Dubai: The Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Series Finals will move from Dubai Opera to Emirates Golf Club this year from June 5-9, it was announced on Monday.
The end-of-year play-off between the top eight in both men and women’s PSA World Series standings was held under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa in 2016 before moving inside Dubai Opera last year. It will now switch again to a purpose-built all-glass showcourt at Emirates Golf Club with an equal prize purse of US$160,000 (Dh587,672) in both men’s and women’s formats.
“Every major sport in the world has a presence in Dubai and I’m delighted that squash continues to be a part of that. We have built a strong association with Dubai and Dubai Sports Council since first taking the World Series Finals there in 2016 and this year we are excited to be working with Emirates Golf Club to put on another world-class sporting occasion.
“The World Series Finals is a showcase event for squash, something that fits perfectly with Dubai and Emirates Golf Club and I look forward to welcoming some of the world’s finest athletes back to Dubai again on June 5.”
Chris May, chief executive officer of Dubai Golf said: “We are delighted to be the venue for this prestigious event. Over our 30 year history we have welcomed a host of sporting legends and icons to Emirates Golf Club, and we are all looking forward to what will be a fantastic tournament and witnessing another world class sporting occasion at the club.”
Nine players — five men and four women — have already qualified for the year-ender after the first five events of the eight-stage season, and with the penultimate qualifying event currently underway in El Gouna, Egypt, the race is on to take one of the final qualifying slots.
Arab dominance continues with the three top slots in both men and women’s formats already taken by Egyptians. World No. 1 and PSA World Series Finals defending champion Mohammad Al Shorbagy tops the men’s standings, followed by compatriots Ali Farag and Tarek Momen. Germany’s Simon Rosner is fourth with Mohammad’s brother Marwan fifth.
Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad, England’s Nick Matthew and France’s Gregory Gaultier make up the rest of the current top eight but are still to confirm their qualification for Dubai.
The women’s line-up is led by World No. 1 Nour Al Sherbini of Egypt, with compatriots Nour Al Tayeb and Raneem Al Welily in second and third, while New Zealand’s Joelle King is fourth. Unconfirmed but making up the eight is France’s Camille Serme, England’s Laura Massaro, Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, while Malaysia’s Nicol David faces a real fight to qualify.
El Gouna concludes on April 27 before the final qualifying event, the British Open, takes place from May 15-20.
Tickets will go on sale soon. For more information visit www.worldseriesfinals.com