The quarter-finals of the men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions begins today, while round three of the women’s tournament is in action.
Hong Kong’s Annie Au and Egypt’s Nouran Gohar will begin the bumper day of action at 11:00 local time (UTC-5) as ten matches take place on the glass court inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.
Meanwhile in the men’s tournament, the likes of World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, defending champion Simon Rösner, the in-form Karim Abdel Gawad and Peru’s Diego Elias all feature.
We'll also have reports and reaction from all of today's matches right here.
Schedule (all times local UTC-5)
Gohar dispatches Au in three
Nouran Gohar beat Annie Au in three games to reach the quarters.
Nouran Gohar advanced through to the quarter finals of the Tournament of Champions after beating Annie Au in straight games.
Au came out strongly in the first game, and put the World No.8 under some pressure, but she was able to come through to win the first game 11-7.
The Egyptian ran riot in the second game after a tight start. She score 11 of the last 12 points to hammer home her advantage and double her lead.
Au started the third quicker again, and had a lead at several stages of the game. However, the power of Gohar gave her the advantage late on to win it 11-9 and secure her place in the last eight.
“If there is two players that play completely different, it would be me and Annie,” Gohar said.
“We play completely different games. I try to play with high pace and volley, she tries to slow it down so it was very interesting to see who would control it today, but I am glad it worked for me today.
“I am feeling great. I think last year was not about my squash or my physical training but about my mental state. I wasn’t really enjoying it as much as I did before and when you don’t enjoy the game, you can’t really perform well.
I just tried to calm myself down and tried to enjoy it as much as possible because squash is my passion and the biggest thing in my life.
“I hated that I didn’t really enjoy the last year but now I am feeling very positive. I have changed some routines, and I have another coach now and they are doing a great job now so I am really happy with it.”
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (26m)
Serme Marches Past Lust to Book Last Eight Berth
Camille Serme (left) v Victoria Lust (right)
World No.5 Camille Serme cruised into the quarter-finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after a commanding 3-0 victory over England’s Victoria Lust inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
Serme, the 2017 Tournament of Champions victor, had won four of their previous five meetings on the PSA Tour, with Lust’s sole win over the French Player coming back in 2009.
And Serme made it four straight wins over the World No.15 after a display which saw her volley relentlessly and attack at the front of the court with gusto.
The 29-year-old claimed 11-4 victories in both of the opening games, before dropping just a single point in the third to complete a fine win in just 24 minutes.
“I know Vicky can be very tricky, every time I watch her play against Raneem they’re always big battles, so I’m always ready for a big match against Victoria,” said Serme.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training and working on my movement on court, so I can be ready for big matches and long rallies. I’ve been working on some stuff technically as well.
“I just enjoy playing here in Grand Central and I’m happy to play at least one more match here. I think when it was only a men’s event, I was dreaming of playing here and I was jealous.
“This venue is very special, there’s a lot of history and I feel very lucky to be able to play here.”
Serme will line up against either 2014 winner Nicol David or World No.4 Joelle King for a place in the semi-finals.
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-1 (24m)
El Welily Comes From Behind to Beat Chinappa
Raneem El Welily (right) v Joshna Chinappa (left)
World No.1 Raneem El Welily was forced to come back from a game down to beat India’s Joshna Chinappa in four games.
El Welily led the pair’s head-to-head record by five wins to one coming into the fixture and has claimed title success at this tournament in the past, winning it back in 2015.
But she had to withstand a barrage of attacking squash from a confident Chinappa in the second as the World No.14 outclassed the Egyptian by taking the ball in short to great effect.
El Welily recovered though as she powered to victory in the second, while she held Chinappa at arm’s length in games three and four to complete a 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 victory.
What a shot from
RaneemElWelily</a><br><br>The World No.1 is in the ascendency here!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOC19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOC19</a> <a href="https://t.co/bWn2gi2gsK">pic.twitter.com/bWn2gi2gsK</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) 21 January 2019
“How good was she today?,” said El Welily.
“She was unbelievable, absolutely fantastic and slotting shots all over. I had to retrieve a lot today and I’m really glad that I managed to push myself after that first game. I was a bit flat and she was really fired up.
“I’m really happy with how I came onto court in the second game and with the way I switched the mental side around.
“No matter how much you prepare, in your head you know that everyone else has been preparing just as well. You always have to be sharp, you have to be on your toes and you have to be 110% disciplined.”
El Welily will go up against World No.8 Nouran Gohar in the quarter-finals in what will be a repeat of their five-game battle in their semi-final match in November’s Hong Kong Open, which went the way of the former.
“It’s never easy against Nouran, she’s a good friend and a fantastic player, so hopefully it will be a good match for the crowd,” El Welily said.
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
King Sees off David Test to Reach Last Eight
Joelle King (left) v Nicol David (right)
World No.4 Joelle King booked her quarter-final spot after overcoming 2014 winner Nicol David to avenge her defeat to the Malaysian at last year’s event.
King had won just one of 11 previous meetings between the pair, and lost out in four games to the former World No.1 in the second round of the 2018 Tournament of Champions.
However, King was the favourite going into today’s fixture after a strong run of form which took her to her first PSA Platinum title in November’s Hong Kong Open and she wasted no time in getting off the mark, dropping just four points in a one-sided opening game.
David responded by pushing up the court to get on the ball earlier, and that approach paid dividends as she built on a 4-1 lead to draw level, with King struggling to keep the ball above the tin at times.
The Kiwi eliminated those errors though in the third as she came fighting back to restore her lead. King was immaculate in the fourth too as she opened up an 8-1 lead, only to lose her focus as David came back to within a point.
But the Malaysian was unable to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as King held her nerve to close out the win, which sees her reach the quarter-finals of this tournament for the first time since 2014.
“I’ve taken my fair share of beatings from Nicol over the years,” King admitted.
“She was No.1 for a long time and when she was introduced, it was as a legend of the game, so I think it’s always quite hard when you come up against someone like that, with such a rich history.
“She always gives her best, we always have big battles, so it’s nice to come out on the right side of that today.
“I think I was just annoyed with myself that I let that lead go [in the fourth]. It started getting away from me a bit too quickly, but she never gives up. I had to play my best squash until the end.
“After a big win, you have to come back and do the job, so this tournament has been a challenge for me.”
What better way to raise your children?
Starting them young here at
ToCSquash</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOC19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOC19</a> <a href="https://t.co/e6OlwRgSQJ">pic.twitter.com/e6OlwRgSQJ</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) 21 January 2019
 Joelle King (NZL) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)
El Tayeb Weather Sobhy Storm to Reach Quarters
Nour El Tayeb (right) v Amanda Sobhy (left)
2018 runner-up Nour El Tayeb twice fought back from a game down to eliminate United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in a high-octane, five-game thriller.
The pair traded points in an absorbing fixture, with Sobhy twice taking a one-game lead as she looked to draw on the strength on a partizan home crowd.
But, under the chandeliers of Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall, El Tayeb kept her nerve to draw level both times, and she came out on top in a dramatic decider to earn her spot in the quarter-finals.
“Ever since the draw came out, I’ve been thinking about this match,” said El Tayeb.
“It’s a very, very hard third round, not just because Amanda was in the top five, but because we were always junior rivals, and it’s very hard to play someone you grew up with.
“I was struggling to keep my focus, I was struggling to stay disciplined, and whenever I was half disciplined, she was just killing it and she was finding her marks very well on the court.
“It took a lot of fighting to be able to be in the match. I had Ali [Farag] and Raneem [El Welily] in my corner, the World No.2 and the World No.1, so they were just trying to keep me disciplined, encourage me and thankfully I fought until the end.
“I knew the plan from the beginning, I knew what I had to do, but throughout the match they were just reminding me to stay disciplined and relaxed. Their help was crucial, I needed them to support me between games and, thankfully. I’m through.”
That misdirection from
NourElTayeb</a><br><br>Wonderful squash from the Egyptian!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOC19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOC19</a> <a href="https://t.co/ySpEDjuWkT">pic.twitter.com/ySpEDjuWkT</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) 21 January 2019
Sobhy, a finalist herself in the 2016 edition of this tournament, had beaten El Tayeb in October’s U.S. Open, and she was immaculate in the opening game as she blasted the ball around the court.
El Tayeb had no answer to Sobhy’s dominance as the American went a game ahead, but she was unable to convert in the second as El Tayeb dug in and managed to draw level.
Backed on by her home crowd, the third game was a Sobhy masterclass as she stormed to an 11-1 victory, with El Tayeb cutting a frustrated figure as she trudged off court.
Another great shot from the United States No.1!
itssobhytime</a> has the crowd hyped up in New York!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOC19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TOC19</a> <a href="https://t.co/EV1TZku9e9">pic.twitter.com/EV1TZku9e9</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) 21 January 2019
Sobhy’s aggressive hitting continued into the fourth as she took three of the first four points on offer, but her shots then started hitting the tin as El Tayeb fought back, taking 10 of the next 12 points to bring the match to all square once more.
The Egyptian’s body language changed completely in the fifth as she scampered round court and caught Sobhy out with some impressive angles, closing out the win by an 11-7 scoreline to move through to the quarter-finals.
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 6-11, 12-10, 1-11, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
Hany upsets Massaro to reach the quarters
Salma Hany reached her first PSA Platinum quarter final with this victory
The first big shock of the women’s draw saw Salma Hany knock out the World No.7 Laura Massaro in straight games, the first time she has failed to reach the last eight since 2005.
The 35-year-old Englishwoman did not make the best of starts, as Many came out flying at the beginning of the first game.
The World No.16 carried on that form to take the first quite comfortably, winning it 11-4.
Although the second game was much tighter than the first, it was still the young Egyptian that came out on top, doubling her lead in the match.
The pair level at 5-5 in the third, but Hany took the advantage by winning the next three points to take control of the game.
The Egyptian went on to take the third, and the match, to reach her first quarter final in a PSA Platinum event.
“I have been working towards this for so much time now,” Hany admitted.
“After Hong Kong, when I wasn’t happy with my performance, I had a good time training with my coach, and my physical coach in London.
“When I saw the draw, I saw that if I was going to play Laura, the worst time to play her is after a bad loss so I know she wanted to come to this tournament and do well.
“I just relaxed and this is my first ever quarter final in a World Series event. Every time I step on this court, especially in this amazing venue, I get a bit nervous.
“Today, before the match, when I talked to my squash coach, he told me about the plan and then at the end, he told me ‘you know what, forget everything and just dance on court’.
“When I talked to my physical coach, he told me that the most important thing is to enjoy my game and every time I was getting nervous, and I was thinking that I was getting closer to the quarter finals, I was just thinking about relaxing and to enjoy it like I was dancing.”
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) SCORE: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (30m)
Mo and Diego put on a show in New York
Mohamed ElShorbagy beat Diego Elias in a five-game thriller
Unsurprisingly, this was a blockbuster of a match. It was Mohamed ElShorbagy who got the better of Diego Elias in five games and 73 minutes at Grand Central Terminal.
The South American took the bull by the horns at the start of the first game, racing out to a 6-3 lead.
ElShorbagy fought back, though, to take a 9-8 lead, before Elias won the final three points of the game to take the early lead.
The second game saw the Peruvian Puma fly out of the blocks once again, racing out to a 6-0 lead.
However, the Egyptian showed why he is the World No.1, bouncing back to win 11 of the next 13 points and take the second game 11-8 to tie the match.
The third game stayed much tighter throughout, before the 22-year-old Elias took three points on the bounce to lead 10-7.
ElShorbagy tried to fight back, but an enthralling final point went the way of the World No.11, who took a 2-1 lead in the match.
The match was always destined for a fifth game, and the World No.1 obliged. The lightning pace of the fourth helped the Egyptian, who won the game on his third game ball to make it 2-2 in the match.
The fifth game was another enthralling encounter, but it was the World No.1 who took the match in the end, winning the fifth 11-5 to advance to the semi finals.
“This kid is going to beat us all one day, you know,” ElShorbagy spoke of Elias.
“We have played four times now, and all four have gone to five games. He beat me the last time, he just showed what a great player he is and there is no doubt he is a future No.1 of the game.
“He is going to be the ambassador for our sport one day. He is a great guy, a great player and I am just going to try and keep him away from that World No.1 spot for as long as I can but I am not sure how long I can do that for.
“Today the match was very similar to Qatar. He was 2-1 up and I came back to 2-2. In Qatar, he was the one who had that lead at the beginning of the fifth and then pulled through after.
“This time it was the opposite. I had the lead in the fifth game and I feel I learnt a thing or two from the last time I played him, but he is young and hungry and fast and he plays everything.
“He is a very good player, and believe me, I don’t know how I won today. When I was 2-1 down, I thought I was out already but I thought that if he was going to win, I am going to make him push a bit harder and luckily it went my way at the end.
“Everyone plays differently. Our match was fair and clean, and that is the way we want our sport to be played. I am glad that we played with the intensity, how close every game was. I think we both kept the match fair, but I feel like we both played a hard match in the right spirits.
“I am just glad I have a rest day tomorrow. I think I need it. I need to recover tomorrow and then come back and hopefully I will carry on through to the final.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (73m)
Sherbini overpowers Blatchford Clyne to win in three
Nour El Sherbini beat Olivia Blatchford Clyne to reach the quarter finals
Nour El Sherbini had too much for Olivia Blatchford Clyne on the glass court at Grand Central Terminal to advance to the last eight.
The American started strongly in the first game, but Sherbini soon found her rhythm, and was able to overpower the American.
The 23-year-old took the first game 11-5, and would go on to record the same scoreline in the second game.
Blatchford Clyne tried to get something going in the third game, but a masterclass from the World No.2 was too much for the American, who lost out in 23 minutes.
“I think I was playing well from the start of the match and I think I am feeling better today and more comfortable on the court,” Sherbini said.
“I am just trying to play good squash and try to attack more, try to be sharp as much as I can and I think it is a good match for me and I am really looking forward to the next one.”
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (23m)
Gawad knocks out the reigning Champ
Karim Abdel Gawad knocked out defending Champion Simon Rösner
Karim Abdel Gawad continued his great form into this match, beating defending champion Simon Rösner in the quarter finals.
The Egyptian, who won the Pakistan Open and the Black Ball to round out 2018, dominated from start of finish.
Gawad is not know for his quick starts, while Rösner is. However, it was the Egyptian who got off to the flyer in this one.
He took the first game 11-4, with the World No.3 not having many opportunities against the Egyptian.
Rösner came out fighting at the start of the second, though, as he looked to continue his defence of the title he won 12 months prior.
However, it was the World No.5 that took the second game to double his lead in the match.
Gawad went on to seal victory after winning the third game 11-5, knocking the defending champion out of the tournament.
“It means the world to me, of course. Simon beat me the last two times last season, and he is now the World No.3,” Gawad said after his victory.
“He has improved a lot, and he was always top 10 but now he is even much better than he used to be. He is the defending champion here so it was a very tough match, of course.
“I had to be very strong mentally in order to win against someone like Simon, especially a 3-0 win. I had to focus 100% today.
“He is very dangerous in the middle of the court. He is a very good attacker and he attacks from the middle of the court very well.
“I had to make sure to put him in my back a little bit more and it seemed to work pretty well.”
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (39m)
Waters beats Evans in gruelling encounter
Alison Waters beat Tesni Evans in a five-game thriller to round out day six
The last match of day six was a gruelling 71 minute encounter, which saw Alison Waters overcome Tesni Evans at Grand Central.
The first game was tight throughout, with nothing to separate the two Brits for the most part.
However, it was Waters that was able to win the final three points to take the first game, and the early lead in the final game of day six.
The second game was another tight one, but it went the way of the Welshwoman. Evans won the final three points to tie the match at one game apiece.
Once again, the third game was one that could barely separate the pair. However, it would be Evans that would take the third to take her first lead in the match.
Waters then bounced back to come from behind and level the game in the fourth, with a comfortable 11-6 victory.
The fifth looked like it could have gone either way, but as Evans started to cramp up, Waters was able to take charge and win it 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5.
The Englishwoman will face Nour El Tayeb in the quarter finals tomorrow evening.
“Yeah it was a tough one. It was point for point and it felt like that really,” Waters said.
It felt like I was trying to get away and I couldn’t, and then Tesni was trying to get away and she couldn’t. It was just one of those matches where it felt like a game of chess really.
“I felt strong in the fifth. I probably didn’t look like it at times but I think Tesni was struggling more than I was. Really delighted, and thanks everyone for staying because it is a late one, I know.
“I felt like I was moving well but I felt like I rushed it a bit at times. Obviously, it was a good chance for both of us to get to the quarters.
“There was extra pressure on it so I wanted to come out and put on a big show. I felt strong at the end and I am delighted to be in the quarters.”
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 (71m)