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Nouran Gohar (fore) and Nour El Sherbini (back) in action at the Allam British Open in 2021

Battle for World No.1: Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar

As we come towards the conclusion of the CIB Black Ball Open in Cairo, we could well have a change in leadership at the top of the women’s World Rankings, depending on what happens this week at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

Nour El Sherbini, the current World No.1, has now sat at the summit of the rankings for a total of four years cumulatively between 2016 and 2022, but her reign at the top could come to an end at the start of April, thanks to Nouran Gohar’s incredible 2021-2022 campaign so far.

‘The Terminator’ is currently unbeaten in Platinum level tournaments this season, having claimed the titles at the CIB Egyptian Open, U.S. Open presented by Truist and the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family, along with wins at the Bronze level DAC Pro Squash Classic and the Cincinnati Gaynor Cup.

El Sherbini, on the other hand, has reached just one Platinum final so far, missing out on the CIB Egyptian Open crown to Gohar in the first event of the season. She has won the Gold level CIB Squash Open Black Ball and the Bronze level Squash On Fire Open, but that might not be enough to keep her at the top of the World Rankings.

Gohar would be guaranteed of the World No.1 spot if she was to win her quarter final contest on Tuesday evening at the Black Ball Sporting Club, as the amount of ranking points that she would amass from reaching the last four would put her average to an insurmountable number, even if El Sherbini was to win this week.

The current World No.2 takes on English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the semi-finals, and a win tonight would be enough to take her to the top of the World Rankings for the second time in her career.

Meanwhile, for El Sherbini to retain her World No.1 spot for a 49th month in total, she will have to hope that Perry can overcome the challenge of the current World No.2 tonight, before then going on to win the event herself. However, that will be no mean feat, with Georgina Kennedy in her way in tonight’s quarter finals.

For Nour El Sherbini to remain World No.1
El Sherbini wins the CIB Black Ball Open
Gohar loses in the quarter finals

If El Sherbini went on to win this week, and claim the Black Ball Open crown for a third straight time, she would move up to an average of 2,023.333 points. If Gohar loses in the quarter finals, then her average would be 2,001.111.

For Nouran Gohar to become World No.1
Gohar makes the semi-finals or better at the CIB Black Ball Open
Gohar loses in the quarter finals, and El Sherbini fails to win the CIB Black Ball Open

A win tonight in the last eight against Sarah-Jane Perry would mean she will be assured of having at least 2,045.556, meaning she would be the new World No.1 come April 1st. If Gohar was to go on and win the CIB Black Ball Open this week, then the ‘Terminator’ would fly clear at the top, with an average of 2,228.888. Meanwhile, El Sherbini’s average would be, at best if she was to finish runner-up, 1,918.888.

You can watch all the action live from the CIB Black Ball Open quarter finals today on SQUASHTV, and if you are unable to watch, you can also keep up to date with live scores from the tournament here here.

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