Saturday, April 13, 2024

Farag and El Sherbini are 2020-21 PSA World Champions

It’s two for Farag and five for El Sherbini

Egyptian World No.1s Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini have lifted the 2020-21 PSA World Championship presented by the Walter Family titles after beating compatriots Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nouran Gohar, respectively, inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall earlier today.

Farag has lifted the men’s PSA World Championship title for the second time – becoming the third Egyptian to do so – following a 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 victory over ElShorbagy, which saw him come back from a game down and 7-0 behind in the second.

Ali Farag celebrates the moment of victory.

Despite the win, 29-year-old Farag – who has taken three titles in a row in Chicago after also winning the 2018-19 PSA World Championship crown and last year’s Windy City Open – will be overtaken as World No.1 by ElShorbagy in the August PSA World Rankings, with ElShorbagy just needing to reach the final here in Chicago to reclaim the top ranking.

Farag’s title win is the 22nd of his career and his third of the 2020-21 PSA World Tour season after previous successes at the CIB Egyptian Open and Qatar Classic. It comes just 11 days after the birth of his daughter, Farida.

“I’m quite emotional about this because it’s a special week for me with my baby daughter being born just before this and having my parents in my corner,” said Farag.

“It’s [Chicago] definitely becoming my favourite city and not just because of the events but because of the people that make you feel so welcome. The Walter family never cease to amaze us with how much they support the sport.

“Mohamed, when I share a court with him, every time it’s an honour. We are here, our generation, because of him. He paved the way for us and we have to keep raising our game. I’m in awe of what he does and he is the reason that we are here today.”

Like Farag, El Sherbini also captured the 2018-19 PSA World Championship title when it was held at Chicago’s Union Station, and she has become only the third woman to win five World Championship titles courtesy of an 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory against World No.2 Gohar.

Nour El Sherbini contemplates her feat of retaining both her World Championship crown and World No. 1 status.

In addition to the most prestigious title in squash, the World No.1 spot was also up for grabs, but El Sherbini – playing in her seventh World Championship final – held Gohar at bay to hold onto the ranking and capture the World Championship crown for a third season running. It is her 25th PSA title.

“I’m really thrilled, if anyone told me before that I was going to win five World Championships then I wouldn’t have believed them,” said 25-year-old El Sherbini.

“It’s really hard to believe that I have just won my fifth World Championship. It was very tough until the end, Nouran kept pushing me, she keeps fighting and never gave up. That’s why she’s here and she’s playing her first World Championship final, I know how big it is and how she’s feeling.

“She didn’t show any pressure, she played hard and tough until the last point, and I’m really happy I finished it in the end. I think I had to wait until the final to lose one game and to the World No.2. I’m going to celebrate with my dad and back home, my mum and my brother, all the family and friends, it’s very late now but everyone is up and watching.”

This season’s PSA World Championships is the sport’s second $1,000,000 tournament – following the 2018-19 edition – and El Sherbini and Farag have taken the most lucrative winner’s prize money in squash, which amounts to over $64,000.

Results – Final: Men’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (67m)

Results – Final: Women’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 (53m)

Pictures courtesy of  PSA World Tour


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