Marwan ElShorbagy (right) takes on Fares Dessouky
Marwan ElShorbagy (right) takes on Fares Dessouky

ElShorbagy Brothers Set Up Sibling Showdown In Last 16

ElShorbagy brothers Mohamed and Marwan will meet in the third round of the CIB PSA World Championships after they moved past India’s Ramit Tandon and Egypt’s Fares Dessouky today at the Palm Hills Club in Cairo, Egypt.

12 of today’s matches took place today on the ‘traditional’ plaster courts, with four more to come this evening on the glass. The ElShorbagy brothers have ensured that they will compete in a rematch of the 2017 PSA World Championships final, with Mohamed progressing after his round two match with Tandon was cut short due to a calf injury sustained by the man from India.

Meanwhile, Marwan put in an assured performance to limit the attacking talents of World No.17 Dessouky, running out an 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 winner. It was a scrappy match at times with multiple discussions with the referee, but Marwan kept his composure to book his spot in the last 16 and set up a mouthwatering showdown with his older brother.

It will be their 23rd meeting on the PSA Tour, with Mohamed winning 16 of their previous matches – including that 2017 World Championships final – to Marwan’s six.

“Fares is a great player, he’s one of the best players in the world,” said Marwan afterwards.

“I was very focused from the start and I tried to extend the rallies and stay mentally strong. I played an aggressive type of squash, I knew if I contained him and controlled the middle I would have a better chance of winning. When Fares gets into the match it’s hard to stop him, so I’m happy with that performance.

“I’m looking forward to it [playing Mohamed], Mo is one of the greats and he’s my big brother. We’ve played so many times on the PSA World Tour and this is the third time we’ve played in the World Championships. I’m looking forward to it, I’m sure he is as well, and hopefully we can give everyone around the world a big match.

“Back in the day everyone would have his own space, but now we’re more mature and more relaxed. We look back at what we’ve achieved and our matches and we want to enjoy it. We spoke about the possibility of playing and we said we would kill each other and then we’ll be brothers after.

“I’m looking forward to it and maybe I’ll have dinner with him and my mother today.”

No.6 seed Mazen Hesham is also through to the next round after he held off France’s Lucas Serme and his last 16 opponent will be Youssef Soliman.

“I wasn’t really sharp today, but that’s the way it is at this stage of the tournament,” Hesham said.

“I had a day off and he played a lot better than I expected, so hopefully I have better performances in the next round.

“We [Hesham and Soliman] are good friends and we’ve played a couple of times on the tour. He makes it really tough for me, but I think it will be a good match.

“I’ve been much better this season compared to the last few seasons. I feel better physically and mentally and I think that’s showing on the court. Hopefully I can get a title before the season ends.”

No.5 seed Nour El Tayeb – watched on by her daughter, Farida – earned a comfortable win against fellow Egyptian Mariam Metwally to set up a last 16 encounter with Japan’s Satomi Watanabe.

El Tayeb said: “Mariam fires the ball in all the time and it takes time to adjust and accept that I’m going to be outplayed a lot of the time.

“Luckily I won the first game and it gave me a lot of confidence.

“Farida [El Tayeb’s daughter] loves the attention if I’m winning. I don’t win as much as Ali [Farag, El Tayeb’s husband] recently, so I was trying to get all the attention I can get from her.

“It’s nice [to have Farida watching at the front] if she’s staying quiet. To look back and see family gives me bigger meaning and it’s okay to lose points. It’s been nice the last couple of days and hopefully I can get onto the glass court next.

“She [Watanabe] is playing well. I’m excited to play her, she’s extremely fair, I think she’s too fair, but that’s good and I hope she stays fair. It’s going to be a good match, I think the court will be good for both of us.”

England’s No.6 seed Georgina Kennedy is also through, making short work of Malaysia’s Aira Azman to ensure she will face No.9 seed Rowan Elaraby next. It will be their seventh meeting on tour, with Kennedy winning all six so far.

“This is the fourth time I’ve played Aira this season, so we’re very familiar with each other now,” Kennedy said.

“I’m familiar with her strengths, she’s an attacking player and so hungry, she has a really bright future ahead of her. I was looking forward to a big battle today and I knew I had to be on my toes and moving well. I’m happy with the way I played and I’m looking forward to round three.

“It’s going to be a completely different match [against Elaraby]. At the moment we’re playing inside on the air conditioned court and then we’re moving to 9pm on the outdoor court here, so it’s going to be about who is able to adapt quicker. You can’t control the conditions outside, so it’s going to be a bit harder to prepare for.

“Rowan and I have played a lot of times and it’s always been close, I think I won 13-11 in the fifth the last time we played. She’s going to be really up for it and so am I, it’s the World Championships, so I think it’s going to be a good battle.

“I’m really happy with how the 2024 part of the season has unfolded. Chicago was a bit of a flick of the switch tournament for me, things I had been working on had really started together and when that happens you grow in confidence. I feel in a good place mentally and my body has been good, which is the most important thing when it comes to squash.”

Matches on the glass court at the Palm Hills Club begin at 19:30 (GMT+3) and all of the action will be live on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the PSA World Championships, visit the offical tournament website or follow the PSA on XFacebookInstagramTikTokYouTube and WhatsApp

Results – Men’s Second Round (Bottom Half): 2023-24 CIB PSA World Championships

[10] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Curtis Malik (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 11-5, 11-7 (54m)

[12] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)

[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (35m)

[7] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 4-3 retired (18m)

[9] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (34m)

Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-9 (36m)

Results – Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half): 2023-24 CIB PSA World Championships

[12] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-1 (23m)

[13] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 (21m)

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-4, 11-2 (26m)

[6] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Aira Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (25m)

[9] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Malak Khafagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (23m)

[14] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Caroline Fouts (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)

More Player Reaction…

Satomi Watanabe

Beat: Marie Stephan 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 (21m)

Next Opponent: Nour El Tayeb or Mariam Metwally

“Marie is a good friend of mine off court.

“I know her actual personality, but when it comes to sports, all those aggressions and passions come on court. I just separate on and off court in my mind, and I’m sure it’s the same for my opponent. So anything that is happening emotionally on court, I try not to let it into my mind.

“I have to make sure I keep calm to be more aware of what’s happening on court. Especially as I am on my own most of the time during my match. At the moment I have a player from my country who is helping me, but most of the time I need to make up my mind very quickly to analyse what is happening to give myself some advice. I tried not to take too many emotions on board from Marie.

“I’m pretty happy with the way I played today, I was sticking to my game plan and trying to make her work hard for every single point. I was trying not to give her any cheap points, which actually I did a few times. But right after I managed to put together another good long rally, again and again, to make her feel mentally that it was hard to get points out of me.

“I love playing in Egypt. There is a massive interest for the sport in the country, there are a lot of spectators and there is a lot of energy, that’s what you want as a player. Of course, it’s always the country who produces the best players in the world, so it’s great to watch and study other players and also to keep on track with what is happening. I am very careful of watching the wildcard, there is always someone new, someone different, and that allows me to keep updating my squash and my way of looking at the sport. “


Sabrina Sobhy

Beat: Kenzy Ayman 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-1 (23m)

Next Opponent: Nouran Gohar or Hana Moataz

“I don’t think I hit harder than normal today but maybe I was more controlled.

“I felt that the rallies where I had a slower pace, she was able to move onto the ball much quicker, so I upped the pace a little bit to get it past her and into the back corners.

It was definitely a good day, I wanted to make sure the accuracy was there, everybody here is up for it and will try to get as far as they can, especially the lower ranked players. Their goals are to push the top players and that’s exactly what we want to see too.

“Nothing is easy, we can all probably agree that every match you have to show up for it and prepare for it as well as you can because everything is a challenge.

“I’m happy to move to the Museum, that’s exciting.”


Joel Makin

Beat: Curtis Malik 3-0: 13-11, 11-5, 11-7 (54m)

Next Opponent: Mostafa Asal or Nicolas Mueller

“It wasn’t bad, Curtis is on the way up and I like his ball striking.

“I like what he’s trying to do, he hits great lines and I knew it was going to be hard. I could tell he was trying to contain me with the pace he was playing at, which made it difficult for me. Once I settled into the first game I managed to hit my spots and extended him, dragged him out and exposed him. It was a high-quality match I thought.

“These venues are great and they’re all different. We’ve had a good time here, the club has been nice and the court has been great. I can’t complain so far, it’s been a good couple of days.

“I’ve struggled a little bit for various reasons, but it feels like it’s coming together quite well. I’m happy with the way I was moving there, so I can’t complain really. I’ll go and see Derek [Ryan, PSA Physio], get some work done and I’m looking forward to another big performance.”


Youssef Soliman

Beat: Yahya Elnawasany 3-0:11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)

Next Opponent: Mazen Hesham or Lucas Serme

“We train together and he is a very competitive in training, we have a lot of battles.

“I knew he likes to play fast, I like to play fast too. So today I had to adjust. The rallies were so hard, so I was worried about it, he had nothing to lose, his hands are quite good and it was very tricky. I had to be prepared.

“The score doesn’t reflect how tough it was out there. The rallies were fast, we twisted and turned each other but it was a very good match with clean and fair movement. He tested me a couple of times. At 4-4 in the middle of the game, I had to push and give it that extra energy, and I think I did that well today.

“Tactically, I tried to keep the volley away from him because he is so good. I had to clear the middle and when I was doing so I had more chances.

“If we go according to seedings, it should or could be Mazen. The head-to-head is 2-2, but he has improved and changed his game tremendously recently. I used to be able to contain him and get errors out of him. But the last time we played, I couldn’t believe how much he changed, the way he played was a big surprise for me.

“He just played a length game, he didn’t go short at all and there were hardly any errors. I feel I’m ready for the battle.”


Sivasangari Subramaniam

Beat: Caroline Fouts 3-0: 1-6, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)

Next Opponent: Hania El Hammamy or Melissa Alves

“Caroline is still very young, so we haven’t competed against each other yet but we’ve hit together a few times when I go to New York, where she is based.

“I always knew she is a very talented player, she’s still young and when I was her age I had nothing to lose, I just wanted to beat all the top players. I knew that was going to be her mindset and I had to be really prepared from the start. I had to keep it going so if she wanted to beat me, she would have to get to my level and beat me.

“Obviously there were nerves and stuff, but I started well, I was confident in my game and I’m happy to win in three. She is a very solid player, she has a really good length game and she moves really well, so I wanted to mix up the pace a bit. I tried to slow down because she likes a fast pace and when I had the opportunity to go short, I had to place the ball and move her a little bit more.

“It really worked well today and I’m happy with the way I moved from my first match which was a bit sluggish.

“I have been working with David Palmer for the past five years. I have my coach back home, Ajaz Azmat, with whom I work when I’m back in Malaysia and with whom I speak a lot when I am in the States. Sometimes I miss home, but nowadays it’s very easy to get back and forth as I don’t have school anymore.

“I graduated from Cornell last year, but I am mostly training with David, who has helped me improve my game tremendously. So I’m happy with my training schedule now.”


Eain Yow Ng

Beat: Ryunosuke Tsukue 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-9 (36m)

Next Opponent: Paul Coll or Leonel Cardenas

“I’m just happy to go through, it’s my first time in the third round.

“People might say ‘oh, it’s a good second round’, but I know him he and has beaten me in the juniors before. It doesn’t matter what the actual ranking is, he knows in his head he can beat me. It’s quite difficult when you expect a big battle and suddenly it’s 9-0 out of nowhere.

“It was just such a straight forward first two games, I wanted to do the same thing without changing anything, but at that point he had nothing to lose and also he had gotten used to my game. In the end it got a bit edgy for me, but the experience helped me through it. I told myself to put more energy in and to make a final push.

“I think I’ve finally found my maturity. I now have more experience and it’s just about being patient with me. My team knows the level I can play at but it was about getting the consistency. Before I was rushing it a bit, not in terms of squash but in terms of wanting to rush the results.

“I was thinking that I need to do this and achieve that. Now it’s about going in and as the match goes on knowing what I need to do because of that experience and maturity.

It’s not about thinking who I am playing or what’s happening with the rankings, it’s not relevant. What is relevant is how I approach the game, how I step on court, how I impose my game to other players.

“I’m finishing my studies at Bristol University, there is one more week to go and then I can focus on my squash fully, not that it has had an effect on my career.

“It was quite hectic at the start of the season with the Asian Games, I haven’t been very happy with my consistency, especially in El Gouna where I played well for two games and then physically I had a big drop off, so I am now trying to figure out how to improve that. But coming into this week I have no pressure, I know the standard I can play and I just want to go on there, enjoy it and show what I can do.”


Rowan Elaraby

Beat: Malak Khafagy 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (23m)

Next Opponent: Georgina Kennedy

“I tried my best today not to get into what ever she was doing.

“She plays three great rallies, then she looks like she is giving up. So if I take notice of those different factors I might relax and lose focus. I’m happy I managed to keep my focus at all times today.

“I had a game plan, I wanted the match to last as little as possible because I want to save energy for the following rounds. But playing Malak is never easy, playing a young Egyptian in Egypt is never easy, especially the up-and-coming fierce generation.

“It’s always an extra pressure to play a young Egyptian, especially a very talented one. I had almost all of my team with me and that gave me a boost, it made me feel confident.

“The head-to-head [against Kennedy, is 7-0 to her, I think. This is a match I’m really looking forward to playing with no pressure and nothing to worry or think about. I really want to get my revenge, at least once.”