Day Three Reports

“The other group is pretty confusing, I’m just going to enjoy watching them on my rest day tomorrow” Shorbagy

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 2-0 [6] Simon Rösner (Ger)  11-9, 11-4 (25m)


First game was a big effort from the “already out” Simon, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8! Simon had at heart to do well tonight, he got very frustatred every time he couldn’t do what he wanted with the ball. Two errors end the opener, first one from Mohamed, from 10/8 game ball, 9/10, and the last one from Simon, 11/9 Bagy, in 16m.

Simon was a bit overwhelmed in the second, had he won the first game, he probably would have given it a big push, but on that one, he went down 4/0, 6/2, 7/3. Three errors in a row, and it’s a quick finish for Mohamed, 11/4 in 8m.


Simon (On Twitter)

Bye season 2018/2019. You’ve been great but didn’t finish the way you started. My conclusion: 2 finals (US Open & Qatar Classic), 2 semis (Hong Kong and World Champs) at Majors and reaching World #3… .Gotta be happy with that. Big shout out to everyone supporting me throughout the season no matter win or lose. You guys are the best 🙌👏😊



It’s good to keep the momentum going. Having the rest day let me go full power today and I can regroup for the semis now.

Each player had a rest day throughout the event and if I had to choose before the event then I definitely would have chosen the one after the group stages.

There is always room for improvement, even if I think I have been getting better every day. I feel like the players didn’t play their best on the first day because we are all trying to get used to the conditions. It is different conditions, very hot and humid and it completely changes the dynamic and from the second day we have all stepped up a level. I think we’ve all played better and it has set the stage for some great semi-finals.

The other group is pretty confusing, you have got Gawad who has won two matches but still isn’t through with Abouelghar winning 2-0 today and it has made the whole group confusing, but I’m just going to enjoy watching them on my rest day tomorrow.


Raneem “en roue libre”… “no troubles”….

[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 2-0 [5] Joelle King (Nzl)   11-7, 11-7 (19m) 


It’s not that Joelle didn’t try but to be fair, how comfortable was the Enigma tonight, having qualified, in front of her homecrowd… The winners were just pouring out, and Joelle, already out of the event, just didn’t find any solutions tonight…



Coming into tonight I wanted to play well to keep the momentum going,I have an off day tomorrow, so playing a good match today is obviously good for the body and the mind. I was keen on performing well and I hope I did. I’m looking forward to the semi-finals.

I’ve considered Wadi Degla my home for almost six years now. They’ve taken me in, taken good care of me and helped me to grow. They have provided the environment I needed to help me become World No.1, obviously the foundations are doing really well and you can see that all of the kids are wearing Wadi Degla t-shirts. The club has been great and I’m very proud to be a part of a great club.

It’s definitely a special tournament, the PSA calls it ‘the tournament to end all tournaments’, so I’m hoping to end the season well it’s definitely special having it in Egypt and in front of our home crowd.


Abou keeps his hopes alive against out of sorts Coll …

[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 2-0 [5] Paul Coll (NZL)  11-3, 11-6 (27m)


Yes, of course. Yesterday, I was wondering why did Paul fall completely apart in his first game yesterday against Gawad, and the same tonight? I mean, 7/1, and from 7/3, three unforced errors in 4 points, by the player probably the most low percentage of the tour up to 6 months ago???


Of course. Mum and Dad don’t get to see their kiddo play but on SquashTV. And I’m sure they are extremely proud of what he has achieved in so little time, of how he has incredibly improved his game. But, having them for the first time in a very long time watching him in his first ever Worlds Finals, a pretty heavy load of pressure, wouldn’t you say?


I remember when I was trying to play tennis at the age of 7, I was sort of Ok but the minute I could see my dad’s silhouette at the far end of the clay courts, that was it. All in the net. I actually had to stop tennis, I kid you not….

Well, basically, same difference here I feel. Paul tried and relaxed a bit in the 2nd , finding a good attacking/defence balance, and pushing Abou a bit to the back, 5/2. But Abou was just very comfy out there, pretty nice and relaxed, and scored 5 points to overtake Superman 7/5. A winner to try and level, 6/7, but that was the last point the New Zealander put on the scoreboard, again, two errors at the end, and 11/6 in 14m (the first game was 11m, pretty long for 11/3..)



I can’t stress enough how good of an athlete Paul is. If you give him a slight chance then he will get into it and win. I had to stay focused and composed throughout the whole match. I’m happy I did it and I just didn’t want to go back without the win today.

I’m also known for hitting too many errors, so if that’s the case then best of three doesn’t suit me, but if things are going my way then best of three suits my game, especially against Paul.

Before I came here I thought that I would just leave the calculations to one side and focus on my squash. You don’t play the World Tour Finals every day, so I just wanted to enjoy myself and give the people a good match.

It’s unbelievable playing in front of my home crowd…


Not happy was SJ, Nouran back to her Terminator self…

[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0 [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)  11-8, 11-9 (34m)


Not happy Sarah-Jane was at the end of the match, as the last point was awarded as a stroke to Nouran after Nouran’s racquet got caught on SJ’s body… “I’ve never been hit so many times in my life… EVER!”.

I have to admit I didn’t see that many hit, but then again, please don’t shoot SJ, I am not the one on the court!!!!

If the Egyptian yesterday seemed extremely off her game, no accuracy at all – against Nour ET – tonight the Terminator was back, and fully functioning let me tell you! She dominated the first game, not that SJ didn’t made her do a heck of a lot of work to win each point. From 7/4 to Nouran, it was very tight, 7/7, 8/8. But four points there for the Egyptian – helped by an error from SJ, and it was 11/8 in 13m.

The second is really controlled by the Terminator, 3/0, 4/2 and 7/3. At the point, SJ must have thought “if I did it to Nour, I probably can do it to Nouran!” And off she went, clawing back point per point, and stringing 6 of them to reach 9/7! Huge, really marathon four rallies, all won by Nouran, the last one, on a decision, as I told you…. 2/0 for Nouran, still in contention for the semis…



Yesterday was a really tough match against Nour El Tayeb. Coming back on the court the day after you’ve lost doesn’t happen very often and so you have to regroup fast and restart the tournament. To be honest, I am a very bad loser, so it’s really tough to do this task. I was really happy with the way I played, probably I was relaxed and had nothing to lose.

We haven’t played since 2017 in Chicago, she came back superbly and has a really good spirit. I love the way she plays and it was a tough match.

Tomorrow will make a big difference. If there is someone that is really difficult to play against then it is Nour El Sherbini, she has everything, she’s the complete player. She has so much experience, she is a three-time World Champion, but again I have nothing to lose and I’ll be the underdog and we’ll see what happens.


Ali was  a bit off, Karim full on…

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0 [1] Ali Farag (EGY)  11-9, 11-8 (39m)


Well, I don’t know what went on today. If Karim was pretty relaxed on there – you would be if you just had your wedding three days ago – I felt from the start that Ali was not himself today. He is normally pretty laid back, and enjoying his squash no matter what.  But today, “something is off” somebody next to me noticed….

First game saw a pretty tight beginning, 1/1, 2/2 , 3/3, 4/4, 5/5.  Ali get a little lead, 7/5, then a bigger one, 9/6. But it’s not enough. Three huge rallies, back to 9/9, and Ali, out of the blue, makes his first two errors of the match, 11/9 to Karim


The second is dominated by Karim 4/0, 5/2. Each time Ali wins a point he is looking at Nour, a bit like somebody who is drowning is clinging to a buoy. At that point, a few weird decisions to be honest, that seem to penalise Ali for no reason. In particular one where he gets a no let as his shot seem to have hit Karim’s racquet. It doesn’t help Ali getting settled…

But Ali is not world number 1 by accident. He gets back on the horse, and claws back to 8/8. But by that time, Karim is full confident, fluid and fearless. Two winners at the back ( crosscourt) and a stroke confirmed by the video ref, Ali not convinced but accepting the defeat and embracing his good mate.

As I said to Farah, Karim’s bride: “I don’ t know what you are doing to him, but just keep doing it, it’s working fine”….


Ali is my brother and we have always played clean matches since we were eight-years-old. They’re always tough matches as well. Things happen on court and it is either me or him, there’s nothing happening on purpose. I think the match was pretty clean there was a few interferences.

Playing Paul Coll yesterday and Ali today are two of the toughest players on tour. They are both very fit, Ali is No.1 in the world so he is playing amazing squash, he has been beating me the whole season. This is only the second time for me to beat him this season, he did it like eight or nine time, so I had to grab one by the end of the season at least.

You have to be clever, you can’t play their game because they can beat anyone in their game so you have to be clever. You have to be smart with the attacking because with the fit players if you put anything short in the middle they will get it very easily and put you under pressure. You also have to be sharp with your basic game and that’s what I tried to do today.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything just to play and enjoy” says Sherbini.….

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0 [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-5, 11-7 (25m)


Ok, call me romantic, but that’s my opinion, and I’ll stick to it: the presence of Atef El Sherbini today made a huge difference.

Yesterday, Nour was completely dominating the rallies, 8/5, 9/3, but lost. Today, in the second, she was up as yesterday, 9-4, and slowly, we could see the spectrum of yesterday reappearing as El Tayeb was finally letting go of the arm, and playing freely – having nothing to lose….  But at 7/9, Nour looked at Dad Atef, and Omar her brother, and a return of serve in the nick, superb of confidence, 10/7, and in three shots, 11/7.

Very quickly in the first game, Nour El Tayeb was unhappy with her game. Talking to her husband/to herself, she was showing how frustrating it was to play against Sherbini, how she couldn’t find solutions, how her head was not in the right place. At 5/7, it was still possible but 4 points on the trot, and it’s 11/5 in 9m.

The second was much longer, 15m, so much hard work from both, El Tayeb really giving it all on there, but it was like El Sherbini had all the questions, and El Tayeb couldn’t find any answers today. Then the fact that she didn’t find the correct answers for their past three encounters might have also played its part…


Nour El Sherbini
I was really disappointed after the first match. But today, I had a lot of support from my team, my parents and all of my family. I tried to change all of the negatives into positives, I just wanted to enjoy and play today and try to win. I wasn’t thinking about anything just to play and enjoy.

My dad wasn’t here for my first match, but he was here today so maybe that’s why my nicks were working.“On the first two days it was very bouncy and hot, but today it is a bit windy. Both conditions you have to deal with the court and play the match, but the court is good for me and it’s good to have a venue like this to play in.”