Farag and ElShorbagy Drawn Together at CIB PSA World Tour Finals
Egypt’s Ali Farag and England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy have been drawn together in Group A of next week’s CIB PSA World Tour Finals, meaning they will line up in a rematch of their blockbuster battle in last month’s CIB PSA World Championship final.
Held between June 21-26 at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia, the CIB PSA World Tour Finals brings together the top eight players on the CIB Road to Egypt Standings for an event which will bring the curtain down on the 2021-22 PSA World Tour season. Points for the CIB Road to Egypt Standings were on offer at all PSA World Tour events throughout the campaign, while winning a PSA World Tour Platinum trophy secured automatic qualification.
Reigning World Champion and World No.1 Farag finished top of the men’s standings and he will feature in Group A alongside Peru’s Diego Elias, two-time winner ElShorbagy – who will appear on home soil for the first time since switching allegiance from Egypt to England – and World No.8 Mazen Hesham, who makes his debut at the event.
New Zealand’s Paul Coll tops Group B after finishing second on the standings, and he will have an eye on the World No.1 ranking in Cairo. The 30-year-old can reclaim top spot from Farag if he wins the tournament without losing a match – which would grant him the maximum 1,600 bonus ranking points on offer – but he would need Farag to bow out before the semi-finals.
The only other way Coll can begin the summer break as World No.1 is if Farag fails to win a single match, while the Kiwi would still have to win the event if that happens, though he can afford to lose a group stage match en route.
Drawn in Coll’s group is defending champion Mostafa Asal – who beat Coll in the El Gouna International final earlier this month – as well as former World Champion Tarek Momen and Welshman Joel Makin.
World No.1 and defending champion Nouran Gohar is seeded first in the women’s event after topping the CIB Road to Egypt Standings and she will be joined in Group A by United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy, New Zealand’s Joelle King and England’s Georgina Kennedy, who will make her World Tour Finals debut.
Gohar will look to cap a season which has seen her win seven PSA titles and reach the final of 11 out of 13 tournaments.
One of her main rivals will be 2017-18 champion Nour El Sherbini, who beat her fellow Egyptian in the final of the CIB PSA World Championships. After finishing second on the standings, El Sherbini has been seeded top of Group B, where she is joined by 2019-20 champion Hania El Hammamy, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby, who will make her first appearance at the PSA World Tour Finals.
A record $400,000 prize fund will be split equally across both the women’s and men’s events as players compete in a best-of-three games group stage between June 21-24. The top two from each group qualify for the knockout semi-finals, where a place in the best-of-five games title decider will await the winner of those fixtures.
Group stage action will begin on Tuesday June 21 at 19:00 (GMT+2). Six matches will be played per night for the first four days of the event until the group stage has drawn to a close.
Group stage matches will take place at 19:00, 19:30, 20:15, 20:45, 21:30 and 22:00 between June 21-24. The semi-finals will be held at 19:00 on Saturday June 25.
The finals will begin at 19:30 on Sunday June 26.
All matches will be held at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia and fixtures will be streamed live on SQUASHTV. The semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.