Not only is squash one of the more difficult and exacting court sports in the world, but when it comes to the players, women are every bit as skillful and dominating on the court. In fact, many of our favorite players in squash, here at squashracket.net are the veteran and up-and-coming ladies showing their incredible gameplay from around the world.
According to the Professional Squash Association, the Women’s PSA World Squash Rankings as of February 2017 lists 21-year-old Nour El Sherbini as the Number 1 ranked female player in the world. This spot is well-deserved as you will read throughout this article, so take a look at this young player’s accomplishments and get to know El Sherbini better — after all, she is the next generation of world class players.
Nour El Sherbini
One of the most exciting players of the 2016 / 2017 squash tournament year has been the relative newcomer, Nour El Sherbini. In April of 2016, El Sherbini became the youngest ever women’s world champion, when she defeated Laura Massaro in the final of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship in Malaysia. The record was previously held by Susan Devoy who had won in 1985.
This 21 year old phenom joined the PSA in 2009 and has been tearing a path to the top of the rankings in an incredible show of mature playing, determination, and skill. Born in Alexandria, Egypt on November 1, 1995, El Sherbini plays out of the Smouha Club and continues to reside in Alexandria. This right handed player’s squash sponsor is Tecnifibre and she used a Tecnifibre Carboflex 130 on the court as she played her way to the top. She may switch to the new Carboflex 130 S model that has succeeded the 130, but we will have to see.
All we know is that her journey began as soon as she joined the PSA. In June of 2009, she was the runner-up in the Miro Classic No1 and became the youngest ever WSA Tour finalist at only age 13 years and 7 months. From there, she never stopped.
As 2009 went on, she won the World Junior title at 13 — becoming the youngest winning world champion ever; and she win the WISPA Young Player of the Year award. In 2011, she won the Alexandria International Open — becoming the first Under-16 to win two WISPA Tour titles.
2012 and 2013 saw El Sherbini reach the finals of the British Open (and became the event’s youngest ever finalist at 14); won more awards for her breakthrough performances; became the first player to win the World Junior Championship for the third time; and she beat Habiba Mohamed in the World Junior Championship semi-finals to become the first player to ever appear in 4 World Junior titles. In 2014, El Sherbini became the youngest player to reach the World Championship final and was the first unseeded player for over 20 years.
If her incredible, breakthrough entry into the competition tier of squash as such a young age wasn’t impressive enough, El Sherbini moved onto the court in competition with the world’s finest adult squash players — and what happened? She has been blazing a path ever since.
2016 and Beyond
2016 has been one of the most incredible displays we have seen out of a squash player in a long time, and El Sherbini has an impressive list of accomplishments. In April of 2016, once again, Nour El Sherbini became the youngest player and first Egyptian to win the women’s World Championship. In May, she became the second youngest women’s world Number 1 of all time — she is only 4 months older than Susan Devoy who is still the youngest No1 of all time.
She also has a surging fanbase and has earned the respect of competitors and professionals. In May 2016 she won the 2015/2016 “PSA Player of the Year” and the “Fans Player of the Season” awards. She may very well take these honors again for her incredible displays in the 2016/2017 season as well.
When you take a look at Nour El Sherbini’s event history, it is clear that this is a player who does not give up — pushing herself to the highest spot on the PSA ranks, Nour has consistently fought her way as a runner-up, semi-finalist, and winner in nearly all of her PSA World Series tour events. Simply put — if Nour El Sherbini of Egypt is entering a competition, you can expect to see her rise to the top.
As far as squash players go, it is exciting knowing that Nour El Sherbini has a long future ahead of her in the PSA, and at only 21 years of age, she has been a player of many “firsts” for her age and her country — and it will be exciting to continue covering this young player’s journey across the globe as she smashes records and becomes better and better at her craft with every single match she plays and every title she earns.
What to Expect Next
After playing the world’s greatest players from January 2016 to January 2017, El Sherbini has won a lot more matches than she has lost. Appearing everywhere around the globe for events, El Sherbini has most recently beaten Joey Chan, Nicol David, and Salma Hany Ibrahim during the Tournament of Champions in January in the US. She reached the semi-finals but lost to Camille Serme, who went onto win the event along with Karim Abdel Gawad.
In March, you can expect to see El Sherbini at the Windy City Open event in Chicago, Illinois. Nour will be playing against a yet-unknown qualifier but will be playing side by side with squashes best players (and regular competition opponents), including: Nicol David, Alison Waters, Camille Serme, Raneem El Welily, Laura Massaro, Sarah-Jane Perry, and Nouran Gohar. All of whom are on the Top 10 highest ranking women squash players.
It will certainly be a great event to watch.
The $150,000 Women’s Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Windy City Open 2017 will take place at the University Club of Chicago in Illinois from: February 21 to March 1, 2017.