Windy City



[1] Ali Farag 3-1 [3] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 15-13 (73m)
[1] Nour ElSherbini 3-1 [2] Nouran Gohar  11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)

World No.1s Farag and El Sherbini Claim 2024 Windy City!

World No.1s Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini have won the 2024 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family following respective wins over World No.3s Paul Coll and Nouran Gohar on finals night at the University Club of Chicago.

Farag had beaten Coll in the final of the 2020 Windy City Open and lifted silverware once again under the chandeliers of the University Club’s Cathedral Hall following an 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 15-13 victory which has seen him win his sixth PSA title of the season (appearing in 8 finals)

Coll had beaten him in 2 platinum finals (US Open, Hong Kong) and was the only player having managed beat Ali this season!

The Egyptian gained his revenge in Chicago. With the scores poised at one game apiece, Farag went up the gears as he began to pull Coll all around the court to test the retrieval abilities of the New Zealander. Coll overturned five championship balls in the fourth but was ultimately unable to prevent Farag from capturing the 39th PSA title of his career.

“I’m very relieved after missing opportunities to finish out the match,” said Farag afterwards. “It’s testament to Paul’s character, he never gives up until the very end. I was preparing for a fifth game and I think that settled me down a bit and made me play a little bit better. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Paul the way he raises his game season after season.

“The University Club has played host to so many amazing battles and so many amazing memories. Thank you to all the sponsors throughout the years. We’re missing the Walter family this year, but they have shown incredible support for our sport and it’s one of the reasons we will be playing the Olympics in 2028. Thank you to them and everyone who has put this together.”

El Sherbini has also lifted her second Windy City Open trophy after getting the better of Gohar by an 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4 scoreline to win her sixth tournament.

The Egyptian pair were going head-to-head for the 30th time on the PSA Tour, with El Sherbini having won 21 of the previous 29 meetings, including the final of J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions just over a month ago.

That match had seen El Sherbini fight back from 2-0 down to deny Gohar a first title since returning from a plantar fascia injury in her heel. It was a more controlled performance from the reigning World Champion this time around, with a second-game wobble the only blemish in an otherwise dominant performance as she earned the 40th PSA title of her career.

“I’m happy that I played the squash that I wanted to play today,” said El Sherbini. “This is one of the best seasons [in her career]. I’ve been playing really well from the start of the season, I don’t think I’ve won this many tournaments in one season, but I still wouldn’t say this is my best season. I’m happy with it, but I want to stay motivated for the rest of the season.

“There was a lot happening the whole week for me, there were a lot of things on my mind. I’m glad I got them out and I just tried to focus on today’s match. I was almost out in the second round and I wasn’t happy with my performances. Nouran has been playing amazing from the first match, so I just tried to enjoy it and I’m really happy that I played well today.”


[1] Nour ElSherbini 3-1 [5] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)  11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 (45m)
[2] Nouran Gohar 3-1 [3] Hania El Hammamy 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 (70m)

[1] Ali Farag  3-2 [7] Mazen Hesham  7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-2 (65m)
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0 [5] Mostafa Asal  11-6, 11-3, 11-1 (30m)

Reigning champion Nouran Gohar will have the opportunity to retain her title at the Windy City Open after she claimed a win over World No.2 Hania El Hammamy in a repeat of the 2022 Windy City Open final.

El Hammamy had won their most recent match at the Florida Open last month – a 99-minute epic – but Gohar gained her revenge with a clinical performance. El Hammamy clawed back a game after she went 2-0 down then, in the fourth, took a huge tumble after tripping over Gohar’s foot.

She soon returned to court but was powerless to stop Gohar from closing out an 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 victory to set up a final meeting with World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.

“Playing Hania in the semis is not easy, but I think I had a good game plan with my coaches before the match and I executed it pretty well,” said Gohar, who will compete in her third final of the season.

“I hope I can carry on that form for tomorrow’s match and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final. In four or five matches I’ve been leading 2-0 and then she’s won the third and I’ve managed to close it out in four. I think I had that experience in the back of my mind and I knew that if I got a new ball it would be a fresh start. I told myself it was 0-0 and there was just one game you had to win.”

Nour El Sherbini, the 2020 Windy City Open champion, has reached her fifth final at this event after she battled past England’s Georgina Kennedy to win 3-1.

The reigning World Champion had never lost in her eight previous matchups with Kennedy, but was made to work for her place in the final in Chicago, needing 45 minutes to complete an 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 win to reach her seventh PSA final of the season.

“It was a tough match, Gina was playing really well, and she’s been playing amazingly the whole tournament,” said El Sherbini. “I knew it was going to be a tough one. We had some tough matches last year, so I’m happy I won and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s finals. When you’re not playing your best squash, you have to push yourself mentally and physically and believe you can win even if you’re not playing the squash you want to play.”

Paul Coll will go up against World No.1 Ali Farag in a repeat of the 2018 final and the New Zealander remains the only person to beat Farag this season, following wins in the U.S. Open and Hong Kong Open finals.

Farag earned his place in his second Windy City Open title decider after he came back from 2-1 down to oust fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham. It’s the eighth successive tournament in which Farag has reached the final and follows up his win over Hesham in the Houston Open final less than two weeks ago.

“I had to dig very deep, mentally, physically and tactically,” Farag said. “For the first game and a half Mazen was outplaying me. He was hitting better length, better winners and had a better balance overall. Mazen and I are very good friends off court, but on court the two of us want to kill each other, we want to win.”




[7] Mazen Hesham3-2 [4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) 4-11, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9 (81m)
[1] Ali Farag 3-0 [6] Karim Abdel Gawad   11-2, 12-10, 11-4 (36m)
[5] Mostafa Asal 3-2 [2] Diego Elias (PER)  7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6 (83m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 [9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)  11-8, 11-3, 11-3 (24m)
[3] Hania El Hammamy 3-0 [7] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (38m)
[2] Nouran Gohar 3-0 [8] Olivia Weaver (USA) 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 (42m)

Asal Topples Elias to Reach Windy City Open Semis
World No.4 Mostafa Asal has reached the semi-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family for the first time after he overcame No.2 seed Diego Elias in a five-game thriller tonight at the University Club of Chicago.

The pair have struck up quite a rivalry over the last few years, with each of their last five meetings lasting more than an hour and often being controversial in nature. The most recent of those was a five-game marathon at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, which went Elias’ way after 90 minutes of action, marking back-to-back wins for the Peruvian.

The World No.2 looked on course to make it three on the bounce when he took a 2-1 lead after a dominant victory in the third game. But Asal was able to steady the ship and produced fine performances in the next two games to seal the victory.

“It’s unreal,” Asal said after the match.

“Just to be playing Diego in the ‘new Mostafa’ form is difficult. It brings back all the bad days, but it’s more flowing, it’s good squash.

“There was just a little bit of time where he was not clearing or I was not clearing, but it’s just two big guys, so it was really well dealt with by [referee] Roy Gingell and credit to him. He makes the matches quiet and calm and I’m happy with my performance for sure.

The latest chapter of the enthralling rivalry between World No.3 Nouran Gohar and World No.2 Hania El Hammamy will be staged in the Windy City Open semi-finals after they scored respective wins over USA’s Olivia Weaver and Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in the women’s event.

Gohar outplayed World No.6 Weaver, completing an 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 win after 42 minutes of play to continue her title defence.

“It’s tough to play against Olivia,” said Gohar. “We share the same coach Rodney Martin so it’s never easy, but I’m very pleased with the way I played, with my performance in general, and the tactics. I think I managed to execute the game plan well and so far, I’m happy. I love it here in Chicago. Having this huge support of the Walter family is very big for our sport, but I personally really appreciate this. The club members are extremely nice, and it feels like home.”

Gohar and El Hammamy will now meet in a repeat of the 2022 Windy City Open final and it will be their 21st meeting on the PSA Tour, with Gohar winning 13 of them. Gohar got the better of El Hammamy with the title on the line two years ago, but 23-year-old El Hammamy will have a shot at revenge in tomorrow’s semi-finals after sweeping Gilis aside in just 38 minutes.

I’ll take any win that I get in three” said El Hammamy. ‘

It’s better for me to be fresh and ready for the semis, especially against Gohar. It’s always physical, it’s always long and being able to get through in three gives me an advantage. It’s another match this season [against Gohar], it’s very challenging as always. I’m excited for it.”

Mazen Hesham has reached the semi-finals for the first time after upsetting No.4 seeds Mohamed Elshorbagy.

World No.7 Hesham had beaten Elshorbagy 3-2 at the Houston Open last week – his second straight win over the Englishman after losing their previous 11 encounters – and he made it three in a row with another dramatic victory here in Chicago, coming back from two games to one and match ball down to secure victory.

“Today was really hard, mentally and physically,” said Hesham afterwards. “It’s really hard to beat Mo twice in a row, and I only played him last week, so I knew he would come at me really hard to get his revenge. What a fight, man. The guy keeps fighting until the last minute.

“For a guy like me who was almost not going to play again because of the injuries, any day on court is a happy day. I hate losing, but I’m a much better loser now. I hope this can keep going for a bit and I enjoy my squash more and more.”

Hesham will go up against World No.1 Ali Farag for a place in the Platinum-level final after he dispatched World No.5 Karim Abdel Gawad in today’s other men’s quarter-final.

The match was a repeat of the most recent men’s PSA World Championship final, with Farag getting the better of Gawad tonight, as he did in the final of the sport’s biggest tournament. His 11-2, 12-10, 11-4 victory means he is one win away from a second Windy City Open final, having won the event in 2020.

“Karim is such a dangerous player and for the first game and a half I didn’t put a foot wrong,” said Farag. “I was trying to get in front of him, play as accurately as possible and close down the angles. I did that very well up until 6-1 and then I hit two errors, which I don’t think were the wrong shots, but then you get a little nervy and when Karim gets going he can hit winners out of nowhere. All of a sudden you find yourself at 8-8, but thankfully I got that one because it would have made a big psychological difference.”

Round Three

[1] Ali Farag 3-1 Leonel Cardenas (MEX)  11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4 (46m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Miguel Rodriguez (COL)  6-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 (82m)
[7] Mazen Hesham 3-1 Fares Dessouky    7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (53m)
[4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) 3-0 Mohamed ElSherbini  11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (33m)
Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-1 [8] Tarek Momen 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (66m)
[5] Mostafa Asal 3-1 Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)  7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (53m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-1 Farida Mohamed 8-11, 12-10, 15-13, 12-10 (59m)
[3] Hania El Hammamy 3-0 Rowan Elaraby    11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (34m)
[8] Olivia Weaver (USA) 3-0 Amina Orfi  11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (41m)
[2] Nouran Gohar 3-2 Salma Hany   11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (30m)


Ruthless Gohar Races into Quarter-Finals

Defending champion Nouran Gohar produced a clinical performance to book her spot in the last eight, beating fellow Egyptian Salma Hany 3-0 in just 30 minutes. The World No.3 won this event when it was last held in 2022, and will have her sights set on going all the way once more after a ruthless round-three display.

Hany had impressed in recording a 3-0 win of her own over Sarah-Jane Perry in round two, but she was blown away by the 26-year-old here, particularly in the first two games. It took just eight minutes for Gohar to claim the first, winning it 11-2 on a backhand out from Hany, who could not be accused of a lack of effort, sprawling across the court with an acrobatic dive midway through the game.

The second was a similar tale, lasting only eight minutes again, with Hany’s only real joy coming once the game was all but over.

Game three was more competitive, as Hany stuck with the No.2 seed to give herself a chance, hitting a well-placed forehand drop to help level at 9-9. But as champions so often do, Gohar came up clutch when it mattered, bringing up match ball on a stroke before crushing a backhand winner cross court to secure the win in just half an hour.

“I don’t know why everyone keeps telling me I looked nervous in round one, I wasn’t!” Gohar said on court, moments after victory. “The first round is always tough for the nerves and you’re getting used to the court and conditions, they’re completely different from one tournament to another. I’ve been the hunter for so long, but now I’m always hunted. If I have a bad day it’s punished and everybody talks about it, there’s no mercy.

“There is pressure, but as Billie Jean King always says, pressure is privilege. I’m happy with the way I played, Salma and I go way back, we’ve been playing junior events since we were nine years old. I have a lot of respect for her, it was very clean today and very enjoyable.

“At ToC I was very close to winning, one game away, and it was heartbreaking, to be honest. It was going to be like a fairytale coming back from injury and winning your first major, but everything happens for a reason and it’s in the past. I’m really enjoying myself here, I love it here in Chicago and it’s a pleasure to play in front of such an amazing crowd.

“I’m very grateful to play another quarter-final here and I’m looking forward to Monday’s match.”

Asal with Bonmalais Win

Mostafa Asal put a slow start behind him to get his quest for glory underway, beating France’s Sebastien Bonmalais 3-1.

The two players had contrasting weeks in getting to this stage, with Bonmalais beating fellow Frenchman Lucas Serme and then England’s Curtis Malik, while Asal was yet to play a point. He’d had to settle for a hit with James Willstrop on the glass court when he should have been playing Rory Stewart, after the Scot had pulled out of their round-two encounter with illness.

Perhaps lacking some match sharpness, the Egyptian fell behind early on as Bonmalais played a patient first game, utilising his shot selection well. A high backhand that went out from the Asal racket gave Bonmalais the game in just 11 minutes, but the Raging Bull responded in game two, opening up a 5-1 lead.

That followed a change in racket after just two points for the young Egyptian, who took the somewhat unusual step of taking a brand new one from the wrapper, but it didn’t seem to have a negative effect. He clinched game two 11-5 and gave himself a 4-2 lead in game three before being forced off court for a second time, this time to have an injury looked at with blood trickling from his knee.

Asal returned to the court with a bandage more befitting of a knee reconstruction than a small cut, but the break didn’t appear to disrupt his momentum, as he won the next four rallies to open up a six-point gap. He brought up six games balls with a forehand drive that sent Bonmalais the wrong way, and took the first of those six on a backhand volley cross court.

Finally finding his groove, Asal cruised through game four for the loss of just two points in only seven minutes, reaching the quarter-finals at the Windy City Open for the first time.

“When you start the tournament very late like this, it gets into your head that you need to play some matches and you need to adapt to the glass court,” he said. “I want to say get well soon to Rory Stewart. It’s my first match and Sebastien is a quick player and in good form.

“The mornings aren’t good to me. I woke up at 10.30 and set a list of alarms. I’m happy to be through against a tricky opponent and I’m looking forward to my next match.

Discussing the cut to his leg, he added: “he blood was flowing and I wanted to play. I tried to clean it with a towel but then it flowed again. It happened at the ToC too, maybe every tournament it’s going to be like this! It was a really good match, I adapted to the court and the atmosphere, and what an atmosphere it is.”

World No.1s Nour El Sherbini and Ali Farag advanced to the quarter-finals but were made to work hard for their wins.

El Sherbini came back from a game down against fellow Egyptian Farida Mohamed, eventually running out an 8-11, 12-10, 15-13, 12-10 winner after 59-minutes of intense action.

The 2020 Windy City Open champion has not failed to reach the quarter-finals of a World Tour event since 2015, but that record looked under serious threat midway through this encounter, as she needed to save game balls in each of the last three games. El Sherbini will take on USA’s Sabrina Sobhy in the last eight of the Platinum-level event after Sobhy beat England’s Lucy Turmel to reach her first Windy City Open quarter-final.

“It wasn’t an easy second round,” said El Sherbini afterwards. “Farida is a very good player and an attacking player. She fights until the end, and I wasn’t very happy with the way I was playing. I haven’t played her for a long time, so it took me a while to get used to her game.

“I’m happy that I won and I’ll try to play better in the next round. It was a very tight match and they were tight games. I was leading by two or three points in every game but then that disappeared. I try not to think when I’m game ball down, I just play as if it’s 7-7 or 8-7.”

Men’s 2020 Windy City Open champion Farag was put through his paces by Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas, needing four games and 46 minutes to get past the World No.34.

A fired up Cardenas looked determined to make the most of his time on court against the world’s leading male player and slotted some sublime nicks in games one and two as he seized the early initiative.

Farag finally took control midway through the second game, though, as he slowed the pace down and stretched his opponent, and his reward will be a last-eight meeting with No.6 seed Karim Abdel Gawad in a repeat of the 2022-23 PSA World Championship final. Gawad twice came back from a game down to see off Colombian veteran Miguel Rodriguez in the final match of the day, a gruelling encounter totalling 82 minutes.

“Leo was very solid all the way through,” said Farag afterwards. “In the third I started playing longer rallies. I thought he was getting tired, but he kept on pushing and he never gave me any easy points. It’s a good lesson for me to learn that I should start playing like that from the very beginning. I was trying to go for too many shortcuts and too many quick winners.

“You can’t get away with that at this level of squash, so I’m very happy that I managed to come back strong in the third and continued that until the end.”


Round Two

[1] Ali Farag 3-0 Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT)  11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 Nathan Lake (ENG)  10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)
[7] Mazen Hesham 3-0 Nicolas Mueller (SUI)  11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (27m)
Fares Dessouky 3-2 Aly Abou Eleinen    2-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9 (64m)
Mohamed ElSherbini 3-0 Omar Mosaad    11-7, 15-13, 11-4 (53m)
[4] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 3-0 Youssef Soliman  11-5, 11-8, 11-3 (34m)
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0 Youssef Ibrahim  11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (50m)
[8] Tarek Momen 3-1 Ramit Tandon (IND)  5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (34m)
[5] Mostafa Asal v Rory Stewart (SCO)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Rachel Arnold (MAS)  12-10, 11-5, 12-10 (31m)
Farida Mohamed 3-1 Lucy Beecroft (ENG)  11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4 (31m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0 [6] Nour El Tayeb   12-10, 11-9, 15-13 (45m)
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1 Sana Ibrahim   11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4 (55m)
[3] Hania El Hammamy 3-1 Zeina Mickawy   11-7, 12-10, 11-9 (39m)
Rowan Elaraby 3-1 Malak Khafagy     8-11, 11-0, 11-2, 11-6 (35m)
Amina Orfi  3-1 Nada Abbas   11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7
Salma Hany 3-0 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)  11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)  (60m)
[2] Nouran Gohar 3-0 Fayrouz Aboelkheir   11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)

Round One

Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-2 Nour Aboulmakarim 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (62m)
Tesni Murphy (WAL) 3-0 Jana Shiha 3-0  11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (21m)
Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-1 Hana Ramadan 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (40m)
Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 3-0 Kenzy Ayman  11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (22m)
Sana Ibrahim 3-0 Millie Tomlinson (ENG)  11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
Zeina Mickawy  3-0 Emilia Soini (FIN)  11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)
Malak Khafagy 3-2 Aifa Azman (MAS) 13-11, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (54m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1 Hana Moataz  11-9, 14-12, 9-11, 11-4 (45m)
Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-0 Salma Eltayeb  12-10, 11-5, 11-8 (31m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir 3-0 Énora Villard (FRA)  11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (27m)

Omar Mosaad 3-1 Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG)  13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5 (45m)
Youssef Ibrahim 3-1 Yahya Elnawasany  11-4, 11-8, 12-14, 14-12 (75m)
Greg Lobban (SCO)  3-1 Karim El Hammamy  11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10 (73m)


Windy City Open 2024