The 2019/20 PSA World Tour has begun again this week at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open following the summer break.
Today sees the remaining players in both the men's and women's draws battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament in Shanghai.
The afternoon session at the SECA Academy sees Egypt's World Junior champion Hania El Hammamy and New Zealand's World No.6 Joelle King begin the days play as they battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.
They are followed on court by India's World No.10 Saurav Ghosal and Egyptian talent Mazen Hesham.
The other two matches at the side court venue sees all-Egyptian battles between World No.5 Nour El Tayeb and unseeded Nadine Shahin, followed by Marwan ElShorbagy against Omar Mosaad.
Glass court action takes place this evening when World No.1s Raneem El Welily and Ali Farag face Salma Hany and Tom Richards, respectively. 2019 British Open champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nouran Gohar, meanwhile, will take on unseeded Hong Kong's Leo Au and Yathreb Adel after they pulled off big wins against higher seeded opposition yesterday.
Schedule – All times local (GMT+8)
15:00 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v  Joelle King (NZL)
16:00 Mazen Hesham (EGY) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
17:00  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
18:00  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
18:30  Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
19:15 Leo Au (HKG) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
20:30 Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
21:15  Ali Farag (EGY) v  Tom Richards (ENG)
El Hammamy Downs King
Hania El Hammamy (right) v Joelle King (left)
Egypt’s World Junior champion Hania El Hammamy recorded a big upset at the China Squash Open to take out New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King in straight games and reach her first PSA World Tour Gold tournament semi-final.
The World No.15 has been playing well in Shanghai this week at the SECA Academy and showed no signs of losing her momentum as she displayed her formidable retrieval skills to put King to the sword by an 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 margin.
The young Egyptian will face either World No.1 Raneem El Welily or World No.14 Salma Hany for a place in the final.
“I’m out of words,” said 19-year-old El Hammamy afterwards.
“I’m really happy with my performance today. I played really well and it was a tough match. I knew it was going to be and it’s a very physical game between me and Joelle, so I’m glad to get through it.
“The more I do big wins, the more I gain confidence and I go the next match hoping I can win. It feels outrageous [to be in my first Gold semi-final], I’m really happy and I just want to win the semi-final as well. I’m looking forward to possibly playing the final – I don’t see why I can’t do it.
“It’s a great experience, I have only seen the photos of the glass court so far. It’s an unbelievable venue and I’m looking forward to the chance to play there.”
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (50m)
Ghosal Reaches Semi-Finals
Saurav Ghosal (right) v Mazen Hesham (left)
India’s World No.10 Saurav Ghosal booked his place into the semi-finals in Shanghai after a hard fought 3-1 victory over Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.
The Indian was forced to call upon all of his experience against the talented Egyptian shot maker as he took the first game on the tie-break, before whittling away Hesham’s lead in the second to put himself in prime position with a 2-0 lead.
Hesham was far from finished though as he showed off all of the shots in his artillery to take the third on the tie-break, much to the delight of the crowd gathered, who embraced every shot the Egyptian was pulling off.
Ghosal was able to strike back, however, to put the match to bed in four and advance to his second successive semi-finals at the tournament.
“He’s so skilful and so talented,” said Ghosal following his win.
“He can be so random at times so it makes it difficult to get into any kind of rhythm when you play against him and it makes it hard to find the groove of your shots and structure your game.
“I think I did most things correctly and executed them correctly, there were patches were I made a few errors and let him back into the game a little bit. Credit to him, he got a lot of balls back which isn’t necessarily his forte and coupled with the fact that he can finish is a lethal combination. He is playing well, which is great to see and brilliant for the PSA World Tour to have a player like him.
“For me, it’s good to win, it would have been nice to win 3-0 but a win’s a win and hopefully I will keep getting better and keep going at the event.”
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7 (67m)
El Tayeb Makes Light Work of Shahin
Nour El Tayeb (left) v Nadine Shahin (right)
Egypt’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb powered her way into the semi-finals of the China Squash Open after she comfortably swept past compatriot Nadine Shahin in just 15 minutes.
The 2017 U.S. Open winner was in full force as she yet again had a quickfire match, after taking out former World No.1 Rachael Grinham in 19 minutes yesterday, to advance in straight games.
“I think I played well,” said El Tayeb. “Nadine is such a tough opponent, she just beat Alison Waters yesterday and I knew it would be hard, so I had to be focused from the beginning and I think I found my marks pretty well.
“She has beaten Alison more than once, so I’m aware of Nadine’s threats and we train together a lot back home so I know how to play her, obviously she does too but I think I played well today.
“We’ve all trained together a million times before, so it’s always hard to play fellow Egyptians. But it’s a PSA World Tour Gold, so I don’t care whether I play an Egyptian or someone from any country. I want to win and hopefully I can keep going.”
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (15m)
Marwan ElShorbagy Reaches Last Four
Marwan ElShorbagy in action against Omar Mosaad
Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy booked his place in the semi-finals of the China Squash Open courtesy of a 3-0 win over compatriot and former World No.3 Omar Mosaad.
The younger ElShorbagy brother set up his victory with an 11-5 win in the first, before Mosaad came back strongly to make life difficult for the No.4 seed at the tournament. However, it was ElShorbagy was able to close out the victory taking the next two games on the tie-break to win 11-5, 13-11, 15-13 in 55 minutes.
“I’m very pleased with yesterday’s and today’s win,” said the Bristol-based Egyptian.
“Yesterday was a tough match against Iker [Parajes Bernabeu], who has been playing very well and beating him on a bouncy court is a good result I think. Today, playing Mosaad, he played very well today and we both played well – it was tough, but I’m glad I won that second and third game because it could have gone either way. I’m happy with my squash so far this week and hopefully tomorrow will be a bit different moving to the glass court and playing at that incredible venue.
“There is no introduction about my brother and if he wins today, it won’t be the first time we have played. We are used to playing against each other now, I’ve entered this tournament to play those kind of matches, I want to play those kind of matches against the best of the world.
“I’ve had a good summer, I’ve trained hard and I feel really ready for the new season. I’m very hungry to be back to my best again. Recovery is important now and then hopefully tomorrow will be another good day.”
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 15-13 (55m)