PSA says: The Best Performers in 2024 are Egyptians

In PSA Outstanding Performers – Part One, the governing body has selected… 4 Egyptians out of 4. Plus in Part Two, a coming up player who is about to try and keep her World Title…

  • A record 36 events taking place over five continents
  • 24 different players capturing titles throughout the season

Ali Farag

Titles Won: 8
Finals Reached: 13
Matches Played: 66
Matches Won: 60 (90.9%)

After a 22/23 season that was blighted with injury, World No.1 Ali Farag produced potentially the best season of his career this year, capturing a staggering eight titles on the PSA World Tour.

Not only did the Egyptian stretch his time at the summit of the World Rankings to over a year, but he also took his tally of career successes to over 40, leaving himself seventh on the all-time men’s list for PSA Titles won.

Straight from the Paris Squash season-opening event, Farag was on song, defeating Peru’s Diego Elias to the title, before repeating this feat at the Qatar Classic. A pair of agonising five-game defeats to fierce rival Paul Coll would follow in the next two Platinum events – the US Open and Hong Kong – the scores respectively 12-10 and 11-9 in the fifth.

As the season entered the New Year, Farag hit even higher heights, winning 18 straight matches and claiming titles at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, Houston Open and Windy City Open. The Egyptian subsequently reached the final of the Optasia Championships whilst observing Ramadan and even had a Championship Ball in the title decider, before New Zealand’s Coll mounted a remarkable comeback to win in five games.

Despite defeat in the World Championships semi-finals to Elias in May – the only time he failed to reach a final all season – Farag also took home titles at the Platinum El Gouna International and the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals.

Such was Farag’s form over the course of the whole season that the Egyptian lost to just three players on tour: Paul Coll, Diego Elias, and Mostafa Asal. The four-time World Champion will no doubt start next season as the man to beat once again on the PSA World Tour.

Nouran Gohar

Titles Won: 5
Finals Reached: 8
Matches Played: 52
Matches Won: 45 (86.5%)

What a season newly crowned World Champion Nouran Gohar has enjoyed on the PSA World Tour.

The campaign by no means started in ideal circumstances for the Egyptian after sustaining a Plantar Fascia injury during the opening two events of the season – a knockback that left her sidelined for almost four months.

Upon her return, Gohar took her time to find the standout form that had previously taken her to World No.1, losing three tight five-game matches against Hania El Hammamy, Nour El Sherbini and Rowan Elaraby at the Florida Open, J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, and the DAC Pro Classic. Two more defeats to El Sherbini and El Hammamy followed in the final of the Windy City Open and semi-finals of the London Classic, but from then on, ‘The Terminator’ was an unstoppable force.

The last five events of the season saw Gohar record an quite incredible string of results: five tournaments, five titles won, and 25 wins in succession.

After wrapping up the Gold-level Black Ball Open and El Gouna International Platinum titles in dominant fashion, Gohar managed to finally break her Hoodoo with the PSA World Championships, vanquishing her three prior runner-up finishes to El Sherbini by defeating the ‘Warrior Princess’ to be crowned the new World Champion.

A second British Open title awaited Gohar following victory over El Sherbini in the longest women’s British Open final on record – 92 minutes – before capping off her season in perfect style by becoming the first woman to win the PSA World Tour Finals on three separate occasions.

Despite still sitting at World No.2, Gohar finished the season with four straight victories over World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in tournament finals – a run that will certainly leave her believing she can return to the top of the rankings if she continues such spectacular form.

Mostafa Asal

Titles Won: 3
Finals Reached: 8
Matches Played: 59
Matches Won: 46 (77.9%)

The 23/24 PSA World Tour has been one of significant change for Mostafa Asal as he has looked to put to bed the controversy that has surrounded the early years of his career. Now with former World No.1 James Willstrop in his corner, ‘The Raging Bull’ looks a changed player on court, instilling the fair play and gentlemanly respect that Willstrop was renowned for during his career. Importantly though, he has managed to maintain the biting edge that saw him become the third-youngest man to reach World No.1 in the history of the sport.

After returning from a 12-week suspension from the tour, Asal took a little while to find his top gear, being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Grasshopper Cup, finishing runner-up at the Malaysia Cup and reaching the semi-finals of both the Singapore Open and Hong Kong Open.

As the season progressed though, Asal only got better and better though, winning his first title of the season came at the Gold-level Florida Open title, where he defeated Mazen Hesham in the final. A couple of months later he also secured the Black Ball Open title – a run which saw him defeat Karim Abdel Gawad, and notably, World No.1 Ali Farag in the title decider.

Over the course of the final six events of the season – including his Black Ball Open success – Asal reached every single final, finishing runner-up at the London Classic, El Gouna International, World Championships, and the PSA World Tour Finals.

The standout win of the campaign for Asal was his victory at the prestigious British Open. ‘The Raging Bull’ by no means had an easy route, having to overcome Marwan ElShorbagy in the third round before defeating both Paul Coll and Farag in nail-biting five-game matches to lift the trophy.

Considering the way Asal finished the season, many will be tipping him to only move on to greater things next year.

Hania El Hammamy

Titles Won: 2
Finals Reached: 6
Matches Played: 50
Matches Won: 39 (78%)

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy has been a consistent threat in the latter stages of tournaments this season, but ‘The Leopard’ may rue a few missed opportunities to add to her ever-growing trophy cabinet.

The Egyptian’s consistency throughout the course of the season can’t be knocked though, after reaching at least the semi-finals of all 11 events following the season-opening Paris Squash.

After a disappointing third-round exit to Sabrina Sobhy in the third-round in the French capital, El Hammamy bounced back in terrific style, producing a superb week of squash to win the Platinum-level Qatar Classic. Her run to the title was littered with dangerous opponents, with El Hammamy overcoming Sivasangari Subramaniam, Georgina Kennedy, Amanda Sobhy, and notably World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in a thrilling five-game clash in the final, on her way to the title.

Runner-up finishes at the US Open and the Grasshopper Cup would follow, before El Hammamy successfully defended her Hong Kong Open title. Despite fellow finalist Amanda Sobhy having to withdraw early in the first game of the title decider, the No.2 seed was nonetheless extremely impressive throughout the rest of the event.

El Hammamy wasn’t able to kick on in terms of titles from the New Year onwards, but she managed a runner-up finish in Florida – an event which saw her take the honours in a 99-minute semi-final epic against the returning Nouran Gohar – as well as runner-up finish at the London Classic at Alexandra Palace.

Despite reaching the semi-finals of three subsequent Platinum events, as well as the last four stages of the World Championships and the PSA World Tour Finals, El Hammamy was defeated three times by Gohar and twice by El Sherbini, both of whom sit above her in the World Rankings, in the latter stages of the campaign.

El Hammamy will hope that the recent addition of former World Champion Laura Massaro to her team will only continue to aid her quest to mount the summit of the World Rankings heading into next season.

Amina Orfi

  • Season Ranking Change: World No.43 > No.13
    Notable Highlights:
  • Became youngest-ever Platinum quarter-finalist at U.S Open
  • First World Tour title win at Squash On Fire Open

Egypt’s teenage sensation Amina Orfi has certainly lived up to her billing in her first full season on the PSA World Tour, surging through the world rankings all the way to the fringes of the top ten.

Orfi has proven she has the attacking weapons to challenge any player in the world on her day, recording wins over the likes of Joelle King, Georgina Kennedy and Tinne Gilis this campaign. At the US Open, the 16-year-old became the youngest-ever player to reach the quarter-finals of a Platinum event, before eventually losing out to Amanda Sobhy in a thrilling five game encounter.

Further success followed Orfi throughout the rest of the season, reaching the finals of both the Hong Kong FC Open and Australian Open, and clinching her maiden World Tour title at the Squash On Fire Open.

What has also become notable is Orfi’s maturity and calmness under pressure, with the teenager winning five out of her six matches that went to a deciding game. Coupling this mental strength with her all-round game will have her earmarked by many as one of the few players who could potentially break up the dominance of Nour El Sherbini, Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy at the top of the world rankings in the years to come.