Asal and Gohar CIB PSA World Tour Finals Champion | The Triangle

Asal and Gohar CIB PSA World Tour Finals Champion

June 22 to 27 saw Cairo, Egypt hosting the Professional Squash Association World Tour Finals. The tournament is made up of the players with the highest amount of accumulated points over the 2020-21 season. The tournament format is different to most PSA events, with group stages and semi-finals being played as best-of-three and only the finals using the traditional best-of-five format.  

Women’s group A consisted of Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini (1), Nouran Gohar (3) and Salma Hany (8), along with Frenchwoman Camille Serme (6). Women’s group B was made up of Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy (2), USA’s Amanda Sobhy (4), England’s Sarah-Jane Perry (5) and New Zealand’s Joelle King (7). 

Women’s day one results were Gohar 2-1 Hany, Serme 2-1 El Sherbini, El Hammamy 2-0 Perry. Day two results were King 2-0 Sobhy, El Sherbini 2-0 Hany, and Gohar 2-0 Serme. Day three results were King 2-0 Perry, Serme 2-0 Hany, and El Hammamy 2-0 Sobhy. The final day of group stages results were Gohar 2-1 El Sherbini, El Hammamy 2-0 King, and Perry 2-0 Sobhy. 

Gohar won group A with 10 points, followed by Serme with 7 points, both advancing to the semi-finals. El Hammamy won group B with 12 points, followed by King with 8 points. Semi-final match-ups were decided as Gohar vs King and El Hammamy vs Serme.  

In the men’s tournament, group A was all-Egyptian, consisting of Mostafa Asal (7), Mohamed ElShorbagy (5), Marwan ElShorbagy (4), and Ali Farag (1). Group B was made up of France’s Gregoire Marche (8), Welshman Joel Makin (6), New Zealand’s Paul Coll (3), and Egypt’s Tarek Momen (2). 

Day one results were Coll 2-1 Momen, Marwan ElShorbagy 2-1 Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 Asal. Day two results were Asal 2-0 Marwan ElShorbagy, Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-1 Farag and Marche 2-1 Makin. Day three results were Marwan ElShorbagy 2-1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, Momen 2-1 Marche and Coll 2-1 Makin. The final day of the group stages results were Momen 2-0 Makin, Coll 2-1 Marche and Asal 2-0 Farag. 

Asal came out on top of group A with 9 points, and Mohamed ElShorbagy came a close second place with 7 points. Coll won group B with 9 points, with Momen finishing just one point behind him. The semi-finals were set for ElShorbagy vs Coll and Asal vs Momen. 

The semi-finals proved to be just as exciting as the group stages. First up we saw Gohar vs King. The higher ranked Gohar took the first game 11-2 with great confidence. King came back to win the second game 12-10 in the tie-break, leaving the game tied at 1-1. Due to the best-of-three format, it went to a decider. Gohar proved why she is the higher-ranked player and won the final game 11-6, advancing through to the finals. 

Asal vs Momen proved to be one of the most dramatic matches of the tournament. Fiery youngster Asal won the first game 11-9, but Momen came back to win the second game 11-6 and forced the match into a decider. It was won convincingly by Asal 11-4, who advanced into the finals after a 68-minute match. 

A classic El Hammamy vs Serme match-up was next, with the experienced Serme against the 20-year-old El Hammamy. El Hammamy took the first game 11-6, quickly followed by an 11-3 win by Serme. The final game went to two tie-breaks, with El Hammamy coming out on top 14-12, setting up an all-Egyptian final. 

Finally we saw ElShorbagy vs Coll. ElShorbagy took the first game 11-5, followed by Coll winning 11-5 himself. ElShorbagy won the final game 11-6, setting up another all-Egyptian final. 

First up in the finals, we saw last year’s champion El Hammamy Face Gohar, with both players undefeated so far in the tournament. The finals are played in the traditional best-of-five format. Gohar won the first game 11-9, quickly followed by another game won 11-6. El Hammamy took back a game of her own 11-8, but it proved to not be enough against “The Terminator” Gohar as she took the final game 11-8 and became the new World Series Finals Champion with a prize fund of $25,000. This was Gohar’s 10th PSA title, but her first for this event. 

The men’s final saw current World Junior Champion Asal vs the World number two ElShorbagy. ElShorbagy came out strong to take the first game in the tie-break 14-12. Not discouraged from a game down, Asal bulldozed through three consecutive games to take the title 11-4, 11-7, 11-3. This was also Asal’s first time winning the event, at just 20 years old. Asal also took home $25,000, with the PSA showing their support for equal prize money.