Karim Abdel Gawad and Nour El Sherbini completed an Egyptian double at the Grasshopper Cup, beating Joel Makin and Hania El Hammamy in the finals in Zurich
El Sherbini repeated her win over Hammamy in last year’s final, controlling the first two games then recovering from an early deficit in the third to retain the title, repeating her win over Hammamy in last week’s US Open final.
“It feels amazing,” said Sherbini. “I’m happy with my performance, happy that I won 3-0 and happy to retain my title. “I think movement was the main key for me. Hania’s game is very physical and you have to find the balance between the physical movement and the squash.”
For Gawad it was a second title of the season as he beat Makin in four games, the only blip coming in the second game as he let slip a 5-0 lead.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played this week,” said Gawad. “The way I fought in every match. It’s been a great week, keeping my focus and pushing all my limits.”
Top seeds through to women’s final as Makin and Gawad set up men’s showdown
Top seeds Nour El Sherbini and Hania l Hammamy both won in straight games to set up an all-Egyptian women’s final in Zurich.
In the men’s semis Wales’ Joel Makin ended the run of Baptiste Masotti while Karim Abdel Gawad beat his second ElShorbagy brother in a row, both in straight games.
Gawad saved two game balls in the opening game and three in the third to complete the win. “Playing Marwan is always tough. Today I won 3-0 but all the games were very close. I was down in all three games and things can change at any time. Luckily, I pushed mentally until the end and just tried not to give Marwan any chances.”
Sherbini was also game ball down in the first before easing through the next two games, and the defending champion will face Hammamy in a repeat of last year’s final.
“She’s the World #1, she’s the world champion,” said Hammamy, “so it’s never easy playing against her, but it really depends on me, and how I’m playing on that day. Last week it was a bad day for me in the final of the U.S. Open, so I’m going to make sure I give it a fight tomorrow and I’m not going to let it go easy like last week.”
Day FOUR : Men’s top seeds beaten in Quarters
A dramatic quarter-finals day in Zurich saw men’s top seeds Mohamed Abouelghar and Mostafa Asal beaten in three games.
Defending champion Asal, returning from a 12 week suspension, lost out to Frances’ Baptiste Masotti in a match featuring several controversial moments, then top seed Elshorbagy was beaten by former compatriot Karim El Gawad in three close games with the top seed saving three match balls before finally succumbing 11-9 in the decider.
In the semis Masotti will meet Welsh fifth seed Joel Makin while Masotti meets Marwan EShorbagy who ended home hopes as he defeated Nicolas Mueller.
In the women’s draw top four seeds Nour El Sherbini, Hania El Hammamy, Nele Gilis and Gina Kennedy all progressed with only Hammamy taken to three games as she overcame compatriot Rowan Elaraby.
Day THREE : Quarter-Finalists decided as ElShorbagy and Mueller survive
Action continued at Halle 622 with eight more best-of-three matches from the bottom half of the draws.
There were no seeding upsets today and just two matches going to three games, with men’s top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy coming through a close contest against Iker Pajares and Nicolas Mueller getting the better of his all-Swiss encounter with Ditmitri Steinmann.
Day TWO : Ibrahim downs Hesham to reach quarters
Action moved to Halle 622 for the start of Round Two, eight best-of-three matches from the top half of the draws. The only seeding upset came as Youssef Ibrahim prevailed in his all-Egyptian clash with fourth seed Mazen Hesham.
Seventh seed Baptiste Masotti narrowly avoided an upset, he was a game and 7-10 down to Greg Lobban before recovering to win in three, while Joel Makin and the returning Mostafa Asal both won in straight games.
In the women’s matches only fourth seed Gina Kennedy won in straight games, with Nour El Sherbini, SJ Perry and Satomi Watanabi all needing three games to progress.
Day ONE : Round One at Uster
The 2023 Grasshopper Cup got under way with sixteen best-of-three first round matches at Uster Squash Club as today’s winners booked their matches against the seeds in Round Two.
“Nicholas is one of my best friends, on and off the tour,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a special moment when we play on the biggest court in Switzerland in front of the biggest crowd – the two best players in Switzerland’s history. I can’t wait. I’m already electrified, so it’s going to be special for sure.”
The only upsets in the men’s draw saw Egyptian duo Mohamed Abouelghar and Youssef Ibrahim take out England’s Patrick Rooney and Adrian Waller.
In the women’s draw Scottish Open champion Grace Gear ousted France’s Enora Villard to set up a clash with fellow Englishwoman Gina Kennedy, the fourth seed, Kenzy Ayman made it six Egyptians in Round Two as she upset compatriot Hana Moataz, while Georgina Adderley advanced at the expense of injured Katie Malliff.
Preview : Defending Champions Asal & El Sherbini set for Zurich return
Defending champions Mostafa Asal and Nour El Sherbini are set to return to Zurich to defend their Grasshopper Cup titles as the PSA World Tour Gold event heads back to Halle 622 for the 10th edition of the revived tournament, from 17th to 22nd October.
This will be Asal’s first tournament of the season following his 12-week suspension. The 22-year-old defeated Marwan ElShorbagy in last year’s final, and is seeded three this time around behind Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy, with Marwan in fourth spot.
Defending women’s champion El Sherbini came from 2-1 down in last year’s final to defeat Hania El Hammamy, who is once again second seed. Belgium’s Nele Gilis and England’s Gina Kennedy are third and fourth seeds.
Swiss pair Cindy Merlo and Yannick Wilhelmi are the wildcards, with home favourites Nicolas Mueller and Dimitri Steinmann also in the men’s draw.
Matches will be played best of three games up to and including the quarter-finals, with round one taking place at Uster SC before moving to the glass court in Halle 622.