The 2016 / 2017 PSA World Series has seen some outstanding Squash players that are impressing crowds and fellow Squash players with their gameplay during competition. While there have been some surprise shutouts as well as some shocking victories and losses, the opening tournaments have been exciting.
Now as we close in on the midway point of the season, let’s take a look at some of the most impressive performers of the opening PSA tournaments.
We would be remiss if we did not mention Mohamed ElShorbagy in our list of impressive players of the PSA World Series.
While the Number 1 ranked Squash player had some shadowy gameplay such as his defeat during the final in Qatar in November and his nearly immediate loss during the M100 Channel VAS Championship, where he did not advance, ElShorbagy’s defeats may have been a precursor to better things. As the most popular player in Squash, Mohamed plays with an intensity and skill that often puts his opponents who are not prepared mentally, off their game.
Now we are looking towards the PSA World Series title in Dubai to see if ElShorbagy can walk off with the prize or if his dominance in Squash may be swiped away by a new victor.
2016 has certainly been a year to remember for Camille Serme of France, as she became the very first Frenchwoman to win the U.S. Open crown in October of 2016.
This 27-year-old player made history and was on fire as she blazed a path towards victory in Philadelphia. She beat out the Number 1 ranked Nour El Sherbini in an incredible final game that showcased the skills of each of these amazing players. This sealed up her ninth career title.
This historic match was not a sure thing at first, as Serme was beaten during the quarters at the Hong Kong Open by Nicol David. However, the Road to Dubai still ranks her as lead due to her consistent displays of court dominance and reliability on the court.
We are definitely keeping an eye on Camille Serme and seeing what 2017 has in store for this impressive Squash player.
Nick Matthew, the hard-to-beat English Squash player is a three-time World Open champ and is always incredible to watch during gameplay. Pushing 37 years old in 2017, it is difficult to believe he has aged a year as he plays with quick and sleek moves of a player 10 years younger.
He went toe to toe with Mohamed ElShorbagy during the semifinals at the Qatar Classic but was beaten in the fifth — he reached the U.S. Open final and looked good to win it, but after carving out a huge lead against ElShorbagy, he had to retire during the deciding game because of a hamstring injury.
Age has not slowed Matthew down but with some setbacks during the Qatar Classic and U.S. Open final, he is looking forward to the UAE in May 2017, where he can prove his skills on the court once again and possibly come away with the prize.
Karim Abdel Gawad
With a world title victory in November and a series of devastating performances on the PSA World Series, 25-year-old Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad reached the finals in Hong Kong as well as the semi-finals of the U.S. Open. One of Gawad’s most impressive moments occurred in November at the Qatar Classic where he beat Mohamed ElShorbagy in straight sets. Beating the No 1 ranked player is no easy feat, and Gawad has been consistently impressing with his skills on the circuit in many 2016 tournaments.
We are looking forward to seeing him during the second half of the PSA World Series, as his performances are very promising for the year ahead.
Rising Star: Nouran Gohar
With gameplay unlike most 19-year-olds, Nouran Gohar of Egypt has without a doubt proven that she can hold her own on the courts of major tournaments. Beating out Laura Massaro, Amanda Sobhy, and Nicol David (who went on to beat Camille Serme, who late won the U.S. Open), on the way to China, young Gohar captured her first World Series title in Hong Kong.
During the U.S. Open, she was defeated by Amanda Sobhy in the quarters but her game was well-executed, impressive, and determined. This is something she should certainly take pride in. 2017 will be an exciting year for this rising star and we are looking forward to seeing what tournament she will make waves in next.