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Paris Squash 2023: everything you need to know about the women's draw

For the first time, world squash elite, both male and female, will be gathered for a PSA event on French soil from August, 27th to September, 2nd and the show promises to be spectacular. There has never been a women's tournament of this magnitude in Paris: the best players in the world could not miss it and they will all be there!

I have to give credit where credit is due: for this piece I got my inspiration from Gill Gross and his brilliant tennis show Monday Match Analysis, using the same items he does for his Grand Slam quarter by quarter previews. Enjoy the read ...


QUARTER #1

=> Top seeds: Nouran Gohar (world ranking #1), Nele Gilis (WR7), Olivia Fiechter (WR9) Tesni Evans (WR13)

=> Theoretical quarterfinal: Nouran Gohar v Nele Gilis (H2H: 9-0)

=> Dark horse: Amina Orfi

=> Upset alert: Nele Gilis

=> Early popcorn match: Nele Gilis v Amina Orfi, provided the Egyptian goes through round 1.

This is a mind-blowing figure: Nouran Gohar has made the final in 19 of the last 20 major PSA events she's played! To earn the right to challenge the world No. 1, Nele Gilis – who was on fire at the end of 2022/23 – will have to go through a bumpy ride, with possibly Tesni Evans in the round of 16, although the Welshwoman retired injured last weekend in the British Nationals finals, and Amina Orfi in the previous one. The 16-year-old Egyptian is playing well above her ranking (WR43) and as a matter of fact she'll be the favorite in her round 1 match against Alexandra Fuller (#26). Head to Squash Montmartre to discover the reigning double World Junior Champion!



QUARTER #2

=> Top seeds: Joelle King (WR4), Amanda Sobhy (WR6), Sarah-Jane Perry (WR15)

=> Theoretical quarterfinal: Joelle King v Amanda Sobhy (H2H: 10-2)

=> Dark horse: Satomi Watanabe

=> Upset alert: Farida Mohamed

=> Early popcorn match: Sarah-Jane Perry v Joelle King

If Amanda Sobhy and Joelle King, do meet in the quarters, the latter would be the favorite given their current head-to-head record. But these two have some work to do before getting to that stage. The draw has served the Kiwi with a tough opener against Sarah-Jane Perry, who has fallen down the rankings but remains a very tricky opponent and perhaps her bogeywoman Farida Mohamed, provided the Egyptian goes through a tough section where we find the likes of Hana Moataz and Jasmine Hutton, who just held her title at the British Nationals. As far as Sobhy goes, she could cross path with Japan's Satomi Watanabe, seen by many as a future top 10 player.


QUARTER #3

=> Top seeds: Hania El Hammamy 🇪🇬 (WR3), Georgina Kennedy (WR8), Tinne Gilis (WR10), Olivia Clyne (WR14), Sabrina Sobhy (WR16)

=> Theoretical quarterfinal: Hania El Hammamy v Georgina Kennedy (H2H : 4-0)

=> Dark horse: Mélissa Alves

=> Upset alert: Sabrina Sobhy

=> Early popcorn match: Hania El Hammamy v Tinne Gilis

Hania El Hammamy does not hide that she is aiming at the world number 1 spot. The 22-year old will be hot favorite in this quarter, although it won't be easy to go through: she will face Tinne Gilis in one of the most awaited round 2 matches, then Sabrina Sobhy if the American overcomes Egyptian youngster Fayrouz Aboelkheir and possibly Georgina Kennedy in the quarters. The Englishwoman may clash with Mélissa Alves in the round of 16, provided the French #1 wins her first two rounds – including the first one against Katie Malliff, whom she lost to earlier in 2023. It would be great to have a France v England/Alves v Kennedy showdown in front of the Parisian crowd!


QUARTER #4

=> Top seeds: Nour El Sherbini (WR2), Nour El Tayeb (WR5), Rowan El Araby (WR10), Salma Hany (WR12)

=> Theoretical quarterfinal: Nour El Sherbini v Nour El Tayeb (H2H : 18-6)

=> Dark horse: Tomato Ho

=> Upset alert: none

=> Early popcorn match: Nour El Sherbini v Rowan El Araby

The last quarter has a very strong Egyptian accent. If things go acording to seedings, it will be a battle of the Nours for a spot in the semis, knowing that El Sherbini has won her last 5 encounters against El Tayeb. The 7-time world champion will nevertheless have to be wary of her young compatriot Rowan ElAraby for her first match in the tournament. We'll be keeping an eye on Hong Kong's Tomato Ho, who had great results in the the second half of the 2022-2023 season.


Semifinal theoretical lineup

=> [1] Nouran Gohar v [4] Joelle King

In the past, Joelle King had caused trouble to the Terminator, who then turned things her way and won her last 8 meetings.

=> [3] Hania El Hammamy v [2Nour El Sherbini

This is a becoming a classic in modern women's squash. The two Egyptians have crossed path 4 times last season, both winning twice.


By Jérôme Elhaik

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