The 2022 CIB PSA World Championships moves into the last sixteen stage, with eight Round Three matches from the top half of the draws this evening, four at Club S and four at the Museum.
You can watch action from both Glass Courts live on Squash TV. You can also follow with Live Scores and our Social Media channels, and we’ll have reports and reaction right here with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.
Reports & Reaction
Gohar Moves Past Evans to Reach Last Eight
The first match to take place at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation saw World No.1 Nouran Gohar book her place in the quarter finals of the PSA World Championships courtesy of a 3-0 win over Tesni Evans of Wales.
Gohar had won her five previous matches against the World No.15 – dropping just a solitary game in the process – and recovered from a slow start to complete an 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 victory which will see her line up against fellow Egyptian Rowan Elaraby in the quarter finals.
Gohar, the runner-up at last season’s PSA World Championships, had to weather the storm in the first game as Evans took a 5-2 lead. The Welshwoman constructed her rallies well and broke up the pace with some drops into the front and lifts to the back to counteract Gohar’s intense hitting.
Once Gohar found her range though, the world’s leading female player rattled off nine points from the next 10 to go a game ahead, and the onslaught continued into a second game that saw Evans require an injury break after a nasty slip in the front left corner.
When Evans returned to court, Gohar soon doubled her advantage and stormed into an unassailable lead in the third game to seal her place in the last eight.
“The court is amazing,” said Gohar.
“It’s a beautiful venue, and the most important thing is it’s in Egypt. It’s been organised unbelievably, I’m really pleased. I was talking to my mum and was telling her that it feels strange that we’re playing at a different court.
“Usually we have the same kind of tournaments every year, we play the same tournament maybe five or six times, but now it’s a new venue and a new court at a big tournament. It makes us more excited to play and it brings the best out of us.
“The first game was very enjoyable, it felt like we were both playing well tonight. I was looking forward to a big battle against Tesni, it’s such a pity when a player is injured, but I was trying not to think about the injury because it could be tricky. I was trying to focus on my game, and I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she’s back soon.
“World No.1 and World Champion, it’s something you always dream of. I’ve ticked the box of one of them, I just haven’t won the World Championships yet. Everyone is here to win the event, so I’m trying not to think too much about it. Obviously, I would be the happiest person on Earth if I win this one, but I’m just thinking about the next match.”
Result :  Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (38m)
Abbas Takes Out New Zealand’s King
In the opening match of the night at the Club S Allegria in Cairo, Egypt’s Nada Abbas delighted the home crowd with a great performance to knock out New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King to advance to the quarter finals of the PSA World Championships for the first time in her career.
The pair had met once before on Tour, with the Kiwi having taken a comprehensive 28-minute straight-game victory at the Allam British Open in March, but Abbas was the one to come out firing in this contest in Cairo.
After an injury on the first point of the match for the New Zealander, Abbas was able to take control of the first game, winning it 11-7, before then having to battle her way through the second game, one in which both players had several game balls. King fought back to win the third, but to the crowd’s delight, Abbas was able to cause an upset, winning 3-1 in just under an hour. The young Egyptian will face either Belgian Nele Gilis or US No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the last eight.
“I didn’t think about it, I was just here to enjoy it. I wasn’t pressuring myself about anything, I just wanted to play well and perform well!” Abbas said.
“They [the crowd] help me a lot. They are cheering me for every point, helping my all the time. It was a boost for me to keep going and to play my best to win!”
Result :  Nada Abbas (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 15-13, 8-11, 11-6 (56m)
Coll Eases Past Hesham
World No.1 Paul Coll overcame Egypt’s Mazen Hesham in a surprisingly one-sided match.
The pair have contested many brutal matches in the past and, while Coll had won all three of their previous fixtures, their average match time was 70 minutes coming into today’s match.
Right from the off, it looked as it there was little chance of tonight’s encounter lasting that long, with Coll dominating the ’T’ and profiting off a number of errors from Hesham’s racket. The Kiwi stormed into a 2-0 lead and Hesham failed to put a single point on the board in the second game.
Coll’s march to victory was halted briefly in the third game while he got a cut on his knee seen to by the physio, but the 2019-20 PSA World Championship runner-up soon closed out the win in straight games to set up a quarter final fixture against either Tarek Momen – who won that World Championship final – or Welshman Joel Makin.
“I’m very happy to get off in three,” Coll said.
“Mazen can make you do an unbelievable amount of work and some big lunges, and it can be really damaging on your body. But I managed to close it down today, I felt like I was seeing it better and it’s nice to get on this court, it’s a very true court and very nice to play on, so I’m happy with tonight’s performance.
“I’ll just have a hit [tomorrow], I think we get 30 minutes on the court, so I’ll smash that out. I’ve got my physio here, so we’ll do a bit of work in the gym together, a bit of activation and mobility stuff. I’ll be flying come the next round, I’ll be 100 per cent.
“It [his knee] is fine, I didn’t even know I had done it. It’s a brand new floor, so it’s nice and grippy and it’s got a bit of grit on the surface, so I think there could be a lot of that this week if you lunge and scrape your knee, it will take a bit of skin off but no dramas.”
Result :  Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-0, 11-6 (38m)
Dessouky Battles Past Marche To Reach Last Eight
Egypt’s World No.10 Fares Dessouky is into the quarter finals of the PSA World Championships after overcoming the challenge of Frenchman Gregoire Marche in a pulsating four-game encounter.
Dessouky came into the contest with a 100% record over the World No.13, including a victory at the Wadi Degla PSA Men’s World Championship back in October 2016. He started strongly in this match-up, taking the first 11-6, with some errors at crucial times from Marche aiding his cause.
The Frenchman fought back in the second, and like the match before it, both men had multiple game balls, before Marche eventually won it 16-14 to level the match. From there, though, Dessouky was able to get an element of control back in his play, and he went on to win the next two games, sealing the victory after 72 minutes of high-quality action.
“One of my main strengths today, that I was very solid from the beginning of the game! I lost some focus in the second game,” Dessouky said.
“Usually it is very hard to play Greg on these kind of courts. It is very bouncy and it is very hard to kill the ball, so I am very happy to be through!
“I work on it [his explosiveness] with my fitness coach and my squash coach a lot, so I can improve it and do this for five games. I have to work on it a lot!”
Result :  Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 14-16, 11-8, 11-7 (72m)
Sobhy Halts Gilis
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy got the better of close friend Nele Gilis, winning 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 to set up a last eight meeting with World No.16 Nada Abbas.
Gilis had won their most recent meeting – at the 2020 CIB Egyptian Open – and had opportunities to take at least a game, particularly in the first when she played some accurate, attacking squash to take a 9-7 lead.
Sobhy was able to move through the gears at the business end of the opening game to establish a 1-0 lead and then fought back from 5-2 down in the second, ramping up the pace at the mid-way point to double her lead.
The American was the more aggressive of the two in the third and hit her corners with conviction to hold four match balls. Three errors in a row then gave Gilis a lifeline, but Sobhy kept her composure to reach the quarter finals of the sport’s biggest tournament for the third time.
“I thought it was a very fair match,” Sobhy said.
“We didn’t have many calls [from the referee] and neither of us hit that many errors except from my last three points at the end. Nele and I are best friends and we know each other’s games inside out. I knew she was going to pick up a lot of balls, she’s a fighter and I’m so glad I won in three and finished off the games when it mattered.
“I’m happy to keep the 3-0 streak and I’ll rest and repeat.
“In the first half [of games] you can get into it and get the feel a little bit, but towards the business end of the games you go up a gear. I tried to do that and focused on what I was doing. Nerves happen, but I’m glad that the first two and the third ended up in my favour.
“We’ve come to Egypt so many times, I’ve been here far too many times to count since I was a kid and growing up, but to be able to play a new venue, a new court, with a new atmosphere, it’s amazing. They’ve definitely raised the standards for us players, so hats off to the organisers, I think a big incentive for me to keep winning is to stay at the Four Seasons.”
Result :  Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 (44m)
ElShorbagy Dominates 2016 Champ Gawad
The final match of the night at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation saw two former World Champions go head-to-head as 2017 winner Mohamed ElShorbagy got the better of 2016 victor Karim Abdel Gawad in straight games, with the latter retiring from the match in the third game.
Gawad beat ElShorbagy in an epic five-game semi-final battle en route to his World Championship triumph six years ago but ElShorbagy has won 15 of their 20 matches in total on the PSA Tour, including the last five in a row.
ElShorbagy dominated tonight’s encounter and won the point virtually every time he put some work into Gawad’s legs. Gawad had no reply to his compatriot today and shook hands at 6-0 down in the third, retiring from the contest to bring a premature end to the match.
“I’m very happy with my performance, I won 3-0 today,” said ElShorbagy.
“Me and him go way back, as everyone knows, I’m not sure what happened to him. He came today with his fitness trainer, with his mental coach and his squash coach. When you bring everyone you’re coming for a battle, so I was very surprised he pulled out in the third game.
“I’m very shocked, if I’m honest with you, that he put his hand out like that. I hope he’s fine, I don’t know what’s wrong with him, I know he’s been struggling with a foot injury, but he has been managing it quite well. He managed it well with me in Manchester and in the first two rounds [in Cairo].
“It’s very disappointing when you don’t continue a match for the crowd, the game, for anyone. I’ve played over 600 matches in my career and I’ve stopped only once. I’ve always made sure even when I was completely struggling to just make sure I continued.
“Some players, I understand that you can risk getting more injured if you keep going. I understand if he stopped for that, and I hope he comes back stronger because he is very important for the game. He’s the most talented player of my generation, as I’ve said, so I hope he will come back fresh for El Gouna.”
ElShorbagy will take on World No.10 Fares Dessouky for a place in the semi finals and gave his thoughts on the upcoming fixture, saying: “I’ve watched Fares’ progress since he was very young. We both grew up in Alexandria and we get on really well.
“We haven’t played for a very long time, since last year, and he’s been struggling with a back injury, a knee injury, but every time he has an injury he comes back even stronger than before, to be fair to him.
“He has probably the best technique on tour, I love the way he plays and I’m a fan of his game. I saw he won 3-1 before I got on court today and beating Greg Marche in hot conditions is not very easy, so he must have played well to get through that, so I look forward to having a rematch with him in the quarters.”
Result :  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 6-0 retired (26m)
Momen Fights Back To Beat Makin
In the last match of the night at the Club S Allegria in Cairo, 2019 World Champion Tarek Momen fought back from behind to overcome Manchester Open winner Joel Makin in a tough four-game battle.
The Egyptian came into the contest having won the last four meetings between the pair, with the last of those being an 83-minute five-game encounter in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open presented by Truist in 2021. It was the ‘Golden Tiger’ who took the first, in what was a tight and tactical battle, but Momen bounced back to claim a lengthy second game, giving him the momentum in the contest.
Momen, who claimed the World Championship crown in Doha in 2019, then won the third game comfortably, but after Makin asked for a new ball at the start of the fourth, things changed somewhat. The Welshman looked like he was back in the contest, but the World No.6 eventually got through the match to take the win, advancing to the last eight of the sport’s premiere event.
“I can’t lie, I was nervous before, because I knew I was in for a tough one. The conditions at the beginning, they were a bit tough and the ball was a bit bouncy,” Momen said.
“I was thinking where I could place the ball so he wouldn’t retrieve it. He retrieves very difficult shots easily, so imagine I couldn’t even hit those difficult shots because the ball was bouncing so high!
“It was a tough one for me mentally! I lost the first game very close, and then he went up in the second game 9-8 and he was very close of getting to 2-0 up. I had to dig really deep so I am proud of how I fought today because, as you said, I have always played tough matches against Joel, I don’t think we have ever had an easy one. Today was no different, and I am so glad I got the win today.
“Obviously, the second game was so crucial, I didn’t want him to go 2-0 up. When I managed to sneak that one, I had an advantage in the third because the ball was dying. I knew it would be in my favour, the ball would bounce so much lower so I knew I could use my shots, my attacking game to the front and if I didn’t hit the tin, it would go in my favour.
“I knew, 100%, that he would change the ball after the third so I tried to prepare myself mentally to regroup, and get ready for another game with longer rallies. Thankfully I managed to do that and I am really pleased with how it went!”
Result :  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (73m)