CIB Team Reviews : Ali, Raneem, Tarek, Karim & Nouran

What have the CIBSquashTeam has been up to this season ? We tale a look at five of them …

Ali Farag  Raneem El Welily Tarek Momen Karim Abdel Gawad Nouran Gohar

ALI FARAG

World Ranking: #1
Last Season Achievements:
San Francisco Open, Qatar Classic, Tournament of Champions, World Champs Chicago, DPD Open, El Gouna
Played: 57 – Won: 50 – Lost: 7 – Win Percentage: 87.7%

Best Season Ever…

SEPTEMBER to DECEMBER

The CIB Star sealed six PSA World Tour titles, including four Platinum events, and only failed to reach the final of two events – the U.S. Open and the Grasshopper Cup.
The 27-year-old kicked off his season with a victory at the San Francisco Open, as he defeated reigning Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final. However, he was unable to follow that form up at the U.S. Open, as he lost out to Simon Rösner in the semi finals. A week later, and he missed out on the Channel VAS Championships title, with Tarek Momen taking the victory in a final that lasted nearly 90 minutes.

Farag then went on to make the final of his next five events, starting with a victory at the Qatar Classic in November. The Egyptian defeated Rösner in the final to win his first Platinum title of the season.

Before the end of the year, Farag then made it to the final of both the Hong Kong Open and Black Ball Open, but missed out after losses to Mohamed ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad, respectively.

JANUARY to JUNE

2019 started brilliantly for the Egyptian, as he came through a tricky draw to win the Tournament of Champions, beating James Willstrop, Daryl Selby, Paul Coll and Tarek Momen, before eventually defeating ElShorbagy in the final.

He then became World No.1 on March 1st, before winning his maiden World Championship crown a day later. He defeated Tarek Momen in a 79-minute thriller to lift the biggest title in the sport.

However, that major high was followed by a low at the Grasshopper Cup, as he lost in the quarter finals to compatriot Mohamed Abouleghar, his first defeat as World No.1.
Farag then took the title at the inaugural DPD Open in the Netherlands, before winning the El Gouna International, his fourth Platinum title of the season.

He made it through to the final of the British Open, but was unable to claim his first title in Hull, as Mohamed ElShorbagy defeated him in the final for his third crown.

Best Month: March
Ali became the World Champion and took the No.1 spot in the rankings in the first three days of the month…

Ali took three PSA awards – Best Match, Spirit Award, Best Player

RANEEM EL WELILY

World Ranking: #1
Last Season Achievements:
China Open, U.S. Open, CIB Black Ball Open, DPD Open, El Gouna, CIB PSA World Tour finals
Played: 49 – Won: 44 – Lost: 5 – Win Percentage: 89.8%

Like Farag, Raneem El Welily had a wonderful season, as she became World No.1 for the second time in her career, along with winning several titles.

‘The Enigma’ lifted five trophies over the course of the 2018-2019 campaign, with two of those being Platinum events, whilst only failing to reach the final of two tournaments.

SEPTEMBER to DECEMBER

Welily started the season in the perfect manner, as she defeated France’s Camille Serme to win the China Open. She followed that up with another strong performance in San Francisco, but lost out to reigning champ Sarah-Jane Perry in the final.

Her first Platinum title came in October, when she defeated then-World No.1 Nour El Sherbini to win the U.S. Open in Philadelphia.

That was followed by another final appearance in Hong Kong. Although the Egyptian lost out to Joelle King in the final, Welily had done enough to reclaim the World No.1 spot for the December 2018 rankings, a position she has kept hold of.

JANUARY to JUNE

She started 2019 strongly, reaching the final of the Tournament of Champions, but Nour El Sherbini was too strong in the final. A month later, Welily missed out on the final of the World Champs, after losing to Nour El Tayeb in the last four.

However, the now-World No.1 took no prisoners for the next two months, as she won her next three tournaments, starting with victory over Nour El Sherbini in the final of the Black Ball Open.

That was followed up with another win over the ‘Warrior Princess’ in the final of the DPD Open, before she downed Nouran Gohar to win the El Gouna International, an event where she had to beat Nicol David, Joelle King and a resurgent Amanda Sobhy just to reach the final.

The British Open was a low point in her season, as Welily could only manage a quarter final appearance in Hull, losing out to the eventual champion, Nouran Gohar.

However, she finished the 2018-2019 camping on a high, taking victory at the World Tour Finals in Cairo, ending the season as she started, defeating Camille Serme in the final.

Raneem took 4 PSA Awards: Best rally, best match, spirit and player of the year

TAREK MOMEN

World Ranking: #3
Last Season Achievements:
Channel VAS, CCI International
Played: 51 – Won: 39 – Lost: 12 – Win Percentage: 76.5%

Tarek Momen consolidated his place as one of the world’s best, moving up to his best ever ranking, No.3.

SEPTEMBER to DECEMBER

His season started slowly, as he was unable to make it past the quarter finals of his first two tournaments, San Francisco Open and U.S. Open.

However, he fought back to win the Channel VAS Open, defeating compatriot Ali Farag in a classic final to claim his first title in four years. From there, Momen put together one of the best runs of his career as he reached semi-finals or better at every tournament until the end of the season

The last four was where he ended up in his next three events, losing out to Farag, Mohamed ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad at the Qatar Classic, Hong Kong Open and Black Ball Open, respectively.

JANUARY to JUNE

Momen started 2019 with a bang, winning the Kolkata International, beating Egyptian counterpart Fares Dessouky in a five-game final that lasted 80 minutes.

He made the final of three straight events

in 2019, but lost out in the World Championships, Canary Wharf Classic and Grasshopper Cup to Farag, Paul Coll and ElShorbagy, respectively.

Momen’s season ended with a semi final at the World Tour Finals, where he lost out to compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in Cairo.

KARIM ABDEL GAWAD 

World Ranking: 4
Last Season Achievements:
Pakistan Open, Black Ball Open, PSA World Tour Finals
Played: 51 – Won: 38 – Lost: 13 – Win Percentage: 74.5%

Karim Abdel Gawad had another great season, only failing to reach the quarters  twice across the last 10 months.

SEPTEMBER to DECEMBER

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ started his season with a semi final appearance at the San Francisco Open, before an early exit from the U.S. Open later that month.

His next three events saw him lose at the hands of Ali Farag. They came in the semis of the Channel VAS Champs, and then the last eight of both the Qatar Classic and Hong Kong Open.

Gawad then hit a rich vein of form, starting winning the Pakistan Open, beating Diego Elias in the final. He then got the better of Farag in the final of the Black Ball Open in December.

JANUARY to JUNE

He then reached the semi finals of the Tournament of Champions, before suffering a shock premature exit at the World Champsi, being knocked out in the first round by compatriot Youssef Soliman.

The Egyptian made the semis of the Grasshopper Cup, DPD Open and British Open, but was beaten by Mohamed ElShorbagy in all three. He also lost to Ali Farag in the final of the El Gouna International.

Gawad ended the season on a high, though, as he took home the World Tour Finals title, as he beat Mohamed Abouelghar in the final in Cairo, 5 days after getting married.

NOURAN GOHAR

World Ranking: 4
Last Season Achievements: British Open
Played: 33 – Won: 22 – Lost: 11 – Win Percentage: 66.7%

Nouran Gohar would not have wanted the 2018-2019 season to have ended, as she came into some great form in the latter part of the campaign.

‘The Terminator’ started her season with a quarter final defeat at the China Open, before she prematurely exited the U.S. Open in the last 32, losing to Yathreb Adel.

From there, though, she enjoyed a great run of form, as she made it into the quarter finals of every tournament she entered through to the end of the campaign.

However, the next five defeats she suffered all came at the hands of Raneem El Welily. Two came in the quarter finals of the Tournament of Champions and the PSA World Champs.

She lost to the World No.1 in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open and the Black Ball Open, before missing out on the El Gouna prize in April.

Everything clicked in the final major tournament of the year, as Gohar lost just a single game on her way to claiming the British Open title, defeating El Welily in the quarters and Camille Serme in the final.

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Source : PSA News

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