Classic Manchester Open encounters

The Manchester Open returns this week, and despite the event having only started in 2019, there have been plenty of high-quality matches over the tournament’s short history.

Welshman Joel Makin and New Zealand’s Joelle King will return to the National Squash Centre this week as the tournament’s defending champions, with the Kiwi aiming to win the event for a third time.

Ahead of this year’s tournament, take a look back at some of the best matches from over the years in Manchester.

2022 Women’s Semi-Final: Joelle King v Nele Gilis

The opening match on semi-finals day at the 2022 Manchester Open was a cracker, as New Zealand’s Joelle King and Belgium’s Nele Gilis went the distance.

The pair did battle for more than 80 minutes, with the fifth game going deep into a tie-break. Who would come out on top at the National Squash Centre?

2022  Men’s Round Two: Patrick Rooney v Marwan ElShorbagy

England’s Patrick Rooney took on Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy in the second round of last year’s Manchester Open and it was a match that went all the way.

Rooney was looking to do well in front of his home crowd, while ElShorbagy was the No.2 seed and expected to reach the final. Could Rooney cause an upset and secure the biggest win of his career to date?

2021 Men’s Semi-Final: Joel Makin v Youssef Ibrahim

Young Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim had scored some impressive wins throughout the 2021 event, including a win over former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in round two.

He now faced a completetly different task, however, as he had set up a semi-final match with ‘The Golden Tiger’ Joel Makin. Could the Egyptian continue his impressive run?

2021 Men’s Quarter Final: Joel Makin v Mazen Hesham

In last year’s event, a highly anticipated clash between one of the tour’s most gifted players and one of the most athletic players took place in the quarter finals.

Wales’ Joel Makin and Egypt’s Mazen Hesham played out an 82 minute 3-2 on the glass court in Manchester and in the end, it was the Welshman that advanced through to the semis.

2020 Men’s Final: Mohamed ElShorbagy v Karim Abdel Gawad

Two former World Champions battled it out for the title in 2020, as Mohamed ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad met once again on the PSA World Tour.

Would the mix of skill and pace from ElShorbagy prove to be too much for ‘The Baby-Faced Assasin’? Or could the outrageous shot-making and finesse of Gawad score him another win over the beast?

2020 Women’s Semi-Final: Camille Serme v Hania El Hammamy

Top seed Camille Serme faced a tough task in her semi-final in 2020, as she took on Egypt’s rising star Hania El Hammamy.

The relentless hitting from El Hammamy was sure to set up a difficult but entertaining match for the Manchester crowd, and it didn’t disappoint. But who would it be taking their place in the final?

2019 Women’s Semi-Final: Nour El Tayeb v Tesni Evans

After defeating fellow Brit Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter finals, Wales’ Tesni Evans now faced Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb for a place in the final.

Known for her fighting spirit, Evans would need to fight in every second of this match to progress. Could she do it?

2019 Women’s Quarter Final: Tesni Evans v Sarah-Jane Perry

In an all British battle, England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry faced Welsh No.1 Tesni Evans for a place in the final four at the inaugural Manchester Open.

With two contrasting styles coming head to head, who would be able to hold their nerve the best and move through to the semi-finals?