player of the modern era to reach 700 PSA matches after the Frenchman dispatched men’s United States No.1 Todd Harrity to end home hopes in the men’s draw.

35-year-old Gaultier, who was a losing finalist at last year’s tournament, will line up against English qualifier Tom Richards in the last 16, with World No.40 Richards upsetting India’s Saurav Ghosal to claim his first victory in the main draw of a World Series tournament since February 2016.

“700 is not a nice number, I will make it to 1000, I’m sure!” said Gaultier.


“I still feel good but I’ve been pretty upset with the last few months, coming back from an ankle injury was tough because I had to go to Qatar with no preparation at all. I thought I would catch up with the matches but I never really felt comfortable.

“But over Christmas I managed to have three good weeks for the first time since summer, so I’m happy that I managed to have these weeks on the court, which will probably make a difference.”

The man Gaultier lost to in the 2017 final, World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad, is also through to round two after the Egyptian defeated Welshman Joel Makin to set up a meeting with Swiss World No.27 Nicolas Mueller, who came back from two games down to overcome England’s Adrian Waller.


“It’s always hard when you have the pressure of defending your title, especially here in Grand Central,” said Gawad.

“It’s nice to play here, I love New York and I love being on court here. I’m trying to get as much time on court as I can and I’m really enjoying it.”

World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy and Germany’s World No.8 Simon Rösner were the other players to triumph on day one and they will go head-to-head in the next round after claiming respective wins over Cesar Salazar and England’s Daryl Selby.

The first qualifying stage of the women’s tournament also took place today, with US players Sabrina Sobhy and Haley Mendez making it through unscathed.

Sobhy, who beat World No.30 Coline Aumard, will line up against World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby, while Mendez’s victory over Milou van der Heijden means she will take on 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham.

First round action from the men’s draw continues tomorrow (January 19) when stars such as World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali Farag begin their tournaments, while the women’s qualifying finals will also take place.
 

Qualifying

Qualifying Draws to a Close at Tournament of Champions

The final day of qualifying at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions saw World No.41 Joel Makin upset top qualifying seed Alan Clyne to reach the main draw of the PSA World Series tournament - which takes place inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal - for the first time.

Makin prevailed in a gruelling five-game clash with Scotland’s Clyne, taking it 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 in 80 minutes to send the Welshman through to the main draw, where he will take on defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad in round one.

He will be joined in the main draw by fellow Brits Declan James, Tom Richards and Adrian Waller after the English trio defeated Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, Greg Lobban, and Ramit Tandon, respectively.

James will lock horns with Peruvian World No.10 Diego Elias, while Richards comes up against Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal for a place in round two. Waller, meanwhile, takes on Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.

Elsewhere, World No.29 Gregoire Marche came out on top in an all-French battle with Lucas Serme to set up a main draw meeting with 2012 winner Nick Matthew, while New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson is also through after his opponent, Hong Kong’s Max Lee, retired during the fifth game of their fixture.

Egypt’s World No.33 Mazen Hesham is the other man through to the main draw courtesy of a victory over England’s Chris Simpson and he will take on three-time champion Ramy Ashour in one of the standout matches of the first round.

The first round of the men’s tournament begins tomorrow (January 18), with the women’s tournament starting two days later. The finals of both the men’s and women’s tournaments will take place on Thursday January 25 from 19:00 local time (GMT-5) onwards.

Main draw matches held on the glass show court inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
 

Preview                                                                     click on images for larger view

Sobhy Aiming to Put ‘Difficult Journey’ Behind Her

United States No.2 Amanda Sobhy will make her long-awaited comeback from a 10-month injury absence at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions later this week when the 24-year-old Harvard-graduate lines up at the prestigious World Series tournament held inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

New York-born Sobhy became the first American-born woman ever to reach the final of this tournament back in 2016 - ultimately losing out to World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the title-decider - and she moved up to a career-high World No.6 ranking a matter of months later.

However, a ruptured achilles - suffered while playing compatriot Olivia Blatchford in the semi-finals of the Ciudad de Floridablanca last March - halted Sobhy’s development and forced the charismatic American into a gruelling recovery process.

Now ranked at World No.28, Sobhy will face a qualifier in round one and admits that her return to the court will be an emotional one.

"Recently, it has turned to eagerness and excitement but the past few weeks it has been a whole rollercoaster of emotions, from excitement, to doubt, to anxiety and panic, to excitement again," said Sobhy, discussing her feelings about returning to the Tour.

"It’s crazy to think that I am finally getting back to competing again, it’s been so long.

"This has been the most difficult journey I’ve ever had to encounter so far. When people told me the recovery process takes a long time, I had no idea it was going to be this difficult. It’s been 10 months and I still can’t do a single leg calf raise, plus the atrophy on my leg is beyond absurd.

"The hardest part for me mentally, physically, and emotionally was when I had to make that jump from doing normal PT [Physical Therapy] rehab that got you back to being a regular human again, to doing specific PT rehab for a professional athlete.

"It has been such a crazy journey filled with a lot of ups and downs. There were a lot of times when I thought I was never going to get back to this level. Fortunately, I have an amazing team of people helping me out and working with me, who stuck by me throughout the whole recovery process."

The Tournament of Champions is one of the sport’s longest-running tournaments and its stunning setting in the Vanderbilt Hall inside Grand Central Terminal means it is held at one of the most picturesque locations on the PSA World Tour.

And Sobhy, who has the likes of U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb and World Champion Raneem El Welily on her side of the draw, is backing her home crowd at Grand Central Terminal to get behind her and spur her on when she takes to the court.

"The Tournament of Champions is by far my favourite tournament, so the timing could not be better having my return to the Tour be at this tournament," Sobhy said.

"Everybody, and I mean everybody, is coming to watch my first round match on Sunday evening. It is so amazing to see how much home support I have from the fans. They all want to see me get back out there again.

"I could not be more excited to kickstart my return to the PSA World Tour with the Tournament of Champions."

Alongside the women’s tournament - which is held between January 20-25 - there is also a men’s World Series tournament, which begins two days earlier and features the likes of World No1 Gregory Gaultier, World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, title holder Karim Abdel Gawad and 2012 winner Nick Matthew.

The Tournament of Champions will also see players battle for points on the PSA World Series Standings as they try to qualify for a top-eight berth that will see them qualify for June’s PSA World Series Finals.

Glass court matches from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

 

 


Title-Holder Serme Hoping to Lift First Title of the Season in New York

Defending women’s champion Camille Serme is hoping to lift her first PSA World Tour title of the season when she participates in the 2018 edition of the prestigious J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, which is held at the iconic Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Taking place between January 18-25, the Tournament of Champions is one of the most highly-anticipated tournaments on the PSA World Tour calendar and last year’s instalment saw Serme become the first Frenchwoman ever to capture the title after a superb victory over World No.4 Laura Massaro in the final.

Serme, who takes on a qualifier on day one of the women’s tournament (January 20), has been a serial semi-finalist so far this season - reaching the last four stage at three of her last five tournaments, including two semi-final losses to World Champion Raneem El Welily in November’s Hong Kong Open and last month’s PSA Women’s World Championships.

And the World No.3, who is once again seeded to meet El Welily in the semi-finals in New York, says that she is focusing on her squash as she aims to end an 11-month trophy drought.

"So far, my season has been a bit up and down," said 28-year-old Serme.

"I’m a bit disappointed not to have won a PSA tournament yet, but there’s still plenty to come. I want to focus on my squash and on how I can still improve and become a better player. That is what worked last year.

"Winning the Tournament of Champions last year was amazing, especially because I have always admired this tournament. Playing in the Grand Central Station in New York is incredible and it was great to have my staff and my good friends with me.

"I’m the kind of person who always looks at the places where we play and thinks how lucky we are, we have an amazing job. Grand Central Station has a lot of history and it’s amazing to play there.

"I can’t wait to play there, I just want to enjoy that location, that court, and play on it as much as I can."

Serme is part of a top-class women’s draw that also includes stars such as Massaro, World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and eight-time World Champion Nicol David, while 15-year-old tournament wildcard Marina Stefanoni will become the youngest ever player in the history of the Tournament of Champions to compete at the event.

Meanwhile, World No.1 Gregory Gaultier heads up the men’s tournament, which starts two days earlier on January 18, and he is seeded to meet World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final - a match that could decide the destination of the World No.1 spot in next month’s World Rankings.

This year’s Tournament of Champions is the most lucrative edition ever with an equal $165,000 prize fund up for grabs, while points for the PSA World Series Standings are also on offer as players try to qualify for a place in June’s PSA World Series Finals.

Glass court matches from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased via the tournament website: www.tocsquash.com
 


ElShorbagy and Gaultier to Battle for World No.1 Spot at ToC as Draw is Released

World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy will battle with current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier for top spot on the PSA Men's World Rankings in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, with the pair seeded to meet in a blockbuster final clash at the prestigious World Series tournament on Thursday January 25, 2018 inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

Held between January 18-25, the 2018 edition of the Tournament of Champions will celebrate its 21st year at Grand Central Terminal, with ElShorbagy and Gaultier set to meet in the title-decider in a repeat of their dramatic semi-final clash at the same tournament earlier this year, in a match which will decide the destination of the World No.1 spot in the following month’s rankings.

ElShorbagy lifted the sport’s biggest title, the PSA World Championship crown, last week and he will kickstart his attempts to capture a third Tournament of Champions title next month against Hong Kong’s Leo Au in round one, with a semi-final meeting against U.S. Open winner Ali Farag potentially also on the cards, while three-time winner Ramy Ashour is also on their side of the draw.

2009 winner Gaultier, meanwhile, gets underway against tournament wildcard Todd Harrity - the United States No.1 - and could meet either World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy or defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad en route to the final.

Also featuring is 2012 champion Nick Matthew, who will make his last ever appearance at the tournament before he retires at the end of the season. The 37-year-old Englishman lines up against a qualifier in round one and is seeded to meet long-term rival James Willstrop in the second round - 12 months after Willstrop ended a 19-match losing streak to Matthew at the same stage of last year’s tournament.

The women’s draw is headed by World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini as she targets a second Tournament of Champions crown after her title win in New York back in 2016.

El Sherbini is seeded to meet compatriot Raneem El Welily - who beat El Sherbini to be crowned women’s World Champion last week - in the final, with a semi-final meeting against either two-time runner-up Laura Massaro or World No.5 Gohar in store.

Defending champion Camille Serme is seeded on El Welily’s side of the draw and they are predicted to meet in the semi-finals, the stage where Serme lost out to El Welily at the World Championships last week.

Meanwhile, United States No.2 Amanda Sobhy makes her long-awaited comeback from a ruptured achilles against a qualifier in round one. The former World No.6 has been out of action since February and will have U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb and El Welily in her way as she bids to go one better than her runner-up finish at the 2016 edition.

Two other American women join Sobhy in the main draw - World No.12 Olivia Blatchford and 15-year-old Marina Stefanoni, who has been awarded the wildcard entry in what is the first time that a trio of American women have competed in the main draw of the Tournament of Champions.

The men’s tournament will take place between January 18-25, while the women’s tournament starts two days later and will be staged between January 20-25.

The Tournament of Champions will offer up points for the men’s and women’s PSA World Series Standings - which are currently headed by ElShorbagy and El Welily - as players battle for a top eight finish which will guarantee their participation at June’s PSA World Series Finals.

Matches held on the all-glass showcourt inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased on the tournament website: www.tocsquash.com
 

 
NEWS


Matches held on the all-glass showcourt inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased on the tournament website: www.tocsquash.com
 

 

Schedule

Round One
07/08 Jan
Round Two
09/10 Jan
Quarters
11/12 Jan
Semis
13 Jan
Final
14 Jan
 

INFO


Matches held on the all-glass showcourt inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
 

  ToC Top 8 Seeds

TICKETS


Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased on the tournament website: www.tocsquash.com

 

 

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