Mohamed El Sherbini Begins Professional Ascent With Largest Title in Cleveland

Egypt’s Mohamed El Sherbini claimed the largest PSA Tour title of his career—the $10,000 Cleveland Skating Club Open—Sunday, October 28, in Ohio.

El Sherbini, the cousin of women’s world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini, started playing PSA Tour events consistently for the first time this year at twenty-five years old.

Now based in Washington D.C., El Sherbini claimed four 5k PSA titles in the spring of 2017, and claimed his first career U.S. Pro Series title in his first professional tournament this fall.

The unseeded world No. 112 upset two seed Vikram Malhotra in a three-game semifinal, and defeated Canada’s Shawn Delierre in the final 9-11, 11-6, 11-1, 3-11, 11-3 in sixty-six minutes.

The 2017 Cleveland Skating Club Open was the third edition of the U.S. Pro Series event.

El Sherbini Becomes First Player to Win Three Straight Carol Weymuller Opens

l-r: Nour El Sherbini, Linda Elriani, Joelle King (image: Kelley Holmgren)

Egypt’s world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini made history Monday night by becoming the first player in the Carol Weymuller Open’s forty-four years to win three consecutive titles at Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Twenty-one-year-old El Sherbini dispatched three compatriots on her way to the final including U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management champion Nour El Tayeb in the quarterfinals and Salma Hany in the semifinals.

In front of a packed Heights Casino gallery, El Sherbini defeated New Zealand’s world No. 10 Joelle King in a clinical performance, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3, in thirty-three minutes.

(image: Kelley Holmgren)

“I think it’s my best match since I’ve been in the U.S. for the last two weeks,” El Sherbini said. “My shots were working, I was moving well and I was thinking not to finish everything too quickly. I felt confident going for my shots. I think it was my day! Joelle has been killing it the last two weeks. I think that she has beaten most the top 5 now, Nour, Raneem, Nicol, Laura, everyone. I’m glad it wasn’t my turn. Thank you and see you next year!”

El Sherbini has now defeated King in two of her three Carol Weymuller finals. King concludes a run stateside that saw her reach the U.S. Open semifinals.

“With Nour you just have to blind on,” King said. “I wasn’t seeing the ball quite as sharp and my decision making was not quite as crisp and I was kind of behind the whole way, maybe it was a bit of fatigue. But credit to her, she just did not give me anything and played great squash. The last six weeks have been amazing. It’s been a great block. A couple of weeks of training and then onto Hong Kong.”

The Carol Weymuller Open is one of the longest-established events on the professional tour and is the namesake of Heights Casino pioneer Carol Weymuller.

“Carol started the junior squash program here at The Heights Casino many years back with her late husband Fred, and it has obviously grown and expanded along with the sport,” said Linda Elriani, Heights Casino Pro and Tournament Director. “We always like to thank Carol for all her hard work and dedication back at the start, as we wouldn’t be where we are today with our program if she had not been forward thinking enough to develop squash in this area.”

Watch replays of Carol Weymuller Open matches here.

For more images and reports visit www.carolweymulleropen.com.

El Sherbini and King to Contest Carol Weymuller Open Final

King (l) against El Welily in the Carol Weymuller semifinals. (image: Kelley Holmgren)

The 2017 Carol Weymuller Open final will be a rematch of the 2015 final between Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini and New Zealand’s Joelle King Monday night at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn.

World No. 1 Nour El Sherbini is on the brink of tournament history with a potential record of three consecutive titles in Brooklyn. After bowing out of the U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management in the quarterfinals earlier this month, El Sherbini appears to be back on form. El Sherbini avenged her quarterfinal loss against U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb by dispatching her compatriot in a four-game quarterfinal.

In Sunday’s semifinals, El Sherbini defeated her third Egyptian opponent of the tournament, Salma Hany, in three games to advance to her third consecutive Carol Weymuller final.

“I’m feeling good and playing much better, feeling my shots and attacking more,” El Sherbini said after her semifinal victory. “In the final it will be tough one with whoever wins–whether it’s Raneem or Joelle—it’ll be tough. I’m looking forward to another Weymuller final.”

King, world No. 10, pulled off her first career win against Egypt’s world No. 3 Raneem El Welily in their thirteenth career matchup. King avenged her recent U.S. Open semifinal loss against El Welily 11-6, 3-11, 11-9, 14-12 to advance to her second career Carol Weymuller final.

“Finally! I’ve never beaten Raneem ever, not even since the juniors,” King said. “Through juniors she was the player that we all idolized. It was one of those matches where I didn’t know what the score was really. I just tried to play every point the best I could. In the fourth I just tried to take the ball as early as possible and I think from 10-10 we both played some great squash. Tomorrow is just another day, just going to try and recover and play my game and to be ready from the first point.”

In the 2015 final, El Sherbini defeated King 11-5, 11-6, 11-3.

Follow live scores and streaming of the final Monday night from 7:30pm ET on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.

Salazar Wins Second Career U.S. Pro Series Title in Chicago

l-r: Joel Makin, Vernon Hills professional Franz Schwerer, Cheryl Salazar, Cesar Salazar, Life Time tour director Andre Maur. (image: Matthew Pace)

Mexico’s Cesar Salazar celebrated his second career U.S. Pro Series title and sixth career PSA Tour title after storming to the Life Time Chicago Open title this weekend at Life Time Vernon Hills in Illinois.

Salazar, who rose to a career-high ranking of world No. 19 this month, fulfilled his seeding as the top seed by dropping just one game all tournament. That game came in the first round against Canada’s Andrew Schnell. From there, Salazar defeated his twin brother, Arturo, in the quarters, New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson in the semifinals and Wales’ Joel Makin in the final—all in three games.

The Chicago Open title adds to his 2014 Life Time Atlanta Open title as this second U.S. Pro Series title.

The 2017 Life Time Chicago Open offered its highest prize money of $25,000 in the tournament’s fifth year in Vernon Hills.

Watch video stream replays of the matches below. View all results here.

Metwally Upsets Waters in Carol Weymuller First Round

Mariam Metwally (r) against Alison Waters. (image: Jean Ervasti)

The first round of the 2017 Carol Weymuller Open included an upset as world No. 23 Mariam Metwally defeated 2016 finalist and 2014 champion Alison Waters in five games Thursday night at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn.

The first four main draw matches of the tournament yielded four Egyptian winners. Metwally recorded the first victory of the session in what was her first career win against Waters, the English world No. 8, in five games.

Another five-gamer ensued as Egypt’s Salma Hany notched her first victory over world No. 13 Joshna Chinappa in her sixth attempt.

“I’m so relieved! I finally beat Joshna in the sixth time,” Hany said. “I’ve never beaten her. First of all when I went on the court I was so relaxed, and I wasn’t sure how my body would carry me and I thought it’s not the end of the world to lose for the sixth time. When I was 9-1 down in the first game I thought just enjoy and stay a little bit longer in my favorite tournament.”

The Carol Weymuller quarterfinals will see a massive match up between world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini and U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management champion Nour El Tayeb, both of whom advanced in three games. Last week, El Tayeb defeated El Sherbini in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

El Tayeb defeated Dutch qualifier Milou van der Heijden.

“I was very nervous before this match with huge expectations after last week,” El Tayeb said. “I had to tell myself that it was just another match. Milou had two good wins in the qualification and so I knew she was playing well. I was very excited and nervous to play another match and I’m just trying to enjoy playing and put the results aside. If Nour wins her match tonight and we play tomorrow, she is still #1 and it’s going to another exciting match with a good friend.”

El Sherbini would go on to defeat fellow Egyptian Mayar Hany.

“Mayar is not an easy first round, she’s one of the young Egyptian players who is up and coming fast,” El Sherbini said. “I’m feeling good it’s the first round and it’s hard to mentally get back after a week of being here since the US Open. Nour just beat me last week so hopefully its revenge time!”

The second half of the first round will play out Friday evening from 5:30pm local time. Follow live scores and streaming on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.

Follow @CarolWeymuller on Twitter for more updates.

Life Time Chicago Open Offering Largest Prize Purse of $25k


The fifth Life Time Chicago Open has attracted the highest caliber draw in tournament history with its largest prize purse to date, $25,000, which is on offer at Life Time Vernon Hills, Illinois.

The main draw is underway Thursday evening from 5pm local time, 6pm ET. Follow live streaming and scores on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.

New Zealand’s defending champion Campbell Grayson returns as the three seed in search of a second title.

Mexico’s world No. 19 Cesar Salazar leads the draw as the top seed and is predicted to face Egypt’s two seed Omar Abdel Mequid in the final.

Team USA’s Todd Harrity enters the first round as the seven seed with a first-round match against Pakistan’s Farham Zaman.

View the full draw here.

World’s Top Women Set to Compete in Forty-Fourth Carol Weymuller Open

l-r: Emilai Soini, Alison Waters, Victoria Lust, Joshna Chinappa, Annie Au, Joelle King, Nour El Sherbini, Raneem El Welily, Dipika Pallikal Karthik.

The PSA Tour’s top women are set to contest the forty-fourth Carol Weymuller Open this week at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Main draw matches are scoring and streaming live on www.usprosquashseries.com/live, October 19-23. First round matches begin at 5:30pm ET.

The sixteen-player main draw is complete after two rounds of qualifying, with the top half of the first round set to play out Thursday, October 19, and the bottom half Friday, October 20.

Egypt’s two-time defending Carol Weymuller champion Nour El Sherbini leads the draw as the top seed. The twenty-one year old also spoke during the tournament’s fourth annual opening lunch Wednesday. Watch an interview with El Sherbini here.

Less than a week after winning the U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management, Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb is back in action as the seven seed, with a potential match up against El Sherbini in the second round.

Follow @CarolWeymuller on Twitter for more updates.

Mueller Claims Charlottesville Open Title in Tournament Debut

Swiss world No. 34 Nicolas Mueller marked his debut in the Harrow Sports Charlottesville Open by winning $25,000 title without dropping a game, September 20-24, at the Boar’s Head Resort in Virginia.

Mueller came through the final in four against Scotland’s Greg Lobban to lift his first title since 2014 when he claimed the Finnish Open title.

The Charlottesville Open headlined the fifth-annual Festival of Squash at the McArthur Squash Center.

While the professionals competed on the all-glass center court, the McAthur Squash Center’s eight adjacent courts will host US Squash-sanctioned open adult and junior silver tournaments.

25k Harrow Sports Charlottesville Open Headlines Virginia Festival of Squash

The fifth annual Festival of Squash in Charlottesville, Virginia, features the $25,000 Harrow Sports Charlottesville Open professional men’s draw at the Boar’s Head Resort, September 20-24.

While the professionals compete on the all-glass center court, the McAthur Squash Center’s eight adjacent courts will host US Squash-sanctioned open adult and junior silver tournaments.

The sixteen-player PSA draw kicks off Wednesday, September 20, at 12pm noon local time, with all matches scoring and streaming live on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.

Switzerland’s world No. 30 Nicolas Mueller leads the draw as the top seed in his Charlottesville debut. England’s world No. 38 Adrian Waller returns to Virginia as the two seed after reaching the 2016 semifinals.

Three Americans are set for first round action. Unseeded Timmy Lasusa is the first American in action against Egypt’s eight seed Mazen Hesham at 12:50pm. U.S. veteran Chris Gordon, world No. 63, takes on Qatar’s three seed Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi at 2:30pm. U.S. champion Chris Hanson faces Mexico’s seven seed Arturo Salazar at 5:20pm.

View the full draw on www.usprosquashseries.com.

Professional matches are free admission and open to the general public

Gaultier Captures Sixth Successive Title at Bellevue Classic

by Matt Lombardi

This past week Gregory Gaultier took another step toward redefining his pro squash career with a masterful performance at the PMI Bellevue Classic. Staged at the Boys and Girls Club Hidden Valley Field House just outside of Seattle, the sixteen-man $150,000 tournament was the richest event ever for an event its size.

Gaultier pocketed over $25,000, after working through the draw without dropping a game. In Saturday’s final, he took out Egypt’s Ali Farag 12-10, 12-10, 11-8 to win his fortieth PSA title. The win returns Gaultier to the world No.1 ranking, which, due to the PSA’s ranking algorithm, he’d lost in May despite not dropping a match.

The Frenchman is a familiar figure to pro squash fans. For the past decade he’s never been ranked lower than sixth in the world, occupying the number-one spot for nine months and winning the World Championship in Seattle in 2015. At thirty-four years old, he’s in the midst of an epic PSA winning streak that currently stands at six tournaments and twenty-seven matches—a level of play that’s bound to elevate his status in the pantheon of squash’s all-time greats.

Throughout his career, Gaultier has been known for wearing his heart on sleeve—pumping his fist and strutting around the court when he’s won a crucial point, pouting and crying to the heavens when he hits the tin or feels he’s been dealt an injustice by the referee. It’s been a common sentiment that if he could rein in his emotions, he would be nearly unbeatable.

Gregory Gaultier (l) and Ali Farag.

As recently as January he delivered an astounding display of hot-blooded melodrama against Mohamed Elshorbagy in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions. In the months following that notorious match, though, he seems to have found his long-illusive inner peace. His play has been relaxed, cool and clinical as he systematically has beaten one opponent after another. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: is Gaultier playing well because he’s so calm, or is he calm because he’s playing so well?

Whatever the case may be, his newfound composure was on full display in the PMI Bellevue final against Farag. The quality of play was through the roof. Farag is a unique talent—he seems to glide effortlessly around the court, his thin limbs acting like rubber bands as he stretches to reach shots and then contracts back to the T. He was Gaultier’s equal through much of a match that was distinguished by long, spectacular rallies. Farag tried to disrupt the Frenchman’s rhythm with a mix of crosscourt drives and boasts; Gaultier countered with classic tight length and pinpoint shot-making. Both made one jaw-dropping retrieval after another.

Farag had one game ball in the first game and four in the second, but at those crucial moments Gaultier kept his focus and elevated his play. He took the first game with two immaculate cross-court kills, and pressured rare errors from Farag to save those games balls in the second. The intensity and entertainment value were as high as imaginable for a three-game match.

While the quality of the final was exceptional, the match of the tournament was the back-and-forth five-game quarterfinal between two veterans, James Willstrop and Borja Golan. After losing the first two games, Golan threw caution to the wind and went on a run of relentless, error-free attacking squash. For two games he was on fire, taking the third 11-2 and jumping ahead 10-1 in the fourth before closing out 11-6. The tension of the fifth game brought Golan back down to earth, but he still managed to scrap to a 10-7 lead, earning a conduct warning along the way. Willstrop looked weary, but he dug in and took advantage of loose balls to pull back even at 10-10. He then delivered his trademark shot, a spirit-crushing backhand drop, to reach match ball, and finished with an unreturnably tight backhand drive. The crowd was stunned by the remarkable comeback.

The tournament was also notable for the return of injury-plagued star Ramy Ashour. His first-round match was only his seventh PSA match of the year, and the first since retiring injured in the semifinals of the British Open in March. Ashour is famous for returning in top form after long layoffs, but things didn’t pan out that way this time. He was beaten in the second round by Marwan ElShorbagy 11-8, 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, in a match of short rallies, finished with some beautiful winners but also an uncharacteristically high number of errors from both players. Ashour’s movement looked tentative at times, but the good news is that he completed the match with his body intact.

PSA | U.S. Squash