2022-23 PSA Women’s World Tour Highlights

July 05 2023

The curtains have fallen on the 2022-23 PSA World Tour season, leaving behind an astounding legacy of 33 PSA World Tour events that enthralled spectators. This season showcased a remarkable cast of 20 exceptional players, each leaving an indelible mark by clinching championship titles.

Throughout this awe-inspiring season, fans were treated to an unparalleled exhibition of skill, resilience, and sheer determination, with captivating matches and unforgettable performances that will be etched in the annals of the sport.

As the PSA reflects upon another record-breaking season, it's time to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding individuals who shone as the true luminaries of the PSA Women's World Tour.

With a burning desire to ascend to the pinnacle of the PSA World Rankings, Hania El Hammamy of Egypt entered the season with high expectations. The formidable competitor, known as "The Leopard," wasted no time making her mark, clinching the first women's Platinum event of the season, the Egyptian Open, in a captivating four-game final against Nouran Gohar.

Although she encountered an early exit at the U.S. Open, falling to Sabrina Sobhy, El Hammamy swiftly staged a triumphant return in the subsequent Platinum event, the Hong Kong Open. Displaying her prowess, she conquered both Gohar and El Sherbini, claiming the title and edging closer to the coveted World No.1 spot.

Regrettably, El Hammamy struggled to capitalize on her promising position in the ensuing events, facing disappointment at both the New York Open and the Black Ball Open. Additionally, she suffered a quarter-final defeat to Amanda Sobhy at the British Open. However, she demonstrated resilience at the World Championships, although falling short in a gruelling encounter against Nouran Gohar in the semi-finals.

The intense rivalry between El Hammamy and Gohar persisted in the following events, resurfacing once again in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International. In an astonishing clash lasting a record-breaking 107 minutes, Gohar emerged victorious, securing her triumph in what now stands as the lengthiest four-game women's match in PSA tour history.

Their epic encounter continued in the final of the PSA World Tour Finals, capturing headlines with its fiercely contested nature. In a tense battle, both players exchanged powerful blows, ultimately culminating in Gohar's triumph after a gruelling 130-minute encounter. This historic match now stands as the longest women's match ever recorded in PSA history.

Although concluding the season as World No.3, El Hammamy experiences a mix of emotions. While she had opportunities to narrow the gap between herself and the top-ranked duo of Gohar and El Sherbini, her impressive tally of two Platinum titles and several close calls against World No.1 Gohar indicate her potential to challenge for the top spot in the upcoming season.

PSA World Tour Titles Won: 2
PSA World Tour Finals Reached: 5
PSA World Tour Matches Played: 41
PSA World Tour Titles Matches Won: 33 (80.5%)

Egypt's Nouran Gohar had an exceptional season, showcasing incredible consistency as she emerged victorious in six out of ten finals, only experiencing five losses across 11 events. Her dominance earned her the prestigious World No.1 ranking.

Gohar kicked off the season with a Gold event title, confidently securing the South Western Women's Open in Houston, setting the stage for her successful campaign. She then participated in three Platinum events in 2022, clinching one (the U.S. Open), finishing as the runner-up in another (the Egyptian Open), and reaching the semifinals of the Hong Kong Open. Notably, her losses came at the hands of Hania El Hammamy, a player she encountered seven times throughout the season.

At the turn of the year, Gohar reached the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions but unfortunately had to retire due to a wrist injury, leading to Nour El Sherbini claiming the title. However, Gohar swiftly rebounded, securing back-to-back titles at the Gaynor Cup and Black Ball Open, demonstrating exceptional form by dropping a mere three games across both events.

Despite her formidable performances, Gohar faced a familiar adversary in Nour El Sherbini during the pinnacle events of the season. El Sherbini delivered masterclass performances, defeating Gohar in the finals of both the British Open and PSA World Championships. Gohar's quest for the elusive World title would have to wait for another year.

In true Gohar fashion, she finished the season on a high note, capturing the El Gouna International title with a convincing 3-0 victory over surprise finalist Nele Gilis. She followed up this triumph with a remarkable win at the PSA World Tour Finals, engaging in a grueling battle against Hania El Hammamy that lasted a staggering 130 minutes—the longest women's match in PSA history. Gohar emerged victorious with a thrilling 12-10 victory in the fifth game.

With her exceptional season drawing to a close, Nouran Gohar's unwavering performance and string of victories solidified her position as one of the sport's leading figures, leaving fans eagerly anticipating her future accomplishments.

PSA World Tour Titles Won: 6
PSA World Tour Finals Reached: 10
PSA World Tour Matches Played: 52
PSA World Tour Titles Matches Won: 47 (90.3%)

Nour El Sherbini, the reigning World Champion and World No.2, experienced a season filled with ups and downs. Her journey was marked by a mix of triumphs and setbacks. She faced an early exit in the semi-finals of the Egyptian Open, falling to Hania El Hammamy. In the U.S. Open final, she was unable to overcome Nouran Gohar, settling for second place.

Nour El Sherbini's first victory of the season came in Switzerland, where she had to battle fiercely against her compatriots Rowan Elaraby and El Hammamy to claim the title. However, El Hammamy got her revenge in the subsequent event in Hong Kong, leaving El Sherbini with another runner-up finish.

The Egyptian champion returned to her winning ways in New York at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions. She defeated Hania El Hammamy in the semi-finals and capitalized on a retirement due to injury by top seed Nouran Gohar to secure the title.

While the Black Ball Open yielded a disappointing result for El Sherbini, she experienced a resurgence in the following tournaments. She triumphed in the British Open, securing her fourth title, and displayed her dominance by recording a convincing 3-0 victory against Nouran Gohar in the final. El Sherbini's success continued at the PSA World Championships, where she claimed her seventh title after defeating Gohar once again in a commanding 3-0 fashion. This remarkable achievement propelled El Sherbini back to the World No.1 ranking, a position she had last held in March 2022.

Unfortunately, El Sherbini couldn't maintain her form in the final two events of the season. She suffered a defeat in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International at the hands of Belgium's Nele Gilis, resulting in her losing the World No.1 spot to Gohar once again. In the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, Gohar emerged victorious over El Sherbini in the semi-finals, further solidifying her higher standing in the rankings.

Overall, El Sherbini's season was characterized by a mix of achievements and setbacks, showcasing her resilience and competitive spirit. While she faced some challenges, her impressive performances in major tournaments highlighted her status as one of the top players in women's squash.

PSA World Tour Titles Won: 4
PSA World Tour Finals Reached: 6
PSA World Tour Matches Played: 44
PSA World Tour Titles Matches Won: 36 (86%)

Amina Orfi was undoubtedly, one of the most promising players of the 2022-23. The squash aficionados had their eyes on her ever since she emerged victorious in the 2022 World Junior Championship. Since then, she has been making waves on the PSA World Tour with her remarkable performances.

In the CIB Egyptian Open, Orfi demonstrated her tenacity, pushing Sabrina Sobhy to the limit in a thrilling 3-2 defeat. She didn't stop there, though, as she went on to claim three Challenger Tour titles in Jodhpur, Sutton Coldfield, and Delhi, solidifying her presence as a force to be reckoned with.

However, it was the Squash On Fire Open, a PSA World Tour Bronze-level event, where Orfi truly made her mark on the world stage. At the tender age of 15, she astounded everyone in Washington D.C. by toppling established stars of the tour like Lucy Beecroft, Sivasangari Subramaniam, Nada Abbas, and Sabrina Sobhy, earning herself a spot in the final.

Though she ultimately fell short against Tinne Gilis in the final, Orfi shattered any doubts about her ability. Just a few weeks later, she continued her impressive run by storming into the last 16 of the World Championships. Despite a valiant effort, she succumbed to Hania El Hammamy in a hard-fought 3-2 battle, having defeated Ineta Mackevica and Olivia Clyne earlier in the tournament.

The meteoric rise of Amina Orfi in the rankings is nothing short of astonishing. From being ranked World No.429 in August, she has soared to the position of World No.43 today. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is the fact that she is only 16 years old. It comes as no surprise, then, that many are already discussing her potential to become the future World No.1.

In summary, Amina Orfi has emerged as a shining star in the world of squash. Her victories, coupled with her young age and rapid ascent in the rankings, have captivated the attention of fans and experts alike. It is only a matter of time before she etches her name among the greats of the sport.

Nele Gilis, a familiar face in the latter stages of major tournaments, has truly stepped up her game this season, reaching new heights of success.

Gilis commenced her campaign with a flourish, securing the title in just her second tournament of the year at the Open de France. In a dominating fashion, she swept aside her sister Tinne in the final with a flawless 3-0 victory. This triumph set the tone for a consistently impressive season. The Belgian continued her winning streak by conquering the Bronze-level Malaysian Open Squash Championships and reaching the semifinals of the Silver-Level New Zealand Open. Additionally, she claimed victory in the Challenger 30 Australian Open, cementing her reputation as a formidable competitor.

However, it was towards the end of the season that Gilis truly made her mark. The 27-year-old showcased her skill and resilience with a commendable quarterfinal finish at the World Championships. In a stunning upset, she overcame the top-seeded Joelle King at the Manchester Open, earning herself a spot in the final, where she narrowly fell short against Nour El Tayeb.

Nele Gilis saved her most exceptional performance for the final Platinum event of the season, the El Gouna International. With an awe-inspiring 3-0 victory over the seven-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini, she left the home crowd in shock and secured her first-ever Platinum final appearance.

With a career-best ranking of World No.6, the question now arises: can Nele Gilis continue her ascent and break into the top five?

Nele Gilis has taken her squash game to unprecedented heights this season. With notable victories, consistent success, and a remarkable performance against top-ranked players, she has solidified her position among the sport's elite. As she strives to surpass her current accomplishments, it will be intriguing to witness whether she can crack the top five and further establish her dominance on the court.

Nele Gilis of Belgium had a season to remember, as she not only became the highest-ranked Belgian player of all time but also concluded the season as the World No.6. Her remarkable achievements included securing three PSA World Tour titles and reaching the final of two additional events, including the prestigious PSA El Gouna Squash International.

Reflecting on her performance at the El Gouna International, Gilis expressed her astonishment at her accomplishments. She acknowledged feeling a sense of pride in the improvements she has made throughout the season. Reaching the final was an unexpected feat for her, but she took pride in her performance against Nouran Gohar, despite being outplayed on the day. Gilis believes she is steadily closing the gap with the top-ranked players and eagerly anticipates future challenges.

Gilis also discussed the significance of backing up her performances and reaching the later stages of tournaments. Making the semi-finals of a PSA Platinum event was one of her season goals. Though she initially thought it was an unattainable target during the El Gouna tournament, her achievement brought a sense of relief and motivation for subsequent matches, leading to a successful outcome.

At the start of the season, Gilis faced a hip injury that limited her training. However, she used this setback as an opportunity to focus extensively on her short game. Engaging in solo training sessions and static feeding drills enabled her to enhance her confidence and technique in matches. In hindsight, Gilis considers the injury a blessing in disguise.

When asked about her favorite moment of the season, Gilis pointed to her victory over Nour El Sherbini at the PSA El Gouna International. She also highlighted other significant moments such as her French Open final against her sister Tinne. However, defeating El Sherbini, a seven-time world champion, held a special place in her heart.

The PSA Open De France final against her sister Tinne was an emotionally charged event for Gilis. Despite the magnitude of the occasion, they treated it as any other final, displaying their normal demeanor. With their mother in attendance, the atmosphere and crowd added to the unique experience, creating a cherished memory for Gilis.

Looking ahead, Gilis aims to finish in the top five rankings next season. However, she remains focused on taking one tournament at a time and constantly improving her skills. She finds excitement in the realisation that there is still room for growth and intends to work on refining her game during the summer break.

Reflecting on her best performance of the season, Gilis highlighted her match against Nour El Sherbini. She approached the encounter with a determined mindset, fully aware that she was up against a squash legend. Gilis exhibited unwavering belief in her abilities and played aggressively from the start. Despite facing challenging conditions, she maintained composure and made El Sherbini work hard, hoping for something extraordinary to occur.

Nele Gilis's exceptional season showcases her unwavering dedication, remarkable progress and ambition to constantly improve. Her achievements serve as an inspiration for aspiring squash players and demonstrate her potential to continue making strides in the sport.

Satomi Watanabe, an emerging force in the world of squash, has overcome the initial hurdles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to showcase her remarkable talent this season.

Ranked outside the top 50 at the start of the season, Watanabe, Japan's top-ranked player, has experienced a meteoric rise to the esteemed position of World No.18. Her outstanding performances have left an indelible mark on the squash community and have set the stage for further ascension in the rankings. Notably, she achieved remarkable feats such as reaching the quarterfinals of the highly competitive Platinum-level Hong Kong Squash Open, as well as the semifinals of the prestigious Silver-level Manchester Open and the Bronze-level Carol Weymuller Open.

With such impressive accomplishments under her belt, the question arises: How high can Watanabe soar in the upcoming 2023-2024 season?

Olivia Fiechter, a player known for her ability to achieve remarkable victories, made her mark on the squash world with a noteworthy performance at the 2021 U.S. Open, reaching the semifinals at the prestigious Arlen Specter US Squash Center.

However, this season has witnessed a significant transformation in Fiechter's game, as she consistently displayed her best squash on numerous occasions. This remarkable improvement was duly rewarded with a career-high ranking of World No.7 between March and May.

The American, currently ranked second in the United States, reached an impressive four World Tour finals this season. Despite enduring heart-wrenching defeats in the championship matches of two Bronze events, namely the Malaysian Open and the Carol Weymuller Open, Fiechter's perseverance paid off. She finally lifted her maiden World Tour trophy at the Silver-level DAC Pro Squash Classic, avenging her previous loss to Georgina Kennedy by triumphing over the Englishwoman in the final.

Bolstering her success, Fiechter secured another title at the Bronze-level Chestnut Hill Classic, propelling her towards her long-awaited World Tour Finals debut.

With such commendable achievements to her name, the question arises: Can Fiechter push even further and continue her ascent in the upcoming season?

The 2022/23 season of the women's PSA World Tour delivered its fair share of surprises and upsets, captivating fans with thrilling displays of talent and determination.

In October, the United States' own Sabrina Sobhy achieved a momentous triumph on home soil in Philadelphia. Facing the formidable World No.3, Hania El Hammamy, Sobhy showcased her skills and resilience, securing her most significant win to date and attaining her highest finish in a Platinum event.

Undeterred by a closely contested second game, Sobhy regrouped, delivering crisp and accurate shots in the following games. The match reached a thrilling conclusion in the fourth game, with Sobhy clinching a 62-minute 11-8 13-15 11-7 11-9 victory after El Hammamy's ball narrowly grazed the out-of-court line, much to the delight of the enthusiastic home crowd.

Egypt's prodigious talent and reigning World Junior Champion Amina Orfi established her presence on the world stage. Despite being a mere 15 years old at the time, Orfi had already made a significant impact on the junior squash circuit, triumphing over every opponent in her path. Entering her second PSA World Tour event at the Squash On Fire club in Washington, Orfi's remarkable journey had already seen her secure three consecutive PSA Challenger Tour titles. In a remarkable turn of events, Orfi had to earn her place in the main draw by winning the Wildcard challenge event.

Undeterred by the challenges ahead, Orfi exhibited top-notch form, cruising past England's Lucy Beecroft with a convincing 3-0 victory in the opening round. The young Egyptian then proceeded to upset two seeded players, Sivasangari Subramaniam and Nada Abbas, setting the stage for a semi-final showdown with the formidable Sabrina Sobhy, who had previously defeated Orfi in a five-game battle at the CIB Egyptian Open, marking Orfi's first-ever PSA event.

Determined to avenge her previous loss, Orfi displayed immense skill and resilience, prevailing in a grueling five-game encounter. Although she ultimately fell short in the final against Tinne Gilis, Orfi had undeniably announced her arrival on the World Tour with a resounding statement.

The season showcased the exhilarating unpredictability of squash, with emerging talents toppling established stars and proving their mettle on the grandest stage. These remarkable achievements serve as a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence in the world of women's squash, captivating fans worldwide and leaving us eagerly anticipating the next chapter of the PSA World Tour.

In the culmination of the 2022/23 season, the prestigious El Gouna International Platinum event in Egypt witnessed an extraordinary showdown as players vied to end the season on a high note. Among the competitors, Belgium's rising star, Nele Gilis, was basking in the glory of her best season yet. Her journey to the finals was marked by a remarkable upset, with the No. 4 seed Joelle King falling early to her determined play, enabling Gilis to reach the semi-finals of a Platinum event for the very first time in her promising career.

Awaiting her in the final was none other than the formidable 7-time World Champion, Nour El Sherbini. With a daunting record of five previous encounters resulting in defeat, Gilis faced a monumental challenge. However, she entered the match with an unwavering focus, establishing a brilliant rhythm from the outset. Gilis tactfully applied pressure on El Sherbini, forcing her to engage in extended rallies and capitalise on her opponent's increasing errors.

As the match unfolded, the chinks in El Sherbini's armor began to surface, much to Gilis' delight. The Belgian relentlessly intensified her efforts, refusing to back down. In a gripping second game, Gilis displayed nerves of steel, securing an impressive 11-9 victory. Buoyed by her momentum, she continued to dominate in the third game, ultimately closing-out a commanding 45-minute 11-8 11-9 11-5 victory to seal the most significant triumph of her career.

With this remarkable upset win, Nele Gilis has proven her mettle on the grand stage, cementing her position among the elite players in the squash world. As she basks in the glory of this momentous achievement, fans and pundits alike eagerly anticipate the promising future that lies ahead for the talented Belgian sensation.

The 2022/23 PSA World Tour season showcased some truly extraordinary matches, as the world's top squash players competed fiercely for titles across the globe. Among the many exhilarating encounters, a handful stood out as some of the best of the season.

In the women's final of the Hong Kong Squash Open, fans were treated to an epic showdown between World Champion Nour El Sherbini and Hania El Hammamy. This thrilling match, hailed by commentator and player Lisa Aitken as the best quality women's match she had ever seen, showcased the highest level of skill and intensity. Despite being pegged back twice by Nour El Sherbini, Hania El Hammamy's resilience shone through, allowing her to claim the title, her second PSA Platinum title of the campaign.

At the prestigious J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, England's Georgina Kennedy and Belgium's Tinne Gilis delivered a captivating clash in the second round. Georgina Kennedy, still recovering from illness, found herself trailing 2-1 against the determined and attacking Tinne Gilis. However, she showcased her tenacity, staging a remarkable comeback to secure a thrilling victory in an hour of scintillating squash.

In the thrird round of the PSA World Championships in Chicago, Nele Gilis of Belgium clashed with USA's Olivia Fiechter, both vying for a spot in the quarter-finals. The match was a display of skill and determination from both players, with each game being closely contested. In the end, Nele Gilis' energy and two-point lead in the final game led her to claim a hard-fought victory.

The rivalry between Egyptian stars Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy took center stage again in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships. The intense match saw a dramatic fifth game, where El Hammamy initially pulled ahead with three match balls. Yet, the top-seeded Nouran Gohar staged a remarkable comeback, saving match points and securing her place in the final with a 14-12 victory.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals witnessed yet another fiery clash between Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy, this time becoming the longest women's match in history with both players displaying unwavering determination and laser focus as they battled for the title.

Despite several discussions with the referee, the quality of play remained exceptional, and the introduction of 'Power Plays' and 'sudden death' added an extra layer of excitement to the already intense rivalry.

These matches epitomised the level of talent and passion on the PSA World Tour, providing squash enthusiasts with unforgettable moments of high-quality competition and pure sporting drama.