Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan El Shorbagy will become the first siblings in history to contest the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Men’s World Championships final after both came through their penultimate-round encounters at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on Saturday.
Since the first men’s World Championships in 1976, some of the greatest names ever to play the sport have gotten their hands on the coveted title and Mohamed and Marwan will have the chance to add their names to the elite list of previous winners after respective wins over World No.1 Gregory Gaultier and World No.3 Ali Farag in the last four.
Mohamed beat Gregory Gaultier, the top-seeded former champion from France, though the greater surprise was perhaps the victory of the younger Marwan, who beat Ali Farag, the in-form US Open champion, by 11-8, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 to ensure the fraternal double.
They were two vastly contrasting matches and Mohamed, 26, will now start favourite on Sunday in a history-making men’s finale featuring two siblings for the first time. He will be looking to make amends for defeats to Ramy Ashour in both the 2012 and 2014 finals as he aims to capture the only major title missing from his trophy cabinet.
The brothers will meet for the 11th time on the PSA World Tour, with Mohamed having won 8 of their previous clashes, and they will be the first siblings to compete in a PSA World Championship final since the Grinham sisters, Rachael and Natalie, who reached the 2007 women’s final.
The women’s final will be between world number one Nour El Sherbini and fellow Egyptian Raneem El Welily in a repeat of April’s World Championship title-decider in El Gouna in Egypt.
El Sherbini, who became the youngest female world champion of all time in 2015, got the better of El Welily eight months ago and will be targeting a third successive global crown.
She reached the final by beating compatriot Nour El Tayeb, who is married to Ali Farag, 11-2, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-0.
El Welily, meanwhile, had an easier time of things against World No.3 Camille Serme as she dominated her French opponent to take an 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 win in 39 minutes, sending Serme out at the last four stage for the second time in a row.
All of this practically means that the two world finals, with equal prize money, will be all-Egyptian affairs for the second year running.
The finals of the 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Championships will take place on Sunday, with the men’s final following on from the women’s title-decider, which will begin at 7 PM (CLT).