Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-1  Ali
11-9, 5-11, 11-8 (60m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-2
 Raneem El Welily 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10 (70m)
Egyptís World No.5 Nour El Tayeb and World No.2 Mohamed
ElShorbagy lifted the first titles of the new season after
defeating compatriots and World No.1s Raneem El Welily and Ali
Farag to claimChina Squash Open.
El Tayeb stunned defending champion El Welily in a thrilling
five-game battle to take the first silverware of the new PSA
World Tour season and her first China title, as she displayed a
formidable performance on the glass court atop the Peninsula
The last time El Tayeb got the better of El Welily was at the
2018-19 PSA World Championships in Chicago, when she claimed a
shock victory over the then-reigning World Champion.
ďIt didnít seem like it was ending, I canít believe Iím the
winner,í said El Tayeb afterwards. ďThroughout the whole match I
was reminding myself that itís good to be in the final, even
though in the fourth game I was leading and I started to see the
finish line a bit. I had to remind myself that I was playing
Raneem and that the finish line might not happen.
ďWhen she won the fourth I was a bit defeated and then she
started the fifth very well but Ali told me to just dig
in. Last match I played last season was against her and I saw
where my level was, and I wanted this match to be another
indicator of where my level was.
ďI canít believe I won, it feels a bit like a dream because
throughout the match, I was tired and I had to keep reminding
myself of one more rally at a time. Itís a dream start to the
season and hopefully I can keep going."
Meanwhile, ElShorbagy moved a step closer to claiming his World
No.1 spot back after defeating current incumbent Ali Farag to
win the men's China Open title.
ElShorbagy, the 2016 champion, started on fire as he raced into
a 7-0 lead, before comfortably putting himself in the driving
seat of the match with an 11-3 win in the first. He kept up the
relentless pressure to double his lead, despite a much improved
performance from Farag in the second.
Farag refused to go down without a fight, however, as he fought
back in the third. But it was not enough to disrupt ElShorbagy's
game plan as he took the fourth to win his second China Open
ďItís the kind of match I want to be in this season,Ē said
28-year-old ElShorbagy afterwards ďI want to be playing finals,
especially with him. I want to beat him this season, I want to
get his World No.1 spot and Iím going to be hard to stop this
season. I told him after the match that I hope that if Iím going
to get it then heís not going to give it to me easy, because I
like the challenge and I didnít give it to him easy.
ďThis season Iím going to get back at him, every session in the
summer break I was thinking about how I could beat him and get
the No.1 back. What he did last season was unbelievable, he lost
only in the quarters last year, Iíve never faced a guy as
consistent as him and he is so tough to play.
ďIím up for the challenge and I look forward to playing against
him more and Iím sure he will come back strong next time.Ē
Raneem El Welily 3-0 Hania El
11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (37m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-0
 Nouran Gohar
 Ali Farag 3-0  Saurav
11-4, 11-9, 11-4 (34m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-1
 Marwan ElShorbagy 8-11,
11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (64m)
Nour El Tayeb
ďToday was one of my best
performances. Iíve been very focused during the off season and
this match just proves that I am on the right track and that Iím
ďMy main tactic was to start well. Usually with her, she catches
me by surprise all of the time with her hard hitting, so I think
the key for me was to start as early as possible and warming up
in the room clearly works for me!
ďIím very excited to be in the final of my first tournament. It
gives me a lot of confidence and obviously it doesnít get any
better than playing the World No.1, defending champion and the
best player of the last 12 months. Iím very excited for it.Ē
Raneem El Welily
Raneem chats to SquashTV
ďIím very pleased to be through to
the final here in China, it's such a special place for me now,
Iíve got good results almost every time here now, so Iím really
ďWe train together a lot together back home, as we train with
the same coach Haitham Effat, so we see each otherís games a
lot. She is definitely improving every day and she is a solid
contender to soon be in the top ten and a top player for sure.
ďMy squash been a bit up and down mentally and playing in
patches throughout the entire week. Iíd like to see myself more
consistent and more solid.
"Nour and Nouran are both such strong players and it will
definitely be an interesting match coming up between them.
Whoever I play, it doesnít matter, as long as we have a good and
fair match tomorrow.Ē
Ali chats to SquashTV
ďIt was a good performance and Iím
very happy. It is the best I have played all week. I couldnít
afford to let Saurav get in front of me and I think I did that
very well today. All thanks to PSA Physio, Shonagh Ė I was
really sore last night and she spent a lot of time massaging me
and then again today and I did a lot of recovery work.
ďWe havenít done it every since repeat the U.S. Open victory
with wife Nour El Tayeb, even though itís not a platinum event,
it is still quite a prestigious one and I would love for the two
of us to grab the first titles of the season. We know the
challenge that lies ahead of us though in Raneem El Welily and
Mohamed ElShorbagy, so we will have to be at our very best.Ē
Mohamed chats to SquashTV
ďItís very tough, physically and
emotionally, to play against my brother. We know each other very
well. Mentally itís so hard when you know each other, whoever
came out of this match was definitely going to feel it the day
after. Itís something we are used to now on tour, but this is
the first summer we havenít tried together.
ďIt was a high quality match and played in good spirit as well.
Very clean match between us and Iím really glad that I pulled
through especially at such a crucial time. Itís hot and humid,
so to get that confidence in yourself is important. Iím the type
of player who needs to get those tough matches at the start of
the season and get out of them as well to get that confidence
physically. Winning today will give me a huge confidence in my
physicality for the rest of the season.
ďIím really happy for him to be playing like that. Heís been out
and had a hard time last season. Heís definitely up there and
being No.11 in the world is going to be so hard for all of us
that have to play him in the earlier rounds.
ďIím taking it each match at a time. Tomorrow is where I want to
be and winning tournaments. To play first tournament of the
season and to win it would be a huge confidence boost and send a
message to the rest of my opponents. Iím here to get back to
World No.1, Iím not here to do the same results I did last
season because it wasnít good enough and I fell to No.2.
ďIím back and want to be playing in finals and winning
tournaments and tomorrow is another step towards doing that.Ē
Farag 3-2  Tom Richards (Eng) 14-12, 6-11, 11-4,
9-11, 11-5 (66m)
 Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-1 [9/16]
Mazen Hesham 12-10, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7 (67m)
 Marwan Elshorbagy 3-0
 Omar Mosaad
11-5, 13-11, 15-13 (55m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-1
[9/16] Leo Au (Hkg) 3-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8 (68m)
 Raneem El Welily 3-0
 Salma Hany
11-5, 11-9, 11-4 (25m)
[9/16] Hania El Hammamy 3-0
 Joelle King (NZL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (50m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-0
[9/16] Nadine Shahin
11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (15m)
 Nouran Gohar 3-2
[9/16] Yathreb Adel
11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6 (54m)
ďI felt like he was controlling
most of the match. He was playing at his own pace and making all
the angles, so full credit to hi. Iím extremely proud of myself
to get through such a tough match.
ďThis traditional court is quite different, the straight lines
on the backhand side arenít quite as accurate and I like to play
on that side and take advantage of it, but the fact that this
wasnít there meant that I had to find another way and this
wasnít easy against Tom.
ďIím expecting a lot of skilful shots from Saurav, he likes to
move opponents deep into the corners and varying the pace. With
his height, he is fast and picks up a lot of balls, but Iím glad
to hopefully be on the glass.Ē
ďIt was morea mental performance
today. I felt like I was controlling the game well in the first
two. But sheís very experienced and we have had tough battles
since we were juniors, itís never easy when you are playing a
good friend and you have had a rivalry since juniors.
ďIt was very tricky and Iím pleased to get the win at the end.
Sheís hard to play against, it can seem like sheís tired but
then she hits really good shots and she reads the game really
well, so itís tough to play an opponent like that.
ďI just had to focus on my own game plan and just keep going,
even if it wasnít going my way for two games I just really stuck
ďIt will be tough tomorrow, me and Nour always have really tough
battles, I think the last one was the World Tour Finals, but we
are both tough fighters on court, so Iím sure tomorrow will be
another tough battle.Ē
Nour El Tayeb
Nour chats to SquashTV
ďI think I played well. Nadine is
such a tough opponent, she just beat Alison Waters yesterday and
I knew it would be hard, so I had to be focused from the
beginning and I think I found my marks pretty well.
ďShe has beaten Alison more than once, so Iím aware of Nadineís
threats and we train together a lot back home so I know how to
play her, obviously she does too but I think I played well
ďWeíve all trained together a million times before, so itís
always hard to play fellow Egyptians. But itís a PSA World Tour
Gold, so I donít care whether I play an Egyptian or someone from
any country. I want to win and hopefully I can keep going.Ē
Raneem El Welily
ďIím definitely happy to come out
of today with a 3-0 win. Salma is not an easy play to face at
all. Sheís very skilful with the racket and sheís proven over
the past few years that she is a very strong contender to be top
10 very soon. I havenít played her in ages on the Tour at least.
We train together sometimes, but on the PSA Tour maybe 2013 or
ďItís good to have played this tournament against two different
faces and Iím looking forward to playing tomorrowís match.
ďWeíve been prepared for the possibility of a venue change since
the start of the week, so when we woke up today and saw the
amount of rain out of the window we could tell what was going to
ďHania is a very strong player and Iím looking forward to
playing against her. We train with the same coach Ė Haitham
Effat Ė so, Iím sure he will be very pleased to have two players
in the semis.Ē
Hania El Hammamy
Joelle had to stop at 9/8 in
the third, injury break, 15m...
ďIím out of words. Iím really
happy with my performance today. I played really well and it was
a tough match, I knew it was going to be tough and itís a very
physical game between me and Joelle, so Iím glad to get through
ďThe more I do big wins, the more I gain confidence and I go the
next match hoping I can win. It feels outrageous [to be in my
first Gold semi-final], Iím really happy and I just want to win
the semi-final as well. Iím looking forward to possibly playing
the final Ė I donít see why I canít do it.
ďItís a great experience, I have only seen the photos of the
glass court so far. Itís an unbelievable venue and Iím looking
forward to the chance to play there.Ē
Mohamed chats to SquashTV
ďI felt like I played better than
yesterday. I thought Leo Au played so well today, I think thatís
one of the best performances he has played against me.
ďIím pleased with how I kept pushing and that I managed to beat
him today and really proud of that performance. Sometimes at the
start of the season you want some confidence in your physicality
and tough matches like these help to prove that you have trained
hard and give you confidence.
ďAfter that tough match yesterday and then we had to play on
different courts today because of the rain. Top players need to
adapt to these kind of situations and you canít make excuses and
I always tell myself that Ďyou are luckyí, that even if they
arenít the best solutions, our sport has solutions for if it
rains because some sports you canít play with rain at all.
ďEven after that tough third game on the tie-break, I thought I
had him, but he kept pushing and pushing. He had a brutal match,
the same as me, last night and Iím really proud I won today. I
felt much better on court today and feeling better every day.
ďEvery summer my brother and I always train together, but this
summer we didnít. He actually trained in Egypt, while I was in
England, so we havenít really seen each other at all in a few
months. We always have tough battles and mentally, it is hard to
deal with for both of us. I watched him a little bit today and
he is definitely back stronger and squash needs different
characters in the sport and he definitely brings something
different to our sport.Ē
Marwan chats to SquashTV
Mosaad saved 2 match balls and had a game ball as well in that
ďIím very pleased with yesterdayís
and todayís win. Yesterday was a tough match against Iker, who
has been playing very well and beating him on a bouncy court is
a good result I think. Today, playing Mosaad, he played very
well today and we both played well Ė it was tough, but Iím glad
I won that second and third game because it could have gone
either way. Iím happy with my squash so far this week and
hopefully tomorrow will be a bit different moving to the glass
court and playing at that incredible venue.
ďThere is no introduction about my brother and if he wins today,
it wonít be the first time we have played. We are used to
playing against each other now, Iíve entered this tournament to
play those kind of matches, I want to play those kind of matches
against the best of the world.
ďIíve had a good summer, Iíve trained hard and I feel really
ready for the new season. Iím very hungry to be back to my best
again. Recovery is important now and then hopefully tomorrow
will be another good day.Ē
Farag 3-1 Youssef Soliman
11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4 (41m)
 Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0 Mostafa
Asal 11-9, 111-3, 11-8 (49m)
Mazen Hesham 3-1  Adrian
Waller (ENG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (58m)
 Omar Mosaad 3-0 Abdulla
Al Tamimi (Qat) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (40m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 11-4, 12-14, 11-9, 11-4 (60m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0
Lucas Serme (FRA) 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (66m)
 Raneem El Welily 3-0
Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
 Salma Hany 3-2
11-8, 11-7, 11-7
Hania El Hammamy 3-2 
Annie Au (HKG) 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4 62m
 Joelle King (NZL) 3-2 Zeina
Mickawy 11-5, 9-11, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10 (56m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-0
Rachael Grinham (AUS)
11-4, 11-3, 11-5 (19m)
Nadine Shahin 3-1  Alison
Waters (ENG) 4-11, 11-6, 11-5, 13-11 (37m)
Yathreb Adel 3-2 
Victoria Lust (ENG) 10-12, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (44m)
 Nouran Gohar 3-0
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 11-6, 11-8, 11-2 (22m)
Itís the first tournament of the
year so that makes it extra special as well because you want to
prove yourself and see how the summer training has paid off.
ďIím always looking forward to this tournament. You donít get a
lot of chances to stay in such a beautiful hotel and such a
prestigious one. The venue is one of the best in the world and I
have great memories here Ė beating Nicol David for the first
ďIíve been in the final three times so I hope I can break a
little bit. Itís just one match at a time, Iím in the quarter
finals which Iím really happy about and Iím just looking forward
to the next match and we will see what happens next.Ē
Raneem El Welily
ďIím definitely happy to start the
tournament with a 3-0 win against Milou.
ďIím not sure if weíve played each other before or not, she is
one of those players who you have either played just once or not
at all. Sheís skilled with the racket and has such great
technique and you could see she has got different plans and
tactics on court. She definitely worked me on court and Iím
hoping that I can continue that form on here tomorrow.
ďThe venue is very beautiful. Iíve been here a couple of times
and I think by far this is the best court that we have had here.
This year past by really quickly for me and before you know it
youíre in China again to start the season.
ďIíve had good memories here and bad ones, Iím just going with
the flow and seeing what happens but hopefully it will be a good
The Gazelle Hania El Hammamy
article about Hania...
ďIím happy with this win. I played
Annie once last season and I lost in three in 20 minutes, so I
came here today and I wanted to do my best and perform better
than last time. I definitely had a game plan compared to last
time and Iím happy I managed to stick to that.
ďI wanted to keep it fast, I didnít want to sleep and keep going
with her slow pace. Obviously I lost a bit of concentration and
my game plan after being 2-0 up, so Iím happy I managed to get
back to it in the fifth.
ďIím starting the season with confidence. Finishing last season
at my highest ranking has just given me more confidence and Iím
hungry for more.Ē
ďIím very happy. First match of
the season is never easy, especially when it comes against
someone like Youssef. We know each otherís games pretty well, we
grew up in the same club and now I play for Wadi Degla, but we
still play together a lot. Iím very happy to get away with a 3-1
ďOur sport is beautiful, we get to put it anywhere in the world
and to put it on top the Shanghai Bund is amazing. Iím really
happy that fingers crossed the rain stays out of the area and we
can keep playing on this venue.
ďIím expecting a lot of firey shots from Tom Richards. I
wouldnít say he has a traditional English game, he likes to go
for it and Iíll try to keep my discipline and not get too
erratic with him and we will see how it goes.Ē
ďLucas played so well today. We
used to train together back in Bristol and have played together
for so many years. Iím really happy for him to be raising his
level that way, he has so much potential and Iím glad that heís
living up to that now. If he keeps playing that way this season
then you can expect so many good things from him.
ďFor me, that was the first match of the season and itís always
a tricky one. I feel like I train hard and Iím ready for the
season, but I just went to the court and played with emotion and
excited and after I lost that second game, I thought I really
need to concentrate with my mind more and stick to my plan.
ďWe had a tough match at the beginning of the third game and
from that moment I pulled through and had control of the match
after, but all credit to him. I had to dig in deep to win this
match and Iím very happy to live another day here.Ē
Amazing Mazen Hesham
ďToday was really good. He was
pushing me really hard and I have never seen him play this well
against me before. It was very tough, I just kept strong
mentally and I think that made the difference. I tried to stay
strong in the critical points. The court conditions suit him
more than me and I think he has improved so much and it was
tiring playing him today.
ďToday I pushed a lot harder than I do in training. I just go
day by day and hopefully I have done enough work to push this
hard and this week will show with how my body deals with it.Ē
Youssef Soliman 3-2 Ivan Yuen (MAS) 8-11, 11-8, 7-11,
11-9, 11-8 (76m)
[9/16] Mostafa Asal 3-0 [WC]
Zhou Zhitao (CHN) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham 3-1 Eain
Yow Ng (MAS) 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 13-11 (56m)
[9/16] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-1
Mohamed ElSherbini 8-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-9 (50m)
[9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1 Karim Ali
Fathi 12-10, 8-11, 11-4, 11-2 (51m)
[9/16] Zeina Mickawy 3-0
Hollie Naughton (CAN) 12-10, 14-12, 11-6 (30m)
[9/16] Hania El Hammamy 3-0
Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)
[9/16] Nada Abbas 3-0 Donna
Lobban (AUS) 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (28m)
[9/16] Nadine Shahin 3-0
Haley Mendez (USA) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (23m)
[9/16] Yathreb Adel 3-0
Julianne Courtice (ENG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (30m)
ďJulianne has been playing really
well. We saw her play last season and her results and I knew
that I had to focus from the start and try to push her into the
back and find my shots. Iím glad it worked.
I was thinking ĎI have to push and win this gameí because itís
either going to be 2-0 or 1-1 and then itís tight again. You
never know whatís going to happen next, but I think after the
second game I felt more confident and I sort of knew what was
going to happen. I was trying to eliminate my errors and just
I good a pre-season and always when you have some time off and
come back to tournaments youíre like Ďhow did I used to warm upí
as if you forget everything, but then you start to get into it
and it feels good to be playing again. Hopefully it will be
another good season for me.Ē
Raging Bull Mostafa Asal :
ďI was really pleased with my
performance today. Playing the wildcard is never easy,
especially at his home club. Itís difficult to manage the first
game, I just played my own game and that worked well today. He
is playing well and Iím looking forward to my next match.
Tom Richards is a good player and I hope we have a good match.
Our head-to-head is 1-1 and we will see what tomorrow brings.
To balance a junior and professional career is tough, but Iím
happy to finish my junior career with a double World Junior
Championship. This tournament is amazing and I hope it continues
Amazing Mazen Hesham :
ďI started really well, which is
good. He started to play better as well, in the third, as he got
used to the court and then it became a bit scrappy. Iím really
glad that I held my nerve and started to get back to the
tie-break to win the game.
I donít have the thinking in my mind about if I am ready or not
for the new season. You never know, he could have been ready but
he came here and lost the first match, so you never really know.
It is the first tournament, after the first few tournaments then
you know if you are playing well. Iím just taking it match by
match, trying to be more happy and enjoy myself.
Adrian Waller and I played last season at the World
Championships and I think I played him a few times in the
summer. I like him, he is a nice guy off court and hopefully it
is a good match and I manage to get the win.
What Rachael Grinham had to say
about her match tomorrow against Nour
"Itís always fun playing Nour El
Tayeb. She grew up around me in Egypt, when I lived there for
eight years and I played at her club. Iíve known Nour since she
was about nine-years-old and watching her play squash.
Weíre good friends, sheís a fun player and is a different player
which is nice. She varies it a lot and mixes it up, which I
admire about her game and Iím looking forward to having another