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Windy City Open 2018


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Windy City Open 2018
Men's Draw
20 - 28 Feb
Chicago, USA, $250k

22 -23 FEB
24- 25 FEB
26 FEB
27 FEB
28 FEB
[2] Ali Farag (EGY)
18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 (51m)
[Q] Nicolas Müller (SUI)
Ali Farag
11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Ali Farag
11-9, 11-1,
15-13 (46m)
Cameron Pilley
Ali Farag
11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (48m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-8, 11-8,
11-6 (39m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy

Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
14-12, 11-3, 12-10 (54m)
[Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)
11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (77m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Cameron Pilley
11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (67m)
Nick Matthew
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG)
11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (35m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER)
11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Simon Rösner
11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (55m)
Daryl Selby
Simon Rösner
11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
Daryl Selby (ENG)
11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
[Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG)
11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
[WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
James Willstrop
9-11, 11-6, 11-8,
11-6 (50m)
 Marwan Elshorbagy
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
Leo Au (HKG)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-1 (72m)
Borja Golan (ESP)
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)
Diego Elias
Karim Abdel Gawad
16-14, 11-8,
11-3 (53m)
Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen
11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Diego Elias (PER)
14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 (63m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY)
11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[Q] Yip Tsz Fung (HKG)
Ramy Ashour
10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (42m)
Tarek Momen
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-7, 11-2, 12-14, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[Q] Max Lee (HKG)
11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Max Lee
11-7, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 (78m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-7, 14-12,
11-4 (39m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-6 (70m)
Paul Coll (NZL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
13-15, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (69m)
[Q] Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT)
Mathieu Castagnet
11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Declan James (ENG)
11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)


Qualifying Finals
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [16] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 14-12, 11-5 (33m)
[8] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [10] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (48m
[7] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [12] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 5-11, 11-5 (58m)
[4] Max Lee (HKG) bt [14] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4 (45m)
[6] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt [11] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (55m)
[5] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [15] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (54m)
[3] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [13] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (44m)
[2] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1: 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 (72m)


Windy City Open 2018
Women's Draw
20 - 28 Feb
Chicago, USA, $250k

22 -23 FEB
24- 25 FEB
26 FEB
27 FEB
28 FEB
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Nour El Sherbini
11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
Olivia Blatchford
Nour El Sherbini
10-12, 11-
13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (77m)
Nour El Tayeb
Nour El Tayeb
11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 14-16, 11-7 (73m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Nour El Tayeb
11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)
Joelle King
[14] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
13-11, 11-2, 11-8 (32m)
[Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
[Q] Nada Abbas (EGY)
Tesni Evans
11-7, 7-11, 6-11,
14-12, 11-4 (65m)
Nour El Tayeb
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
11-7, 2-0 ret. (10m)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
[WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (36m)
Annie Au
Sarah-Jane Perry
10-12, 11-6,
11-5, 11-5 (52m)
Camille Serme
[11] Annie Au (HKG)
11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (25m)
[Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Mariam Metwally (EGY)
11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
Mariam Metwally
11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (29m)
 Camille Serme
[3] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-1, 11-2, 11-3 (23m)
[Q] Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (35m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Laura Massaro
6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 (70m)
Joelle King
Joelle King
11-8, 11-7,
13-15, 11-6 (44m)
Amanda Sobhy
Joelle King
7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (60m)
El Welily
[9] Joelle King (NZL)
11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (26m)
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[12]  (USA)
11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (29m)
Victoria Lust (ENG)
Amanda Sobhy
8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (39m)
Nouran Gohar
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)
Salma Hany (EGY)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (54m)
[6] Nicol David (MAS)
Hania El Hammamy
12-10, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 (62m)
Alison Waters

Alison Waters
11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)
El Welily
[10] Alison Waters (ENG)
11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4 (49m)
Joey Chan (HKG)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (35m)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
Emily Whitlock
11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)
Raneem El Welily
[Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)


Qualifying Finals
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [15] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 16-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
[10] Nada Abbas (EGY) bt [8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 (30m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (19m
[9] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt [6] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [12] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
[5] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
[14] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt [3] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
[2] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [11] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)



Egyptians El Tayeb and ElShorbagy Lift Windy City Open Crowns

Women’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb and Men’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy prevailed on finals day at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, beating New Zealand’s Joelle King and younger ElShorbagy brother, Marwan, respectively, to claim the sport’s most lucrative World Series title.

El Tayeb, the Cairo-born player who won her first World Series title at the U.S. Open earlier this season, had already endured three five-game matches, coming from 2-0 down in two of those to win, to reach the title-decider and once again showed her resilience to edge a tense five-game battle with King.

The 24-year-old came from 2-1 down and saved two championship balls to defeat World No.9 King 11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 victory in 78 minutes and claim her share of a record $250,000 prize purse, equal that on offer in the men's draw.

“I can’t believe it,” said El Tayeb following her second World Series title win.

“I felt like I lost this match three or four times! I was down in the fourth, then I was down in the fifth but looking over at Haitham [Effat] and Ali [Farag] - they gave me the encouragement, but I really can’t believe that I won the tournament.

“Everyday that I’ve woken up I’ve felt tired but I knew that I can do it. I don’t think I’ve ever only played five-setters in a tournament. I think I will have to give my physical fitness coach a very big bonus!"

Meanwhile, in the family battle on the men’s draw, it was Mohamed who came out on top against younger brother Marwan as he produced a masterclass performance to claim the title in straight-games.

It was the second meeting between the brothers in a major final, following their clash in the PSA Men’s World Championship final in December – and it was the elder statesman who yet again took the spoils.

Mohamed – who returns to World No.1 next month – was in formidable form all week, not dropping a single game throughout the entire tournament and continued his winning momentum to dispatch his brother to claim his sixth title of the season.

“It’s been an incredible season,” said Mohamed.

“After last season - I worked really hard, set new goals that I wanted to achieve, and it just shows that nothing can stop anyone achieving their dream if they work hard for it.

“I’m really glad to get through this match with my brother. He has played incredible this season and he will still get better. This the second time we've played in a big final and his first World Series title will come at the right time - I just wanted to keep it a little bit later than today."

Semi Finals

Kiwi King Takes Out Defending Champion El Welily to Reach First World Series Final

New Zealand's World No.9 Joelle King will compete in the final of a PSA World Series event for the first time in her 13 year career after she knocked World Champion and three-time tournament winner Raneem El Welily out of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in a five-game thriller today.

Former World No.4 King suffered a career threatening injury in 2015 just months after reaching her first ever World Series tournament semi-final, at the 2014 Windy City Open. But she crowned her steady rise back up through the rankings with a formidable display against El Welily, coming from a game behind to take out the 2015, 2016 and 2017 title-holder 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10.

El Welily – who was targeting her fourth Windy City crown - looked determined in the first game as she hit with fierce accuracy to take the opener. However, King came back strong to reach the lucrative final – with this year’s event offering a record high prize fund of $250,000 in both the men’s and women’s draws.

“I’m just over the moon that I was able to hold my nerve in the end in what was another brutal battle,” said King following her huge win.

“I definitely think I’m playing the best squash of my whole career right now. I think the injury helped me go away and figure out a few things that were missing in my game and I’ve never really looked back.

“The exciting thing is that I still feel like there is a lot more to come in my game. I think I’m just enjoying my squash which is the main thing and I think it shows and I'm really excited to be in the final."

The World No.9 will now face World No.3 Nour El Tayeb of Egypt after she defeated England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in another thrilling 3-2 encounter in the women’s event.
“After I won the first two games, I started to feel nervous,” said El Tayeb. “I was thinking ‘am I going to be in another final? This is huge’ and I let go of thinking about the actual points and the squash.

“In the fourth, I started to play well again so I’m happy I won of course.”

In the men’s event, Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy will lock horns in the finale in what will be their first meeting since they clashed in the final of the 2017 PSA World Championships in Manchester last December, when it was Mohamed who claimed victory on the day.

The pair saw off the challenge of compatriots Ali Farag and Tarek Momen to earn their spot in the final.

“I’m so happy to reach another final in Chicago and if I could get my first ever World Series title here it would mean a lot,” said Marwan after reaching his second successive Windy City Open final.
“To play in another major final with my brother is amazing. We played in the World Championship final and to play against each other again, this time in Chicago, is fantastic.”

Tomorrow match will be the seventh final of the 2017/18 season for Mohamed’ – who will return to World No.1 next month – and he will be aiming to collect title number six so far this campaign.
“It’s great to be in another final, it will be my third final in Chicago,” said Mohamed following his win over compatriot Momen.

“I’m very happy to be playing my brother, he beat me here last year, so I will be looking for revenge.

“I’m really happy with the way he has been playing this season and I’m really proud of him. He has been playing really well and playing with consistency and he is showing the whole world what he can do and what he can achieve.

“The way he played today was unbelievable to take Ali 3-0. We learn from each other but tomorrow he is going to go for me and I know he feels that this is his time to take his first World Series event and it’s up to me to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Quarter Finals

El Tayeb Knocks Out Top Seed El Sherbini as Families Dominate in Chicago

World No.3 Nour El Tayeb staged a huge comeback from 2-0 down to knock World No.1 Nour El Sherbini out of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in an all-Egyptian quarter-final battle staged under the chandeliers of the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall.

Top seed El Sherbini took the advantage in the opening two games after, clawing back game balls in both to take a commanding lead over her compatriot.

However, U.S. Open winner El Tayeb refused to be beaten and she showed the same resilience displayed in her round two encounter with Welshwoman Tesni Evans – where she saved four match-balls to come back and win 3-2 – as she claimed the next three games to book herself a semi-final berth at this year’s event – which offers a record high prize fund of $250,000 in both the men’s and women’s draws.

“Nour is an unbelievable player and we have had a lot of battles this season,” said 24-year-old El Tayeb following her win.

“My coach and husband Ali [Farag] told me to dig in and told me not to worry about the first two games because I was playing well. Being 2-0 down against Nour El Sherbini is probably the hardest thing in the world on a squash court but I just thought I am playing so well and so I just let loose but it was close all the way.”

Joining El Tayeb in the next round to make it a family affair is husband Farag, who dispatched Australia’s Cameron Pilley in straight-games to reach the semi-finals for the second consecutive year.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Farag after his victory.
“Both of us won our matches and hopefully the tournament is not over for either of us, but we have very tough competitors tomorrow. The Tour is very deep now, and everyone is playing so well but we hope to keep going forward.”

Farag and El Tayeb will be joined at the last four stage by another married couple after Tarek Momen and defending three-time champion Raneem El Welily also made their way through with wins over compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad and England’s Alison Waters, respectively.

“I’m so glad that I’m having a great week here,” said Momen. “It is my first semi-final at the Windy City Open.

"Karim and I spend a lot of time together and we have had a lot of tough battles in the past with a lot of them going in his favour, so I’m really glad that I came through tonight in three.

“Raneem and I just try to enjoy ourselves on court - everyone is focused on their task and we are both trying to reach as far as possible in this tournament. We just try to support each other the best way we can.”

El Welily, who recorded her 18th successive win in Chicago, added: “Obviously Tarek was playing before me, so I was warming up during his match and it's fantastic that he won today. He's been playing well and it's a big win for him and I'm happy that we're both in the semi-finals - it doesn't happen that often.”

Completing the family theme in Chicago are brothers Marwan and Mohamed ElShorbagy as they defeated Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner and ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez, respectively, to complete an all-Egyptian last four in the men’s draw.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Joelle King and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry complete the women’s line-up after they overcame American Amanda Sobhy and Camille Serme of France, respectively.

 2nd Round Lower Half

Sobhy Secures Emotional Win Over Gohar Following Injury Lay-Off

American World No.30 Amanda Sobhy cemented her return to top form following a career-threatening injury with an emotional win over World No.6 Nouran Gohar in the second round of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.

The charismatic US star endured a 10-month injury lay-off following a torn achilles in the early stages of 2017, during which time a return to the top of the World Rankings seemed beyond reach. After an under-par return to action earlier this year at New York’s Tournament of Champions she showed that she is back to her best as she recovered from dropping the first game to prevail 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5.

Gohar took the first game to put Sobhy on the defensive, but she battled back in the second showing impressive resolve and went from strength-to-strength from there, leaving the Egyptian struggling to find an answer to her attacking onslaught as she booked a place in a third successive Windy City Open quarter-final – which this year offers a record high prize fund of $250,000 in both the men’s and women’s draws.

“It’s been such a long journey,” said an emotional Sobhy following her win. “I know I came back at ToC but I really had my eye set on this tournament. I really wanted to prove to myself that I’ve got this and told my coaches that I wanted to go on my own to do it by myself.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I’ve come all this way and I’ve fought back from injury and I can still beat the top people.

“The fact that I’ve come so far and gone through so much and built myself back up from the ground and got this win against a top six player, I’m really happy.

“I have a massive team around me and it has been a major team effort - I couldn’t have done it without all of their help and support. It has been a long process, but they have stuck by me and I can’t thank them enough.

“If there was ever a tournament to win then this would be a good one. I love Chicago - being the home girl is awesome and having everyone’s support.”

Elsewhere in the women’s event, England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro was knocked out by New Zealand’s Joelle King after the World No.9 produced a phenomenal comeback to reach the quarter-finals of this year’s tournament.

King looked down and out in the first game as a confident Massaro took full control before the Kiwi regained her composure to use her athleticism to full effect to win 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 in 70 minutes.

“Playing Laura is never easy,” said the 29-year-old.

“I’ve only beaten her once, and that was last year, so it’s always a tough mental battle. I had to dig deep to come back so I’m really proud of that win.

Defending champion Raneem El Welily also kept her title defence alive as she conquered England’s Emily Whitlock in straight-games, while England’s Alison Waters completes the women’s winners on day four.

In the men’s draw, Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriquez and Hong Kong’s Max Lee played out one of the matches of the tournament so far as they brought the crowd inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall to their feet during a 78-minute thriller.

Rodriguez took the opener, before Lee – who dumped World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar out in round one - battled back to take a 2-1 lead forcing Rodriguez to dig deep to claim an 11-7, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 victory in a humdinger of a match.

“We are good friends and I’ve played with Max many times before,” said Rodriguez.

“He was 2-1 up and mentally it is very tough to come back from that but I think I stayed positive. I saw at the end of the fourth he was tired so I had to come back stronger.

“I’m pleased to see that he is back at his best, he is a fantastic player. We enjoyed the game and I think the crowd did too but I’m happy to win and to be in the quarter-finals and with my performance.”

Rodriguez will go up against soon-to-be World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the next round after he sailed through, defeating France’s Mathieu Castagnet in straight-games, while Egyptian pair Tarek Momen and Karim Abdel Gawad also prevailed - with Momen securing his first ever victory over three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour.

Ashour started the match strongly, moving with grace and ease as he unleashed an array of sublime winners, but as the match wore on it was clear to see that the Egyptian was struggling with his movement as Momen – who has reached the Qatar Classic and Tournament of Champions finals this season – maintained his focus to close out the win.

“It’s a very tricky match playing against Ramy,” said Momen.

“We grew up in the same generation and he is only a few months older than me and for the past 25 years I haven’t beaten him once.

“The way he played the first game is a taste of what he can do on court. He’s had some struggles for the past few years and he’s trying to comeback and so, I’m always on edge because I don’t know what to expect.

“I’m very happy with the way I played today and how I handled the situation because I couldn’t tell if something was going to happen. I felt like we both played some good squash and I’m happy that I’m through.”


2nd Round Top Half

Australia’s Pilley Stuns Matthew in Round Two

England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew suffered a shock defeat in the second round of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, crashing out at the hands of Australian World No.20 Cameron Pilley.

35-year-old Pilley put together one of his best ever performances against Matthew to secure his first win over the 37-year-old Englishman since the 2015 Hong Kong Open as he took a 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 67 minutes under the chandeliers of the University Club of Chicago’s beautiful Cathedral Hall.

The Australian took the first game before a resilient Matthew battled back in the second. However, from then on Pilley played with confidence to close out the win and reach the quarter-finals in Chicago for the first time in his career.

“We have played so many times in our career and I think that’s only my fourth ever win over him,” said Pilley following his win.

“Given what Nick’s achieved over his whole career - he is one of the best ever players - and even though he is coming to the end of his career, I’m quite happy to notch up a win here in Chicago.

“Because I haven’t had a lot of success against him you know that your game plan might be wrong. He has nullified that so many times before that you second guess how you want to play.

“In a way it’s a privilege to beat him in his last season because he’s so up for every tournament because he knows every city he visits will be the last time he competes there.”

The Australian will now face Egypt’s World No.3 Ali Farag in the quarter-finals after he downed Pilley’s countryman, Ryan Cuskelly, in straight-games.

"I had the right game plan today and had to work on winning the battle in the back corners and I think I managed to do that," said Farag.

"It never got easier. But the more I dragged him backwards, the more the front court opened up. I was happy with how I played and with how I kept my discipline."

Meanwhile in the women’s event, Farag’s wife, Nour El Tayeb, produced a tenacious comeback against World No.12 Tesni Evans to save four match balls before claiming a huge 3-2 victory.

The Egyptian was staring down the barrel of defeat in the fourth game as Evans played with accuracy and flair to punish the World No.3. Evans held four match balls before El Tayeb turned it around to take the pivotal fourth game by a 14-12 margin and go onto win the match.

“My coach and Ali [Farag] have always told me that I have to dig in no matter the score,” said El Tayeb.

“She played unbelievably well and was reading me all over the court. I was struggling, every time I played a shot, she was there. I just had to dig in and I’m very lucky to be through to the next round.

“The fifth game was very hard mentally but I’m sure it was harder for her because she had the match balls. I think I tried to relax a bit in the fifth, so I could play my squash and I think I did that.”

El Tayeb now sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with compatriot and top seed Nour El Sherbini after she eased past American home hope Olivia Blatchford by an 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 margin while Englands Sarah-Jane Perry and Camille Serme of France completed the winners on day three of action.


1st Round  Lower Half

El Hammamy Produces Huge Upset to Knock Out Eight-Time World Champion David

Egyptian teenager Hania El Hammamy produced the biggest win of her career to knock eight-time World Champion Nicol David out of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in a huge first round upset.

Former World No.1 David looked to be on course for a routine win when she took a 2-0 lead. However, a brilliant response from 17-year-old El Hammamy saw her battle back to secure a second-round berth for the first time at the tournament - which this year offers a record high prize fund of $250,00 in both the men's and women's draws.

The teenager played without fear as she stared down the barrel of defeat, fighting back to level the scores before going on to win a tense and nervy fifth game to claim the biggest win of her career 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 after 54 minutes.

“It was such a good match against a legend like Nicol,” said El Hammamy.

“I can’t believe it, I was 2-0 down and I tried to stay positive and not let myself get down. I just wanted to focus and play as well as I could.

“I was telling myself that I’m playing against a legend, I’m 2-0 down and I haven’t played my best, so I thought ‘let’s go and keep your mind positive’.

“It’s my first win over somebody in the top ten and it’s not just anyone in the top ten, it’s Nicol and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, World Champion Raneem El Welily began her title defence strongly as she dispatched Belgian qualifier Tinne Gilis in straight-games. The Egyptian World No.2 will now take on England’s Emily Whitlock in the next round after she defeated France’s Coline Aumard.

"The first match of any event is always hard mentally and emotionally,” said E Welily.

"It takes time to adjust to it and she's been playing very well. You can see from her recent results and how she was on court today that she's hungry - but I just tried to come here and be positive and enjoy every moment of being on court.”

In the men’s draw Hong Kong qualifier Max Lee pulled off a huge upset as he dumped World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar out in the first-round courtesy of a comprehensive straight-games triumph that saw him produce some of his best squash of recent years.

The Hong Kong number one has struggled with repeating cramp issues during the past year, falling from World No.12 to No.30, but looked to have put his issues behind him as he moved with ease to dominate the court against Abouleghar and prevail in what was a high-quality exhibition of shot-making.

"Today I think I played very well and I'm very, very happy to win," said Lee.

"He's a very good player and is still young - I just tried my best in every point. I had a few lucky bounces at times and the conditions maybe suited me better and he made a lot of errors which helped me.

"I've been suffering a lot with cramp over the past couple of seasons so it's good to be winning matches again. I played a few events before coming here and I feel like I have some momentum behind me now and that my game is coming back, so it's good."

Meanwhile, tournament top seed and 2016 Windy City Open winner Mohamed ElShorbagy ousted England’s Declan James in straight games to secure his place in the next round of the Windy City Open where he will face France’s Mathieu Castagnet.

“I feel good,” said ElShorbagy after the match.

“I came here and wanted to play well and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I can do this year. I have made it to two finals before and I really enjoy playing here and I hope I can go all the way here this year.”

1st Round Top Half

Top Seeds Storm Through on Day One of the Windy City Open

It was plain sailing for the top seeds on day one of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company as women’s top seed Nour El Sherbini and men’s number two seed Ali Farag breezed through to round two.

Egypt’s World No.3 Farag came through an entertaining clash with Switzerland’s World No.24 Nicolas Mueller to secure his round two berth at this year’s event - which offers a record high prize fund of $250,00 in both the men's and women's draws.

Farag and Mueller constantly exchanged points in a high-octane battle much to the delight of the crowd inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall, with the Egyptian eventually claiming a 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 victory.

“I think the first game was crucial,” said Farag following his win.

“It gave me a confidence boost going into the second and I was able to run away with the points and it gave me an advantageous 2-0 lead.

“He came back very strong in the third but thankfully I had Nour [El Tayeb] and Marwan [ElShorbagy] in my corner and I could see he was getting a little tired. In the end I was more lucky that I didn’t have to play two qualifying matches before today.”

ElShorbagy ensured he will feature in the next round in Chicago after he defeated Hong Kong’s Leo Au inside the hour mark. The Egyptian pair will be joined by the likes of England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner in round two.


Meanwhile in the women’s event, World No.1 El Sherbini made light work of India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik, dispatching the World No.20 in just 20 minutes as she looks to capture her first ever Windy City title after finishing runner-up on the last two occasions to compatriot Raneem El Welily.

“I’ve reached the final a couple of times but never won it,” said El Sherbini who will now face United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford in round two.

“Maybe it’s because I always face the same opponent in Raneem [El Welily] but hopefully this time we can reach the final again.

“I love coming to Chicago and playing at this venue. It was a very tricky first round and against Dipika it is always tough so I’m just looking forward to this event and I hope this time it is going to be a good tournament for me.”

France’s Camille Serme and Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb are among the names to join El Sherbini in the next round after they defeated Canadian qualifier Danielle Letourneau and Egypt’s Yathreb Adel – who was forced to retire from her match due to injury – respectively in round one.



Mixed Fortunes for Gilis Sisters as Qualifying Draws to a Close at Windy City Open

The final day of qualifying at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company saw upsets in the women’s draw as Belgian World No.59 Tinne Gilis reached her first World Series main draw, while older sister, Nele, and Canada’s World No.35 Hollie Naughton missed out.

World No.28 Nele Gilis fell to a straight-games defeat in just 28 minutes against Canada’s World No.42 Danielle Letourneau on the final day of qualifying for the World Series event, while her younger sister, Tinne, successfully made it past World No.40 Milou van der Heijden by a 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 scoreline to reach her first ever World Series main draw.

The 20-year-old Belgian will now face World Champion Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in round one, with the latter aiming for her fourth successive Windy City Open title at this year’s tournament.

Elsewhere on the women’s draw, Canadian favourite Naughton could not find a way past Egyptian 17-year-old Nada Abbas who prevailed in straight games by an 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 margin to book her place in the main draw where she will take on Welshwoman Tesni Evans in round one.

They will be joined by England’s Jenny Duncalf, Egyptians Yathreb Adel and Nadine Shahin, France’s Coline Aumard and Canada’s Samantha Cornett after they all secured their place in the main draw on the last day of qualifying.

Meanwhile, it was plain sailing for the top seeds in the men’s qualifying draw as the top eight seeded players ensured a safe passage through to round one of the Windy City Open.

Top seed Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller successfully manoeuvred past Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in straight-games to book a main draw slot, where he will line up against U.S. Open winner and number two seed Ali Farag in round one.

Scotland’s Alan Clyne, meanwhile, joins Mueller in the main draw after he came through a tough 72-minute encounter against England’s Nathan Lake. The Scotsman held his nerve to come from a game down to seal an 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 victory and will now face Australia’s Cameron Pilley in round one.

They will be joined in the main draw by French duo Gregoire Marche and Lucas Serme, Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi, Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and Hong Kong pair Max Lee and Tsz Fung Yip.

Main draw matches held on the glass show court inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral 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.

Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.

For all the latest news on the Windy City Open, go to www.windycityopen.com  or follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Defending Champion Gaultier Pulls Out of Windy City Open

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier has pulled out of next week’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company after failing to recover from a partial rupture of his adductor.

The Frenchman - who will lose his World No.1 ranking to Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy on March 1 - suffered the injury during January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and, after withdrawing from the Swedish Open earlier this month, will now miss out on the opportunity to defend his Windy City Open title.

Gaultier’s withdrawal means that ElShorbagy takes the top seeded position, while World No.3 Ali Farag moves up to number two and he will now take on a qualifier.

World No.4 Marwan ElShorbagy replaces Farag as the number three seed and will clash with Hong Kong’s Leo Au, while Mohamed Abouelghar moves up to the number eight seed position and will take on a qualifier.

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet - whose incredible athleticism saw him go viral after a stunning retrieval against Daryl Selby at the 2016 instalment - moves into the main draw from qualifying and will also line up against a qualifier.

The 2018 Windy City Open will take place between February 22-28 at the University Club of Chicago and has a prize fund of $500,000 split equally among the men’s and women’s draws - a record amount for a PSA World Series tournament.

All matches held on the glass court inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while mainstream broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro, will show action from the semi-finals and finals.

Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased here.

For all the latest news on the Windy City Open, go to www.windycityopen.com or follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Revised Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Qualifier]
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Qualifier]
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [5] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Qualifier]
James Willstrop (ENG) v [WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
Leo Au (HKG) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Declan James (ENG) v [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Qualifier] v [14] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[Qualifier] v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Qualifier] v [3] Camille Serme (FRA)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Qualifier] v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Salma Hany (EGY) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v Fiona Moverley (ENG)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

2018 Windy City Open to Become Most Lucrative
World Series Tournament Ever

The 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company will become the most lucrative PSA World Series tournament ever next month when $500k of prize money will be split equally across both the men’s and women’s draws between February 22-28.

Held at the University Club of Chicago’s iconic and intimate Cathedral Hall, the Windy City Open became the second World Series tournament to offer parity in prize money between male and female players back in 2015 and will offer a $200k increase in prize money compared to last year.

World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily feature in a world-class draw that will contain 64 players, representing upwards of 15 different countries, while World No.1s Gregory Gaultier and Nour El Sherbini will also be in action.

El Welily claimed an unprecedented third successive Windy City Open crown last March with victory over El Sherbini in the final, while France’s Gaultier collected his second title at the tournament after overcoming World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy.

Also competing at the tournament will be 37-year-old Englishman Nick Matthew, who will make his last ever appearance at the tournament. The Yorkshireman made history in 2015 when he took the title to become the oldest ever winner of a PSA World Series tournament.

The tournament wildcards will be made up of men’s World No.68 Chris Hanson and women’s World No.208 Sabrina Sobhy.

New-York born Hanson is in line to make his fourth appearance at the tournament, while Harvard Junior Sobhy - the younger sister of former World No.6 Amanda - makes her first PSA World Tour appearance since 2016.

"Becoming the most lucrative World Series tournament ever is a huge honour and is indicative of the Windy City Open’s status as one of squash’s premier events," said Tournament Promoter John Flanigan.

"We would like to thank our title sponsors - the Walter Family and the EquiTrust Life Insurance Company - for their support and look forward to welcoming the world’s greatest players back to the University Club of Chicago once again."

In addition to the record prize money, players will also be competing for points on the PSA World Series Standings as they aim to secure a top eight berth, which would guarantee them a spot at June’s PSA World Series Finals.

Qualifying for the tournament takes place between February 20-21, while the main draw will be staged between February 22-28.

Action from the glass court matches will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), with matches from the semi-finals and finals also being shown live on mainstream broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased here

For all the latest news on the Windy City Open, go to www.windycityopen.com
or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2018 Men’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company – Entry List
1) Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
3) Ali Farag (EGY)
4) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
5) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
6) Nick Matthew (EGY)
7) Tarek Momen (EGY)
8) Simon Rösner (GER)
9) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
10) Diego Elias (PER)
11) Paul Coll (NZL)
12) James Willstrop (ENG)
13) Ramy Ashour (EGY)
14) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
15) Saurav Ghosal (IND)
16) Daryl Selby (ENG)
17) Borja Golan (ESP)
18) Cameron Pilley (ENG)
19) Omar Mosaad (EGY)
20) Cesar Salazar (EGY)
21) Leo Au (HKG)
22) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
23) Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Wildcard) Chris Hanson (USA)

2018 Women’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company – Entry List
1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2) Raneem El Welily (EGY)
3) Camille Serme (FRA)
4) Laura Massaro (ENG)
5) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
6) Nicol David (MAS)
7) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
8) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
9) Joelle King (NZL)
10) Alison Waters (ENG)
11) Annie Au (HKG)
12) Amanda Sobhy (USA)
13) Tesni Evans (WAL)
14) Olivia Blatchford (USA)
15) Joshna Chinappa (IND)
16) Emily Whitlock (ENG)
17) Victoria Lust (ENG)
18) Donna Urquhart (AUS)
19) Salma Hany (EGY)
20) Joey Chan (HKG)
21) Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
22) Fiona Moverley (ENG)
23) Mariam Metwally (EGY)
Wildcard) Sabrina Sobhy (USA)

World Champion ElShorbagy to Star at Canary Wharf Classic

World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy is in line to make his first appearance at the prestigious Canary Wharf Classic for five years after the entry list for the PSA M100 tournament was released today (January 12).

This year’s instalment of the Canary Wharf Classic - which will celebrate its 15th anniversary between March 5-9 - will feature $100,000 in prize money for the first time and the increase in financial compensation has enabled the tournament to attract a high-calibre draw to London’s East Wintergarden, with six of the world’s top 10 players in attendance.

ElShorbagy, who defeated younger brother Marwan to finally get his hands on the PSA World Championship trophy last month, heads the entry list ahead of U.S. Open champion Ali Farag, Marwan and six-time winner Nick Matthew.

"I am really looking forward to be back playing there, I’ve never won it before, so I would love to get my name on that trophy," said ElShorbagy.

"We always get an amazing crowd there and it makes the tournament very exciting. Having the glass court in a such amazing venue like that makes it even more exciting for the players."

Matthew, the 37-year-old from Sheffield, will be making his final ever appearance at the tournament after announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season and the three-time World Champion returns to East Wintergarden to defend his crown after beating Egypt’s Fares Dessouky in last year’s final.

Matthew said: "Canary Wharf is absolutely one of my favourite tournaments on the Tour.

"I’ve been lucky enough to have been successful there, but more than that I love the unique atmosphere at the event, it can be an incredible one to play in."

The other top 10 players involved in the tournament are Qatar Classic runner-up Tarek Momen and World No.8 Simon Rösner, while four-time winner James Willstrop - the current World No.13 - is seeded eighth for the tournament.

Meanwhile, World No.56 Nathan Lake, the Cheltenham-based 25-year-old, has been named the tournament wildcard for the event.

The qualifying stages will be held at the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club between March 3-4, while the main draw gets under way at East Wintergarden on March 5 and lasts until the final on March 9.

All matches from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and final will be broadcast on mainstream channels around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

The 2018 instalment of the tournament will also be a historic one as it becomes the first ranking PSA World Tour event to be played using a best-of-three games scoring format. All round of sixteen and quarter-final matches will be played under best-of-three scoring, while the semi-finals and final will revert to the traditional best-of-five format.




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