2023 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions

January 18 - 26, 2023 at Grand Central Terminal - 25th Anniversary

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Top Seeds Progress Through Second Half of ToC Quarterfinals

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January 24, 2023
by Chris McClintick

Nour El Sherbini

The remaining top seeds—Nour El Sherbini, Hania El Hammamy, Paul Coll and Diego Elias— progressed through the second half of the 2023 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions quarterfinals Tuesday, January 24, in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.

Of the four quarterfinals, only one extended beyond three games as El Sherbini—the only three-time women’s champion—ended Amanda Sobhy’s run. The six-time world champion earned a 2-0 lead, but the American saved a match ball and fought back to take the third game 13-11. El Sherbini regained control in the fourth and clinched a spot in her eighth ToC semifinal.

“It was a very tough game. Amanda was playing amazing in the third and she came back, she was 2-0 down, to come back fighting and wanted to win the game and the match,” El Sherbini said. “I was very frustrated to lose the third game but Greg [Gaultier, El Sherbini’s coach] told me to forget this game and focus on the fourth and to think point by point, and I think the start of the fourth was important and I got a big lead and that made the difference. I’m still playing, of course I want another title. The ToC is a special tournament for me. I play my best squash here, it was my first ever Platinum event win and it’s a lucky place for me, so hopefully I can get another one.”

El Sherbini, world No. 2, will face off with world No. 3 Hania El Hammamy, who dispatched England’s Georgina Kennedy in three games.

Paul Coll (R) and Fares Dessouky

The second men’s semifinal on Wednesday night will feature world No. 4 Paul Coll and world No. 5 Diego Elias. Coll, who would become world No. 1 with his first ToC title this week, reached his first semifinal in Grand Central with a fifty-minute, three-game win over Egypt’s world No. 8 Fares Dessouky.

“I did all my preparations, mentally and physically so I was bang up for this match and feeling good.” Coll said. “He can hit a nick or an amazing shot at any stage so my accuracy was crucial and I was very happy with that tonight. I was happy with my front and back court game, I’m really enjoying the court, so it felt good tonight. I believe it’s my first semi-final at ToC, so pumped for that tomorrow. I’m playing my good friend Diego [Elias], we won’t be friends on court tomorrow but we’ll play it in the right spirit, it’ll be hard and tough and a good one for the crowd.”

Elias, the 2022 ToC finalist won just his second match in his twelfth attempt against Egyptian veteran Tarek Momen 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 in forty-nine minutes.