Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini and New Zealand’s Paul Coll will both have their names engraved on the U.S. Open trophies for the first time.
El Sherbini and Coll had contrasting journeys to their first U.S. Open titles.
El Sherbini reached her first U.S. Open final in 2014, and fell short in four finals against Nicol David, Camille Serme, Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar. At twenty-seven years old, El Sherbini had won every major title the sport has to offer including seven world titles–except for the U.S. Open. Until Saturday night.
The world No. 1 put on a clinical display to avenge her 2021 U.S. Open semifinal loss against Hania El Hammamy to complete her trophy case 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in thirty-five minutes.
“Hania wasn’t playing her best, but I had my chances and I didn’t want to give her any cheap points,” said El Sherbini afterwards. “I think I played well and maybe that’s why she wasn’t at her best, but she kept fighting until the last point. I felt she wanted to win so much, and I have a little bit more experience than her, so I was more relaxed.”
Coll was making his U.S. Open final debut against two-time champion Ali Farag. The Kiwi reached the final after five-game quarterfinal and semifinal wins over Mazen Hesham and Diego Elias, but appeared to be on the brink of a 3-0 win after a quick opening two games 11-7, 11-7. The world No. 1 started to find his rhythm and dig in, taking the next two games and pushing Coll in the fifth to nine all. At which point Coll won a crucial point to go up 10-9, at which point Farag returned the serve into the tin to hand Coll his fourth career Platinum title.
“I thought I had it after the second, but I got way too excited and saw the finish line way too early,” Coll said. “I thought he was struggling, but he came back at me and his mentality is a joke. I couldn’t believe the way he reset, I needed to be more solid and I needed to finish him. I’m very happy to close the fifth out like that, my legs felt like concrete. It’s nice to play like that after last season. The win is great, but the whole week has been amazing for me.”
The 2023 U.S. Open Squash Championships marked the fiftieth staging of the event since 1954, and tenth anniversary of the tournament ushering in prize money parity for men and women–setting the standard on the PSA World Tour for the past decade.