Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-2  Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4 (76m)
 Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0  Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 13-11, 11-2, 11-5 (39m)
El Sherbini and Asal Claim Grasshopper Cup titles in Zurich
Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini and Mostafa Asal were victorious in the finals of the Grasshopper Cup, claiming the PSA Gold level titles at Halle 622 in Zurich, Switzerland.
El Sherbini secured her first title since winning her sixth World Championship crown back in May, thanks to a comeback performance to overcome Hania El Hammamy in a thrilling five-game battle.
El Hammamy, who triumphed over Sherbini in the CIB Egyptian Open last month, twice took the lead but Sherbini twice levelled before coming out on on top 11-4 in the decider to become the first women’s Grasshopper Cup champion.
“It’s hard coming from 1-0 and 2-1 down. I always try to get my experience out on the court and I’m glad I had my coach today Greg Gaultier – he gave me full support and pushing by telling me I can win this, keep focusing on every point and I think it worked,” El Sherbini said.
Asal bounced back from his disappointing exit at the U.S. Open earlier this month to claim the title on his first visit to Switzerland, defeating compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in straight games.
Asal moved into an 8-3 advantage in the first game, but although ElShorbagy managed to pull it back to 10-10 as he saved two game balls, thee was no stopping Asal today as he dropped just seven more points on his way to the title.
“Thanks to the crowd! It’s my first time being here in Switzerland and I got the win. I’m really happy to play in front of you guys (the crowd), it’s such an amazing tournament. Thanks to everyone who made this tournament, it’s fantastic and a fantastic crowd for the squash as that’s what we need. I couldn’t be more proud of myself,” Asal said.
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-2  Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (68m)
 Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-1 [9/16] Tesni Evans (Wal) 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 (51m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0  Diego Elias (Per) 14-12, 12-10, 11-3 (44m)
 Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-2  Fares Dessouky (Egy) 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5 (85m)
All-Egyptian finals set in Zurich
Two Egyptian champions were guaranteed as Nour El Sherbini, Hania El Hammamy, Marwan ElShorbagy and Mostafa Asal won their semi-finals in Zurich.
The only seeding upset came as Marwan ElShorbagy took on Diego Elias for the third time this season. After edging the first two games on extra points, ElShorbagy eased through the third to claim a place in the final.
“Today was all about mentality,” said ElShorbagy. “It’s always hard to back it up after winning a Platinum event. It was hard mentally on both of us of course. But I’m really glad to get the win today. I love playing here and this crowd is incredible. They always stay up until it’s late. It’s always sold out. You guys are amazing, thank you for coming!”
ElShorbagy will now face compatriot Mostafa Asal in the final after the third seed came through a feisty contest with Fares Dessouky. The pair did battle for more than 80 minutes, with the ‘Raging Bull’ twice coming from behind to win in a deciding game.
In the women’s event, top seed Nour El Sherbini had to come from two games down to overcome compatriot Rowan Elaraby. Elaraby had never taken a game off the six-time World Champion, but she raced into a two-game lead and then saved six game balls to take the third into extra points.
El Sherbini took the next two points, and the next two games to complete the comeback.
“I’m really proud of myself today and how I kept fighting mentally and physically. Rowan played really well today. In the third she was coming back and nearly won the match, I’m really surprised by the way she played today. She’s been improving a lot. This was our first 3-2 and I don’t think it’s going to be the last one.”
The six-time World Champion will now take on second seed Hania El Hammamy after the Egyptian ended the run of Wales’ Tesni Evans in a four-game battle.
Quarters : Dessouky and Evans gatecrash the semis
Egypt’s Fares Dessouky and Wales’ Tesni Evans both are into the last four the Grasshopper Cup after overcoming Paul Coll and Salma Hany in the quarter finals at Halle 622 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Dessouky produced a dominant opening to take the first game to take an 11-7 and at 8-3 in the second had the chance of a quick win, but Coll rallied to take the game 11-9. Coll led 4-2 in the decider but Dessouky produced a strong finish to win 11-7 and book his semi-final spot.
“I’m very happy to beat Paul today,” Dessouky said afterwards. “He did his best but I’m proud of myself to be able to come through this one as it was very tough, especially after the second game. I needed to show some toughness to come back and win.”
Dessouky will now face off against third seed Mostafa Asal in an all-Egyptian contest. Asal made his way into the last four after getting the better of compatriot Tarek Momen in a feisty battle. The other semi-final will see U.S. Open champion Diego Elias take on Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy, after they won their quarter-finals against Joel Makin and Swiss favourite Nicolas Mueller.
After defeating third seed Sarah-Jane Perry to win in the second round, Wales’ Tesni Evans came up against Egypt’s Salma Hany in the quarter finals in Zurich, and although the Egyptian started well taking the first, Evans struck back to take the next three games.
“That was nip and tuck at the end! Again that’s two in a row, something’s on my side this week. I don’t know what it is, but a bit of luck. I’m absolutely over the moon,” Evans said. “They’re like buses, aren’t they (wins against top ten players): you don’t get any then two come along at once! For me it was really important to back up yesterday, whether it was win or lose, but show that I want to keep playing at this level and back it up.
Evans will now face second seed Hania El Hammamy in the semi-finals, after the Egyptian overcame Georgina Kennedy in straight games. Nour El Sherbini and Rowan Elaraby will go head-to-head in an all-Egyptian semi-final after Sherbini beat USA’s Olivia Fiechert in two games while Elaraby ousted fifth seed Nour El Tayeb.
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Day THREE : Evans downs Perry as quarter-finalists are decided
Tesni Evans overcame Sarah-Jane Perry in three-games to move on the second day of Round Two action in Zurich.
“This is the first top eight player I’ve beaten in about two and a half years,” said Evans. “I haven’t been putting my best self out for about two years and it’s been really hard. But I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over the summer and the win is nice, but it’s more about how I’m playing and being myself more, and that’s all that matters for now.”
In the quarters Evans will face sixth seed Salma Hany who came from a game down to beat compatriot Nadine Shahin.
Hania El Hammamy and Georgina Kennedy also won through to the last eight, Hammany overcoming France’s Enora Villard in two games while Kennedy needed three to beta South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller.
In the men’s event Paul Coll beat Englishman Patrick Rooney in three games and will now face Egypt’s Fares Dessouky in the quarters after he overcame compatriot Omar Mosaad in a feisty encounter.
Tarek Momen and Mostafa Asal will meet in an all-Egyptian semi after Momen ended the run of Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann and Asal beat Gregoire Marche.
Day TWO : Mueller downs top seed Farag
Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller is into the quarter finals of the Grasshopper Cup after getting the better of top seed Ali Farag to delight the home crowd at Halle 622 in Zurich.
Farag, who retired injured from the U.S. Open final after just a couple of points, was clearly still struggling from the same knee problem, and the Swiss No.1 was able to delight the home crowd to take advantage and secure a straight-games win to advance to the quarter finals, where he will now face Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy.
“Finally, a win in the second round! It’s obviously very sad to see Ali not at his best today, I think he’s still struggling with his knee. Even on one and a half legs he’s still a pretty good player, he’s not World No.1 for nothing,” Mueller said. “I played Ramy when he was also on one leg here, and I didn’t want to end up losing this one, so I made sure I was able to stay on top and win it. Every time I hit a cross court I thought that he wouldn’t get it. I feel very sorry for him, but on the other hand I’m very happy to be playing here on Friday.
“Marwan’s been playing well recently. He beat me last time, but the two times before I won. We’re in for a treat on Friday night, so I need everyone to come back and support us. Dimitri also needs the crowd tomorrow so we can have two Swiss players in the quarters, that’s the main goal.”
Peru’s Diego Elias and Welshman Joel Makin also made it through from the men’s draw, winning their matches against Frenchman Baptiste Masotti and Malaysian #1 Eain Yow Ng, both in three games.
In the women’s matches USA’s Olivia Fiechter came from a game down to overcome Belgium’s Tinne Gilis, setting up a quarter-final against top seed Nour El Sherbini whom ended home interest in the women’s draw with a win over Cindy Merlo.
The other women’s quarter final will see the Egyptian duo Nour El Tayeb and Rowan Elaraby meet after defeating Melissa Alves and Emily Whitlock.
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Day ONE : Steinmann leads Swiss trio into Round Two
The Grasshopper Cup got underway in Squash Arena in Uster where wildcard Dimitri Steinmann thrilled the home crowd with a comeback win to lead a trio of home favourites through to the second round.
Steinmann took on German #1 Raphael Kandra and came lost the first game badly but recovered to win in four and delight the home crowd.. He will now face Tarek Momen in the last 16.
“I mean, how do you mess up a game plan that badly? I found my way into it in the end, my coaches told me to get my head straight and make it tough physically, and that was what I did,” Steinmann explained. “The crowd was amazing! Rapha played an almost perfect first game, and then when I won the first point of the second game, the crowd gave me a huge cheer and I knew I was going to be alright!”
Steinmann is joined in the men’s second round by compatriot Nicolas Mueller, who overcame France’s Sebastien Bonmalais in straight games, sending the home crowd into raptures. Mueller had won their only previous meeting and he was in control throughout, winning in just 21 minutes. to set up a last sixteen meeting with top seed Ali Farag.
“It doesn’t get much better than this! Being Swiss and playing in front of your home crowd, with my family and friends here. It is big for Uster as well! We all enjoy playing in front of this crowd, so we thank you for making it possible!” Mueller said after his win.
Cindy Merlo assured that there would be Swiss representation in the second round of the Women’s draw after a commanding performance saw her defeat Anna Serme in just 14 minutes. Her second round opponent will be six-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini.
“The crowd here is fantastic, and to have won and to get through to the second round and to play on the glass court tomorrow, it’s amazing,” the Swiss No.1 admitted. “There are rituals for sure, but they are a secret! I will just do the same as always, prepare well and make sure I am ready for tomorrow’s match!”
Elsewhere on the opening day, England’s Patrick Rooney defeated Colombian Miguel Rodriguez in an exciting three-game battle, while Gregoire Marche overcame Greg Lobban to move through to the second round. In the women’s event, Frenchwoman Enora Villard secured an upset, defeating World No.17 Hollie Naughton to move through to the last 16.
After a three-year break due to COVID, Switzerland’s Grasshopper Cup makes a long-awaited return to the PSA World Tour. The tournament, which made its debut in 1979, will be played in Halle 622 in Zurich-Oerlikon and Squash Arena Uster.
The Gold-level event will be best-of-three up to and including the quarter-finals, before moving to best-of-five for the semis and finals.
In the men’s event, World #1 Ali Farag leads the draw, while the women’s top seed is reigning World Champion and current World #2 Nour El Sherbini.