The CIB PSA World Tour Finals will take place next week when the showpiece tournament brings the curtain down on the 2018/19 season between June 9-14 at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo, Egypt.
Following on from last year’s event, which was held at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, the World Tour Finals is one of the most highly anticipated tournaments on the PSA World Tour and will see the world’s top eight men and women battle for a share of the $320,000 prize fund.
Only the top eight players on the men’s and women’s World Tour Finals Standings qualified for a coveted berth in Cairo, with points up for grabs at all PSA World Tour events throughout the season.
Those eight players make up two groups of four in their respective sexes, with a round-robin format determining the semi-finalists. Each player will play three matches, and the two players with the most points in each group will advance to the latter stages.
The scoring system is slightly different to a normal PSA World Tour event. A best-of-three format is adopted up until the final, which will be played as a best-of-five format as used in all other PSA World Tour events.
After both groups are decided, the tournament then becomes a straight knock-out as the battle for the title intensifies.
The World Tour Finals began life in Zurich, Switzerland back in 1993 as the legendary Pakistani players Jansher Khan toppled Chris Dittmar to win the first of his four titles – all of which came in the first five instalments of the event.
The tournament moved to England in 1996 and would stay there for 17 editions, with Hatfield, London and Manchester all playing host to the world’s greatest players.
Del Harris remains the only English winner of the men’s tournament after prevailing on home soil against Brett Martin in the 1996 final, while the likes of Scotland’s Peter Nicol (3), Canada’s Jonathon Power (2), Australians David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts and Frenchman Thierry Lincou all got their hands on the trophy over the next ten years.
In the last decade, Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour has triumphed twice, while his compatriot, the iconic Amr Shabana, has also had his name etched on the trophy on two occasions.
Shabana also made it to the final of the 2010/11 instalment, but the final was subsequently cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which meant that the court, stages in an inflatable arena, was deemed unsafe.
A women’s tournament began in 2012 and saw Malaysian superstar Nicol David take the first two titles, beating Madeline Perry and Laura Massaro in successive finals.
2016 saw Dubai become only the second city outside of Europe to hold the prestigious World Tour Finals, with the tournament being stages at the Vitis Club in Zurich (1993-1994), the Galleria in Hatfield (1996-1999), Broadgate Arena in London (1999-2006), the National Squash Centre in Manchester (2007-2008) and Queen’s Club in London (2009-2013).
In 2017 the tournament was held at Dubai Opera – the first ever sporting event to be held there – when Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and England’s Laura Massaro claimed victory to end their seasons on a high.
Last season the event took place at the Emirates Golf Club where Egypt’s ElShorbagy successfully defended his title, while Nour El Sherbini claimed the women’s title for the first time in her career.
Taking part in this year’s event in the men’s category are: Ali Farag (EGY), Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY), Tarek Momen (EGY), Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY), Paul Coll (NZL), Simon Rösner (GER), Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) and Diego Elias (PER).
In the women’s event, the competitors are: Raneem El Welily (EGY), Nour El Sherbini (EGY), Nour El Tayeb (EGY), Camille Serme (FRA), Joelle King (NZL), Nouran Gohar (EGY), Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) and Tesni Evans (WAL).
Previous Winners: Men
2018 – Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2017 – Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2016 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2013 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2012 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2011 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2010 – Nick Matthew (ENG)/Amr Shabana (EGY) – Final not played
2009 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2008 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2007 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2006 – Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
2005 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2004 – Thierry Lincou (FRA)
2003 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2002 – David Palmer (AUS)
2001 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
2000 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1999 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1998 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1997 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1996 – Del Harris (ENG)
1995 – No competition
1994 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1993 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
Previous Winners: Women
2018 – Nour El Sherbini
2017 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2016 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2012 – Nicol David (MAS)
2011 – Nicol David (MAS)