[1] Mostafa Asal  3-2 [9] Mazen Hesham    11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 (74m)
[4] Ali Farag 3-1 [5] Paul Coll (NZL)  11-3, 5-11, 11-2, 11-4 (47m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 3-2 [7] Tarek Momen 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-3 (75m)
Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 [2] Diego Elias (PER)  11-5, 13-11, 14-12 (51m)

[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 [6] Nour El Tayeb    11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)
[3] Hania El Hammamy 3-0 [5] Amanda Sobhy (USA)  11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (32m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 [10] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)  11-7, 11-2, 11-4 (23m)

Gawad Sends World No.1 Elias Crashing Out of PSA World Championships

World No.17 Karim Abdel Gawad ended World No.1 Diego Elias’s title challenge at the PSA World Championship presented by the Walter Family as he booked his semi-final spot courtesy of a stunning 3-0 win at Chicago’s Union Station tonight.

Gawad, the 2016 World Champion and a former World No.1, spent 10 months on the sidelines between May 2022 – March 2023 due to a plantar fasciitis issue and he put in his finest performance since his return to action. Elias held two game balls in the third but was ultimately no match for Gawad’s delicate touch and superlative skills as he fell to an 11-5, 13-11, 14-12 defeat.

“I have just come back from an injury and I didn’t know if I’d ever play squash again,” said Gawad afterwards. Now it’s different because I’m not focusing on anything except enjoying my game. I’m enjoying playing well and enjoying being in front of amazing crowd. That’s the most important thing for me now, winning or losing is not something that I’m thinking too much about now.

“I’m just very confident now from the way I’m playing, I’m trying to just keep focusing on each match as if it’s the final.”


El Hammamy Ends Home Hopes to Reach Semi-Finals of PSA World Championships

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy produced a devastating performance at Chicago’s Union Station this evening to eliminate United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy as she advanced to the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family.

El Hammamy lost out to the World No.5 when the pair met in the quarter-finals of last month’s British Open, but the 22-year-old returned with a vengeance as she dismantled Sobhy to win 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 in 32 minutes, ending hopes of an American winner in the process.

“First of all, I’m definitely happy with the way I performed and how I was able to be consistent throughout the whole match,” said El Hammamy. “I lost to Amanda two weeks ago at the British Open. I wasn’t really happy with how I performed mentally or tactically. I came here with a plan today and I’m happy to be able to execute it well.

“I had a couple of testing rounds at the beginning of the tournament. It’s great to have challenging matches at the beginning to give you more confidence for the next rounds.”

El Hammamy’s opponent will be arch-rival and two-time runner-up Nouran Gohar. Gohar, whose 57-week run at World No.1 was ended by Nour El Sherbini today, put in a dominant performance of her own to dispatch 2019 runner-up Nour El Tayeb.

El Tayeb had gone seven matches without a win against Gohar coming into today’s contest and was blown away by the accuracy of her compatriot.

Gohar powered her way to an 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 victory and the 25-year-old is now one win away from appearing in a third consecutive World Championship title decider.

“Nour is a very high-quality player,” said Gohar. “She has so much experience, so much talent, and to beat her in three is an amazing result. I’m pleased with the way I played, but I’m still not done yet. I’m just thinking a match at a time and not really about what I have done in the past few days.”

In the men’s event, World No.3 Mostafa Asal booked his spot in the last four after he claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory against World No.9 Mazen Hesham, winning 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 in 74 minutes.

Asal played well in fits and starts but found it tough going against an opponent attempting to reach his first World Championship semi-final. However, he ground out a tie-break victory in a scrappy deciding game to set up a clash with reigning champion Ali Farag.

“It was very difficult, Mazen is an amazing player,” said Asal, who turns 22 tomorrow. “I played until the last second and I was expecting to be going home, I was thinking it was going to be a nightmare birthday for me. He was playing some superb squash and he was attacking too much and my length wasn’t good in the fourth or the fifth. But I played on in the last minutes, until the last second.”

Farag – who is aiming to win a fourth World Championship trophy – was superb as he nullified World No.5 Paul Coll to reach the semi-finals for the fifth time in a row.

Coll battled back after surrendering the first game, but Farag executed his game plan to perfection in the third and fourth to seal an 11-3, 5-11, 11-2, 11-4 victory.

“Paul has gotten the better of me in the most recent matches we’ve had against each other,” said Farag. “He’s made me a better player by exploiting my weaknesses. I’ve had to go back to the drawing board with Karim [coach, Darwish] on a few things. Nothing feels better than when you see that come to fruition.”