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Nour El Sherbini celebrates beating Nicol David in the 2015 Qatar Classic

TBT Season Review: El Sherbini Ends David Charge in Qatar


The 2015/16 season will go down in history as one of the most exciting and enthralling seasons in the history of the PSA World Tour, with a series of stunning tournaments and thrilling matches lighting up courts around the globe.

For the next few weeks, our Throwback Thursday pieces are going to look at some of the finest matches of the season as the world’s best players went toe-to-toe in some spectacular, action-packed encounters.

This week, we’re looking at November’s epic five-game thriller between World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the semi-final of the Qatar Classic – an encounter that was undoubtedly the match of the tournament.

El Sherbini, who at that time was ranked 8th in the world, had been a perennial quarter-finalist at World Series tournaments for much of the previous year and a half, but scythed through a field that saw the likes of Olivia Blatchford, former World Champion Rachael Grinham and then World No.4 Camille Serme all fall to the young Egyptian as she powered to the semi-finals.

Second seed David had a slightly easier run to the last four, and rattled off comfortable wins against Nicolette Fernandes, Victoria Lust and Annie Au to set up a semi-final clash with El Sherbini.

Youth met experience in a climactic battle, with 20-year-old El Sherbini going up against a player 12 years her senior, but she shot out of the blocks as she sought to dictate the early parts of the encounter, eventually going a game ahead, before David’s nous eventually told as she fought back to go 2-1 up in the Khalifa stadium.

Some sumptuous squash from El Sherbini in the fourth resulted in yet another momentum swing and, despite David’s best efforts, she upped the tempo in the fifth to come out on top of some blistering rallies, taking a victory from which she would go on to record five consecutive wins over David – becoming the only player to hold a positive head-to-head record over the Malaysian superstar.

Although she eventually went down 3-2 to England’s Laura Massaro in the final, her triumph over David acted as the catalyst for her domination of the PSA World Tour in the latter half of the season, with the superb victory giving her the belief she needed to rise to number one in the world, and become both the World Champion and British Open champion in a record-breaking season for the woman from Alexandria.

Watch the highlights below

We’ll be looking at another spectacular match from the 2015/16 season next week. In the meantime, log in to SQUASHTV to watch another stunner from the Qatar Classic – including this sensational encounter between Gregory Gaultier and Karim Abdel Gawad.

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