Nouran Gohar in action.
Nouran Gohar in action.

Day Six – As It Happened

Round three of the CIB PSA World Championships continues with eight matches split across two venues at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Palm Hills Club.

All the matches can be watched live on SQUASHTV and you can also keep track of the live scores by clicking here.

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

Mohamed Wins ElShorbagy Showdown

2017 World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy got the better of younger brother Marwan at the Palm Hills Club to earn his place in the quarter-finals of the 2023-24 CIB PSA World Championships.

It was the 23rd time the brothers were meeting on the PSA Tour and Mohamed extended his lead on their head-to-head record to 17-6 courtesy of an 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 victory.

The pair made history in 2017 as they became the first brothers to contest the final of the PSA World Championships and they were both competing in the land of their birth having switched allegiance from Egypt to England in recent years.

It was Marwan who settled on court first as he stormed into a 7-2 lead in the opening game. Marwan, who at 30 years old is three years younger than Mohamed, was controlling the court and varying his length nicely. He held off a late charge from Mohamed to go a game ahead.

His accuracy dropped off though soon after as errors began to creep into his game, with an increase in accuracy and intensity from Mohamed squeezing tins and looser shots out of his brother.

The next two games saw Mohamed first eliminate Marwan’s lead and then establish a lead of his home. There was early hope for Marwan in the fourth as he took four of the first six points on offer, but Mohamed battled back to lead 8-5. 

The match had been free-flowing to this point, but tensions escalated a little as the match entered the latter stages, with Marwan receiving a conduct warning for complaints made to the referee after he was left unhappy with a follow through on one of Mohamed’s shots.

Mohamed remained composed and closed out the win to set up a last eight match against either No.2 seed Paul Coll or Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng.

“I think in Hong Kong when we played each other we were tougher on each other,” said Mohamed.

“We were more aggressive, but today we were both a bit softer. It doesn’t surprise me because we’ve spent a lot of time together over the last few months. We had the World Teams together, we’ve stayed together in the last three events and then we had the European Teams, which was a massive win for the both of us to do it as brothers together.

“It creates a bit of a softer side because at the end of the day we’re brothers. We could have been more aggressive today but this is the journey we have to go through. We’ve had a lot of matches in the past which have gone in very different ways and the attitude has been different every time we played.

“If you asked me two months ago if I wanted to play again, I would have told you that I wanted to stop, I wanted to retire. After I beat Iker [Pajares] in El Gouna, I called Jonah [Barrington] that night, I needed someone who has known me since I was a kid. He really got me pumped up and I think everyone saw what I did against Youssef Soliman the day after.

“I went over the line there, but I wanted to be aggressive again and I used to be aggressive on court. At the European Teams I played Victor, I was aggressive but I wasn’t over the line and that’s ‘The Beast’ that I want to see of myself. In the past two or three years I’ve been more of an ambassador than ‘The Beast’ and I want to be the person who never cares about what people say on social media and who just wants to win.”


[7] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) bt [9] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (54m)

El Tayeb Downs Watanabe in Three

Nour El Tayeb advanced to the quarter finals of the World Championships after downing Satomi Watanabe in the first match of the evening at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

El Tayeb, who’s been a quarter finalist or better in the World Championships since 2017, was sharper than Watanabe who made too many unforced errors.

It was the first time in just under two years since their last meeting, which came at the CIB Zed Squash Open where El Tayeb claimed the title, but neither player was finding their targets well in the opening game. However four successive errors from Watanabe gave El Tayeb the advantage to take the first.

Errors were Watanabe’s undoing again in the second, but the Japanese No.1 saved game ball to force a tiebreak. However mistakes again were costly as two more saw El Tayeb convert for a two-game lead.

The third was another close battle as the physicality ramped up from both players with traffic issues making the rallies shorter. But El Tayeb prevailed to book her spot in the last eight,

“It was a very physical match. I think with the ball being bouncy and the conditions because of the wind, there has to be traffic,” she said.

“But it’s not my problem, I don’t deal with problems, and it’s not her [Satomi Watanabe] problem either. It had to get physical, I’m happy with how I played and I think I got lucky at the end with some skill and luck to get me through.

“I thought I’m going to go for every shot because I haven’t gone for every shot in the last five or six points but it worked.

“Nouran [Gohar] has been one of the best, if not the best, player for the last three years so she doesn’t need me to say how good she is! Sabrina [Sobhy] is like a little sister to me and they both beat me last time. It’s interesting whoever I play.”

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [13] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-9

Coll Powers Past Eain Yow

World No.2 Paul Coll stormed to a 3-0 win over Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng as he set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with 2017 World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Coll had won two of their three previous matches but did slump to a shock defeat against the World No.18 at the 2022 Singapore Open.

There was to be no repeat tonight at the Palm Hills Club though as Coll put in a masterclass of control against a passive opponent who struggled to really put some hard running into the legs of the New Zealander.

Coll’s reward is a quarter-final match with 2017 World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy. The pair met at the semi-finals stage of the 2021-22 PSA World Championships, with ElShorbagy prevailing after a gruelling 109-minute epic. 

Since then, ElShorbagy has won four of their seven matches, but Coll did win their last meeting in December’s Hong Kong Open.

“It’s another good runout and I’m happy to be playing tomorrow, there’s not another rest day, so I can flow straight into it,” said Coll.

“I’ve been doing a lot of the work in the last two weeks. At El Gouna I was guilty of not being fully present in that event, I already had my mind on this one. That was a good learning curve, I didn’t really feel like I prepared for that event like I did and I wasn’t really in the moment there.

“It was about staying in the process and I had a daily plan to prepare for this mentally and physically. I stuck to that, I’ve been taking it day by day and I’ve done every session at 100 per cent so I can be ready for whatever happens this week.

“It’s very hard to win a tournament in Egypt. To be a World Champion in Egypt outdoors would be special. These are tough conditions to compete in and it’s a real mental battle to stay focused on your squash and not get caught up on all the outside stuff.

“I’ve learned a lot from Mohamed over the years in terms of the way he plays squash, he does everything he can to win and that’s one of his greatest qualities and strengths on a squash court. I’m going to have to deal with whatever comes my way, I feel like I’ve matured a lot in the last year, and I’m very confident I can deal with whatever happens.”


[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)

Gohar Storms Into Last Eight

Nouran Gohar produced an immaculate performance to see off Sabrina Sobhy at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

The former World No.1 didn’t make a single error across all three games against Sobhy, and only dropped eight points.

Gohar came flying out of the blocks as she nullified Sobhy with her strong hitting and dominating the ‘T’, storming into an 11-3 win.

The Egyptian was applying plenty of pressure, with Gohar’s movement and unrelenting shot accuracy not giving Sobhy any opportunity to strike.

After taking the second 11-4, Gohar looked on track to keep Sobhy score-less in the third before the American got a point on the board at 9-0 down before Gohar sealed the win.

“I was thinking that would be a nice stat to come off, zero errors in the match,” she said.

“I feel like I was playing attacking squash and not much defensive. It’s always a confidence boost to see yourself not hitting a lot of errors. Hopefully I can keep this going!

“First of all I want to say that Sabrina [Sobhy] is a top quality player and she knows how to play the game very well – she’s very smart and very quick as well. I had to be smart with the way I’m playing and not give her any openings or something in the front as she could chop it into the nick.

“She proved my point more than once that she’s capable of beating the top players on her day and I was trying to be as sharp as possible from the beginning to not make it hard for myself as I know it can be very tough with her. I’m just glad with the way I got into the game.

“It’s always tricky playing your first match on the glass court with all these factors were on my mind and I’m pretty happy with it.”

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [12] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-1 (28m)

El Hammamy Gains Revenge Over Subramaniam

Hania El Hammamy avenged her London Classic final defeat to Sivasangari Subramaniam to advance to the last eight of the World Championships.

Subramaniam stunned El Hammamy in the English capital by taking her first-ever Gold-level title, defeating the World No.3 3-2 at Alexandra Palace.

But El Hammamy gained revenge for that defeat by seeing off the Malaysian in straight games in 44 minutes for a spot in the quarter finals.

Their meeting in the London Classic decider was 81 minutes in duration, and the first game matched the blockbuster squash both players served up last time out.

Having made a slow start, Subramaniam clawed her way back into the contest as she saved both of El Hammamy’s game balls, before saving another two in the tiebreak. However the Malaysian squandered a game ball opportunity of her own as El Hammamy eventually edged it 15-13.

El Hammamy remained steady in the second as unforced errors from Subramaniam were capitalised on by the Egyptian to go two games up.

World No.3 El Hammamy picked up where she left off going into the third as she was able to keep Subramaniam at bay to prevail.

“It was definitely very tough playing against her [Sivasangari Subramaniam] today, especially after losing the last time in five.

“It was a brutal match and she performed really well that week. It was very tough mentally me playing her today – I watched her match and I think I had a better plan tonight.

“It was definitely very tough, but all credit to her – she’s a challenging player and I’m glad I managed to get through. 

“I’ve been working on sticking to the game plan even if I make an error or hit the tin. I just try to stay positive and affirm to myself that it’s the right shot so I don’t go for a different shot and play safe.

“At this stage it’s more about the one who’s a bit braver on court and I had to be the braver tonight. I learned from last match and I had to change that tonight. 

“It’s amazing having my family and the team. I have so many people here tonight and they’re all supporting me.”

[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [14] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-0: 15-13, 11-6, 11-5 (44m)

Elaraby Completes Stunning Fightback Over Kennedy

Rowan Elaraby completed a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to defeat Gina Kennedy for the final place in the last eight.

It was Elaraby’s first-ever victory over the England No.1 on the PSA World Tour having lost in all six of the previous attempts.

Kennedy, who last got the better of Elaraby in round three of the U.S. Open last October, applied plenty of pressure from the first game as she thwarted the World No.10 whenever she tried to impose her game.

Having taken the first 11-5, Kennedy continued her positive start as she dominated the second the same way she did in the first, driving the ball deep into the back corners for an 11-5 victory.

Elaraby came out firing on all cylinders in the third, getting on the ball early and finding her targets as she halved the deficit.

Kennedy requested a new ball at the end of the third to halt Elaraby’s momentum, but it was the Egyptian who flourished with the fresh ball introduced as Kennedy was unable to apply the same pressure she had in the first two games.

As Elaraby claimed the fourth 11-4 to force a decider, her momentum continued as she gave herself the luxury of five match balls. Although two were saved by Kennedy, Elaraby made it third time lucky to progress to the quarter finals.  

“I’m super thrilled!” Elaraby said on court afterwards.

“This is my first win against Gina [Kennedy] and I came into this match very nervous. I was 2-0 down and Engy kept telling me I had nothing to lose, do your best and don’t leave the court until you’ve done your 100 per cent. I’m really happy to get through this match and beat Gina.

“This is a very special event and I want to keep pushing the top players and keep winning these matches. I’m really grateful for this win today and I’m looking forward to another match here on this amazing court with this amazing court. I’m lucky to be competing again on this court.

“I think my mental aspect mattered today, winning from 2-0 down and I haven’t done this for a while. I’m relieved to get the win today.”

[9] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt [6] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)

Asal Takes Out Makin

World No.3 Mostafa Asal had to hold off a late charge from Welshman Joel Makin as he booked his place in the last eight of squash’s pinnacle event.

In recent months Asal has shown signs of returning to the form that took him to World No.1 at the beginning of 2023. After a slow start to the 2023-24 campaign, Asal has reached three finals in his last three events, winning the Black Ball Open and finishing as runner-up at the London Classic and the El Gouna International.

He was peerless in the opening two games as he nullified Momen and hit all of his targets with aplomb. 

Asal wasted no time in surging into a 2-0 lead, but a tenacious Makin wasn’t quite done. He was more proactive in the third and the winners began to flow from his racket as he halved the deficit.

Asal looked to have come off the boil completely in the fourth, with Makin on the verge of bringing the match back to all square with a 9-6 lead. However, backed on by his home crowd, Asal found one last push and won a flurry of points to earn the win in four games.

“Every five minutes is different with the weather,” said Asal.

“The wind affects the ball and you couldn’t hit your length. There were many stoppages after the second game and in the third and fourth there were more. I was struggling in the fourth and I was out of form. Overall I’m really grateful to go through.

“It’s a different feeling when you’re playing the World Championships and you’re staying at home.”


[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [10] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 11-2, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (73m)

Hesham Ends Day with Victory

The final match of the evening at the Palm Hills Club ended with victory for World No.6 Mazen Hesham over fellow Egyptian Youssef Soliman.

It was their fifth meeting on the PSA Tour – with two wins apiece coming into the clash – and it was Hesham who hit his targets best to emerge victorious with an 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 victory.

Hesham will now play World No.3 Mostafa Asal in the next round and has beaten him twice in their last three matches.

“It’s going to be tricky and I told myself it was going to be a late match,” said Hesham.

“I slept well last night so I could perform well on the night shift and I think I’ve done better than expected.

“I’m trying to do my best in every match and get better every time. It’s the last two or three tournaments this season, so hopefully I can book my first semi-final in my life at the World Championships.”


[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [12] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (44m)