The Guggenheim Partners & Equitrust Windy City Squash Open 2017 is currently taking place in Chicago, US. Seven Egyptians competed in the round of 16: Mohamed Abouelghar, Karim Abdel Gawad, Fares Dessouky, Mohamed El-Shorbagy, Marwan El-Shorbagy, Ali Farag, and Ramy Ashour.
Abouelghar exited the tournament after he lost to England’s James Willstrop 3-1 (11-4/11-8/8-11/13-11).
After a 70 minutes match, Willstrop commented, “coming into the match I wasn’t certain if I had enough energy in the tank. I pulled out of the British Nationals with injury, but I think I answered those questions and hopefully I have enough in the tank to back up tomorrow and come out ready for whoever I’m playing.”
Ramy Ashour was another Egyptian who exited the tournament after he lost to German
Simon Rösner 3-1 (11-6/11-8/6-11/11-3).
After his victory, Rösner said, “you never know what to expect from him, he is such a unique player. I think he played well today but I managed to keep him away from the centre of the court and it was one of those days where you step on court and have a good feeling.”
Mohamed El-Shorbagy—ranked first internationally and champion of the 2016 Windy City—qualified for the quarterfinals after he defeated Mexican César Salazar 3-0 (11-9/11-6/11-8). El-Shorgaby managed to take revenge against his rival, since last time both met—at the 2017 Motor City Squash Open’s first round in January—El-Shorbagy exited the tournament after suffering a defeat against the Mexican player. El-Shorbagy expressed “I am happy to win, and to be playing the quarterfinals of a World Series event is always a big thing.”
Furthermore, after a 63 minute match Marwan El-Shorbagy managed to reach the quarterfinals thanks to his victory against South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger. The score was 3-2 (11-4/9-11/12-10/4-11/11-6). El-Shorbagy commented on the match, saying “it was a really really tough match, and to be honest, I do not know how I won this one.”
Ali Farag is another Egyptian who qualified for the quarterfinals. He won against Peru’s Diego Elias by 3-2 (6-11/11-9/5-11/11-6/11-6). Farag expressed “I want to thank my wife Nour, because without her tonight, there is no way I would have won.”
Karim Abdel Gawad met his compatriot Fares Dessouky in the round of 16. The victory went to Abdel Gawad—ranked the second internationally—where the score was 3-1 (11-6/10-12/11-8/11-9).
At the quarterfinals, which are taking place on 27 February (CST), Mohamed El-Shorbagy is meeting his brother Marwan. Last time both met was at the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’ quarterfinals in January, where Mohamed won 3-0 (11-7/11-7/11-5).
Abdel Gawad is playing Spain’s Borja Golán, while Farag is facing Rösner in his quarterfinal match.
Concerning the female competition, Nour El-Sherbini, Raneem El-Welily, and Nouran Gohar were the Egyptian players who qualified for the quarterfinals.
El-Sherbini—ranked first internationally—defeated England’s Victoria Lust by 3-0 (11-2/11-7/11-8) in the round of 16.
El-Welily—ranked third internationally and the champion of 2016 Windy City Open—qualified for the quarterfinals after she beat Hong Kong’s Annie Au, 3-1 (11-8/8-11/11-4/11-7).
After her win, El-Welily said “Annie is a great player, her game plan was really hard to break today, it took me a lot of mental energy and strength, I tried and stayed as consistent as possible.”
Gohar is another Egyptian female champion who made it to the quarterfinals after she defeated England’s Sarah-Jane Perry. Despite Perry winning the first game 11-6, Gohar turned the table by winning the following three games 11-9, 11-9, and 11-6, respectively, swinging the match into her favour and winning 3-1.
In this regard, Gohar said, “it was a big battle, she is in-form at the moment and I’d never beaten her before.”
At the women’s quarterfinals, also taking place on 27 February, El-Sherbini is meeting Malaysia’s Nicol David, while El-Welily is meeting US’ Amanda Sobhy, and Gohar is playing against England’s Laura Massaro.