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The 2019-20 CIB PSA Women's World Championship taking place at the Great Pyramid of Giza

Year in Review: A Look back at 2019 - Part Two

2019 has been another great year for squash, with two new World Champions crowned, a new men’s World No.1, first-time tournaments and plenty more action around the world.

The 2018-2019 World Championships featured the highest ever prize pot in squash, with the first ever million dollar prize fund available for the tournament. The 2019-2020 World Championships also took place this year, with the event split into two, held at the Pyramids and in Qatar.

Elsewhere, there were five PSA Platinum tournaments held, plus the World Tour Finals in Cairo, which saw the top eight men and women take part of the season-ending crown.

Check out part one of our look back at 2019 here.

In part two, we’re looking at the second half of 2019 which saw the 2019-20 PSA World Tour season get under way in the Far East, with the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open, and it was more of the same when it came to the men’s draw, as Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy faced off for the first title of the new campaign.

It would be ‘The Beast’ that would take the victory, in a final that lasted exactly an hour. The women’s final was even longer, with World No.3 Nour El Tayeb outlasting World No.1 Raneem El Welily to win her first major trophy in over a year.

The week after, the Tour moved to Europe for the Open de France – Nantes 2019 presented by Tailor Capital. The event took place in front of the spectacular Chateau des ducs de Bretagne.

There was home glory in the women’s final, as World No.4 Camille Serme got the better of US No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the final, to the delight of the raucous home crowd. The men’s final saw ‘Superman’ Paul Coll take the win, his second in 2019 after being victorious at the Canary Wharf Classic.

The end of September saw the second consecutive best-of-three tournament on the PSA World Tour, with the Oracle NetSuite Open taking place at Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco.

The women’s final was a repeat of the China Open just two weeks prior, but this time it was El Welily who got the better of her fellow Egyptian, defeating El Tayeb in just 23 minutes, with the World No.3 seeming to re-aggravate an old shoulder injury halfway through the match.

Meanwhile, Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his great form to start the season, as he downed Tarek Momen in a 70-minute, five-game battle, as he hunted down Ali Farag to reclaim the World No.1 spot.

The 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships saw the top two in the men’s rankings go head-to-head in the final, with World No.1 Ali Farag taking the crown in comfortable fashion, beating ElShorbagy in straight games.

After finishing runner-up at the El Gouna International and a victory at the British Open, Nouran Gohar continued her run back towards the top of the women’s World Rankings, with a victory in Philadelphia, downing Nour El Tayeb in the final in a clash that saw her come back from two games down.

Following the U.S. Open, the PSA World Tour descended on the Pyramids of Giza, for the CIB PSA Women’s World Championship 2019-2020 and the PSA Egyptian Open, held in tandem with each other.

Despite having not made an appearance prior to the tournament in 2019-2020, Nour El Sherbini made it all the way through to the final without dropping a game on her return from injury. She then defeated Raneem El Welily to take her fourth World Championship title, the perfect present for the ‘Warrior Princess’ on her 24th birthday.

The World No.1 made his way through to the Egyptian Open final with relative ease, but it would be Karim Abdel Gawad that took the title, defeating Farag in straight games to win at the Pyramids for a second time, after winning the Al-Ahram International in 2016.

Following the women’s World Championships in Egypt were the men’s World Championships in Qatar. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons reigning World Champion, and World No.1 Ali Farag would not make the trip to defend his crown.

That meant the No.1 seed would be Mohamed ElShorbagy, but he was defeated by his younger brother Marwan in a high-quality quarter-final. The final was contested by two men looking for their first World Championship crowns, in Tarek Momen and Paul Coll, in a repeat of the Canary Wharf Classic final eight months previous.

This time, it would be Momen that took the victory, becoming the fourth straight Egyptian to lift the title, after Farag, ElShorbagy and Gawad before him. He also became the 18th name on the men’s World Championship trophy with his win over Coll.

The Channel VAS Championships at St. George’s Hill followed next, and it would be Karim Abdel Gawad who would go on to take the title, as he finished off November in exactly the same form as he started it.

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’, who had won the Egyptian Open just three weeks prior to the final, got the better of World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in a 90-minute, five-game epic to make his move back into the top three in the World Rankings, behind only ‘The Beast’ and World No.1 Farag.

With the postponement of the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Open, due to unrest in the area, there were no PSA World Tour events in December, with the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship taking centre stage in Washington, D.C.

Egypt overcame England in the final to win their fifth Men’s World Teams title, while the tournament was also notable for the return of former World No.1 and World Champion Gregory Gaultier, who is back in action after 14 months on the sidelines due to injury.

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