The past 12 months have been some of the most memorable and exciting moments in the history of the PSA World Tour.
2017 saw history made on the PSA World Tour, plenty of exciting moments and both the Men’s and Women’s Tour continue to flourish.
With the New Year approaching, we’re having a look back at the standout moments from the first half of 2017 in our review of a stunning year of PSA World Tour action.
Serme and Gawad Triumph at Tournament of Champions
France’s Camille Serme and Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad etched their names into the squash history books as they started the new year in style with victory at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
Gawad came from behind against France’s Gregory Gaultier to win 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 to extend his unbeaten run to 16 matches and win a third consecutive major title to add his Qatar Classic and World Championship titles he had won in November 2016.
Meanwhile, Serme proved that she was the player to beat on the Women’s Tour as she saw off then-World No.2 Nouran Gohar, No.1 Nour El Sherbini and England’s Laura Massaro in the final to add the ToC title to her U.S. Open crown that she had won earlier in the season.
Gaultier Sparks Unbeaten Run
France’s Gaultier began an impressive run of form that saw him go 27-matches unbeaten as he claimed the Swedish Open title – also putting an end to Gawad’s own unbeaten run in the process.
The Frenchman lifted his third Swedish Open title as he overturned a one-game deficit to defeat World Champion Gawad in the final.
This title win would spark an impressive streak of form from the French General who went on to dominate the Men’s Tour for the rest of the season and claim a monumental six titles including the Windy City Open, Allam British Open, El Gouna International Squash Open, Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Squash Classic alongside his Swedish Open title.
El Welily & Gaultier Claim Windy City Open Titles
Egypt’s Raneem El Welily claimed her third consecutive Windy City Open crown in March when she saw off compatriot El Sherbini in the final to add to her 2015 and 2016 titles.
Meanwhile, in the men’s event, Gaultier’s hot streak continued as he added another title to his ever-expanding collection, seeing off Marwan ElShorbagy by a 3-1 scoreline in the final in Chicago.
David Claims First Title Since 2015
Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David celebrated her first title since 2015 back in March this year as she defeated United States’ Olivia Blatchford in the final of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament held at the Parque el Santisimo, Colombia.
Playing in the shadow of the stunning El Santisimo statue, David stormed to a straight-games win to take a share of the $70,000 prize fund, the most lucrative purse ever to be offered at a women’s squash tournament in South America.
Massaro and Gaultier Win British Open titles
England’s Laura Massaro made history at the Allam British Open as she triumphed on finals day at the prestigious tournament – which saw three English players make the final including Sarah-Jane Perry and Nick Matthew.
Massaro saw off compatriot Perry in four games to become the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the prestigious title on two occasions.
Meanwhile, in the men’s final Gaultier halted a winning day for the English players on home turf as he defeated Matthew 3-1 in the final.
Gaultier Becomes Oldest Player to Top the World Rankings
That win at the British Open saw Gaultier named World No.1 the next month with the Frenchman making history as the oldest player to ever top the PSA World Rankings.
The ‘French General’ took over from Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy at the summit of the World Rankings and at 34 years and three months eclipsed the record of former Women’s World No.1 Sarah-Fitz Gerald by a month.
El Sherbini Becomes World Champion for Second Time
Egypt’s El Sherbini broke her title drought as she sealed her second successive PSA World Championship title in Egypt.
El Sherbini was in spellbinding form in El Gouna to see off compatriot El Welily in the final and claimed the sport’s biggest prize for the second time in her career at just 21-years-old.
PSA Dubai World Series Finals
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.
ElShorbagy and Massaro defeated England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop and Egyptian World Champion Nour El Sherbini, respectively, to claim the season ending titles.
For the Egyptian it meant that his season ended on a high after a disappointing campaign which saw his reign at the top of the Men’s World Rankings come to and end, whilst Massaro successfully defended her title that she had won the season before.
French Double at PSA Awards
There was double delight for France at the 2016/17 PSA Awards as Men’s World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and Women’s World No.3 Camille Serme collected the Player of the Year awards during a gala dinner at the Vida Hotel, Dubai.
Other winners included Peru’s Diego Elias claiming the Men’s Young Player of the Year award, whilst Nouran Gohar claimed the women’s prize. The men’s and women’s Spirit of Squash award went to Egypt’s Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily, respectively.
That’s it for part one of our look back at 2017 – we’ll be bringing you part two tomorrow!