Presenting your 2022 Windy City Open Champions
Gohar captures Windy City Open title in three
Nouran Gohar celebrates her title win
In a nervy opening game, both players displayed signs of being overwhelmed by the occasion. Several uncharacteristic errors plagued the Egyptians. It was El Hammamy who moved ahead, setting up three game balls to take an all-important 1-0 lead. Gohar battled back however and managed to disrupt the rhythm of Hammamy, taking the game 15-13 in 23 minutes.
An equally competitive second game followed as both players used their power to great effect, setting up attacking opportunities with the terrific weight of shot. At the business end of the game, it was Gohar was more positive and took a massive 2-0 lead winning 11-9.
Hania El Hammamy came out fighting in the third game and threw everything she had at the World No.2, but it wasn’t enough to stop Gohar from earning her 15th PSA Tour title and becoming the 2022 Windy City Open Champion.
“Wow that was tough, that was really tough,” admitted Gohar.
“I know we’ve been playing for over an hour and Hania was retrieving everything and it was very tough out there and I’m glad I didn’t drop a game in this tournament. I can’t really believe it, the first time I came to Chicago I was 15 and I was in qualification on the traditional courts, I was just dreaming to be on the glass court, not even to win and now 7/8 years later I’m winning the event. It’s huge for me.
“Yeah I twisted my ankle then I’ve been coming back strong. I just try my best every game and fight until the end even if I lose the game I want to make it tough for the other player and yeah that’s how I play and think and I’m glad it worked out in this event.”
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 15-13, 11-9, 11-8 (62m)
Coll captures first title as World No.1
Paul Coll celebrates his win
The Men’s final between newly crowned World No.1 Paul Coll and giant killer Youssef Ibrahim was filled with quality from the outset. The Egyptian showed no sign of nerves, being in his first platinum final, and set to work on his attacking game plan immediately. He set himself up with three game balls at 10-7 to take the first game. After a brief break where Ibrahim was treated for a nose bleed, he closed the game out 11-7.
The entertainment continued in game two, as a blistering start for Ibrahim was clawed back by the World No.1. With the score level at 8-8, Coll managed to squeeze errors from the racket of the Egyptian and earned himself two game balls to equalise. Ibrahim had other ideas however and went from strength to strength in the next four points and won them all to take a huge 2-0 lead.
A drop off in concentration from Ibrahim allowed a healthy lead to appear for Coll at the start of the third game, in just four minutes he lead 7-2. Coll continued to narrow the angles of Ibrahim and more errors from the Egyptian gave Coll a lifeline in the final as he forced a fourth game 11-4.
Coll continued to frustrate the young Egyptian countering his attacking play with extremely accurate squash. Coll levelled the match at 2-2 after 75 minutes, winning the game 11-7.
The physical advantage was definitely with Coll leading into the fifth and final game as ‘Superman’ grew in confidence with each point. Ibrahim tried desperately to find a way past Coll, but the new World No.1 was showing no signs of slowing down. Ibrahim let his racket do the talking and levelled the game at 9-9 but Coll completed the comeback and secured the 2022 Windy City Open title in 96 minutes.
Coll had this to say after claiming his first title of the year:
“I thought I played pretty well,” said Coll.
“Youssef was incredible. He was so tight to the back and I’d put a drive one foot off the wall and he’d roll it out the nick. To play like that in his first platinum final is a mark of a great player, he’s a danger to everyone. Really well done to him for the week he’s had he’s had some really tough mental battles and I thought he might be mentally tired today but he fronted up and played some amazing squash so credit to him for an amazing week.
“This week has been a hugely emotional week for me, going to No.1 was the best thing that’s ever happened in my squash career, I was trying to stay focused on this tournament and massive thanks to my metal coach Bart who helped me get through this week. Quarter final day I was in tears for five minutes and he’s helped me a lot.
“I really wanted to win this tournament whilst going to No.1, I just want to thank everyone in New Zealand, I haven’t replied to any messages but I appreciate you all, my family and friends, coaches – Rob Owen has done so much for me, my girlfriend who stayed around to support me. Too many people to thank, thanks to the crowd too for making this week extra special for me.”
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (96m)