Sunday, October 1, 2023

Mostafa Asal and Nour El Sherbini have a ball at The Mall as they win CIB PSA World Tour Finals

‘After winning the first game I looked at the screen and it said 40 minutes,’ says Asal
By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor) and SEAN REUTHE (PSA Media)

Egyptian duo Nour El Sherbini and Mostafa Asal have been crowned the 2021-22 CIB PSA World Tour Finals champions following wins over women’s World No.1 Nouran Gohar and men’s World No.2 Paul Coll at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia.

Both finals were over in straight games, El Sherbini winning in 43 minutes and Asal beating the resilient Coll in 76 minutes after an opening game lasting 40 minutes!

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals is the season finale for the 2021-22 PSA World Tour season and El Sherbini ensured that she closed out the campaign having won two of the biggest titles on the tour.

The women’s title decider was a repeat of May’s CIB PSA World Championship final and once again El Sherbini got the better of her compatriot after a masterclass of a performance saw her win 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 in 43 minutes.

World No.2 El Sherbini had already beaten the World No.3 Hania El Hammamy and World No.4 Amanda Sobhy en route to the final, despite suffering with an ankle injury throughout the event.

Defending champion Gohar was recently crowned the PSA Female Player of the Year after an incredible season which has seen her win seven PSA titles. But she was put to the sword by a dominant El Sherbini, who won the event for the first time since 2018 to claim her 30th PSA title.

El Sherbini said: “I’m really happy with my performance, I think this was my best performance of the whole season, so I’m glad I’m ending on a win.

“I’ve been struggling the whole season, but it’s a credit to all the other players who have been playing really well. I’ve been trying to push every match and I’m glad that I stopped in the middle of the season, it helped me a lot to regroup. I’m really happy with the last three tournaments I played and now I can rest and come back stronger.

“She [Nouran Gohar] took the No.1 spot from me and has been winning all the Platinum events, so that shows how on form she has been. It’s always challenging and tough, she didn’t lose a game all tournament. I’m happy with the rivalry and the challenge we have and I’m looking forward to the challenge next season.”

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World No.4 Mostafa Asal retained the men’s title following a 13-11, 11-8, 11-7 victory over New Zealand’s Coll, ensuring he has now captured the eighth PSA title of his burgeoning career.

The 21-year-old, who has now won four major PSA titles after also capturing the U.S. Open and El Gouna International trophies this season, was meeting Coll for the second final in a row after he beat the former World No.1 in the El Gouna title decider earlier this month.

He was made to work hard for his win in a tightly-contested battle, but had the extra quality at the crucial moments to close out the victory, winning his third PSA title of the season.

“It’s unbelievable for me, having two trophies for the same tournament and defending my title is unreal,” said Asal.

“Thanks to this crowd, Karim Darwish for organising this amazing tournament, Lee Beachill and all of PSA for helping me. All credit to Paul, he’s an unbelievable player and one of the most honest players on tour. Thanks to him for a great battle and I’m looking forward to more battles with him for sure.

“After the first game, I looked at the screen and it was 40 minutes and I thought I couldn’t continue like this.

“I managed to win the third and to win the match is something unbelievable for me and I’m looking forward to playing here again.”

Champion Mostafa Asal salutes the crowd

2021-22 CIB PSA World Tour Finals, Mall Of Arabia, Cairo, Egypt.

Men’s Final:
[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 13-11, 11-8, 11-7 (76m)

Women’s Final:
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (43m)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour


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1 Comment

  1. Some reflections after CIB.
    Great with the new floor – seems to shorten the time for handling sweat which helps the game become more “fluent”.
    The visibility overall seems to be improved a lot. Not sure what they’ve done but it’s better.
    Still issues with too many players that seems to have forgotten the basics of what is required to create a fair game which makes refereeing a night mare. Basically the let rule is quite simple.
    First of all you should say – Let please! – be clear and show courtesy to the ref.
    Do your best to move out of the way after you hit the ball.
    Do your best to reach the ball and return it.
    We must find ways of improving this part of the game if we want to attract more spectators, sponsors, and new people starting to play the game.

    For some reason the CIB tournament had a lot of really sad matches in the last rounds of the mens’ group play. Asal barely put his racket out on the court against Coll in the group play – was that to prevent Momen from reaching the final or just to save some strength? There were other matches too that for some reason really lacked any kind of spectator value.
    Why was that? Is the format wrong? Are the players too tired?
    One way or another it’s important to make every match count.

    One last little thing.
    Create space around the ref so he/she does not have to sit right beside biased spectators – the worst example must be when Asal’s father sits just next to the ref clearly showing what he felt about some of the calls. How do you stay focused and avoid being influenced one way or another in a situation like that?

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