There have been five previous CIB Women’s Black Ball Opens – we take a look back as we anticipate the 2022 edition …
After the success of the first CIB Black Ball Open in 2018 – a men’s Platinum event – March 2019 saw the first Women’s event, a GOLD event offering a $75,000 prize fund split between 24 players.
Fittingly it was the world’s top two – Raneem El Welily and Nour El Sherbini – who lined up in the final with their PSA H2H record standing at 10 wins each !
And what a thriller it was, with Raneem coming from two-one down to claim the inaugural title.
 Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-2  Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 9-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-1, 11-5 (53m)
The second women’s event move up a level to a top-tier Platinum event offering a $180,000 prize fund and a 48-player draw.
Defending Champion and top seed Raneem El Welily lost out to Nour El Tayeb in the quarters, but it was fourth seed Nour El Sherbini who made the final from the top half of the draw.
In the bottom half second seed Nouran Gohar was forced out with injury, and it was ninth seed Hania El Hammamy – the world junior champion – who won through to the final.
Knowing that the Tour would soon be shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the crowd was treated to another dramatic final, another runners-up spot for Sherbini, and a first major PSA title for Hania !
 Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-2  Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 13-11 (71m)
The COVID-19 Pandemic hit squash hard, but the PSA, working with CIB and Black Ball, managed to stage several events while the pandemic was ranging, the 2020 Gold events being one of the first of them, in December, with a 32-player draw offering a $110 ,000 prize fund.
Raneem El Welily had by now retired, so Nour El Sherbini was top seed but she lost out in the quarters to Amanda Sobhy. Hania El Hammamy, seeded four, continued her winning streak to reach the final from the top half.
In the bottom half Nouran Gohar, again seeded two, lost in the quarters to Joelle King, but it was England’s Sarah-Jane Perry who won through to the final.
A third consecutive five-game final endued, with SJ coming from two games down to wrest the title from Hania.
 Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-2  Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 4-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (75m)
Still in the grip of the Pandemic, March 2021 saw the second women’s Platinum event – running alongside a Men’s Platinum – with a 48-player draw and a $180,000 prize fund.
Nour El Sherbini, again top seed, won through to her third final, beating defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarters.
In the bottom half of the draw USA’s Amanda Sobhy came through, beating Camille Serme and Black Ball’s own Salma Hany in thrilling quarter and semi final matches.
There was to be no repeat of Sobhy’s win over Sherbini in the previous edition, as the top seed finally claimed her first Black Ball title.
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-1  Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 13-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 (42m)
As in the previous year, December saw Men’s and Women’s GOLD events – 24 player draws with $110,000 prize funds running one after the other.
Defending champion Nour El Sherbini was again top seed, and she won through to her fourth final without dropping a game. Hania El Hammamy reached her third final, beating long-time junior rival Rowan Elaraby in the quarters and an injured Nouran Gohar in the semis.
The final – played at the end of the day after men’s round one – saw Sherbini claim a second Black Ball title.
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-1  Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 11-7, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7 (48m)
So that’s the story of the five Women’s CIB Black Ball Opens so far – we can’t wait for the next one, and the good news is that we don’t have to wait very long at all …