The biggest tournament on the PSA World Tour calendar is up next in this exciting 2022-23 season, with 64 women bidding to become the World Champion in Chicago. Only one player in the draw has managed to lift the trophy before, Nour El Sherbini. The Egyptian will be aiming to claim an incredible seventh title between May 3-11.
We’ve taken a look at El Sherbini plus the fortunes of the other top five seeds ahead of the championships.
World No.1 Nouran Gohar has been a beaten finalist in the World Championships for the past two years, losing out to nemesis Nour El Sherbini on both occasions. Gohar has been at the summit of the PSA World Rankings for 56 weeks now but is still chasing an elusive World Championship title.
Gohar is in the same half of the draw as compatriot Hania El Hammamy, who has beaten Gohar in three Platinum events this season. ‘The Terminator’ will potentially have to overcome Nour El Tayeb in the quarter-finals, who will be featuring for the first time since recovering from a leg injury and will be short of match practice. But if Gohar’s U.S. Open form can be resurrected, a new women’s World Champion could be crowned come May 11.
Nour El Sherbini
The World Championships and Nour El Sherbini are a match made in heaven. With six titles to her name at the age of only 27, the form of ‘The Warrior Princess’ in the biggest event of the season is tremendous. She is currently on a 24-match unbeaten streak at the World Championships and will look to take that to 30 as she looks for a seventh title, which would put her just one behind the legendary Nicol David.
Fresh off a win in Birmingham at the British Open, El Sherbini is in terrific form once again leading into the championships. She is the No.2 seed and is seeded to play England’s Sarah-Jane Perry followed by either Georgina Kennedy or Rowan Elaraby for a place in the semi-finals. The other top four seed in her half is New Zealand’s Joelle King, against whom she holds an impressive 14-1 head-to-head lead over.
An ninth World Championship final could be on the horizon for El Sherbini, along with a seventh title.
Hania El Hammamy
World No.3 Hania El Hammamy has had a staggered season so far, producing some amazing squash to capture the Egyptian Open and Hong Kong Open Platinum titles, as well as two runner up finishes at the Grasshopper Cup and Black Ball Squash Open. She has also seen tournaments finish earlier than she would have liked at the U.S Open and the recent British Open as she lost out to the Sobhy sisters.
El Hammamy will be determined to recapture her first half of the season for which saw her win two Platinum titles as she heads to Chicago. El Hammamy is seeded to get a chance at revenge as she is set to take on No.5 seed Amanda Sobhy in the quarter finals. Sobhy claimed a shock win over El Hammamy at the recent British Open, so the Egyptian undoubtedly be out for revenge for a spot in the World Championships semi-finals for the second time in her career.
New Zealand’s Joelle King has been one of the most consistent players on the PSA World Tour this season, reaching at least the semi-finals in eight of her last 10 events.
King has never featured in the semi-finals of the World Championships before but is seeded to do so in this year’s event. The World No.4 is seeded to face No.7 seed Olivia Fiechter in the quarter finals. The pair have met three times this season with the American leading the head-to-head record 2-1, but King won the last encounter in convincing fashion at the British Open, winning 3-0.
New Zealand has a history of World Champions with Carol Owens and Susan Devoy both picking up the coveted title. Could King join the list this season?
USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy recently scored a big win over Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy at the British Open, then produced another sublime performance to almost topple eventual champion Nour El Sherbini, losing out in five games. That came right after she secured another PSA title following her win at the Canadian Women’s Open in Toronto.
Philadelphia-based Sobhy is in good form heading into her third home World Championships.
She is seeded to face Canada’s Hollie Naughton in the second round and then if all goes to seeding, a third round match up with the player she defeated in the Canadian Women’s Open final, Salma Hany before another potential quarter-final with Hania El Hammamy.
Could Sobhy give the home crowd plenty to cheer about as the tournament reaches the latter stages?
Stay tuned for the men’s title contenders…
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.