PSA NewsSquash News | Professional Squash AssociationSat, 24 Jun 2017 02:46:55 +0100 Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:46:55 +0100 http://psaworldtour.com 2016/17 Season Review: Breakthrough Stars – Part Two Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close earlier this month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles. We’ll be reviewing all of the major talking points from the past 10 months of world-class squash action over the next few weeks and have already looked back at the outstanding performers over the campaign. This part of our season review sees us look at some of the players who broke through during the 2016/17 season to surge up the World Rankings. You can read part one <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4831/2016-17-season-review-breakthrough-stars-part-one" target="_blank"> here</a>. 20170623141145_Whitlock.JPGEngland’s Emily Whitlock began her season with a handful of early round exits, until her form began to come to the forefront at the Macau Open. The 23-year-old reached the semi-final stage of the event, where she was knocked out by Annie Au over three games, after overcoming Donna Urquhart and Hana Moataz in the previous rounds. Another semi-final finish followed a few months later at the Cleveland Classic, where Whitlock fell short of making the final with defeat to fellow Englishwoman Alison Waters. However, Whitlock soon got her revenge on Waters when she upset the former World No.3 in their second-round fixture at the prestigious 2017 Allam British Open at Hull’s Airco Arena. Whitlock played with accuracy and intelligent shot-selection to stun the three-time British Open semi-finalist claiming an 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 victory to reach the quarter-final stage of the event for the first time in her career and set up a last eight meeting with defending champion and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, who she was knocked out by. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jKSTBDltcFA?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> These strong tournament finishes saw the young Englishwoman achieving a career high ranking of World No.13 in April 2017. 20170623142510_Abouelghar.JPGEgypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar became a shot of the month regular during the 2016/17 campaign and he looks destined to join the current Egyptian crop in the top 10 in the coming months. After starting the season with a number of early round exits, Abouelghar secured his place in the world’s top 20 in the World Rankings for the first time in his career in October last year. He continued to go from strength-to-strength as the following month he reached the final of the CCI International JSW ISC, where he finished runner-up to compatriot Fares Dessouky, falling narrowly short of clinching the title over five games. Dessouky edged the opening game after coming out on top in some well-constructed rallies but Abouelghar levelled in front of a packed crowd at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai. The third game then saw Dessouky get back in front before Abouelghar once again drew level to send the match into a nail-biting decider where Dessouky closed out a 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5 victory. Abouelgha’s next big win came in March as he stunned World Champion and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad at the prestigious Allam British Open, when he defeated his fellow Egyptian at Hull’s Airco Arena. Gawad required just a quarter-final finish at the tournament to become World No.1 at that point but an incredible display from Abouelghar nullified Gawad as he claimed a 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 victory. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/I0bm-LXAHk4?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Abouelghar went on to face three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour in the quarter-finals and came close to beating his compatriot when he stormed into a 2-0 lead. The 23-year-old showed a ferocious style that saw him shock Gawad in the previous round and led 9-6 in third, however, a number of unforced errors allowed Ashour to battle back in a thrilling five game match to secure his place in the next round. Later on in the year Abouelghar collected his first and biggest PSA World Tour title in almost two years courtesy of victory over compatriot Zahed Mohamed in the final of the 2017 Guatemala X Torneo Internacional PSA Sporta. The 23-year-old, who last triumphed at the CAS International Squash Championship in 2015, came through in straight games, winning 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 to down Mohamed and claim the PSA M50 title – the seventh of his career and his biggest tournament win to date. This win also saw Abouelghar break into the world’s top 15 for the first time in his career as he continues to rise up the PSA Men’s World Rankings. 20170623142636_Blatchford.JPGUnited States’ Olivia Blatchford continued her progress on the PSA World Tour as she broke into the world’s top 20 for the first time in the PSA Women’s World Rankings in April 2017. Blatchford recorded one of the biggest wins of her career at the Windy City Open as she downed India’s World No.14 Joshna Chinappa 3-0, marking the first time she has ever reached the second round of a PSA World Series tournament. The 24-year-old – who was the tournament wildcard – twice saved game ball in the first to take it 13-11 in the tie-break and from then on played without pressure, controlling the court to secure a 13-11, 11-4, 11-5 victory. Next up for Blatchford was an all-American encounter with Team USA teammate Amanda Sobhy, which marked the first meeting this century between two US-born players this far into a PSA World Series tournament. Sobhy came through in four games after being made to work hard by Blatchford who came back to take the second game before Sobhy managed to see out the victory and secure a place in the next round. Blatchford then continued to impress on the PSA World Tour as she booked her place in the biggest semi-final of her career at the Ciudad de Floridablanca after a hip injury forced Emily Whitlock forced her to retire. The scores were locked at one-game apiece until Whitlock pulled up mid-way through the third game. Despite battling through the pain barrier to see out the game, Whitlock was forced to retire before the fourth game could get under way, sealing Blatchford’s spot in her biggest ever PSA World Tour semi-final. Next up for Blatchford was once again compatriot Sobhy, this time in the semi-finals. Sobhy had been putting in a dominant display against her compatriot as she powered two games ahead, taking them 11-1, 11-6, but at 10-5 up and on the verge of securing her place in the final Sobhy’s Achilles on her left leg gave way as she set off to chase down a drop, forcing her to retire from the match and the tournament to hand Blatchford a place in the final. Blatchford went on to face legendary Malaysian Nicol David in her biggest ever PSA W70 final, but it was David who would go on to prevail. David had stormed into a two-game lead amidst a nervy start from Blatchford before play was suspended for 40-minutes at 6-6 in the third game after a sudden period of rainfall plunged the completion of the final into doubt but the sky cleared and David closed out a 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 70 minutes. The United States World No.17 continued to cause upsets amongst the higher ranked players during the season, memorable beating Australia’s Donna Urquhart at the Orascom Development PSA Women’s World Championships before falling to Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in round two. 20170623142813_Courtice.jpgJulianne Courtice has soared up the PSA Women’s World Rankings this season after winning her first two Tour titles, earning herself a 162-place rise to World No.56 compared to this time 12 months ago, while she also made her debut in front of the SQUASHTV cameras during the Open International de Squash de Nantes. The Englishwoman - a former physiotherapist playing her first full season on the Tour - reached her first final of the season at the Val de Marne tournament, where she was beaten over three games by the Netherland’s Milou van der Heijden. Courtice then went onto make back-to-back finals for the first time in her career having battled through qualifying and impressed in the early stages of the final as she went a game ahead against Egypt’s Nada Abbas. However, Abbas battled back to take the next two games before Courtice took the fourth on a tie-break to set up a title decider, which the Egyptian came through to clinch the Women’s London Open title. The 25-year-old did not have to wait long to clinch her maiden PSA World Tour title as she beat Egypt’s Menna Hamed over three games to lift the Edinburgh Sports Club Open title. After a semi-final exit at the Riga Ladies Open and an early round one exit at the Allam British Open, Courtice sealed her second Tour title with victory over Egypt’s Hana Moataz at the Christchurch Vets Ipswich Open before ending the season with another final appearance, this time at the Sekisui Open, where she finished runner-up to South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4834/201617-season-review-breakthrough-stars-part-two 4834 Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:55:20 +0100 Throwback Thursday: Gaultier and ElShorbagy Clash in New York Thriller The 2016/17 season saw some thrilling matches light up the PSA World Tour, but few clashes had the drama of January's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions semi-final fixture between current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and then World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy. Voted as the PSA Match of the Season at the PSA Awards gala earlier this month, Gaultier and ElShorbagy’s matchup could have been staged on Broadway such was the theatrical nature of the contest, with Gaultier in particular displaying the showmanship and charisma that have been hallmarks of his incredible career, Held under the chandeliers of the incredible Vanderbilt Hall in New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal, Gaultier and ElShorbagy were meeting for the 19th time on the PSA World Tour since first going head-to-head in 2009. And the man from France was out for revenge after their last fixture in a World Series event - the final of the El Gouna International - had ended in controversial circumstances. With the scores deadlocked at two games apiece and the match deep into the fifth game, ElShorbagy appeared to speak during one of Gaultier’s serves before slotting the ball into the nick to put himself match ball up, despite Gaultier’s remonstrations with the referee that his concentration was affected. ElShorbagy moved on to take the win against a rattled Gaultier, but it would be the 34-year-old who was to have the last laugh in New York. With a place in the final of the prestigious tournament up for grabs, Gaultier played with pace, precision, control and guile to go two games to the good, with each winner accompanied by wild celebrations from the former World Champion and thunderous applause from an enraptured crowd. But, with Gaultier 8-7 up in the third, a huge decision from the video referee changed the course of the match, with ElShorbagy profiting from a reviewed pick up which was erroneously called as good. That decision saw Gaultier capitulate and ElShorbagy pounced to level the scores at 2-2, with Gaultier - who had already been forced off court for an injury break in game three due to a glute problem - sinking to the floor after losing the fourth 11-4. He looked to be on the verge of retiring from the match, but the ‘General’ battled on to turn the match on its head once again in a nail-biting finale. The stunned spectators inside Grand Central Terminal witnessed Gaultier, playing on one leg, fight his way back into the match as he began to display the ruthless accuracy and extravagant gesticulating he displayed in the opening two games. After going match ball up, Gaultier hit a sumptuous crosscourt winner on the volley to finally settle the absorbing contest and get one over on his fierce rival for the first time in four matches. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kEUNIVkAzqg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> The Frenchman would ultimately fall to World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final, but his blockbuster clash with ElShorbagy will live long in the memory and will go down as one of the greatest matches ever to be played out inside Grand Central Terminal. Log in to *SQUASHTV* to watch more classics between Gaultier and ElShorbagy - <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/videos/view/1079">including the 2015 British Open final.</a> http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4833/throwback-thursday-gaultier-and-elshorbagy-clash-in-new-york-thriller 4833 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:48:27 +0100 2017 Saudi PSA Women's Squash Masters Added to PSA World Series Calendar The Professional Squash Association (PSA) are pleased to announce that the PSA Women’s Masters event will return to the calendar for the first time in seven years this October when Saudi Arabia hosts the 2017 Saudi PSA Women's Squash Masters at the Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh. Following recent initiatives from the General Authority of Sports in Saudi Arabia to increase sporting participation and awareness across the country, the $165,000 tournament - due to take place from October 29 - November 2, 2017 - will play a crucial role in inspiring a new generation of Saudis to become active within sport. Joining the likes of the iconic British Open, U.S. Open and Hong Kong Open, the 2017 Saudi PSA Women's Masters will be one of seven key Women's PSA World Series Tournaments to take place during the 2017/18 season - seeing the likes of Nicol David and Nour El Sherbini compete there for the first time. "We are very pleased to be taking a Women's PSA World Series event to Saudi later this year." said PSA Chairman and Saudi businessman Ziad Al-Turki. "Bringing professional squash back to Saudi Arabia for the first time since 2010 has been an ambition of mine and I am grateful for the support of the Women's Department of the Saudi General Authority for Sport to see this come to fruition." “Not only is squash one of the healthiest sports it is the perfect sport for the Saudi climate. I’m hoping that this tournament will increase local participation in Saudi Arabia, and I look forward to working with all parties involved throughout the next six months insuring continued success for years to come." Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, undersecretary president of the Women's Department of the General Authority for Sport in Saudi Arabia, said: " We look forward to growing the female participation of the sport of squash. It is a dynamic game that involves fast thinking and fast reaction times, skills that are well reflected in the women of Saudi Arabia." 20170621140232_saudif1.jpg http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4832/2017-saudi-psa-womens-squash-masters-added-to-psa-world-series-calendar 4832 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:55:05 +0100 2016/17 Season Review: Breakthrough Stars - Part One #SeasonReview Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close earlier this month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles. We’ll be reviewing all of the major talking points from the past 10 months of world-class squash action over the next few weeks and have already looked back at the outstanding performers over the campaign. This part of our season review sees us look at some of the players who broke through during the 2016/17 season to surge up the World Rankings. *Paul Coll*20170621121600_Coll-CVAS-Trophy.jpgNew Zealand’s Paul Coll emerged as a real crowd favourite during the 2016/17 campaign as he picked up his biggest ever title and became the first New Zealander since 1995 to break into the world’s top 20. 25-year-old Coll, known on Tour as ‘Superman’ due to his trademark dives and all-action style, exploded onto the scene back in March 2016 after playing his part in one of the PSA World Tour’s greatest ever rallies against former World No.1 James Willstrop in Canary Wharf. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/A82lLtORl1k?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> But he added consistency to his undoubted talent last season. Ranked at World No.31 at the start of August, Coll initially struggled to make an impact, with early round defeats at the China Open, U.S. Open, World Championship and Qatar Classic - with the latter of those seeing him lost out to Egypt’s Tarek Momen in a brutal 101-minute battle. November’s Channel VAS Championship saw the man from Greymouth play some of his best ever squash though. After battling through the qualifying stage, Coll came through dramatic five-game clashes against Hong Kong’s Max Lee and former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez. Up next came England’s Daryl Selby - who stunned World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in round one - but Coll was firing on all cylinders as he took a 3-1 victory to set up a rematch with Momen. In arguably the most complete performance of his career to date, Coll took the win by an 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 margin to claim almost $17K in prize money and was also rewarded with a move into the world’s top 20 for the first time, becoming the sixth Kiwi male ever to achieve the feat. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lzpq86Ml1a0?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> A first ever World Series quarter-final was to come for Coll the following month at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions. Coll rounded out the season with a semi-final finish at the Canary Wharf Classic and quarter-final berths at the El Gouna International and Houston Open to bring the curtain down on a superb campaign. Now ranked at No.12 - making him the fourth highest ranked male New Zealander of all time - Coll will have his eyes on a coveted berth inside the top 10 next season. *Sarah-Jane Perry*20170621121814_17BO23900.jpgEngland’s Sarah-Jane Perry is also coming off the back of a successful season, with the 27-year-old reaching the world’s top 10 and securing her place at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals for the first time courtesy of a final appearance at the British Open - the sport’s oldest and most prestigious tournament. Having flirted with a place inside the top 10 for 18 months, Perry began the season ranked at World No.13 and she kicked off her campaign with a second round exit at the Hong Kong Open before making it to the quarter-finals of the China Open shortly afterwards. It was at the Al Ahram Open though that Perry’s season really began to take shape as she claimed two huge wins over World No.3 Camille Serme and eight-time World Champion Nicol David in front of the incredible Great Pyramid of Giza. Her tournament eventually came to an end against eventual winner Raneem El Welily in the last four but, after appearances at the U.S. Open and Carol Weymuller Open, Perry avenged her loss with a thrilling 3-2 defeat of the Egyptian at the Tournament of Champions. Just one day after felling home hero Amanda Sobhy under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York, the unfancied Perry raced into a 2-0 lead against El Welily, only to see the former World No.1 storm back to level the scores at 2-2 before taking a 4-1 lead in the decider. A run of nine straight points for Perry swung the momentum of the match back in the Englishwoman’s favour through and she converted her second match ball to claim a big victory in a match that was eventually voted as the Women’s Match of the Season at the PSA Awards. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/40oMhdevFb8?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> Her first World Series semi-final saw her lose out to compatriot Laura Massaro but, after a semi-final finish at the Cleveland Classic and a first round defeat at the Windy City Open over the next few weeks, Perry went one better at the British Open. Wins over Nele Gilis, Tesni Evans and Donna Urquhart in Hull saw her pitted against David in the semi-finals, where a superb display from Perry saw her upset the odds once again to set up a final clash with Massaro - making it the first female all-English final since 1991. Perry ultimately fell by a 3-1 margin to miss out on the distinguished title, but she did enough to qualify for the World Series Finals courtesy of a seventh-place finish on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings. After losing to Nour El Sherbini in the last eight of April’s PSA Women’s World Championship, Perry beat the Egyptian on day one in Dubai, only to lose to Massaro once more on the second day of action. That left Perry needing a win over David and a defeat for El Sherbini against Massaro to qualify from Group B. While she duly obliged with a third successive win over David, Massaro was unable to capitalise on a one-game lead against El Sherbini to bring an end to Perry’s season. Perry has shown that she is a real force to be reckoned with at the highest level and she will target a place inside the world’s top five next in the 2017/18 campaign. *Fares Dessouky*20170621122008_17EG7088.JPG?x=-105&y=-4.5&w=518&o=363Egypt's Fares Dessouky continued his progress on the PSA World Tour last season as he broke into the world’s top 10 and doubled his title tally. The Alexandria-born 22-year-old took a while to get going, with a quarter-final finish at the Hong Kong Open being followed up with three successive last 16 exits at the China Open, Al Ahram Open and U.S. Open. A positive quarter-final finish at the World Championship in November was overshadowed by an emotional end to the tournament for the youngster when, after a couple of refereeing decisions went against him in his clash with Ramy Ashour, he inexplicably conceded the match and walked off court to hand the win to his fellow Egyptian. However, Dessouky bounced back in terrific fashion later that month as he defeated compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar to earn just his second ever - and biggest - PSA World Tour title. Dessouky began 2017 with back-to-back second round defeats at the Tournament of Champions and Windy City Open, but showed another glimpse of his impressive talent by reaching the final of the Canary Wharf Classic. A series of composed and mature displays saw the number four seed beat Tom Richards, defending champion Mathieu Castagnet and Spain’s Borja Golan to claim a berth in the final against three-time World Champion. Dessouky dug in and made life difficult for ‘The Wolf’ with a range of spectacular winners, but Matthew’s experience paid dividends as the 36-year-old took it in four games. However, Dessouky’s fine showings in Canary Wharf saw him rewarded with a move into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career. A hard-fought 3-2 defeat to then World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in round one of the British Open then followed for Dessouky, but he rounded off the season with semi-final berths at the El Gouna International - where he beat Matthew in the opening round - and the Houston Open to leave plenty of cause for optimism ahead of next season. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IMJr8X4xQaw?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4831/201617-season-review-breakthrough-stars-part-one 4831 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:13:12 +0100 2016/17 Season Review: Outstanding Performers - Part Two #SeasonReview Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close earlier this month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles. We’ll be reviewing all of the major talking points from the past 10 months of world-class squash action over the next few weeks, starting with some of the season’s most outstanding performers. This part of our season review sees us look at two more of the players who showcased their exceptional ability over the last 10 months. You can find part one <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4826/2016-17-season-review-outstanding-performers-part-one" target="_blank">here</a>. *Karim Abdel Gawad*20170620124648_CAIR0990-5.jpg?x=-69&y=-1&w=527&o=363World No.2 Karim Abdel Gawad has enjoyed his best season to date on the PSA World Tour during the 2016/17 campaign with a rapid rise up the PSA Men’s World Rankings - culminating in him topping the World Rankings in May. The Egyptian clinched five PSA World Tour titles - including the sport’s biggest prize, the PSA Men’s World Championship - during a successful season that saw him cement his place amongst the sport’s elite. Gawad reached his first ever PSA World Series final at the Hong Kong Open in August, where he lost out to compatriot Ramy Ashour in a highly competitive and entertaining five-game battle. After turning heads during the Hong Kong Open, Gawad continued to show a new-found maturity and ruthlessness in his play as he went on to lift the Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza title, which took place in front of Egypt’s breathtaking Great Pyramid of Giza - making Gawad the first Egyptian man to taste success there since the legendary Ahmed Barada in 1998. As the season went, on more title wins came for Gawad. The 25-year-old Egyptian captured the sport’s most illustrious title as he lifted the Wadi Degla PSA Men’s World Championship. Gawad faced three-time winner Ashour in the final in Cairo, with the latter forced to retire after a reoccurrence of his infamous hamstring injuries in the fourth game of their climatic clash after Gawad had battled back from a game down to go 2-1 up. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xMrkZHjYmcg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> The win saw Gawad become only the third Egyptian of all time to hold the sport’s biggest title after Amr Shabana and Ashour himself. Gawad continued to go from strength-to-strength after he put in a superb performance to defeat then World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final of the 2016 Qatar Classic – lifting his first World Series title in the process. ElShorbagy went into the final having won the tournament twice before in 2013 and 2015, but it was Gawad who played with composure and accuracy to come out on top and claim the title. Gawad made it three successive Tour title wins with victory against Gregory Gaultier in the final of the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions, which took place inside New York’s stunning Grand Central Terminal. Gawad came from behind to win 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6, to extend his unbeaten run to 16 matches. However, his unbeaten streak came to an end in the final of the UCS Swedish Open, where this time Gaultier came out on top. The Egyptian – who won the title the year before – looked to be on course to lift a fourth successive PSA World Tour title after he pulled away at the end of game one to take the lead, however a resilient Gaultier fought back to win over four games and seal the crown. The duo met once more before the season came to an end, this time in the final of the El Gouna International Squash Open, where Gawad suffered another defeat to the experienced World No.1. Despite the win for Gaultier, Gawad replaced him at the summit of the PSA Men’s World Rankings in May 2017 to become World No.1 for the first time in his career and become the fifth Egyptian to do so. Gaultier reclaimed top spot the following month, while Gawad’s season came to an end at the hands of former World No.1 James Willstrop in the semi-finals of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals. Gawad will aim to reclaim his World No.1 ranking next season and defend his World Championship title as he once again challenges for the top honours. *Laura Massaro*20170620125420_Massaro-WSF-Final.jpgMassaro continued to show the steely determination and skill that has made her one of the toughest opponents on the Women’s Tour season to clinch four PSA World Tour titles throughout a history-making 2016/17 season. The 33-year-old started the season with a quarter-final finish at the Hong Kong Open, where she was beaten over five games by Nouran Gohar – who eventually went on to lift the title. However, the Lancastrian was soon back to her title winning ways when she got her revenge on Gohar to storm to victory over three games in the final of the China Squash Open. Massaro then made it back-to-back Tour titles by clinching the NetSuite Open. The Englishwoman faced defending champion Amanda Sobhy in the final but it was the former who triumphed over four games, despite a battling performance from the American. A quarter final finish and a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open and Tournament of Champions followed – both of which she lost to France’s Camille Serme. Up next for Massaro came the British Open where she faced compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry in the first all-English women’s final since 1991. The Lancastrian saw off England teammate Perry by a 3-1 margin to become the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the prestigious British Open title twice. Massaro made sure to end the season on a high note after a quarter-final finish at the Women’s World Championships, as she retained her PSA Dubai World Series Finals crown at the iconic Dubai Opera. The 33-year-old was appearing in her third successive final of a World Series Finals and came up against World No.1 El Sherbini, who she had beaten in the previous instalment’s semi-final stage en route to winning the tournament. The pair had also met earlier on in the tournament – with El Sherbini winning the best-of-three games contest but in the best-of-five games final it was Massaro who emerged victorious, claiming an 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 victory in 35 minutes to become only the second woman after Nicol David to win two World Series Finals titles. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WFCxTl_jddk?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Massaro will now turn her gaze to further successes next season - while a mouthwatering home World Championship in December on the horizon. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4830/201617-season-review-outstanding-performers-part-two 4830 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:30:29 +0100 PSA Prize Money Reaches New High During 2016/17 Season The total level of financial compensation for squash players on the PSA World Tour was at an all-time high during the 2016/17 season after figures released today (June 20) by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) showed an overall growth rate of 5.2 per cent on the 2015/16 season. A total of almost $5.8 million was awarded during one of the most competitive seasons ever, with the the total prize fund on the Men's Tour reaching $3,804,000 and $1,986,000 on the Women’s Tour - split across 220 events (149 Men and 71 Women) which took place in a total of 48 countries, with 78 different nationalities represented in competition this season. The figures come off the back of a huge period of growth for professional squash, adding to the 13.6 per cent increase seen during 2015/16, while this season also saw eight new destinations added to the tournament calendar, six more than the previous year, namely: Costa Rica, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore and Wales. “At the end of a hugely successful season it is encouraging to see that both the Men's and Women's Tours have continued to grow and that the professional sport is continuing to move in the right direction," said PSA Chief Commercial Officer Tommy Berden. “It is a particularly important boost to see that we are closing in on our goals of achieving equality and parity in both playing opportunities and prize money across both genders on the PSA World Tour. And with events such as the 2017 AJ Bell World Championship in Manchester - which will be the first equal money world championship - still to come, the forecast for the remainder of 2017 is very positive. "We now look forward to strengthening our relationships with our partners ahead of the 2017/18 season as we continue to drive the sport forward across all areas.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4829/psa-prize-money-reaches-new-high-during-201617-season 4829 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:04:21 +0100 Weekend RoundUp: Makin Masters Home Favourite As Lobban Seals NZ Win Welshman Joel Makin improved on his runner-up finish at the Select Gaming Kent Open PSA M10 twelve months ago to come through and overpower local hero Josh Masters to take the 2017 title in straight games. In front of a packed gallery at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent, Makin dominated the match in what was the hottest day of the year. Makin settled into a comfortable rhythm early on and quickly built an 8-1 lead to set up the platform for victory. "I felt good all week and I felt I was moving well - I have had a good season and it’s great to end the season on a winning note," said Makin. “It’s been a superb tournament and the players all appreciate the way they are looked after here at The Mote.” Making wasn't the only player to upset the home crowd this weekend as Scotsman Greg Lobban collected the biggest title of his career to date at the NZ Southern Open. The number five seed, who recently returned from a lengthy injury absence, overcame Malaysian top seed Ivan Yuen to take the title 3-1. There was no such joy for Lobban's compatriot Lisa Aitken though as she lost out to local Kiwi top seed Amanda Landers-Murphy in the final of the Matamata Open. *Select Gaming Kent Open - PSA M10* Final [1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [4] Joshua Masters (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (37m) Semi-finals: [1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [3] Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (50m) [4] Joshua Masters (ENG) bt [2] Todd Harrity (USA) 4-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6 (63m) Quarter-finals: [1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [6] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 13-11 (71m) [3] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [5] Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (37m) [4] Joshua Masters (ENG) bt [8] Kristian Frost (DEN) 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (50m) [2] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [7] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8 (49m) 1st round: [1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [WC] Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (22m) [6] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [Q] Connor Sheen (ENG) 11-8, 11-3, 13-11 (36m) [5] Adam Murrills (ENG) bt Asim Khan (PAK) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (31m) [3] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [Q] Ondrej Uherka (CZE) 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (25m) [4] Joshua Masters (ENG) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 11-7, 4-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-6 (70m) [8] Kristian Frost (DEN) bt [Q] Rui Soares (POR) 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (50m) [7] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Mark Fuller (ENG) 11-5, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9 (47m) [2] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [Q] Miles Jenkins (ENG) 11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (40m) 
*Women's Matamata Open - PSA W5* Final: [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 13-11, 11-5, 11-1 (25m) Semi-finals: [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Megan Craig (NZL) 11-7, 10-12, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7 (56m) Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [7] Emma Millar (NZL) 11-1, 11-4, 11-7 (16m) Quarter-finals: [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [6] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (19m) Megan Craig (NZL) bt Zoe Foo Yuk Han (MAS) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (19m) [7] Emma Millar (NZL) bt [3] Samantha Foyle (AUS) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (18m) Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [5] Aika Azman (MAS) 11-7, 11-1, 11-2 (18m) 1st round: [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [Q] Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10 (52m) [6] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) bt [Q] Ellie Jones (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 13-11 (20m) Zoe Foo Yuk Han (MAS) bt [8] Nazihah Hanis (MAS) 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (33m) Megan Craig (NZL) bt [4] Andrea Lee (MAS) 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-0 (31m) [3] Samantha Foyle (AUS) bt [Q] Hwayeong Eum (KOR) 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (24m) [7] Emma Millar (NZL) bt [Q] Abbie Palmer (NZL) 11-13, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (32m) [5] Aika Azman (MAS) bt [WC] Nadia Hubbard (NZL) 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 (16m) Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [2] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 11-1, 11-5, 11-3 (19m) *NZ Southern Open - PSA M15* Final: [5] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [1] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9 (56m) Semi-finals: [1] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [3] Peter Creed (WAL) 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11 (62m) [5] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (36m) Quarter-finals: [1] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [6] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 14-12, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9 (87m) [3] Peter Creed (WAL) bt [7] Evan Williams (NZL) 11-2, 11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 11-8 (95m) [5] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (32m) [2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [8] Joshua Larkin (AUS) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (48m) 1st round: [1] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [Q] Joe Green (ENG) 11-5, 11-13, 11-8, 11-5 (43m) [6] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [Q] Chris van der Salm (NZL) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (38m) [7] Evan Williams (NZL) bt Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (48m) [3] Peter Creed (WAL) bt [Q] Sean Conroy (IRL) 6-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (64m) Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [4] Angus Gillams (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3 (40m) [5] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Lance Beddoes (NZL) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (28m) [8] Joshua Larkin (AUS) bt [WC] Ben Grindrod (NZL) 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (36m) [2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [Q] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3 (51m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4828/weekend-roundup-makin-masters-home-favourite-as-lobban-seals-nz-win 4828 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:44:37 +0100 Squash Part Of Narrowing Gender Prize Gap In Professional Sport A BBC study - released "today":http://www.bbc.com/sport/40299469 - into prize money levels within professional sport has shown that the gender prize money gap in sport is closing, with squash highlighted as a sport making impressive strides in recent years to achieve parity. A key focus for the PSA since joining with the former Women's Squash Association in 2015 to form one central governing boy for the sport, Women's prize money and playing opportunities have continued to go from strength-to-strength during the past two years - with the 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Championship in Manchester this December set to be a landmark moment when equal prize money will be on offer at the sport's biggest event for the first time. This season alone the total level of funds available across the Women's Tour rose by over $162,000 year-on-year, representing a 9 per cent increase, to reach a total prize fund in excess of $1,986,000 - while the average prize fund per event on the Women’s Tour also rose by 4 per cent this season. Integral to the rise in prize money this season was the introduction of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca tournament, which this year became the most lucrative Women’s squash tournament ever held in South America. With a total prize purse of $70,000 up for grabs, it was Malaysia’s Nicol David who beat America’s Olivia Blatchford to lift the title. A $200,000 prize fund was on offer at the 2016 Al Ahram International at the start of last season – returning to the PSA World Tour calendar for the first time since 2006 – which was split evenly across the Men’s and Women’s draws, marking the first time a major tournament in Egypt has offered parity in prize money. Al Ahram became the fifth major event - following the footsteps of the U.S. Open (2013), Windy City Open (2015), Tournament of Champions (2016) and World Series Finals (2016) - to reach parity in prize money while the British Open also joined that list later in the season, marking the first time in the history of the prestigious competition that female players earned the same as their male counterparts. The 2017 British Open was also the first major British squash tournament to offer financial parity to competitors - while later this year the PSA Men’s and Women’s World Championships, which will be held in Manchester, will also offer equal prize money across both draws for the first time ever with the winners set to take home over $45,000 each. "It frustrated me that we played the same number of games and put in the same amount of training and effort as the men but because we may have been perceived as playing at a slightly lower level to the men we weren't paid the same," 33-year-old Laura Massaro told BBC Sport. "To see that come good now after pushing for the women to be a part of the Professional Squash Association and growing the sport together as equals has been a real bonus." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4827/squash-part-of-narrowing-gender-prize-gap-in-professional-sport 4827 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:24:47 +0100 2016/17 Season Review: Outstanding Performers - Part One #SeasonReview Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close earlier this month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles. We’ll be reviewing all of the major talking points from the past 10 months of world-class squash action over the next few weeks, starting with some of the season’s most outstanding performers. *Gregory Gaultier* 20170619091211_700059133FN00001_PSA_Dubai_.JPG*World Ranking: #1* *2016/17 Honours* British Open Windy City El Gouna International NetSuite Open Grasshopper Cup Bellevue Classic Swedish Open *Played* 56 *Won* 47 *Lost* 9 *Win Percentage* 83.9% The past six months have seen Frenchman Gregory Gaultier dominate like never before in his extensive career, with six successive titles and a 27-match unbeaten run seeing him return to World No.1 to make him the oldest player ever to top the World Rankings. One of the most popular and charismatic players on the PSA World Tour, Gaultier has been a real tour de force in 2017 and was awarded the PSA Men’s Player of the Season to recognise his achievements. And yet the 34-year-old started the season poorly, with a shock defeat to Egypt’s Fares Dessouky seeing him exit the Hong Kong Open at the second round stage. After a runner-up finish at the China Open the following month, Gaultier returned to form at the NetSuite Open in San Francisco, beating former World No.1 James Willstrop to lift his first title of the season. A lean spell would follow over the next few months for the Frenchman, with an ankle injury bringing an end to his title defence in November’s PSA Men’s World Championship, but he showed a glimpse of what was to come in January’s Tournament of Champions after prevailing in an incredible semi-final match against then World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy. Under the chandeliers of New York’s iconic Vanderbilt Hall inside Grand Central Terminal, Gaultier stormed to a 2-0 lead against the Egyptian, only to capitulate after being on the end of a questionable in the third. ElShorbagy pounced and looked to be on course for the win when, in the fourth game, Gaultier was forced off court to have treatment on an injured glute before going on to lose it 11-4. But Gaultier, playing on one leg, battled through the pain barrier to come out with a remarkable win from the match that was named the PSA Men’s Match of the Season. Gaultier would go on to lose to World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final, but it would be a while before anyone would slay the Frenchman again. Victory over Gawad in the Swedish Open final a month later - in which he inflicted an 11-0 bagel defeat on Gawad in one of the games - ushered in a period of complete dominance, with the Frenchman going on to capture the Windy City Open for the second time in his career. Greater things were to follow though in March as he surged all the way through to the final of the British Open, beating home favourite Nick Matthew to capture the sport’s longest running title for the third time in his career - a win that also saw him overtake Mohamed ElShorbagy to become the oldest player, male or female, to top the rankings. Gaultier’s hot streak continued into April and May as he took the honours at the El Gouna International, Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Classic before Egypt’s Ali Farag - who Gaultier had beaten in the Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Classic finals - finally ended the Frenchman’s unbeaten run on day one the World Series Finals. A long season looked to have taken its toll on Gaultier after further defeats against James Willstrop and ElShorbagy saw him finish bottom of his group in Dubai to bring an end to his hopes of retaining his title. With a summer break ahead of him, Gaultier will now have the opportunity to recharge his batteries ahead of next season, where he will be expecting to challenge for the sport’s biggest prizes once more. *Camille Serme*20170619091119_700059135FN00026_PSA_Dubai_.JPG*World Ranking: #3* *2016/17 Honours* Tournament of Champions U.S. Open Cleveland Classic *Played* 36 *Won* 29 *Lost* 7 *Win Percentage* 80.6% World No.3 Camille Serme made it a French double at the PSA Awards gala in Dubai after she was named the PSA Women’s Player of the Year after claiming two World Series titles and topping the Women’s Road to Dubai Standings. Like Gaultier, Serme started slowly with early stage exits at the Hong Kong Open and the Al Ahram Open, but she played some superb squash to triumph in October’s U.S. Open in Philadelphia. Serme got better and better as the tournament went on, beating the likes of World No.4 Laura Massaro, United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and World Champion Nour El Sherbini en route to her second World Series crown. A surprise semi-final defeat to Alison Waters in her next tournament, the Carol Weymuller Open, did little to halt the 28-year-old’s momentum as she claimed a second successive World Series crown in New York at the Tournament of Champions. Serme played with skill and determination as she downed World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar and El Sherbini to reach the final, where a climactic clash against Massaro went all the way to the wire. But the woman from Creteil held her nerve to take the win in five games, becoming the first female French player ever to have her name etched into the prestigious trophy and she was rewarded with a move up to a career-high No.2 ranking in February. She gained revenge over Waters to lift her third title of the season as the Cleveland Classic a month later before a semi-final and quarter-final at the Windy City Open and British Open, respectively, saw her qualify top of the Road to Dubai standings, earning herself a place in the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals. A heart-breaking defeat against eventual runner-up Raneem El Welily in the PSA Women’s World Championship followed, but she played a starring role in Dubai as she marched to the semi-final stage without losing a match. Her tournament was eventually brought to an end by El Sherbini in the last four, but Serme can look back on arguably the greatest season of her career in which she cemented her status as one of the world’s best. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4826/201617-season-review-outstanding-performers-part-one 4826 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:06:18 +0100 Open International de Squash de Nantes Tickets Now on Sale Tickets for the 2017 Open International de Squash de Nantes have now gone on sale, with squash fans being given the chance to watch a high-calibre draw in action in the West of France between September 6-10. The tournament will take place in the renowned Les Machines de l’île, with an all-glass show court being erected inside the complex which also houses the incredible Grand Éléphant, a 40-foot high moving mechanical construct which houses up to 50 passengers. In addition to a Men’s tournament offering $25,000 in prize money, the event will also host a Women’s tournament once more, with the prize money amounting to $15,000 - a $10,000 increase compared to last year. "We are delighted to stage the Open International de Squash de Nantes for the third time and are proud to showcase the picturesque city of Nantes by holding the tournament in the incredible Les Machines de l’île," said Tournament Promoter François Le Jort. "Following last year’s successful tournament at the Cité Internationale des Congrès, the Open International de Squash de Nantes continues to go from strength to strength and we are pleased to be able to offer a 200 per cent increase in prize money for the women’s tournament." The qualifying stages of the Open International de Squash de Nantes will be held between September 4-5 at La Maison du Squash, with the main draw staged between September 6-10 at Les Machines de l’île. Tickets for the tournament start from €6 and can be purchased <a href="http://uk.opensquashnantes.fr/">here.</a> All of the action from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only). http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4825/open-international-de-squash-de-nantes-tickets-now-on-sale 4825 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:48:16 +0100 Select Gaming Kent Open Championships Main Draw Completed The main draw of the Select Gaming Kent Open Championships - which gets underway on June 15 - has been finalised after Czech player Ondrej Uherka, Portugal’s Rui Soares and English duo Connor Sheen and Miles Jenkins all secured victory in the final round of qualification at the PSA M5 tournament. World No.150 Soares faced World No.211 Taminder Gata-Aura, who he comfortably despatched over three games with a 11-1, 11-4, 11-5 win in 21 minutes while World No.154 Uherka claimed a 3-2 victory over England’s World No.177 Mark Broekman. Uherka stormed into a 2-0 lead before Broekman battled back to win the third and fourth game leaving it down to the fifth game where Uherka was able to cement his place in the first round draw with a 11-3 win. England’s Jenkins was in action against Belgium’s World No.216 Joeri Hapers, who had beaten qualifying top seed Tristan Eysele the previous evening. Hapers started strongly but was unable to maintain his composure at the crucial moments as World No.184 Jenkins grew in confidence to seal a 3-0 win and his place in first round. Elsewhere, World No.157 Sheen defeated fellow Englishman World No.219 Matthew Broadberry over three games after a close first game saw Connor win 12-10 before going onto take control of the contest to win in straight games. Sheen will now meet Jan Van Den Herrewegen in the first round, whilst Uherka was drawn against Richie Fallows, Soares will meet Danish number one Kristian Frost and Jenkins meets number two seed Todd Harrity in a first round packed full of quality. *Qualifying Finals* Connor Sheen (ENG) bt Matthew Broadberry (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (35m) Ondrej Uherka (CZE) bt Mark Broekman (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-3 (58m) Rui Soares (POR) bt Taminder Gata-Aura (ENG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-5 (21m) Miles Jenkins (ENG) bt Joeri Hapers (BEL) 3-0: 14-12, 11-4, 11-8 (39m) *First Round Draw:* [1] Joel Makin (WAL) v [WC] Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) [6] Jan Van Den Herrewegen (BEL) v [Q] Connor Sheen (ENG) [5] Adam Murrills (ENG) v Asim Khan (PAK) [3] Richie Fallows (ENG) v [Q] Ondrej Uherka (CZE) [4] Joshua Masters (ENG) v Edmon Lopez (ESP) [8] Kristian Frost (DEN) v [Q] Rui Soares (POR) [7] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) v Mark Fuller (ENG) [2] Todd Harrity (USA) v [Q] Miles Jenkins (ENG) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4824/select-gaming-kent-open-championships-main-draw-completed 4824 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:37:04 +0100 Weekend RoundUp: Scottish Double at Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers NZ International Classic It was a Scottish double as the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Classic came to an end over the weekend with Greg Lobban and Lisa Aitken both claiming the Men and Women’s titles respectively. In the Men’s final World No.76 Lobban faced India’s World No.79 Mahesh Mangaonkar in a high intensity match. Scotland’s Lobban – who did not drop a game throughout the entire tournament - claimed the first match 11-8, before going onto secure the next two to win 3-0 and secure back-to-back titles after his win at the Vitesse Stortford Classic last month and his second PSA World Tour title since returning from injury. The Women’s final saw World No.105 Aitken face New Zealand’s World No.104 Emma Millar with Scotland’s Aitken claiming the first game before Millar brought things level in the second with an 11-4 win. However, Aitken then continued to dominate the next two games to see out victory and claim her maiden PSA World Tour title. *Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers NZ International Classic 2017* *Men’s final* [3] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [4] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 15-13, 11-6 (42m) *Semi-final* [3] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [2] Angus Gillams (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-6 (29m) [4] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (48m) *Quarter-finals* [2] Angus Gillams (ENG) bt [8] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (30m) [3] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [6] Evan Williams (NZL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (32m) [4] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (54m) Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [1] Peter Creed (WAL) 3-2: 4-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6 (67m) *First round* [2] Angus Gillams (ENG) bt [WC] Scott Galloway (NZL) 3-2: 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-7 [6] Evan Williams (NZL) bt [Q] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 3-1: 14-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7 [4] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Joe Green (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [7] Joshua Larkin (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 [8] Lance Beddoes (NZL) bt [Q] Luke Jones (NZL) 3-2: 11-9, 11-3, 4-11, 10-12, 11-6 [3] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [Q] Valentino Bong (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) bt [5] Chi Him Wong (HKG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 6-1 retired [1] Peter Creed (WAL) bt [Q] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 *Women’s final* Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [7] Emma Millar (NZL) 3-1: 11-3, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3 (25m) *Semi-final* Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [4] Andrea Lee (MAS) 3-2: 9-11, 13-11, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10 (61m) [7] Emma Millar (NZL) bt [6] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) 3-1: 14-12, 2-11, 11-5, 11-3 (34m) *Quarter-finals* Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-2: 7-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6 (56m) [4] Andrea Lee (MAS) bt [5] Aika Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-3 12-10, 11-6 (24m) [6] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) bt [WC] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8 (46m) [7] Emma Millar (NZL) bt [2] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (23m) *First round* [1] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Megan Craig (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (29m) [5] Aika Azman (MAS) bt [Q] Hwayeong Eum (KOR) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (22m) [WC] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) bt [3] Samantha Foyle (AUS) 3-1: 11-13, 11-4, 16-14, 11-4 (47m) [7] Emma Millar (NZL) bt [Q] Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 12-10 (27m) Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [8] Nazihah Hanis (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (21m) [4] Andrea Lee (MAS) bt [Q] Ellie Jones (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (17m) [6] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) bt Zoe Foo Yuk Han (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 12-10 (30m) [2] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bt [Q] Abbie Palmer (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (16m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4823/weekend-roundup-scottish-double-at-fitzherbert-rowe-lawyers-nz-international-classic 4823 Mon, 12 Jun 2017 10:18:53 +0100 ElShorbagy and Massaro Capture World Series Finals Titles #PSAWorldTour Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and defending champion Laura Massaro claimed the Men’s and Women’s titles, respectively, at the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals after prevailing in their final clashes inside the stunning Dubai Opera. The World Series Finals is the first sporting event ever to take place in Dubai Opera and sees ElShorbagy and Massaro claim over $40,000 each after respective wins over England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop and Egyptian World Champion Nour El Sherbini. ElShorbagy ended a difficult season on a high to lift his first ever World Series Finals crown and his first Tour title since November after beating Willstrop by an 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 in 57 minutes. "To win this tournament has been a dream for so long," said ElShorbagy after lifting his 25th Tour title. "It’s a very emotional win. I lost some confidence in myself during the season but I feel like I bounced back this week.  "I don't want to lose. I hate losing. This season I didn't play with my spirit, but I'm really proud I got that back this week. It was my best squash since being World No.1."20170610223242_ElShorbagy-WSF-Final.jpgMeanwhile, Massaro has become only the second woman ever after Malaysian legend Nicol David to win two World Series Finals titles after she overcame El Sherbini in straight games. Massaro was appearing in the final of the World Series Finals for a third time in a row and had won one and lost one of her final appearances against Egypt’s Raneem El Welily and Malaysia’s David, respectively. The pair had met earlier on in the tournament - with El Sherbini winning the best-of-three games contest to qualify second in Group B - but in the best-of-five games final, it was Massaro who emerged the victor after claiming an 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 victory to capture her 22nd Tour crown. "I’m really happy with my performance overall," said Massaro. 20170610223324_Massaro-WSF-Finals.jpg"It took a lot of focus, discipline, hard work and I had to keep pushing throughout the whole match. The first two games were really tight and I managed to get that good lead in the third. "I’m one of the oldest ones on Tour now and as long as I feel as though I’m still in contention to win titles then I’m happy. To be able to win the British Open, to reach the final of the ToC [Tournament of Champions] and to win here really makes me think that I’m still in contention and I can still win titles." The World Series Finals brought together the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road to Dubai Standings who were then split into two groups of four, with matches played in a best-of-three games format. Players then battled for points to qualify for the knockout semi-finals and beyond, while the final was contested in the regular best-of-five games format. *Result - Final: Women’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (35m) *Result - Final: Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (57m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4822/elshorbagy-and-massaro-capture-world-series-finals-titles 4822 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:31:24 +0100 World Series Finals Day Five - As it Happens Follow us here for reports and reaction as the battle for one of the sport's most prestigious and lucrative titles comes to a thrilling climax inside the incredible Dubai Opera. World Champion Nour El Sherbini clashes with defending champion Laura Massaro in a mouthwatering women's final, with the former aiming to become the first female Egyptian ever to lift the iconic crown. The men's final, meanwhile, sees former World No.1s James Willstrop and Mohamed ElShorbagy go head-to-head as they both aim to capture their maiden World Series Finals trophy. You can watch the action *LIVE* on <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv">SQUASHTV</a> and <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.fr/squash/saison-de-squash_sto5728278/event.shtml">Eurosport Player</a>. Not able to watch? Check out our <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/pages/live">*live scoring page*</a> *Here's the order of play* (All times are local GMT+4) 22:00 [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) follow on [6] James Willstrop (ENG) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) *Massaro Defeats El Sherbini to Retain World Series Finals Title*20170610203605_Massaro-WSF-Final.jpgEngland’s World No.4 Laura Massaro has won the PSA Dubai World Series Finals title for a second year in succession after the 33-year-old beat World Champion Nour El Sherbini in Dubai Opera - making her only the second woman after Nicol David to win two World Series Finals titles. Massaro was appearing in the final of the World Series Finals for a third time in a row and had won one and lost one of her final appearances against Egypt’s Raneem El Welily and Malaysia’s David, respectively. The pair had met earlier on in the tournament - with El Sherbini winning the best-of-three games contest to qualify second in Group B - but in the best-of-five games final, it was Massaro who emerged the victor after claiming an 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 victory to prevail in 35 minutes. "I’m really happy with my performance overall," said Massaro. "It took a lot of focus, discipline, hard work and I had to keep pushing throughout the whole match. The first two games were really tight and I managed to get that good lead in the third. "It’s unbelievable because I was just thinking that it would be really good if I could get out of the group. I’m really happy and I can enjoy a few days off now. "I’m one of the oldest ones on Tour now and as long as I feel as though I’m still in contention to win titles then I’m happy. To be able to win the British Open, to reach the final of the ToC [Tournament of Champions] and to win here really makes me think that I’m still in contention and I can still win titles. "As long as that’s the case, I’ll keep on playing. I’m not going to be around for very long if I’m not winning titles, so I’m really proud of my efforts and proud of the training I did before I came and I’m excited to get back-to-back titles." Massaro, who beat World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar to seal her final berth, raced out of the traps in the opening game as she forced El Sherbini into the back of the court to nullify the World No.1’s attacking potential and she duly took a one-game lead. El Sherbini played some fantastic defensive squash in the second game to go 4-1 ahead, but Massaro’s incredible consistency paid dividends as she doubled her advantage courtesy of a tie-break win without making a single unforced error. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/noursherbini">@noursherbini</a> turns defence into attack! Brilliant from the Egyptian! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/l0pUFgS85j">pic.twitter.com/l0pUFgS85j</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873608246774214656">June 10, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> That victory killed off El Sherbini’s resistance and Massaro was ruthless in the third and final game as she surged to the win, dropping just five points to lift the 22nd Tour title of her career. El Sherbini conceded that Massaro was the better player on the day, saying: "It wasn’t the best result, Laura played amazing and she was the better player. It was a bad day for me. "There were a lot of unforced errors and I maybe had the wrong tactic, she was more patient than me. We played two days ago and the challenge was to change your plan - I was trying to attack early and made too many errors."  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Watch the moment that <a href="https://twitter.com/ljmassaro">@ljmassaro</a> retained her PSA Dubai World Series crown!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/inOp9NIStW">pic.twitter.com/inOp9NIStW</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873613494846799872">June 10, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> *Result - Final: Women’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (35m) *ElShorbagy Captures Maiden World Series Finals Crown*20170610221947_ElShorbagy-WSF-Final.jpgWorld No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame England’s James Willstrop in Dubai Opera to claim his first ever PSA World Series Finals title and his first Tour title since November’s U.S. Open. ElShorbagy, a runner-up in the 2013 edition, had recovered from two match balls down against Germany’s Simon Rösner in a 62-minute epic to seal his final berth, but showed no lasting effects as he went toe-to-toe with Willstrop, who was appearing in his first World Series Finals title, in a repeat of their Group B clash which also went in ElShorbagy’s favour. The duo traded points in the opening two games, but ElShorbagy’s power on the forehand side was causing numerous problems for Willstrop and the Egyptian moved three game balls up before squandering them all due to a succession of tins. However, he held his nerve to prevail in the tie-break and recovered from 6-3 down in the second game to double his lead. The third game was all ElShorbagy at the start and, despite Willstrop clawing back points in desperation, the 25-year-old held firm to complete an 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 victory which sees him become the third Egyptian to win the title. "To win this tournament has been a dream for so long," said ElShorbagy. "It’s a very emotional win. I lost some confidence in myself during the season but I feel like I bounced back this week.  "I don't want to lose. I hate losing. This season I didn't play with my spirit, but I'm really proud I got that back this week. It was my best squash since being World No.1. It's been an interesting season and a few weeks ago I got my motivation back. I feel like I let a lot off people down this season, this title is especially for my mother.  "The way James has come back and played this week is amazing. It was our first final and a great honour to play against him tonight.  This venue is what all other events aspire to be. To be standing here winning this title means so much to me." Willstrop said: "I thought I could win and went in giving it all I can. It’s an incredible group here this week, so to make the final was a great pleasure.  "I was loving every minute, apart from losing. He responded today and unified everything I tried to do. Full credit to him, he stopped me playing so there are no complaints." <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's a first World Series Finals title for <a href="https://twitter.com/MoElshorbagy">@moelshorbagy</a>! Here's how he did it<a href="https://t.co/1teL68Z8sd">pic.twitter.com/1teL68Z8sd</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873632757565374464">June 10, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> *Result - Final: Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (57m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4821/world-series-finals-day-five-as-it-happens 4821 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 15:27:14 +0100 Massaro and El Sherbini Set to Light Up Dubai Opera in World Series Finals Clash Defending champion Laura Massaro and World Champion Nour El Sherbini will face off for the Women’s PSA Dubai World Series Finals title in the latest chapter of what has become one of the most entertaining rivalries on the PSA World Tour. The duo met on the final day of group stage action when Massaro was match ball up and on the verge of sending El Sherbini out of the tournament, but the 21-year-old Egyptian recovered to take the match and second place in Group B. And now the pair will meet for the third time this season, with their head-to-head record over the past 10 months locked at one win apiece, although unlike their clash earlier on in the tournament, this match will be played over the usual best-of-five games format. "It’s almost nice in a way to have another opportunity [to play El Sherbini] so quickly, but I think going into today’s final will be slightly different because it’s a best of five again," said Massaro. "We played each other two days ago, so we’re both learning and trying to adjust slightly. We’ll be trying to take the bits that went well and trying to drop the bits that didn’t. "We’ve also both got another match in our legs from last night and when I saw Nour after my match, she said that she never thought she would play someone twice in three days. "I don’t think I have in my career either. Obviously that hasn’t happened in the World Series Finals so far, so it will be a bit of a different dynamic and something that I’m sure we will both enjoy the experience of."20170610152356_Massaro-WSF-SF.jpg?x=0&y=-34&w=613&o=608Massaro defeated World Championship runner-up Raneem El Welily to claim last year’s title and admits that a win tonight would be the perfect way to end what’s been a mixed season for the 33-year-old from Preston. "Last year was such a good way to end the season and it is hard because you’re in a final and it is a really good achievement for me to already be in the final," she said. "I would be so much happier going into the summer if I can get my hands on that trophy today. "The season has been a little bit up and down. Winning the British Open was a massive high as was the British Nationals as well, they’re never easy to win. "I won a couple of titles as well in San Francisco and China. It’s not easy to win these titles anymore and they’re getting split around by everyone, so to win today would mean a huge amount." Their last meeting in a best-of-five format saw Massaro complete a stunning fightback from 2-0 down in Marche’s British Open semi-finals and it is the Englishwoman who narrowly leads the head-to-head record by six wins to El Sherbini’s four. El Sherbini lost out to Massaro at the last four stage last year and she is determined to improve on that result this time around.20170610152508_Sherbini-WSF-SF.jpg?x=4&y=-100&w=614&o=608"I don’t think that there is a better ending to the season than being in the final of the World Series Finals," the two-time World Champion said. "It’s been a long week for me and a tough one. I didn’t expect to get this far, but I’m really happy to be in the final. "All of the matches were very tough, very close and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I would have loved to have reached the final last year but I lost in the semi-finals, so I didn’t know how what would happen this year. "It’s one of the biggest and best tournaments we have. There could be no better ending than winning the tournament." Live coverage from the final of the Women’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals begins at 22:00 (GMT+4) on <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv">SQUASHTV</a> and <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.fr/squash/saison-de-squash_sto5728278/event.shtml">Eurosport Player</a> and will also be shown on the following broadcasters: <a href="http://www.astro.com.my" target="_blank">Astro</a> (Malaysia / Brunei) <a href="http://www.beinsports.com/ar/" target="_blank">Bein Sports</a> (Middle East / North Africa) <a href="http://sport.bt.com" target="_blank">BT Sport</a> (United Kingdom) <a href="https://www.dazn.com/" target="_blank">DAZN</a> (Japan) <a href="http://www.elevensports.sg/" target="_blank">Eleven Sports Network</a> (Singapore / Taiwan) <a href="http://www.foxsports.com.au/tvguide" target=“_blank”>Fox Sports Australia</a> (Australia) <a href="http://www.mncchannels.com/micro/MNC-Sport" target=“_blank”>MNC Indonesia</a> (Indonesia) <a href="http://nowplayer.now.com/uk/en/"" target=“_blank”>Now TV</a> (Hong Kong) <a href="http://www.skysport.co.nz" target=“_blank”>Sky Sport NZ</a> (New Zealand) <a href="http://www.supersport.com" target=“_blank”>Super Sport</a> (Sub-Saharan Africa) <a href="http://www.tensports.com" target=“_blank”>Ten Sports</a> (Indian Subcontinent) <a href="http://truevisionsgroup.truecorp.co.th" target="_blank">Truevisions</a> (Thailand) *Draw – Final: Women’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4820/massaro-and-el-sherbini-set-to-light-up-dubai-opera-in-world-series-finals-clash 4820 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 15:20:01 +0100 Willstrop and ElShorbagy Hoping to Claim First World Series Finals Crowns in Dubai Former World No1s James Willstrop and Mohamed ElShorbagy will aim to get their hands one one of the most lucrative and prestigious titles in professional squash later today when they face off in the final of the Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals. The stunning setting of Dubai Opera will play host to two players who are sure to put on a show befitting of the venue’s stature as both players look to recapture former glories as they battle for a share of the $160,000 prize purse. Yorkshire’s Willstrop topped the World Rankings for 11 months in 2012, but a sustained period of injury and illness saw the 33-year-old tumble down the World Rankings, falling as low as No.24 in October 2015. The last year and a half though has seen Willstrop enjoy a clean bill of health and his immense talent has seen him surge back up the rankings to World No.6 while claiming semi-final berths at the likes of the U.S. Open and Tournament of Champions to qualify for the World Series Finals courtesy of a sixth-place finish on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings. Despite beginning the tournament with a defeat to ElShorbagy in their Group B clash, Willstrop is delighted with the level of squash that he has been playing. "I don’t think I’ve played as well as this over four or five days for a long time," said Harrogate-based Willstrop. "I’m sure these players are raising it all the time, the standard is getting better, so for me to be able to respond again to that means that it can’t be far off from the best squash I’ve played. "It’s a good thing to be able to do. I’ve chosen a decent place to make it happen. At this point you don’t want to let it go, I’ve got this far and I want to make the most of every second tonight."20170610145059_Willstrop-WSF-SF.jpgWillstrop ended up qualifying second in Group B after impressive wins against World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and World No.5 Ali Farag before a sensational semi-final display against World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad saw ‘The Marksman’ through to his first ever final berth at this tournament. The Englishman admits that he is the underdog for the final, but believes that he has a chance of winning if he can maintain the incredible standard he has displayed so far. "I don’t really do expectations nowadays, I try to just take each passage of time on its limits," he said. "I looked at this tournament last year and saw what a good event it was and we’re all motivated by the World Series Finals, it’s a huge event. "It always has been, people want to win this big time, so I was singling it out and trying to make sure that I was as ready as I could be for each World Series event. "Tonight I’ve got to be confident going in, but I know that he’s the player who had been World No.1 up until recently and he’s won many more titles than I have over the past two or three years. "I know that if I can play to the standard that I have been playing over the past couple of nights then I can be in there with a chance of winning. I’ve probably exceeded expectations and I’m very happy to be in the final." Despite holding the favourite tag for the final, ElShorbagy is coming off the back of arguably the most difficult season of his career that saw the 25-year-old Egyptian lose his World No.1 ranking in April after a 15-month uninterrupted reign. After dominating the PSA World Tour during the previous two seasons, ElShorbagy admitted that a busy schedule left him feeling mentally fatigued, but the World No.3 insists he has his motivation back. "I’ve had an interesting season, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad season because I always try to turn things into a positive," said ElShorbagy, who lost to Ramy Ashour in the 2013 final. "I am determined to turn this season into the best season of my life because I would like to say that this is a season which made me improve and made me more hungry and motivated. "I will never forget seeing myself lose in every tournament this season. I hate losing, so these losses will always be in my head whenever I train. They will make me train even harder this summer and I think that this season just showed that I am a human being. "What I did last season, winning six out of seven World Series titles, and what I did the season before, winning five out of seven, I enjoyed every second of it because I dominated. "Everyone breaks down at some stage, no one can carry on like I did over the past few seasons. I think that people forget that us athletes are just normal human beings and sometimes we can fatigue mentally from playing a lot of matches. "This season has been different, so I think this season will motivate me a lot for next season. I’m happy that I’ve got my motivation back."20170610145205_ElShorbagy-WSF-SF.jpgLast year’s World Series Finals took place in the shadow of the iconic Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world - and both players took time out to praise this year’s venue as squash becomes the first sporting event ever to take place in Dubai Opera. "Once I first entered this venue, I just wanted to be here every day," said ElShorbagy. "To be standing here on the last day, playing in this classy venue is just what the players would love to see in every tournament. "There’s been some amazing matches for the women and the men during the whole event and it’s because venues like this bring the best out of everyone. I’m sure we’ll have two more great finals for the crowd." Willstrop, meanwhile, is a big fan of the theatre away from the squash court - even appearing in stage productions of Journey’s End and Brassed Off - and the Englishman joined ElShorbagy in raving about the venue. "I love theatres, I’m a big theatre man, so to walk in to this is sensational really," he said. "I’m sure all the players appreciate it, but I look at theatres, I admire them and I’ve started to perform in one or two of them recently. This is as special as it can get for any of the players recently because of my tie to it. "I walk in here and it’s breathtaking and the atmosphere here is unbelievable. There’s a crispness and a beauty to how it looks aesthetically. I watched from the stalls a couple of nights ago and it’s just stunning to look at and it’s stunning on the TV. "It’s about as good as I’ve ever seen and it really sparkles like no other venue. There have been a lot of venues that are iconic and have their charm, but I think in terms of the sumptuousness and the sparkle of it, it represents Dubai because they do things well here. "From the hotel, to this, to the city and the visual aspect is quite stunning. It’s a fitting venue and I think that every player has meant what they’ve said about this. There was an intake of breath when they walked in here on the first day." Live coverage of the final of the Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals follows on from the Women’s final at 22:00 (GMT+4) on <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv">SQUASHTV</a> and <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.fr/squash/saison-de-squash_sto5728278/event.shtml">Eurosport Player</a>. It will also be shown on the following broadcasters: <a href="http://www.astro.com.my" target="_blank">Astro</a> (Malaysia / Brunei) <a href="http://www.beinsports.com/ar/" target="_blank">Bein Sports</a> (Middle East / North Africa) <a href="http://sport.bt.com" target="_blank">BT Sport</a> (United Kingdom) <a href="https://www.dazn.com/" target="_blank">DAZN</a> (Japan) <a href="http://www.elevensports.sg/" target="_blank">Eleven Sports Network</a> (Singapore / Taiwan) <a href="http://www.foxsports.com.au/tvguide" target=“_blank”>Fox Sports Australia</a> (Australia) <a href="http://www.mncchannels.com/micro/MNC-Sport" target=“_blank”>MNC Indonesia</a> (Indonesia) <a href="http://nowplayer.now.com/uk/en/"" target=“_blank”>Now TV</a> (Hong Kong) <a href="http://www.skysport.co.nz" target=“_blank”>Sky Sport NZ</a> (New Zealand) <a href="http://www.supersport.com" target=“_blank”>Super Sport</a> (Sub-Saharan Africa) <a href="http://www.tensports.com" target=“_blank”>Ten Sports</a> (Indian Subcontinent) <a href="http://truevisionsgroup.truecorp.co.th" target="_blank">Truevisions</a> (Thailand) *Draw – Final: Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [6] James Willstrop (ENG) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4819/willstrop-and-elshorbagy-hoping-to-claim-first-world-series-finals-crowns-in-dubai 4819 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 14:50:07 +0100 World Series Finals Semis Roundup: English Duo to Face Egyptian Pair on Final Day of Action It will be England versus Egypt in the finals of the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals after a breathtaking night of semi-final action at Dubai Opera saw James Willstrop, Mohamed ElShorbagy, Laura Massaro and Nour El Sherbini seal their spots in the title-deciders. Former World No.1 Willstrop will appear in the showpiece finale of the World Series Finals for the first time in his career after he overcame World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, playing some superb squash en route to an 14-12, 11-6 victory.20170610005534_Willstrop-WSF-SF.jpg"I’m 33, I’ve had time out like a few of us have, but I’m not taking it for granted that I’ll be able to get back to where I was when I was 29, it’s not that simple," said Willstrop. "So it’s a great feeling when you’ve kept pushing yourself and you’ve gone down to No.20 in the world. To be able to do it again and to do it over four days means you’re still there and it’s a big confidence booster. "Before I qualified I wanted to be here desperately and there are all sorts of motivations here. Once I got there I was really focused on it. I had other tournaments to play, but this was the big finale and I’ve eyed it up certainly." He will face ElShorbagy in a repeat of their Group B fixture after the Bristol-based Egyptian twice overturned match balls for Germany’s Simon Rösner to reach his first Tour final since November. ElShorbagy, the 2013 runner-up, fell a game behind against an inspired Rösner, but recovered from 8-4 down in the second to force a third game, where Rösner was unable to convert his match balls, handing the win to the World No.3 after a gladiatorial 62-minute battle. ElShorbagy beat Willstrop 2-0 in their group stage clash, but the final reverts back to the best-of-five games format used in all other PSA World Tour events, meaning that it’s all to play for in what looks set to be a thrilling finale to the Men’s tournament. “I’m born for these kind of matches and these kind of moments and I don’t accept myself being in another position," said ElShorbagy. "There is the golden generation of [Amr] Shabana, Nick [Matthew], Greg [Gaultier], James, [Karim] Darwish and [Thierry Lincou]. The only one I haven’t played in a final is James, so it’s such an honour to be in the final with him.” Elsewhere, Massaro and El Sherbini set up a repeat of the 2015 PSA Women’s World Championship final after they achieved respective victories over Nouran Gohar and Camille Serme. Massaro, the defending champion, was two match balls down to Gohar, but dug into her mental reserves to take the win in three games and reach the final of this tournament for the third time in succession.20170610005634_Massaro-WSF-SF.jpg?x=-1&y=-35&w=617&o=608&=undefined"Saving two match balls is brilliant and I’m really proud of myself, but I’m also really annoyed that I let three game balls in the first go," Massaro said. "I just need to let it sink in, but I’m really happy to be through for tomorrow." Meanwhile, World Champion El Sherbini is through to a second Tour final in a row after she ended World No.3 Camille Serme’s tournament. Like Massaro, El Sherbini also fought back from two games down despite injuring her hand in the third game and she will look to become the first female Egyptian to lift the prestigious title when she locks horns with Massaro, who she lost to in last year’s semi-finals.20170610005754_Sherbini-WSF-SF.jpg?x=-4&y=-93&w=614&o=608"I thought that I was going to retire from the match because I couldn’t hold the racket,” said El Sherbini. “But I thought that I should go on and try and I think that it’s the reason I won. Because of my hand I was just thinking that I wanted to finish the points, so I attacked on every point and every opportunity." With an equal, lucrative $160,000 prize purse up for grabs, the World Series Finals brings together the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road to Dubai Standings, who are then split into two groups of four where matches are played in a best-of-three games format. Players then battle for points to qualify for the knockout semi-finals and beyond, while the final will be contested in the regular best-of-five games format. The finals of the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals will take place from 22:00 local time (GMT+4) on June 10 and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and the following broadcasters: Astro (Malaysia / Brunei) beIN Sports (Middle East / North Africa) BT Sport (United Kingdom) DAZN (Japan) Eleven Sports Network (Singapore / Taiwan) Fox Sports Australia (Australia) MNC Indonesia (Indonesia) Now TV (Hong Kong) Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand) Super Sport (Sub-Saharan Africa) Ten Sports (Indian Subcontinent) Truevisions (Thailand) *Results - Semi-Finals: Men’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 14-12, 11-6 (43m) [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 9-11, 11-8, 14-12 (62m) *Draw - Final: To Be Played June 10th* [6] James Willstrop (ENG) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) *Results - Semi-Finals: Women’s 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [1] Camille Serme (FRA) 2-1: 15-17, 11-3, 12-10 (60m) [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-1: 12-14, 12-10, 11-7 (47m) *Draw - Final: To Be Played June 10th* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4818/world-series-finals-semis-roundup-english-duo-to-face-egyptian-pair-on-final-day-of-action 4818 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:52:33 +0100 World Series Finals Semis - As it Happens Follow us here for reports and reaction from semi-finals day at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals staged in the stunning setting of Dubai Opera. After the groups were finalised yesterday, the tournament now moves into the knockout best-of-three games stage and sees Group A winner Karim Abdel Gawad and former Group B runner-up James Willstrop go head-to-head in a mouthwatering clash. The other Men's semi-final sees World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy - who topped Group B - take on Simon Rösner, whose runner-up finish in Group A saw him become the first German ever to reach the semi-finals of this event. The Women's tournament also has two cracking semi-final clashes in store as Group A victor Camille Serme aims to keep her 100 per cent record going when she takes on Nour El Sherbini, who finished second in Group B. Defending champion Laura Massaro finished ahead of El Sherbini in Group B and she lines up against World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar for a place in the final. You can watch the action on <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv">SQUASHTV</a> and <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.fr/squash/saison-de-squash_sto5728278/event.shtml">Eurosport Player</a>. Not able to watch? Check out our <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/pages/live">*live scoring page*</a> *Here's the order of play* (All times are local GMT+4) 22:00 [1] Camille Serme (FRA) v [2] Nour El Sherbini follow on [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [6] James Willstrop (ENG) follow on [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) follow on [7] Simon Rösner (GER) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) *El Sherbini Battles Through Injury to Reach Finals*20170609212413_17WF14960.jpg?x=1&y=-71&w=614&o=608Egyptian World Champion Nour El Sherbini will compete in the title-decider of the PSA World Series Finals for the first time in her career after she triumphed in a dramatic clash with World No.3 Camille Serme in Dubai Opera - despite suffering a hand injury in the third and final game. El Sherbini qualified second in Group A and was up against she only woman with a 100 per cent record up to this stage in the tournament, with PSA Women’s Player of the year Serme making it a clean sweep against Alison Waters, Nouran Gohar and Raneem El Welily. And it was Serme who prevailed in a nail-biting opener as she recovered from a blistering start from El Sherbini to overturn three game balls, ultimately taking it 17-15. It was all El Sherbini in the second game though, and the 21-year-old was on fire as she levelled the scores for the loss of three points and she led 4-3 in the third until she lost her footing and landed awkwardly on her right hand, forcing her to take an injury break to have it strapped up. Despite looking like a retirement was on the cards, El Sherbini gritted her teeth and battled on and, despite increasing the frequency of her attacking shots, looked to be heading home after Serme built up two match balls. But El Sherbini refused to give in and kept on fighting to force a tie-break, until a vicious kill at the front of the court saw her go match ball up and she duly converted to become only the second Egyptian woman ever to reach the final of this competition. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fast and furious from <a href="https://twitter.com/noursherbini">@noursherbini</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/CamilleSerme">@CamilleSerme</a>!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/obQzUzIk02">pic.twitter.com/obQzUzIk02</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873244618191650816">June 9, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> "I thought that I was going to retire from the match because I couldn’t hold the racket," said El Sherbini. "But I thought that I should go on and try and I think that it’s the reason I won. Because of my hand I was just thinking that I wanted to finish the points, so I attacked on every point and every opportunity. "I wasn’t thinking of winning, I was just thinking about winning the points. It helped me to win today. I have no idea if it will affect me tomorrow, so we’ll see. "If she’s not the best player, she’s one of the best and she is so consistent, on form and a fair player. Every time we’ve played it’s been really tough. She’s been fighting from the first match here and always comes back when she’s down. "It’s a big thing for me to reach the final of the World Series Finals, it’s very special and I’m very glad to be in the final." Serme said: "She did really well to come back from 10-8 down, I’ve been doing it in the last two days and today was her time, so I can’t complain. "The first game was really close and really long, but in the second game she was really sharp and I attacked a bit too early in the rallies. The third game was still close and we gave a good show to the crowd." El Sherbini will take on either defending champion Laura Massaro or compatriot Nouran Gohar in the final. *Result* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [1] Camille Serme (FRA) 2-1: 15-17, 11-3, 12-10 (60m) *Willstrop Reaches Final of World Series Finals for First Time*20170609220829_Willstrop-WSF-SF.jpg?x=-2&y=-36.8125&w=612&o=608England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop reached the showpiece finale for the first time in his 17-year career after ‘The Marksman’ put in a superb performance to halt World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad. Both players began the tournament with a defeat in their respective groups, but recovered in time to qualify for the semi-finals, with Gawad topping Group A and Willstrop finishing second behind World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy in Group B. They had met just twice on the PSA World Tour prior to the tournament, and it was Gawad who prevailed in their last meeting as the Egyptian claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Willstrop in February’s Windy City Open. But the 33-year-old from Yorkshire was in full flow at Dubai Opera as he showcased a series of impressive shots from his extensive repertoire to prevail 14-12 in the opening game tie-break. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">THAT is how you hold and drop<a href="https://twitter.com/james_willstrop">@james_willstrop</a> at his best! <a href="https://t.co/RFQCGV7Fd4">pic.twitter.com/RFQCGV7Fd4</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873268328495808517">June 9, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Gawad continued to push the Englishman hard in the third, but Willstrop moved the ball around the court intelligently to force Gawad off the ’T’ and he closed it out 11-6 to claim his place in the final of the season-ending tournament where he will play the winner of ElShorbagy or Germany’s Simon Rösner. "I’m 33, I’ve had time out like a few of us have, but I’m not taking it for granted that I’ll be able to get back to where I was when I was 29, it’s not that simple," said Willstrop. "So it’s a great feeling when you’ve kept pushing yourself and gone down to No.20 in the world. To be able to do it again and to do it over four days means you’re still there and it’s a big confidence booster. "Before I qualified I wanted to be here desperately and there’s all sorts of motivations here. Once I got there I was really focused on it. I had other tournaments to play, but this was the big finale and I’ve eyed it up certainly." Despite bowing out, Gawad was quick to praise the current World No.6. "It’s very tough to play someone like James Willstrop, I used to watch him a lot, even before I started playing on Tour," he said. "He’s one of the greatest players on Tour and I’ve learned a lot from him. "It’s the first World Series Finals I’ve ever played in my career and it’s been a great experience. I’m really happy to be here in such an amazing venue." *Result* [6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 14-12, 11-6 (43m) *Massaro Fights Back to Beat Gohar*20170609230739_Massaro-WSF-SF.jpg?x=-2&y=-35.625&w=613&o=608Defending champion Laura Massaro overturned two match balls to prevail in dramatic fashion against World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar - reaching the final of the World Series Finals for the third time in succession. The 33-year-old from Preston squandered four game balls in the first game to hand the lead to Gohar and from there the 19-year-old looked destined to make it an Egyptian double in the final after she saw compatriot Nour El Sherbini seal her final berth earlier on in the night. However Massaro, one of the most mentally strong players on the PSA World Tour, dug into her energy reserves to take the next four points in a row as she set up a nerve-shredding deciding third game. A confident start from the World No.4 saw her march ahead to a 9-3 lead in the third and she resisted a late fightback from Gohar to earn her place in the final once more. Massaro beat World No.2 Raneem El Welily to lift last year’s title and she will face Egyptian opposition once more, with El Sherbini - who finished a place below Massaro in Group B - awaiting her. "Saving two match balls is brilliant and I’m really proud of myself, but I’m also really annoyed that I let three game balls in the first go," said Massaro, whose match finished past midnight. "It’s a tough situation for us both, it’s really late and even though you get up late and do everything you can to recover, your body clock says that you should be in bed and not warming up for a squash match. "It’s a tough situation and it’s the same for both. Maybe I had a bit of an edge because I’ve been playing this time every day, so that was helpful. Overall, I just need to let it sink in, but I’m really happy to be through for tomorrow." *Result* [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-1: 12-14, 12-10, 11-7 (47m) *ElShorbagy Rises from the Ashes to Beat Rösner*20170610002848_17WF17651.jpgWorld No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy came through a gladiatorial battle with Germany’s Simon Rösner to reach his first PSA World Tour title since November. The Bristol-based Egyptian was the dominant force on the Men’s Tour last season and captured eight titles, but has suffered a disappointing season by his own standards and he lost his World No.1 spot in April. He has shown signs of being back to his best though in Dubai, with a 100 per cent record in Group B seeing him beat World No.1 Gregory Gaultier, World No.5 Ali Farag and World No.6 James Willstrop. However, an inspired Rösner came within a single point of sending the 26-year-old out after he edged the opening game 11-9 and stormed into an 8-4 lead in the second. ElShorbagy fought tooth and nail to stay in the tournament though and he surged back at Rösner to take seven points in a row, with each winner being greeted with a fist pump and an almighty roar. Rösner refused to be beaten and hit a number of superb winners build up match balls on two separate occasions, only to see ElShorbagy claw the points back both times before converting on his first match ball to seal a final spot against Willstrop. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wham! Slotted by <a href="https://twitter.com/MoElshorbagy">@moelshorbagy</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/1ptp1lzovv">pic.twitter.com/1ptp1lzovv</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/873293383581614080">June 9, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> "I just fought and didn’t give up," said ElShorbagy. "I just kept fighting and fighting. He had the lead, he was 1-0 up and playing amazing squash. In a best of three he plays at an even quicker pace which makes him way more dangerous. I knew it was going to be a tough battle and he played even better than I thought. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play like that. "This is only my third final this season and my first since November. Two weeks ago, I got my motivation back, something clicked and I told myself that I wasn’t born to lose in the quarter-finals or semis. "I’m born for these kind of matches and these kind of moments and I don’t accept myself being in another position. There is the golden generation of [Amr] Shabana, Nick [Matthew], Greg [Gaultier], James, [Karim] Darwish and [Thierry Lincou]. "I’ve played against each one in a final before and I will always remember each final I’ve played against the guys because they taught me how to play the game. The only one I haven’t played in a final is James, so it’s such an honour to be in the final with him." *Result* [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 9-11, 11-8, 14-12 (62m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4817/world-series-finals-semis-as-it-happens 4817 Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:16:34 +0100 World Series Finals Day Three Roundup: Semi-Finalists Confirmed After Group Stage Ends #squashindubai The group stage of the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals drew to a close on day three of the season-ending tournament taking place in the stunning Dubai Opera as World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, former World No.1 James Willstrop and Germany’s Simon Rösner all joined World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semi-finals of the Men’s event. Gawad began the tournament with a defeat to Rösner, but qualifies top of Group A after following up a day two win over 2010 finalist Nick Matthew with victory over compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy, which sees the World No.1 go ahead of Rösner in the group due to a higher games won percentage. “I didn’t have the best start to the tournament,” admitted Gawad. “I would say it’s the first time on court where I got too excited and didn’t start the right way. I had no pressure on me afterwards and I just wanted to enjoy playing in such a great venue. “I just wanted to be on court as much as I could. I didn’t expect to get to the semi-finals, especially at the top of the group. Playing here is an unforgettable experience, you don’t have the chance to play at this venue everyday and it’s great for our sport, we need more of these kinds of tournaments." World Series Finals debutant Gawad will clash with Willstrop for a place in the final after the 33-year-old Englishman held off World No.5 Ali Farag to reach the last four for the first time since the 2012 edition. With one win and one defeat under his belt, 33-year-old Willstrop needed to beat Farag to reach the last four, but was under cosh from the first point as an inspired Farag surged to victory in the opening game. Willstrop weathered the storm though in the second game to edge out an 11-9 victory and he closed out game three for the loss of six points to seal second place in Group B.20170608235936_Willstrop-WSF-DayThree.jpg?x=0&y=-29&w=613&o=608"People throw it around when they say that someone can become World No.1 and it doesn’t happen that easily, but Ali’s an awesome squash player and a credit to the game as well," said Willstrop. "I didn’t think I did too badly really, he was just so good. It was maybe a little bit short when I was hitting to the back and I thought that all I could do at the start was to stay in it. I had to have a bit of faith that, despite the fact it’s gone wrong on the scoreboard, I could turn it around. "You’ve got to regroup and you can’t let it get to you mentally. I thought that I just had to win the two games, it’s as simple as that." World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy topped Group B ahead of Willstrop and is the only man to maintain a 100 per cent record after he dispatched defending champion Gregory Gaultier 2-0 to leave the Frenchman without a win. He will face Rösner after the World No.11 beat 2010 finalist Nick Matthew to become the first German ever to reach the semi-final stage of the World Series Finals. The Women’s event saw World Champion Nour El Sherbini earn her place in the knockout stages at the expense of England’s Sarah-Jane Perry after she recovered from a game down to beat last year’s winner Laura Massaro. Massaro was 1-0 up and match ball up in the second game until a spirited fightback from El Sherbini saw the Egyptian World No.1 turn the match on its head to triumph, meaning that she finishes second in Group B behind Massaro due to the Englishwoman’s superior games won percentage. El Sherbini’s games won percentage is higher than that of Perry’s, which means Perry’s 2-1 win over two-time winner Nicol David wasn’t enough to make it an English triumvirate in the semi-finals.20170609000026_Sherbini-WSF-DayThree.jpg?x=0&y=-41&w=615&o=608“I wanted to qualify so badly and last time I played Laura I was 2-0 up [before losing],” said El Sherbini. “It wasn’t going my way in the first game, but I’m really happy to qualify. I feel sorry for SJ though, I know how it feels not to qualify for the semi-finals." El Sherbini will go up against French World No.3 Camille Serme, who is the only female player to hold a 100 per cent record after she beat World Championship runner-up Raneem El Welily to make it three wins out of three. It was a straight shootout between the pair to decide who would qualify from Group A and El Welily held two game balls in the third game, only to see Serme show nerves of steel to take four successive points to send El Welily out.20170609000215_Serme-WSF-DayThree.jpg"I can barely realise that I’ve made it,” said Serme. “You can count on one hand the times I’ve beaten her, so I’ll take this one. It could have gone either way, it was so close and I had a different tactical plan from yesterday. I tried to fight as much as I could and tried to retrieve every ball." World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar is the other player from Group A to make it through to the last four after she overcame England’s Alison Waters and she will face off against Massaro. The World Series Finals brings together the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road to Dubai Standings who are then split into two groups of four, with matches played in a best-of-three games format. Players then battle for points to qualify for the knockout semi-finals and beyond. The semi-finals of the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals will take place from 22:00 local time (GMT+4) on June 9 and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and the following broadcasters: Astro (Malaysia / Brunei) beIN Sports (Middle East / North Africa) BT Sport (United Kingdom) DAZN (Japan) Eleven Sports Network (Singapore / Taiwan) Fox Sports Australia (Australia) MNC Indonesia (Indonesia) Now TV (Hong Kong) Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand) Super Sport (Sub-Saharan Africa) Ten Sports (Indian Subcontinent) Truevisions (Thailand) *Results - Men’s Group A Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 12-10 (33m) [7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 13-11, 11-8 (39m) *Results - Men’s Group B Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-7 (17m) [6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m) *Draw - Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 9th* [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [6] James Willstrop (ENG) [7] Simon Rösner (GER) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) *Results - Women’s Group A Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (40m) [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 14-12 (35m) *Results - Women’s Group B Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 2-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-2 (35m) [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [6] Nicol David (MAS) 2-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-8 (41m) *Draw - Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 9th* [1] Camille Serme (FRA) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4816/world-series-finals-day-three-roundup-semi-finalists-confirmed-after-group-stage-ends 4816 Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:56:26 +0100 World Series Finals: Day Three - As it Happens Follow us here for reports and reaction from Dubai Opera as the group stage of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals reaches a thrilling climax. 2010 finalist Nick Matthew will aim to salvage his tournament in Group A as he takes on Germany's Simon Rösner. Matthew must beat Rösner 2-0, while hoping that Marwan ElShorbagy defeats World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad by the same scoreline to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals, with the results then coming down to who has taken the highest percentage of points. In Group B of the men's tournament, semi-finals-bound Mohamed ElShorbagy lines up against defending champion Gregory Gaultier - who can no longer qualify - leaving James Willstrop and Ali Farag to face off for a place in the last four. It's all to play for in Group A of the Women's event, with leader Camille Serme still not assured of her place in the semi-finals. A defeat to Raneem El Welily could open the door for both El Welily and Nouran Gohar to qualify, while Alison Waters still has hopes of achieving an unlikely semi-final spot if Serme wins. Laura Massaro is assured of her place in the semi-finals and faces Nour El Sherbini, who will go through if she beats the defending champion. Sarah-Jane Perry still has hopes of qualification, but will need to beat the already eliminated Nicol David, while hoping for a favour from compatriot Massaro. You can watch the action on <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv">SQUASHTV</a> and <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.fr/squash/saison-de-squash_sto5728278/event.shtml">Eurosport Player</a>. Not able to watch? Check out our <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/pages/live">*live scoring page*</a> Here are the groups as they stand at the start of play: *Men's Group A* 20170608120648_Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 15.08.38.png?x=0&y=0&w=603&o=608*Men's Group B*20170608120717_Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 15.08.42.png?x=0&y=0&w=605&o=608*Women's Group A*20170608120758_Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 15.08.48.png?x=0&y=0&w=607&o=608*Women's Group B*20170608120855_Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 15.08.53.png?x=0&y=0&w=601&o=608*Order of Play for SQUASHTV & Eurosport Player* (All times are local GMT+4) 15:00 [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 15:45 [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 16:45 [1] Camille Serme (FRA) v [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 17:30 [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 21:30 [6] Nicol David (MAS) v [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 22:15 [6] James Willstrop (ENG) v [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 23:15 [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 00:00 [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) *Gohar Seals Semis Berth with Win Over Waters*World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar ensured that she is the first player from Group A to qualify for the knockout semi-finals after the 19-year-old Egyptian beat England’s Alison Waters by a 2-0 margin. Gohar began the day in third place after a win over compatriot Raneem El Welily was followed up with a defeat to France’s Camille Serme, but she was in control in the early stages against Waters, stroking the ball around with furious power to take an 11-7 victory in the opener. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Brutal pace between <a href="https://twitter.com/Aliwat1">@aliwat1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/NouranGohar">@NouranGohar</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/4vyz35IcYQ">pic.twitter.com/4vyz35IcYQ</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872778219354587136">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Despite that win for Gohar meaning that Waters couldn’t qualify for the last four, the Englishwoman went up through the gears in the second game as she began to move her opponent off the ’T’ to hold three game balls despite some remonstrations with the referee after disputing a number of Gohar’s pick-ups. Gohar recovered though to force a tie-break and she battled through to take it 14-12 to seal her place in the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament for the first time. "I’m really happy to have made it to the semis, it’s a dream to make it to the semis in Dubai," said Gohar. "I’m really happy that I get to play one more match on this beautiful court. It was mentally so tough to adapt and it was a crucial match today. To keep calm and relaxed was really important for this match. "Yesterday, when I was three match balls up [against Serme] and lost, it was really tough. We played an amazing match, but I wasn’t really disappointed with my performance. I had to regroup, not think about the match and just think about the performance. "I’m really happy that I managed to come back really strongly today." Waters said: "I’ve had a really good week here, played some really good squash and I had my chance in the first two matches. I could have actually won some of these matches. "I’m disappointed, but I’ve competed with everybody here, so it’s just fine margins, I think. It’s something to build on for the summer and I feel positive about how I’ve performed over the past few days and I can look forward to having a summer’s training." *Result* [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 14-12 (35m) *Rösner Becomes First German Ever to Qualify for Last Four of World Series Finals*20170608141910_Rosner_WSF_DayThree.jpgWorld No.11 Simon Rösner has become the first German ever to qualify for the semi-final stage of the PSA World Series Finals after beating England’s Nick Matthew in the stunning Dubai Opera to qualify from Group A. Rösner, the number seven seed, began his tournament with a win over World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, before a defeat to World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy yesterday (June 7) put his title challenge under doubt. However, the 29-year-old rose to claim a first ever win against Matthew at the 12th time of asking, in a thrilling 39-minute battle. He hit winners for fun in the opening game and looked to be cruising to a 1-0 lead until Matthew fought back from three game balls down to take the German to a tie-break. A fortunate nick at the back of the court went in Rösner’s favour though with him 12-11 up to close out the game - which at 26 minutes was the longest of the tournament so far. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">"<a href="https://twitter.com/simonroesner">@simonroesner</a> is throwing the kitchen sink and the toilet at <a href="https://twitter.com/nickmatthew">@nickmatthew</a>!" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/MyZgfRLC0V">pic.twitter.com/MyZgfRLC0V</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872791608516780033">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> That win for Rösner meant that Matthew was eliminated from the tournament and he got the better of the Yorkshireman in the second to seal his place in the record books. "It’s huge, just qualifying for this tournament was a huge success for me," said Rösner. "I didn’t make it through last year, so it’s a great success for me. I tried to play fast today with a high accuracy level. I made the tempo really high to move him around and wanted to take him to the front corners as much as I could. "I felt comfortable at the front, so everything just came together. I played him in San Francisco a year and a half ago, I was 9-3 up and 2-1 up and lost, so I had that in the back of my mind a little bit. "He’s able to come back at anytime, so I just tried to focus and concentrate on each point. I’m just glad I made it." Rösner will face Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the final. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">So clever from <a href="https://twitter.com/simonroesner">@simonroesner</a>!<a href="https://t.co/39iWGf3vTa">pic.twitter.com/39iWGf3vTa</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872793772332941312">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> *Result* [7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 13-11, 11-8 (39m) *Serme Tops Group A After Overturning Two Match Balls Against El Welily*20170608151648_Serme-WSF-DayThree.jpg?x=-2&y=-48.4375&w=615&o=608French World No.3 Camille Serme has qualified top of Group A in the Women’s tournament after she fought back from two match balls down to send last year’s runner-up Raneem El Welily out. Serme - the newly crowned PSA Women’s Player of the Year - has been terrific so far and followed up an opening day win over England’s Alison Waters by defeating World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar on day two, recovering from four match balls to claim the win. And she was forced to come back from the dead again against El Welily, with the Egyptian World No.2 just one point away from a victory that would have seen her qualify for the last four in Serme’s place. Serme took the first game after a blistering start, but was up against it in the second as El Welily began to hit her stride, with the 28-year-old hitting some terrific winners to repel Serme. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ridiculous from <a href="https://twitter.com/RaneemElWelily">@RaneemElWelily</a>!!! How has she pulled that off? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/I6iNZTGiw3">pic.twitter.com/I6iNZTGiw3</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872807215899435012">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> El Welily’s charge carried her right through to 10-8 in the third, but she was unable to hold on as Serme showed nerves of steel to take four successive points, which sees her finish above Gohar to seal her semis spot. "I can barely realise that I’ve made it," said a delighted Serme, who had only won two of her previous 12 matches with El Welily. "You can count on one hand the times I’ve beaten her, so I’ll take this one. It could have gone either way, it was so close and I had a different tactical plan from yesterday. I tried to fight as much as I could and tried to retrieve every ball. "Raneem gets a lot of balls back as well, so it was really lucky at the end. I’m very excited for the semi-finals and will have a look at the other matches tonight to know who I will be playing." El Welily admitted that she was pleased the way she played despite the result, saying: "I think I played alright, it’s the best squash I’ve played all week, so I’m happy with the way I played. I couldn’t finish it off at the end, unfortunately, but I think she deserved it more this time. "I’m upset that I couldn’t make it to the semis but she played really well. Playing the best seven players in the world is never an easy task, so the difference between each player is so small. It’s really tough [to pick a winner] but it could be Camille." *Result* [1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [4] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (40m) *Gawad Seals Semis Spot at ElShorbagy’s Expense*20170608155450_Gawad-WSF-DayThree.jpg?x=0&y=-59.25&w=614&o=608World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad moved past fellow Egyptian Marwan ElShorbagy to earn his place in the semi-finals courtesy of topping Group A. The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ lost to Germany’s Simon Rösner on day one, but hasn’t dropped a game since, seemingly rediscovering the kind of form that took him to World No.1 in May. ElShorbagy sat atop the group at the beginning of the day but, after going down 11-7, 12-10 to Gawad, will not join his brother Mohamed in the semi-finals, with the older ElShorbagy brother guaranteed to qualify from Group B. Gawad was three game balls down in the second, but ElShorbagy looked to be suffering with illness as Gawad fought back to claim the win which could see him face one of Mohamed, former World No.1 James Willstrop or World No.5 Ali Farag for a place in the final. "I didn’t have the best start to the tournament," admitted Gawad. "I would say it’s the first time on court where I got too excited and didn’t start the right way. I had no pressure on me afterwards and I just wanted to enjoy playing in such a great venue. "I just wanted to be on court as much as I could. I didn’t expect to get to the semi-finals, especially at the top of the group. Playing here is an unforgettable experience, you don’t have the chance to play at this venue everyday and it’s great for our sport, we need more of these kinds of tournaments. "We’re at the last tournament of the season and everyone’s bodies are breaking down. Everyone is feeling it in the legs and the back, so it’s tough and I just want to end the season in the best form I can. "I didn’t have the best run towards the end of the season because there was a lot of pressure being World No.1, but I want to end the season well." *Result* [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 12-10 (33m) *Perry Retains Qualification Hopes After Beating David*20170608203020_17WF12079.jpgEngland’s World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry is still in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-final stage after she sent two-time winner Nicol David to a third successive defeat. A defeat to the Malaysian would have sent Perry out of the competition, but she stood firm to recover from a game down to claim the victory. The 27-year-old began the tournament with an impressive victory over World Champion Nour El Sherbini and, despite losing to compatriot Laura Massaro in her second match, will need the defending champion to beat El Sherbini if they are to make it an English double in Group B. David has suffered a disappointing week in Dubai and qualification was out of her grasp before she walked on court with Perry. But the experienced eight-time World Champion raced out of the blocks, dropping just six points to go a game ahead. There was a complete momentum shift in the second game though as a sharp-looking Perry began to read David’s game much better, and her accuracy in the back corners helped her to level the scores. Perry then held her nerve to win the third game, giving herself a real chance of reaching the last four on her World Series Finals debut. "I had to do something after the first game because I was having to work really, really hard and wasn’t getting much from it," said Perry. "I wasn’t playing well and I was just rushing and was a bit headless really. I tried to listen to my coach after the first game and he told me just to get it through to the back. I was hitting far too many short in the first game and I refocused and got a good start in the second game, which was really important. "I tried to use my skills a bit more rather than playing at 3000 miles an hour. She never gave up and made it really difficult. I had to trust myself, play my game and play the pace that I wanted to play at. "Thankfully that just about got me over the finishing line." David said: "I started strongly and I think that Sarah-Jane was trying to find her groove, so I really took advantage of the situation. In the second, she found her depth more and I was trying to do too much, too soon and I made a few errors. "I gave her a lot of confidence to get the lead and that gave her the boost to pick her shot. The third game was really close and she just played the big points really well. I had to dig deep, but fair play to her, she played really well today." *Result* [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [6] Nicol David (MAS) 2-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-8 (41m) *Willstrop Weathers Farag Storm to Join ElShorbagy in Semi-Finals*20170608212116_Willstrop-WSF-DayThree.jpg?x=-1&y=-29.25&w=614&o=608Former World No.1 James Willstrop overcame a blistering start from World No.5 Ali Farag to reach the semi-finals of the World Series Finals for the first time since 2012. Willstrop and Farag were in a straight shootout for a semi-final berth after a win and a defeat each so far and it was Farag who started the stronger as the World No.5 hit a veritable feast of winners to take an 11-4 win in game one. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Brilliant from <a href="https://twitter.com/aliamrfarag">@aliamrfarag</a>! What a hit! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/GwsTJVCTc9">pic.twitter.com/GwsTJVCTc9</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872888162225225729">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Willstrop weathered the Egyptian’s storm though in the second game as his unerring accuracy and vintage shot-making skills came to the fore as he edged it by a two-point margin. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Marskman <a href="https://twitter.com/james_willstrop">@james_willstrop</a> at his absolute best! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squashindubai?src=hash">#squashindubai</a> <a href="https://t.co/MjIf1TraJl">pic.twitter.com/MjIf1TraJl</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872892234294743040">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> There was no let up in the high-octane squash in the third game, with one sensational rally in particular seeing Farag fall onto the floor, pick himself up and play a winner two shots later to send the gathered crowd in Dubai Opera into raptures. But Willstrop stayed in front to close out the victory for the loss of six points which means that he will face World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the final. "People throw it around when they say that someone can become World No.1 and it doesn’t happen that easily, but Ali’s an awesome squash player and a credit to the game as well," said Willstrop. "He’s going to be great for the Tour and it’s a great pleasure to play against someone like that in a really competitive atmosphere. We couldn’t have gone any harder at that really. We gave it absolutely everything in a fair spirit and I absolutely love squash like that. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How did <a href="https://twitter.com/aliamrfarag">@aliamrfarag</a> win this point!? INCREDIBLE retrieval!!! <a href="https://t.co/C9IiosPxAT">pic.twitter.com/C9IiosPxAT</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/872895603071631361">June 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> "In a venue like this, it can’t get much better and to beat him I had to put everything out there. He showed what he’s doing in the first, I’m playing alright here but he tore me apart. It was awesome squash and he’s got awesome potential. "I didn’t think I did too badly really, he was just so good. It was maybe a little bit short when I was hitting to the back and I thought that all I could do at the start was to stay in it. I had to have a bit of faith that, despite the fact it’s gone wrong on the scoreboard, I could turn it around. "You’ve got to regroup and you can’t let it get to you mentally. I thought that I just had to win the two games, it’s as simple as that." Willstrop qualifies second in his group behind World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy. *Result* [6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m) *El Sherbini Ends Massaro’s 100 Per Cent Record to Reach Semis*20170608230327_17WF13289.jpg?x=-2&y=-39.25&w=614&o=608World Champion Nour El Sherbini moved through to the semi-finals at the expense of England’s Sarah-Jane Perry after she recovered from an opening game onslaught from defending champion Laura Massaro to win it 2-1. El Sherbini needed a win to advance to the semi-finals or else she would have been leapfrogged by England’s Sarah-Jane Perry. And the World No.1 was on the brink of elimination after going a game down and match ball down, with Massaro having a steadfast grip on proceedings. But she remained composed to take three points in succession to bring the match to all square and from there eased to victory in the third for the loss of two points to earn her place in the last four. "I wanted to qualify so badly and last time I played Laura I was 2-0 up [before losing]," said El Sherbini, who will face Camille Serme for a place in the final. "It wasn’t going my way in the first game, but I’m really happy to qualify. I feel sorry for SJ though, I know how it feels not to qualify for the semi-finals. "Camille is at the top of the game now, she’s playing the best at the moment and is one of the most consistent players. She’s had a lot of good results this season and we always have tough matches. "I’m just going to relax, but I’m ready for whatever happens." *Result* [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 2-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-2 (35m) *ElShorbagy Wins Dead Rubber Contest with Gaultier*20170608231841_17WF13739.jpgWorld No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy dispatched the already eliminated Gregory Gaultier in the final match of day three. The fixture was a dead rubber - with ElShorbagy guaranteed top spot in the group and Gaultier unable to qualify for the semi-finals - and it was the man from Egypt who took it 12-10, 11-7 in just 17 minutes. ElShorbagy goes on to face Group A’s runner-up Simon Rösner while Gaultier sees a season in which he has won seven Tour titles and became the oldest World No.1 of all time come to an end. "Me and Rösner have played so many times together and I’m sure it’s going to be another exciting battle," said ElShorbagy. ‘We always have great matches together and I can’t wait to play another great battle with him tomorrow." *Result* [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-7 (17m) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4815/world-series-finals-day-three-as-it-happens 4815 Thu, 08 Jun 2017 11:52:51 +0100