The quarter finals of the PSA World Championships begin today in Chicago’s Union Station, with four matches featuring four former World No.1s taking place on the stunning all glass show court.
Women’s top seed and last year’s runner up Nouran Gohar gets play underway at 17:30 (GMT-5) when she takes on Egyptian compatriot Nour El Tayeb, followed by another all-Egyptian clash between Mostafa Asal and Mazen Hesham.
USA’s Amanda Sobhy then faces Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy, with play concluding with a matchup between rivals Paul Coll of New Zealand and Ali Farag of Egypt.
All the action will be available to watch live on SQUASHTV with play starting at 17:30 (GMT-5). The bottom half of the draw for the quarter finals takes place tomorrow, May 9th.
Nouran Gohar v Nour El Tayeb
Two of the tour’s toughest competitors go head to head in the day’s first quarter final.
2022 runner up Nouran Gohar, who lost her World No.1 ranking earlier today, will be desperate to record an eighth consecutive victory over ‘the Black Widow’ as she plots a route towards her first World Championship title.
Despite Gohar’s formidable record, no one will be ruling El Tayeb out, with the 30-year-old a master tactician and able to beat anyone on her day.
Mostafa Asal v Mazen Hesham
‘The Raging Bull’ versus ‘the Falcon’ promises to be a high-octane affair.
Mostafa Asal, back from his suspension and looking in fine form, will go into tonight’s clash as the favourite, with the 21-year-old enjoying a 2-0 head-to-head record against Hesham.
Like Gohar, Asal recently relinquished the World No.1 ranking, with Peru’s Diego Elias – who plays in the bottom half of the draw tomorrow – currently occupying the top spot. A maiden World Championship title would be enough for Asal to regain the World No.1 ranking should Elias fail to reach the final.
If Hesham is to secure a first tour win over Asal, he’ll need to be at his maverick best.
Amanda Sobhy v Hania El Hammamy
In the second women’s quarter final, two opponents who are plenty familiar with each other will battle it out for a semi final spot.
Today’s clash is the third match between last American standing Amanda Sobhy and Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy in the last two months, with El Hammamy beating Sobhy in the semi final of March’s Black Ball Open before Sobhy had her revenge in April’s British Open quarter final.
The pair met at this stage in the 2021 World Championship, with Sobhy recording a 3-0 victory. Will lightning strike twice for the home favourite in her 400th match on tour? Or will El Hammamy spoil the party in match number 250?
Paul Coll v Ali Farag
In the last match of the day, old rivals and former World No.1s Paul Coll and Ali Farag clash once more.
The pair had been enjoying a long-running battle for the World No.1 ranking over the past two seasons, only for fitness and form issues to take a toll and see them drop to World No.4 and World No.5.
Coll, who last year became the first ever male from New Zealand to reach World No.1, got the better of reigning World Champion Farag in their previous match, a 3-1 victory in the Canary Wharf Classic semi final in March of this year.
Farag, however, will back himself to add to his 16 victories against Coll. The three-time World Champion has been looking increasingly impressive following a lengthy injury absence, with his return to form culminating in a 3-1 victory over Diego Elias to win a first British Open title three weeks ago.