Battle for World No.1: Farag v ElShorbagy

After reaching the final of the PSA World Championships 2020-2021, Mohamed ElShorbagy assured himself of being the World No.1 on August 1st, even though rival Ali Farag eventually took the title to become a two-time World Champion.

This week in Hull, Farag could do enough to claim back the World No.1 spot come September 1st, as the battle for the summit of the men’s World Rankings continues.

The women’s World No.1 spot is guaranteed to stay in Nour El Sherbini’s hands whatever happens in Hull, so we’re looking at who needs to do what to secure the men’s World No.1 spot after the British Open. Currently, ElShorbagy has a hold of it, but that could all change on Sunday afternoon. Here is what both men need to reach, or stay, at the summit.

For Ali Farag to become World No.1

  • Farag wins the British Open
  • Farag matches or betters ElShorbagy’s result at the British Open
  • Farag makes the semi-finals, and ElShorbagy fails to win the British Open

For Mohamed ElShorbagy to remain World No.1

  • ElShorbagy wins the British Open
  • ElShorbagy reaches British Open final, and Farag fails to make the semi-finals

Farag took the PSA World Championship crown last month in Chicago, beating the ‘Beast from Alexandria’ in the final. In the process, he became the first man to win the sport’s biggest prize on multiple occasions since Ramy Ashour claimed his third World crown in 2014.

His other Platinum victories currently on his ranking are Windy City Open 2020 presented by the Walter Family, the CIB Egyptian Open 2020, the Qatar Classic 2020 and the U.S. Open 2019.

In addition to the Allam British Open 2019 – points which he is fighting to keep this week in Hull – ElShorbagy also has Platinum victories at the El Gouna International 2021 and the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions 2020 on his ranking points at present, in addition to 850 valuable bonus points from the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2020-21.

With Farag already through to the quarter-finals this week in Hull, ElShorbagy knows that he has to win tonight against Frenchman Baptiste Masotti.

He would then play Youssef Soliman in the last eight after the Egyptian received a walkover due to Iker Pajares Bernabeu’s withdrawal from the event. A possible meeting with Diego Elias or Paul Coll would follow in the semi-finals.

Farag will face World No.9 Mostafa Asal in an all-Egyptian last eight clash, before doing battle with either Miguel Rodriguez or Marwan ElShorbagy in the semi-finals. If all goes to seeding, he would face Mohamed ElShorbagy, the man he is battling for the World No.1 spot, for the British Open crown.

It all changed following the World Championships in Chicago. Could it all be about to change again this week?