Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini earned her fifth–and third consecutive–world title while her compatriot Ali Farag won his second–both secured in Chicago at the million dollar PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family.
Like Farag, El Sherbini also won the 2018-19 PSA World Championship title when it was held at Chicago’s Union Station, and the twenty-five-year-old has become only the third woman to win five World Championship titles courtesy of an 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory against World No. 2 Gohar.
In addition to the most prestigious title in squash, the world No. 1 spot was on the line, 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.
“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,” El Sherbini said. “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.”
The title marked El Sherbini’s twenty-fifth career PSA title.
“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,” El Sherbini said. “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 mom and my brother, all the family and friends, it’s very late now but everyone is up and watching.”
Farag has lifted the men’s PSA World Championship title for the second time–becoming the third Egyptian to do so–following a 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 victory over Mohamed ElShorbagy, which saw him come back from a game down and 7-0 behind in the second.
Despite the win, the twenty-nine-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 final here in Chicago to reclaim the top ranking.
Farag’s title win is the twenty-second 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 comes just eleven days after the birth of his 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,” Farag said. “Chicago’s definitely becoming my favorite 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 honor. 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.”
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, which amounts to over $64,000.