Nour El Sherbini in action
Nour El Sherbini in action

Day Three – As It Happened

The season-ending Xbox PSA World Tour Finals continued today from Bellevue, Seattle with eight more matches on the all-glass court at the Boys and Girls Club Hidden Valley Field House. All players  featured again, with the semi-final places to be confirmed. All matches are played as best-of-three with a sudden-death point at 10-all.

XBOX PSA WORLD TOUR FINALS 2024 : Day THREE, Pools Round Three

WA   [1] Nour ElSherbini (Egy) 2-0 [8] Tinne Gilis (Bel)  11-4, 11-9 (16m)
WA    [6] Nele Gilis (Bel) 2-1 [4] Olivia Weaver (Usa)  11-9, 4-11, 11-6 (50m)

WB   [3] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 2-0 [5] Georgina Kennedy (Eng)  11-6, 11-9 (23m)
WB   [2] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 2-0 [7] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)  11-4, 11-3 (15m)

MA   [1] Ali Farag (Egy) w/o [8] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Eng)   ElShorbagy injured
MA   [3] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-1 [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)  11-7, 10-11, 11-3 (55m)

MB   [6] Mazen Hesham (Egy) w/o [4] Diego Elias (Per)     Elias injured
MB   [7] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-0 [2] Paul Coll (Nzl)   11-6, 11-3 (17m)

Semi-Finals : 
1] ElSherbini v [3] El Hammamy, [2] Gohar v [6] Nele Gilis
[1] Farag v [2] Coll, [3] Asal v [7] Momen


Reports and reaction from the final round of Pool matches in Bellevue

El Hammamy Qualifies from Group B

Egypt’s World No.3 Hania El Hammamy has qualified from Group B after securing second place courtesy of an 11-6, 11-9 victory over England’s Georgina Kennedy.

It was all to play for, with the victor joining World Champion Nouran Gohar in progressing from Group B, and El Hammamy played extremely tidy squash throughout.

The Egyptian was assertive and hit her targets in the front, defending when needed and putting Kennedy under serious pressure.

Kennedy mounted a comeback in the second, but El Hammamy held her at bay to advance to the knockout semi-finals.

“It’s good to live another day at this tournament,” said El Hammamy.

“You never really know what to expect in a best of three, especially at the last event of the season. Everyone is going through different things, so I’m definitely thrilled that I’ve made it to the semis.

“Gina is one of the nicest players on tour. We’re very good friends off the court and it’s always fair and physical. She’s a fighter and she was trying to come back in that second. I kept telling myself to run for every point and now I’m breathing heavily!

“We played in Qatar in September the last time, so I didn’t know what to expect on court today, and I’m happy to get through.

“It’s a dead court, so it takes a good shot and takes a good length as well at the back. I knew she would try to throw things at me, boast me, and put some drop shots in. I tried to stay alert and counter.”

Result : [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [5] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 2-0: 11-6, 11-9 (23m)

Gohar Claims Comprehensive Win Against El Tayeb

Reigning champion Nouran Gohar made it three wins from three against fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb to qualify top of Group B with the maximum 12 points on offer.

Gohar had already dispatched Hania El Hammamy and Georgina Kennedy to guarantee top spot and she followed those triumphs up with an assured 11-4, 11-3 win over El Tayeb, winning in just 15 minutes.

The World No.2 will now go up against whoever finishes second in Group A, with World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, USA No.1 Olivia Weaver or Belgium’s Nele Gilis all potential opponents.

“I knew that even if Nour didn’t have a chance to qualify, she would still give me a fight,” said Gohar.

“It was tricky to find the balance between being relaxed and being sharp, knowing that I had already qualified for the semi-finals. In my first World Tour Finals I remember I had a very hard pool and I was playing against the greats of the game like Laura [Massaro], Nicol [David] and Amanda [Sobhy].

“I lost all three matches, but I tried so hard until the end and I knew how Nour would feel.

“The good part of playing the morning session is that you’re done with the job and then you can relax for the rest of the day. I have my friend, Sarah, here and her family, so we can chill for the rest of the day.

“I think I’m finding the right balance here in Seattle, and all credit to Shabana [Khan, tournament promoter] for putting all of this together this week. I love the city and I love to come back.”

Result : [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-0: 11-4, 11-3 (15m)

Momen Tops Group B After Ousting Coll

Egypt’s Tarek Momen will appear in the semi-finals of this tournament for the first time since the 2020-21 season after he toppled No.2 seed Paul Coll to ensure he finished in first place in Group B.

Momen needed to beat Coll to qualify for the last four after World Champion Diego Elias’s withdrawal from his match with Hesham earlier temporarily put Hesham up to 2nd in Group B.

With the pressure on, Momen delivered and barely put a foot wrong in a dominant win over the World No.2

The 36-year-old will play either defending champion Mostafa Asal or 2019 winner Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the final, while Coll will take on World No.1 Ali Farag, who topped Group A.

“I prepared myself yesterday that I had to win today, regardless of what happened in the other match,” said Momen.

“I couldn’t put my faith in someone else’s hands. I obviously didn’t expect it to go this well today. I know Paul, even though he is guaranteed his spot he would never give anything cheaply, but I knew that he is smart enough not to kill himself and his chances for tomorrow if it got really tough.

“I needed to fight and make it hard enough so that I instilled some doubt in him. Thankfully, the first half of the first game was crucial., I stayed in there, I tried to be as tough as possible, and thankfully things went well.

“It doesn’t matter who we’re going to play at this point, everyone is quality. I just wanted to make it to the semis, I didn’t care if I played first or second [in Group A]. They’re all going to be tough matches, especially in a best of three format.”

Result : [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-6, 11-3 (17m)

ElSherbini Tops Group With Win Over Gilis

World No.1 Nour ElSherbini dispatched No.8 seed Tinne Gilis in straight games to confirm her first place finish in Group A.

The Egyptian had a dominant head-to-head record over the Belgian coming into the match, winning on all eight occasions, most recently in the quarter-final of the World Championships.

The round three encounter looked to be following a similar pattern from the outset as ElSherbini calmly commanded the court and didn’t allow the World No.8 a chance into the first game, winning 11-4.

Gilis continued to struggle as ElSherbini applied more and more pressure, leading in a convincing advantage for the Egyptian that the No.8 seed couldn’t surmount.

The World No.1 held strong to win 11-9 and guarantee the top spot in Group A.

Speaking after the match, the No.1 seed said: “All credit to Tinne for showing up and playing like that and fighting for every point.

“We know each other very well, and we train with each other a lot so it’s hard to play against her, but it’s always good to end your group stages on top.

“It’s the last big push. It’s always hard to push the body until the end. It’s been a very long season for me especially almost reaching every final so it’s very tough. I’m just glad it’s best of three.

“It’s quite tricky [best-of-three] to be honest.”

Result : [1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) bt [8] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 2-0: 11-4, 11-9 (16m)

Gilis Beats Weaver To Become First Belgian Semi-Finalist

World No.5 Nele Gilis defeated USA No.1 Olivia Weaver to become the first Belgian to earn a place in the World Tour Finals semi-finals.

Gilis had historically had the better of her American opposition, winning in six of their eight encounters, most recently in last year’s edition of the World Tour Finals.

In an exhiliarating first game, the pair looked inseparable as the American and the Belgian traded points at the end of long, exhaustive rallies. Gilis managed to stay narrowly ahead as the game approached its end and won 11-9 to earn a 1-0 lead.

Weaver rallied after the first game loss, and looked totally in control as she seemed faster across the court than her Belgian counterpart, gaining a quick 11-4 win to restore parity in the match.

Gilis remained composed as she entered the court for the decisive third game, and showed the quality that was evident in game one as she commanded the tempo of play and forced the World No.6 around the court, taking an 11-6 win and knocking Weaver out of the tournament on the American’s home soil to qualify for the semi-finals for first time.

Speaking after the match, an emotional Gilis said: “I just haven’t felt like myself this year and this week I’ve really found myself again and I’m enjoying my squash again.

“I came into the match without any pressure because Olivia’s been playing top four squash. She really proved that she belongs inside that top four. I felt like the pressure was on her today and my goal was to enjoy it and give it my all and I’m just very proud of myself – of the fight – it wasn’t easy.

“Paul Coll just kept telling me to trust myself, kept reminding me of the game plan and just that I’m able to do it and to trust my shots.

“If he wasn’t in my corner today I’m not sure how hard I could’ve pushed.”

Result : [6] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [4] Olivia Weaver (USA) 2-1: 11-9, 4-11, 11-6 (50m)

Defending Champion Defeats Gawad To Take Last Semi-Final Spot

World No.2 Mostafa Asal defeated former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad to qualify for the semi-finals of the World Tour Finals in his effort to reclaim the title for a fourth consecutive time.

Asal got off to a strong start in the match, as the British Open champion surged to a quick-fire 10-4 lead. Gawad rallied as he saved three match balls, but Asal’s early lead was too big to overcome as the younger Egyptian took the lead in the match.

The second game saw a far close contest, with the Egyptians going point-for-point to 10-10 where sudden death took effect. Asal looked to have won the match, but a contentious decision by video referee Roy Gingell gave a stroke to Gawad and levelled the match at 1-1.

Asal remained undeterred, and pushed on and put the older Egyptian to the sword, winning the third match 11-3 and claiming his spot in the semi-finals where he will face No.7 seed Tarek Momen.

Speaking after the match, Asal said: “I’m very happy to play here, I’m happy to play in front of this amazing crowd.

“I hope that it was an enjoyable game today. I don’t want to talk about incident, and stuff because maybe I will be too harsh.

“It was really mentally tough today, and it shows how mentally I’m strong and I’m able to come back after the match seemed finish to play the third game.

“I’m really happy to come through this.”

Result : [3] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-1: 11-7, 10-11, 11-3 (55m)