duo Nouran Gohar and Ali Farag captured the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash
Championships titles earlier today at Philadelphia’s Drexel University after
overcoming compatriots Nour El Tayeb and Mohamed ElShorbagy to win the first PSA
Platinum event of the 2019/20 season.
World No.5 Gohar has made it back-to-back Platinum titles after also taking the
honours at the British Open in May, but the 22-year-old had to battle back from
two games down and championship ball down to claim the 10th title of her career.
El Tayeb won the 2017 edition of the event alongside husband Farag as they
became the first married couple in sporting history to win the same major title
on the same day. And it looked like a repeat could be on the cards after a
blistering start from El Tayeb saw the World No.3 power to a two-game lead,
while she had the championship within her grasp at 11-10 in the third.
Gohar dug in to send the match into a fourth, and the tide turned immediately as
she put together a series of well-constructed rallies to take the fourth as
well. El Tayeb stayed with Gohar until 7-7 in the decider, but Gohar pulled away
to claim a 3-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 victory which sees her win her third
major PSA title, while she will go to World No.2 in the November PSA World
“I can’t believe it,” said Gohar after the match.
“It was so tough out there, I felt my legs burning and it was like I was doing
court sprints with Nour out there in the first two games. I just tried to hang
in there and I didn’t want the crowd to be upset about a bad final match. I was
thinking ‘that’s the worst final ever’, but it turns out, and I hope, it was a
was really nervous and I thought ‘just fight, you didn’t work that hard to just
let it go’, so for each point I was just telling myself to fight. I tried to
adapt, I knew that my plan wasn’t working and I thought when the opportunity
came to just take a risk and see how it goes. The crowd was amazing and the best
ever, I think even better than an Egyptian crowd. It’s really nice for us to
have such a good crowd and it cheers you on when you are down.”
While El Tayeb narrowly missed out on taking the women’s crown, Farag made no
mistake in adding to his 17 PSA Tour titles as a masterclass of a performance
saw him end ElShorbagy’s unbeaten start to the season in a free-flowing match
that saw only four decisions made by the referee throughout the entirety of the
ElShorbagy has already won the J.P. Morgan China Open and Oracle NetSuite Open
over the past month, beating Farag in the final of the former, while he was on a
12-match unbeaten run coming into today’s title decider.
the three-time U.S. Open champion was powerless to prevent his opponent from
taking a 3-0 win today. Farag was sublime as he controlled the rallies right
from the off, and after claiming a comfortable 11-4 victory in the opening game,
he went in for the kill in games two and three, with an off-the-pace ElShorbagy
failing to lunge properly in the final game.
Farag becomes the third Egyptian to win the U.S. Open twice after ElShorbagy and
the legendary Amr Shabana, while it is his first PSA Tour title of the season.
“To be winning not only a major, but the U.S. Open which is one of the most
prestigious tournaments we have on the calendar, it feels amazing," Farag said.
"It’s a good day for the family, I can’t be too disappointed but there is no one
I hate more in this building than Nouran Gohar right now! I’m kidding, both
Nouran and Nour played an amazing match and that’s how squash should be played.
I’m very proud with how I played as well, Mohamed has had an unbelievable start
to the season, to be unbeaten in 12 matches in a row, and I was one of the
victims, so to get the win today feels amazing."
In addition to their earnings of $25,000, both Farag and Gohar qualify for the
season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which will take place in June, 2020. The
PSA World Tour Finals features a men’s and women’s draw containing the reigning
PSA World Champions and all Platinum title winners. Remaining spots are
allocated to the highest-placed players on the Road to Egypt Standings, with
points on offer at all PSA World Tour events.
The next PSA World Tour event will be the 2019-20 CIB PSA Women’s World
Championships, which takes place in front of Cairo’s iconic Great Pyramid of
Giza between October 24 - November 1. A men’s Platinum event - the CIB Egyptian
Squash Open - will also be held alongside it.
years on from their historic title triumphs at the FS Investments U.S. Open
Squash Championships, married couple Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag have once again
reached the finals of the PSA Platinum event as all four semi-final fixtures
went the way of Egyptian players at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
El Tayeb and Farag became the first married couple in sporting history to win
the same major sports title on the same day when they won their first major
titles in Philadelphia in 2017.
They now have the opportunity to repeat that feat after respective wins against
women’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily and Peru’s Diego Elias. El Tayeb beat El
Welily in that U.S. Open final two years ago, and the pair were meeting for the
third time in as many tournaments after sharing the spoils in the China Open and
Oracle NetSuite Open finals last month.
El Welily dismantled El Tayeb in just 23 minutes in the final of the Oracle
NetSuite Open, but the 30-year-old saw her title defence come to an end after a
masterclass of attacking squash from El Tayeb saw the younger Egyptian come out
an 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 winner - marking the first time she has ever beaten El
Welily in straight games.
“I watched our last match from San Francisco this morning,” said 26-year-old El
“I was shocked, I didn’t think I was doing a lot of things bad, but she was just
unbeatable and took every chance. Today, I was laughing, when I was 6-4 up in
the first game I thought ‘yes, I’ve taken more points than I did last time’.
“Last time the most I scored was five, so after I took the first game I thought
‘wow, I’m in this and it’s not like last time’. I was talking to Ali before the
match, and I was in a good mindset and felt less pressure. It’s a pity it’s the
semi-final because I want to play Raneem in a match like that in the final
because this is it and you want to beat Raneem and go home, but I need to forget
about this match now and focus on tomorrow.”
final opponent will be World No.5 Nouran Gohar after an onslaught of
hard-hitting squash saw her dispatch 2016 winner Camille Serme in a repeat of
May’s British Open final.
Gohar, the only one of the women’s semi-finalists that hasn’t won the event,
lost to Serme at the same stage of June’s PSA World Tour Finals, but this time
around the French player had no answer to the sheer power of Gohar’s hitting.
The 22-year-old from Cairo was relentless as she lived up to her ‘Terminator’
moniker, surging to an 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 victory to book her spot in a third
successive Platinum final.
“Before playing here, I was thinking yesterday that all the semi-finalists are
U.S. Open champions and I’m the only one that isn’t,” said Gohar.
“Nour is the player to beat. She has been chopping everyone now and she’s
playing really well. I’m excited about tomorrow’s match, I think it will be a
great one with a lot of contrast. She likes to slow it down and plays really
good shots, I like to hit hard so it’s going to be interesting and challenging,
but I’m looking forward to it."
The men’s final will pit Farag up against World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in a
repeat of the 2017 title decider. Farag got the better of Peru’s Diego Elias in
straight games, while ElShorbagy matched that scoreline against fellow Egyptian
Farag will now appear in a seventh successive Platinum final after a composed
display from the 27-year-old saw him overcome Elias by an 11-9, 11-6, 11-8
leaving the room today you would have told us that we [Farag and El Tayeb] would
be leaving with two 3-0 wins tonight, I wouldn’t have believed you," Farag said.
"He is one of those players that has so much skill in his racket, but then when
he loosens up it’s even more. You could see he was firing nicks at the end, I
don’t think I did much wrong, maybe I took my foot off the gas, but it’s all
credit to him and I’m happy to close it down in three. We will both have solid
opponents in the final now… we’re going to give it our best and if we walk away
with another repeat of 2017 then we would be very happy.”
Farag and ElShorbagy played each other in the China Open final last month, with
ElShorbagy winning on that occasion, while he has won 11 of 18 matches against
the current World No.1.
ElShorbagy, a three-time U.S. Open champion, will line up in a fourth successive
final in Philly after he disposed of Egypt’s Tarek Momen in straight games.
Despite some tenacious retrieving from Momen, ElShorbagy dominated the ’T’ in a
powerhouse performance to follow up his victory over the World No.3 in last
week’s Oracle NetSuite Open title decider, winning 11-8, 11-9, 11-3.
ElShorbagy and Farag are currently locked in a battle for the World No.1 spot
and the former sent out a stark warning sign to Farag ahead of tomorrow’s
would mean so much to have a shot at winning the U.S. Open title for the fourth
time, but I’m up against the best player in the world right now," ElShorbagy
"I’m after him and I want his ranking, but he had an unbelievable season last
season, and I think it’s fitting that the first Platinum tournament of the
season we have the World No.1 and No.2 in the final. Hopefully it’s a good match
in front of everyone.”
The finals begin at 17:00 (GMT-4) on Saturday October 12. Coverage will be
broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and
the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian subcontinent only).
No.2 seed Camille Serme put in an immaculate performance to defeat the only
American player left in the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships draw,
Amanda Sobhy, to book her place in the semi-finals of the PSA Platinum
tournament taking place at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
The match was a repeat of last month’s Open de France final, which Serme won 3-1
to claim a sixth successive win over the Boston-based World No.8, and the
Frenchwoman was methodical and deadly accurate as she dismantled Sobhy to win by
an 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 in just 24 minutes.
Sobhy has been carrying an adductor injury throughout the event, and despite a
spirited showing, the 26-year-old was unable to get really stuck into her
opponent and made a succession of errors as Serme dominated proceedings to set
up a semi-final fixture with World No.5 Nouran Gohar.
“I know Amanda has been struggling a little bit with her leg, it’s not easy to
know that and play your best," said 2017 U.S. Open Champion Serme.
“It was a great battle in France, she played really well. She’s very strong
physically and I always try and play on that with Amanda to make the rallies
really long and make it as long as I can. Even if she is going to win the point,
I try to make it hard for her.
“I haven’t played Nouran since June at the World Tour Finals, so I’m really
looking forward to this match. It will be a tough match and I’m very happy to be
back in the semis of this tournament."
Serme and Gohar will contest a repeat of the British Open final - which went the
way of Gohar - although Serme did gain a measure of revenge in their most recent
meeting, which came in the last four of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals.
Gohar will appear in her first U.S. Open semi-final after she defeated last
year’s semi-finalist Tesni Evans in straight games. The Cairo-born 22-year-old
was firing on all cylinders as she established her renowned hard-hitting style
of play on the match right from the off, and Evans had no response as the
Egyptian won 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 in 34 minutes.
say third time lucky, but for me it’s four,” said Gohar following her win.
“I started playing the U.S. Open when I was 15 years old and it was my first
World Series event. I remember I was playing with Joelle King when she was World
No.4, before the injury, and I was so excited to be on court and practicing and
everything, so to be in the semi-finals now is unbelievable."
champion Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his title defence as he defeated New
Zealand’s Paul Coll to reach a sixth successive U.S. Open semi-final. The pair
were both unbeaten this season heading into this match, and they played out an
electrifying 60-minute encounter in front of a packed house at Drexel
ElShorbagy took the opening two games on the tie-break after some gruelling
rallies, with Coll unable to make the most of two game ball opportunities in the
second. That proved crucial as ElShorbagy outplayed the Kiwi in the third and
final game to record a fifth successive win over the World No.5.
ElShorbagy has fond memories of the tournament after title wins in 2014, 2016
and 2018, claiming the World No.1 spot for the first time after the first of
those victories. The 28-year-old will now have the opportunity to reach the
final of this tournament for a third time in a row, winning 12-10, 14-12, 11-5
to set up a last four meeting with World No.3 Tarek Momen.
“Playing Paul is always going to be tough,” ElShorbagy said.
“You have to accept before you go on court with him that you are going to go
through a physical war with him before you can try to beat him. I had to have
courage and go for more winners. I didn’t volley as much as I would have liked
in the match and I didn’t go as short but I went for it in the tie-breaks and
luckily it paid off."
ElShorbagy beat Momen in the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open last week and the
latter will look to avenge that defeat after coming back from a game down to
defeat 2018 runner-up Simon Rösner.
Their head-to-head record stood at five wins apiece heading into the match and,
while Rösner showed some good touches to take a one-game advantage, he soon
tired, allowing Momen to grow into the match as he completed 8-11, 11-8, 11-3,
11-3 victory to reach his first U.S. Open semi-final.
to my first semi-final here is special,” said Momen afterwards.
“I’ve always wanted to do well here, but I’ve never reached the semi-final. The
closest I came was last year when I was match ball up in the fifth but lost it
in the tie-break, so it’s good that I have gone one step further, and hopefully
I continue to go further into the tournament."
The U.S. Open semi-finals will take place at 17:30 on Friday October 11th with
all four top seeds in action in the women’s event, while No.7 seed Diego Elias
is the surprise semi-finalist in the men’s after he beat No.4 seed Karim Abdel
Gawad in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night.
Live coverage will be shown on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player
(Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian
World No.7 Diego Elias will become the first South American to appear in the
semi-finals of the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships after he came
back from a game down to overcome World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad at Philadelphia’s
22-year-old Elias hadn’t beaten Gawad on the PSA Tour prior to tonight - losing
all five of their previous meetings - but he played with maturity to defeat the
Egyptian 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, earning a spot in only his second major
Gawad raced out of the traps to take a one-game lead, but three tins from the
28-year-old towards the end of the second game proved costly as Elias levelled.
Gawad continued to hit too many errors as Elias added the third, but was back on
top in the fourth to set up a decider.
However, he had few answers to Elias’s guile as the No.7 seed kept him at arm’s
length to close out a win which will see him take on World No.1 Ali Farag for a
place in the final.
“I’m just so happy with my performance today,” said Elias afterwards.
“I think I like this place – it was my first quarter-final here and now my first
semi-final here. I’m just really happy to have my dad here and [former World
No.1] Jonathon [Power], he has been helping me for so long and I’m really happy
that this is happening.
“I’m feeling really confident, now I have to recover. I always have good matches
with Ali, so I want to be at 100 per cent to play well and have another great
match with him.”
Farag was slated to take on Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez in the final match of
the day, but a calf injury saw Rodriguez withdraw from the fixture, meaning 2017
champion Farag receives a walkover into the last four.
women’s semi-finals will feature a repeat of the 2017 women’s final as World
No.1 Raneem El Welily and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb both booked their last four
spots after respective wins over England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and two-time World
Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby.
El Welily and El Tayeb contested the final of this tournament two years ago,
with El Tayeb claiming a dramatic 3-2 victory to lift her first PSA Platinum
title. That win came before husband Ali Farag overcame World No.2 Mohamed
ElShorbagy to capture his first major title, meaning they became the first
married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on
the same day.
El Welily and El Tayeb have already met in back-to-back finals at the first two
PSA World Tour events of the season - the J.P. Morgan China Open and the Oracle
NetSuite Open - with both players collecting a win apiece. El Welily, who
dismantled El Tayeb in just 23 minutes in the Oracle NetSuite Open final, earned
her spot in the semi-finals of this tournament after beating Perry 11-6, 14-12,
“I’m so far away from defending my title,” said 30-year-old El Welily after
claiming her 350th PSA Tour win.
“It used to be very hard for me mentally to play the same person again and
again, but since the years have passed, I think I have got used to it. We play
one week after the other, and it’s very common that we play the same person
back-to-back. It’s just another match, I don’t think of it as a repeat of
something that has happened before, it is just a new match and a new
In the battle of the two former World Junior Champions, it was El Tayeb who came
out on top against Elaraby, with the 26-year-old winning 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 in 26
19-year-old Elaraby, the World Junior Champion in 2017 and 2018, caused the
biggest upset of the tournament so far when she dispatched World No.6 Joelle
King in round three, and she began the fixture with El Tayeb well, showing no
fear as she surged into a 4-0 lead in the opening game.
But from there, it was all El Tayeb as the World Championship runner-up hit her
stride and played an array of winners to book her place in the last four. She is
currently 13-7 down on the head-to-head record against El Welily and has won one
of their last four meetings.
feeling great on the court and I’m very pleased with how I’m playing,” El Tayeb
“I can’t wait to get back on here for the semis and hopefully reach another
final. I’m happy that I’m reaching the stage where I’m playing Raneem. It’s been
a great season so far, she is the best in the world for a reason, but I can’t
wait to get on there and play a good match."
The quarter-finals continue on Thursday October 10. Play begins at 17:30 (GMT-4)
and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe
only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe &
States No.1 Amanda Sobhy booked her place in the quarter-finals of the FS
Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships after beating India’s Joshna Chinappa
in straight games earlier today at the PSA Platinum event taking place at
Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
Sobhy is the only remaining US player in the draw and had been struggling with
an adductor injury in the build up to the event - pulling out of the Oracle
NetSuite Open a fortnight ago - while the injury still looked to be troubling
her during her second round fixture with fellow American Olivia Fiechter.
However, the Boston-based Harvard-graduate looked far more comfortable on court
against Chinappa as she blew the World No.12 away in games two and three after
sneaking a win in the opening game. She will play No.2 seed Camille Serme in the
next round, a month after losing to the Frenchwoman in the Open de France final.
"The whole point of pulling out early in San Francisco was so I could compete at
this tournament,” said Sobhy afterwards.
“I might not be where I want to be injury or health-wise, but I’m pretty pleased
with my performance. I know how deadly Joshna can be, but my second round match
gave me some confidence and I know that I can still play and move even if both
legs aren’t fully functional. I’m really happy with today.
“I think both Camille and I played really well in France and it was probably
some of the hottest conditions that we’ve ever played in. Even though I lost
that, it’s a battle I will remember and it gives you confidence that you can
play at that level, but hopefully third time is the charm against her.”
the 2016 U.S. Open champion, was up against Hong Kong’s Annie Au a year on from
beating her in straight games at the same stage of last year’s tournament and,
while she dropped a game this time around, the 30-year-old dominated for large
periods of their 36-minute fixture.
The Creteil-based 30-year-old raced to an 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 victory and
will now turn her attention to overcoming Sobhy in the last eight for a second
“Annie’s always tough to play, she has a type of game where she is lobbing and
dropping really well,” Serme said.
“She did it really well in the third and I lost a bit of my focus as well, so I
really wanted to get a good start in the fourth. She slowed down the pace and I
like to play fast, so it’s a different tactical game, but it’s always good to
have different types of games on the tour."
World No.9 Tesni Evans and World No.5 Nouran Gohar were the other players to win
on day four, with comfortable victories against Joey Chan and Salma Hany,
respectively. Evans and Gohar will now go head-to-head for a place in the last
the men’s event, defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy advanced to the
quarter-finals courtesy of an 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 win over New Zealand’s Campbell
The World No.2 - still unbeaten this season after title wins at the China Open
and Oracle NetSuite Open - will compete in his 10th successive U.S. Open
quarter-final and will take on the man he beat in last year’s semi-finals, New
Zealand’s Paul Coll.
“I’m really happy to be back here in the quarters, the U.S. Open is one of the
most prestigious tournaments on the calendar,” ElShorbagy said.
“It’s a Platinum event and we all aim for these. It’s our [ElShorbagy and
Grayson] first time playing against each other and we have even only practised
against each other once or twice. He came to Bristol before the British Open in
May and he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life.
“Paul has been doing really well and he had a really good end of season,
especially his couple of matches with [Ali] Farag [last season] and he obviously
kept improving. He hasn’t lost a match so far this season, and I think we are
the only two players to have done that so far. Unfortunately one of us will have
to lose and hopefully it isn’t me."
World No.5 Coll achieved his quarter-final berth after coming back from a game
down against Egypt’s Mazen Hesham in the day’s standout fixture. The one and
only time these two players have met on the PSA Tour came in a five-game
thriller at the British Open in May, with Hesham twice fighting back to push the
match right to the death before Coll eventually took the win in 74 minutes.
However, on this occasion it was the Egyptian who started the brighter of the
two as he took the first game. Coll soon settled into his game plan though to
take the second game for the loss of two points before a tight third and fourth
also went in the favour of the Kiwi player.
makes you feel pretty average on there,” said Coll afterwards.
“It’s very hard to settle into any kind of rhythm. I was feeling really good
coming into this match in my short game, but he puts you on edge with his skill
and racket speed. I’m happy to get through that in four and looking forward to
training tomorrow and playing on Thursday."
Germany’s Simon Rösner also booked his place in the last eight after ousting the
tenacious Egyptian Zahed Salem and he will compete against World No.3 Tarek
Momen, who put in a composed performance to get the better of Rösner’s
compatriot, Raphael Kandra.
The quarter-finals begin on Wednesday October 9, with play beginning at 18:00
(GMT-4). All action will be shown live from Drexel University’s Daskalakis
Athletic Center on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and
the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).
However, the quarter-final fixture between top seed Ali Farag and Colombia’s
Miguel Rodriguez will no longer go ahead after the latter was forced to pull out
of the match due to a calf injury. Farag receives a walkover into the
World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby claimed the biggest PSA Tour win of her
career to date earlier today at Philadelphia’s Drexel University as she
overturned two match balls to scalp New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King at the
FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, earning a spot in her first ever
Platinum quarter final.
World No.31 Elaraby had already beaten higher-ranked opposition in England’s
Victoria Lust in round two, and she upped her game further to take out the
tournament’s No.5 seed, with the 19-year-old battling to an 11-7, 7-11, 2-11,
12-10, 11-8 during a scrappy 55 minute encounter.
King held two match balls in the fourth game and the 31-year-old looked set to
get the better of her younger opponent. But a dogged showing from Elaraby saw
the Egyptian come back from the brink, and she kept her focus despite a number
of refereeing decisions in the decider to book her place in the quarter finals.
“I’m out of words,” said Elaraby afterwards.
“I’m really happy with how I played and how I managed to go through the match. I
can’t believe it. I feel as though what I was working on in the off season has
been paying off now. My coach, Mohamed Effat, has worked with me so hard during
the summer, so I’m really happy that I was able to play my best squash.
“My coach just said that I didn’t have anything to lose and just give it my all
and that’s what I did.”
Elaraby will take on World No.3 Nour El Tayeb for a place in the semi-finals
after El Tayeb put in a composed performance to overcome reigning World Junior
Champion Hania El Hammamy, beating her 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 to avenge her Black Ball
Open defeat to the teenager earlier this year.
court holds a lot of special memories for me,” said 2017 US Open champion El
“It was my first major title and doing it with Ali [husband, Farag] was
extremely special and even though I had a bad result here last year, I still
feel very happy and emotional coming here."
Defending champion Raneem El Welily continued her imperious start to the season
with a 21-minute dismantling of fellow Egyptian Yathreb Adel, and she will play
World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry in the last eight, with Perry requiring four games
to see off the dangerous Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam.
the men’s event, Peru’s Diego Elias navigated a tricky fixture against World
No.12 Joel Makin, with an immaculate performance seeing the World No.7 run out
an 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 winner.
The Lima-based 22-year-old had beaten World No.12 Makin in their previous two
encounters on the PSA Tour, and added a third victory to that tally after a
virtuoso display saw him hit his corners with regularity and move Makin around
the court superbly to vanquish the Welshman.
“I feel good, I lost a bit of fitness after winning the Pan Ams, but after that
I started training again and I have another goal, which is to win one of these
big events,” said Elias, who won a gold medal at the Pan American Games during
“I’m really happy, I knew this was going to be really tough, he’s a really tough
player, he’s so physical and fit and I knew it could have been 100 minutes, so
I’m really happy I managed to win in three. We [Elias and his father] try to go
to all of these events together and all of this wouldn’t be happening if it was
not for him. I’m really happy he can come to these tournaments with me, and I
really hope I can win one of these big ones.”
Elias will do battle with World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad, who advanced to the
quarter finals courtesy of an 11-5, 16-14, 11-7 win.
Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez also progressed to the quarter finals after beating
Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 and his reward will be a last eight
matchup with World No.1 Ali Farag.
Farag, the 2017 US Open champion alongside wife El Tayeb, built on a comfortable
first game victory against Englishman Adrian Waller to complete an 11-3, 11-9,
really happy and feeling sharp and looking forward to progressing through to the
quarter finals," Farag said.
“Everyone is playing really well and everyone is really sharp and wants to do
well this season. The season is still young but I hope I can achieve as much as
last season and give it my all.”
Round three action at the U.S. Open continues on Tuesday October 8 as United
States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and defending men’s champion Mohamed ElShorbagy aim to
qualify for the quarter-finals.
Play begins at 13:30 (GMT-4) and live coverage will be shown on SQUASHTV (rest
of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the
PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily got their title challenges
under way at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships earlier today as
they booked their round three spots at the PSA Platinum event held at Drexel
ElShorbagy is a three-time champion at the event and will be aiming to add a
fourth to his ever expanding collection after already clinching both the China
Squash Open and Oracle NetSuite Open titles at the start of this season.
However, Golan did not make it easy for ElShorbagy, with the veteran Spaniard
pushing him all the way in a feisty four-game encounter. The Spainard led 8-3 in
the fourth, but was unable to hold onto it as the 28-year-old Bristol-based
Egyptian closed out the win by an 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9 margin.
“When you play Borja, it is always going to be tough,” said ElShorbagy.
“He is one of those players that if you are going to take them out, you have to
fight for every point. He is so experienced, he knew what time to change the
ball, what time to slow the pace and when to play at a faster pace.
“It would mean a lot to get my fourth title here, every season I work on my game
a lot. I finish every season ask myself what went wrong and what I need to work
on. I want to be back at No.1 again, I don’t want any other number but No.1. I’m
going after that spot big time this season. Every session I did this summer was
with that focus, and I’m not going to relax until I get it.”
Meanwhile, World No.3 Tarek Momen survived a big scare as he came through a
five-game battle with Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, winning 7-11, 11-7, 11-9,
5-11, 11-6 to book his place in the last 16.
Tamimi produced strong and disciplined squash in the first game to take a
surprise lead over the World Championship runner-up, and fought back from 2-1
down to set up a decider. But Momen showed just how much his mental resilience
has improved over the years in the fifth as he kept his composure to set up a
third round meeting with Germany’s Raphael Kandra.
always give every player the upmost respect and never underestimate anyone,”
“I went into today’s match knowing that Abdulla has a good arsenal of attacking
shots and I knew that he has a good game, but I feel the way he played today was
well above his ranking. He was just unbelievable and at some points I felt like
he couldn’t make any mistakes."
Elsewhere, World No.1 Ali Farag began his attempts to win a second U.S. Open
title with a 3-0 win over England No.1 Daryl Selby, while World No.4 Karim Abdel
Gawad defeated up-and-coming Egyptian Mostafa Asal.
US interest in the men’s draw came to an end at the hands of New Zealand’s
Campbell Grayson as he got the better of University of Penn junior Andrew
the women’s draw, World No.1 El Welily took just 23 minutes to despatch fellow
Egyptian Nadine Shahin in straight games.
The 30-year-old has already reached finals at the China Open and Oracle NetSuite
Open this season - winning the former - and she will now face compatriot Yathreb
Adel in the next round after she battled past England's Julianne Courtice in a
tough five-game encounter at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
“I’m always happy to be back here in Philly,” said World No.1 El Welily
“I absolutely love it here and the atmosphere is always amazing. It’s definitely
not been a bad start to the season. I’m pretty pleased with the way I have
performed, but the season is still very long and it is only two tournaments out
of 10 or 12. It counts for nothing so I have to put it behind me and keep moving
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy overcame compatriot Olivia Fiechter, despite
still struggling with the effects of an adductor strain sustained at the Oracle
The Boston-based Harvard-graduate withdrew from her quarter-final match in San
Francisco and, sporting heavy strapping on her leg, battled to an 11-4, 8-11,
11-8, 11-7 victory to ensure that she will face India’s Joshna Chinappa in the
“I was struggling with a little niggle in my leg from San Francisco,” said
“So I didn’t really know what to expect coming here and whether I was playing or
not playing, playing and making it worse. But this tournament means so much to
me and I wanted to at least try, so no matter what happened I gave it a shot and
tried my best. I’m pleased to win and move to the next round."
Sobhy’s younger sister, Sabrina, bowed out to No.2 seed Camille Serme while US
No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne lost out to New Zealand’s Joelle King.
The day’s biggest upset saw Malaysia’s World No.48 Sivasangari Subramaniam down
World No.13 Alison Waters to set up a meeting with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry,
marking the first time she has reached the last 16 of a PSA Platinum event.
The third round begins on Monday October 7th at 13:30 (GMT-4) local time, with
all matches taking place on the glass court in Drexel University’s Daskalakis
Athletic Center. Fixtures will be broadcast on SQUASHTV (rest of world),
Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World
The opening day of the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships saw an
American quartet - Andrew Douglas, Olivia Blatchford Clyne, Sabrina Sobhy and
Olivia Fiechter - claim victories to move into round two of the PSA Platinum
tournament taking place in Philadelphia.
Today’s matches were split between the glass court inside Drexel University’s
Daskalakis Athletic Center, the traditional ‘side court’ located at the same
university and also the Racquet Club of Philadelphia - and it was at the glass
court that Brooklyn-based wildcard Andrew Douglas claimed his biggest win on the
PSA Tour as he scalped Frenchman Lucas Serme.
Douglas, ranked at World No.119, had never made it past the first round of a
Platinum event before but the University of Pennsylvania junior played with
poise and control to defeat the World No.36 by an 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5
scoreline after 75 minutes, and he will face New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson for
a place in the third round.
didn’t expect to be here, but it’s an amazing feeling,” said 21-year-old Douglas
“I have to thank everybody that has come to cheer me on. It means a lot for them
to come out and support me and undoubtedly I wouldn’t have been able to do it
“I think he was probably a bit nervous, so I wanted to put pressure on him and I
wanted to really enjoy the last game without thinking too much about the score
and that’s what ended up helping me win the match and maybe helping him feel a
bit on edge. I just tried to enjoy every minute on this court and I played
Grayson, meanwhile, got the better of Egypt’s Youssef Soliman at the Racquet
Club of Philadelphia in what was the longest match of the day at 107 minutes,
while England’s George Parker came through a four-game battle with fellow
Englishman Tom Richards at the university to complete what he regards as the
biggest win of his career to date.
The World No.40 from Leicester produced a focused performance to get the better
of Richards, winning 11-3, 9-11, 11-3, 15-13, despite Richards having three game
ball opportunities in the fourth.
people might not understand it, but confidence-wise that’s the biggest win of my
career so far," Parker said.
"When it was 10-10, I felt a bit sick deep down in my stomach because I lost so
many 3-2s last year to people like [Daryl] Selby, against [Adrian] Waller I was
10-9 up in the fifth and had match balls, so I had that in my mind when I was
playing. I was probably a bit aggressive with him and it got a bit heated, but
when you’re fighting at the bottom for scraps at No.40 in the world like me, it
Connecticut-based Spencer Lovejoy was the other US player in action in the men’s
draw, and he went down in straight games to Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.
In the women’s draw, wildcard Sabrina Sobhy marked her return to the U.S. Open
for the first time since 2016 with a 3-1 victory over Egypt’s Mayar Hany to
reach round two in Philadelphia for the first time.
The first two games were nip and tuck as Sobhy edged the opener 13-11, before
Hany came back to take the second 11-8. Sobhy, playing in front of home support,
steadied her nerves in the third to restore her lead, and she was in complete
control in the fourth as she attacked with vigour to earn a round two spot
against No.2 seed Camille Serme.
was happy with my performance today, the first match of any tournament is always
a little nerve-wracking,” Sobhy said.
“Especially with it being in the US, I have family and so many friends that have
come out to watch me, so I didn’t want to underperform and lose in 20 minutes
after they’ve come out here all the way. I found my game, felt comfortable and
enjoyed it out there. I’m looking forward to it [playing on the glass court] a
lot. I haven’t really processed it a lot yet. Any tournament on the glass court
is a fantastic experience and I’m really looking forward to it.”
US No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne was also in action as she came up against
England’s Lucy Turmel, with the match going the way of the American by an 11-6,
5-11, 11-9, 11-7 scoreline.
She will now take on New Zealand’s No.5 seed Joelle King for a place in round
feels fantastic, it definitely wasn’t an easy day at the office,” said
Blatchford Clyne afterwards.
“Lucy is a fantastic young player and these young ones come and nip at your
heels. I’m used to being the young one and trying to nip at other people’s
heels! It’s a new experience with someone trying to hunt you, but I’m very happy
to be through today."
No.40 Olivia Fiechter was the other US player to win on the opening day of
action as she dispatched England’s Emily Whitlock in four games and she will
clash with the country’s No.1 player, Amanda Sobhy, in the next round.
Haley Mendez came close to making it five Americans in the last 32, but she
narrowly went down 3-2 to Australia’s former World Champion Rachael Grinham,
despite fighting back from five match balls down in the decider.
Round two action begins on Sunday October 6 at 12:00 (GMT-4), with seeded
players such as defending champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily
getting their tournaments under way.
Fixtures from the glass court will be broadcast on SQUASHTV (rest of world),
Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World
world’s top squash players will compete for the first PSA Platinum
title of the 2019-20 season between October 5-12 at Philadelphia’s
Drexel University as the draws for the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open
Squash Championships were released today.
The U.S. Open is one of eight prestigious Platinum events to take
place during the 2019-20 PSA World Tour season, and this year’s
tournament sees prize money increase by 10% to a record total of
$371,000, which is split equally between male and female athletes
for a seventh successive year.
Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will
return to defend their crowns, while men’s World No.1 Ali Farag and
women’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb will also star in Philadelphia –
two years after their U.S. Open triumphs saw them become the first
married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports
title on the same day.
World No.1 Farag leads the men’s draw and receives a bye into the
second round where he will face either compatriot Karim Ali Fathi or
England’s Daryl Selby. The 2017 tournament winner is seeded on the
same side of the draw as the likes of World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar,
Peru’s World No.8 Diego Elias and former World No.1 Karim Abdel
Gawad, who he could face in the semi-finals.
Seeded at the opposite side of the draw is defending men’s champion
ElShorbagy. The World No.2 will take on either Spain’s Borja Golan
or Mexico’s Arturo Salazar in round two.
Three-time winner ElShorbagy is seeded on the same side of the draw
as the likes of Germany’s Simon Rosner, who he defeated in last
year’s final to lift the title, along with New Zealand’s Paul Coll
and Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen, who he could meet in the last
four of the PSA Platinum event.
Home favourite Todd Harrity, who reached the last 32 in Philadelphia
last year, will play Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in round one.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s Andrew Douglas and Connecticut’s Spencer
Lovejoy take the wildcard spots and face England’s Declan James and
Egypt’s Mazen Hesham, respectively, in round one.
In the women’s draw, World No.1 El Welily leads the line-up and will
line up against either wildcard Laila Sedky or Egypt’s Nadine Shahin
in round two.
The Egyptian is seeded to come up against France’s World No.3
Camille Serme, who won the tournament back in 2016, in the
semi-finals and also has England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and New
Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King on her side of the draw.
Reigning World Champion El Sherbini is situated at the opposite end
of the draw and faces either wildcard Sabrina Sobhy or Egypt’s Mayar
Hany in round two.
The two-time runner-up will be looking to get her hands on the
coveted trophy for the first time in her career, but has the likes
of 2019 British Open winner Nouran Gohar, World No.5 Nour El Tayeb
and home favourite Amanda Sobhy standing in her way on her side of
United States No.1 Sobhy receives a bye into the second round where
she will take on either compatriot Olivia Fiechter or England’s
Emily Whitlock. Other home interest comes in the form of United
States No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne who faces England’s Lucy Turmel
in round one, while World No.42 Haley Mendez takes on Australia’s
former World No.1 Rachael Grinham.
The U.S. Open gives players the first opportunity to qualify for
June’s PSA World Tour Finals. The reigning PSA World Champions and
all Platinum event winners automatically qualify for the World Tour
Finals. The remaining places are allocated to the highest ranked
players on the Road to Egypt Standings, and points for the standings
will be on offer at all PSA World Tour events this season.
Glass court action from the U.S. Open will be staged in Drexel
University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center, while matches on the
traditional side courts will be held at Drexel University as well as
the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
Matches from the glass court will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (rest
of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only), the official Facebook
page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan) and various
The world’s top squash players will compete for the first PSA Platinum title of
the 2019-20 season between October 5-12 as Philadelphia’s Drexel University
hosts the 2019 FS Investments U.S Open Squash Championships.
The U.S. Open is one of eight prestigious Platinum events to take place during
the 2019-20 PSA World Tour season, and this year’s tournament sees prize money
increase by 10% to a record total of $371,000, which is split equally between
male and female athletes for a seventh successive year.
Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will return to defend
their crowns, while men’s World No.1 Ali Farag and women’s World No.5 Nour El
Tayeb will also star in Philadelphia - two years after their U.S. Open triumphs
saw them become the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the
same major sports title on the same day.
Joining ElShorbagy and Farag in the 48-player men’s draw will be World
Championship runner-up Tarek Momen, PSA World Tour Finals winner Karim Abdel
Gawad, 2018 runner-up Simon Rösner, New Zealand’s Paul Coll, Egypt’s Mohamed
Abouelghar and Peru’s Diego Elias, all of whom are amongst the top eight seeds.
Meanwhile, United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy will hope to challenge El Welily and
El Tayeb to win the women’s crown, but will also be up against some of the
biggest names in squash, including World Champion Nour El Sherbini, 2016 winner
Camille Serme, British Open champion Nouran Gohar, New Zealand’s Joelle King and
England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.
The wildcard spots in the women’s event will be taken up by University of
Pennsylvania-graduate Reeham Sedky and Harvard-graduate Sabrina Sobhy, the
younger sister of Amanda.
Brooklyn’s Andrew Douglas and Connecticut’s Spencer Lovejoy are awarded the
wildcard spot in the men’s draw, where World No.47 Todd Harrity is the
The U.S. Open gives players their first opportunity to qualify for June’s PSA
World Tour Finals. The reigning PSA World Champions and all Platinum event
winners automatically qualify for the World Tour Finals. The remaining places
are allocated to the highest ranked players on the Road to Egypt Standings, and
points for the standings will be on offer at all PSA World Tour events this
Glass court action from the U.S. Open will be staged in Drexel University’s
Daskalakis Athletic Center, while matches on the traditional side courts will be
held at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
Matches from the glass court will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (rest of world),
Eurosport Player (Europe only), the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour
(excluding Europe and Japan) and various broadcast partners.
U.S. Open Squash Championship began on New Year’s Day, 1954, at the
University Club of New York City, and literally changed the sport of
squash overnight. The event, first run as a hardball tournament for the
top amateur and professional players in the world, crowned its first
champion, Henri Salaun, a French-American amateur player. At the end of
the four-day event, Open director Ned Bigelow presented Salaun the $500
grand prize. Salaun’s victory over Hashim Khan in the finals graced the
front pages of major newspapers, including the New York Times, the New
York Herald Tribune, and the Washington Post, all of which were filled
with photographs of the Open. New York was abuzz with the excitement.
The Open remained in New York for the next two years but, from 1957 to
1965, the event crisscrossed the country, quickly becoming a prominent
tournament in the world of professional squash. It was hosted in
Detroit, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Indianapolis, and Atlantic City, and
returned to the University Club of New York in 1963, only to be shuttled
off to Buffalo and then Wilmington the following years. During these
early years, the Open was dominated by the presence of the Khan family.
Hashim Khan won three titles between 1956 and 1963, while his relative,
Roshan Khan, also won three titles in the same decade.
In 1966 the U.S. Open merged with the Canadian Open, forming the North
American Open, which remained a hardball event. In the 1970s and 80s the
Khans continued to overwhelm the squash scene. Sharif Khan made fifteen
straight North American finals appearances from 1968 to 1982, winning
twelve of those titles. All in all, the Khan family owns a combined
twenty-nine U.S. Open and North American Open Championships. The U.S.
Open was reborn, once again as a hardball event (while the North
American Open ran separately), in 1983 when Howie Rosenthal promoted the
event. Both the 1983 and 1984 U.S. Opens were held at the Yale Club of
New York with American great Mark Talbott winning in 1983 and falling to
Jahangir Khan in the 1984 final.
In 1985, Tom and Hazel Jones, who were managing the title at that time,
made the decision to switch the event from a hardball to a softball
tournament. Jones moved the Open out to San Francisco and was one of the
first to experiment with the 17-inch tin and 15-point scoring format
(which was later adopted world-wide for softball events in 1989), where
the Open was received very well.
In 1986, Jones moved the Open to Houston, and the following year the
venue was switched to the Palladium Night Club in New York City where a
brand new, imported portable court from Europe was set up on the dance
floor. The Open achieved enormous success that year and has continued to
thrive amongst an eager American audience, where players from across the
world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, and
France have all claimed championships.
In the late 1990s, US SQUASH acquired the rights to the trademark and
has been managing the championship into a world-class event ever since.
Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and
Raneem El Welily will return to defend their crowns, while men’s World
No.1 Ali Farag and women’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb will also star in
Philadelphia – two years after their U.S. Open triumphs saw them become
the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major
sports title on the same day