Egypt’s World No.2s Nour El Sherbini and Ali Farag have lifted the 2021-22 CIB PSA World Championships Cairo titles after beating compatriots Nouran Gohar and Mohamed ElShorbagy, respectively.
Both finals were a repeat of the 2020-21 PSA World Championship finals in Chicago with the outcome also the same as El Sherbini and Farag conquered their compatriots in memorable performances at the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization.
El Sherbini has lifted the women’s PSA World Championship title for the sixth time in her career following an 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 56 minutes over World No.1 Gohar. That win puts her clear in second place on the all-time tournament’s women’s winners list, with just Malaysian icon Nicol David ahead of her with a record eight World Championship titles.
The Alexandria-born player utilised all of her trademark accuracy and experience as she was forced to come from one game down in her first tournament back since retiring from the CIB Black Ball Open final due to injury, also against Gohar, back in March.
“Nouran is the best player right now. Every match is a challenge, she challenges me more and it’s hard playing her and it’s getting tougher. The last time we played, it wasn’t the best match between us. I didn’t finish the match, so it was a bit challenging for me to come and play her again in the final of the World Champs after pulling out of the Black Ball Open.
“She’s the one I’m challenging right now and she’s the one I’m looking up to now. Both of us are challenging each other for the No.1 spot. She took it from me and now I’m looking to get it back.”
Farag, meanwhile, claimed his third PSA World Championship title after he came from 2-1 down against 2017 World Champion ElShorbagy to triumph 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2 in 74 minutes.
Both players were subjected to brutal five-game encounters in their semi-final matches but backed up well as they put on a show for the packed out crowd in Cairo. It was Farag who hit top gear in the fifth game to reign victorious though as World No.3 ElShorbagy looked to suffer with fatigue in the closing stages.
As a result, Farag will replace New Zealand’s Paul Coll and go back to World No.1 in June’s men’s World Rankings.
“I’m super proud of my week, I had to go through a very tough draw. I had to go through a lot of tough players to reach the final and today, I’m playing against the greatest of our generation. I have a lot of people around me who, if I’m being honest, wrote Mohamed off after the past few months and I told them there’s no chance Mohamed’s going to go away without a fight. He’s going to come back smarter and harder and he did. It’s inspiring how every time he faces a challenge he comes back stronger, we saw it yesterday and here today. I’m extremely blessed to come out as the winner today.”
This season’s PSA World Championships is the sport’s most lucrative with $1,100,000 in total player prize compensation on offer – split equally across the men’s and women’s draws and El Sherbini and Farag take home $79,800 in prize money each.
The next stop on the PSA World Tour will be the El Gouna International Platinum event, which will once again feature the best players in the world between May 27 – June 3. The action will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and multiple broadcasters around the world.