The Qatar Classic women’s event made a triumphant return this year after a six-year hiatus since 2015, when El Sherbini herself featured in the final.
Egyptian rising star Hania El Hammamy clinched the coveted 2023 QTerminals Qatar Classic women’s title, beating her fellow Egyptian and World No.1, Nour El Sherbini, in an electrifying final at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
The 2023 QTerminals Qatar Classic women’s tournament kicked off at the famed Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex on 9 September, inviting 48 global stars to battle it out in the women’s contest for the first time since 2015.
El Hammamy expressed her astonishment at her victory, saying, “It’s definitely unbelievable for me. Last week I lost in the third round in Paris […] I’m definitely proud of the way I’m fighting everyday and the way I bounce back after each loss.”
The encounter between El Hammamy and El Sherbini lived up to its hyped up expectations.
El Hammamy acknowledged her admiration for her opponent, saying “playing against Nour is very hard. She’s the classy image of being a World No.1 and a World Champion. She’s the one I look up to and I try to learn from her to carry that image when it’s my time to be on top.”
“I’ve always enjoyed it, it’s always a pleasure playing against her.”
The final did not disappoint as it witnessed a seesaw of emotions and skill. El Sherbini claimed the opening game with an 11-9 score, however El Hammamy responded with a stunning 11-9 victory in the second.
The third game was a sitting-at-the-edge affair, with both players vying for supremacy, but El Sherbini ultimately clenched it 11-9.
The fourth game mirrored the third, ending with El Hammamy’s perseverance prevailing at 11-9, pushing the match to a thrilling fifth-game decider.
In a surprising twist, El Hammamy rose to a commanding 9-1 lead in the final game, leaving El Sherbini with a lot to work with.
Despite a late resurgence from the World No.1, it seemed to not have been enough as El Hammamy sealed the deal with an 11-6 victory.
The newly crowned champion collapsed in sheer joy, celebrating her women’s Doha title.
El Sherbini, although disappointed with her loss, remained optimistic, saying: “Of course I’m disappointed that I lost this match, but I’m really proud that I did two finals back-to-back. It’s just the start of the season.”
Reflecting on her rival, she added: “Everyone knows how physical Hania is, and how much of a fighter she is. She’s still young, she’s still hungry. I really love playing against her. She’s an amazing player, hopefully we’re going to have a lot of battles this season.”
The Qatar Classic women’s event made a triumphant return this year after a six-year hiatus since 2015, when El Sherbini herself featured in the final. Friday’s final lived up to the event’s legacy, showcasing the immense talent and spirit of these two Egyptian squash stars.
Meanwhile, the Qatar Classic will continue to captivate squash enthusiasts as it heads towards the men’s final.
Egypt’s Ali Farag secured his spot in the final by defeating Welsh World No.10 Joel Makin in straight games.
Farag will face World No.2 Diego Elias, who advanced to his second final in Qatar by defeating Mazen Hesham in a thrilling contest.