Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0  Joel Makin (WAL) 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 (69m)
 Nour El Sherbini3-1  Joelle King (NZL) 6-11, 11-8, 16-14, 13-11 (55m)
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) February 20, 2022
“I would say it was my best performance of the tournament, because I had to raise my level. If I played Joel in the semis, I would have probably had to raise my level the same way. He was the only top 8 player in the tournament. And so, when you play to win with two top eight players going against each other you have to raise your level anyway. So I was expecting to do that.
“I think I was really focused on court, I didn’t really lose much focus during the match. And that’s what I was really proud of today and take that as a positive into next week to Chicago definitely.
To be out for four months and come back in your first event, I definitely didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning of the event, losing the first game of the event that I played, and then to be able to win all the games after that was good to see from me.
“I’m really proud of how I performed here. It’s been a good week for me to, to win like this. I think I came into the final playing Joel, in my head I I wanted to win, but I wanted to try and win three-love as well. To kind of send a message that I’m trying to come back again. I’m definitely going for the number one spot.
“I want to go for it another time in my career. I know I have it in me and I know I can do it. And that’s why I went away for four months because I needed to put the work in and I needed to study the players and know how I’m going to respond and still very, very early stages. It’s only the first event and there are so many other players I need to beat to go to World No.1. So let’s see, but I’m really, really excited.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0  Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 13-11, 11-6 retired (35m)
 Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1  Youssef Soliman 11-8, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6 (80m)
 Nour El Sherbini 3-1  Nour El Tayeb 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8 (42m)
Nour El Sherbini said
“It’s amazing to see Nour play like this again. It’s the second tournament for her, and the second time in the two months we’ve played each other and this time she improved on the last time we played. I’m really happy to see her play and I’m really happy that we’re having these kind of battles again and I hope she keeps going and we can play more matches like this.
“Tomorrow will definitely be another tough match. Joelle is always one of the best players. It’s been a long time since we’ve played against each other but I’ll definitely try to recover and prepare for the final tomorrow.
Mohamed ElShorbagy said
“It’s only the second time my career my opponent has retired, even though I have been on tour for so many years. I think the first time it happened was in 2009, so it’s been 13 years and I definitely don’t want to go through like that.
“I told him after the match that he was a beast, to be honest, because he played the Spanish National final against Baja and then the day after he flew here and arrived the day before he started his first match and then made the semis through tough matches.
“He showed his character and showed how tough he is. I think he has a lot of potential to do really well in the future, if he has the right people around him, I told him that after the match. He definitely took the game to me to the backhand side, he was holding me very well and taking me short in the first game and had that lead at 10-8, it’s just experience here and there.
“I’ve been doing quite well to win the big points in this event so far and my experience has been getting me through but tomorrow I play a very different animal, one of only two top eight players in this tournament. So when I play these big points tomorrow that means it’s going to be a different idea. But it’s gonna be a fight and I’m looking forward to it.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0  Omar Mosaad 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (45m)
 Youssef Soliman 3-0  Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (31m)
 Nour El Sherbini 3-0  Nele Gilis (BEL) 11-5, 11-1, 11-6 (25m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-2 Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)
CIB Nour El Tayeb staged a spectacular comeback at the Squash On Fire Open to reach her first semi final since returning to the PSA World Tour.
El Tayeb, playing in only her second tournament since the 2020 Egyptian Open after giving birth last summer, found herself in hot water after going two games down against an energised Sivasangari Subramaniam. The Egyptian, though, while still not back to her devastating best, was able to force her way back into the match with a hard-fought 11-6 win in the third game.
After El Tayeb raced into a 6-1 lead in the fourth game, Subramaniam threw everything at her opponent in an attempt to finish the match before a fifth.
This charge from the Malaysian initially rattled the No.3 seed, and with the scores level at 9-9 the game, and match, felt on a knife edge. Eventually, though, it was El Tayeb who held her nerve and the former World No.3 levelled the tie with an 11-9 win, which she followed up with a swift 11-4 fifth-game victory against an exhausted Subramaniam to complete the comeback.
Speaking after the match, El Tayeb, who will face World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the semi final, said:
“I’m happy to come back, and literally in the match! I’m taking it one point at a time and trying to do my best every point. This is my mindset since I’ve come back on tour, and I think it helped me a lot today that at 2-0 down I didn’t think I was out of the tournament.
“I can’t say I’m back to form, I can see a lot of areas where I’m not back to where I was, but I think I’m improving at a very nice pace, and I’m enjoying the improvements.
“I didn’t think, coming into this tournament, that I was going to win two matches, to be honest. But to be in the semis of a Bronze event, I’m very proud of myself.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-1 Patrick Rooney (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8 (57m)
 Omar Mosaad 3-0 Todd Harrity (USA) 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 (42m)
 Youssef Soliman3-1 Declan James (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10 (61m)
 Nour El Sherbini 3-1 Farida Mohamed 15-13, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 (43m)
 Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Nada Abbas 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (29m)
[9/16] Lucy Turmel (Eng) 3-2  Nadine Shahin 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (54m)
Former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy made his long-awaited return and five seeded players crashed out before the quarter finals on a day of surprises at the Squash On Fire Open. Squash fans had been eagerly awaiting the return of ElShorbagy, who has not played on the PSA World Tour since a second round defeat at the QTerminals Qatar Classic in October of last year.
Early on inside the Squash On Fire club, which sits above an active fire station, there were alarm bells ringing for the ElShorbagy comeback when England’s World No.28 Patrick Rooney earned a shock one-game lead on the back of his impressive power at the front.
In an epic third game in which both players had opportunities to win, it was ElShorbagy who was eventually able to break through, with the Egyptian taking the game 15-13.
Notes from Fram:
Mohamed was down 1/0 and 7/2 in the second. He looked a bit slow and not mentally completely switched on, looking on the floor a lot, which is for him not a good focus sign. Suddenly, feeling the danger at that point, he started vocally pushing himself, and I could hear Basma’s voice in my head “Yalla MHamed”. I’m sure he heard it too…
Although Rooney continued to fight hard in the fourth, ElShorbagy was able to keep him at arm’s length and close out the tie in 57 minutes with an 11-8 win, to set up a quarter final match with No.6 seed Omar Mosaad.
What Mohamed said:
“I felt really burned out at the end of last season, from all the years. And I felt like I need to step away a little bit and tell myself to take a step away and give myself a break, to rethink what I need to do what I need to work on.
“I’m really happy to be back again, happy to be part of battles, battles like I had today, and I’m just really glad to be back in the tournament mode again.
“When I was down, I had to tell myself that I need to find a way, in situations like this, to win and I had to turn the match into a bit of a dogfight.”Round One
[WC] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0 Moustafa El Sirty 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (25m)
[9/16] Farida Mohamed 3-0 Lui Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (23m)
[9/16] Nada Abbas 3-0 Anna Serme (CZE) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (27m)
Former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy is set to make his return to the PSA World Tour – four months after playing in his last PSA match – following the release of the draw for the 2022 Squash On Fire Open, which will be played in Washington, D.C between February 16-20.
The World No.3, who last played in the the second round of the Qatar QTerminals Classic in October 2021, was expected to return from an extended break at the Houston Open earlier this month, but was denied at the last minute due to a positive COVID-19 result prior to the event beginning.
Instead, the 31-year-old will return to the competitive scene in the U.S. capital, where he is seeded first for the PSA World Tour Bronze tournament. Meanwhile, ElShorbagy’s fellow Egyptian and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini is the top seed for the women’s event.
After receiving a first-round bye, ElShorbagy is seeded to meet England’s Patrick Rooney, No.7 seed Omar Mosaad, and Malaysian No.4 seed Eain Yow Ng en route to the final, where a showdown with Welsh World No.8 and No.2 seed Joel Makin likely awaits.
In the women’s draw, Nour El Sherbini is expected to meet New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King in the final.