Nour El Sherbini

2021 Day THREE : Round TWO

Ali Farag

Day Three was the last of three busy opening days at the University Club of Chicago, with 32 matches across four courts as the last sixteens were decided in the Men’s and Women’s draws.

You can watch the matches live via SQUASHTV, 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.

Seeds advance to last sixteens

There were no major women’s upsets, with 17th seed Olivia Fiechter producing the only seeding upset of the day as she joined Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Clyne in a first time home trio.

In the men’s draw Baptiste Masotti, Youssef Ibrahim and George Parker joined the remaining top 13 seeds in round three.

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

[3] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-0 [20] Donna Lobban (Aus)         11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (28m)
[3] Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-1 Youssef Soliman (Egy)     11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5 (51m)

[2] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-0 [32] Lisa Aitken (Sco)                 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (29m)
[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Victor Crouin (Fra)                               11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (40m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-0 Emilia Soini (Fin)                  11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)
[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 Eain Yow Ng (Mas)                            11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (34m)

[5] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-0 [22] Nada Abbas (Egy)           11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 Patrick Rooney (Eng)  11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (33m)


Serme Safely Through To Round Three

French No.1, and World No.4, Camille Serme is safely into the third round of the PSA World Championships after beating Australia’s Donna Lobban in straight games in the first glass court match of the day.

The Aussie came out of the blocks quickly, but Serme soon settled into the match, turning a three-point deficit in the first game into an 11-9 win. She then controlled the rest of the contest, winning in straight games to move through to the last 16.

Camille Serme
Camille Serme

“I was a bit nervous in the first game. We have known each other for a long time and I know she can beat anyone. She has come back from an injury, but I knew it would be a tricky match, so I am happy to come through in three.

“You get nervous because you want to do well, produce good squash. Obviously, there are some days you don’t play as well and you have to fight harder. You have other options than your skills. Even if it is our job, it is also our passion and we have to remember that!

“I will have a good chat with my staff, recover physically, stay in my room and perhaps watch the other matches.”


[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [20] Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (28m)

Defending Champ Momen Downs Soliman

Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen

In an all-Egyptian battle, reigning World Champion Tarek Momen got the better of Youssef Soliman in a tough four-game battle at the University Club.

After dropping the second game, and finding himself at 1-1, Momen picked up his game to run away with the third and fourth games, eventually coming out the victor 3-1 to book his place in the last 16.

“I am quite happy to finally find my short game. It has been a few months since I have played a tournament and felt like I was comfortable playing the short game. I would still go for it but it has not been as accurate as it was here. This is a good thing,” he explained.

“The court is a bit dead so I was trying to adjust my length. Back home, with the warm temperatures, I would find the back corners but now I am trying to get that depth with every game. I am very happy with this match.

“Youssef is my training partner and it is not easy playing against someone you spend so much time with. I felt like we have played some great rallies, and I am glad to win, but this match will help me get better with every round!

“The thing with Youssef is that if I don’t stick to my gameplan, he will punish me. With every time he started to run with a streak of points, I knew that something wasn’t right and it is always the length, like when I start going short too soon. That is when he is so dangerous so I was reminding myself to stick to my gameplan, regroup and only attack when I was in a good position.”


[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5 (51m)

Gohar Dismisses Aitken To Reach Last 16

Nouran Gohar
Nouran Gohar

World No.2 Nouran Gohar is through to the third round after she put on a confident display on the glass court in Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago, defeating Scotland’s Lisa Aitken.

‘The Terminator’ came out in typical fashion, knocking in kill after kill, and she was quickly two games to the good. The Scottish No.1 started the third game well, but Gohar soon found her rhythm again, and won out in 29 minutes.

“I was actually feeling good today. There are some days where you wake up and you are really excited to be on court. I was really happy, and I enjoyed myself out there today,” Gohar said.

“That is why you appreciate these days, you put the work in and you wait for the good days. You try to push through the bad days because that’s what makes you stronger! It happens a lot and you have to just keep working hard.

“It wasn’t easy at all. Even the first two games, it wasn’t very quick. It is very tricky the you are playing well to keep that form going. Lisa is a great fighter and I knew how tough she is. I was really focussed on every point and in the last game, she found a way to win some points. I had to get back to my original plan and to execute, but all credit to her!”


[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) beats [32] Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (29m)

Coll Beats Crouin To Advance

Paul Coll
Paul Coll

World No.4 Paul Coll is through to the third round of the PSA World Championships after getting the better of Frenchman Victor Crouin in straight games.

Last season’s World Championship runner-up has started the tournament well, and although Crouin showed what he can do on court, the Kiwi was able to come through in three to book his place in the last 16.

“Very happy to get off in three. Victor is a very dangerous, up-and-coming player. I could have been better in certain areas. [My] cross-courts weren’t up to the standard I want them to be. I tried to play a fast pace, the ball was fast off the front wall so I think I was catching it a bit late, but happy to be off in three. He is a good player and you saw how much work he made me do.

“His accuracy to the front lifted, he was putting it in tight, holding well, solid technique all round. He can put the ball anywhere, nice trickle boasts up the front, nicks off his backhand. He is an all-round solid player.

“Straight away, get to recovery. I have a rest day tomorrow so I will check when my practice is. I think my opponents play later so I might have a quick look at what they’re up to, and hopefully they battle it out.

“I personally prefer this court. The outdoors courts, you have a lot of external factors, like the wind, heat, humidity on the floor, so it’s a real grind on those courts. This court is better suited to better squash, so I love this court!”

Victor commented on Facebook:
“Lost out in the 2nd Round of the World Championship yesterday against #4 seed Paul Coll. Another 3-0 defeat but a much better squash level than during our last two encounters, so I am pleased with the way things are going. I can feel the improvements. I am learning and angry for more now!
Amazing moment playing on the Glass Court at the Cathedral Hall in front of a crowd. Really enjoyed my time here in Chicago and can’t wait to come back next year!
Thanks everyone for the support, appreciate it as always! See you very soon at the British Open coming up next month 🔥”


[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (40m)

El Sherbini Cruises Into Last 16

Nour El Sherbini
Nour El Sherbini

Reigning four-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini is into the third round of this year’s event after defeating Finnish No.1 Emilia Soini in the last 32 at the University Club of Chicago.

22 minutes was all the ‘Warrior Princess’ needed to get rid of a former junior foe, in Soini, with the pair playing for the first time in a decade since their youth days.

“I am definitely very happy. She reminded me that we played against each other ten years in the World Junior Championships. We haven’t played each other since, a long time!” El Sherbini said.

“She moved me a lot on court, she has amazing touch form the back of the court so I had to move a lot to get every shot back. She kept pushing every point but i am happy through to the third.

“The support is the main thing for every one of us so having my dad here, coming all the way from Egypt to support me, is amazing. We are in a bubble so we don’t have a lot of time together so I appreciate that he is here spending the week with me. The whole family will be watching in Egypt, it’s very late! I really appreciate everyone at the venue and back home.”


[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)

Farag Continues Unbeaten Run In Chicago

Ali Farag
Ali Farag

Following wins in the 2018-2019 World Championship and the 2020 Windy City Open, World No.1 Ali Farag has continued his unbeaten run in Chicago, defeating Malaysian No.1 Eain Yow Ng to make the third round.

The Egyptian, who is battling to keep hold of the World No.1 spot this week, came through in straight games against Yow to book his place in the last 16 of the tournament.

“It was not as easy as 3-0 looks, for sure. He doesn’t give you any cheap points, you have to earn every single one. Maybe a little at the end he felt it physically but in the first two games I had to earn every single point,” Farag explained.

“The main goal for today was to find my targets in the back corners as I couldn’t really play a proper game in the first round as my opponent was injured. Today I am very happy with the way I found them, and I am hoping I can take that on to the next one.

“I was a little silly at 3-1 in the second. I played a long rally and I put some good work into him. I went to 2-3 and I made some silly mistakes, he was 7-3 up. I put another hard rally into him and I was able to run away with it. The dynamics are totally different from being 2-0 up to 1-1.

“We players, we thank the organisers. They leave no stone unturned. Each one of us has their own demands, and I just want to thank them for all the hard work they have done. I am really grateful and I can’t wait to be back.”


[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (34m)

Sobhy Makes It Three Americans In The Last 16

Amanda Sobhy
Amanda Sobhy

US No.1 Amanda Sobhy safely made her way into the third round of the PSA World Championships on home soil, joining compatriots Olivia Clyne and Olivia Fiechter in the last 16.

Sobhy, the World No.7, got the better of Egypt’s Nada Abbas in a fast-paced match, that lasted just less than half an hour. The American controlled the ’T’ for much of the contest, and ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner.

“I got better with each game, which is how I wanted to progress. The first game was tight, but I want to keep finding my length and get some rallies. I settled in and with each game, I went for it more and more and got more confident in my shots, and I am pleased with how it ended!” Sobhy said.

“I am so happy to be playing on home soil in front of a crowd like you guys who are loud and rowdy, it speaks to me! This is an atmosphere I love, it’s USA all day baby!

“Three of us in the round of 16 is amazing, unfortunately my sister [Sabrina Sobhy] had a tough loss, but it’s coming soon! Us four girls are together, training together, we keep pushing each other and we will keep doing well!”


[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [22] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)

Impressive ElShorbagy Axes Rooney

Mohamed ElShorbagy
Mohamed ElShorbagy

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy put in an impressive showing in front of a passionate crowd inside Cathedral Hall to dismantle England’s Patrick Rooney and secure his place in the third round.

Spectators cheered both players to the rafters as some fast-paced rallies entertained those in attendance and ElShorbagy’s quality shone through as ‘The Beast’ ramped up the pace to complete an 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 victory to set up a mouthwatering clash with Welshman Joel Makin.

“I hope everyone enjoyed that, I think we both played a high quality match and it’s the first time we’ve played against each other,” said ElShorbagy.

“I rate him a lot, he reminds me of James [Willstrop]. I’ve played him so many times in my career and there is a lot of similarity. James played a fantastic game and he [Rooney] has been having some great results in the past few months and I’m really happy for him.

“He surprised me, not many players can go in the first game and play at such a fast pace. He forced me to adapt and when he started playing fast, I wanted to show him I could go faster. I started playing as fast as him to see how long he could go for.

“I remember when I was 17-year-old I tried to do something similar to Ramy [Ashour] in the first game, and then Ramy showed me who the boss was. I tried to do the same today, but I’m not sure how many years longer I can do that to him.

“I love being here and when the crowd gets into it, it makes both players play really well. I can’t wait to be back again.”


[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (33m)