2021 Day ONE : Round One gets under way

Day One action featured 32 matches from the top half of the draws, with four courts in action, including the all-Glass court in the spectacular setting of Cathedral Hall.

You can watch the matches live via SQUASHTV, Facebook and YouTube (side courts only), follow the results via live scoring, keep up to date with our social feeds, and we’ll have updates and player reaction from the glass court here on this page, with an end-of-day roundup at the end.

Top seeds ease through alongside US trio

There were no major upsets, defending champions Nour El Sherbini and Tarek Momen easing through, alongside men’s top seed and 2019 champion Ali Farag.

Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Fiechter and Shahjahan Khan were the US winners, but Swiss birthday boy Dimitri Steinmann denied Todd Harrity’s bid to join them in round two.

PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS presented by The Walter Family : DAY ONE Glass Court

11:30   [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0 Jelena Dutina (SRB)       11-3, 11-1, 11-3 (14m)
12:15   Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-2 Alan Clyne (SCO)    4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (77m)
13:30   [17] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0 Enora Villard (FRA)              11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (23m)
14:15   [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1 Asim Khan (PAK)            6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 (32m)

17:00   [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-0 Haley Mendez (USA)         11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (20m)
17:45   Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-1 Todd Harrity (USA)       11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (48m)
19:00   [5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0 Jasmine Hutton (ENG)      11-8, 11-1, 11-3 (23m)
19:45   [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0 Faraz Khan (USA)                          11-3, 11-2, 11-7 (17m)


El Hammamy Quick off the Mark

Hania El Hammamy
Hania El Hammamy

Egypt’s World No.5 Hania El Hammamy kickstarted her PSA World Championship campaign with a quickfire 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 victory over Serbia’s World No.100 Jelena Dutina.

Dutina was playing in her first PSA World Tour match after being drafted into the women’s draw at late notice due to withdrawals and it was a baptism of fire from El Hammamy who laid down the marker for her tournament with a dominant victory.

“I’m really looking forward to this tournament, it’s the first time that I have been one of the World Championship contenders,” said El Hammamy.

“I feel really excited and hopefully I can keep pushing. It’s very good to be one of the contenders at this tournament, it’s not easy and I’m looking forward to this week.

“I practised with her yesterday. It’s important she does what she can and never give up, give it your all and that’s the key to improving and to reach the top.

“It’s just taking it one match at a time. It’s not just about the prize money, it’s about the title, it’s the biggest title on the Tour.”

[4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Jelena Dutina (SRB) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 (14m)

Khan Gets USA off the Mark with Comeback

USA’s home hope Shahjahan Khan mounted an impressive comeback from two games down against Scotland’s Alan Clyne to book his place in the second round of the PSA World Championships in Chicago.

World No.51 Khan looked as though he was heading for a straight-games defeat, when Clyne got off the mark well to power into the lead. However, the American soon settled into his rhythm and was able to turn things around from the third onwards, drawing level, before holding Clyne at bay in the fifth to seal the victory.

“I’ve played Alan before in El Gouna and I beat him before in four, but it was tough,” said Khan.

“I think I was a bit nervous in the first two games, I couldn’t find my rhythm but as the match went on, I got there.”

Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (77m)

Fiechter Powers Past Villard

Olivia Fiechter

USA’s Olivia Fiechter continued the good form for the USA at this year’s PSA World Championships as she axed France’s Enora Villard by an 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 scoreline to reach the second round of the prestigious event.

Villard started the match well to take the lead, however, Fiechter was able to grow into it and after coming from behind to take the first game was able to fully power ahead for the loss of just three points over the next two games.

“Enora is a great player and I have spent some time training with her,” said the World No.20 in her post-match interview

“I know she’s extremely fit and the first game was a little bit tight, it was a little bit of a rollercoaster. But, second game I came out and found my length a bit more, so I was able to take more opportunities on the volley and stay in front. As the match went on, I got more into my rhythm.

“It feels amazing to be back playing in the US. As much as tournaments in Egypt have been great, but I definitely prefer a two hour flight to an 11 hour one. I have friends in the crowd that have come to watch, I spend a lot of time in Chicago.

“It’s incredible to have so many US players playing. The women in the last few years we have proven to be competing at the highest level and now we have Shahjahan [Khan] who has just had a great win and we have some men coming on the scene. It’s an awesome time to be on Team USA.”

[17] Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (23m)

Momen Prevails Against Khan

Defending champion Tarek Momen saw his title defence off to a winning start courtesy of a 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 victory over Pakistan’s Asim Khan.

World No.67 Khan got off to a surprise start as he rattled off the points to put Momen on the backfoot on the glass court inside Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago.

The World No.3 managed to put together some good points towards the end of the first, but it was too late to stop the flow of Khan who took a shock one game lead.

Momen soon refocused though and was able to find his length and range to get back on level terms before comfortably seeing out the victory to get to round two.

“He has some really good racket skills,” said Momen afterwards.

“The first game went to 5-0, 6-0 and I thought “hmm, ok”, from then on I just tried to get into the first game and try to find some rhythm because my length was really short and he was just volleying everything.

“I haven’t travelled in a long time, but I’ve also been lucky to spend so much time at home because we just had a baby six months ago and it was really enjoyable for me to spend so much time with him and not be travelling so much. But I’m happy to finally make it here after a year and a half.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Asim Khan (PAK) 3-1: 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 (32m)

El Sherbini Begins Title Defence

Nour El Sherbini
Nour El Sherbini

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini started her campaign for a fifth World Championship title in the perfect manner with an 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 victory over USA’s Haley Mendez.

The reigning World Champion came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders as she quickly put the first game to bed. A resurgence from Mendez in the second saw her execute some good shots to cause a little discomfort for the Egyptian, but it was not enough to stop her seeing out the match.

She will face Finland’s Emilia Soini in the second round.

“It’s really nice to be back here,” said El Sherbini.

“I have many good memories here and it’s good to be back at a big tournament in Chicago. Playing at this venue and on this court is special and I’m really happy with how I played in my first round. I’m looking forward to the next one.

“We haven’t had a PSA match, but we have played many times in practice and have been travelling together since juniors. Her family are also my billets when I go to Brooklyn, so I have a good relationship with the whole family. It’s tough to play her, it was a little uncomfortable in the second game, but I just tried to stick to the game plan.

“I just want to play my game and stick to my game plan. Just take it match by match, I don’t want to think too far away.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (20m)

Steinmann Upsets Harrity in Front of Home Crowd

Dimitri Steinmann
Dimitri Steinmann

Switzerland’s World No.55 Dimitri Steinmann ensured he had a birthday to remember after he took out USA’s World No.45 Todd Harrity in four games on the glass court in Chicago.

Steinmann, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, held off a Harrity comeback after taking the first to send the American out in front of his home crowd.

Steinmann will face Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez in the second round.

“It’s the best birthday present,” said the Swiss player afterwards.

“It wasn’t an easy match. I’ve known Todd for quite a while now, it’s not easy to play in front of a home crowd and there is pressure sometimes.”

Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (48m)

Sobhy Starts Strong on Home Soil

Amanda Sobhy
Amanda Sobhy

USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy got her home World Championships off to the dream start with a straight-games victory over England’s Jasmine Hutton.

Hutton got off to a powerful start, rattling off the points, however, Sobhy was soon able to reign her back in to take the first.

That then provided the platform for the American to go on and dominant, oozing confidence as she comfortable claimed the next two games to complete the victory in 23 minutes.

“I was a little slow at the start, I was trying to find my targets,” said the US No.1 afterwards.

“But once I got into my groove, I found my targets at the back and I felt more at ease.

“I think it’s amazing, it’s a testament to the rise of squash in the US. To have 12 US players in the World Champs is phenomenal and to be back playing the biggest tournament of our season on home soil after 16 months is such a relief and to have the home crowd here cheering for us US players. It means so much and I’m looking forward to keep progressing at the tournament.”

[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-1, 11-3 (23m)

Farag Gets Off to Winning Start

Ali Farag
Ali Farag

Men’s World No.1 Ali Farag got off to a winning start at this year’s PSA World Championships as he downed US hope Faraz Khan in just 17 minutes.

Farag, who became the first man to win a World Championship in Chicago when he won the 2018-19 edition, finds his No.1 spot in a precarious position this week, with any defeat before the final seeing the coveted ranking go to rival Mohamed ElShorbagy.

But Khan struggled with injury as Farag cruised to an 11-3, 11-2, 11-7 victory which will see him play Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in the next round.

“In these times you can only practice with your first round opponent so we played each other yesterday and I could see he was struggling,” said Farag.

“He played so well to qualify for the tournament and I’m sorry for him.

“I have to take it one match as a time, you can lose to anybody.”

And is the battle for World No.1 weighing on the Egyptian’s mind?

“Zero, I’ve achieved my goal of reaching World No.1 and I know you’re going to get moved from there one day. I will try to prolong this period for as along as I can, but Mohamed is playing really well at the moment and he’s chasing down the World No.1 spot. If I hold onto it for longer it’s good, if not I will keep fighting.”

Farag welcomed a baby daughter into the world together with wife and women’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb three days before the tournament started and he said: “To summarise how you feel about having your first child is something beyond words. I have the most supportive wife, she came here a month and a half ago so I could be here playing this tournament.”


[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-7 (17m)