The opening day of the 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family saw USA’s Shahjahan Khan complete a comeback from 2-0 down against Scotland’s Alan Clyne under the chandeliers of the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall.
The PSA World Championships is the first PSA World Tour event to be held in the United States since the Windy City Open took place in Chicago in March, 2020 – which was prior to the COVID-19 enforced suspension of the tour – and Khan ensured that it would be a memorable day for the home crowd.
The Pakistan-born World No.51 looked as though he was heading for a quick-fire 3-0 defeat as Clyne got off the mark first to power into the lead. However, the 26-year-old soon settled into his rhythm and was able to turn things around from the third onwards as he completed a 4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 victory to reach the second round of the World Championships for the first time.
“I’ve played Alan before in El Gouna and I beat him before in four, but it was tough,” said Khan.
“I think I was a bit nervous in the first two games, I couldn’t find my rhythm but as the match went on, but I got there.”
Khan will play Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the next round after he defeated 2010 World Championship runner-up James Willstrop by a 3-1 margin.
Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen got his title defence under way with a 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 victory over Pakistan’s Azim Khan. It was a tentative start by the World No.3, but he refocused from the second game onwards to complete the win.
“I haven’t travelled in a long time, but I’ve also been lucky to spend so much time at home because we just had a baby six months ago and it was really enjoyable for me to spend so much time with him and not be travelling so much,” said Momen.
“But I’m happy to finally make it here after a year and a half.”
Elsewhere, World No.1 Ali Farag – who won the 2018-19 PSA World Championships in Chicago at Union Station – made a winning start against USA’s Faraz Khan, while Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann upset men’s US No.1 Todd Harrity to claim his first World Championships victory.
In the women’s event, the host nation’s No.1 player – World No.7 Amanda Sobhy – earned a win on day one as she beat England’s Jasmine Hutton 11-8, 11-1, 11-3 in 23 minutes.
This season’s World Championships marks the first time that 12 USA players have competed at squash’s pinnacle tournament and Sobhy is proud to be part of this wave of American talent.
“I think it’s amazing, it’s a testament to the rise of squash in the US,” the Philadelphia-based 28-year-old said.
“To have 12 US players in the World Champs is phenomenal and to be back playing the biggest tournament of our season on home soil after 16 months is such a relief. To have the home crowd here cheering for us US players, it means so much and I’m looking forward to keep progressing at the tournament.”
Sobhy will be joined in the last 32 by World No.1 and reigning women’s World Champion Nour El Sherbini, who kicked off her attempts to win a fifth World Championship crown with a comfortable 3-0 victory against USA’s Haley Mendez.
“I have many good memories here and it’s good to be back at a big tournament in Chicago,” said El Sherbini, who won the Windy City Open at the University Club of Chicago 16 months ago.
“Playing at this venue and on this court is special and I’m really happy with how I played in my first round. I’m looking forward to the next one. Her family are my billets when I go to Brooklyn, so I have a good relationship with the whole family.”
World No.20 Olivia Fiechter was the other US player to prevail on day one as she defeated France’s Enora Villard, while World No.5 Hania El Hammamy also tasted success with a comfortable win against Serbia’s Jelena Dutina.
Round one of the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family continues tomorrow (July 15) and play starts at 11:30 (GMT-5). Action from the glass court inside Cathedral Hall will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan) while the side court matches will be shown live on Facebook and the PSA SQUASHTV YouTube channel.
Results – First Round: Men’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-7 (17m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 (54m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (48m)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Aditya Jagtap (IND) 3-1: 11-2, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3 (38m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-6 (45m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (38m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (32m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 14-12, 11-7 (34m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (32m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) 3-1: 11-2, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5 (33m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt  James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (61m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (77m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (106m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Asim Khan (PAK) 3-1: 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 (32m)
Draw – Men’s First Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 15th
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
Nathan Lake (ENG) v Victor Crouin (FRA)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v Alfredo Avila (MEX)
[I] Aly Hussein (EGY) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v Bernat Jaume (ESP)
Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (MAS) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v Arturo Salazar (MEX)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Joel Makin (WAL) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Chris Hanson (USA) v Patrick Rooney (ENG)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Draw – Men’s Second Round (Top Half): To Be Played July 16th
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) v  Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v  Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v Shahjahan Khan (USA)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Results – First Round: Women’s 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (20m)
Emilia Soini (FIN) bt  Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)
 Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (23m)
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7 (55m)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (18m)
 Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (ITA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3, 11-2 (16m)
 Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Vanessa Chu (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (33m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-1, 11-3 (23m)
 Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (35m)
 Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt Marina Stefanoni (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (25m)
 Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (25m)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (24m)
 Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (33m)
Tze Lok Ho (HKG) bt  Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (37m)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Jelena Dutina (SRB) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 (14m)
Draw – Women’s First Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played July 15th
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Lee Ka Yi (HKG)
Lily Taylor (ENG) v  Donna Lobban (AUS)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Nadia Pfister (SUI)
Cindy Merlo (SUI) v  Olivia Clyne (USA)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Georgia Adderley (SCO)
Ali Loke (WAL) v  Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v Marie Stephan (FRA)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Karina Tyma (POL)
[I] Lucie Stefanoni (USA) v  Emily Whitlock (WAL)
 Farida Mohamed (EGY) v Rachel Arnold (MAS)
Menna Nasser (EGY) v  Nadine Shahin (EGY)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v Nikki Todd (CAN)
Anna Serme (CZE) v  Lucy Turmel (ENG)
 Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Hana Moataz (EGY)
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Second Round (Top Half): To Be Played July 16th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emilia Soini (FIN)
 Olivia Fiechter (USA) v  Tinne Gilis (BEL)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v  Melissa Alves (FRA)
 Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Nada Abbas (EGY)
 Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v  Hollie Naughton (CAN)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) v  Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
Tze Lok Ho (HKG) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)