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14/06/2019
CIB World Tour Finals 2019


Raneem El Welily & Karim Abdel Gawad
2019 Champions

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CIB World Tour Finals 2019
(also known as World Series Finals)
09 - 14 Jun
Cairo, Egypt, $160k (M/W)

Men's Pool Rounds


Result - Men’s Final: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10 (92m)

Semi-finals:
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (55m)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 11-8, 11-2 (28m)

3rd pool round:
Pool A
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (69m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-9, 11-3 (24m)
Pool B
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 11-9, 11-4 (25m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 11-2, 4-11, 11-8 (46m)

2nd pool round:
Pool A
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-3, 11-6 (27m)
Pool B
[7] Diego Elias (PER) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 (57m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 (46m)

1st pool round:
Pool A

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 12-10, 11-9 (39m)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-5, 13-11 (40m)
Pool B
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 6-11, 11-3, 17-15 (63m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 6-11, 11-3, 11-8 (44m)
 
Women's Pool Rounds


Result - Women’s Final: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-9, 9-11, 11-1 (38m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 20-18, 11-9 (37m)Semi-finals:

3rd pool round:
Pool A
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 11-7, 11-7 (19m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-5, 13-11 (28m)
Pool B
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 6-11, 11-5, 11-7 (33m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-0, 11-5 (15m)

2nd pool round:
Pool A
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 10-12, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)
[8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (38m)
Pool B
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-5, 11-7 (25m)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-8, 11-9 (34m)

1st pool round:
Pool A
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-4, 11-6 (18m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 12-14, 12-10, 12-10 (55m)
Pool B
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 11-8, 11-9 (23m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 11-4, 7-11, 11-8 (40m)
 
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REPORTS

Egyptian Duo El Welily and Gawad Crowned PSA World Tour Finals Champions

Egypt’s 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.

The 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 two-game lead.

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 level.

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.

“I 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 seasons.

“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.”

Meanwhile, 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 that lead.

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.

The 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.

“If 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
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [8] 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
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)

 
Serme Gets Revenge Over Gohar as Final Spots Decided

France’s 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 games format.

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 Welily.

“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 all.”

El 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 season.

“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.

Gawad 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 far.

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 end."

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 tournament Website.

Results - Men’s Semi-Finals: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-2 (28m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 2-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (55m)

Results - Women’s Semi-Finals: 2018-2019 CIB PSA World Tour Finals
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-1 (38m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0: 20-18, 11-9 (37m)

Draw - Men’s Final: To Be Played June 14th
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)

Draw - Women’s Final: To Be Played June 14th
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [4] Camille Serme (FRA)
 
Farag and El Sherbini Crash Out
of World Tour Finals


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 of Arabia.

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.

“I 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.”

World 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 win eventually."

In 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.

“From the beginning, I saw that Tesni was not moving as well as usual,” said 30-year-old Serme.

“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 tomorrow."

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
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (69m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-3 (24m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group B Day Four
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 2-1: 11-2, 4-11, 11-8 (46m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group A Day Four
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 2-0: 11-5, 13-11 (28m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group B Day Four
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-1: 6-11, 11-5, 11-7 (33m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-0, 11-5 (15m)

Draw – Men’s Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 13th
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Draw – Women’s Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 13th
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [4] Camille Serme (FRA)

Egyptians Dominate Day Three
of PSA World Tour Finals


The 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 last four.

“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 semi-finals."

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 semis.

Meanwhile, 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 those fixtures.

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 head-to-head record.

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.

In 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.”

British 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
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-3, 11-6 (27m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Men’s Group B Day Three
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-9, 11-4 (25m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group A Day Three
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7 (19m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Women’s Group B Day Three
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7 (25m)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (34m)

Draw – Men’s Group A: To Be Played June 12th
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [7] Diego Elias (PER)

Draw – Men’s Group B: To Be Played June 12th
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [5] Paul Coll (NZL)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)

Draw – Women’s Group A: To Be Played June 12th
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) v [8] Tesni Evans (WAL)

Draw – Women’s Group B: To Be Played June 12th
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
El Welily and ElShorbagy Qualify for Semis of World Tour Finals

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 Arabia.

El 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 Welily.

“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 last four.

“I’m 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.

In 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.

“It’s 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.
 
Perry Upsets Defending Champion
El Sherbini


The 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 meet tomorrow.

In 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, are sponsoring.”

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.

Elsewhere, 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.

Meanwhile, 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 straight games.

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 & Japan).

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Men’s Group A
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-9 (39m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Men’s Group B
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 2-1: 6-11, 11-3, 17-15 (63m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 6-11, 11-3, 11-8 (44m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Women’s Group A
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 2-0: 11-4, 11-6 (18m)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 2-1: 12-14, 12-10, 12-10 (55m)

Results: CIB PSA World Tour Finals - Women’s Group B
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (23m)

Draw - Men’s Group A: To Be Played June 10th
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [5] Paul Coll (NZL)

Draw - Men’s Group B: To Be Played June 10th
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) v [7] Diego Elias (PER)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Draw - Women’s Group A: To Be Played June 10th
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [4] Camille Serme (FRA)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) v [8] Tesni Evans (WAL)

Draw - Women’s Group B: To Be Played June 10th
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY)

PREVIEWS

World Championship Finalists El Sherbini and El Tayeb Drawn Together

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 Evans.

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 Group B.

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 here.
Squash fans can follow the tournament on www.worldtourfinals.com  or on Facebook. purchase tickets for the semi-finals and finals here.

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)

Tickets for the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2018-2019 can be purchased here.
Squash fans can follow the tournament on www.worldtourfinals.com  or on Facebook.

Group Draw


 
Farag And El Welily Lead World Tour
Finals Leaderboard


Egyptian 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 Finals Leaderboard.

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 International.

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 points.

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 Now On Sale

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 sale now.

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 places.

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 here.

Squash fans can follow the tournament on www.worldtourfinals.com  or on Facebook.
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Tournament History

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 events.

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 Elias (PER).

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)
 
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