Egyptian duo Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El Sherbini have been named as the March PSA Players of the Month after a sensational recent run of form for both players, culminating in success at the prestigious Allam British Open just last week.
World No.1 Elshorbagy began his month in dominant fashion when he defeated long-time rival and defending champion Nick Matthew to lift the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company title in Chicago.
The man from Alexandria has been the man to beat so far this season and cemented his status as the sport’s number one player after scything through the field to eliminate Scotland’s Alan Clyne, compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar and Germany’s Simon Rösner, with only the latter being able to take a single game off the 25-year-old.
‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez was the next player to be put to the sword by Elshorbagy, before he moved on to face Matthew in a repeat of the previous year’s final in which the Englishman triumphed. Things were different this time though as Elshorbagy’s relentless pace eventually forced Matthew into submission and ‘The Wolf’ retired at 2-0 down to hand the title to his Egyptian counterpart.
Even greater things were to come for Elshorbagy a matter of weeks later as he retained his British Open crown in superb style in Hull’s Airco Arena.
He eased past Nicolas Mueller in round one before exacting revenge on James Willstrop, who had eliminated Elshorbagy from the World Championship just four month’s previously. Rodriguez and Karim Abdel Gawad then fell to the number one seed – ensuring that he would lock horns with fellow countryman Ramy Ashour, who boasted a four-match unbeaten run over Bristol-based Elshorbagy, in the final.
Elshorbagy was in fine fettle throughout the 28-minute encounter and gave Ashour very little chance to attack as he closed out the win in straight games to win the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ for a second year on the bounce and extend his run of consecutive World Series titles to five.
Meanwhile, El Sherbini’s month also began with a series of strong displays at the Windy City Open, only to be halted by Egyptian No.1 Raneem El Welily in the final.
The 20-year-old racked up stunning wins over eight-time world champion Nicol David and World No.1 Laura Massaro en route to the final and took the opening game against El Welily before ultimately coming up short.
Up next for El Sherbini was a trip to Hull for the British Open and she opened up with comfortable wins against Nicolette Fernandes and Liu Tsz-Ling.
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy, the woman El Sherbini beat to lift the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions crown two months ago, went down in three in the quarter-final stage before El Sherbini made it four successive wins over former World No.1 David in the semi-final.
Standing between El Sherbini and the prestigious British Open title was 18-year-old World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar and the pair engaged in a dramatic five-game contest in front of a captivated crowd. El Sherbini edged it to become the first ever Egyptian winner of the iconic title and the second youngest winner at just 20 years of age after New Zealand’s Susan Devoy in 1984 – ensuring her place as World No.2 in the April rankings.