PSA World Championships: Story of 2023

As the 2023/24 PSA World Championships draw nearer, we thought we would take a look back at last years event as we gear up for the biggest event on the PSA World Tour calendar.

The PSA World Championships headed back to Chicago, USA for the 2023 event with 128 players looking to etch their names onto the coveted trophies.

The men’s top seed was 21-year-old Mostafa Asal, who became the World No.1 in January 2023 and was looking to secure his maiden World Championship title. He would be face tough competition however as 3x time World Champion Ali Farag was back from injury and looking dangerous again after his British Open win. Whilst Diego Elias and Mohamed Elshorbagy were also desperate to put in strong performances to claim the title.

In the women’s seedings, Nouran Gohar occupied top spot as she was also looking to score a first World Title. A showdown with 6x World Champion Nour ElSherbini was expected as the ‘Warrior Princess’ came into the event as the No.2 seed, whilst Hania El Hammamy is always capable of beating the leading pair on her day.

Round One

The World Championships is the only PSA World Tour event where all players feature from the opening round, meaning that on a jam-packed opening day, all 128 players played in a bid to reach round two.

Scotland’s Greg Lobban scored the pick of the wins in the men’s draw as he overcame Swiss No.1 and World No.14 Nicolas Mueller in straight games. Whilst in the women’s event, 15-year-old Egyptian Amina Orfi received a PSA invitee spot for winning the World Junior Championships and took the opportunity with both hands as she downed Latvia’s Ineta Hopton to move into the second round.

Round Two

Only one upset took place in the second round in the women’s event and it was teenage superstar Amina Orfi once again. Orfi came up against experienced USA player Olivia Clyne and used her nothing to lose attitude and Egyptian aggression to defeat the World No.13 3-1 in 46 minutes. This win gave Orfi the record of the youngest woman ever to reach the last 16 of a World Championships. Her reward would be a clash with No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy.

The result of the round in the men’s draw came from another Egyptian, Aly Abou Eleinen. The World No.32 produced a superb performance to defeat No.8 seed Victor Crouin. Eleinen was featuring in his first World Championships but showed no signs of nerves as he recovered from 2-1 down to win 11-9 in the fifth game. A huge win for Eleinen and a sign of things to come from the Egyptian.

Seeding upsets also came from Mohamed Abouelghar and Nathan Lake. Abouelghar defeated No.10 seed and compatriot Fares Dessouky in an entertaining four games whilst Lake (who was based in Chicago at the time) delighted his supporters by downing No.15 seed and experienced Frenchman Gregoire Marche in 51 minutes.

Round Three

A heavyweight clash between top seed Mostafa Asal and Wales’ Joel Makin took place on day three of the event. The pair had met six times previously, both holding three wins each. It was the top seed who came through however, in a mammoth 85-minute clash, Makin clawed a game back to trail 2-1 but the ‘Raging Bull’ confidently converted the fourth game 11-5. Fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad found his top form as he defeated No.6 seed Marwan Elshorbagy to move into the quarters whilst No.2 seed Diego Elias narrowly avoided an early exit as he defeated India’s Saurav Ghosal 12-10 in the fifth game.

The highly anticipated clash between Nele Gilis and Olivia Weaver did not disappoint. A huge chance to reach the quarter finals of the World Championships made for an attritional and sometimes edgy match between the two but after a huge 94-minute clash, it was Belgium who had a player in the last eight. Another European player upset the seedings to book her place in the last eight as England’s Georgina Kennedy beat Rowan Elaraby 3-0 to advance.

The run of teenage sensation Amina Orfi came to an end in round three but not without a fight. The 15-year-old trailed 2-0 against No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy but proved how tough she is as she came back to 2-2, one game away from the quarters. El Hammamy showed her class to stay composed and move ahead on the scoreboard, eventually taking the game 11-9.

Quarter Finals

2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad continued his fine form in the quarter finals as he scored another upset to down No.2 seed Diego Elias in straight games. The form of the Peruvian had been slightly questionable in the recent tournaments which Gawad took full advantage of. After claiming a straight-forward opener, the Egyptian had to battle hard to win the next two games in tiebreaks 13-11, 14-12 to book a spot in another Worlds semi. No.1 and No.3 seeds Mostafa Asal and Mohamed Elshorbagy was pushed all the way by Egyptian duo Mazen Hesham and Tarek Momen but both higher seeds managed to come through in five games. Ali Farag completed the semi-final line-up with a four game win over New Zealand’s Paul Coll.

The women’s quarter finals all went to seeding in the quarter finals, with all top four seeds securing straight game wins against tricky opponents. Top seeds Nouran Gohar and Nour ElSherbini defeated Nour El Tayeb and Georgina Kennedy, Hania El Hammamy ended home hopes by beating Amanda and No.4 seed Joelle King secured a place in her first Worlds semi-finals, beating Nele Gilis.


What a line-up we had in store for the semi-finals, all players were capable of going all the way and claiming the prestigious prizes, but who would reach the finals?

The intense rivalry between Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy was reignited in the opening match on semi-finals day and the pair again played out an epic for the adoring Chicago crowd. Top seed Gohar led 2-1 in the closely contest clash but a fight back from El Hammamy forced a fifth game, exactly what the crowd wanted. There was nothing between the two in the fifth game and as the game entered the tiebreak, tensions were high. Gohar was the one who managed to hold it together best and claimed the game 14-12 to reach another World Champs final. Her opponent would be 6x champion Nour ElSherbini, who needed four games to see off first time semi-finalist Joelle King to reach a seventh straight final.

The first men’s semi-final was between top seed Mostafa Asal and defending champion Ali Farag, a 16th meeting between the two. Asal had only beaten Farag three times, with only one of which coming in a best of five format. The top seed was up against it from the start as Farag’s web weaving was in full flow. Despite Asal clawing the third game back, Farag powered onto victory winning 11-2 in the fourth. His final opponent would be 2016 winner Karim Abdel Gawad. The Egyptian repeated the semi-final win from 2016 against Mohamed Elshorbagy to take his place in the final. The Englishman led 2-1 in the tie but the skills and rally intelligence of Gawad was making his opponent cover a lot of ground. Too much in the end for Elshorbagy as Gawad completed the comeback to win 3-2.


A chance for a first World title presented itself for Nouran Gohar as she looked to claim a second win of the season over compatriot and rival Nour ElSherbini. The former has been almost unbeatable in World Championships over the past seven years, losing only one match in 2017 and claiming the title six times. It was business as usual for the No.2 seed as she completely dominated proceedings in the final to win 11-4, 11-6, 12-10 and lift a seventh World Championship trophy.

The men’s final followed a similar pattern, Farag was undefeated in his last three World Championships and looked sharp and focused in his bid to draw level with legendary compatriot Amr Shabana. The efforts of the week looked to have taken thier toll on his opponent, Gawad but the defending champion was as professional as ever and didn’t put a foot wrong on route to picking up his fourth title.