The semi-finals of the Allam British Open take place today, with action beginning at 14:00 (GMT+1) at the Allam Sports Centre in Hull as the remaining eight players aim to reach the final of the sport’s oldest prize.
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini takes on US No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the first women’s semi-final, before defending champion Nouran Gohar faces World No.7 Hania El Hammamy in the second contest.
2018 champion, and the surprise package of this year’s tournament, Miguel Rodriguez, will face top seed Ali Farag, before World No.1 and defending British Open champion Mohamed ElShorbagy does battle with Kiwi No.1 Paul Coll.
Nour El Sherbini v Amanda Sobhy
The first match of the evening sees World No.1 Nour El Sherbini take on US No.1 Amanda Sobhy for a place in the final of the Allam British Open.
The pair have faced off 12 times prior to this contest, with the ‘Warrior Princess’ having won two-thirds of those, holding an 8-4 advantage. She has also won their last two battles, including in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships in Chicago last month.
As she always seems to do, El Sherbini has come through to the semi-finals with consummate ease, and in Hull this week, she has spent just 68 minutes on court across her opening three matches, winning all three without dropping a game. The five-time World Champion has defeated USA’s Olivia Fiechter, Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa and compatriot Nadine Shahin to reach this stage of the tournament.
Sobhy has had a slightly harder run through the event, spending just under 100 minutes on court over her three contests to reach the last four. She started with a four-game victory over Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam, before then defeating compatriot Olivia Clyne in three. The American then overcame Rowan Elaraby in the last eight, after the young Egyptian retired through injury.
Unsurprisingly, El Sherbini also occupies the #1 spot on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, and she is the clear favourite to win this afternoon, with their algorithm the Egyptian a 91% likelihood of victory.
Can Sobhy cause a shock, and advance to a first British Open final? Or will the ‘Warrior Princess’ make the final in Hull once again?
Ali Farag v Miguel Rodriguez
The first men’s semi-final pits former World No.1 Ali Farag up against 2018 British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez.
This will be the ninth time the two have faced each other on the PSA World Tour in their careers, and it is Farag who has won seven of the past eight. The Colombian’s only victory over the World No.2 came on this court, at this venue, in the last eight of the 2018 edition, on his way to an epic victory.
Both men have spent more than 200 minutes on court so far this week with Rodriguez spending more than 100 of that on one match. That came in his epic battle with Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in the third round. He had defeated USA’s Todd Harrity in his opening match, before then overcoming World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy in a surprise result in the quarter-finals.
Farag started his campaign with a tough four-game win over Scottish No.1 Greg Lobban, before then needed to go the distance against two compatriots to reach the last four. He needed five against Mohamed Abouelghar in the last 16, before also having to go the distance against Mostafa Asal in the quarter-finals, coming from behind to win both matches.
Farag is currently the #1 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, and he has a 94% likelihood of victory in Hull today over the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ according to their algorithm.
Can Farag continue his quest to take back the World No.1 spot? Or will Rodriguez make another final in Hull, on what would possibly be an even more incredible run?
Nouran Gohar v Hania El Hammamy
The second women’s semi-final sees two young Egyptians go head-to-head, as World No.2 and defending champion Nouran Gohar takes on World No.7 Hania El Hammamy for a place in the final.
The pair have met four times before on the Tour, and ‘the Terminator’ can boast a convincing 100% record over El Hammamy. Their last contest came in the final of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in June, with Gohar winning 3-1 to take the title a the Mall of Arabia in Cairo that evening.
Gohar has spent just 105 minutes on court so far this week, thanks to convincing wins over Zeina Mickawy and Tesni Evans in her. Opening two matches. She faced a tougher test against English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in the last eight, but came through in four to book her place in the semi-finals.
El Hammamy has been on court for 35 minutes longer, thanks to her five-game battle with Joelle King in the quarter-finals. She had to come from behind twice to win in a 65-minute match on Friday evening. Prior to that, the 20-year-old had gotten the better of Canadian No.1 Hollie Naughton and Frenchwoman Melissa Alves in straight games.
The pair sit #2 and #3 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, and the algorithms cannot pick a winner, with both players having a 50% chance of victory.
Will Gohar continue her unbeaten run in Hull, as she attempts to defend her title? Or can El Hammamy make it into another final and taker victory over ‘the Terminator’ for the first time.
Mohamed ElShorbagy v Paul Coll
The last match of the evening pits World No.1, and the defending British Open champion, Mohamed ElShorbagy, up against World No.4 Paul Coll.
The pair have faced off ten times before on the PSA World Tour, with the Egyptian having claimed victory in nine of those. Coll’s only win came in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in 2020. Since then, ElShorbagy has won their last four contests.
Coll has spent an average of 64 minutes per match on court in Hull so far this week, despite dropping just two games. They both came in his third round clash with Mazen Hesham, one he had to come from behind to win 3-2. He defeated Youssef Ibrahim and Diego Elias in straight games in his other two matches.
ElShorbagy is yet to win a match 3-0 this week, going to five in two of his contests. The first came against Welsh No.1 Joel Makin in the second round, winning the decider after 76 minutes on court. He then defeated Frenchman Baptiste Masotti, before needing to go the distance against Youssef Soliman in the quarter-finals.
The pair sit at #4 and #5 in the SquashLevels Power Ratings, with ElShorbagy’s level higher by just 1,400. The algorithm predicts a 3-2 result, with ‘the Beas from Alexandria’ having a 53% likelihood of victory.
Can ElShorbagy continue his defence of the crown he won in 2019? Or can Coll break the hoodoo of facing the World No.1?