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Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) and Nour El Tayeb (right) with the Windy City Open trophies

The Story Of the 2018 Windy City Open

After a year off for the 2018-19 PSA World Championships, the 2020 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family returns to the PSA World Tour calendar.

The tournament starts on Thursday, February 27, and to get you in the mood for some high quality squash, we are taking a look back 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.

Round One
The first round of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company threw up some big shocks, including a former World Champion and World No.1 being knocked out by a 17-year-old.

The glass court action in the first round saw Nouran Gohar and Salma Hany go head-to-head in an all-Egyptian clash. The No.5 seed was able to take the victory to go through to the second round in Chicago.

World No.2 Raneem El Welily, England No.1 Laura Massaro and US No.1 Amanda Sobhy all took victories in their first round clashes to advance to the last 16.

Elsewhere in the first round, eight-time World Champion Nicol David suffered a shock defeat to 17-year-old Egyptian starlet Hania El Hammamy, while England’s Alison Waters needed five games to fight her way past Hong Kong’s Joey Chan.

Women’s Results
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)
[14] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 3-0: 13-11, 11-2, 11-8 (32m)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [Q] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 2-0 rtd (10m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
[11] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (25m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (25m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Daniell Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-1, 11-2, 11-3 (23m)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (35m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (26m)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (29m)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [6] Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (54m)
[10] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-2: 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4 (49m)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (35m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)

World No.3 Ali Farag had to come through a gruelling first round encounter against Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller, with the first game having 34 points in it!

Marwan ElShorbagy had to battle to get past Leo Au, while Nick Matthew and Simon Rösner also made it through from the glass court action on the opening day.

Elsewhere, Mathieu Castagnet got the better of Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in a great five-game battle, while No.3 seed Karim Abdel Gawad got the better of Borja Golan.

Men’s Results
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 (51m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-3, 12-10 (54m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (77m)
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (35m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [WC] Chris Hanson (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-2: 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-1 (72m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 (63m)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-2, 12-14, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Max Lee (HKG) bt [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-6 (70m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 13-15, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (69m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

Round Two
The shocks continued in the second round, as five players from outside the respective top eight seeds made it into the quarter finals in Chicago.

There was success for the home favourite Amanda Sobhy, as she took down the No.5 seed Nouran Gohar, while New Zealand’s Joelle King took down English No.1 Laura Massaro to advance.

There were no dramas for the top three seeds, with Nour El Sherbini, Raneem El Welily and Camille Serme all winning their respective matches in straight games.

Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters both advanced to the last eight, with World No.3 Nour El Tayeb needing five games to get the better of Welshwoman Tesni Evans.

Women’s Results
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [14] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [13] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-4 (65m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [11] Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (36m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Mariam Metwally (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (29m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) bt [4] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 (70m)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (39m)
[10] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-2: 12-10, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 (62m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)

There was one big shock in the men’s draw, as unseeded Australian Cameron Pilley knocked former World Champion Nick Matthew out of the tournament.

Miguel Rodriguez made it two unseeded players in the quarter-finals in Chicago, as he got the better of qualifier Max Lee.

The top four seeds, in Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy, Karim Abdel Gawad and Ali Farag, all made it safely through to the last eight at the University Club.

Men’s Results
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (67m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (55m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (42m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 11-7, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 (78m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)

The shocks continued in the quarter-finals, as two of the top three seeds in the women’s draw were knocked out, while the men’s No.3 seed also fell at the last eight stage.

Egypt’s No.7 seed Nour El Tayeb needed a second consecutive five-game performances to overcome the World No.1 Nour El Sherbini to make it through to the semi finals.

She went two games down after losing tie-breaks in the opening stanzas, but fought back to take the victory in 77 minutes, setting up a clash with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

The other semi-final would be contested between New Zealand’s Joelle King and Egypt’s Raneem El Welily, as the pair got the better of their respective opponents in the last eight.

Women’s Results
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (77m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [3] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (52m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) bt [12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6 (44m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [10] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)

It would be an all-Egyptian line-up in the men’s semi-finals draw, but Tarek Momen broke the top four seeds apart, as he got the better of No.3 seed Karim Abdel Gawad.

‘The Viper’ overcame Gawad in straight, wrestling the momentum away from the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ thanks to winning the first game 16-14.

He would face World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semis, while Ali Farag would meet the younger of the two siblings, Marwan ElShorbagy, in the other clash in the last four.

Men’s Results
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-1, 15-13 (46m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 16-14, 11-8, 11-3 (53m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-7, 14-12, 11-4 (39m)

The respective semi-finals were very contrasting in Chicago, as both men’s matches were finished in straight games, while the women’s semis both went the distance with deciding games.

No.9 seed Joelle King took the surprise victory in the semi-finals, as she got the better of Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in a five-game affair.

The Kiwi took a 2-1 lead, before being taken into a deciding game by the World No.2. However, King took it 12-10 to advance to her first ever World Series final.

She would face Nour El Tayeb in the final, after the World No.3 won a third straight five-game clash, this time downing Sarah-Jane Perry to win in 73 minutes.

Women’s Results
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-2: 11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 14-16, 11-7 (73m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) bt [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (60m)

The final would be a battle of the brothers, as both Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy won their respective last four matches at the University Club.

Marwan took the surprise victory in the men’s draw, as he got the better of the tournament’s No.2 seed, Ali Farag, in straight games.

Older brother Mohamed followed him into the final, as he dispatched Tarek Momen to win in 45 minutes, the shortest of the four matches on semi-finals day.

Men’s Results
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (48m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)

Just like on semi-finals night, the finals were also very contrasting. One match was over inside 40 minutes, while the other went to five games and lasted double the amount of time.

It would be Nour El Tayeb who came away with the victory at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, thanks to another incredible performance.

In her fourth consecutive five-game affair, the Egyptian got the better of New Zealand No.1 Joelle King, despite having gone 2-1 down on the glass court.

However, El Tayeb fought back to win the final two games, including saving two championship balls in the fifth, to win her second World Series title.

Women’s Result
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [9] Joelle King (NZL) 3-2: 11-8, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)

In the ‘Shorbagy Showdown’, it would be the older, and more experienced, Mohamed that took the win in just 39 minutes, as he controlled the match from start to finish.

The World No.1 won in straight games to claim the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company title.

Men’s Result
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)

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