The semi-finals of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open take place this evening, with action beginning at 20:00 (GMT+2) at the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo as the last four women battle it out for places in the final.
Like there was in December, there is a different feel to the semi-final line-up, with just one of the top four seeds making it through to this stage. World No.1 Nour El Sherbini will take on New Zealand’s Joelle King, while US No.1 Amanda Sobhy will do battle with Salma Hany.
You can catch all the action live from the Black Ball Sporting Club on SquashTV, the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian sub-continent only) and multiple broadcasters around the world.
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local – GMT+2)
Nour El Sherbini v Joelle King
The first match of the evening sees World No.1 Nour El Sherbini take on New Zealand’s Joelle King, with both women having defeated a 2020 Black Ball Open champion in the last eight.
The pair have a very one-sided head-to-head record, with the ‘Warrior Princess’ having won 11 of their 12 previous encounters, including two victories over the Kiwi in 2020. King’s only win against the Egyptian came nine years ago, in the first round of the 2012 Delaware Investments US Open.
El Sherbini is a two-time runner-up at this event, having lost to Raneem El Welily in 2019, and then Hania El Hammamy in March of last year. She has only dropped a single game to get through to this point, and has already beaten three top 20 players, in USA’s Sabrina Sobhy, Belgian No.2 Tinne Gilis, and defending Black Ball Open champion, Sarah-Jane Perry.
On the other hand, ‘Wonderwoman’ is yet to drop a game throughout her first three matches in Cairo. She has gotten the better of Canadian No.2 Danielle Letourneau, Egypt’s Nadine Shahin and World No.5 Hania El Hammamy to reach the last four.
Nour El Sherbini remains way clear at the top of the women’s list on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, but the New Zealander has made a move up to the #4 spot. Despite that move, the SquashLevels algorithm only gives King a 12% chance of victory, with El Sherbini expected to take a 3-1 win.
Will the ‘Warrior Princess’ live up to her World No.1 status and reach a third final at the Black Ball Sporting Club? Or can the Kiwi cause a shock for a second straight day?
Amanda Sobhy v Salma Hany
The second semi-final sees US No.1, and World No.7, Amanda Sobhy, go up against first-time Platinum semi-finalist Salma Hany fo a spot in Thursday’s final.
The pair have only met twice before on the PSA World Tour, but they have not faced each other since the 2016 Guggenheim Partners & EquiTrust Windy City Open. The American has won both of their previous encounters.
Sticking with Sobhy, she came through an epic quarter-final clash with World No.3 Camille Serme on Tuesday evening, knocking out a higher-ranked opponent in the last eight for the second time in three months, after her win over Nour El Sherbini at the same stage in December. The US No.1 got the better of Julianne Courtice and Farida Mohamed in the early rounds this week.
Hany, meanwhile, has faced three players all inside the top 20 in the World Rankings to reach her first Platinum semi-final. She got the better of Belgium No.1 Nele Gilis in the second round, before wins over compatriot Rowan Elaraby and US No.2 Olivia Clyne saw her reach the last four.
Thanks to her performances this week, Sobhy has jumped up to the #2 spot on the SquashLevels Power Ratings and she has a 74% likelihood of taking the victory over Hany in their semi-final encounter tonight, according to the SquashLevels algorithm.
Will ‘Southpaw’ Sobhy take the win to advance to a third major final? Or can Hany take out an American for the second consecutive day to book her place in a first major final?