By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy has qualified for the 2020-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals following his CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum victory, while Nour El Sherbini has strengthened her lead at the top of the women’s standings.
The CIB PSA World Tour Finals includes both a men’s and women’s tournament featuring eight players each and brings together all PSA World Tour Platinum title winners.
Any remaining places are allocated to the highest ranked players on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings, with points on offer at all PSA World Tour events during the season.
ElShorbagy, who won the CIB World Tour Finals title last season, has moved up to third place and has secured his place at the tournament following his victory over compatriot Fares Dessouky at the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo, as he clinched the second Platinum title of his career.
World No.1 Ali Farag still leads the way at the top of the men’s standings with 7,625 points and had already secured his place following Platinum wins at both the CIB Egyptian Open and Qatar Classic earlier in the season.
Dessouky sits in second place to secure an all-Egyptian top three, while the rest of the top eight includes Tarek Momen (No.4), New Zealand’s Paul Coll (No.5), Wales’ Joel Makin (No.6), Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy (No.7) and Mostafa Asal rounds off the top eight.
Peru’s Diego Elias sits within 430 points of Asal to break the top eight, while France’s Gregoire Marche and Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim could also be potential contenders if any of the players above them slip up.
In the women’s standings, World No.1 El Sherbini remains top with 5,930 points and has strengthened her lead after capturing the CIB Black Ball Squash Open title.
The Egyptian had already qualified for the World Tour Finals following her win earlier in the season at the CIB Egyptian Open in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza and her victory over USA’s Amanda Sobhy this month made it back-to-back Platinum victories for the 25-year-old.
Last year’s CIB World Tour Finals winner Hania El Hammamy sits in second place with 3,415 points and is closely followed by England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, who moves up five places into the top three and has 3,165 points.
USA’s Sobhy moves up to fourth place following her runner-up finish at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, with Nouran Gohar (No.5), Camille Serme (No.6), Joelle King (No.7) and Nour El Tayeb (No.8) completing the top eight. World No.10 Salma Hany is poised to be the player to crack the top eight as she sits just 90 points behind El Tayeb, who announced her pregnancy in December.
The next PSA World Tour event will be the Manchester Open PSA Silver tournament between 19-25 April.
The 20-21 CIB PSA World Tour Finals are planned to take place June 22-27 in Cairo.
After winning at the Black Ball Club, Marwan ElShorbagy posted some messages of thanks on Facebook.
He wrote: “What a week it’s been. Thanks everyone for the support. I want to thank Haitham Effat and Ahmed Effat for everything they have done for me over the last period. They are both the reason why I’m playing the way I am at the moment.
“Also a special thanks to Nick Matthew, Danny Massaro and Mark Campbell, who I have been working with for the last two years. They have helped me so much with my game.”
Marwan also thanked his sponsors: Channel VAS, Tecnifibre, CIB Egypt and Heliopolis Sporting Club.
Pictures and graphic courtesy of PSA