The quarter finals of the Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family begins today with all the action taking place LIVE from 14:00 (GMT-6).
Order of Play
El Hammamy on Form to Seal Semis Spot
Hania El Hammamy
World No.3 Hania El Hammamy has sealed her place in the semi finals of the Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family for the first time in her career following a superb 3-0 win over fellow Egyptian Salma Hany.
El Hammamy was superb throughout and gave Hany very little to work with as she attacked well and hit clean lines against the World No.7 to complete an 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory to move to within one win of a third successive PSA World Tour final.
A semi final fixture against either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby in the last four awaits.
“I’m really happy to beat Salma in three, she’s such a dangerous opponent and is very hard to play, very tricky,” said El Hammamy.
“I managed to stay focus and not drop a game. All games were very tight, and I had to be very focused on the critical points, so I’m very happy I managed to do that.
“I’m very positive with the way I’m approaching each tournament, knowing that I have to beat one or two [of El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar] at least. I’ve been able to beat one of them in each tournament and my next goal is to beat one of them in both tournament. I’m gaining confidence, and I hope to do it very soon.”
"I'm really happy to beat Salma in three, she's such a dangerous opponent."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) February 27, 2022
HaniaaElHammamy</a> reacts as she books her <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoSquash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">ChicagoSquash semis spot#WCOsquash pic.twitter.com/GSFnKHh8NF
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (37m)
Ibrahim makes first platinum semi-final
Youssef Ibrahim celebrates his win
A huge opportunity presented itself for Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu and Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the second match of the day’s play.
Both players have caused huge upsets in this event. Pajares defeated No.5 seed Diego Elias 3-2 in round two, whereas Ibrahim claimed another victory over World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach the quarter finals.
Ibrahim picked up where he left off, firing the ball short at any opportunity and moved his Spanish opponent into all four corners of the court, making life extremely difficult for Pajares to make any headway in the match.
After securing the first game 11-5, Ibrahim gathered confidence and momentum to take the next game 11-4 and place one foot in his first platinum event semi-final. The talented Egyptian was ruthless in his attacks to the front of the court, chopping the ball in short and leaving the ball so far up the court that even the athleticism of Pajares wasn't enough to deny an Ibrahim win.
Ibrahim won the third game 11-6 to book his semi-final place, where he will play the winner of Ali Farag and Marwan ElShorbagy.
Lift the leg…
Slot the winner….
This is squash –
Yousseefibrahim</a> style <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WCOsquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WCOsquash</a> <a href="https://t.co/5mJFoU3KxY">pic.twitter.com/5mJFoU3KxY</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) February 27, 2022
Ibrahim had this to say after the match:
“I remember in my first platinum quarter final I was way too excited. I prepared so well for this match and just wanted to get a good start. From then on I stuck to my tactics and it wasn't his best day and Iker has a lot better to offer than this but I think I held it together better, but I didn't give him a chance to get into the match and I'm happy with that.
“I was really concerned about that, I warmed up or like 40 minutes, I don’t usually warm up that much and that says a lot, I was pretty sharp in the first couple of points and I didn't give him any freebies and I was just focused today.
“Ali and Marwan are really good friends of mine, Ali and I play in the same club and I'm happy to say I beat him last time. Ali and Marwan is always a really good match for the crowd and I hope the best player wins and I'm looking forward to whomever it is in the semis.”
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (33m)
El Sherbini storms into the semi-finals
Nour El Sherbini in action
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini was in action next on day five of this year’s Windy City Open as she defeated compatriot Rowan Elaraby in three games to reach another platinum event semi-final.
After surviving a huge scare in round three from Belgium’s Tinne Gilis, El Sherbini look focused and composed as she started the match strongly taking the first game 11-7.
The second game followed a similar pattern to the first as El Sherbini dominated the exchanges and after hitting immaculate drives was able to pick her younger opponent off on the volley several times.
The World No.1 continued to twist and turn Elaraby, the younger Egyptian had no answer for the power and accuracy of El Sherbini. The No.1 seed moved through to yet another semi-final winning 3-0 in
“I’m really happy with my performance. I think I really needed this win for my confidence after my last match,” admitted El Sherbini.
“First time paying Rowan, she's in great form this season, breaking into the top 10 and we’ve never played before so I really wanted to play well today and get my game confidence back and I'm really happy with this win.
“When you have a tough match In the first rounds, you try to think about what's happening and I've been away for almost two weeks so I have to try and keep myself ready. I haven't played two tournaments back to back like this for a long time so I think it helped to wake me up a little bit and be ready for the rest of the tournament.
“It's always a tough battle against Hania and I think she proved herself this season. She's been challenging all the players and I always like this kind of challenge, she beat me in Philadelphia and I won at Black Ball so I'll do my best to be ready for this one again.”
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (29m)
ElShorbagy stuns Farag
Marwan ElShorbagy celebrating his victory.
Closing out the day’s play, World No.1 Ali Farag took on No.6 seed Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the Windy City Open semi-finals.
Farag capitalised on a slow start from ElShorbagy and by using the boast the great effect to drag his compatriot up the court and following up with severe volleys. After 11 minutes of play, Farag drew first blood as he took the first game 11-6.
In typical fashion, ElShorbagy responded with accurate, aggressive squash to level the match at 1-1. Farag managed to pull ahead in the third game and earn himself two game balls to take a 2-1 lead, ElShorbagy had other ideas however and won the next four points to take the lead against the run of play.
The momentum continued for ‘The Jackel’ in game four as he never gave Farag a moment to settle. Stepping up the court and volleying was proving to be too much for the World No.1 who couldn’t find a way to stop ElShorbagy.
Wining 11-7 in the fourth game, ElShorbagy has booked his semi-final place, where he will play compatriot Youssef Ibrahim.
“Just to get another win over Ali means a lot to me,” said Marwan.
“Ali is a great player, he’s the World No.1, he sets his standards very high and he makes everyone on the tour work very hard and he’s improving our own games. I’m just very happy to get the win today. When I woke up this morning I just had a good feeling today.
“I had a good conversation with Danny Massaro, he’s not just my sports psychologist, he’s a great friend and he’s like a big brother to me, he knows me so well and knows how to prepare me for matches like these. So I just want to thank him, he’s really been pushing me mentally.
“It’s not over yet, I have good memories on this court, I have been struggling in the past few months so you never know how far I could go this week.
“I was giving Sheldon some tough times today but I do this to all the referees. It’s always tough playing Ali, it’s always tense, but I just tried to keep my composure, we were both arguing but I think it’s part of the game, we’re in such a small space, interference will always happen but Ali is such a great player and I respect him a lot. He’s a two-time world champion and has been World No.1 for many months and I know he’s losing it to Paul but he’ll be determined to get it back.
“Youssef is such a tough player to play and read, he’s just coming up and he’s so exciting to watch. I’m really looking forward to playing him, we played 12 months ago and that went my way but he has improved a lot since then so I will need to figure out my tactics to play him but for now, I just want to focus on my rest day tomorrow.”
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (61m)