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27/06/2021
CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2021

CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2021

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CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2021
Men's Draw
22 - 27 Jun
Cairo, Egypt, $185k

Final:
[7] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
bt [5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 12-14, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (70m)

Semi-finals:
[7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [2] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 (68m)
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-5, 5-11, 11-6 (50m)Semi-finals:

3rd pool round:
Pool A
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [7] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Pool B
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 9-11, 11-1, 11-5 (58m)
[2] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Joel Makin (WAL) 14-12, 11-2 (55m)
2nd pool round:
Pool A
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 13-11 (64m)
[7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 13-11, 11-3 (42m)
Pool B
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [6] Joel Makin (WAL) 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (64m)
[2] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 13-11, 11-13, 11-7 (65m)

1st pool round:
Pool A
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 10-12, 11-4, 13-11 (64m)
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (93m)
Pool B
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [2] Tarek Momen (EGY) 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 (65m)
[8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [6] Joel Makin (WAL) 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 (59m)

CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2021
Women's Draw
22 - 27 Jun
Cairo, Egypt, $185k

Final:
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
bt [2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 (77m)

Semi-finals:
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Joelle King (NZL) 11-2, 10-12, 11-6 (46m)
[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [6] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-6, 3-11, 14-12 (54m)

3rd pool round:

Pool A
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [8] Salma Hany (EGY) 11-4, 11-2 (17m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Pool B
[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [7] Joelle King (NZL) 12-10, 11-5 (25m)
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 11-4 (23m)

2nd pool round:
Pool A
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [8] Salma Hany (EGY) 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [6] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-8, 14-12 (48m)
Pool B
[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-9, 11-7 (30m)
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 12-10, 11-7 (32m)

1st pool round:
Pool A
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 10-12, 11-3, 11-6 (34m)
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [8] Salma Hany (EGY) 9-11, 11-5, 11-2 (52m)
Pool B
[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-7, 11-9 (30m)
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-5, 11-8 (26m)

Finals




Asal and Gohar Capture CIB PSA World Tour Finals Trophies

Egyptian duo Mostafa Asal and Nouran Gohar are the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals champions after they defeated compatriots Mohamed ElShorbagy and Hania El Hammamy at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia earlier today.

Asal - the reigning World Junior Champion - has lifted the first major PSA title of his career at the age of 20 after he recovered from a game down to overcome World No.2 ElShorbagy by an 12-14, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 scoreline.

Asal - who has received both praise and criticism from fans and fellow players for his on-court demeanour and exuberant celebrations - has truly announced his arrival on the world stage with a sensational week in Cairo which saw him finish top of Group A as well as beating World No.1 Ali Farag, World Champion Tarek Momen, defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy as well as Mohamed ElShorbagy en route to his fifth PSA Tour title.

“I can’t believe I’ve played with someone that I’ve always looked up to,” said Asal afterwards.

“He’s a legend, he’s my No.1, he’s an idol, everything. I cannot celebrate against him, but this is something special for me. Since I was 10-years-old, I went with my friends and cheered for him at every tournament.

“He [ElShorbagy] said to me to celebrate as I want, that it’s my time. I came here to enjoy myself, in front of my friends, in my country, in front of my city. To play this tournament is something unbelievable to me and to play against the World No.1, World No.2, World No.3, World No.5 is a dream come true.”

Meanwhile, Gohar has also won her first CIB PSA World Tour Finals - becoming the sixth woman to triumph at the event - after ending El Hammamy’s title defence courtesy of an 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 victory.

Gohar and El Hammamy were the only undefeated players left in the event across both the men’s and women’s draws coming into the final and it was 23-year-old Gohar who held her nerve to complete an unbeaten run, meaning she claims the maximum 1,600 bonus ranking points on offer at the World Tour Finals.

It’s Gohar’s 10th PSA title and her first major trophy since the 2019 U.S. Open.

“If you want to beat Hania then you have to play over your best and be consistent,” said Gohar afterwards.

“She is the hungriest player right now on tour. I know how it feels to be her age and beating the top players, so I knew she would be confident on court and I couldn’t take it for granted being 2-0 up. I really enjoyed my time on court this week and super happy.

“The ranking is huge and I’ve been there, so there is no more pressure to get on top and I definitely want to get back [to World No.1]. You have to think about the performance first to be able to win the titles and be able to reach the top again. The main point now is to have these performances consistently and then win titles and then get back to the ranking.”

Both Asal and Gohar take home over $25,000 in prize money and they will next be in action at the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family between July 14-22 in Chicago.
 
Semi Finals

Asal Reaches First Major Final As He Sends World Champ Momen Out of CIB PSA World Tour Finals

20-year-old Egyptian Mostafa Asal has reached his first major final after producing an impressive performance to dispatch World Champion Tarek Momen in the semi-finals of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals earlier today at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.

Asal, the reigning World Junior Champion, has had a marvellous tournament so far after topping Group A ahead of World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy, defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.1 Ali Farag.

The World No.12 continued that form into his match with World No.3 Momen, winning 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 in a 68-minute match that was punctuated by scrappy periods of play and a number of refereeing decisions in the latter stages of the contest.

“I can’t describe my feelings right now,” Asal said.

“It was a very tough game and mentally it was really, really tough. Mind games is my job, you know, that is what I am good at and I am learning from Mohamed ElShorbagy and just how mentally tough he is. I didn’t know whether the quality of squash between me and Tarek was good today but mentally and physically I was there.

“[There was] lots of interference, too much talking as well so I am happy to be through. Tarek is an unbelievable player and a World Champion and all credit to him. I grew up learning from him so I am really happy to be through and I am looking forward to my next match.”

Asal will take on two-time winner Mohamed ElShorbagy in the title decider after he overcame New Zealand’s Paul Coll 11-5, 5-11, 11-6 to follow up his win over the World No.4 in last month’s El Gouna International.

ElShorbagy overcame Asal in a 93-minute encounter in the group stage on day one and was full of praise for his young compatriot.

“It was the group of death [Group A], and I think myself and Asal were the best two players and we are the best two in the tournament,” said ElShorbagy, who will become the first Egyptian to play in the title decider of the World Tour Finals on four occasions.

“We completely deserve to be in the final. I have played against so many players, from those 10 years older than me, like Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier. Players from my own generation like Ali, my brother, Gawad and now I am playing Asal who is 10 years younger than me. I love the guy off the court, he is one of the nicest guys on Tour, for me, he is a winner and he will win so many titles.”

Meanwhile, defending champion Hania El Hammamy has continued her attempts to become only the third woman to win two CIB PSA World Tour Finals trophies as she came back from match ball down to oust France’s Camille Serme.

The pair have contested multiple captivating matches on the PSA Tour over the past two seasons and El Hammamy came out on top after 54 minutes of high-quality squash, winning 11-6, 3-11, 14-12 to book her place in the title decider.

“The only thing I can say, I can assure you that even if I can’t find my game and I can’t find my length, I will kill myself, I will run for every point and I think that is what I did today,” El Hammamy said.

“I dug in and I will always keep digging. Every time I play Camille, it is always physical and intense, I always enjoy playing against her and I think I should be proud of how I kept fighting. I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow… hopefully I will be able to deliver a good performance.”

El Hammamy will take on World No.2 Nouran Gohar in the title decider after she beat New Zealand’s Joelle King in a scrappy 2-1 victory to reach the final of this event for the first time.

There was no love lost between the pair in the latter stages - with both players sharing a terse racket touch at the end - as Gohar capitalised on her strong start to the fixture to win 11-2, 10-12, 11-6 in 46 minutes.

“I felt I was playing well this tournament and actually the last few times we have played each other, I was not on my best form,” said Gohar, who had lost her previous three matches to King.

“It was tricky here and it is my first time through to the final here at the World Tour Finals, so I am very happy to be through. I am glad I won today, for sure, I felt very comfortable and I knew it was very important to win the first game, so I was very focused from the very beginning and I was really happy with the way I dealt with it.”

The finals take place tomorrow (June 27) and play begins at 19:30 (GMT+2). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and the channels of contracted broadcast partners.

For more information on the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squash fans can also download the new CIB Road to Egypt App now to stay up-to-date with all the news from the tournament. Get it from the App Store and Google Play now!
 
Day Four Report

Gohar Sends World No.1 El Sherbini Out of CIB PSA World Tour Finals

World No.2 Nouran Gohar ended a three-match losing streak to World No.1 Nour El Sherbini to send the top seed crashing out of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals earlier today at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.

Gohar had already qualified from Group A of the women’s event and came into the match having only won one of her last four matches against the four-time World Champion, with that win coming in the group stage of the 2018-19 World Tour Finals.

El Sherbini edged the opener on the tie-break, but Gohar came roaring back to win 10-12, 11-7, 11-8 in 52 minutes, which sees her qualify top of Group A along with Camille Serme, who needed Gohar to win to qualify for the semi-finals.

“Not only in the first game, but in the last game as well she was 8-5 up,” said Gohar afterwards.

“So she was three points away from the win and it’s never easy to play against Nour. She’s young but very experienced and it’s very tricky and tough to play against her. That’s why she’s World No.1, so to win against her is something else.

“For the semis, we are playing best of three as well, so we are kind of prepared. It’s very different because the semi-final is important, but it’s best of three, so you have to be on your toes from the first point. I’m just trying to relax and enjoy it, it’s one of the most prestigious tournaments and I’m really happy to be playing this event in Egypt, it’s even more special when your sponsors, CIB and Wadi Degla, are the sponsors of the event.”

Gohar will take on New Zealand’s Joelle King in the semi-finals, while Serme will play defending Hania El Hammamy in the latest chapter of their enthralling rivalry after she beat King 2-0 to top Group B.

“It was really tough in the first game, the gap was huge between us,” said El Hammamy.

“I’m playing against the top eight players in the world, it is never easy against them. I’m really happy to win the three matches 2-0. It’s always tough against Joelle, so hopefully we will have more battles.”

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry won the other women’s match of the night, beating United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy 2-0 to finish third in Group B.

In the men’s event, World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal ended a six-match losing streak to World No.1 Ali Farag to finish top of Group A ahead of World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Asal outclassed Farag in a coming-of-age performance and the 20-year-old won 11-4, 11-6 to set up a semi-final fixture against World Champion Tarek Momen in his first World Tour Finals.

“It’s definitely one of my favourite matches to date,” said Asal.

“It’s an unbelievable win and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals. It’s my first tournament here and I appreciate everyone who came and supported me today.”

New Zealand’s Paul Coll finished top of Group B courtesy of a 9-11, 11-1, 11-5 win over Gregoire Marche to qualify for the semis at this event for the first time and he will line up against ElShorbagy in the last four in a repeat of May’s El Gouna International, which the Egyptian won.

“I think it [the semi-final] will be similar to tonight,” Coll said.

“Tonight was pretty much knockout matches for who would go through. I’ve just got to go out there and look forward to playing Mohamed. It will be good, he is on top form but I’m feeling good out there at the moment.”

World Champion Tarek Momen is the other men’s player through to the last four courtesy of a 2-0 win over Joel Makin that was punctured by a lengthy break in the first game due to humidity making the court floor slippery. Momen will play Asal for a place in the title decider.

The semi-finals take place tomorrow (June 26) and play begins at 19:00 (GMT+2). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and the channels of contracted broadcast partners.

For more information on the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squash fans can also download the new CIB Road to Egypt App now to stay up-to-date with all the news from the tournament. Get it from the App Store and Google Play now!
 
Day Three Report

Mohamed ElShorbagy Qualifies for Last Four of CIB PSA World Tour Finals as World No.1 Challenge Ends

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy has qualified for the semi-finals of the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals - but the Egyptian has seen his attempts to regain the World No.1 spot in next month’s PSA World Rankings come to an end after a 2-1 defeat to younger brother Marwan at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.

ElShorbagy required just a solitary game to qualify from Group A for the knockout semi-finals but needed to win every single match throughout this event to reclaim top spot from current incumbent Ali Farag, who dispossessed ElShorbagy in November, 2020.

The 30-year-old got the game he needed to earn his spot in the last four, but Marwan came back to take the next two games without reply, meaning he currently sits in second in the group with six points, one point behind Mohamed.

“Today’s match was a little bit different of course,” Marwan said.

“I knew my brother only needed one game to qualify, so I knew as soon as he won the first game, things were different for him, he was a bit more relaxed knowing he was qualified. I had a tough night last night and it was very disappointing

“I just had to try and stay as professional as possible in the match to keep my focus as much as possible, and it was just another match with my brother, now I am hoping for a result tomorrow. It is a tough group, I beat the World No.1 and World No.2 and I still don’t know whether I have qualified or not. I have enjoyed being part of that group and being a part of the World Tour Finals.”

Marwan will now face an anxious wait to see the result of tomorrow’s Farag and Mostafa Asal match. If Asal wins, he will top the group and qualify along with Mohamed. A win for Farag will see Marwan join his brother in the semi-finals.

In Group B, World Champion Tarek Momen got the win he needed to stay in the event as he overcame Frenchman Gregoire Marche in a nail-biting 13-11, 11-13, 11-7 victory.

Having lost to Paul Coll (left) in his opening match, Momen needed to win to keep his hopes alive. The World No.3 came back from a 6-3 deficit in the third to win it 11-7, and he now sits second in Group B.

“He turned on an extra gear, made no errors, everything was going where it was supposed to go, and I felt that I was getting outplayed until 6-3,” Momen said.

“Then I used my experience and I used matches where I was down. I pushed hard to come back, I believed in myself that I could do it and I just had to put in the effort.”

Momen’s win came after Coll had consolidated his position at the top of Group B thanks to a 2-1 win over Welshman Joel Makin. However, all four players are in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals ahead of what looks set to be an exciting final day of group action.

In the women’s event, defending champion Hania El Hammamy and New Zealand’s Joelle King have qualified from Group B following respective wins over USA’s Amanda Sobhy and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

El Hammamy won 11-9, 11-7 in 30 minutes, while King defeated Perry 12-10, 11-7 in 32 minutes. The victors will face off for top spot tomorrow.

“I didn’t have a very good start in the first game, but I tried to push myself mentally to find a way back into the game,” said El Hammamy.

“It is the best-of-three, so I had to do it in any possible way. I am known for being 2-0 down and then coming back, but in this tournament, there is no way to do that so I had to find a way.”

King said: “SJ and I live an hour and a half away from each other, so we play a lot of practice matches together. Obviously it is always different when you step on court in a tournament situation, but it is nice to be familiar with the players you are playing against, although everyone is improving, so you have to keep learning and seeing what improvements they are doing.

“I’m playing Hania tomorrow, and we are both in the same situation. We have both won two matches, so it just brings a new challenge. I go out on court every time to win, so I will give it my all tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, France’s Camille Serme kept her qualification hopes alive in Group A after she secured a quick-fire 2-0 win over No.8 seed Salma Hany, who had already seen her hopes extinguished after defeats in her opening two matches.

Serme now has to wait until tomorrow to find out whether or not she will be in the last four. The World No.4 needs the already qualified Nouran Gohar to defeat World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in order for the Frenchwoman to advance.

The group stage draws to an exciting climax tomorrow (June 25) and play begins at 19:00 (GMT+2). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.

For more information on the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squash fans can also download the new CIB Road to Egypt App now to stay up-to-date with all the news from the tournament. Get it from the App Store and Google Play now!
 
Day Two

Gohar First Player to Qualify for Semi-Finals of CIB PSA World Tour Finals

Egypt’s World No.2 Nouran Gohar is the first player through to the semi-finals of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals after she defeated France’s Camille Serme 2-0 at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia earlier today.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals features the top eight male and female players on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings, with points on offer at all PSA World Tour events throughout the 2020-21 season. The group stage uses a round robin, best-of-three games format as players bid to qualify for the knockout stages.

That win, along with her 2-1 victory over Salma Hany yesterday means that she currently sits top of Group A with seven points and cannot finish lower than second due to her head-to-head advantage over Serme, no matter what her result might be in her final pool match.

“Everyone in here can see how tough it was,” said Gohar afterwards.

“Winning 2-0 in 50 minutes is incredible. Camille never makes it easy on me, even if I’m going to win the match she’s running everywhere and getting everything back. She is one of the most experienced and consistent players on Tour and I have so much respect for her. It’s always tough to play against her.

“Nour is World No.1, I’m World No.2 – we have played in finals and this time we are playing in the final of the pool matches, which is going to be challenging as always. I’m looking forward to it.”

Gohar faces World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in a repeat of their El Gouna International final, where the latter came out on top in a dominant victory, in the final pool match.

A win by any scoreline would see El Sherbini go through to the semi-finals after her 2-0 win over Salma Hany today, however, if she is to lose and Serme wins her match against Hany then the Frenchwoman would go through thanks to her better head-to-head record after defeating the World No.1 on the first night.

“Usually after you lose a match it’s over for you, you go home and see what everyone is going to do but this tournament is different,” said El Sherbini.

“You lose and you have to come back the next day and be prepared mentally. Every match is difficult because we’re playing the top eight in the world, it’s the final in any tournament. I’m pleased to win today and have a chance to qualify, I’m really happy with my performance.”

New Zealand’s Joelle King, meanwhile, now sits top of Group B along with Hania El Hammamy on four points following a dominant 2-0 victory over USA’s Amanda Sobhy.

King made it four straight wins over Sobhy after she displayed a confident and composed performance to start her title challenge in the strongest way.

She will face Sarah-Jane Perry tomorrow with the Englishwoman needing to win to keep her hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals alive. While Sobhy will face El Hammamy as she looks to get her first win of the tournament against the defending champion.

“I felt good out there, I thought I was playing the court well,” said King afterwards.

“Amanda is class, if you give her a little inch, she is going to come back at you, which she did at the end. Probably the only thing I can say for my matches going forward is to keep my foot on the pedal.

“In this format, every point, every game counts, even losing 2-1 can set you up for the next round that you might get through the pool.”

In the men’s event, Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy has strengthened his grip at the top of Group A after he claimed a 2-1 victory over World No.1 Ali Farag and now has six points.

Mohamed’s victory over World No.1 Farag earlier today also gives him a small boost in his chances of getting the World No.1 spot back from Farag. However, there is still a lot that has to go his way with the 30-year-old needing to beat younger brother Marwan tomorrow in the final pool game and then go onto win the title and relying on Mostafa Asal to beat Farag to send him out at the group stage.

“We have been the best two players in the world for the last four or five years,” said Mohamed afterwards.

“We’ve been great rivals to each other, it’s been going back and forth between us. I’m really hungry to be back on the throne this year. It’s all I think about, every single day, I want to go back to World No.1 – my hunger is always to be the best player in the world and to do that I need to beat all the players and consistently, not just one tournament but the whole year.”

Rising Egyptian talent Asal gave his hopes of qualifying for the last four a significant boost with a 2-0 victory over Marwan ElShorbagy to send Group A down to the wire to decide who reaches the last four.

Asal came firing out of the blocks early to sneak ahead in a tight first game before dominating the World No.5 in the second to comfortably close out his first win of the pool stage.

“I can’t believe I won and still have a chance of reaching the semi-finals,” said Asal. “I’m so proud of myself today, very big performance and I want to thank my team and my friends that are here.

“It’s a very tough group, when you play against World No.1, World No.2 and World No.5 it’s an unbelievable group. I’m focusing on my squash, all of my friends are here and they want to enjoy the moment. There’s still more to come.”

Elsewhere, France’s Gregoire Marche made a mark on his debut at the event after coming from a game down to defeat Welshman Joel Makin.

Marche was drafted into the draw at the last minute following Fares Dessouky’s late withdrawal due to a lingering back injury and the Frenchman was on top form to topple Makin and go top of Group B along with New Zealand’s Paul Coll with both players on three points.

“It’s crazy how life can be sometimes,” said Marche in his post-match interview. “I’m sorry for Fares but it was good news for me.

“It’s easier for me maybe because I had no pressure today, I just had to try and push every rally and I liked the way I played, even in tough conditions. It’s hot tonight and the ball is pretty bouncy, but I dealt with it and mentally, it was maybe one of my best matches.”

If Marche and Coll both win tomorrow then they will be through to the semi-finals.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals continues tomorrow (June 24) and play starts at the Mall of Arabia at 19:00 (GMT+2). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.

For more information on the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squash fans can also download the new CIB Road to Egypt App now to stay up-to-date with all the news from the tournament. Get it from the App Store and Google Play now!
 
Day One

Serme Claims El Sherbini Upset on Opening Day of CIB PSA World Tour Finals

France’s World No.4 Camille Serme got the better of World No.1 Nour El Sherbini on the opening day of the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals to boost her chances of qualification for the knockout semi-finals at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals features the top eight male and female players on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings, with points on offer at all PSA World Tour events throughout the 2020-21 season. The group stage uses a round robin, best-of-three games format as players bid to qualify for the knockout stages.

El Sherbini finished top of the women’s CIB Road to Egypt standings, but her chances of lifting a second title at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals have suffered a blow after Serme came back from a tie-break defeat in the opening game to win 10-12, 11-3, 11-6.

“I am very happy with my game tonight,” said Serme.

“It has been a while since I had a good win, so I will take that one, especially against the World No.1. I was enjoying my game and really focused on what to do on court and that was really important.

“She can hit many winners as well, but today was more about errors and I will take that. This tournament is never easy anyway, it is a bonus and I am just happy to be enjoying my squash again.”

Serme sits in second place in Group A with 3 points, level with World No.2 Nouran Gohar, who overcame fellow Egyptian Salma Hany 2-1. Gohar leads the group courtesy of having a higher percentage of points won compared to Serme.

Serme and Gohar will go head-to-head in the next round of matches and either player can book their places in the semis if they win and results elsewhere go their way. Meanwhile, a defeat for El Sherbini against Hany could see the top seed bow out of the event.

Defending champion Hania El Hammamy and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry contested the day’s sole Group B fixture, with the Egyptian winning 11-7, 11-9 to become the first player to take maximum points from her first fixture.

“I was a little bit nervous before the match,” El Hammamy said.

“It’s the first pool match, so I have to be sharp from the beginning and it’s best-of-three. It is never easy against SJ, she is a very tricky player and she likes to play some tricky stuff. I try as much as I can not to think about being defending champion, because last time, when I thought about it [at the CIB Black Ball Open], it gave me a little bit of extra pressure on myself.”

In the men’s event, the Bristol-based ElShorbagy brothers - Marwan and Mohamed - sit at the summit of an all-Egyptian Group A following wins over World No.1 Ali Farag and World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal.

Marwan beat Farag in the semi-finals last season when he took silverware at this very tournament and he made it three wins in a row against the No.1 seed with a 10-12, 11-4, 13-11 victory.

“If you look at how tough our group is, having my brother and Asal is really tough,” Marwan said.

“All the matches are 50/50, tomorrow I play Mostafa and it’s going to be the same as today. Playing Ali is always tough, he is the toughest to play on tour, him and my brother. They are World No.1 and World No.2 and every session I practice, I always visualise competing against them because they are the best in the world and I want to try and beat both of them on a consistent basis.”

ElShorbagy is hunting Farag’s World No.1 spot and, with the pair set to meet in the next round of fixtures, the 30-year-old has given himself a perfect platform to have a real crack at his compatriot following an 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 victory over Asal. The match was subject to a 35-minute break due to a cut above ElShorbagy’s left eye, but the No.5 seed pulled through in the end.

“He [Asal] is a superstar of our sport,” ElShorbagy said.

“He will take on the sport at some point, so I’m happy to go on court with him before I finish because it’s the kind of match I will remember for the rest of my life as he will run the sport one day. He is such a nice boy, I know him off court and he is such a nice guy, people don’t know him, he is one of the nicest guys I know on tour. It really annoys me when people talk badly about him on social media because they just don’t know him.”


If Marwan and Mohamed both triumph in the next round of fixtures, they will qualify for the semi-finals.

Group B saw New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s Tarek Momen go up against each other in a repeat of the 2019-20 PSA World Championship final, with Coll getting the better of his opponent to follow up May’s El Gouna International triumph over Momen.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals continues tomorrow (June 23) and play starts at the Mall of Arabia at 19:00 (GMT+2). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.

For more information on the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squash fans can also download the new CIB Road to Egypt App now to stay up-to-date with all the news from the tournament. Get it from the App Store and Google Play now!
 
Preview

Farag and ElShorbagy Drawn Together at World Tour Finals As Battle for World No.1 Intensifies


Egyptian duo Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy - the Men’s World No.1 and No.2, respectively - have been drawn together in Group A of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, meaning a fascinating battle for the World No.1 spot will play out at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia between June 22-27.

Farag has held the World No.1 spot for eight successive months since dethroning ElShorbagy in November, 2020 but following ElShorbagy’s triumph at the El Gouna International Squash Open in May, the Bristol-based 30-year-old now has a chance to reclaim the coveted ranking in July’s PSA World Rankings.

To add to the 49 months he has already spent atop the World Rankings during his storied career, ElShorbagy must win the tournament, while Farag will need to go out at the group stage with a maximum of one victory. If Farag secures two wins or more, he will stay at No.1 no matter what ElShorbagy does. The pair are set to face off on match day two, meaning the winner of that clash could take a big step closer towards top spot.

The pair have been drawn together after Farag finished top of the men's CIB Road to Egypt Standings, while ElShorbagy came sixth. World Champion Tarek Momen and CIB World Tour Finals debutant Mostafa Asal are the other players drawn alongside them in Group A.

The in-form Fares Dessouky - who finished second on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings - heads up Group B ahead of New Zealand’s Paul Coll, defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy and Welshman Joel Makin.

Group A of the women’s event will also see the world’s top two players go head-to-head as World No.1 Nour El Sherbini takes on World No.2 Nouran Gohar in a repeat of last month’s El Gouna International final, which El Sherbini won. They are joined by World No.4 Camille Serme and World No.9 Salma Hany.

Group B will see defending champion Hania El Hammamy, USA's Amanda Sobhy, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and New Zealand’s Joelle King do battle in a bid to reach the semi-finals.

To qualify, players either had to secure a top eight finish on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings - for which points were on offer at all PSA World Tour events throughout the 2020-21 season - or win a prestigious PSA World Tour Platinum trophy.

A $370,000 prize fund will be split equally across both the women’s and men’s events as players compete in a best-of-three games group stage between June 22-25. The top two from each group qualify for the knockout semi-finals, where a place in the best-of-five games title decider will await the winner of those fixtures.

Group stage action will begin on Tuesday June 22 at 19:00 (GMT+2). Six matches will be played per night for the first four days of the event until the group stage has drawn to a close.

Group stage matches will take place at 19:00, 19:30, 20:15, 20:45, 21:30 and 22:00 between June 22-25. The semi-finals will be held at 19:00 on Saturday June 26.

The finals will begin at 19:30 on Sunday June 27.

All matches will be held at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia and fixtures will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour. The semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.

Squash fans can stay up-to-date with news from the tournament by following the PSA World Tour on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals – Group Draw
Group Draw

Men’s Group A
1) Ali Farag (EGY)
3) Tarek Momen (EGY)
6) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
8) Mostafa Asal (EGY)

Men’s Group B
2) Fares Dessouky (EGY)
4) Paul Coll (NZL)
5) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
7) Joel Makin (WAL)

Women’s Group A
1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
3) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
6) Camille Serme (FRA)
8) Salma Hany (EGY)

Women’s Group B
2) Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
4) Amanda Sobhy (USA)
5) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
7) Joelle King (NZL)
 

REPORTS

Visit the official website of the PSA World Tour or follow the event on  Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube and TikTok.