Gohar, El Sherbini & Farag named PSA Players of the Year
Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and Nour El Sherbini have shared the 2022-23 PSA Women’s Player of the Year award, while Ali Farag has won the men’s award after being chosen by a combination of votes from both the PSA Awards Committee and fans.
Gohar has retained the women’s award following her win in 2021-22, while El Sherbini has won the Player of the Year award for the fourth time in her career. Both players received 31 per cent of the vote. They battled for the World No.1 spot throughout the 2022-23 season, with Gohar winning six titles – including major wins at the PSA World Tour Finals, El Gouna International and U.S. Open – and reaching a further four finals.
“It has been a very fair and tough season. I think me and Nour have been sharing the titles this season and we both deserve to be having this award.
“I’m happy to be a part of it and what better way to have this award just before this final.”
Meanwhile, El Sherbini won an incredible seventh World Championship crown alongside the historic British Open, beating Gohar in the final of both. The 27-year-old also claimed two further wins at the Tournament of Champions and Grasshopper Cup.
“It’s a pleasure to win Player of the Year. It’s been a tough and long year and it’s amazing to share it together with Nouran as well. It shows how tough and challenging it is between us,” El Sherbini said.
“Thank you everyone for voting and for the support. Hopefully we keep going for the next year.”
Farag, meanwhile, ended the season with five titles despite an injury-hit campaign. The 31-year-old spent four months out with a knee injury between October 2022 – February 2023, but enjoyed a spectacular end to the campaign once he got back to full fitness. He won four titles in a row, including the PSA World Championships and British Open, achieving a 22-match unbeaten run and reclaiming the World #1 spot in the process.
“It means a lot to win the Player of the Season award. There were some great players last season and Diego [Elias] had a remarkable achievement in becoming the first-ever Latin American to become World #1,” said Farag.
“It was a tough season for me from an injury standpoint. I never thought I was going to come back and even be a contender for Player of the Season let alone win it.
“It’s thanks to the physios, the fitness trainers, my family who have stood by me and kept encouraging me that I can do it and here I am again winning it so I am super happy.”
It’s the second time Farag has won the PSA Men’s Player of the Year award having achieved the honour following the 2018-19 season, and he received 56 per cent of the vote. Peru’s Diego Elias – who became the first player from South America to top the PSA World Rankings when he rose to World #1 in April – came second in the voting with 30 per cent.
Farag also maintained his stranglehold over the men’s PSA Spirit of Squash Award, winning it for the sixth time in seven years. New Zealand’s Joelle King won the women’s award. The award is voted for by PSA players and is presented to the players who best demonstrated true sportsmanship during the season.
Reigning World Junior Champion Amina Orfi collected the PSA Young Female Player of the Year award. The 16-year-old won three events on the PSA Challenger Tour and reached the third round of the PSA World Championships in May, rising from #429 at the start of the season to reach a career-high ranking of #42.
Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas took the men’s version following two wins on the Challenger Tour, which saw him break into the top 25.
Orfi also captured the PSA Women’s Challenger Tour Player of the Year award, with India’s Abhay Singh taking the men’s Challenger Tour award courtesy of five titles throughout the season.
“I’m happy to see the season recognised by a token like this. I want to thank everyone at India Squash for all that they do to help me be the athlete I want to be.
“I want to thank Paul Bell, who I’ve started working with recently. A lot of the trust that he’s putting into me is paying off and I hope that I’ve made everyone proud.”
Gohar and Hania El Hammamy contested the longest women’s PSA match of all time in the PSA World Tour Finals title decider and their 130-minute battle was voted as the PSA Women’s Match of the Season. The epic clash between Karim Abdel Gawad and Mohamed ElShorbagy in round three of the British Open was voted the PSA Men’s Match of the Season.
Nour El Tayeb and Nicolas Mueller won the PSA Women’s Shot of the Season and the PSA Men’s Shot of the Season.