The semi-finals of CIB Message of public interest The World Tour Finals take place today, with action starting at 7:00 p.m. (GMT+2) at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo as the last four of the men’s and women’s competitions compete for the final.
After beating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, World No.2 Nouran Gohar will face New Zealander Joelle King in the first women’s semi-final, before defending champion Hania El Hammamy faces Camille Serme, who took advantage of the defeat of El Sherbini on the last day of the pool action.
New Zealander Paul Coll is the only non-Egyptian in the men’s field, and he will face world number 2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last four. The winner will face either reigning world champion Tarek Momen or rising star Mostafa Asal, who advanced to the semi-finals in his first appearance in the tournament.
You can follow all the action live from the Mall of Arabia at SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the Message of public interest World Tour (Indian subcontinent only).
You can also follow the live scores of the event here.
Here is the order of play
(All times are local – GMT+2)
The first women’s semi-final will see world number 2 Nouran Gohar, who dominated Group A, face the runner-up in Group B, along with New Zealander Joelle King.
The pair have faced each other seven times on the Tour, with the Kiwi holding a slim 4-3 advantage over their opponent Egypt. King has also won the last three, with. Two of them to come in the World Tour final, one in 2019-2020 and one in 2017-2018.
The New Zealander will enter this fresh clash, having spent just 83 minutes on the pitch in her three group matches. To qualify for the final four, she beat US No.1 Amanda Sobhy and England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in back-to-back matches, before succumbing to defending champion Hania El Hammamy 2-0 yesterday.
On the other hand, Gohar has spent over two and a half hours on the pitch in his three group matches, averaging over 50 minutes per game. She took over Salma Hany and world No.1 Nour El Sherbini in three games, as well as a 2-0 victory over Camille Serme to finish top of the group with ten points.
As well as being # 2 worldwide, Gohar is also ranked # 2 on SquashLevels’ power ratings, compared to King’s rating of # 7. According to their algorithms, the Egyptian has a 79% chance of winning tonight’s contest.
Can King surprise and advance to the final? Or will Gohar continue on her good form which saw her knock out the world No.1 yesterday?
The second game of the evening is an all-Egyptian affair between Mostafa Asal and current world champion Tarek Momen in the first men’s semi-final.
The pair have only met twice before on the Tour, “the Viper” having tasted victory in both competitions, winning 3-0 each time. The last of them arrived in the quarterfinals of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in January 2020.
Momen’s average game time for the week so far is over an hour, including a 55-minute 2-0 win over Welshman Joel Makin. It happened in his last group game, the one he was set to win after losing in the opener to New Zealander Paul Coll. He also got the better of World Tour Finals debutant Gregoire Marche in the group stages.
En route to winning Group A in his tournament debut, Asal lost 2-1 to Mohamed ElShorbagy in his opener, before beating younger brother Marwan 2-0. He then beat world number one Ali Farag in a surprise victory to secure first place and advance to the semi-finals.
Thanks to his victories over ElShorbagy and Farag, Mostafa Asal moved up to 5th place in the SquashLevels rankings, while Momen is in 7th place. Algorithms suggest a 54% probability that “the Raging Bull” wins, but it is indeed very close.
Will Asal continue his good race in the tournament and reach a first major final? Or can Momen show her experience to take the next step of the tournament?
The second women’s semi-final opens another chapter in the ongoing battle between Hania El Hammamy and Camille Serme.
The duo have already met 11 times on the Tour, including eight times since the start of the 2019-2020 campaign. Serme currently holds a slim 6-5 advantage over the Egyptian, but the defending World Tour Finals champion has won his last three encounters, including in the quarter-finals of the El Gouna International Squash Open on last month.
El Hammamy made his way through the group stages in Cairo, spending just 85 minutes on the pitch in his three matches. She scored 12 perfect points, after 2-0 wins over Sarah-Jane Perry, Amanda Sobhy and Joelle King.
Serme beat world No.1 Nour El Sherbini in her tournament opener, before losing to Nouran Gohar on Matchday 2. After beating Salma Hany in back-to-back matches, she then had to wait to see if she would make the last four, and thanks to Gohar’s victory over El Sherbini, she did.
There couldn’t be any closer between the pair on the SquashLevels power odds. They occupy the 3rd and 4th places, El Hammamy having the very slight advantage. Algorithms suggest a 51% chance of winning for the Egyptian, but it could certainly go either way.
Will El Hammamy continue to defend the title she won in October? Or can Serme stop a three-game losing streak against the Egyptian?
The final match of the evening will see New Zealander Paul Coll face Egyptian Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the men’s final on Sunday night in Cairo.
This will be the ninth meeting between the two on the Message of public interest World Tour, with ElShorbagy having won seven of their previous eight battles. Coll’s only victory against “the Beast of Alexandria” came in the quarterfinals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in 2020. ElShorbagy won his last meeting, which was held in the final in El Gouna ago. at four weeks.
Coll came out of his group with three of three wins, amassing nine points. He won all three matches 2-1, beating reigning world champion Tarek Momen, Welshman Joel Makin and Frenchman GrÃ©goire Marche to reach this stage of the competition.
World No.2 ElShorbagy defeated Mostafa Asal in his first game of the tournament, before facing world No.1 Ali Farag. He lost to younger brother Marwan 2-1 in his last group game, but still made it to the semi-finals.
The pair both rank in the top four on SquashLevels Power Ratings, with algorithms indicating ElShorbagy has a 55% chance of winning their contest, but expect him to go all the way in the third.
Can “The Beast” reach another final in Egypt? Or will Coll end his bad patch against ElShorbagy?