Ali Farag (right) takes on Paul Coll (left)
Ali Farag (right) takes on Paul Coll (left)

Xbox PSA World Tour Finals Set for All-Egyptian Title Deciders

The world’s top two players across both the men’s and women’s events will contest the Xbox PSA World Tour Finals title deciders after Egyptian quartet Ali Farag, Mostafa Asal, Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar all triumphed in their semi-final matches tonight at Bellevue’s Boys and Girls Club Hidden Valley Field House.
World No.1 Farag got the better of New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll to reach the final of this event for the second time in his career and first time since 2018.
Farag and Coll were meeting for the sixth time this season and Farag levelled the head-to-head record at three wins apiece courtesy of an 11-10, 11-6 win over the Kiwi. He will now take on World No.2 Asal less than two weeks after losing to his compatriot in the British Open final.
“Paul and I just exchanged a couple of words, saying how great of a season we’ve both had,” said Farag.
“We’ve both been getting to the latter stages of events and it’s not easy. It takes a toll on your body and mind, and it takes a whole team behind you to keep you motivated. Even though it was the second to last match of the season, we both pushed really hard.
“Ever since it [the World Tour Finals] has been in my home town, I’ve been losing in the semis or the group stages. That’s thanks to Mostafa Asal, as he’s been the one who has been beaten me. The World Tour Finals is at the back end of the season, so you have to drag yourself up and play your best squash against the best players in the world.”
Asal has become the first man in the history of the Xbox PSA World Tour Finals to reach four finals in a row after he stormed to victory over World No.8 Tarek Momen.
Asal has won the previous three title deciders he has competed in at the season-ending event – beating three different opponents in Mohamed ElShorbagy, Paul Coll and Diego Elias – and he will have the ability to add a fourth title to his trophy cabinet following an 11-3, 11-5 win. If Asal wins tomorrow he will become only the second man since the great Jansher Khan to lift the prestigious trophy on four occasions.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s my fourth final at the World Tour Finals and you’re playing the best eight players since the start of the season,” said Asal afterwards.
“You are playing former World No.1s and current World No.1s and it’s incredible for me. I’m writing history, but I’m taking it step by step, putting all the trophies on the side and focusing on tomorrow. This is how to be a great champion and this is the advice that I want to give to all the youngsters.”
The women’s final will also be a repeat of the British Open title decider, with World No.1 El Sherbini and World No.2 Gohar defeating World No.3 Hania El Hammamy and World No.5 Nele Gilis, respectively.
It marks El Sherbini’s fifth successive victory over El Hammamy, who was last year’s runner-up. El Sherbini achieved the victory with 11-9 wins in both games and she will now look to add a third Xbox PSA World Tour Finals trophy to her collection after triumphing in 2018 and 2022.
“I don’t feel like I’m the underdog [against Gohar],” said El Sherbini.
“I’ve gone one step better than last year and I want to end the season in a good way. She’s been doing great the last three tournaments, but I’ve also been doing well the whole season.”
Gohar has become the first woman to reach four successive finals at this tournament after the 26-year-old beat Gilis 11-9, 11-7 to extend her unbeaten run to 24 matches.
Gohar is in red-hot form having won her previous four tournaments and has beaten El Sherbini in three of those finals, including the British Open final a fortnight ago. A win over El Sherbini tomorrow would make Gohar the first woman to win this event on three occasions and would extend her unbeaten run to 25 matches.
“Not many players start off that great, I’m known for being a good starter, so all credit to Nele,” said Gohar.
“It shows how high the level of squash is that she has been playing this week. She has been playing incredible matches and she has such a great fighting spirit. I have a huge respect for her.”
The finals of the Xbox PSA World Tour Finals will take place on June 22 and play starts at 15:00 (GMT-7). The action will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the channels of PSA’s broadcast partners. The format will revert to the best-of-five games scoring format used at most other tournaments on the PSA World Tour.
For more information on the 2023-24 Xbox PSA World Tour Finals, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and TikTok.
Results – Men’s Semi-Finals: 2023-24 Xbox PSA World Tour Finals
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-10, 11-6 (30m)
[3] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) 2-0: 11-3, 11-5 (26m)
Draw – Men’s Final: To Be Played June 22nd
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [3] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Results – Women’s Semi-Finals: 2023-24 Xbox PSA World Tour Finals
[1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) bt [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-9 (32m)
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [6] Nele Gilis (BEL) 2-0: 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
Draw – Women’s Final: To Be Played June 22nd
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)