Raneem El Welily and Karim Abdel Gawad are the 2018-2019 CIB PSA World
Tour Finals champions as they rose to respective wins over France’s
World No.3 Camille Serme and World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar at Cairo’s
Mall of Arabia to take the honours at the final tournament of the PSA
World Tour season.
El Welily has been the woman to beat on the PSA World Tour this season
and was crowned as the PSA Women’s Player of the Year on the eve of the
World Tour Finals after capturing five titles prior to this week and
dethroning compatriot Nour El Sherbini to become World No.1.
30-year-old from Alexandria has been sensational throughout the
tournament, maintaining a 100 per cent record right up to the final and
beating Serme to finish top of Group A. But she was off the pace against
Serme in the early stages of their final clash. Nerves looked to have to
got the better of El Welily, meaning the World No.4 stormed into a
That 2-0 lead would have been enough to see Serme take the win in the
group stages or semi-finals, which were played using a best-of-three
games scoring format. However, the finals reverted to the traditional
best of five scoring, and that played into El Welily’s hands as the
Egyptian displayed the trademark winners that have seen her dominate the
tour this season to come back and take two games in a row, drawing
A tenacious Serme left it all out there on the court in the fifth and
was forced to do a lot of running. The physical exertion soon took its
toll though as El Welily moved into the ascendancy, and she soon closed
out the win by a 3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 to make it seven wins in a
row against the French player, while she celebrates the 23rd PSA title
of her career.
just gave it everything I had [after the second game],” said El Welily,
who finished runner-up at this tournament in two of the last three
“Camille played really well today, she pushed me to the limit and she
was just on fire the first two games. It took a lot of effort and mental
strength to push myself and come back from what she did. The game plan
she had today was crazy good and I salute her for a great season, she
has had an incredible season and was so close to winning some things.
I’m sure she will come back stronger next season, and I told her that
after the match.
“All day long I was struggling with the idea of maybe having to play
three games or even five, but when I was 2-0 down, I thought it was best
of five for a reason. I just fought and tried to run as much as I can
and get everything back to stay in the rally as long as possible. I
maybe needed to focus a little bit more, calm down whenever needed, and
those words in between games really helped.”
World No.4 Gawad captured his second major title of the season as he got
the better of compatriot Abouelghar in the men’s final, winning 12-10,
11-6, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10 to lift this trophy for the first time, a week
to the day after he got married.
Both players claimed semi-final scalps, with Gawad ending World No.2
Mohamed ElShorbagy’s title defence, while Abouelghar dispatched World
No.3 Tarek Momen to earn a place in his biggest final to date.
Abouelghar, the lowest seeded player in the men’s event, downed Gawad
2-0 to top Group A, but found himself on the wrong end of that scoreline
as former World No.1 Gawad edged out the opening game, before some
clinical attacking into the front corners saw the 27-year-old double
The third game went the way of Abouelghar as he finally found chinks in
his opponent’s armour. The 25-year-old also claimed victory in the
fourth, bringing the match back to all square as he looked to emulate El
Welily’s comeback victory.
battle continued into a dramatic fifth, which saw play halted by a
succession of video decisions, while court cleaners were also called
into action due to the sweat on the floor. Gawad surrendered two
championship balls as Abouelghar came back to force a tie-break, but
converted on his third match ball as the younger Egyptian struck the tin
to hand the match to his opponent.
I knew this would happen then I would have got married six or seven
years ago," said Gawad after winning the 21st PSA title of his career.
“Abouelghar was one of my groomsmen, and he gave me a hard time on
court, so hard luck to him, he played some amazing squash. I’m really
happy to win a World Tour Finals and really happy with this title.
“I have a lot of people to thank. Firstly the sponsors and CIB bank for
their support over the last 12 months. They have worked hard and given a
lot of support at a lot of tournaments. Thanks to Karim Darwish and all
the organisers for organising such a great tournament. It’s always great
to play tournaments in Egypt, we have six or seven players in the top
10, so we deserve to have more tournaments here."
Gawad and El Welily both take home $42,750 in prize money, while this
season’s World Tour Finals rewards players with ranking points for the
first time in history. El Welily claims the full 1,600 points after
going the whole tournament undefeated, while Gawad wins 1,300 points.
Result - Men’s Final: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2:
12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10 (92m)
Result - Women’s Final: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals  Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 3-11,
8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)
Camille Serme will be the only non-Egyptian to appear in the title
deciders of the 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals after she avenged
her British Open final defeat to World No.4 Nouran Gohar on semi-finals
day at the season-ending event taking place in Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.
Serme will be the first female French player ever to appear in the
finals of this tournament after she ended a four-match losing streak to
Gohar to win 20-18, 11-9 in an enthralling 37-minute affair.
The World No.3 had lost to Gohar just three weeks ago in the final of
the prestigious British Open and hadn’t beaten the Egyptian since the
2016-2017 PSA World Tour Finals, which was held under a best-of-three
Today’s semi-finals used that same format, and it was Serme who emerged
victorious again, with a crucial victory in a mammoth first game laying
the platform for her progression into the final, where the 30-year-old
from Créteil will play World No.1 and two-time runner-up Raneem El
“I feel over the moon,” said Serme.
“Obviously they [the crowd] were cheering for the home Egyptian player,
but I’m just so happy because Nouran has been playing really well the
last few months. In El Gouna and at the British she beat me quite
comfortably, and I was happy today that I found some good solutions.
“I’m very proud and very lucky to have had a few friends here clapping
for me. I know a lot of people were watching at home, my husband, family
and friends, so I just thought about them. Even Philippe [Signoret], my
coach – I’m really happy for them as well. It’s funny to play against
Raneem again as we played in the pool matches. I can have a second
chance in the same tournament, so I’m just going to enjoy and give it my
Welily remains undefeated in the tournament as she followed up a first
place finish in Group A with a 2-1 victory over World No.5 Nour El Tayeb,
winning 11-9, 9-11, 11-1. The opening two games were closely-contested
as the Egyptian duo enraptured the crowd with some sensational rallies
that saw each player pushed into all four corners of the court.
But El Welily was sublime in the third game as she blew El Tayeb away,
dropping just a solitary point to set up a mouthwatering final encounter
with Serme. El Welily defeated Serme 2-1 in the group stages of this
tournament three days ago and has won 16 of their 19 meetings on the PSA
World Tour, including the last six in a row.
“I think I just tried to be more active [in the third] rather than being
passive in the second,” said El Welily ahead of her ninth final of the
“She played really well and pushed me to the back and then dragged me to
the front to make the gap seem big. I’m glad with the way I fought in
the second, I came all the way back to 9-10 and couldn’t quite make it,
but it made a difference somehow, so I’m very happy to come out as the
winner today. Hopefully tomorrow I play some good squash and if I win,
I’ll be very happy.”
There will be a new name on the trophy in both the men’s and women’s
events as World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar
booked their final berths at the expense of defending champion Mohamed
ElShorbagy and World No.3 Tarek Momen.
ElShorbagy had won the two previous instalments of the World Tour
Finals, and he started well in his fixture with Gawad as he took an
early lead in the opener, before four uncharacteristic errors from the
28-year-old handed Gawad a one-game advantage.
then powered to victory in the second game, dropping just two points to
advance to the final of this tournament for the first time. The victory
also continues Gawad’s impressive form on home soil, with the
27-year-old claiming major titles at the Black Ball Open and PSA World
Championships in Cairo in recent years.
“It’s very unexpected, getting married on Friday and now being in the
final of the World Tour Finals," said Gawad.
"When you’re married on the Friday, you don’t expect too much to do at
the tournament and you don’t want to go on court, but once you get here
and on court and you see everyone cheering for you, it gives you a lot
of power. You just relax and play your best squash. I’m really happy to
be in the finals and to be playing in Egypt tomorrow."
Meanwhile, World Tour Finals debutant Abouelghar claimed his first ever
victory over Momen at the 10th attempt to reach the biggest final of his
career, continuing what has been a superb week for the 25-year-old so
Abouelghar, the lowest seeded player in the men’s event, finished top of
Group A ahead of Gawad and World No.1 Ali Farag, and he played some
scintillating squash to recover from a game down to beat Momen, despite
five previous defeats to his compatriot this season.
“10-0 would have looked so bad,” said 25-year-old Abouelghar afterwards.
“I had to make the gap closer between me and Tarek, at least. For people
who don’t know, I have not beaten Tarek in training, so to come here and
win against him on a big stage like this is a bonus, and I’m very happy.
I lost to Tarek five times this season… every time I played him I felt
like I was closer, and I’m happy with the way I managed it until the
Abouelghar defeated Gawad 2-0 yesterday (June 12) to top their group and
the form book is in the younger Egyptian’s favour, with that victory
being the most recent in a three-match win streak.
The finals of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals will revert to the
traditional best-of-five games scoring format, with play commencing at
19:30 (GMT+2). Both matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of
world), Eurosport Player (Europe only), the official Facebook page of
the PSA World Tour (Indian subcontinent only) and ON Sport (Egypt).
For more information on the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the
Men’s World No.1 Ali Farag and defending women’s champion Nour El
Sherbini saw their title challenges at the 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour
Finals come to an end as group stage action drew to a close on day four
of the season-ending tournament currently taking place at Cairo’s Mall
The first four days of the tournament have been held using a
round-robin, best-of-three games, group stage format, and Farag bowed
out despite a 2-1 victory over New Zealand’s Paul Coll. His compatriot,
Mohamed Abouelghar, defeated World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad 2-0 to ensure
that both him and Gawad qualify for the semi-finals with eight points,
one more than last year’s runner-up Farag.
Abouelghar dominated an off-the-pace Gawad - who had already qualified
before stepping foot on court - winning 11-9, 11-3 to finish top of
Group A and mark his World Tour Finals debut with a semi-finals spot.
was watching Ali’s match with Paul Coll,” said Abouelghar.
“We were both joking about it, but I didn’t know the calculations
before. I had it in my mind, like the Liverpool [Football Club]
scenario, that anything can happen in sport and if I have the right
attitude, then I can pull anything through, and I’m happy I did.
“I think the motivation for both of us was different. I came here to
give myself one more chance and he was already qualified, so I think the
motivation was different. I was happy I took advantage of that and I’m
so happy to be in the semis. I’ve never had a good win in Egypt, so to
have it now and on a big stage like this then I hope it doesn’t stop
here and keeps going.”
No.3 Tarek Momen was the other man to earn his spot in the semi-finals
after he dispatched Peru’s Diego Elias. Momen, the 31-year-old from
Cairo, dominated his opponent in the opening game and recovered from a
second game blip to win 11-2, 4-11, 11-8 in 46 minutes, booking a spot
in the last four of this tournament for the first time.
He finishes second in Group B behind defending champion Mohamed
ElShorbagy, who maintained his 100 per cent record with a comfortable
win against Germany’s Simon Rösner yesterday (June 11).
Momen said: “I was really happy I remained calm, I kept talking
positively to myself, I kept telling myself to forget about the lead and
the physical advantage, forget about everything, it’s just two points so
[I had to] fight for them and get the win.
"I’m happy with that and how I recovered after playing a perfect first
game. Then I kind of played too much to the front and he capitalised on
that. I saw the momentum shift, and I’m very happy I was able to get the
the women’s event, British Open champion Nouran Gohar continued her
superb form to send El Sherbini to a shock group stage exit, recovering
from a game down to win 6-11, 11-5, 11-7 and secure top spot in Group B.
The pair come from different parts of Egypt - Gohar from Cairo and El
Sherbini from Alexandria - and it was the former, playing in her home
city, who established her hard-hitting style on the match to ensure she
will face France’s Camille Serme in the semi-finals, which will be a
repeat of the British Open final.
“I have so much respect for Nour, and the way she is playing recently is
unbelievable,” said 21-year-old Gohar.
“I think there is [a slight rivalry between the different cities in
Egypt], especially the club where Nour comes from as it is a big club
and has had very good juniors in the past such as ElShorbagy and Nour
and they have a really tough game to play against. There is always a
rivalry between Cairo and Alexandria, and this competitive thing, I
think it’s the main reason we are good at squash in Egypt.”
El Tayeb finished second in Group B after dismantling England’s
Sarah-Jane Perry 11-0, 11-5, while Serme dispatched Wales’ Tesni Evans
11-5, 13-11 to ensure she finished second in Group A behind World No.1
Raneem El Welily, who had already qualified for the semis before today.
the beginning, I saw that Tesni was not moving as well as usual,” said
“But she is such a fighter and whatever happened I knew she was going to
give it her all in the second. She tried to find some good solutions and
it almost worked, it was a good tactic, but I’m happy that I found my
solutions in the end. Every match is tough and everyone deserves to be
in the semis, but I feel lucky that it’s me and I’m looking forward to
The semi-finals will be played using a best-of-three games format,
before the final reverts to the traditional best of five scoring. The
semi-final fixtures begin at 19:00 (GMT+2) on June 13, with live action
broadcast on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only)
and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group A Day Four  Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 2-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-9
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 11-9,
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group B Day Four  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Diego Elias (PER) 2-1: 11-2, 4-11, 11-8
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group A Day Four  Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 2-0: 11-5, 13-11
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group B Day Four  Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-1: 6-11,
11-5, 11-7 (33m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-0, 11-5
Draw – Men’s Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 13th
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 13th
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
penultimate day of group stage action at the 2018-2019 CIB PSA World
Tour Finals saw all six matches go the way of Egypt as the likes of
defending champions Mohamed ElShorbaby and Nour El Sherbini impressed in
front of their home fans at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.
ElShorbagy - the men’s World No.2 who is looking to win this tournament
for the third successive time - has guaranteed himself top spot in Group
B after he defeated Germany’s Simon Rösner 11-9, 11-4 to ensure he
qualifies for the semi-finals with a 100 per cent record.
The group stages and semi-finals are held using a round-robin,
best-of-three games format, and ElShorbagy added to 2-1 victories over
Peru’s Diego Elias and World No.3 Tarek Momen to book his spot in the
“It’s good to keep the momentum going,” said 28-year-old ElShorbagy.
“Each player had a rest day throughout the event ,and if I had to choose
before the event, then I definitely would have chosen the one after the
group stages. Having the rest day let me know that I was going to go
full power today and I can regroup for the semis now.
“There is always room for improvement, even if I think I have been
getting better every day. I feel like each player didn’t play their best
on the first day because we are all trying to get used to the
conditions. It’s very hot and humid and it completely changes the
dynamic and from the second day we have all stepped up a level. I think
we’ve all played better and it has set the stage for some great
Elias and Momen will meet in the final fixture from Group B tomorrow
(June 12), with the winner of that match joining ElShorbagy in the
World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad moved four points clear at the top of Group
A as he beat top seed and World No.1 Ali Farag 11-9, 11-8. The two
players had met five times this season, with Gawad winning just one of
However, the former World Champion put in a relaxed performance to keep
his strong run going in Cairo, taking all eight points on offer so far
after he also beat New Zealand’s Paul Coll 2-0 yesterday (June 10).
“Playing Paul [Coll] yesterday and Ali today are two of the toughest
players on tour," said Gawad.
"They are both very fit, Ali is No.1 in the world, so he is playing
amazing squash, he has been beating me the whole season. This is only
the second time for me to beat him this season, I had to grab one by the
end of the season at least."
Meanwhile, World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar joined Farag on four points
after sweeping aside Coll. The 25-year-old was in imperious form as he
powered to an 11-3, 11-6 victory and he will play Gawad tomorrow.
Gawad requires just a point to qualify, while if Farag finishes level on
points with Abouelghar, he will go through due to a superior
A 2-0 win for Gawad will see him qualify top, while Coll wouldn’t be out
of the running just yet in that scenario. If he went on to beat Farag
2-0, he would finish on four points along with Abouelghar and Farag,
meaning it would go down to percentage of points won to decide who
reaches the last four.
Points won percentage will also decide the qualifiers if Abouelghar and
Farag both win their matches 2-0 as they will join Gawad on eight
points. In that scenario, whoever has the highest points won percentage
out of those three players will qualify.
the women’s event, defending champion Nour El Sherbini kept her title
defence alive as she got the better of World No.5 Nour El Tayeb 2-0 in a
repeat of the PSA World Championship final.
World No.2 El Sherbini lost her opening Group B match to World No.7
Sarah-Jane Perry, but she joins the Englishwoman on four points after
defeating El Tayeb 11-5, 11-7.
“I was really disappointed after the first match,” said El Sherbini
following her win.
“I had a lot of support from my team, my parents and all of my family. I
tried to change all of the negatives into positives, I just wanted to
enjoy and play today and try to win. On the first two days it was very
bouncy and hot, but today it is a bit windy. Both conditions you have to
deal with the court and play the match, but the court is good for me and
it’s good to have a venue like this to play in.”
Open champion Nouran Gohar sits at the summit of Group A with five
points courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Perry as she bounced back from a
2-0 defeat to El Tayeb in the previous round of fixtures.
Gohar will play El Sherbini tomorrow, with the winner of that match
qualifying for the semi-finals.
“We haven’t played since 2017 in Chicago, she came back superbly and has
a really good spirit," Gohar said.
"I love the way she plays and it was a tough match. Tomorrow will make a
big difference. If there is someone that is really difficult to play
against then it is Nour [El Sherbini], she has everything, she’s the
complete player. She has so much experience, she is a three-time World
Champion, but again I have nothing to lose and I’ll be the underdog and
we’ll see what happens.”
Perry and El Tayeb will contest the group’s other fixture, and it will
be a straight shootout for a semi-finals berth, with the winner of that
contest advancing to the last four.
In Group A, World No.1 Raneem El Welily guaranteed top spot after
dispatching New Zealand’s Joelle King 2-0, meaning King finishes as
bottom of the group. That means France’s Camille Serme and Wales’ Tesni
Evans will do battle for second place tomorrow.
The battle for the coveted semi-final berths draws to a close tomorrow
in the final day of group action. Play begins at 19:00 (GMT+2) and will
be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe
only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group A Day Three
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Ali Farag (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-3, 11-6
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group B Day Three
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-9, 11-4
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group A Day Three
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group B Day Three
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9
Draw – Men’s Group A: To Be Played June 12th
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Diego Elias (PER)
Draw – Men’s Group B: To Be Played June 12th
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Group A: To Be Played June 12th
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
Draw – Women’s Group B: To Be Played June 12th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Egyptian duo Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy have become the
first players to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2018-2019 CIB PSA
World Tour Finals after they beat World No.3s Camille Serme and Tarek
Momen, respectively, during the second day of action at Cairo’s Mall of
Welily, the women’s World No.1, recovered from a game down to win 10-12,
11-7, 11-5 against France’s Serme, and that victory sees her move three
points clear at the summit of Group A, meaning she is guaranteed a
second place finish at worst.
The top two from each group qualify for the knockout semi-finals and
beyond, with the first four days of group stage fixtures played using a
round-robin, best-of-three games format. El Welily, a two-time runner-up
at the season-ending tournament, will line up against New Zealand’s
Joelle King tomorrow (June 11) in her final group match.
“I think I was a bit patient in that last game,” said 30-year-old El
“She made a few errors. It’s very tough mentally to push ourselves in
the last tournament, we are all pushing ourselves and working really
hard. I’m definitely not going to go off court without leaving
everything on here.
“My movement is an aspect of my game that I work on really hard. Not
just with my fitness coach, Ahmed Faragallah, but also Haitham Effat –
they push me hard when it comes to movement and technique, but I
actually think it could be better today.”
Serme and Evans will face off in the other Group A fixture, with that
match set to take place on Wednesday June 12. Evans got the better of
King by an 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 scoreline in the final women’s match of the
day and the winner of her fixture with Serme will join El Welily in the
really happy with that,” said 26-year-old Evans.
“I was a bit disappointed yesterday because I was only on court for 18
minutes [against El Welily]. I know it’s best of three, but I still felt
like I could have given it more. I wanted to come out here, no matter
what the result, and give it everything I have and I think I did that."
The other women’s match on day two saw World No.5 Nour El Tayeb avenge
her British Open semi-final defeat to eventual tournament-winner Nouran
Gohar, as she took a 2-1 lead to move up to second place in Group B, one
point behind current leader Sarah-Jane Perry.
the men’s event, defending champion ElShorbagy booked his spot in the
semis after a 2-1 win over Momen saw him move two points clear at the
top of Group B.
The reigning British Open winner defeated Peru’s Diego Elias yesterday
by a 2-1 scoreline and backed that up again today against Momen, winning
11-9, 5-11, 11-6 to continue his title defence as he looks to win his
third consecutive World Tour Finals title.
“He has had a great season, the last three years he has been a player
who has been a contender for every World Tour event," said ElShorbagy.
"I’m really happy that he has been playing this quality, he is an
inspiration. I’ve seen him for years training hard, having bad losses
and coming back stronger, and he’s an example for a lot of juniors to
watch of never giving up and always working hard."
ElShorbagy has guaranteed a top two spot and plays Germany’s Simon
Rösner tomorrow in his final match of the group stage. World No.5 Rösner
is unable to qualify for the semis after losing 2-1 to Elias, with Elias
and Momen wiquare off on Wednesday to decide the final qualifying spot
in Group B.
really tough playing in these conditions,” said Elias after becoming the
first Peruvian to win a match at the World Tour Finals.
“After my match yesterday [against ElShorbagy] I didn’t think I was
going to recover, especially after that last game. My body felt good
today and I think I played well today, it was a really tough battle with
Simon. This is my first tournament playing best of three, so I think I
like it because usually I get a bit tired towards the end of matches."
Meanwhile, World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.6 Paul Coll got
their tournaments under way, with the former winning 11-5, 13-11 to join
World No.1 Ali Farag on four points at the top of Group A, while Coll
sits bottom alongside Mohamed Abouelghar, neither of whom have a point
to their name after the first round of matches in that group.
Group stage action continues tomorrow and play begins at 19:00 (GMT+2).
All six fixtures from the Mall of Arabia will be broadcast on SQUASHTV
(rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official
Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
opening day of the 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals saw defending
women’s champion Nour El Sherbini fall to a surprise defeat against
England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry as the season-ending tournament got under
way at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.
The PSA World Tour Finals is the final tournament of the PSA World Tour
season, with the first four days featuring round-robin matches during
the group stage. Fixtures are held using a best-of-three games format
and Perry marched into first place in Group B as she claimed a 2-0
victory over the World No.2.
It was the Egyptian who started stronger in both of the games, going 8-5
up in the first before losing six points in a row, while she held a 9-3
advantage in the second. But Perry soon whittled down that lead as she
found her accuracy and range to devastating effect to make it three wins
on the bounce against her opponent after wins at the Hong Kong Open and
last month’s Allam British Open.
“I just relaxed and remembered that there wasn’t any pressure on me,”
said 29-year-old Perry.
“I remember playing her on this court in Gouna a couple of years ago,
and I got an absolute lesson and have had a few of those over the years.
It makes it a bit of a bonus being here at the end of the season
following my [elbow] operation, so I’m just trying to seize any
opportunity that comes my way on the court.
“You can’t afford to have a bad start and you can’t afford to go 9-3
down in any game. I didn’t think about winning that game when I was 9-3
down, I just tried to play my way back in because I knew how important
the third game was.”
Perry takes the maximum four points on offer to top Group B, with the
other two players in Group B - Nour El Tayeb and Nouran Gohar - set to
Group A, World No.1 Raneem El Welily got her title challenge under way
as she stormed to a 2-0 win against Welsh World No.9 Tesni Evans,
beating her 11-4, 11-6.
Fresh from winning a quartet of awards at the PSA Awards dinner last
night - including the PSA Women’s Player of the Year - El Welily was in
dominant form as she swept her opponent aside, with the Alexandria-born
30-year-old moving top of her group.
“As Egyptians we are very lucky to be playing the last tournament at
home and not having to travel on a plane," said El Welily.
"We are very lucky to be able to play in front of our home crowd and to
be playing in a tournament where my family and coaches can watch and
also playing in a tournament that CIB and Wadi Degla, my own sponsors,
France’s Camille Serme sits in second in Group A after she defeated New
Zealand’s Joelle King. All three games went to tie-breaks as both played
to an intense tempo in Cairo. However, it was the Frenchwoman who was
able to hold her nerve and close out as she claimed a 12-14, 12-10,
12-10 victory in 55 minutes. The 2-1 win means Serme takes three points,
while King also claims a point as she moves into third place.
defending men’s champion Mohamed ElShorbagy overturned four match balls
as he defeated Peru’s Diego Elias to take a 2-1 victory, meaning he
finishes the day in second place in Group B.
All four of their previous matches had gone the distance to five games,
and despite the best of three format, crowds at the Mall of Arabia were
treated to a spectacular 63 minute affair which saw ElShorbagy take a
nail-biting third game by a 17-15 margin.
“We both had a lot of match balls,” said 28-year-old ElShorbagy.
“Matches like this, every time we play each other it always goes down to
the wire. He’s a great player and I always say that he is going to beat
us all one day and I’m going to try and make it as late as possible, but
one day he is a future World No.1 and a future World Champion."
ElShorbagy sits level on three points with World No.3 Tarek Momen, but
has a lower percentage of points won, meaning Momen ends the opening day
top of Group B courtesy of a 6-11, 11-3, 11-8 victory over Germany’s
World No.5 Simon Rösner.
World No.1 and last year’s runner-up Ali Farag got off to a winning
start in Group A as he toppled fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar in
Farag, the reigning World Champion, finished top of the men’s PSA World
Tour Finals Leaderboard and is looking to cap off an incredible season
that has seen him win six PSA World Tour titles.
He took maximum points on offer as he earned a 12-10, 11-9 triumph to
put himself on the verge of securing a semi-final spot, with the top two
from each group qualifying for the last four.
“I’m still learning a lot about myself," Farag said.
"Coming into this tournament, I knew I needed a bit of a rest, and I
didn’t need to train anymore as it has been a long season ,and I had to
be smart with my head and body. I took a couple of days off by the beach
and did some exercises away from squash which was needed, and I think
that made me sharp ahead of this tournament."
The CIB PSA World Tour Finals continues tomorrow (June 10) when the
likes of British Open champion Nouran Gohar and New Zealand’s Paul Coll
get their tournaments under way. Live action will be shown from 19:00
(GMT+2) on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and
the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe &
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Men’s Group A  Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-9
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Men’s Group B  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Diego Elias (PER) 2-1: 6-11,
11-3, 17-15 (63m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 6-11, 11-3, 11-8
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Women’s Group A  Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 2-0: 11-4, 11-6
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 2-1: 12-14, 12-10,
Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Women’s Group B  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 11-8,
Draw - Men’s Group A: To Be Played June 10th  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
Draw - Men’s Group B: To Be Played June 10th  Simon Rösner (GER) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Draw - Women’s Group A: To Be Played June 10th  Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
Draw - Women’s Group B: To Be Played June 10th  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
PSA World Championship finalists Nour El Sherbini and Nour El Tayeb have
been drawn in the same group in the women’s event of the 2018-2019 CIB
PSA World Tour Finals, with the six-day, season-ending event beginning
at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia on Sunday June 9.
The top eight men and women on the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard
will do battle for the prestigious title and the lucrative $320,000
prize fund. Players have earned qualification points at all PSA World
Tour events throughout the 2018/19 season, while the reigning PSA World
Champions and all PSA Platinum event winners qualified automatically.
Players will compete in group stages between June 9-12 which are held
under a best-of-three games format, with the top two from each group
progressing to the knockout semi-finals and beyond. The finals revert to
the traditional best of five scoring.
Defending champion El Sherbini, who came second on the women’s World
Tour Finals Leaderboard, became a three-time World Champion at the age
of 23 when she overcame El Tayeb in the final of March’s World
Championships held in Chicago’s Union Station. The pair will lock horns
once again in Cairo, and they will be joined in Group B by British Open
champion Nouran Gohar and England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry.
World No.1 Raneem El Welily topped the women’s World Tour Finals
Leaderboard and she features in Group A alongside British Open runner-up
Camille Serme, Hong Kong Open winner Joelle King and World No.9 Tesni
Group A of the men’s event is headed up by World No.1 and last year’s
runner-up Ali Farag. A sensational season which saw him lift major
titles at the World Championships, J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions,
Qatar Classic and El Gouna International resulted in him finishing first
on the World Tour Finals Leaderboard.
He is joined in Group A by Black Ball Open winner Karim Abdel Gawad, New
Zealand’s Paul Coll and World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar.
World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy, who beat Farag to lift a third British
Open crown two weeks ago, will line up against World Championship
runner-up Tarek Momen, Germany’s Simon Rösner and Peru’s Diego Elias in
The group stages begin on Sunday June 9 at 19:00 (GMT+2) with El Welily
and Evans getting the action under way. Six matches will be played per
night for the first four days of the event until the group stages have
drawn to a close.
Group stage matches will take place at 19:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30,
21:00, 21:30 between June 9-12. The semi-finals will be held at 19:00 on
Thursday June 13.
The finals will begin at 19:30 on Friday June 14.
Tickets for the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2018-2019 can be purchased
Squash fans can follow the tournament on
www.worldtourfinals.com or on
Facebook. purchase tickets for the semi-finals and finals
2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals
Men’s Group A 1) Ali Farag (EGY)
4) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
5) Paul Coll (EGY)
8) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Men’s Group B 2) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
3) Tarek Momen (EGY)
6) Simon Rösner (GER)
7) Diego Elias (PER)
Women’s Group A 1) Raneem El Welily (EGY)
4) Camille Serme (FRA)
5) Joelle King (NZL)
8) Tesni Evans (WAL)
Women’s Group B 2) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
3) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
6) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
7) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
World No.1s Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily have extended their
respective advantages at the top of the men’s and women’s PSA World Tour
The PSA World Tour Finals will take place in Cairo, Egypt from June 9-14
and will feature both a men’s and women’s tournament.
The reigning World Champions and all seven PSA World Tour Platinum
winners will qualify for the prestigious event. The remaining places are
allocated to the highest ranked players on the PSA World Tour Finals
leaderboard and points are on offer at all PSA World Tour events
throughout the season.
Farag continued his strong run of form, which has seen him claim six PSA
titles this season, after winning both the DPD Open Squash and El Gouna
International this month.
The World No.1 sits at the top with 21,225 points, with compatriot and
World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in second place on 15,615, World No.3
Tarek Momen in third and Karim Abdel Gawad in fourth.
Both ElShorbagy and former World No.1 Gawad have already sealed their
places at the season-ending tournament. ElShorbagy won both the U.S.
Open and Hong Kong Open titles, while Gawad claimed victory at
December’s Black Ball Squash Open.
Germany’s Simon Rösner, New Zealand’s Paul Coll, Peru’s Diego Elias and
Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar occupy the remaining places in the top eight
on the leaderboard.
Meanwhile on the women’s leaderboard, El Welily heads the standings with
16,455 points after winning three successive PSA World Tour tournaments,
including the Black Ball Squash Open, DPD Open Squash and the El Gouna
Compatriot and World Champion Nour El Sherbini remains in second place
on 12,085 points, with World No.3 Nour El Tayeb behind her on 8,360
France’s Camille Serme moves up to fourth after reaching the semi-finals
of the El Gouna International and DPD Open Squash while New Zealand’s
Joelle King sits in fifth but has already claimed her place at the
season-ending tournament after winning the Hong Kong Open in November.
England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and Wales’ Tesni Evans
hold the last three spots in the top eight on the women’s leaderboard.
Tickets for the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2018-2019 – the season-ending
tournament which will take place at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo – are on
The event has moved to Cairo for the 2018-2019 version, and will be
hosted at the Mall of Arabia, a stunning shopping complex.
Fans are able to buy tickets for the semi-finals and finals now, with
prices starting at EGP 100.00. Admission for the group stage matches
will be free.
16 of the world’s best players, eight male and eight female, will
descend on Cairo for the season-ending tournament, sorted by an
accumulation of ranking points throughout the 2018-2019 season.
Ali Farag, Mohamed ElShorbagy, Tarek Momen, Karim Abdel Gawad, Paul Coll,
Simon Rösner, Mohamed Abouelghar and Diego Elias are the eight men, with
Raneem El Welily, Nour El Sherbini, Nour El Tayeb, Camille Serme, Joelle
King, Nouran Gohar, Sarah-Jane Perry and Tesni Evans taking the women’s
Players will go head-to-head in Dubai in the best-of-three games group
stages as they battle for a place in the knockout semi-finals and
beyond, with one of the sport's most coveted titles up for grabs, while
players also battle for a share of the lucrative $320,000 prize fund
which is split equally between the men’s and women’s events.
Tickets for the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2018-2019 can be purchased
The CIB PSA World Tour Finals will take place next week when the
showpiece tournament brings the curtain down on the 2018/19 season
between June 9-14 at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo, Egypt.
Following on from last year’s event, which was held at Emirates Golf
Club in Dubai, the World Tour Finals is one of the most highly
anticipated tournaments on the PSA World Tour and will see the world’s
top eight men and women battle for a share of the $320,000 prize fund.
Only the top eight players on the men’s and women’s World Tour Finals
Standings qualified for a coveted berth in Cairo, with points up for
grabs at all PSA World Tour events throughout the season.
Those eight players make up two groups of four in their respective
sexes, with a round-robin format determining the semi-finalists. Each
player will play three matches, and the two players with the most points
in each group will advance to the latter stages.
The scoring system is slightly different to a normal PSA World Tour
event. A best-of-three format is adopted up until the final, which will
be played as a best-of-five format as used in all other PSA World Tour
After both groups are decided, the tournament then becomes a straight
knock-out as the battle for the title intensifies.
The World Tour Finals began life in Zurich, Switzerland back in 1993 as
the legendary Pakistani players Jansher Khan toppled Chris Dittmar to
win the first of his four titles – all of which came in the first five
instalments of the event.
The tournament moved to England in 1996 and would stay there for 17
editions, with Hatfield, London and Manchester all playing host to the
world’s greatest players.
Del Harris remains the only English winner of the men’s tournament after
prevailing on home soil against Brett Martin in the 1996 final, while
the likes of Scotland’s Peter Nicol (3), Canada’s Jonathon Power (2),
Australians David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts and Frenchman Thierry
Lincou all got their hands on the trophy over the next ten years.
In the last decade, Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour has triumphed twice,
while his compatriot, the iconic Amr Shabana, has also had his name
etched on the trophy on two occasions.
Shabana also made it to the final of the 2010/11 instalment, but the
final was subsequently cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which
meant that the court, stages in an inflatable arena, was deemed unsafe.
A women’s tournament began in 2012 and saw Malaysian superstar Nicol
David take the first two titles, beating Madeline Perry and Laura
Massaro in successive finals.
2016 saw Dubai become only the second city outside of Europe to hold the
prestigious World Tour Finals, with the tournament being stages at the
Vitis Club in Zurich (1993-1994), the Galleria in Hatfield (1996-1999),
Broadgate Arena in London (1999-2006), the National Squash Centre in
Manchester (2007-2008) and Queen’s Club in London (2009-2013).
In 2017 the tournament was held at Dubai Opera – the first ever sporting
event to be held there – when Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and England’s
Laura Massaro claimed victory to end their seasons on a high.
Last season the event took place at the Emirates Golf Club where Egypt’s
ElShorbagy successfully defended his title, while Nour El Sherbini
claimed the women’s title for the first time in her career.
Taking part in this year’s event in the men’s category are: Ali Farag (EGY),
Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY), Tarek Momen (EGY), Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY),
Paul Coll (NZL), Simon Rösner (GER), Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) and Diego
In the women’s event, the competitors are: Raneem El Welily (EGY), Nour
El Sherbini (EGY), Nour El Tayeb (EGY), Camille Serme (FRA), Joelle King
(NZL), Nouran Gohar (EGY), Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) and Tesni Evans (WAL).
Previous Winners: Men 2018 – Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2017 – Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2016 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2013 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2012 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2011 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2010 – Nick Matthew (ENG)/Amr Shabana (EGY) – Final not played
2009 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2008 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2007 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2006 – Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
2005 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2004 – Thierry Lincou (FRA)
2003 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2002 – David Palmer (AUS)
2001 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
2000 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1999 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1998 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1997 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1996 – Del Harris (ENG)
1995 – No competition
1994 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1993 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
Previous Winners: Women 2018 – Nour El Sherbini
2017 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2016 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2012 – Nicol David (MAS)
2011 – Nicol David (MAS)