Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2022 PSA World Championships

The 2022 CIB PSA World Championships Cairo took place in May last year, and there were several talking points along the way.

The sport’s biggest tournament was held across two venues in the Egyptian city. Club S Allegria played host to the early rounds on its traditional courts as well as the event’s first glass court. Then, the Egyptian National Museum of Civilisation took over, with the latter rounds of the competition being played on a glass court that had been erected in the museum’s atrium.

From shocks and surprises, to two winners defending their World Championships crowns, here is what happened in Cairo last year…

Wildcards Elshafei and Ayman Reach Second Round

Tournament wildcards Yassin Elshafei and Kenzy Ayman both secured upsets in the opening round of the CIB PSA World Championships Cairo, as they defeated Pakistan’s Muhammad Asim Khan and England’s Jasmine Hutton, respectively.

Ayman and Hutton played a tough contest, but it was the Egyptian who won in three games. All three went to tie-breaks, but never once did the Englishwoman have a chance to win any of them. Only Ayman had game and match balls, winning all three tie-breaks 12-10 to advance to the second round.

She was joined in doing so by compatriot Elshafei, who got the better of Pakistani Muhammad Asim Khan in four games. Elsewhere in the opening round, Germany’s Raphael Kandra knocked out No.14 seed Miguel Rodriguez in the other major shock in the men’s draw.

Unseeded El Tayeb Reaches Semi-Finals

At the time of the CIB PSA World Championships Cairo, Nour El Tayeb was the World No.28 as she continued her return to the Tour after a 14-month break. In that time, she became a mother for the first time, and her return has been nothing short of astonishing.

In Cairo, the former World No.3 and World Champs finalist went all the way through to the last four, downing two of the world’s top 10 in the process. The Egyptian defeated Malaysia’s Aifa Azman and Sivasangari Subramaniam in the early round, along with a win against No.7 seed Salma Hany.

It was her quarter final match that proved El Tayeb was back. She took on World No.3 Hania El Hammamy, downing her fellow Egyptian in four games. Although she would ultimately lose to Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals, this was the tournament that showed she could still play with the best on tour.

ElShorbagy Downs World No.1 Coll After Epic Battle

The biggest battle of the tournament saw Mohamed ElShorbagy take on Paul Coll in the semi-finals, and the pair were on court for an incredible 109 minutes.

Coll came into the contest as the World No.1 having won their previous two meetings, including en route to his first major title at the British Open in 2021. It looked like the Kiwi would have things his way once more, taking the third game 12-10 to move into the lead of the contest.

ElShorbagy, in one of his last appearances playing under the Egyptian flag, fought back brilliantly. He showed why he is a former World Champion and World No.1, as he won both the fourth and fifth games to take the victory to move through to a fifth World Champs final.

Farag Takes Third World Championships Crown

The 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 World Champion, Ali Farag came in to the event looking for a third World Champs title to join Ramy Ashour and Nick Matthew on that milestone.

Farag breezed through his opening four matches as he defeated Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas and Cesar Salazar as well as the Egyptian duo of Youssef Ibrahim and Marwan ElShorbagy, all in straight games. Then came two five-game battles. He fought past the soon-to-be World No.1 Mostafa Asal in a 97-minute epic, before coming up against Mohamed ElShorbagy for the second consecutive World Championships final.

Farag defeated his great rival in Chicago in 2021, and he would do the same in Cairo a year later, coming back from 2-1 down to win in five. The Egyptian became one of just seven men to have won the World Championships at least three times, and only the third Egyptian male to do so.

El Sherbini Makes It Six World Titles

Nour El Sherbini came into the tournament as a five-time World Champion, having reached seven of the last eight finals.

The World No.2 dropped just two games in her opening four matches. She got the better of Spain’s Cristina Gomez and Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in straight games, while she was taken to four games against both wildcard Kenzy Ayman and English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry.

She beat the aforementioned El Tayeb in the semis, before coming up against World No.1 Nouran Gohar in the final. It was ‘the Terminator’ who won the opening game, but in true El Sherbini style, she fought back to win the next three, claiming a sixth World Championships crown. Only Nicol David now has more than the ‘Warrior Princess’.

PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family

The PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family will take place May 3-11 with play split between Union Station and the University Club of Chicago. Live action from round one will be shown on the tournament website while RD2 onwards will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

Tickets for the event are available to purchase here.

For more information on the PSA World Championships, follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.