Hany in Control to Brush Aside Shahin
Salma Hany in action
World No.7 Salma Hany booked her place in the quarter finals of the Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family after a controlled performance saw her ease past compatriot Nadine Shahin in straight games.
Hany came into the contest hoping to avenge a surprise round two defeat at the Allam British Open in August and she achieved that goal with an 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 victory in just 28 minutes.
Hany survived a scare in her second round fixture against Hong Kong’s Tze Lok Ho where she came back from two match balls down to avoid a shock defeat, but there was no danger of that as the 25-year-old dictated the tempo of the match to earn her spot in the last eight.
“I feel great with how I played today and how I bounced back from yesterday’s match,” said Hany.
“I saw today as a new day, it’s such a beautiful day and I just tried to push the negativity away and I’m just glad it worked out. Last year was good for me and I’m glad about my improvement. I try to not focus on the ranking and improve the little things, I’m working with my coaches all the time and I’m happy to be in the quarter finals. I’m just enjoying my squash at the moment and looking to make more semis and finals.
“Thank you to everyone who came today, I know it’s early but it really makes a difference.”
Hany will take on either No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy or Mariam Metwally in the next round.
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (28m)
ElShorbagy Ousts Harrity
Marwan ElShorbagy (left) takes on Todd Harrity (right)
Two-time runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy overcame frequent training partner Todd Harrity to seal his spot in the quarter finals courtesy of an 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 triumph.
ElShorbagy and Harrity train together regularly in Egypt but it was their first meeting on the PSA World Tour. ElShorbagy, a runner-up at this event in 2017 and 2018, was quickest out of the blocks as he settled into a rhythm of hitting that drew Harrity away from the middle of the court.
At times, Harrity was able to engineer some good attacking opportunities but the men’s USA No.2 found the tin with too much regularity at the critical moments.
ElShorbagy will go up against either defending champion Ali Farag or India’s Saurav Ghosal in the quarter finals.
“Todd and I used to train and live together in Bristol, we know each other’s games very well and this is the first time we’ve played on the PSA World Tour,” said ElShorbagy.
“There was no structure to the match today, I don’t know why that was but I just had to adapt. I just thought about hitting and running and getting the win and I’m just happy to be through in three.
“He’s been having a great season and I’m really happy for him. Hopefully he can get into the top 20 in the world soon as he’s definitely capable of it.
“I’ve been working on my game trying to improve, I always enjoy this event and coming here and hopefully I can get another breakthrough this week.”
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (38m)
Elaraby advances to quarter finals
Rowan Elaraby celebrates victory
No.7 seed Rowan Elaraby has secured her seeding as she has made the quarter finals of this year’s Windy City Open, beating South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller confidently 3-0 in 37 minutes.
Fuller came into today’s last 16 match having won two five game battles against Malaysia’s Aifa Azman and Australias’s Donna Lobban. A slow start from Fuller was taken full advantage of by Elaraby as she took the opening game 11-7.
More of the same followed in the next two games as Elaraby gained in confidence and booked her quarter final place winning 11-7, 11-7.
“It’s always tough against Alex,” Elaraby explained.
“I’m really happy with how I played today. I’m feeling good on court and playing well. I love playing here in Chicago and I can’t wait for the quarter final, hopefully, I can go further as well.”
“My junior career was everything I could have asked for, I did everything I could do. So now I’m just building and trying to play better in the senior game.”
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (37m)
Pajares makes maiden Platinum quarter final
Iker Pajares Bernabeu celebrates his victory
Spanish giant killer Iker Pajares Bernabeu has moved into a maiden PSA World Tour Platinum event quarter final in Chicago.
The World No.25 recovered from 2-0 down to defeat No.5 seed, Diego Elias, in round two in yesterday’s side court match of the day. He showed no sign of fatigue from that match as he condiffnely took the pace to Salazar from the start of today’s last 16 match and took the opening game 11-6.
Salazar rallied in the second game and capitalised on Pajares’ poor length to equalise at 1-1. The Spaniard responded however and started to twist and turn Salazar into all four corners of the court to lead 2-1.
Pajares looked certain to book his quarter final place as he raced off to a 7-1 lead in the fourth game. Salazar battled back to lead take the fourth game 12-10 and let out a roar of passion to spur himself on.
A nervous fifth game for both players saw Pajares take the lead, but Salazar again fought back to give himself a lifeline at 10-9. However, Pajares was not to be denied as a thunderous forehand volley sealed his quarter final place.
“I was feeling very nervous, I think I was 7-1 up in the fourth and he came back but I’m just so happy to get through
“It’s never easy to play a good friend like Cesar, we spend a lot of time together but I just had to focus on my game and try to stay solid and get the win.
“I had to withdraw from my semi-final last week in Washington because I injured myself and I was talking with my coach about not playing this event to rest my body but I’m feeling good and looking forehand to the quarter final.”
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-2: 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9 (66m)
El Hammamy sails through
Hania El Hammamy in action
An all-Egyptian battle opened up the afternoon session of day 3 as No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy faced Mariam Metwally for a place in the quarter finals.
Despite some errors from El Hammamy, the World No.3 was dominant throughout the first game and never gave up control of the T and took the game 11-7.
More of the same followed in the second game as El Hammamy twisted and turned her compatriot, making life extremely difficult for Metwally and minimising her opportunities.
A strong start for El Hammamy, unfortunately, forced Metwally to retire in the third game and hand the No.3 seed a spot in the quarter finals.
“It’s not the way I want to be reaching the quarters, I wish her a speedy recovery. But I was playing well the first two games and was feeling good on court so I’m happy to be through.
“I think from growing up watching the top Egyptian players I learned that you need to be consistent in this game to reach World No.1 or be successful so that’s something I think about.
“I’m really looking forward to playing Salma, she’s been doing really well recently. I haven’t played her for a while and I think we’re both playing well so it should be a good match and I’m looking forward to it.”
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 4-0 retired (23m)
Ibrahim recovers from two down to shock ElShorbagy
Ibrahim beats ElShorbagy
World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy has secured his place in the quarter finals as he despatched talented compatriot Youssef Ibrahim in four games.
Ibrahim claimed victory that last time the pair met, at the Qatar Classic 2021. ElShorbagy was determined to seek his revenge over his younger opponent and was relentless with his attacks in the opening two games, winning 11-8, 11-9 to lead 2-0.
Ibrahim, renowned for his shot-making abilities battled back in the third game and tested the movement of ElShorbagy with quick attacks to the front of the court giving no time to ElShorbagy. Ibrahim played the big points well and forced a fourth game, winning 11-9.
The fourth game was. Controlled by ElShorbagy and he used all of his experience to halt the momentum of Ibrahim. Having led through most of the game, ‘The Beast’ started to let Ibrahim back in and the young Egyptian capitalised with several outrageous winners. The game entered a tiebreak and it was Ibrahim who held on to force a fifth and final game.
ElShorbagy started the better of the two in the fifth game and led 4-1. From that point on there was no stopping Ibrahim. The young Egyptian stormed from strength to strength and there was nothing ElShorbagy could do. To complete the comeback Ibrahim won the game 11-6 to beat ElShorbagy once again.
“Yeah what a week! Playing one of the best players in the history of the game and it’s such an honour to be on court with Mohamed. I knew it would be such a tough game and he did everything he could to win. I got caught in the first two games but I stayed calm and I tried to stay with him in the third and with every game being so close it was so mental,” said Ibrahim.
“I try to play 100% in every match, there’s no pressure on me, I’m still in college so I’m just enjoying my final year.
“Neither me or Iker of have made the semi-finals before so it’s exciting to have someone new in there and it should be a good match.”
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6 (75m)
El Sherbini survives Gilis scare
Nour El Sherbini beats Tinne Gilis
No.1 seed Nour El Sherbini has moved through to yet another quarter final as she defeated a spirited Tinne Gilis in four games.
In a topsy-turvy first game, El Sherbini looked in fine form as she raced out to a 9-3 lead and looked sure to seal the opening game. Gilis had other ideas however and by taking the ball early and short gathered great momentum to take the game 12-10.
It was back to business for El Sherbini in the next two games, narrowing the angles and moving her Belgian opponent around the court to great effect, winning 11-2, 11-7.
Gilis showed her true fighting spirit and continued to battle against ‘The Warrior Princess’ and managed to take the match into a fifth and final game. After a promising start from the Belgian, El Sherbini used all of her experience to grind out the win and take her place in yet another quarter final.
“To win this match I had to really dig deep” admitted El Sherbini.
“She was playing so well and getting everything back, it was an amazing match and I’m really happy to be through, these matches give you confidence and belief and I’m just really happy.
“I would say consistency is the most important thing and I always try to be like this and play good squash whilst learning and improving still.
“We’ve never played or rained together so playing different players is always good and I’m looking forward to it.”
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 10-12, 11-2, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (58m)