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Mohamed ElShorbagy

PSA World Champs: Day Five - Player Reaction

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

Third round action comes to a conclusion round today with plenty of big names in action once again. Kiwi’s Paul Coll and Joelle King, the Welsh duo of Joel Makin and Tesni Evans, and World No.2s Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nouran Gohar will all feature.

Schedule
All times local (GMT-5)
Glass Court
11:30 [11] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [8] Salma Hany (EGY)
12:15 [4] Paul Coll (NZL) v [12] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
13:30 [7] Joelle King (NZL) v [15] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
14:15 Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
17:00 [3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [12] Olivia Clyne (USA)
17:45 [7] Fares Dessouky (EGY) v [11] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
19:15 [9] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
20:00 [9] Joel Makin (WAL) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

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.

Hany Books Quarter-Final Spot

Salma Hany

World No.9 Salma Hany was the first player to win on day five of the PSA World Championships 2020-2021, thanks to a 3-1 victory over compatriot Rowan Elaraby in the third round.

Hany dropped the first game, with the World No.12 taking the advantage. However, from then on, it was Hany who fought back in what turned into a slightly scrappy affair. She won out 3-1 and will now face either Camille Serme or Olivia Clyne in the last eight.

“Obviously, Rowan is an amazing player. She is very dangerous and I knew I had to keep my focus from the get go. I know it was a little bit scrappy with a lot of decisions but it was for a spot in the quarter-finals and there were some nerves,” Hany said.

“I got Ito the match a little late, in the first game I wasn’t quite ready for her pace and I am glad I managed to come through and I am sorry that there was a lot of shouting this early in the morning but I needed to wake up myself and just fire myself up for the match.

“I think you have to adapt to every situation. By experience, you learn what the best way to be ready for any time of match is. I actually had a good sleep, I came this morning for solo, had coffee and breakfast and I felt ready and fresh for the match. I am happy that it went as I wanted.

“Both of them [Camille Serme and Olivia Clyne] are amazing players, very good friends of mine, and I mean I wish them all the luck and to have a long match. I will be ready after tomorrow for the quarter-finals.”

Result
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) bt [11] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)

Coll Downs Ghosal To Make Last Eight

Paul Coll in action against Saurav Ghosal

New Zealand’s World No.4 Paul Coll is into the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships after beating Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in a four-game encounter at the University Club of Chicago.

Coll had won all of their previous meetings and he started on fire in this one, and was also able to wrestle back momentum after the Indian had taken the second game to level the match. The Kiwi went on to win 3-1, though, booking his place in the last eight.

“I thought I was playing pretty well but then he just showed me up with one shot which was pretty annoying!” Coll said about Ghosal’s incredible between-the-legs winner.

“I thought my length was very good. I wasn’t happy with my cross-courts in round two and I thought today, 95% of the time I got a really good width and got him digging out and then I had pretty comfortable straight drops.

“There was a little patch in the second where I lost my length and he is so good going in short on the glass court. He made me do a lot of work and it only took that one blip and he was straight into it.

“I was happy with my basic game today. My length was great and I was very tight down the backhand. My cross-courts improved as well so I will just stick to that, try and volley the ball. I feel like I am seeing it well here and I am enjoying my squash. It is going to be tough whoever I play next, we are down to the last eight of the World Championships, so I just need to focus every day now.”

Result
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [12] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (59m)

King Makes It Two Kiwis In The Quarters

Joelle King (black) and Nadine Shahin (red)

Following on from compatriot Paul Coll, New Zealand’s Joelle King booked her place in the last eight at the University Club of Chicago, thanks to a solid display against Egypt’s Nadine Shahin.

King had played her first two matches of the tournament on the traditional courts, and was featuring on the glass court at the spectacular Cathedral Hall for the first time in the event, but played an almost perfect match, needing less than half an hour to secure her quarter-final place.

“It feels like a whole new tournament coming to the glass court from playing on the back courts so I was really excited to get here this morning and ply on this beautiful court!” she explained.

“This court is a lot truer and you are rewarded for hitting good shots. It takes the back corners well, dies down and it gives you a few more opportunities at the front of the court so as a squash player, it is nice to play.


“Tes [Evans] is actually my best mate on Tour so obviously I want her to get through but she is one of the hardest people to play because I like her so I hope whoever wins, I hope they have a really tough match and I’ll see them here in two days.

“At 32-years-old, I wish I could tell you how, but it’s not easy [playing friends]. It is a love-hate thing but you just have to think you are playing anyone else in the draw and whoever wins, we come off after and we are still friends!”

Result
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [15] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (26m)

Gawad Battles Back To Beat Masotti

Karim Abdel Gawad

2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad came from behind against Frenchman Baptiste Masotti to book his place in the quarter-finals of this season’s edition.

Gawad lost the first, but flew back in the second to take it 11-0, before going on to win the next two games as well to take the 3-1 victory and move into the last eight.

“I don’t know why I have all the fit players getting in my way! Since the first round, I am always playing the fittest players. It is always tough for me to play French players, and of course, Borja [Golan] is always a tough opponent,” he said.

“Coming into today’s match, I had in mind that I had to put together a good strategy and not to move a lot because he would kill my physically if we were both running around.

“I had to play good squash, deep squash and then attack from the middle. In the first game, he was just too good. He had the upper hand in the back corners, so I didn’t have the chance to attack. From the second game, I had to change that and change the pace a little bit, play more deep squash and I am glad it worked.

“The third game when I was 5-0 up and he came back. I felt a bit down mentally and that is the thing I never want to happen. I work a lot in training to not lose the mental side of my game and I did in the third game so I am unhappy with that but I am happy that I came back strongly and I am happy with that.

“Another fit player! Paul [Coll] is, of course, one of the top four guys in the rankings and he has proved he deserves to be there. I don’t mind playing him, of course it is hard, but I will just try to play my best. Head-to-head, he has the upper hand, but I have to change this, focus on court and focus on the way I play more than anything else!”

Result
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-0, 11-7, 11-4 (46m)

Serme Secures Quarters Berth

Camille Serme

Frenchwoman Camille Serme is into the last eight of the World Championships in Chicago after she got the better of US No.2 Olivia Clyne in a four-game battle.

The World No.4 came out strongly, but she had to deal with a fight-back from the home favourite, with Clyne using the home crowd to boost her on. However, Serme was able to win out 3-1 to book her place in the quarter-finals.

“I felt Olivia was very solid today, I felt like she played really well, maybe even better than me. I was solid enough at the important points,” ‘La Panthere’ said.

“We were both fighting for the ’T’ position and volleying a lot. She was volleying really well and I was trying to put her in the back and get some opportunities but it was not easy at all. I am just happy to be through, very relieved.


“I need to be more accurate with my length, it is either too long or too short. Salma [Hany] is coming strongly and is one of the in-form players, so obviously it will be a battle. As a lot of the Egyptians, she is very tricky and skilful. I will, for sure have to be more accurate.”

Result
[3] Camille Serme beats [12] Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (45m)

Dessouky Downs Abouelghar To Make Quarters

Fares Dessouky

World No.7 Fares Dessouky is into the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championship for the first time in his career after winning 3-1 against compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in the third round at the University Club of Chicago.

It looked as if it was going to go his way a lot sooner, after being a game up and 10-6 up in the second, but 'the Bullet’ fought back to take the second on a tie-break, and level the match.

Dessouky kept fighting though, as was able to pull out some trademark shots, including the odd nick, to win out after four games, setting up a clash with either Joel Makin or Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last eight.

“I was in control of the first game and then I was up 10-6 in the second and I lost it. It got to my head a little bit so I had to focus again and play my game. I was honestly on court just to enjoy it, and to play my best squash,” Dessouky said.

“With it being the fourth game and not the fifth game, it is much different. There were many ups and downs in the game and I am very happy, and lucky at the end, but I was glad to finish it with those last two points, with the drop shots.


“I want Mohamed [ElShorbagy] in the next round because I want my revenge from El Gouna. He is such a great player, and also Joel [Makin] is playing so well at the moment, so definitely I am going to watch.”

Result
[7] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [11] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 12-10 (58m)

Gohar Completes Top Eight In Quarters

Nouran Gohar (white) on court with Tesni Evans (grey)

With World No.2 Nouran Gohar advancing to the quarter-finals, the last eight will be contested between the top eight seeds.

‘The Terminator’ got the better of Welsh No.1 Tesni Evans in the third round at the University Club, but she had to save game balls in the first. Once she did, and she consequently took it, Gohar held the momentum, and never let it go.


“I think the last time we played was two years ago or so. Tesni is a very tricky player and it is never easy to play against her. She is relaxed but very eager to win so it is tricky,” Gohar said.

“I had to adapt today as the conditions were slightly different and I am very happy to pull out with a 3-0. I just had to adapt. We don't always click, you just have to find ways to win and I am glad that I regrouped. I found ways to win and I did in the end.

“Joelle [King] is another top ten player. I am looking forward to it and we will see how it goes. I won't say what I am going to do, it’s my secret.”

Result
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [9] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)

ElShorbagy Beats Makin to Seal Last Eight Berth

Mohamed ElShorbagy in action

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy has booked his place in the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 PSA World Championships after overcoming Welshman Joel Makin inside the University Club of Chicago’s picturesque Cathedral Hall earlier today.

ElShorbagy – who will be guaranteed to overthrow rival Ali Farag as the World No.1 next month if he reaches the final this week in Chicago – had won four of his six previous matches against Makin on the PSA World Tour. Whilst he won their most recent meeting at the El Gouna International in May, Makin got the better of his opponent in five games at the CIB Black Ball Open in March.

The pair know each other’s games well having practiced together numerous times in Bristol, England outside of events, and this time around the win went to the man from Egypt as he closed out an 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 victory in 51 minutes to reach the last eight.

‘The Beast’ will play fellow Alexandrian Fares Dessouky next, who he beat en route to the El Gouna International title.

“Joel and myself have trained so much together in Bristol,” said ElShorbagy.

“This is my fourth tournament since my comeback and I’ve played him three times, so please PSA don’t put us together again because it’s not fun anymore. I have so much respect for him, you can see from the way we play each other and shake hands. We go hard and let the best man win, and that’s the way I love to play the sport.

“I definitely stayed away from him yesterday, I ran away from our practice together. We practiced together today and he was literally volleying everything, he was playing together so fast, and I didn’t want to play that fast. You have to do what you have to do to play tournaments right now.

“John [Flanigan, Tournament Promoter] has done an amazing job to get us back here again. There are specific rules for the players to play under, but I don’t think any of us should complain, moan or anything. We’re lucky to be back playing, we’re thankful to be here, so thanks for getting us back.

“When I was warming up before the match, I got tagged on Twitter that Fares [Dessouky] said he wanted to play me to get his revenge on me. Thanks for that, Fares, I’m trying to focus on my match right now! That’s the same attitude I would have had if I was him, so I completely respect that mentality.

“We’ve known each other since we were kids, we both come from Alexandria. I’m a few years older, but I have so much respect for him. When I was away I watched him play, I saw him get those two wins against Ali, win Black Ball and losing the other final, so he has been consistent and has been playing very well.

“He had a tricky injury, which is why he pulled out of the World Tour Finals but he looks to completely back. I’m sure we’ll go hard at each other and we’ll let the best man win.”

Result
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [9] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (51m)

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