Another incredible season on the PSA World Tour drew to a close last month as England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy laid claim to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals titles.
Over the past few weeks we have been looking back at the major moments that lit up the PSA World Tour during 2016/17 and have already looked at the outstanding performers, breakthrough stars, biggest shocks, comebacks, rallies of the season and the players to watch next season.
In this part of our season review, we’re going back to August 2016 and taking an in-depth look at what happened during the first month of the season.
With 13 titles up for grabs across both the men's and women's draws and taking place across all four corners of the globe, August got the 2016/17 season off to a thrilling start.
At the start of August it was English duo Joe Lee and Millie Tomlinson who got their seasons off to winning starts with victory at the Victorian Open in Melbourne.
Tomlinson claimed the biggest win of her career against then-World No.19 Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the women’s final. Whilst, the men’s final saw top seed Lee go head-to-head with long-term friend and home hope Rex Hedrick, however, a hamstring left the latter unable to continue during the game, handing Lee his first PSA World Tour title in over two years.
Elsewhere in Australia, Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and India’s Karthik wrapped up the 2016 Australian Open PSA M15 and W15 titles, respectively, after both players recovered from going a game down to triumph in their final fixtures.
Meanwhile, England’s Ben Coleman defeated 2013 World Junior Champion Karim El Hammamy in the final of the Courtcare Open PSA M10 tournament to lift his eighth PSA World Tour title. The then-World No.53 didn’t drop a game throughout the tournament and downed El Hammamy 3-0 games in the final.
At the Zenit Black Sea Open, PSA M5 tournament it was Australia’s Matthew Hopkin who secured the title, capturing his fourth PSA World Tour title in the process after overcoming Martin Svec in the final.
Back in Australia for the City of Greater Shepparton International, PSA M5 tournament it was pre-event title favourite Ireland’s Arthur Gaskin who delivered the goods and lived up to his number one seeding as he downed South Korea’s Chang Wook Woo in straight games.
Nouran Gohar in action against England's Laura Massaro
In the first World Series event of the season, there was double delight for Egyptian squash as three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour and World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar took the honours at the 2016 Hong Kong Open.
In the women’s final then 18-year-old Gohar, who had beaten then-World No.2 Laura Massaro before ending eight-time World Champion Nicol David’s ten years of dominance at the event to reach the final, got off to a slow start against American Amanda Sobhy, quickly falling behind courtesy of a 6-11 first game that saw Sobhy start on fire.
Gohar, however, quickly managed to lift her game to turn the match around, saving four game balls in the second to snatch it 12-10 before going onto control the game to secure a 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 win and her maiden World Series event title.
In the men’s final, Ashour looked to have put his recent injury troubles firmly behind him as he came through a gruelling five-game battle with compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad, who was then competing in his first ever PSA World Series tournament final.
Ramy Ashour at the Hong Kong Open
However, Ashour proved too much for Gawad to handle as he was back to his unpredictable best to secure a 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 win to secure his first World Series title in a year and a half.
As the month continued, England’s Richie Fallows and France’s Laura Pomportes captured the Belfast Open PSA M5 and W5 titles respectively after both players produced dominant final performances.
Elsewhere New Zealand’s Lance Beddoes lifted his maiden PSA World Tour title after defeating England’s Connor Sheen in the final of the Tarra Volkswagen Bega Open.
To round off the month, Finnish qualifier Jami Aijanen triumphed on home soil to lift the Suez Helsinki Summer Challenger PSA M5 title courtesy of a 3-2 scalp against top seed Iker Pajares Bernabeu, just one year after his younger brother, Miko, claimed the 2015 instalment.
Full list of winners
Victorian Open 2016 (Men’s title) – Joe Lee (ENG)
Victorian Open 2016 (Women’s title) – Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
Australian Open 2016 (Men’s title) – Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Australian Open 2016 (Women’s title) – Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Courtcare Open 2016 – Ben Coleman (ENG)
Zenit Black Sea Open 2016 (Men’s title) – Matthew Hopkin (AUS)
City of Greater Shepparton International 2016 – Arthur Gaskin (IRL)
Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open (Men’s title) – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open (Women’s title) – Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Legacy Wealth Belfast Open 2016 (Men’s title) – Richie Fallows (ENG)
Legacy Wealth Belfast Open 2016 (Women’s title) – Laura Pomportes (FRA)
Tarra Volkswagen Bega Open 2016 (Men’s title) – Lance Beddoes (NZL)
Suez Helsinki Summer Challenger 2016 – Jami Aijanen (FIN)