Egyptian duo Mohamad Zakaria and Nadien Elhammamy have won the PSA Challenger Tour Player of the Month awards for November, as voted for on social media.
Zakaria claimed the honour for the second month in a row, after scooping the award in October having become the youngest ever male winner of a PSA Tour event – the Local World LA Open.
He followed that up with victory at The Northern Joe Cup in November, coming through two five-game thrillers to beat Finnlay Withington in the quarter-finals and Emyr Evans in the semis, before downing No.1 seed Toufik Mekhalfi in the final.
Voters on Instagram rewarded him for that achievement by ensuring he won the Player of the Month award by a landslide margin, claiming more than 70 per cent of the votes, with Evans in second following his victory at the Oregon Open, and Canada’s Salah Eltorgman – who won two titles last month – in third.
The women’s award went to Elhammamy in a much closer result, with the Egyptian teenager edging out Torrie Malik, claiming 34 per cent of the vote to Malik’s 30 per cent, psaworldtour reported.
Both players won titles in the month of November, with Malik earning her first crown at The Nothern Joe Cup, while Elhammamy won the Les Elles de l’Est title in what was her first ever PSA Tour event, joining an illustrious group of players to achieve that feat.
The 16-year-old had to earn her victory the hard way too, knocking out two seeded players en route to the final, where she overcame top seed and home favourite Lauren Baltayan to clinch glory.
Elsewhere, defending champion Hania el-Hammamy produced an outstanding performance to defeat Belgium’s Nele Gilis in straight games and progress to the Hong Kong Open final.
The match started with a number of lengthy rallies, with the pair working their way into the new all-glass court at the Xiqu Centre.
However, as the first progressed, it was the No.2 seed who began to dominate the middle of the court, hunting down volleys and forcing her opponent into some tough recoveries at the front of the court.
The Egyptian stormed into a 7-0 lead early in the second, punishing Gilis with a string of powerful winners. Despite World No.4 Gilis firing in a few shots of her own, it was El-Hammamy who doubled her lead through an 11-5 scoreline.
The momentum continued to move in El Hammamy’s favour in the third, with the World No.3 countering any threats that Gilis threw her way with some immaculate movement across the court.
Gilis, who had already fought through two five-game encounters on her way to the last four, had no answers to El Hammamy’s ruthless hitting, dropping deeper in the court and falling 4-0 behind.
From there, the Egyptian worked her way towards the finish line with confidence and composure, securing her berth in the final after 32 minutes of action.