ElShorbagy and Sherbini named PSA Players of the Year
Egyptian pair Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini have been crowned the 2019/20 PSA Players of the Year after being chosen by a combination of votes from both the PSA Awards Committee and squash fans.
ElShorbagy has picked up the PSA Male Player of the Year award for the fourth time in his career after a season that saw him collect four titles, including the Tournament of Champions crown, and overthrow 2018/19 Male Player of the Year Ali Farag to reclaim the World No.1 spot after an 11-month absence.
ElShorbagy also got the better of Farag to win the Canary Wharf Classic in March, which was the final men’s event to take place before the suspension of the tour due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. That match was named by squash fans as the PSA Men’s Match of the Season.
Kiwi Paul Coll came second in the voting following the best season of his career to date. In addition to cementing himself as a top five player, Coll claimed honours at the Open de France in September, while he also finished as runner-up at the Men’s World Championship, Windy City Open and the Canada Cup.
Meanwhile, El Sherbini has been named the PSA Female Player of the Year for the third time following a season which saw her win two PSA titles and reach the final of all four tournaments she competed in.
A knee injury kept El Sherbini out of action until October but, in her first event in four months, she stunned the squash world when she toppled World No.1 Raneem El Welily in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza to capture her fourth Women’s World Championship trophy on the day of her 24th birthday.
El Sherbini also overcame El Welily to win the Windy City Open trophy in March, while she achieved runner-up finishes at the Tournament of Champions and Black Ball Open, the latter of which was the final women’s event to be held before the tour suspension.
El Welily, the 2018/19 PSA Female Player of the Year, finished second. The 31-year-old held onto her World No.1 ranking for the entirety of the season and won the Oracle NetSuite Open, as well as reaching finals at the Women’s World Championship, China Open and the Windy City Open.
For the fourth year in a row El Welily won the women’s Spirit of Squash Award. The award is voted for by PSA players and is presented to the players who best demonstrated true sportsmanship during the season. The men’s award went to Ali Farag, who wins it for the fourth time in five years.
Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy collected the Young Female Player of the Year award after beating El Sherbini to win her maiden Platinum tournament at the Black Ball Open. The 19-year-old also claimed a notable semi-final finish at the Women’s World Championship, coming from two games down to stun World No.4 Camille Serme in the last eight.
Her compatriot Mostafa Asal took the men’s honour after breaking into the top 20 and reaching his first ever Platinum quarter-final at the Tournament of Champions – beating former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier en route.
The Tournament of Champions was also the scene for the newly-created Moment of the Season award, which went to France’s Camille Serme after a spell-binding run inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal saw her beat the world’s top three players – El Welily, Nouran Gohar and El Sherbini – to capture her first major trophy in three years.
That match with Gohar was voted by squash fans as the the Women’s Match of the Season, while Serme also won the Women’s Shot of the Season award. Germany’s Raphael Kandra won the Men’s Shot of the Season.
This year also saw the creation of two new awards to celebrate outstanding achievement on the Challenger Tour, with Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas and Canada’s Danielle Letourneau being crowned the inaugural Challenger Tour Players of the Year.
Cardenas won titles at the Kelowna Open and Securian Open throughout the 2019/20 season, as well as achieving runner-up finishes at three other events. Meanwhile, Letourneau claimed a trio of title wins – Seattle Open, Calgary Open and Queen City Open.
The final award, the PSA Services to Squash award, went to former WSF Media Director Howard Harding. The award was presented by the PSA Foundation in recognition of his outstanding commitment and service to the sport over 20 plus years.
Male Player of the Year
Winner: Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Runner-up: Paul Coll (NZL)
Female Player of the Year
Male Young Player of the Year
Female Young Player of the Year
Challenger Tour Male Player of the Year
Winner: Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
Runner-up: Vikram Malhotra (IND)
Challenger Tour Female Player of the Year
Men’s Spirit of Squash : Ali Farag (EGY)
Men’s Shot of the Season : Winner: Raphael Kandra (GER)
Men’s Match of the Season :
Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1 Ali Farag (EGY) – Canary Wharf Classic Final
Women’s Match of the Season
Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2 Nouran Gohar (EGY) – Tournament of Champions Semi-Final
Moment of the Season
Camille Serme (FRA) – Tournament of Champions Victory
Services to Squash awarded to Howard Harding