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Nouran Gohar at the U.S. Open

2019/20 RoundUp: Comebacks of the Season – Part Two

We’re continuing our look back at the most impressive comebacks of the 2019/20 PSA World Tour season, with players snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and also some spectacular comebacks to shock the top players in the world.

We have delved into some of the biggest comebacks that there have been during the season, and here are our top five from the season.

You can read part one here.

5. Emily Whitlock v Amanda Sobhy – Tournament of Champions Round Two

She had already made it into the top ten for ‘Shocks of the Season’, but it’s only right to mention her in the list of comebacks as well after Emily Whitlock got the better of U.S. No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the second round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.

Sobhy was playing on home soil, hailing from Brooklyn, just an hour or so away, and she took a comfortable two game lead, conceding just six points. However, Whitlock, who was World No.27 at the time, was able to fight back.

Whitlock had lost their only previous meeting, which came at the 2019 El Gouna International Squash Open, but she battled back from the brink, and was able to take the victory in five games, shocking the home crowd.

4. Joel Makin (WAL) v Gregoire Marche (FRA) – Open de France Nantes Semi-Final

It was always going to be a tough ask for Welshman Joel Makin to take out three-time Nantes champion Gregoire Marche in front of his home crowd and this suffered a further setback as he found himself two games down to the home favourite.

Marche got himself into a good rhythm and managed to take control of the match from the outset to put himself on the verge of victory. However, resilient Makin roared back to life to draw back level and then sealed a place in the final after 95 minutes of brutal squash.

3. Ali Farag (EGY) v Paul Coll (NZL) – Windy City Open Final

Is there ever not a good match between Ali Farag and Paul Coll these days?

The Kiwi has edged closer and closer to getting a victory over Farag, with the Egyptian winning the last 11 consecutive matches. And it looked as though it was finally going to happen for Coll, after enjoying his best run at a tournament beating World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy for the first time, before taking out former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad en route to his first Platinum final.

Farag started the match well, but it was Coll who saved five game balls to come from 10-7 down and take the first game 14-12. The World No.5 then doubled his advantage after letting Farag fight back from 7-3 down.

However, the Egyptian showed just why he has won the top honours in the sport as he played brave squash to overturn a two-game deficit and lift the Windy City Open trophy for the first time in his career, following on in the footsteps of his wife Nour El Tayeb who won the 2018 edition.

2. Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Camille Serme (FRA) – PSA Women’s World Championship Quarter Final

One of the biggest shocks and greatest comebacks of the season came in front of the Pyramids of Giza, as Hania El Hammamy got the better of then-World No.4 Camille Serme to secure a place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championship for the first time in her career.

The pair had faced off four times previously, once in each of the last four seasons, with El Hammamy having only taken a single game from the Frenchwoman, losing 3-0 in the other three clashes.

Serme took the first two games with relative ease, but El Hammamy fought her way back into the match, and the home crowd buoyed her on to a wonderful victory, and she would only be beaten in the semis by the eventual champion, Nour El Sherbini.

1. Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Nour El Tayeb (EGY) – U.S. Open Final

Greatest comeback of the season? You would struggle to find better.

Egypt’s Nouran Gohar looked down and out in the final of the U.S. Open in Philadelphia as compatriot Nour El Tayeb played with complete dominance and swagger to ease into a two-game lead.

However, something clicked for Gohar in the third and thus one of the most impressive comebacks began as the two Egyptians put on a brilliant display of squash to impress the full house of spectators inside Drexel University.

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