It’s finals night at the El Gouna International Squash Open, with the second Platinum titles of 2021, following March’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open, being won tonight.
The women’s final sees the top two in the world go head-to-head, as Nour El Sherbini takes on Nouran Gohar, before Mohamed ElShorbagy and Paul Coll do battle for the men’s crown.
You can catch all the action live from the Conference & Culture Centre on SquashTV (all countries), the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian sub-continent only) and multiple broadcasters around the world.
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local – GMT+2)
There will be a new name on the women’s trophy at the El Gouna International, as World No.1 Nour El Sherbini takes on World No.2 Nouran Gohar for the title.
The pair have met on 14 occasions on the PSA World Tour, and the ‘Warrior Princess’ holds a handsome 11-3 advantage. She has also claimed victory in each of the three finals the pair have faced off in, including at the CIB Egyptian Open earlier this season.
El Sherbini had an easy ride through the event up to the semi-final point, having only played two matches, due to Yathreb Adel withdrawing from their round three encounter before they even took to the court. The World No.1 downed Farida Mohamed prior to that, before getting the better of English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in convincing style in the quarters. She then had to fight her way past Hania El Hammamy in the last four, beating her fellow Egyptian in a five-game thriller.
Despite playing a match more than her opponent, Gohar has spent just eight minutes more on court, dropping just a single game throughout the event. That came in the quarter-finals against compatriot Rowan Elaraby, and even then, it was a tie-break. En route to the final, she has defeated Zeina Mickawy, Sivasangari Subramaniam and World No.5 Amanda Sobhy, all in straight games.
As well as being the top two in the World Rankings, they are also the top two on the SquashLevels Power Ratings. Their algorithms suggest El Sherbini has a 72% likelihood of winning, but it will go to five.
El Sherbini has good memories of El Gouna, having won the World Championship here in 2017. Can she take another title by the Red Sea? Or will Gohar add the El Gouna International to her growing list of major titles?
The men’s final pits World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy against World No.4 Paul Coll, with the latter aiming to secure a first major crown.
The pair have met seven times on Tour prior to this final, with ElShorbagy having secured the win in six of those. Coll’s only victory over the ‘Beast from Alexandria’ came in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in 2020. They have never done battle in a final before.
ElShorbagy has spent longer on court than Coll, perhaps surprisingly, and has dropped four games en route to the final. He got the better of Greg Lobban and Baptiste Masotti in the early rounds, before a dramatic match with Joel Makin in the last eight saw a venue change, 80 minute delay and eventually a five-game epic. ‘The Beast’ then downed fellow Alexandrian Fares Dessouky in four-games in the semi-finals to reach the final.
Coll on the other hand, has averaged just 51 minutes per match so far in El Gouna, culminating in a tactical masterclass against ‘the Viper’ Tarek Momen in the semi-finals on Thursday night. Prior to that, he downed two other Egyptians, in Youssef Soliman and former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, along with beating Frenchman Victor Crouin in the last 16.
Due to Coll’s imperious form through this tournament, he sits in the #2 spot on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, while ElShorbagy is the #4. The algorithm suggests a 3-2 win for the Kiwi, but it should be close.
Will Coll break that major duck at the fourth time of asking? Or will ElShorbagy add title number 43 to his ever-growing resume?