El Sherbini & Farag Retain World Titles in Chicago
12 May 2023
Egyptian duo Nour El Sherbini and Ali Farag retained their titles at the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family following respective straight games wins over compatriots Nouran Gohar and Karim Abdel Gawad at Union Station in Chicago.
The PSA World Championships is the most prestigious tournament in squash, with $1,000,000 in total player compensation split equally between the male and female athletes. World No.1 El Sherbini now has an incredible seven World Championship titles following a stunning 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 victory over world No.2 Gohar in the women's final.
It was the third time in a row that El Sherbini and Gohar had contested the sport's biggest final, with El Sherbini also winning their previous two title bouts. Gohar would have reclaimed the world No.1 spot which she lost to El Sherbini earlier this week had she won.
27-year-old El Sherbini was in superb form once again in Chicago to win her third World Championship title in 'The Windy City', while she is now just one World Championship title off the current women's record of eight, held by Malaysian legend Nicol David. Her streak of five World Championship titles in a row is matched only by David in the women's game.
"I'm over the moon to win my seventh World Championship," El Sherbini said.
"It's huge and special for me and I can't believe I did it, I'm so happy. Of course, I'm happy that I'm closer to Nicol's record. She's a legend and what she did was amazing and unbelievable.
"I've always been looking up to her, so to put my name beside her is something special and huge for me."
The men's final saw world No.4 Ali Farag become only the second Egyptian after Amr Shabana to lift four World Championship trophies after he overcame unseeded Gawad, the world No.17, by a 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 scoreline.
Gawad's run to the final came just seven months after he was consigned to a wheelchair as he received treatment for a heel injury. He had beaten world No.1 Diego Elias and world No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy en-route to a second World Championship final following his title win in 2016. Farag has also had his injury struggles this season, spending four months on the sidelines because of a knee problem.
31-year-old Gawad started brilliantly but was unable to convert a 9-5 lead in the opening game as Farag came back to take the opener. By this point, Farag was in full stride and errors began to flow from Gawad's racket as Farag came through to take the win in straight games.
Farag - like El Sherbini before him - has now won all three World Championships held in Chicago. Farag and El Sherbini were also the winners the first time Union Station hosted this tournament back in 2019.
"The emotions are so raw, it's so hard to put it into words," said Farag.
"It's so special. No matter how many times you go through it, it's even more special than the time before. Especially against such a champion like Karim, I'm super relieved and super happy.
"Two months ago we played a practice match and we were limping and the standard wouldn't have even earned us a place in the World Championship, let alone the final. To come all the way through to reach the final is a very proud achievement for the two of us."
The next stop on the PSA World Tour will be the Manchester Open, the PSA World Tour Silver event which will take place between May 17-21 at Manchester's National Squash Centre. The event will be shown live on SQUASHTV.