WC Qualifying Africa SFs: ElHammamy Notches Third Successive Upset

The finals are set in the World Championship Qualifier for Africa after today’s semi-finals at the Black Ball Club in Cairo.

Three of the top four seeds were already out of the men’s event, and today saw the No.3 seed depart as Kareem El Torky ousted British Junior Open champion Mohamad Zakaria in five gruelling games.

The first four games were shared, with El Torkey twice taking the lead and twice being pegged back, but the 19-year-old fifth seed dominated the decider to advance to the final.

“That was intense, we both really wanted to win, so I’m very happy to get through,” El Torkey said afterwards.

“I’d never played Mohamad before and I haven’t played Moustafa [Elsirty] either, so we’ll see what happens.”

In the final, El Torkey will meet sixth seed Moustafa Elsirty who, having survived two five game encounters to reach the semi-finals, came from a game down to beat seventh seed Mohamed Nasser.

“He’s the son of my fitness coach, so we grew up together and play together, but we’ve only played three times on PSA, and I won all three,” Elsirty said.

I’m happy to not need five games today, and I’m looking forward to the final.”

Women’s top seed Nardine Garas completed a third consecutive 3-0 win, beating sixth seed Ingy Hammouda in the shortest match of the day at just 22 minutes.

“I’ve played Ingy a lot, but never in a tournament before, so I’m glad to win that one,” Garas said.

“I’m playing well, so I hope I can get one more win to qualify. I got the Worlds Wildcard in 2022 and lost 3-1 to Hollie Naughton, so it would be good to get another chance.”

If the first women’s semi was one-sided, the second was anything but as Nadien Elhammamy and Habiba Hani battled it out for just over an hour, with unseeded Elhammamy getting the better in four close games to record a third successive upset.

“I wasn’t seeded because I’m young, 16, and I don’t play many tournaments,” said Elhammamy.

“I need to play more Egyptian events to get my ranking up. That was a real battle, I’m happy to get through but I’ve got the top seed tomorrow, we’ll see how that goes.”

The finals start at 15.00 [GMT+2] tomorrow on the glass court, with the winners earning a place in next month’s PSA World Championships, also in Cairo.

Men’s Semis:
[6] Moustafa Elsirty (Egy) 3-1 [7] Mohamed Nasser (Egy)   6-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (40m)
[5] Kareem El Torkey (Egy) 3-2 [3] Mohamad Zakaria (Egy)   12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 (85m)

Women’s Semis:
[1] Nardine Garas (Egy) 3-0 [6] Ingy Hammouda (Egy)   11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (22m)
Nadien Elhammamy (Egy) 3-1 [4] Habiba Hani (Egy)  11-9, 12-14, 11-8, 12-10 (61m)