18 Oct 2018
Germany’s World No.5 Simon Rösner will be the only non-Egyptian to appear in the finals of the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships event after he brought an end to World No.2 Ali Farag’s title defence with an immaculate performance on semi-finals day at the PSA World Tour Platinum event held at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
Farag made history last year when he took the men’s title shortly after wife Nour El Tayeb had prevailed in the women’s final, meaning they became the first husband and wife in sporting history to lift the same major sports title on the same day.
But the Egyptian, who toppled World No.7 Gregory Gaultier in a 74-minute epic yesterday, failed to capitalise on a one-game lead against his opponent today as Rösner responded in stunning fashion to claim a 4-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 triumph which sees him become the first German male to reach the final of the U.S. Open.
“I was able to play my attacking squash and I’m very pleased and relieved with my performance," said Rösner.
“It seems like the U.S. is good for me. It has a lot to do with how comfortable you are and how the place is treating you. After not making the semis before and now reaching the final, it is huge for me.
“Life is treating me well at the moment, so I just want to continue on that wave and play my best squash in the final tomorrow.”
Paderborn-based Rösner, who will appear in his biggest PSA Tour final since he won the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in January, is set to face World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the title decider after the two-time U.S. Open champion also came back from one game down en route to beating World No.8 Paul Coll.
A clinical display from Coll saw the New Zealander go a game up before pulling ahead to 7-3 in the second, but 27-year-old ElShorbagy dug into the mental reserves which have helped him to dominate the PSA Tour in recent years as he came back to win it 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.
“I’ve reached my fourth U.S. Open final in the last five years,” said Egypt’s ElShorbagy.
“I have great memories here, this is the tournament that got me to World No.1 four years ago and I come back here every year having those great memories. I’m really happy to be back in the final, I lost it here last year and I was disappointed, but I lost because my opponent was the better player."
ElShorbagy has won all 14 of his matches against Rösner on the PSA Tour and will look to improve on last year’s runner-up finish at this event.
There is guaranteed to be a new name etched onto the women's trophy after World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and World Champion Raneem El Welily claimed respective wins over World No.4 Camille Serme and World No.12 Tesni Evans to set up a final showdown.
El Sherbini, a U.S. Open runner-up in 2014 and 2016, lost to Serme in the latter of those finals but made amends today as she too overturned a one-game deficit to claim the win in four games.
"I’m really glad I won today, they were long rallies and all the games were close so I’m really happy to be through to the final," El Sherbini said.
“It would mean a lot [to win the tournament], the U.S. Open is one of the biggest tournaments and I would really love to put my name on the trophy. It’s the third final for me and hopefully it is going to be the one."
Meanwhile, El Welily will appear in the final of this tournament for a second successive year after she came through a testing encounter with Welsh giant-killer Tesni Evans, who had upset World No.5 Joelle King and World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry to become the first ever Welsh U.S. Open semi-finalist.
Evans played some incredible squash throughout the 64-minute battle and took the first game as she kept the nerves at bay to unsettle the World No.2. But despite a tenacious display from the 25-year-old, El Welily soon found her range and was able to claim victories in each of the next three games to book her place in the final at Evans’ expense.
“Tesni played really well and all credit to her for pushing me all the way and fighting," said El Welily.
“Winning the U.S. [Open] title is definitely something I would love to do, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s definitely more difficult playing against Nour, she is a very good friend and we play against each other a lot. Playing any Egyptian girl is usually more difficult mentally."
The two Egyptians will meet for the 19th time on the PSA Tour, with the current head-to-head record locked at nine wins apiece. The pair met in six finals last season, with El Sherbini claiming four wins to El Welily’s two.
Both the men's and women's winner will claim $22,800 in prize money and will qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals.
The finals of the U.S. Open will begin at 17:00 local time (GMT-4) on Saturday October 13 and both matches will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe only), and other major broadcast channels, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Results - Men’s Semi-Finals: 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (78m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt  Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 (54m)
Draw - Men’s Final: To Be Played October 13
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
Results - Women’s Semi-Finals: 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8 (62m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-1: 12-14, 11-7, 14-12, 13-11 (64m)
Draw - Women’s Final: To Be Played October 13
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily have climbed to the top of the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard after claiming silverware at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships on Saturday.
Their performances at the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament saw them qualify for the PSA World Tour Finals, which will bring the curtain down on the 2018/19 season next June.
The PSA World Tour Finals includes both a men’s and women’s tournament and brings together the reigning PSA World Champions and all seven PSA World Tour Platinum title winners - with ElShorbagy and El Welily becoming the first players to earn a coveted berth at the lucrative tournament.
Any remaining places are allocated to the highest ranked players on the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard, and points will be on offer at all PSA World Tour events during the season.
ElShorbagy tops the men’s leaderboard with 3,900 points, while U.S. Open runner-up Simon Rösner sits in second place on 2,940.
Oracle NetSuite Open champion Ali Farag sits in third place ahead of fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar, who won the J.P. Morgan China Open last month.
New Zealand’s Paul Coll resides in fifth after a strong run of form which has seen him reach both the China Open final and the semi-finals of the U.S. Open, while former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier occupies sixth place in the leaderboard.
The final places in the men’s top eight are taken up by India’s Saurav Ghosal and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
El Welily has already won both the China Open and U.S. Open this season and also reached the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open last month to give her a total of 5,305 points.
France’s Camille Serme sits in second with 2,550 points, which gives her a narrow lead over U.S. Open runner-up Nour El Sherbini, while Oracle NetSuite Open winner Sarah-Jane Perry and World No.7 Laura Massaro sit in fourth and fifth, respectively.
U.S. Open semi-finalist Tesni Evans, eight-time World Champion Nicol David and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb take the final three spots inside the top eight.
The next PSA World Tour Platinum event will be the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open. The tournament will feature equal prize money for the first time and will take place between November 19-25.
World No.33 Joel Makin earned the biggest victory of his career to date after he claimed a dramatic victory over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy earlier today in Weybridge to send the defending champion out of the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill.
ElShorbagy was coming off the back of a title win at the U.S. Open last week, but the reigning World Champion was under pressure right from the off as Makin combined his typically strong retrieval skills with some fine touches at the front of the court.
After conceding the opener, ElShorbagy showed more of his usual aggression as he came back from 9-4 down in the second to force a tie-break, but it spilled over as he received a conduct stroke against him after a disagreement with a refereeing decision, which handed the game to Makin.
That moment proved pivotal as Makin doubled his lead and he fought back from three game balls down in the third to complete the win by a 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 scoreline.
“It’s massive [to beat ElShorbagy],” said Makin.
“I had a lot of belief and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I really had to be disciplined and I didn’t think about his form, just focused on the process.
“If I was going to get into the match, I had to switch it and keep getting the height. I had to be positive and my short balls were better today than they have been. I’ve been working on them for a long time, but they came together. They were three really tight games."
Makin’s reward for his shock victory is a quarter-final meeting with Peru’s Diego Elias after the World No.13 got the better of 2015 runner-up Daryl Selby, winning 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 in 40 minutes.
“I’m very happy to be here again, I haven’t started the season that well, but now I’m feeling better on court,” Elias said.
“Daryl is a super strong player and I think I did a great job beating him in three because it’s always hard. We played here last year in the same round, I knew he wanted revenge but I think I played well."
Elsewhere, World No.8 Paul Coll booked his place in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 3-0 victory over former World No.1 James Willstrop, with the New Zealander avenging his Commonwealth Games defeat to the Englishman in the process.
Coll, who shot to prominence by winning this tournament in 2016, went down 3-0 to Willstrop in the final of the Commonwealth Games singles event in April.
But he turned the tide this time around as he came from behind to win a crucial second-game tie-break, before dominating the third to close out the win in straight games.
“[The Commonwealth Games] is always in my mind, it’s one of my ultimate goals in squash, but I’m trying to block that out for another four years and trying not to dwell on that too much because it can release some negative emotions," said U.S. Open semi-finalist Coll.
“It’s always on my mind, but it’s not what I’m thinking about at all, maybe in four years when I need to light that fire again."
Coll will play World No.4 Tarek Momen next in a repeat of the 2016 final, with Momen edging Australia’s Cameron Pilley in a tight three-game battle.
The Egyptian had a 9-3 lead on their head-to-head record coming into the match and, while he was able to extend that lead, he was made to work hard for it by the World No.23, who had only just made his return to action after going through ankle surgery over the summer.
“I must say that I’m very glad to be through, it was one of those where you have to be thankful that you got through because a lot of things were not working,” Momen said afterwards.
“I was trying hard to get into my own rhythm and I couldn’t. He was playing really well considering he had some time off in the summer to have an ankle operation. It’s really good that he’s playing this well with the preparation he’s had."
The second round of the Channel VAS Championships continues tomorrow (Thursday October 18) and play starts at 17:30 (BST). All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Results - Second Round (Top Half): 2018 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
Joel Makin (WAL) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 (61m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (40m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (48m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 (49m)
Draw - Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 18
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Declan James (ENG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Draw - Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played October 19
Joel Makin (WAL) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
World Squash Federation (WSF) President Jacques Fontaine believes that squash’s recent Showcase at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games 2018 will have left a lasting impression on both the population of Buenos Aires and the Olympic family following a successful week of action that saw over 25,000 people witness squash in the flesh.
Over 2,000 children tasted their first experience of squash during the week through introductory sessions on a miniature outdoor activation court – while the Showcase all-glass court, situated in the heart of Technopolis Park, attracted almost 5,000 visitors each day with many witnessing squash for the first time in their lives.
Joining the thousands of locals to watch the squash showcase were high-profile IOC members such as HRH Tunku Imran, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, who had the chance to step onto court and experience the sport first-hand (pictured below) – an experience shared by hundreds of lucky locals who were given the chance to play a suite of new interactive games on the centrepiece court.
“The Squash Showcase in Buenos Aires has exceeded all expectations and we are delighted with the reaction from the local population, the participating athletes and the wider IOC family,” said Fontaine.
“Along with enjoying what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, our athletes embraced the local spirit and it was fantastic to see them engaging with young fans and to see so many smiles on the young schoolchildren’s faces.
“To have so many children step onto a court for the first time is very encouraging for the development of the sport in Argentina. The number of people stopping to watch in awe at both the athleticism of our athletes and the eye-catching displays of the interactive court have shown us that, as a sport, squash can offer something different.
“The feedback we have received so far has been universally positive and we now look forward to working with all parties to show that squash can replicate this success at Paris 2024.”
In parallel to the Showcase event, squash was also represented amongst wider Olympic initiatives during the Youth Olympics, with Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a professional player from Pakistan, sharing her remarkable story during a panel session at the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum on the same day that Shahd Bshara, a young squash player from Israel, was chosen as one of four athletes from around the world to form the first Sport at the Service of Humanity Young Leaders Mentoring Program.
Inspired by their experiences at the event, all 38 athletes participating in the squash showcase (pictured above) also contributed to the on-going SquashFORWARD initiative by participating in sessions led by Mexico’s PanAm Games Gold Medal winner Samantha Teran – sharing their thoughts and opinions on a host of topics covering all aspects of the game.
Their feedback will be combined in the following months with that collected during previous sessions conducted over the summer to formulate a forward-looking roadmap.
Colombian Squash Ambassador Luis Mancilla signs squash balls for eager fans
8 Oct 2018
The world’s top four male players - including defending champion and World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy - will appear at the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill between October 16-21 when the fourth edition of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament takes place at the St George’s Hill Lawn and Tennis Club in Weybridge, England.
ElShorbagy defeated World No.2 Ali Farag in last year’s final and the pair will appear in Weybridge once again alongside ElShorbagy’s younger brother, World No.3 Marwan, and 2016 runner-up Tarek Momen.
Mohamed is drawn on the same side of the draw as Momen, while Farag and Marwan are seeded to meet in the other semi-final fixture.
Former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will make his first ever appearance at this tournament and is predicted to meet Farag at the quarter-finals stage.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Paul Coll - who shocked the squash world when he rose through qualifying to take the title in 2016 - will make his return to Weybridge. As one of the top eight seeds, Coll receives a bye into round two, where he will play either former World No.1 James Willstrop or Egypt’s Omar Abdel Meguid.
Willstrop is one of seven Englishmen to compete in the draw and he is joined by Open International de Squash de Nantes winner Declan James, World No.21 Daryl Selby, World No.30 Tom Richards, World No.37 Adrian Waller, World No.39 Chris Simpson and tournament wildcard Charlie Lee, the local favourite who is ranked at No.87 in the world.
Peru’s Diego Elias and last year’s semi-finalist Saurav Ghosal are the number seven and eight seeds, respectively, and the pair are seeded to play the ElShorbagy players in the quarter-finals. Elias is set to meet Mohamed, while Ghosal could come up against Marwan.
Matches held on the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster, with prices starting at £16.85: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/artist/2295837
Squash fans can follow the tournament on Twitter and Facebook.
Main Draw – 2018 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
 Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
 Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] James Willstrop (ENG)
[9/16] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
[WC] Charlie Lee (ENG) v [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[9/16] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [bye]
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
Tom Richards (ENG) v [9/16] Borja Golan (ESP)
[9/16] Declan James (ENG) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
A sublime performance from start to finish saw Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag defeat 2017 tournament champion and World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final of the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open to claim his first major title in nine months on an evening of play that also saw England’s Sarah-Jane Perry stun World Champion Raneem El Welily to successfully retain the title she won here twelve months ago.
Farag, who lost four of five meetings with ElShorbagy during the 2017/18 campaign, underlined his intention to challenge his compatriot for the coveted World No.1 ranking spot this season with a clinical display that saw him nullify ElShorbagy’s power and pace to prevail an 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 winner.
There was little to separate the pair as they battled it out for 64 minutes of spell binding action on San Francisco’s Embarcadero, trading points tit-for-tat during a series of physically punishing rallies to the delight of the crowd. But it was Farag who settled quicker, using his relaxed attacking style to edge a tight opening game, before doubling the lead courtesy of a dramatic second-game tie-break.
ElShorbagy replied in style to dominate the third game before Farag once again enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the fourth to come through and win his first tournament since February’s Swedish Open.
“I’m feeling great right now, I’m very, very happy to have won this title,” said Farag.
“When I first saw the entry list I thought I would withdraw from playing because the draw was so strong. But my mentor Karim Darwish told me that I should play the event and show people that they should be scared when seeing my name in the draw - that is the kind of mentality that I need to have if I hope to be World No.1 some day.
“I wasn’t at my best last night (against Gaultier) but I was optimistic that I would play at a higher level tonight because sometimes you need matches like that to help get you into the rhythm.
“Tonight against Mohamed I had to be on my mettle throughout. He’s a great champion and such a determined fighter - which he showed even when I was ahead in the fourth game, so I’m very glad I managed to get this last few points.
“Last season I got off to a strong start but I couldn’t carry it through until the end of the season. I was maybe mentally tired towards the end of the year so I’m trying to learn from that experience and be more consistent this season and now I’m really looking forward to going to the U.S Open to defend that title next week.
“Winning there with Nour last year has been the highlight of my career so hopefully we can do it again this time.”
Speaking afterwards ElShorbagy said: “He played great tonight - he’s been the best player here all week. But it’s a long season so hopefully I can get back at him at an event coming up.”
After storming through the women’s draw to book a place in the final without dropping a game El Welily, the 29-year-old World No.2, picked up where she left off during the opening exchanges of the women’s final as she raced into an early 6-1 lead to set up what looked certain to be a comfortable opening first game.
But World No.8 Perry responded to the challenge, finding her own lethal streak mid-way through to swing the game on its head and take the opener 11-9 against the run of play. Buoyed by her comeback in the first, Perry continued to enjoy a purple patch as she dominated the second to double her advantage - leaving El Welily searching for a way to stop the onslaught.
The Egyptian though responded in kind, lifting her level once again to engage Perry in rally after rally of physically testing and tactically probing squash. With the finishing line in sight at 9-7 though a series of errors from the racket of Perry gifted El Welily a reprieve, and she took full advantage to gain a lifeline on the scoreboard before taking the fourth in just eight minutes to level the scores.
The crucial fifth and final game began with a series of cat-and-mouse exchanges with little to separate them but from 4-4 Perry turned the screw to set up match ball at 10-4. A series of sumptuous winners saw El Welily threaten to extend the match into a tie-break but Perry finally sealed the match, and her second Oracle NetSuite Open title, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7.
“I’m speechless,” said Perry afterwards. “She was making me work so hard and any time there was even a slight chance she was punishing me.
“I had to play as clever as I have ever done before and I was absolutely knackered in that fifth game but I just forced myself to keep pushing. I knew I was playing well and that I didn’t have to chance much tactically, I just had to execute.
“But even at 10-4 up she was coming back and she hit some fantastic shots to get it back to 10-7 so there was a lot of relief at the end alongside the elation.
“I dedicated the win here last year to my Nan (who passed away shortly before the event). My mum said she’s be looking down watching over me tonight as well so this one is defiantly for her again.”
After the match El Welily said: “Obviously I’m disappointed to lose tonight but Sarah-Jane played very well and deserved the win.”
Result - 2018 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open Final
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7 (57m)
Result - 2018 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open Final
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 (64m)
World No.2 Ali Farag escaped the clutches of defeat by saving two match balls to defeat in-form Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in a thrilling 77 minute five-game battle and set up a championship showdown against World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final off the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open - the PSA World Tour Gold event taking place in San Francisco.
Under the shadow of the city’s iconic Ferry Building 26-year-old Farag twice came from a game-down to take the match to a decisive fifth-game, which went all the way to a nail-biting tie-break that saw both men squander match balls before the Egyptian finally secured his place in the final courtesy of an 2-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11 win.
The match began with 35-year-old Gaultier totally outclassing Farag, storming out of the gates to take an early 6-0 lead and secure the opening game. Farag duly responded in the second, slowing the pace to swing momentum in his favour and level the scoreboards before etc duo traded points back and forth en route to the tense climax that saw Farag book a berth in the 24th final of his career.
“I’m over the moon to come through with a win, he outplayed me for most of that match,” said Farag.
“But sometimes it isn’t the better player who wins. Sometimes you just have to find a way out and that’s what I did today - I tried to focus on hitting the back corners and playing basic and it worked.
“I was very tense at the start and struggled to find my short game. I had to accept there were going to be times when he would be in control but I just tried to make it as hard as possible and make the rallies a long as possible - I was absorbing a lot but it paid off in the end.
“I’m very excited to face Mohamed in the final tomorrow. He brings the best out of me every time we play. I have trained very hard over the summer and worked on some specific things which I hope I can apply tomorrow.”
Farag will now go up against ElShorbagy after the 27-year-old prevailed in a compelling four-game encounter with compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad that saw him bounce back from losing the opening game to come through an 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 winner.
The match, a repeat of the 2017 tournament final, saw Gawad, who largely disappointed during the 2017/18 season, hitting clean, crips lines and moving with languid freedom reminiscent of the form that saw him clinch the World title in 2016.
But ElShorbagy proved equal to the task, responding to the challenge by increasing the pace and using his ferocious hitting power to counter Gawad’s guile and come through a riveting match that saw the duo duel through a series of captivating exchanges, trading points back and forth to the delight of the crown on the Embarcadero.
“I’m really happy to be back in the final once again,” said ElShorbagy. “I came here for the first time last year and it was a great experience so I’m looking forward to having the chance to defend the title tomorrow.
“We were playing a lot of very tough rallies out there - it was a high quality match - and I think that third game was crucial. He’s such a smooth player that you have to accept that there will be times when he will make you look like a fool. But you just have to accept that and come through it and find a way to win.
“Last season he wasn’t at his best. Sometimes you have those periods but it’s great to see him back and hungry again but I’m very happy I managed to get the win against him today.”
The women’s final will see World Champion Raneem El Welily, who booked her place in the decider with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Laura Massaro yesterday, go up against defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry after the Englishwoman swept aside the challenge of Hong Kong’s Annie Au with a ruthless 3-0 win.
Perry, who beat eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the title-decider twelve months ago in what was the biggest win of her career, was in complete control from the outset as she picked Au apart from the off set, taking the opening game for the loss of just four points and continued to enjoy complete control as she wrapped up the match in just 25 minutes.
“I’ve got fantastic memories here from last year.
“Tomorrow against Raneem I have no expectations. I just have to go out and do the best I can. I watched the match yesterday between Raneem and Laura so I know how well she’s playing at the moment but I’ll give it my best tomorrow to try and defend the title.”
Results - 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Women’s Semi-finals
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (25m)
Draw - Women’s Final
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v TBC
Results - 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Men’s Semi-finals
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (65m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 2-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11 (77m)
Draw - Men’s Final
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Married couple Ali Farag and Nour El Tayeb will line up at Philadelphia’s Drexel University for the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships between October 6 -13 as they aim to repeat their remarkable triumphs at last year’s tournament, which saw them become the first husband and wife in sporting history to lift the same major sports title on the same day.
Inside Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center, Farag and El Tayeb stunned the squash world last October with upsets over current World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily in their respective title deciders.
Farag was warming up for his final fixture while El Tayeb was on court against El Welily, but was in his wife’s corner between games to give her advice, while El Tayeb returned the favour during his match with ElShorbagy.
"You want to be in the right headspace before your match, you want to be relaxed and you don’t want to be tense," said Farag, the current men’s World No.2
"You want to warm-up properly but obviously you have to interrupt your warm-up sometimes to go and talk to her between games or to watch a crucial rally.
"It is tough, but I think given all the other pros we get as a married couple playing the same sport, I’m happy to deal with every tournament.
"Winning the 2017 U.S. Open championships alongside Nour, for both of us it was our first ever World Series title and when it happened I couldn’t even celebrate, I was in shock.
"We both won it for the first time on the same day. We can forever call ourselves U.S. Open champions and it means so much to us."
World No.3 El Tayeb echoes her husband’s thoughts and says the couple’s mutual support of each other has helped both players break new ground and establish themselves amongst the world’s elite over the past couple of seasons.
El Tayeb said: "I didn’t care or know that we were the first couple, I was just happy I won it and was happy he won it, it was the first major [either of them had won].
"Knowing he’s there is just the thing for me, I just want to know he’s there and I can talk to him. Even if he’s out there warming up or I can call him on the phone, that’s enough.
"I like to get his support and see it in his eyes. His support and encouragement helps me keep going and he knows when I’m lacking motivation or too excited."
Farag and El Tayeb both receive a bye into the second round, where Farag will meet Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller, while he is seeded to meet ElShorbagy in the final once again.
El Tayeb, meanwhile, will face either India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik or Canada’s Danielle Letourneau in the last 32 and is seeded to reach the semi-finals, where she could play World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, who she beat in the quarter-finals of last year’s U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open, PSA World Tour Platinum event will feature equal prize money between the men’s and women’s tournaments for the sixth year in a row, with the tournament boasting a $338,000 prize fund. A place at the PSA World Tour Finals will also be up for grabs, with both the men’s and women’s winners guaranteeing their places at the season-ending tournament.
Glass court matches from the Daskalakis Athletic Center will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and finals will be broadcast live by mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased on the tournament website.
Follow the tournament on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Men’s Draw
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Todd Harrity (USA) v [9/32] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[9/32] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v (bye)
Ben Coleman (ENG) v [9/32] Tom Richards (ENG)
[9/32] Alan Clyne (SCO) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[9/32] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) [bye]
[9/32] Greg Lobban (SCO) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
 Paul Coll (NZL [bye]
[9/32] Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
[9/32] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) [bye]
[9/32] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]
[9/32] Declan James (ENG) v [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v [9/32] Borja Golan (ESP)
[9/32] James Willstrop (ENG) [bye]
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Simon Rösner (GER) [bye]
[9/32] Daryl Selby (ENG) [bye]
[9/32] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [9/32] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[9/32] Max Lee (HKG) v Mohamed Reda (EGY)
Joshua Masters (ENG) v [9/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/32] Lucas Serme (FRA) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [9/32] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/32] Leo Au (HKG) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Arturo Salazar (MEX) v [9/32] Zahed Salem (EGY)
[9/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [WC] Andrew Douglas (USA)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/32] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/32] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) [bye]
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Women’s Draw
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) (bye)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [17/32] Joey Chan (HKG)
[17/32] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) [bye]
 Salma Hany (EGY) [bye]
Haley Mendez (USA) v [17/32] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[17/32] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) [bye]
 Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]
[WC] Reeham Sedky (USA) v [17/32] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[17/32] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v Hollie Naughton (CAN)
 Annie Au (HKG) [bye]
 Victoria Lust (ENG) [bye]
Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) v [17/32] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[17/32] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [bye]
 Joelle King (NZL) [bye]
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Nikki Todd (CAN)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) (bye)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) (bye)
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [17/32] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[17/32] Nele Gilis (BEL) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [bye]
 Laura Massaro (ENG) [bye]
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v [17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[17/32] Donna Lobban (AUS) v [WC] Olivia Fiechter (USA)
 Nicol David (MAS) [bye]
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) [bye]
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[17/32] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) [bye]
Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a professional squash player from Pakistan, and Shahd Bshara, a member of the Israel-based urban squash programme SquashBond, participated in two inaugural initiatives launched this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that saw them advocate for inclusion through sport by sharing their inspiring stories on the eve of the Youth Olympic Games that kick off in the Argentinian capital today.
Squash is introduced as a Showcase Sport at the Youth Olympic Games with 38 young players from 28 countries looking forward to capture imaginations of visiting fans and forum delegates alike.
Toorpakai Wazir, whose remarkable journey to become a professional athlete saw her disguise herself as a boy in order to train, compete and attend school in defiance of imposed Taliban rule in her home region of Waziristan, Pakistan, spoke during a working session entitled “Spark Talk: Fighting for the Right to Play Sport” at the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum – a newly launched IOC programme focused on building a better world through sport.
The world-ranked number 116 is a renowned gender equality advocate and serves on the IOC Women in Sport Commission, aiming to promote equal opportunities for girls and women to participate in, and benefit from sport and physical activity.
“It was very exciting to be part of the Olympism in Action Forum ahead of the Youth Olympic Games this week,” said Toorpakai Wazir
“It is a perfect opportunity and a great platform to talk about the importance of sports and how it can transform individuals and communities and make the world a more humane, peaceful and well connected place to live in.
“I also cannot wait to see squash being showcased at the Games. I want to see squash, the sport that I love the most, becoming part of the Olympic programme soon and the process is very exciting.”
Toorpakai Wazir is one of 300 professional female players competing on the PSA World Tour – the sport’s professional body which jointly administers the male and female game with a commitment to achieving parity in prize money and playing opportunities.
15-year-old Bshara, meanwhile, was chosen as one of four athletes from around the world to form the first Sport at the Service of Humanity Young Leaders Mentoring Program, launched at the Young Leaders Forum on Thursday, October 4, 2018, which aims to prepare athletes and young leaders in sport to “Win in Life” and inspire their communities through the power of their example.
SquashBond, of which Bshara is a member, is a cross-community organisation that helps to bridge the gap between Jewish and Arab cultures in Israel and teaches lifeskills and leadership through the game of squash. The organisation aims to help children and teenagers grow into confident, mature adults who can venture beyond their communities, pursue educational achievements and ultimately jointly promote a shared community.
“I fell in love with squash the moment I first played it five years ago and through squash so many new opportunities and doors have opened for me,” said Bshara, who lives in an Arab town in Israel.
“The opportunity to travel to Argentina and be part of Young Leaders Mentoring Program is a great honour and has been very exciting. I have enjoyed talking to the other mentees and the mentors about squash and to meet and learn from inspirational leaders, who have such vast experience, will help me to develop as a person.
“Learning how sport can help promote peace and empower people is very important and I hope that I can help bring the sport of squash to our community in the future.”
Jacques Fontaine, the World Squash Federation President who is leading the squash delegation in Buenos Aires, commented: “We are very honoured to have such strong voices advocating for inclusion through sport on behalf of the squash family here in Buenos Aires, in a demonstration of squash being at the forefront of breaking cultural and gender barriers through sport. As WSF and PSA are jointly vying for squash to be included in the Olympic Programme, we are proud to have this opportunity to share our ideas and vision with the IOC, Paris 2024 Organising Committee and other Olympic, sport and civil society representatives gathered here in Argentina.”
Toorpakai Wazir imagery courtesy of IOC
Farag and El Tayeb etched their names into the history books at last year’s tournament as they became the first married couple in sporting history to win the same major sports title on the same day - and World No.2 Farag began his title assault at the 2018 instalment with a 3-0 win over Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
“It’s never easy to start off against Nicky,” said Farag.
“He’s a very tricky player and he’s very dangerous at the front of the court, so I had to keep my metal and keep it deep in the corners because I know that if I leave it at the front then I can’t really read him because he’s got all of those trick shots.
“One or two of those games could have gone either way, so I’m happy to get off with a 3-0 win."
Farag will take on Welshman Joel Makin for a place in the quarter-finals after he toppled Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, while World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy began his tournament with a comfortable 3-0 victory over United States men’s No.1 Todd Harrity.
ElShorbagy, a two-time U.S. Open champion, lost out to Farag in last year’s title decider, but he laid down a marker for the rest of the tournament as he downed training partner 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 Harrity in just 27 minutes.
“I really love playing here,” said reigning World Champion ElShorbagy, who fell to Farag in the Oracle NetSuite Open final earlier this week.
"I have played in three finals here and won twice. This is also where I got to World No.1 in 2013 when I won the tournament, so I have good memories here and I really hope that I can keep that momentum going and hopefully I play another good event here.”
ElShorbagy will play World No.11 Saurav Ghosal in the third round, where he will be joined by fellow Egyptians Tarek Momen and Karim Abdel Gawad, who defeated former World No.1 James Willstrop and Greg Lobban, respectively.
In the day’s longest match, World No.20 Declan James came back from 2-0 down to defeat fellow Englishman Adrian Waller in a marathon 101-minute spectacle and his reward is a third round matchup with 2016 World Champion Gawad.
World No.3 El Tayeb dispatched India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik in straight games in the women’s tournament and she will line up against United States No.2 Amanda Sobhy in round three after she defeated England’s Victoria Lust 3-1.
“Lusty and I have played a lot of times,” said former World No.6 Sobhy.
“We know each other’s game and I know how deadly she can be, but I was looking forward to getting into a solid match. She played really well so I really had to step up and play at that top level and I’m happy to win and move onto the next round."
The leading American in the women’s game - World No.16 Olivia Blatchford - is also through to the last 16 after taking out England’s Emily Whitlock in four games and she will take on World Champion Raneem El Welily, who overcame the experienced Rachael Grinham.
“Emily is a great player,” said Blatchford following her victory.
“Our rankings are pretty much the same, so it’s completely evenly matched. She came out firing and it was all super close and to be playing Raneem in the next round here is awesome."
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini began her tournament with victory over Hong Kong’s Joey Chan to set up a third round meeting with World No.9 Alison Waters, while World No.11 Nicol David and World No.6 Laura Massaro - who have five U.S. Open titles between them - will meet for the third tournament in a row and the 34th time on the PSA Tour after respective wins over Australia’s Donna Lobban and England’s Millie Tomlinson.
World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry also won on day two as she defeated Egypt’s Nada Abbas and she will play India’s Joshna Chinappa in the next round as she looks to follow up the Oracle NetSuite Open title that she won earlier this week.
The third round of the U.S. Open begins at 12:00 local time (GMT-4) on Monday October 8 and the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and DAZN (Japan).
Results – Men’s Second Round: 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (27m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (42m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 15-13, 11-8, 11-9 (43m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (46m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7 (78m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 19-17, 16-14 (101m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 (34m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 (69m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11 (70m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 14-12, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7 (76m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (44m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (53m)
Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4 (51m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 4-11, 15-13, 11-9, 12-10 (86m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)
Draw - Men’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played October 8
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Declan James (ENG) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Draw - Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 9
 Simon Rösner (GER) v George Parker (ENG)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Zahed Salem (EGY)
Joel Makin (WAL) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Results – Women’s Second Round: 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (24m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 12-10 (32m)
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 15-13, 5-11, 11-9, 14-12 (52m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-2: 15-13, 14-12, 11-13, 6-11, 11-9 (76m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (57m) Annie Au (HKG) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (25m)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 13-11, 11-1, 11-6 (39m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (23m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (38m)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 (44m)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-3 (52m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 (46m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 0-11, 12-10, 13-11 (52m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-2: 11-4, 15-13, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8 (58m)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-1: 14-12, 12-10, 13-15, 11-8 (58m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (20m)
Draw - Women’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played October 8
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Salma Hany (EGY) v Yathreb Adel (EGY)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Annie Au (HKG)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Draw - Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 9
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Nicol David (MAS)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar has returned to the top 10 of the PSA Men’s World Rankings for the first time since May courtesy of his title win at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open last month.
Abouelghar, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll in Shanghai to capture the biggest PSA Tour title of his career and he moves up four spots to World No.9 as a result.
Abouelghar’s compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy stays at World No.1 for an eighth successive month ahead of Ali Farag (No.2), Marwan ElShorbagy (No.3), Tarek Momen (No.4) and Germany’s Simon Rösner, who completes the top five.
Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez and France’s Gregory Gaultier stay at No.6 and No.7, respectively, while Coll moves up to two places to No.8 to sit one spot ahead of Abouelghar.
2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad drops two places to round off the top 10, meaning the Egyptian is now at his lowest ranking since November 2015.
A semi-final finish in China is enough to see India’s Saurav Ghosal rise to a career-high No.11 ranking, while 2015 World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad rises two spots to No.12, which is his highest ranking since February 2017.
Peru’s Diego Elias falls two places to No.13, with Hong Kong’s Max Lee moving up five places to No.14 after last month’s HKFC International win. Meanwhile, three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour drops six places to No.15.
Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly (No.16), Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller (No.17) and England’s James Willstrop take the next three spots, while Germany’s Raphael Kandra and Declan James both move into the top 20 for the first time at the expense of Englishman Daryl Selby and Australian Cameron Pilley.
James’s title win at the Open International de Squash de Nantes has ensured that he has become the second highest ranked English male, with Kandra rising three places after reaching the quarter-finals in China.
PSA Men’s World Rankings Top 20 - October 2018
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Karim Abdel Gawad
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