WATCH: Gawad seals World No.1 rank

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Karim Abdel Gawad (L) (photo credit: PSA World Tour)

Squash World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is all set to replace Gregory Gaultier as World No.1 in next month’s rankings following his victory over fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International on Thursday.

In recent months, Gawad has climbed the rankings by winning the World Championship title, Qatar Classic title and Tournament of Champions title.

“Today is extra special for me, reaching the finals here in El Gouna in front of this amazing crowd is a great pleasure for me,” said Gawad.

“It makes me very happy. I didn’t want to think about it [the battle for World No.1] because I’ve been thinking about it a bit in the last two tournaments and it affected my way of playing so much.

“I don’t want to think too much about it [being World No.1] because I still have one more match and this is more important for me. Tomorrow is another day, I have to keep my focus and I have to concentrate as much as I can.”

Check out the moment he won the game against Dessouky to seal top spot in the rankings below.

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Meet the women confirmed for PSA Dubai World Series Finals

Heading the women’s line-up is the France’s Camille Serme, who topped the rankings after winning two of the qualifiers and making either the quarter-finals or semi-finals in the remaining three.

Only the top eight players on the standings qualify for a place at World Series Finals which will take place at the Dubai Opera from June 6-10.

Serme finished forty points ahead of her nearest rival, current world number one Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, whose win in at the Women’s World Championships in April last year at just 20 years of age, saw her become the youngest and the first Egyptian female to become world champion.

Dubai World Series Finals defending champion Laura Massaro of England stormed home in the final event, taking out the Allam British Open to qualify in third position.

Massaro’s run to the final saw her defeat Raneem El Welily, who qualified in fourth position, ahead of fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar who took her first World Series title at the 2016 Hong Kong Open.

Eight time world champion Nicol David of Malaysia who spent nine years as world number one, did not take a title this year but finished all the qualifying events with either quarter-final or semi-final appearances, giving her enough points to qualify in sixth place.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry will compete in the event for the first time after a superb run to the final at the Allam British Open saw her seal seventh place in the standings and Perry is delighted to have made it to the Dubai season ending tournament.

“I’ve never been to Dubai before and never played at the World Series Finals so I’m very excited to experience it all,” said Perry.

“At the start of the season my aims were to make the top eight in the World Rankings and I’ve managed to achieve that, so to qualify for Dubai is a huge bonus. There will be no pressure on me – I’ll just go out there and enjoy the experience and try to play some good squash. It will be a fantastic way to end the season.”

USA’s Amanda Sobhy was on track for a return appearance in Dubai but was ruled out with an Achilles tendon injury, opening the door for England’s Alison Waters to take the eighth and final qualification place.

The men’s field will be finalised following the El Gouna International which will be held in Egypt from April 7-14.

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Stunning pictures of squash star Marwan Elshorbagy at Dubai's most famous sites

Reem Abulleil 2/04/2017
Marwan at Dubai Opera.

It sure is good to be Marwan Elshorbagy right now.

The Egyptian squash star is making his top-five debut this week in the world rankings after rising to No5 in the new charts released on April 1, thanks to his runner-up showing at the Windy City Open last month.

The 23-year-old is also positioned nicely at No5 in the Road to Dubai standings, with the top eight coming to the Emirates for the season-ending PSA World Series Finals, taking place from June 6-10 at the Dubai Opera.

Marwan, the younger brother of Mohamed Elshorbagy, who lost his No1 ranking this week to slip down to No3, paid a visit to Dubai last week to check out the host venue along with some of the city’s most iconic sites.

“The PSA Dubai World Series Finals is the climax to the international squash season – the biggest moment of the year for squash players and we were thrilled when the event came to Dubai last year,” said Marwan.

“While I didn’t qualify last year my brother Mohamed told me how amazing it was, and since then I’ve worked hard to make sure I finished in the top eight in the rankings and qualified for the event.

“After looking at some of the amazing venues around Dubai over the last two days, I feel honoured that we will be the first sportsmen and women to compete in such an iconic place as the Dubai Opera, and we are very excited about what this will do for the sport of squash.

“Dubai has an incredible reputation for hosting world-class events, and we are pleased to be part of this. We know there is a rich history of squash in Dubai and we are excited about playing a part in its future.”

The gap between the Elshorbagy brothers keeps getting smaller and smaller and not just because Marwan is closing in on Mohamed in the rankings. Last February, Marwan beat his 26-year-old brother for the first time in his career at the Windy City Open.

It was an emotional moment for the siblings and one that was replayed on screens the world over.

The countdown to the PSA Dubai World Series Finals is on in earnest with the women’s field finalised following the Allam British Open last month, and the men’s line-up set to be locked in following the El Gouna Squash International taking place in Egypt from April 7-14.

Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad is at the top of the Road to Dubai standings with new world No1 Gregory Gaultier right behind in second and Mohamed Elshorbagy in third.

With an equal prize purse of $160,000 on offer in both the men’s and women’s tournaments, the five-day event will bring together the cream of squash talent – with players playing a round robin best-of-three series for a place in the knockout semi-finals.

Tickets for the event are available to purchase via or from the Dubai Opera Box Office.

The World Series Finals, staged last year at the foot of Burj Khalifa, comes to Dubai following an agreement between the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Dubai Sports Council, facilitated by Falcon and Associates. As part of a two-year agreement, the 2018 tournament will also be held at Dubai Opera from June 5-9.

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