The final tournament of a challenging 2020 saw the CIB Black Ball Squash Open held in Cairo, and following the event, there have been some big changes on the SquashLevels Power Ratings
SquashLevels calculates a player’s current playing level after every match based on their levels going into the match and the result of that match. Their level will increase if they do better than expected or decrease if they do less well than expected giving a very dynamic measure for how well each player is playing ‘at the moment’ and what their playing level has been over time. For more information on how player levels are calculated, please see the SquashLevels FAQ.
The winner of the tournament, Fares Dessouky, saw his level rise substantially, and he has made a move inside the top five of the SquashLevels Power Ratings. There have been plenty of others who have risen up the ratings as well.
The Egyptian duo of Omar Mosaad and Youssef Soliman, along with England’s Declan James and US No.1 Todd Harrity, all jumped up three places on the Power Ratings following their performances in Cairo, but we have focused on three young Egyptians, all who showed their class during the PSA Gold level tournament.
First up is Mohamed Abouelghar, who struggled throughout the entire calendar year. The Egyptian had only won a single match prior to the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, having lost out in his opening match of six of his seven tournaments in 2020.
That changed in Cairo last week, though, as he made it through to the quarter-finals of the tournament, his first appearance in the last eight of an event since the Channel VAS Championships at St. George’s Hill in England in November 2019.
Abouelghar got the better of France’s Lucas Serme in the opening round, and looked to be getting back to some of his best squash as he dispatched another Frenchman, in Gregoire Marche, in the last 16, winning in just 32 minutes.
He lost out to Ali Farag in the quarter-finals, but he kept the World No.1 on his toes throughout the match, and as a result of his performances, the Egyptian saw his level improve by 9.5%. Abouelghar now sits at #14 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings.
Continuing his rapid rise in the game is 19-year-old Mostafa Asal, as he reached a second semi-final in his last three major tournaments, following his amazing performances at the CIB Egyptian Open in October.
He needed all five games to down India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar in the first round, before then beating New Zealand’s Paul Coll for the second time in three months. A comfortable victory over Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez saw him advance to another major semi-final.
The 19-year-old came up against World No.1 Ali Farag in the last four, and although he tried, he had nothing to give as the man at the summit of the PSA World Rankings won in straight games.
Despite that loss, Asal saw his level continue to rise through the last event of the year, the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, and he is now just under the 60,000 mark. His level improved by 3.6%, and he now occupies the #10 spot.
Our last mention goes to the winner of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, Fares Dessouky, who saw his level improve by a big amount and his place in the SquashLevels Power Ratings increase. Oh, and it was a first major title for the young Egyptian as well!
Dessouky had to overcome four players ranked higher than him to win the title, a massive feat that should not be overlooked. Following a comfortable win over Baptiste Masotti in the opening round, he then downed the defending Black Ball champ, Karim Abdel Gawad.
Wins against World No.6 Diego Elias and World No.3 Tarek Momen followed as he reached the biggest final of his career, one that saw him miss 14 months of action after a devastating ACL injury.
The final saw him take on World No.1 Ali Farag, and almost in a flash, Dessouky found himself two games down and on the brink of losing. However, ‘Fearless Fares’ fought his way back into it, and was able to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2, stunning the squash world in the process.
Those five epic wins, including four against higher-ranked opposition, have seen Dessouky make a move into the top five of the SquashLevels Power Ratings for the first time in his career. He sits at #5, after his level improved by over 8%.
The top four is unchanged, with Ali Farag clear at the top, and by some margin. Paul Coll is the #3, splitting the ElShorbagy brothers, neither of which featured in Cairo.
Dessouky makes his move to the #5 spot, with Diego Elias, Tarek Momen and Karim Abdel Gawad all dropping down a single place, with the trio now occupying the #6, #7 and #8 spots, respectively.
You can take a look at the full ratings on the SquashLevels website.