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Nour El Sherbini

World Tour Finals - Day Three: As It Happens

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals action continues today with round three action beginning at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo, Egypt.

Players competing at the World Tour Finals will compete in group stages, which are held under a best-of-three games format, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout semi-finals and beyond.

Points are on offer for all results in group matches, apart from a 2-0 loss. If a player was to lose 2-1, they get one point. If a player was to win their match 2-1, they would receive three points, and if they win in straight games 2-0, they get the full four points.

As it stands both World No.1 Raneem El Welily and World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy have both already qualified for the semi-finals.

Up first at 19:00 local time is an all-Egyptian battle between World No.2 Nour El Sherbini and World No.5 Nour El Tayeb, if the latter wins then she will book her place in the semi-finals with El Sherbini needing to win to keep her hopes of qualifying alive.

The first men’s match of the day sees World No.1 Ali Farag face former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.

Join us here for reports and reaction, or watch LIVE on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) or the PSA World Tour Facebook page (excluding Europe & Japan).

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)

El Sherbini Keeps Semi-Final Hopes Alive

Egypt’s reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini kept her hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Finals alive after she defeated compatriot Nour El Tayeb 2-0 in Cairo.

El Sherbini defeated El Tayeb at the same stage at this event last season and the World No.2 ensured she kept her title defence hopes alive, after losing her round one match to England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, as she put El Tayeb to the sword in straight-games.

The World No.5 started strongly to open up a lead, before El Sherbini soon reigned her in to take the first game as she looked a lot sharper on court than she did in round one.

The 23-year-old continued to dominate in the hot conditions as she punished a slightly sluggish looking El Tayeb to win 11-5, 11-7 in 25 minutes.

El Sherbini now has four points in Group B and moves into third place.

“I was really disappointed after the first match,” said El Sherbini following her win.

“I had a lot of support from my team, my parents and all of my family. I tried to change all of the negatives into positives, I just wanted to enjoy and play today and try to win. I wasn’t thinking about anything just to play and enjoy.

“My dad wasn’t here for my first match, but he was here today so maybe that’s why my nicks were working.

“On the first two days it was very bouncy and hot, but today it is a bit windy. Both conditions you have to deal with the court and play the match, but the court is good for me and it’s good to have a venue like this to play in.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7 (25m)

Gawad Causes Upset Against Farag

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad strengthened his position at the top of Group A as he overcame current World No.1 Ali Farag in straight games to put him on maximum points so far at the tournament in Cairo.

The two players have met five times this season, with Gawad claiming just one of those victories. However, the former World Champion ensured he claimed another scalp before the season was out as he put in a relaxed performance to keep his strong run going in Cairo.

Gawad overcame New Zealand’s Paul Coll by a 2-0 scoreline yesterday, but it was Farag who took the lead today as he edged ahead 9-6 before Gawad drew level. Two uncharacteristic errors from the racket of Farag then gave his compatriot a 1-0 lead.

World No.4 Gawad kept the momentum in his favour to take the lead in the second, before Farag fought back, however, it was not enough to stop Gawad from taking the match 2-0.

“Ali is my brother and we have always played clean matches since we were eight-years-old,” said the 27-year-old.

“They’re always tough matches as well. Things happen on court and it is either me or him, there’s nothing happening on purpose. I think the match was pretty clean there was a few interferences.

“Playing Paul [Coll] yesterday and Ali today are two of the toughest players on tour. They are both very fit, Ali is No.1 in the world so he is playing amazing squash, he has been beating me the whole season. This is only the second time for me to beat him this season, he did it like eight or nine time, so I had to grab one by the end of the season at least.

“You have to be clever, you can’t play their game because they can beat anyone in their game so you have to be clever. You have to be smart with the attacking because with the fit players if you put anything short in the middle they will get it very easily and put you under pressure. You also have to be sharp with your basic game and that’s what I tried to do today.”

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-8 (39m)

Gohar Claims First Win of World Tour Finals

Egypt’s British Open champion Nouran Gohar claimed her first win at this season’s PSA World Tour Finals after she defeated England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry by an 11-8, 11-9 margin in 34 minutes.

Perry claimed a huge win in round one when she defeated defending champion Nour El Sherbini in straight-games, however, it was not to be the Englishwoman’s day as she came up against an in form Gohar who was in strong form.

The Egyptian was coming into the match off the back of defeat yesterday to compatriot Nour El Tayeb and Gohar ensured she got back to winning ways as she overcame a resilient Perry in a tough encounter at the Mall of Arabia.

“Yesterday was a really tough match against Nour [El Tayeb],” said the 21-year-old afterwards.

“Coming back on the court the day after you’ve lost doesn’t happen very often and so you have to regroup fast and restart the tournament. To be honest, I am a very bad loser, so it’s really tough to do this task. I was really happy with the way I played, probably I was relaxed and had nothing to lose.

“We haven’t played since 2017 in Chicago, she came back superbly and has a really good spirit. I love the way she plays and it was a tough match.

“Tomorrow will make a big difference. If there is someone that is really difficult to play against then it is Nour [El Sherbini], she has everything, she’s the complete player. She has so much experience, she is a three-time World Champion, but again I have nothing to lose and I’ll be the underdog and we’ll see what happens.”

[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (34m)

Abouelghar Sweeps Coll Aside

Egypt’s World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar was in imperious form to sweep aside New Zealand’s Paul Coll by a 2-0 margin to claim his first victory of the PSA World Tour Finals.

The two players have only faced each other three times on the PSA Tour previously, with Abouelghar taking two of those victories. However, Coll did win last time out in the semi-final of the Canada Cup earlier this season.

The Kiwi was unable to challenge the relentless attack of Abouelghar this time around however as the 25-year-old Egyptian put in a dominant display with his artillery of shots coming to the forefront to comfortably despatch Coll by an 11-3, 11-6 scoreline in 27 minutes.

Abouelghar now has four points in Group A and moves into third place in the standings and will face former World No.1 Gawad tomorrow.

“I can’t stress enough how good of an athlete Paul is,” said Abouelghar afterwards.

“If you give him a slight chance then he will get into it and win. I had to stay focused and composed throughout the whole match. I’m happy I did it and I just didn’t want to go back without the win today.

“I’m also known for hitting too many errors, so if that’s the case then best of three doesn’t suit me, but if things are going my way then best of three suits my game, especially against Paul.

“Before I came here, I thought that I would just leave the calculations to one side and focus on my squash. You don’t play the World Tour Finals every day, so I just wanted to enjoy myself and give the people a good match.

“It’s unbelievable playing in front of my home crowd.”

[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [5] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-3, 11-6 (27m)

El Welily Claims Clean Sweep of Wins

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily confirmed her place at the top of Group A as she claimed a clean sweep of victories in the group stages after overcoming New Zealand’s Joelle King in round three.

El Welily already confirmed her place in the semi-finals yesterday after she defeated France’s Camille Serme and then Wales’ Tesni Evans defeated King, which meant the Kiwi could not qualify, and the Egyptian made sure she claimed top spot as hers with a strong showing on home turf.

The World No.1 showed exactly why she is the favourite for the title as she started strongly to open up a 1-0 lead against the Kiwi.

El Welily then built up a strong lead in the second before King fought back, however, it proved to be too little to late as the Egyptian was able to close out in style much to the delight of the home crowd in Cairo.

“Coming into tonight I wanted to play well to keep the momentum going,” said 30-year-old El Welily.

“I have an off day tomorrow, so playing a good match today is obviously good for the body and the mind. I was keen on performing well and I hope I did. I’m looking forward to the semi-finals.

“I’ve considered Wadi Degla my home for almost six years now. They’ve taken me in, taken good care of me and helped me to grow. They have provided the environment I needed to help me become World No.1, obviously the foundations are doing really well and you can see that all of the kids are wearing Wadi Degla t-shirts. The club has been great and I’m very proud to be a part of a great club.

“It’s definitely a special tournament, the PSA calls it ‘the tournament to end all tournaments’, so I’m hoping to end the season well it’s definitely special having it in Egypt and in front of our home crowd.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7 (19m)

ElShorbagy Claims Hattrick of Wins

Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy completed a hattrick of wins in the group stages of the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals after he defeated Germany’s Simon Rösner in round three.

The victory sees ElShorbagy claim top spot in Group B, while Rösner now cannot qualify for the semi-finals with it coming down to tomorrow’s match against Peru’s Diego Elias and Egypt’s Tarek Momen to see who takes the final place.

ElShorbagy ensured he was going into the last four stage in strong momentum as he claimed a tight first game, before going onto dominate in the second at the all-glass show-court at the Mall of Arabia.

“It’s good to keep the momentum going,” said 28-year-old ElShorbagy.

“Each player had a rest day throughout the event and if I had to choose before the event then I definitely would have chosen the one after the group stages.

“Having the rest day let me know that I was going to go full power today and I can regroup for the semis now.

“There is always room for improvement, even if I think I have been getting better every day. I feel like each player didn’t play their best on the first day because we are all trying to get used to the conditions. It is different conditions, very hot and humid and it completely changes the dynamic and from the second day we have all stepped up a level. I think we’ve all played better and it has set the stage for some great semi-finals.

“The other group is pretty confusing, you have got Gawad who has won two matches but still isn’t through with Abouelghar winning 2-0 today and it has made the whole group confusing, but I’m just going to enjoy watching them on my rest day tomorrow.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-9, 11-4 (25m)

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