Assaults on World No. 1 spots still on track for both ElShorbagy and Gohar
By SEAN REUTHE – PSA World Tour
World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy has booked his place in the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 PSA World Championships after overcoming Welshman Joel Makin inside the University Club of Chicago’s picturesque Cathedral Hall earlier today.
ElShorbagy – who will be guaranteed to overthrow rival Ali Farag as the World No.1 next month if he reaches the final this week in Chicago – had won four of his six previous matches against Makin on the PSA World Tour. Whilst he won their most recent meeting at the El Gouna International in May, Makin got the better of his opponent in five games at the CIB Black Ball Open in March.
The pair know each other’s games well having practiced together numerous times in Bristol and Birmingham outside of events, and this time around the win went to the man from Egypt as he closed out an 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 victory in 51 minutes to reach the last eight.
“When I was warming up before the match, I got tagged on Twitter that Fares [Dessouky] said he wanted to play me to get his revenge on me,” said ElShorbagy.
“Thanks for that, Fares, I’m trying to focus on my match right now! That’s the same attitude I would have had if I was him, so I completely respect that mentality.
“We’ve known each other since we were kids, we both come from Alexandria. I’m a few years older, but I have so much respect for him. When I was away I watched him play, I saw him get those two wins against Ali, win Black Ball and losing the other final, so he has been consistent and has been playing very well.”
Black Ball Open winner Fares Dessouky will now look to gain revenge over ElShorbagy following the latter’s win in their El Gouna semi-final meeting. Dessouky, the World No.7, defeated fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar in four games.
2019-20 World Championship runner-up Paul Coll is also through to the quarter-finals following his win over India’s Saurav Ghosal, and he will take on 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the semi-finals after Gawad came from behind to beat Frenchman Baptiste Masotti.
“I was happy with my basic game today,” said Coll.
“My length was great and I was very tight down the backhand. I feel like I am seeing it well here and I am enjoying my squash. It is going to be tough whoever I play next, we are down to the last eight of the World Championships, so I just need to focus every day now.”
Round three also drew to a close in the women’s event as World No.2 Nouran Gohar kept up her assault on the title – and the World No.1 spot – with a 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 victory against Wales’ Tesni Evans.
Gohar will be guaranteed to overtake Nour El Sherbini as the women’s World No.1 if she matches or beats El Sherbini’s result at this tournament – or if El Sherbini fails to make the final – and the 23-year-old will play New Zealand’s Joelle King in the next round. Gohar beat the Kiwi en route to winning the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in Cairo last month.
“We don’t always click, you just have to find ways to win and I am glad that I regrouped,” said Gohar.
“Joelle is another top 10 player. I am looking forward to it and we will see how it goes. I won’t say what I am going to do, it’s my secret.”
French World No.4 Camille Serme and Egypt’s World No.9 Salma Hany will also compete in the quarter-finals following respective wins over USA No.2 Olivia Clyne and two-time World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby.
“I felt Olivia was very solid today, I felt like she played really well, maybe even better than me,” Serme said.
“I need to be more accurate with my length, it is either too long or too short. Salma is coming through strongly and is one of the in-form players, so obviously it will be a battle. As with a lot of the Egyptians, she is very tricky and skillful.”
The quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family begin tomorrow (July 19) and play starts at 17:00 (GMT-5). Action from the glass court inside Cathedral Hall will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).
For more information on the 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
Results – Third Round (Bottom Half): Men’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (59m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-0, 11-7, 11-4 (46m)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 12-10 (58m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (51m)
Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played July 19th
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 20th
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half):
 Camille Serme beats  Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (45m)
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt  Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (26m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played July 19th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 20th
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour