9:04 am
16 Jul 2024

Farag & El Sherbini Win PSA World Titles

23 Jul 2021

Egyptians Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini, both ranked No.1 in the world, have lifted the 2020-21 PSA World Championship titles after beating compatriots Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nouran Gohar, respectively, in the Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago.

Farag claimed the men's PSA World Championship trophy for the second time - becoming the third Egyptian to do so - following a 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 victory over Elshorbagy which saw him come back from a game down and 7-0 behind in the second.

Despite the win, 29-year-old Farag - who has taken three titles in a row in Chicago after also winning the 2018-19 PSA World Championship crown and last year's Windy City Open - will be overtaken as world No.1 by Elshorbagy in the August PSA World Rankings, with Elshorbagy just needing to reach the Chicago final to reclaim the top ranking.

Farag's title win is the 22nd of his career and his third of the 2020-21 PSA World Tour season after previous successes at the CIB Egyptian Open and Qatar Classic. It also comes just 11 days after the birth of his first child, daughter Farida.

"I'm quite emotional about this because it's a special week for me with my baby daughter being born just before this and having my parents in my corner," said Farag.

"It's [Chicago] definitely becoming my favourite city and not just because of the events but because of the people that make you feel so welcome. The Walter family never cease to amaze us with how much they support the sport.

"Mohamed, when I share a court with him, every time it's an honour. We are here, our generation, because of him. He paved the way for us and we have to keep raising our game. I'm in awe of what he does and he is the reason that we are here today."

Like Farag, El Sherbini also captured the 2018-19 PSA World Championship title when it was held at Chicago's Union Station. Her 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory against world No.2 Gohar sees El Sherbini become only the third woman to win five World Championship titles.

In addition to the most prestigious title in squash, the women's world No.1 spot was also up for grabs, but El Sherbini - playing in her seventh World Championship final - held Gohar at bay to hold onto the ranking and capture the World Championship crown for a third season running. It is her 25th PSA title.

"I'm really thrilled, if anyone told me before that I was going to win five World Championships then I wouldn't have believed them," said 25-year-old El Sherbini.

"It's really hard to believe that I have just won my fifth World Championship. It was very tough until the end, Nouran kept pushing me, she keeps fighting and never gave up. That's why she's here and she's playing her first World Championship final, I know how big it is and how she's feeling.

"She didn't show any pressure, she played hard and tough until the last point, and I'm really happy I finished it in the end. I think I had to wait until the final to lose one game and to the world No.2. I'm going to celebrate with my dad and back home, my mum and my brother, all the family and friends, it's very late now but everyone is up and watching."

This season's PSA World Championships is the sport's second $1,000,000 tournament - following the 2018-19 edition - and El Sherbini and Farag have taken the most lucrative winner's prize money in squash, each receiving over $64,000.