Semi-Finals Preview

Here’s the Order of Play (All times are local – GMT+2)

The semi-finals of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals take place today, with action beginning at 19:00 (GMT+2) at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo as the final four in both the men’s and women’s competitions go head-to-head to reach the finals.

After beating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, World No.2 Nouran Gohar will take on New Zealand’s Joelle King in the first women’s semi-final, before defending champion Hania El Hammamy takes on Camille Serme, who benefited from El Sherbini’s loss on the final day of pool stage action.

New Zealand’s Paul Coll is the sole non-Egyptian in the men’s field, and he will face World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last four. The winner of that will face either reigning World Champion Tarek Momen, or rising star Mostafa Asal, who qualified for the semi-finals in his first appearance in the tournament.

You can catch all the action live from the Mall of Arabia on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian sub-continent only). You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

King v Gohar

The first women’s semi-final sees World No.2 Nouran Gohar, who topped Group A, take on the runner-up of Group B, in New Zealand’s Joelle King.

The pair have faced off seven times previously on Tour, with the Kiwi holding a slender 4-3 advantage over her Egyptian opponent. King has also won the last three, with. Two of those coming at the World Tour Finals, one in 2019-2020 and one in 2017-2018.

The New Zealander will come into this clash fresh, having spent just 83 minutes on court across her three group matches. To qualify for the last four, she got the better of both US No.1 Amanda Sobhy and English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games, before succumbing to defending champion Hania El Hammamy 2-0 yesterday.

On the other hand, Gohar has spent more than two and a half hours on court across her three group matches, averaging more than 50 minutes per contest. She got the better of Salma Hany and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in three-game battles, along with a 2-0 win over Camille Serme to top the group with ten points.

As well as being World No.2, Gohar is also ranked #2 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, compared to King’s rating of #7.

According to their algorithms, the Egyptian has a 79% likelihood of winning tonight’s contest.

Can King cause an upset and move through to the final?

Or will Gohar continue her good form which saw her knock out the World No.1 yesterday?

Asal v Momen

The second match of the evening is an all-Egyptian affair between Mostafa Asal and the current World Champion, Tarek Momen, in the first men’s semi-final.

The pair have only met twice before on Tour, with ‘the Viper’ having tasted victory in both of those contests, winning 3-0 both times. The last of those came in the quarters of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in January 2020.

Momen’s average match time for the week so far is more than an hour, including a 55-minute 2-0 win over Welshman Joel Makin. That came in his final group match, one he needed to win following a first-match defeat to New Zealand’s Paul Coll. He also got the better of World Tour Finals debutant Gregoire Marche in the group stages.

En route to winning Group A in his debut at the tournament, Asal lost out 2-1 to Mohamed ElShorbagy in his opening match, before beating younger brother Marwan 2-0. He then overcame World No.1 Ali Farag in a surprise win to secure top spot and make the semi-finals.

Thanks to his wins over ElShorbagy and Farag, Mostafa Asal has jumped to #5 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, while Momen is in #7.

The algorithms suggests a 54% likelihood for ‘the Raging Bull’ to take the win, but it’s very close indeed.

Will Asal continue his great run in the tournament and reach a first major final?

Or can Momen show his experience to make the next step of the tournament?

Serme v El Hammamy

The second women’s semi-final gives us another chapter in the ongoing battle between Hania El Hammamy and Camille Serme.

The pair have met 11 times on Tour previously, including eight times since the start of the 2019-2020 campaign. Serme currently holds a slender 6-5 advantage over the Egyptian, but the defending World Tour Finals champion has won their last three encounters, including in the quarter-finals of the El Gouna International Squash Open last month.

El Hammamy blitzed her way through the group stages in Cairo, spending just 85 minutes on court across her three matches. She came through with a perfect 12 points, after 2-0 victories over Sarah-Jane Perry, Amanda Sobhy and Joelle King.

Serme defeated World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in her opening match of the tournament, before then losing out to Nouran Gohar on day two. After beating Salma Hany in straight games she then had to wait to see whether she would make the last four, and thanks to Gohar defeating El Sherbini, she did.

It could not be closer between the pair on the SquashLevels Power Ratings.

They sit #3 and #4, with El Hammamy holding the very slight advantage.

The algorithms suggests a 51% win likelihood for the Egyptian, but it definitely could go either way.

Will El Hammamy continue her defence of the title she won in October? Or can Serme stop a three-match losing run against the Egyptian?

Coll v ElShorbagy

The last match of the evening sees New Zealand’s Paul Coll take on Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the men’s final on Sunday evening in Cairo.

This will be the ninth meeting between the pair on the PSA World Tour, with ElShorbagy having won seven of their previous eight battles. Coll’s only win against ‘the Beast of Alexandria’ came in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in 2020. ElShorbagy won their most recent encounter, which came in the final in El Gouna four weeks ago.

Coll came through his group with three wins out of three, amassing nine points. He won all three matches 2-1, beating reigning World Champion Tarek Momen, Welshman Joel Makin and France’s Gregoire Marche to make this stage of the competition.

World No.2 ElShorbagy overcame Mostafa Asal in his first match of the tournament, before then seeing off World No.1 Ali Farag. He lost out to younger brother Marwan 2-1 in his final group match, but he qualified for the semi-finals anyway.

The pair both sit in the top four on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, with the algorithms saying that ElShorbagy has a 55% chance of winning their contest, but expect it to go all the way in the third.

Can ‘the Beast’ move into another final in Egypt?

Or will Coll put an end to his bad run against ElShorbagy?