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PSA World Champs: Day Four - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players featuring on the fourth day of action at the 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family.

The first day of third round action round features home favourite, former World No.1s, current World No.1s and both reigning World Champions.

Schedule
All times local (GMT-5)
Glass Court
11:30 [10] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
12:15 George Parker (ENG) v [8] Diego Elias (PER)
13:30 [13] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
14:15 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [13] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
17:00 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [17] Olivia Fiechter (USA)
17:45 Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
19:15 [5] Amanda Sobhy (EGY) v [16] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
20:00 [1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [10] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)

You can catch all the action live from the glass court in Chicago on SquashTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

Keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Perry Downs Chinappa To Make Quarter-Finals

Sarah-Jane Perry gives the thumbs up

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry is the first quarter-finalist at the PSA World Championships 2020-2021 after she defeated Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa in a four-game contest.

The pair were doing battle for the eighth time on Tour, with the Englishwoman coming into this one having won five of the previous seven. That form continued, with Perry coming through after 44 minutes of action in Chicago, booking her place in the last eight.

“I didn’t start hitting the ball quite how I wanted. I was leaving the ball short and Joshna was all over it to be honest. I had to sort my length out and I think that was the main thing!” Perry said.

“My short game was in and out today but hopefully I have gotten rind of the bad stuff. It wasn’t too bad, just a few tins and a few poor shot choices. I have worked hard over the last few years to improve my fitness so days like today where I am not hitting the ball quite like I want to, I can now go to Plan B.

“I have got really good memories here, done pretty well in the past but I would like to do even better this time. If I can go home with my toenails in tact this time, that would be something!

“I need to focus on what I am doing and what I can control and play the best squash I can on the day. I haven't played my best squash yet in the tournament so hopefully I am saving that for the next round and onwards as well.”

Result
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [10] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)

Elias Advances To Last Eight

Diego Elias

As he continues his return from injury, Peru’s Diego Elias is through to the quarter-finals in Chicago, after he got the better of England’s George Parker.

The Englishman had caused a shock in the second round by beating Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, and he played very well in the first two games, but in both, Elias was able to come out the victor. The ‘Peruvian Puma’ then ran out a comfortable winner in the third to book his spot in the last eight.

“I thought I sweat a lot but this guy sweats like three times more! It was hard and a little bit slippery. I am just happy to be playing again, I am feeling great and I am ready for the quarter-finals, either Ali [Farag] or Miguel [Rodriguez],” the Peruvian said.

“I am just enjoying every time I am stepping on court and I want to enjoy the next one too.

“I want to win this tournament, I want to be World Champion! I am back now, haven’t played this year yet so I am just trying to enjoy every match and I think I play better when I do that. I hope I do well this tournament.

“This injury helped me a lot. I have been way more responsible than before, trying to get back stronger than I was. I have been really busy, training and doing all my rehab for a few months, and I couldn’t wait to be playing again!”

Result
[8] Diego Elias (PER) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 (36m)

El Hammamy Fights Past Gilis

Hania El Hammamy

It took almost an hour, but World No.5 Hania El Hammamy is into the quarters in Chicago after defeating Belgian No.1 Nele Gilis in straight games.

71 minutes was the average match time between the pair, and with Gilis taking the first six points of the contest, it looked like this one would be much quicker. However, the young Egyptian fought back to take the first 11-9, before winning the second game on a tie-break.

El Hammamy went on to take the third game 11-9 as well to secure he quarter-final spot at the 2020-2021 PSA World Championships.

“From my point of view, the turning point was in the first game when I was 6-0 down. That was the key and I am glad I managed to fight hard against Nele. Who doesn’t love a physical match and this one was very physical so I am really glad to come from behind and win the first,” she said.

“A very big positive if that I was able to beat Nele in three. That is a very good sign for myself and it shows that I am ready and I think today was a match that gives me confidence and I am really looking forward for the rest of the tournament.

“I played against Nele and I beat her in five, it was really physical. It was 80 minutes, and today’s match was long for three. Playing against her, it is such a physical match. I am sure the crowd loved it, I loved and I think Nele enjoyed it as well. The crowd was amazing today as well!”

Result
[4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [13] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-9 (58m)

ElShorbagy Battles Past Marche To Advance

Marwan ElShorbagy

World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy is through to the last eight at the University Club of Chicago after a fine victory over Frenchman Gregoire Marche, with the pair battling it out for 50 minutes.

It was Marche who took the first game after 17 minutes of play, bt ElShorbagy found his game and his corners from there on, pushing on to win 3-1, and book his place in the quarter-finals.

“It was very fast paced which suited him more. Greg is a great player and he has improved a lot this season. I came here knowing that this would be a tough match because he is a great player. You saw his performances at the World Tour Finals, he is up there with the top players, he can win anything,” ‘the Jackal’ explained.

“I also saw his performance in Qatar as well against Paul [Coll] and he has been giving the top four players a hard time on court. I am really glad with how I came back after that first game.

“I played well in the first but I got my tactics right in the second. Really happy with my performance, especially after the first two matches which were tricky on the back courts, which I don’t really like. Happy to be back on this court, which is one of my favourite courts, in one of my favourite venues. Happy to be back playing here at the University Club and we always feel welcomed here by the crowd and the sponsors here.

“The way I approach the game, going for nicks and that is not my natural game, I like the accuracy, that is my joy and passion, it is my game. I like the accuracy and the movement side of the game. It works well especially on this court, and I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s day off and then ahead to the quarter-finals!”

Result
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [13] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (51m)

El Sherbini Maintains Unbeaten World Champs Run

Nour El Sherbini

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini is through to the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships in Chicago, and continues her unbelievable run of having lost just a single game in her last six World Champs appearances.

El Sherbini, the reigning four-time World Champion, took the first game easily, but the American fought back in front of her home crowd, and had the chance to win the second. The ‘Warrior Princess’ did what she needed to do though, eventually taking it on a tie-break before sealing the deal in straight games.

“She was very tough, first time playing each other despite being the same age, we need had the chance to play each other. She pushed me very hard until the last point. Actually, I think I needed a tough match like this to get myself ready and wake up my body a little bit. I lost a little concentration in the second game but I am really glad I won in three in the end and that is the most important for me,” she said.

“You have to be mentally strong so you don’t lost four or five points after each other. That’s where I lost my focus in the second game. She kept fighting and she got the lead in it. That is the thing for me, I had to regroup and focus to try and win the game so I wasn’t in a situation where it was 1-1, so that was what I was telling myself, to fight.

“We don’t have a lot of things to do because of the bubble but I will try to relax, go for a walk, but that’s it for me!”

Result
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [17] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 14-12, 11-7 (34m)

Momen Downs Compatriot Ibrahim

Tarek Momen

Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen is through to the last eight in Chicago as he continues the defence of the crown he claimed in Doha in November 2019.

‘The Viper’ came up against compatriot Youssef Ibrahim in the third round, and in a weird contest, in which the ball was in the front two corners for the majority of the time, Momen came through in straight games to book his place in the quarter-finals.

“I obviously feel good about making it into the quarters but that was weird to be honest. It was a really exciting match but it was not what I had in mind, not to that extent, where it was like serve, volley, winner like in tennis,” Momen explained.

“There was no rhythm today and I am so glad that the drop shots worked today because otherwise I would have been screwed. I wanted to build some rallies, play some longer rallies than what we had but I had to find a way to win, do what’s best for me to win and today, that was the best way to do it, to volley whatever I can, get it short from the serve. It worked and Youssef is a very talented guy, he could have chopped me up, so I am glad that I got through in three games.

“Playing a lefty is different because there aren’t many of them! After [Amr] Shabana retired, there is literally Youssef and [Raphael] Kandra, those are the two I can think of. You have to move to the other side and build rallies on that side, but I am comfortable with playing on both sides of the court. For me, it is about how I feel on the day. Today was a different story though, we didn’t need to play on either side, we played at the front for most of it. Happy to get through, get the rest day and then be ready for my quarter-final.

“I came into this tournament, I have my eyes set on that trophy again, I want to win it just as bad as I did the first time. I am not thinking about being defending champion. It is something I have, it will always be mine, forever, so I just need to have more good memories and win more titles. For me, it is a new tournament and I am just trying to win it.”

Result
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 (30m)

Sobhy Ensures US Representation In Quarters

Amanda Sobhy

US No.1 Amanda Sobhy ensured that there would be at least one American in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships 2020-2021 in Chicago, with a victory over fellow North American Hollie Naughton.

In what was a frenetic encounter, with several short, sharp rallies in a row at times, Sobhy used the new ball to her advantage after the third game, winning the fourth to take the 3-1 victory and book her spot in the last eight.

“From the middle of the second game onwards, it was very frantic! There was a lot of running and hitting, but very tense. Hollie has been getting some good results and I don’t think we have played on the PSA Tour so I knew that this would be a battle,” Sobhy said.

“Mentally I wanted to stay dialled in, she fought well in the third and I think the tactical ball change helped in my favour just to get some liveliness! Overall, happy to have a test in the round of 16 and looking forward to the quarters.

“I went 2-0 up and then the ball started to get a little spongey and dead. She was firing those shots in and she did well in the third to find those kills and targets. I wanted to break that momentum and get a new ball to establish my length which is where I set up my best squash.

“I have family here watching and after this season.. I got friends, I got family, it is truly… When you get that added energy from the crowd.. I want to do it for myself, but I also want to do it for you guys.”

Result
[6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [16] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (36m)

Farag on Form to Dispatch Rodriguez

Ali Farag (right) takes on Miguel Rodriguez (left)

World No.1 Ali Farag marched into the quarter-finals with an assured performance against Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez.

The spectators inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall were treated to some typically explosive rallies from Rodriguez who wowed the crowd with a full-length dive in the first game.

But the World No.11 couldn’t match Farag’s supreme accuracy and control, with the 2018-19 World Champion putting together a tactically astute performance to nullify Rodriguez’s speed and fitness.

Farag closed out an 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 victory in 28 minutes to set up a last eight meeting with Peru’s Diego Elias.

“I wasn’t expecting the match to go that way,” said Farag.

“He’s had an amazing career already, World No.4, the British Open champion, and I knew it was going to be tough today. I had a gameplan in mind, which I put together with [coach] Mike Way, and I always say I feel most comfortable when Mike is around. We spoke about little things I needed to do to start the match well, and I never lost momentum.

“It’s always an honour and a pleasure to share the court with Miguel. He’s getting younger every year, and we’re happy to have him on the tour for as long as we can. We don’t have many guys that dive as much as he does, and it was on the third or fourth points, I thought that if he did that through the entire match I would be in trouble today.

“The good thing about Egypt is that we have so many players to play every day, and we do match play and it gets us ready for this. But no matter how much you try, you can never replicate the same intensity in practice matches. This is where experience kicks in, and I’m glad I’m one of the older guys on tour now, and I can’t believe I’m saying that.

“So it Miguel, and I think I coped with the way he plays pretty well today.”

Result
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [10] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)

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