Analysing The Women’s Title Contenders

The British Open is the oldest event on the PSA calendar, dating back to 1930, and heads to Birmingham for the first time since 2001 this season with 48 women looking to add their name to impressive list of winners when the Platinum event takes place between April 9-16 at Birmingham Rep and Edgbaston Priory Club.

We’ve taken a look at the chances of the top four seeds in the women’s draw, including World No.1 Nouran Gohar, World Champion Nour El Sherbini, Defending British Open Champion Hania El Hammamy and World No.4 Joelle King.

Squash fans can get their tickets to watch all the drama here.

Nouran Gohar

It was at the British Open in 2016 that ‘The Termiantor’ Nouran Gohar really announced herself as as one of the world’s best players as she reached the final, losing out in a five-game final to Nour El Sherbini. Since then, she has featured in three finals, claiming one title.

Gohar was stung in the final last year as she lost out to Hania El Hammamy, a loss which was hard for the World No.1 to take. Since that final, Gohar has only not reached the final once in her last 11 events, winning five of them. She is in the top half of the draw whilst both El Sherbini and El Hammamy are both in the bottom half, so is seeded to face Joelle King in the semi-final. For this year’s event. There’s absolutely no doubt that she will be as determined as ever to claim this year’s title and secure three PSA titles in a row.

Nour El Sherbini

Nour El Sherbini celebrates her semi-final win in Hong Kong
Nour El Sherbini celebrates her semi-final win in Hong Kong

Nour El Sherbini missed last year’s British Open due to an injury but returns for the event this year as the No.2 seed, determined to pick up where she left off in 2021 where she claimed the title. El Sherbini has only played six events this season, reaching the final of four of them and claiming two titles. One of which being the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York where she beat both Hania El Hammamy & Nouran Gohar to lift the trophy.

The World No.2 recently lost out to USA’s Amanda Sobhy in the Black Ball Open so will be looking to resurrect her good form to claim a fourth British Open title next week in Birmingham.

Hania El Hammamy

Hania El Hammamy in action
Hania El Hammamy in action

Of the last six women’s Platinum events, defending British Open champion Hania El Hammamy has won four of them. Excluding the U.S. Open, the 23-year-old has made a habit of producing her best squash at the biggest events, and she’ll be hoping this year’s British Open is no different.

The win last year marked her second Platinum event victory, which she later described as a huge moment in her career. El Hammamy is seeded to face No.5 seed Amanda Sobhy in the last eight, who is coming off the back of a World Tour win in Canada, so could prove to be a tricky customer with confidence high. If she is to come through that match, a clash with World Champion Nour El Sherbini will be up next, followed by a potential final with nemesis, Nouran Gohar. Fair to say that if El Hammamy is to defend her title, it will not be easy.

Joelle King

New Zealand's Joelle King.
New Zealand’s Joelle King.

New Zealand’s Joelle King discovered a new lease of life at the back end of last year, winning two successive World Tour events in New Zealand and Singapore before recording semi-final finishes at the Hong Kong Open then the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in early 2023. Playing care-free, entertaining squash partnered with exquisite accuracy and athleticism.

The 34-year-old has said that she is very conscious of the time she has left at the top of the sport and is determined to seize every opportunity that comes her way in the twilight stages of her career. With one Platinum win to her name, King will be determined to claim another one before she calls time on her amazing career, and what better Platinum event title to win than the British Open.

Squash fans will be able to watch all the RD1 and RD2 action from the traditional courts here.