Following on from the unique year that was 2020, this year has seen the Tour get back to somewhat closer to normality, but with tournament bubbles still in place at several of the bigger events.
The year started slowly in terms of the number of tournaments, and with all events being restricted to only domestic entrants due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As the year went on, and the world started to open up once again, tournaments eased restrictions on entrants, with regional and international events coming back on to the calendar.
The last six months of 2021 saw plenty of action on the World Tour, with 11 events being held across five countries, the action coming from Egypt, England, Malaysia, Qatar and the United States.
Here is how the second half of the year played out…
The big rankings news in July saw Mostafa Asal break into the top ten for the first time in his short career, as he moved to World No.9, while Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk moved into the top 100 for the first time, after taking her first two wins on Tour ini the last two months.
The major event in the month of July was the biggest tournament in the sport. The PSA World Championships 2020-2021 were held at the University Club of Chicago and it was two familiar names that would take home the trophies as the top two in the world faced off in both the men’s and women’s finals.
Chicago had been good to men’s World No.1 Ali Farag, as he claimed his first World Championship in the city in 2019, before then taking the spoils at the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in February 2020.
Farag came in to the event as the top seed, and at the same venue as he took his Windy City Open title 17 months previously, he was able to win once more. He came up against World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in what was a riveting final, with the man at the summit of the World Rankings securing his second World Championship crown.
The women’s final saw the top two in the world go head-to-head once again, and Nour El Sherbini took on Nouran Gohar for the title in Chicago. Like Farag, the ‘Warrior Princess’ was a fan of Chicago, having also won the World Championships and Windy City Open in the city over the last two years.
The pair, who were doing battle in one of four finals they featured in over the course of the year, played some incredible squash, but it was El Sherbini that came out on top, securing her fifth World Championship crown, putting her alongside Sarah Fitz-Gerald, and behind only Nicol David in the women’s game.
Meanwhile, on the Challenger Tour, there were good months for the British trio of Joe Lee, Georgina Kennedy and Rory Stewart, who all won twice. Lee took home the Stellar New Malden Squash Festival and Eriswell Challenge titles, while Kennedy, who also won in New Malden, took the win at the Arion Homes Off the Wall Squash Open.
Stewart was victorious at the City of Peterborough Squash & Racketball Club Open alongside fellow Scot Georgia Adderley, who claimed her maiden Tour title, before then also claiming the victory at the Carlisle Squash Club Open later in the month.
Frenchman Victor Crouin and Belgium’s Nele Gilis were victorious at the biggest event on the Challenger Tour in July, the Challenger 20 level Squash on Fire Open in Washington, D.C.
There were also wins for the Egyptian trio of Moustafa El Sirty, Omar El Torkey and Fayrouz Aboelkheir, with Israel’s Daniel Poleshchuk, Russia’s Vladislav Titov and German Yannik Omlor all added to their tallies for the year.
Australia’s Joseph White secured his maiden Tour victory with a win at the Liquorland Howick Open, while New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy, who was playing for the first time on Tour since the 2019 British Open, also won in Howick. Portugal’s Rui Soares was the other victor in July, claiming the men’s title at the Arion Homes Off the Wall Squash Open.
July Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
Squash on Fire Open (M/W 20) – Victor Crouin (FRA) & Nele Gilis (BEL)
City of Peterborough Squash & Racketball Club Open (M/W 3) – Rory Stewart (SCO) & Georgia Adderley (SCO)
Vitall Sport Challenger 3 (M 3) – Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR)
Austrian Open (M 5) – Yannik Omlor (GER)
Stellar New Malden Squash Festival (M/W 3) – Joe Lee (ENG) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
Smash Basem Makram (M 3) – Omar El Torkey (EGY)
CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour (M/W 10) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) & Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
PSA World Championships (M/W WC) – Ali Farag (EGY) & Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
The Eriswell Challenge at St George’s Hill (M 10) – Joe Lee (ENG)
Liqourland Howick Open (M 5/W 3) – Joseph White (AUS) & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
Carlisle Squash Club Open (M 5) – Rory Stewart (SCO)
Arion Homes Off The Wall Squash Open (M/W 5) – Rui Soares (POR) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
PSA Moscow Tour (M 3) – Vladislav Titov (RUS)
For the first time in 2021, there was a change at the top of the World Rankings, as Mohamed ElShorbagy took over the men’s World No.1 spot for a fifth time, tallying up his 50th month at the summit of the game. Meanwhile, Youssef Ibrahim broke into the top 20 for the first time in his career.
In the women’s rankings, England’s Georgina Kennedy broke into the top 100 once again, as she continued her incredible year. She rose to World No.74, while Georgia Adderley also saw a big jump in August, moving up 18 spots to a career-high World No.81.
August saw another major tournament on the PSA World Tour, with the most storied event in the sport, the Allam British Open, being played at the University of Hull, and once again, it was a familiar tale in the women’s event.
The top two in the world, in Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar, met once again, with the pair doing battle for 64 minutes. It was the ‘Warrior Princess’ who came from behind to secure her fourth major title of 2021, following on from her successes at the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open, El Gouna International Squash Open and the PSA World Championships.
The men’s final saw a new major champion, one of three in the second half of the year, and it was the first part of an incredible few months for New Zealand’s Paul Coll, as he claimed the men’s crown in Hull.
He came up against World No.1 Ali Farag in the final, and 13 matches on from his only win against the Egyptian, and a run that included losses in the Windy City Open and Qatar Classic finals in 2020, Coll was able to get the victory.
Like the women’s final, the duo were on court for 64 minutes in Hull, and after losing the first game, the Kiwi fought back to win the next three, and become the first Kiwi male to win the British Open crown.
The Allam British Open was not the only PSA World Tour event to be shown on the SquashTV cameras in August, with the Silver level Manchester Open taking place at the National Squash Centre earlier in the month.
The camera saw the year’s first non-Egyptian winner on the World Tour, as Peru’s Diego Elias got the better of Welshman Joel Makin in the men’s final. The women’s final saw Hania El Hammamy overcome the challenge of English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry to claim her lone title of 2021.
On the Challenger Tour, Georgina Kennedy secured another two titles in August, winning both the Berkhamsted Linksap Open and the TWC Squash Squared Open, while Scotland’s Georgia Adderley also claimed two wins. The Scot followed her maiden title in July with wins at the Hit and Run Sport Challenger and the AS Insurance Services Ltd NM Academy Open.
Players from 13 different nations were victorious on the Challenger Tour in August, with one of the surprise wins coming from Spain’s Marta Dominguez Fernandez as she won her first title on Tour, the Schraglage Squash Open, despite being unseeded for what was only her second event as a professional.
Marta Dominguez Fernandez (right) celebrates with the Schraglage Squash Open trophy
England’s Sam Todd also claimed his maiden Tour title, with a win at the Global Pontefract Men’s Challenger, while the Indian duo of Velavan Senthilkumar and Tanvi Khanna were successful at the HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai 3, with the latter also securing her first professional victory on Tour.
Lucy Beecroft and Miles Jenkins were victorious at the Arion Homes Cheetham Hill Classic, with both also becoming first-time winners on Tour, while Nour Heikal, Simon Herbert and Stuart MacGregor all joined them, with their respective wins in Cairo, Cheam and Sheffield.
August also wins for the English trio of Ben Coleman, Robert Downer and Richie Fallows, along with the Egyptian duo of Moustafa El Sirty and Yahya Elnawasany. Canada’s David Baillargeon, Czech Republic’s Martin Svec, Frenchman Sebastien Bonmalais, Hungary’s Hannah Chukwu, Mexican Alfredo Avila, Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal, Portuguese No.1 Rui Soares, Russia’s Vladislav Titov and Scotland’s Rory Stewart all claimed victories.
August Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
Arion Homes Cheetham Hill Classic (M/W 3) – Miles Jenkins (ENG) & Lucy Beecroft (ENG)
Berkhamsted Linksap Open (M/W 10) – Ben Coleman (ENG) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
Hit and Run Sport Challenger (M/W 5) – Rui Soares (POR) & Georgia Adderley (SCO)
Global Pontefract Men’s Challenger (M 5) – Sam Todd (ENG)
PSA Moscow Tour 2 (M 3) – Vladislav Titov (RUS)
Manchester Open (M/W Silver) – Diego Elias (PER) & Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Torneo Profesional Mexicano de Squash (M 5) – Alfredo Avila (MEX)
Cheam Squash Squared Classic (M 3) – Simon Herbert (ENG)
CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 2 (M/W 5) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
Scottish Circuit Event (M 5) – Rory Stewart (SCO)
Allam British Open (M/W Platinum) – Paul Coll (NZL) & Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Colombian Open (M 10) – David Baillargeon (CAN)
AS Insurance Services Ltd NM Academy Open (M 3/W 5) – Stuart MacGregor (ENG) & Georgia Adderley (SCO)
Elan Vital Open (M 5) – Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)
Squash Eredivise – Speelronde 6 (M/W 3) – Martin Svec (CZE) & Hannah Chukwu (HUN)
TWC Squash Squared Open (M/W 10) – Richie Fallows (ENG) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai 3 (M/W 10) – Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) & Tanvi Khanna (IND)
CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 3 (M/W 5) – Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) & Nour Heikal (EGY)
Schraglage Squash Open (M 5/W 3) – Robert Downer (ENG) & Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP)
PSF-COMBAXX Sports Squash Championship (M 10) – Nasir Iqbal (PAK)
There were changes afoot at the top of the men’s World Rankings once again in September, as Ali Farag moved back to the top of the tree. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Paul Coll also reached a career-high of World No.3, displacing former World Champion Tarek Momen. Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and Egypt’s Youssef Soliman broke into the top 20 for the first time in his fledgling career as well.
The English duo of Sam Todd and Nick Wall both broke into the top 100 after taking wins on the Challenger Tour and featuring at the Allam British Open in August. Meanwhile in the women’s rankings, Rowan Elaraby moved into the top ten for the first time, while Sabrina Sobhy and Danielle Letourneau also made moves inside the top 100 for the first time.
World No.2 Nouran Gohar finally got the better of the ‘Warrior Princess’ in a final in 2021, doing so at the fourth attempt. The win for ‘the Terminator’ saw her claim the CIB Egyptian Open title in front of the Pyramids.
After 63 minutes, and an incredible five-game battle, in which Gohar withheld a two-game fightback from El Sherbini, it was eventually the World No.2 that got over the line, winning an encapsulating fifth game on a tie-break.
After reaching the summit of the World Rankings again, Farag showed his class in September, with wins at both the Platinum level CIB Egyptian Open and the Gold level Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.
In the Platinum level tournament in front of the Pyramids, the World No.1 got the better of the man he was doing battle with at the top of the rankings.
He faced off against Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final, and found himself two games down, as the ‘Beast from Alexandria’ came out firing. However, Farag was able to regroup, and fought back to win the contest 3-2, to take his second major title of the year.
He then followed that up with a victory at the Oracle NetSuite Open, as the World Tour returned to the States for the first time since the World Championships had been held in Chicago two months earlier.
In the open air at Embarcadero Plaza, Farag got his revenge on Paul Coll following the Kiwi’s win in the Allam British Open final in August. The World No.1 rounded off an incredible month with a 3-1 victory over the New Zealander, in the second of four finals between the pair in 2021.
There was home delight for the crowd in San Francisco in September, as Amanda Sobhy came through the entire tournament without dropping a game, showing her class throughout.
In the final, she came up against Egypt’s Salma Hany, who had gotten the better of Nouran Gohar in the quarter finals. It was the American who had control of the contest from the off, following a 45-minute rain delay, and she claimed her first title of the year.
The biggest event of the month on the Challenger Tour was the CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 4, with a Challenger 20 level title up for grabs. It was Karim El Hammamy and Hana Ramadan that were victorious, both winning for the first time in 2021.
Elsewhere on the Challenger Tour, it was another great month for Egypt’s Moustafa El Sirty. Along with Farag on the World Tour, he was the only other play to win twice in September, with victories at the Madeira International and the Heroes Graz Open.
Moustafa El Sirty with the Madeira International crown
Meanwhile, Velavan Senthilkumar and Tanvi Khanna were successful on Indian soil once again, while Ryunosuke Tsukue and Satomi Watanabe also took the spoils on home turf, winning in Japan.
Russia’s Alesya Aleshina and Ukraine’s Valeriy Fedoruk both secured their maiden Tour titles, while England’s Lucy Beecroft, Georgina Kennedy and Nathan Lake all tasted success in September. The French trio of Sebastien Bonmalais, Victor Crouin and Auguste Dussourd were also victorious, along with Canada’s David Baillargeon, Spaniard Bernat Jaume, Malaysia’s Wen Li Lai and Dutch No.1 Milou van der Heijden.
September Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
Squash Quebec Open (M 5) – David Baillargeon (CAN)
Moscow Squash Tour III (M 3) – Valeriy Fedoruk (UKR)
HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Noida (M 5/W 10) – Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) & Tanvi Khanna (IND)
Madeira International (M 10) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
South State Bank Marietta Open (M 20) – Victor Crouin (FRA)
GWC Squash House Challenger 5 (W 5) – Wen Li Lai (MAS)
CIB Egyptian Open (M/W Platinum) – Ali Farag (EGY) & Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Nash Cup (M/W 10) – Auguste Dussourd (FRA) & Lucy Beecroft (ENG)
Heroes Graz Open (M 10) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
Women’s PSA Squash Tour I (W 3) – Alesya Aleshina (RUS)
Dynam Cup SQ-Cube Open (M/W 5) – Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) & Satomi Watanabe (JPN)
Bremer Schlussel (M 10/W 5) – Bernat Jaume (ESP) & Milou van der Heijden (NED)
Springfield Scottish Squash Open (M/W 10) – Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
T.H. Quinn Cincinnati Queen City Open (M 10) – Nathan Lake (ENG)
Oracle NetSuite Open (M/W Gold) – Ali Farag (EGY) & Amanda Sobhy (USA)
CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 4 (M/W 20) – Karim El Hammamy (EGY) & Hana Ramadan (EGY)
Following her win at the Oracle NetSuite Open, USA’s Amanda Sobhy broke into the women’s top three for the first time in her career in October, while the Egyptian trio of Fayrouz Aboelkheir, Malak Khafagy and Nardine Garas all reached the top 100 for the first time as well.
Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini was the biggest mover in the higher echelons of the men’s rankings, moving inside the top 25 for the first time, while lower down, Leonel Cardenas broke into the top 50 and Aly Abou Eleinen breached the top 100, both also for the first time in their careers.
There were two new major winners in October, both coming in the men’s game. The first of those was Egypt’s Mostafa Asal, who somehow came through three epic five-game battles, plus a four-gamer that lasted more than 100 minutes, to claim the U.S. Open presented by Truist crown in Philadelphia.
The event was held at the brand new, state-of-the-art Arlen Specter US Squash Center, with two glass courts in operation over the first four days of action. Asal came into the tournament as the No.8 seed and his first test came against Frenchman Baptiste Masotti, as he came from behind to win 3-2.
That was followed by another instalment of epic squash with Paul Coll, as the pair did battle for more than 100 minutes. After winning that in four, he then defeated Peru’s Diego Elias in a fifth-game tie-break to reach the final, where he came from two games down to defeat compatriot Tarek Momen, claiming an unbelievable first major title.
The women’s title was defended by Nouran Gohar, as she retained the crown that she had won at Drexel University back in 2019. ‘The Terminator’ got the better of Hania El Hammamy in the final this year, to secure her second major title in as many months.
Just 11 days after the action in Philadelphia came to a conclusion, the Qatar QTerminals Classic got underway at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
Once again, we had another new major winner, following on from Paul Coll and Mostafa Asal, as Peru’s Diego Elias defeated the Kiwi in a high-octane final. He became only the second South American to win a major tournament after Miguel Rodriguez’s win at the British Open in 2018.
The month of October continued to go perfectly for Nouran Gohar, as following her victory at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia, she then went to Detroit, and also claimed the title at the DAC Pro Squash Classic.
The Bronze level tournament took place at the Detroit Athletic Club, and Gohar was the top seed going in to the event. She dominated the competition, dropping just a single game en route to her fourth title of 2021.
Nouran Gohar (right) claimed the Bronze level DAC Pro Squash Classic title
Gohar was not the only player to take two victories in October, with the Malaysian duo of Aifa Azman and Ivan Yuen, and the English pair of Lily Taylor and Nick Wall also achieving the feat.
Azman and Yuen won the SRAM PSA 5 and SRAM PSA 6, both on home soil, while England’s Wall was victorious in Gibraltar and Switzerland. Taylor took the spoils in Moscow before then winning on home soil in Macclesfield.
Elsewhere, Canada’s David Baillargeon and Danielle Letourneau were the winners in front of the SquashTV cameras at the Oxford Properties Canadian Senior Championships, while Moustafa El Sirty continued his amazing run of form in 2021 with another victory, this time winning the CAS – Serena Hotels / Combaxx International Squash Championships in Pakistan
Salma Eltayeb was also victorious in Pakistan, as she claimed her maiden Tour title. Also entering the winner’s circle for the first time in October were fellow Egyptians Yassin Elshafei and Marwan Tarek, England’s Curtis Malik and Scotland’s Alison Thomson.
Frenchman Victor Crouin, England’s Adrian Waller and Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk all won on American soil, while Australia’s Rhys Dowling and Swiss No.1 Cindy Merlo were victorious on home turf. Colombia’s Juan Camilo Vargas and Scotland’s Rory Stewart also added to their title tallies for the year
October Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
SRAM PSA 5 (M/W 10) – Ivan Yuen (MAS) & Aifa Azman (MAS)
Equinox Boston Open (M 10) – Marwan Tarek (EGY)
Rockhampton Open (M 3) – Rhys Dowling (AUS)
U.S. Open presented by Truist (M/W Platinum) – Mostafa Asal (EGY) & Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Cleveland Skating Club Open (M 30) – Adrian Waller (ENG)
CAS – Serena Hotels / Combaxx International Squash Championships (M 30/W 10) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) & Salma Eltayeb (EGY)
Moscow Squash Open (M/W 5) – Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) & Lily Taylor (ENG)
Qatar QTerminals Classic (M Platinum) – Diego Elias (PER)
DAC Pro Squash Classic (W Bronze) – Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Gibraltar Open (M/W 5) – Nick Wall (ENG) & Alison Thomson (SCO)
Bangabandu Ispahani Squash Tournament (M 5) – Yassin Elshafei (EGY)
Novum Energy Texas Open (M 10) – Rory Stewart (SCO)
Oxford Properties Canadian Senior Championships (M/W 10) – David Baillargeon (CAN) & Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
Holmes Naden Prestbury Squash Open (M/W 3) – Curtis Malik (ENG) & Lily Taylor (ENG)
The Hamilton Open (W 10) – Chan Sin Yuk (HKG)
SRAM PSA 6 (M/W 10) – Ivan Yuen (MAS) & Aifa Azman (MAS)
HSC Open – Presented by Assurance Financial (M 20) – Victor Crouin (FRA)
Swiss Open & Uster Cup (M 5/W 3) – Nick Wall (ENG) & Cindy Merlo (SUI)
After both sealed major wins in the month of October, Diego Elias and Mostafa Asal both moved up to career highs of World No.5 and World No.6, respectively, while Mazen Hesham also moved up to World No.11 for the first time. Baptiste Masotti also broke inside the top 20, while compatriot Sebastien Bonmalais made it inside the top 50 for the first time.
Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy moved inside the top four in the women’s rankings, while Olivia Fiechter moved up to World No.13 following her incredible run to the semis of the U.S. Open presented by Truist. Georgina Kennedy moved up 21 places to World No.30 as her great 2021 continued.
The Gold level Canary Wharf Classic returned to the PSA World Tour for the first time since March 2020, and once again, it was a final between Paul Coll and Ali Farag, with the fans at East Wintergarden, London, in for a real treat.
For the second time on British soil in 2021, it was the Kiwi that got the better of the World No.1, as he continued his impressive year. The victory, which was his second of the year, came after he fought back from being a game down in the final, winning a second game tie-break to set the momentum in his favour, momentum that would also carry on through to the end of the year…
The other PSA World Tour event in November was the Malaysian Open Squash Championships, and there was a surprise winner in the women’s event, as Aifa Azman, one of the wildcards for the tournament, downed five higher-ranked players to take the glory.
Azman, who already had three titles to her name in 2021, went into the tournament as wildcard, but then got the better of Egypt’s Mayar Hany and Yathreb Adel, the latter being the No.3 seed. Another Egyptian was toppled in the quarters, as the young Malaysian downed Hana Ramadan.
The 19-year-old continued her fine form with a semi-final win over Canada’s Danielle Letourneau, before she then defeated World No.8 Salma Hany in the final, winning in straight games to take the biggest title of her career.
Aifa Azman holds up the Malaysian Open Squash Championships trophy
The men’s event was won by India’s Saurav Ghosal, who came in as the No.2 seed, and defeated the tournament’s top seed, Miguel Rodriguez, in the final. The Indian No.1 secured his first victory in over three years, dating back to the Kolkata International in 2018.
Along with Azman, there were more Malaysian winners in November, with Ivan Yuen and Rachel Arnold claiming the titles at the SRAM PSA 7, while Egypt’s Moustafa El Sirty won another two events in the month to continue his incredible year.
Along with El Sirty’s first win of the month in Pakistan, there were two other Challenger 20 level tournaments in November. James Willstrop and Georgina Kennedy won on home soil at the London Open, while Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller and Welshwoman Emily Whitlock were victorious at the Czech Open.
James Willstrop (centre left) and Georgina Kennedy (right) won the London Open titles
England’s Grace Gear, James Peach and Tom Walsh all took their first Tour titles in November, while compatriots Jasmine Hutton, Alicia Mead, Sam Todd and Nick Wall also tasted some success.
France’s Auguste Dussourd, Hungarian No.1 Balazs Farkas, Egypt’s Mazen Gamal, Colombia’s Ronald Palomino, Spain’s Ivan Perez, Canadian Nick Sachvie, Scotland’s Alison Thomson and the Argentinian duo of Miguel Pujol and Leandro Romiglio all claimed titles in November.
November Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
15th CNS International Squash Championship (M 20) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
Open PSA Lagord Tennis Squash (M 10) – Mazen Gamal (EGY)
Gatineau PSA Challenger (M 5) – Nick Sachvie (CAN)
The Northern Joe Cup (M/W 5) – Nick Wall (ENG) & Grace Gear (ENG)
Exeter Golf and Country Club Open (M/W 3) – Tom Walsh (ENG) & Alison Thomson (SCO)
SRAM PSA 7 (M/W 10) – Ivan Yuen (MAS) & Rachel Arnold (MAS)
Open International Niort Venise Verte (M 10) – Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
Capra Baerum Open (M/W 10) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) & Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
Canary Wharf Classic (M Gold) – Paul Coll (NZL)
Czech Open (M/W 20) – Nicolas Mueller (SUI) & Emily Whitlock (WAL)
Angers PSA Open (M 3) – Leandro Romiglio (ARG)
1st 10k Guatemala Open Squash Tournament (M 10) – Ronald Palomino (COL)
London Open (M/W 20) – James Willstrop (ENG) & Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
Head Open (M 3) – Miguel Pujol (ARG)
David Lloyd Men’s Open (M 3) – James Peach (ENG)
Romanian Open (M 5) – Balazs Farkas (HUN)
Aston and Fincher Sutton Coldfield International (M/W 5) – Sam Todd (ENG) & Alicia Mead (ENG)
Malaysian Open Squash Championships (M/W Bronze) – Saurav Ghosal (IND) & Aifa Azman (MAS)
Open de Cognac (M 5) – Ivan Perez (ESP)
Joel Makin moved up to a career-high of World No.8 in December, while Victor Crouin, Patrick Rooney and Shahjahan Khan all also made career-highs. Spain’s Ivan Perez and Colombian Ronald Palomino broke inside the top 100 for the first time in their careers.
Georgina Kennedy broke in to the top 25 in December, while the Egyptian duo of Farida Mohamed and Hana Ramadan, along with Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and England’s Jasmine Hutton. Following her incredible win at the Malaysian Open Squash Championships, Aifa Azman rose 33 places to sit at World No.36.
The PSA World Tour returned to the Black Ball Sporting Club in December, for the Gold level CIB Squash Open Black Ball, and the big story was the return of Nour El Tayeb, as she made her first appearance on Tour since giving birth to her first child, just five months previous.
Nour El Tayeb returned to the Tour in December
Once again, it was World No.1 Nour El Sherbini who was victorious come the end of the week, as she defeated Hania El Hammamy in the final, winning 3-1 in 48 minutes to end 2021 with five titles to her name.
For the fourth time in 2021, Ali Farag and Paul Coll went head-to-head in a final, and once again, it was the Kiwi that came out victorious to win a title in Egypt for the first time in his career. The new World No.2 won in straight games to claim his third title in the last five months.
December was one of the busiest months of the year on the Challenger Tour, and six players doubled up in the month. Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas, Hong Kong’s Cheng Nga Ching, Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany, Russian No.1 Varvara Esina, England’s Curtis Malik and India’s Sandeep Ramachandran all claimed two victories.
20 other players took a win in December, with one of those being Moustafa El Sirty. His victory at the CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5 was his ninth in 2021, the most on Tour this year. Nada Abbas won the women’s title at the Challenger 20 level event.
Moustafa El Sirty (front left) and Nada Abbas (front centre) won in Cairo in December
There were first Tour titles for Brazil’s Diego Gobbi and Guilherme Melo, Hong Kong’s Harley Lam as the year came to an end, with all three securing their maiden success on home soil.
Elsewhere, Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio, England’s Grace Gear, Nathan Lake, Lily Taylor and Nick Wall, France’s Benjamin Aubert and Auguste Dussourd, Hong Kong’s Chi Him Wong, Japan’s Satomi Watanabe, Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam and Asim Khan, Scotland’s Georgia Adderley, Spain’s Marta Dominguez Fernandez, Iker Pajares Bernabeu and Hugo Varela, and USA’s Andrew Douglas all took titles in the last month of the year.
December Title Winners
(Event level in brackets)
Czech Pro Series V (M 10) – Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5 (M/W 20) – Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) & Nada Abbas (EGY)
KCC PSA Challenge Cup (M/W 5) – Harley Lam (HKG) & Cheng Nga Ching (HKG)
Commercial Water Solutions Grange Challenger (M/W 5) – Curtis Malik (ENG) & Georgia Adderley (SCO)
PAC Squash Open (M 10) – Guilherme Melo (BRA)
2nd 10k Guatemala Open Squash Tournament (M 10) – Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
Lockerbie Challenge (M 5) – Nick Wall (ENG)
MST Dubai Squash Series I (M 5) – Sandeep Ramachandran (IND)
Sportwerk Women’s Open (W 10) – Grace Gear (ENG)
X5 Squash Open (M 3) – Diego Gobbi (BRA)
Open Costa Del Sol (M 3) – Hugo Varela (ESP)
Women’s PSA Squash Tour III (W 3) – Varvara Esina (RUS)
CIB Squash Open Black Ball (M/W Gold) – Paul Coll (NZL) & Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Spanish Rocafort Open (W 5) – Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP)
The Colin Payne Kent Open sponsored by 501 Entertainment (M/W 3) – Curtis Malik (ENG) & Satomi Watanabe (JPN)
3rd 10k Guatemala Squash Open Tournament (M 10) – Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
Sportwerk Men’s Open (M 10) – Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
Wakefield PSA (M 10) – Nathan Lake (ENG)
Czech Pro Series VI (M 10/W 5) – Leandro Romiglio (ARG) & Lily Taylor (ENG)
Cricket Club 10k (M 10) – Andrew Douglas (USA)
QSF 3 (M 10) – Yahya Elnawasany (EGY)
RFES Spanish Open Ciudad de Palencia (M 10) – Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
Hong Kong Football Club Christmas PSA (M/W 5) – Chi Him Wong (HKG) & Cheng Nga Ching (HKG)
Punjab International Open (M 10) – Asim Khan (PAK)
MST Dubai Squash Series II (M 5) – Sandeep Ramachandran (IND)
Women’s PSA Squash Tour IV (W 3) – Varvara Esina (RUS)
QSF 4 (M 10) – Yahya Elnawasany (EGY)
CM Punjab International Open (M 10) – Tayyab Aslam (PAK)