Weaver Reaches Historic World Championship Semifinals

Team USA’s Olivia Weaver became the second American to ever reach the PSA World Championships semifinals after a quarterfinal win against Egyptian world No. 19 Fayrouz Abouelkheir Wednesday, May 15, at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

The quarterfinal match up marked both Weaver and Aboelkheir’s debut in the World Championship’s last eight, and their first match up on the PSA World Tour.

It was the American who made the brighter start as she took a close opening game 11-9 and continued her momentum in the second 11-6. The eighteen-year-old Egyptian, who had upset world No. 4 Nele Gilis in the previous round, displayed her prowess in a dominant third game 11-3 to earn new life in the match up.

Weaver returned in the fourth game collected and in clinical form, running away with the match 11-3 after forty minutes.

“It feels great,” Weaver said. “That was a huge match and a huge opportunity for both of us – our first time in the quarterfinals. It’s funny as the first time I met Fayrouz was during 2020 in covid and I was training in Alexandria for a few days and they asked me if I wanted to get on court with a 15-year-old who was No.1 in the 17s and I could tell very quickly that she was going to get to this top level at a very young age. All credit to her for coming out and playing aggressively and to perform like that under these circumstances is very impressive, she’s had a great run this week and she’s got a bright future.”

Weaver joins teammate Amanda Sobhy, who reached the World Championship semifinals in 2021. In 2021, Sobhy lost out to seven-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini, who awaits Weaver on Friday.

“Rod [Martin] has been in my corner all week which has been incredible and I’ve been working so hard with all my team and my family has been backing me with all the work we’ve been putting in for all these years,” Weaver said. “It was obvious I needed to come back out in the fourth and change some things and find my game again. It was a combination of her skill and hold but I lost my accuracy and my length a bit. It was about going back to doing what I’ve been doing well this season which is getting the ball into the back corners and being aggressive around the middle. I try not to panic in those moments and me and my team do a lot of work to prepare for moments like that, don’t go how you plan but how you respond is being able to bounce back.”

Watch Weaver’s semifinal match against world No. 1 El Sherbini Friday, May 17, at 12:30pm ET on www.squash.tv.

“Not much needs to be said about Nour [El Sherbini] as she’s won this title seven times which is crazy and arguably the best player of all time,” Weaver said looking forward to the match.