Egypt’s Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini have been named the men’s and women’s PSA Players of the Month, respectively, for March.
Farag enjoyed his best month to date on the PSA World Tour after he took his place at the top of the men’s World Rankings, dethroning compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy at the start of the month, before going on to claim his first World Championship crown a day later.
World No.1 Farag faced compatriot Tarek Momen in the final of the prestigious tournament – which had a $1 million prize purse for the first time in the sport’s history – and went on to claim an 11-5, 11-13, 13-11, 11-3 victory in 79 minutes inside Chicago’s Union Station.
Both of the men’s finalists were appearing in the World Championships title decider for the first time, with Momen defeating both of the 2017 finalist – brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy – en route. Farag, meanwhile, had toppled Germany’s then-World No.5 Simon Rösner in the semi-finals to advance.
Farag took the lead, before Momen battled back to level the scores. A crucial third game went in the way of Farag on the tie-break, before the World No.1 closed out the victory to lift the biggest title in squash.
The Egyptian went on to finish the month with a quarter-final finish at the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich, Switzerland, where he lost out to compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar.
Meanwhile, El Sherbini claimed the women’s World Championship title, overcoming compatriot Nour El Tayeb in the final by an 11-6, 11-5, 10-1, 15-13 scoreline in just under an hour.
The win meant that 23-year-old El Sherbini made it a hat-trick of World Championship crowns and joined a list of iconic female squash players that includes Malaysia’s Nicol David, New Zealand’s Susan Devoy and Australian duo Sarah Fitz-Gerald and Michelle Martin who have lifted three or more World Championship titles.
The Egyptian was appearing in her fourth successive World Championship final – and fifth overall – as she dominated in the opening stages against El Tayeb, until the World No.3 battled back in the third.
However, El Sherbini edged a tense tie-break in the fourth to finally end El Tayeb’s resistance and lift the prestigious title.
She then went onto reach the final of the Black Ball Squash Open held in Cairo, Egypt, where she went down in a five-game thriller to compatriot and World No.1 Raneem El Welily.