28 Sep 2018

Mixed Fortunes For American Hopes As NetSuite Open Gets Underway

There were mixed fortunes for America’s two top ranked female squash players Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford in the first round of the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open as the PSA World Tour event got underway today in San Francisco.

Sobhy, the highest ranked American-born female player of all-time, was in scintillating form as she romped to a straight-games victory over Australia’s former World No.1 Rachael Grinham.

The 25-year-old, who missed most of the 2017-18 season after rupturing her achilles tendon, played with aggression from the outset and utilised her full attacking arsenal to secure an 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 win after just 22 minutes of play.

“I’ve worked really hard this summer and had a good training block to work on the issues that developed after the injury and on any imbalances in my movement,” said Sobhy, who will now face number three seed Camille Serme of France in the second round.

“Rachael in incredibly tricky to play and hits some incredible shots, so I’m just happy to get a decent performance in and get that first win. I’ve played a few team events in the last month but its a completely different vibe at a major event so I’m happy to get that first one out of the way.

“I’m exited to play Camille tomorrow. I’m the underdog now and have no pressure on me but I want to go out there and prove that I belong on this stage. I want to get my ranking back to where it was before the injury and I’ll have the home crowd, and some friends, behind me so there’s even more incentive to win.”

Blatchford, who, following injury to Sobhy, has overtaken her as the US No.1, however fell to a 3-1 defeat to Frenchwoman Aumard on a day that also saw Milou van der Heijden, Donna Lobban, Fiona Moverley, Salma Hany, Hollie Naughton and Nadine Shahin book their places in the second round.

In the men’s event the opening round featured a compelling all-French battle between Mathieu Castagnet and Lucas Serme which went the way of Castagnet after 63-minutes of compelling, attritional squash.

The opening game alone lasted 20 minutes as the pair probed for openings before the more experienced Castagnet struck the first blow as he sneaked the opening game. The 31-year-old then doubled his lead courtesy of an equally tight second game and while Serme struck back to take a comfortable third, Castagnet regrouped to take control in the fourth game and complete the win.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries over the past few years so I’m just enjoying being on court and I’m trying to have fun out there as much as possible,” said Castagnet.

“We are friends but we both train very hard every day to win matches so we have to go on there and do a job. It’s a nightmare to play someone you know very well, but I’m just happy to have won and be in the next round, which I’m excited about.”

Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi prevailed in arguably the match of the day as he outlasted Mexican Cesar Salazar in a 68-minute five-game thriller, coming back from 6-3 down in the decisive fifth to clinch a second round berth where he will take on Germany’s Simon Rösner.

“I lost in my first tournament of the season in Pakistan before I came here so I was a bit nervous at the beginning,” said Fathi.

“I was trying to give it everything I’ve got. I was chasing everything and that got to his head, and I think that’s how I won. Sometimes you just have to throw tactics out the window and fight for everything. We were both tired and breathing hard at the end but I guess it went my way this time.”

England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop was amongst the other winners on the opening day as he beat Scoland’s Alan Clyne 3-0 with Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, Saurav Ghosal, Ryan Cuskelly, Gregoire Marche and Mazen Hesham also triumphing.

Results - Women’s 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Round One

Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (25m)

Donna Lobban (AUS) bt Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (41m)

Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (25m)

Salma Hany (EGY) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-2 (24m)

Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 (42m)

Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (23m)

Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (22m)

Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-1: 11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-2 (38m)

Draw- Women’s 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Round Two

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Hollie Naughton (CAN)

[9/16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v [7] Alison Waters (ENG)

[6] Nicol David (MAS) v [9/16] Fiona Moverley (ENG)

Donna Lobban (AUS) v [4] Laura Massaro (ENG)

[3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [8] Annie Au (HKG)

[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Salma Hany (EGY)

Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [2] Joelle King (NZL)

Results - Men’s 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Round One

Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-8 (42m)

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (49m)

Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 (68m)

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 (63m)

Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 15-13, 11-7 (52m)

Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [WC] Charlie Johnson (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

James Willstrop (ENG) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (34m)

Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (55m)

Draw - Men’s 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open: Round Two

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)

[9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)

Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)

[4] Simon Rösner (GER) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)

Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

[8] Diego Elias (PER) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)

[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

2018 World Squash Day heralded by launch of Official Single

World Squash Day takes place on Saturday October 13th and this year it aims to hit all the right notes with a musical theme.

The track called Africa, written by squash-loving composer Stuart Sharp, is being released by the Pure Sync label as the Official Single of World Squash Day. It will also be available on iTunes.

The song was recorded live at a charity concert staged by Stuart in Zambia in January 1989.

Sung by the late Oliver Cheatham, the track still sounds as fresh and vibrant as it did on the day 80,000 people packed into Lusaka’s National Stadium to hear it for the first time.

Composer Sharp hopes it will be given plenty of air-time by TV and radio stations during the build-up to World Squash Day.

“That concert was the culmination of a major project to give people in the shanty towns the chance to play sport and I was busy handing out hundreds of squash rackets, balls and equipment,” said Sharp.

“Some 29 years on I am delighted to support World Squash Day, which has the same aims of making squash accessible to as many people as possible.

“Squash, well known for being one of the best sports for health and fitness, can also provide a great solution in the fight to combat childhood obesity in developed countries.”

Sharp’s love of squash grew when he was homeless in London in the 1980s. He wandered in to the Wembley Squash Centre and watched in awe as he saw Jahangir Khan training with his coach Rahmat Khan as the Pakistani wonder boy was launching an astonishing career that made him the most successful player in the history of the sport.

Sharp ended up travelling the world with the Khans and filmed some of the highlights of Jahangir’s career.

He has recently re-edited much of this vintage footage and a short film called “Jahangir Khan” is due to be launched next month at the Pakistan High Commission in London.

World Squash Day is endorsed by the World Squash Federation and the PSA (Professional Squash Association), which manages the World Tour for the game’s male and female professionals.

Founder Alan Thatcher added:

“I always appreciate the support of the WSF and the PSA players as we strive to promote squash at every club on the planet on the same day.

“This year it is extra special to have our own theme song and the energy and passion in ‘Africa’ mirrors how so many squash enthusiasts feel about their sport.

“We are particularly hoping that African nations will respond to this wonderful track and help to promote the game across that whole continent and beyond.”

Oliver Cheatham (1948-2013) was an American R&B singer whose biggest hit came with the 1983 song ‘Get Down Saturday Night.’

Sharp added:

“He loved being on stage in Zambia. His voice, his performance and personality are still overwhelming when I see the recording now. He was such a great singer and I am so pleased to see this adding a new dimension to the enormous work already done for the game by World Squash Day.”

Sharp, despite a lack of any formal musical training, went on to write a number of symphonies, which were recorded by The London Philharmonia Orchestra.

A movie of his extraordinary life story, based on his autobiography ‘The Gift’ (available on Amazon) is being produced by Gold Circle Films in Hollywood.

Canary Wharf Classic Tickets to Go On Sale Next Week

Tickets go on sale next week for the 2019 Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Squash Classic, which will take place between March 10-15 next year.

There will be an extra bonus for squash fans in March with an extra day’s play at the stunning East Wintergarden venue in Canary Wharf for this PSA World Tour Gold tournament featuring the game’s leading players.

Following the new PSA tour structure – which came into effect on August 1 – there will no longer be a qualifying competition, meaning the draw size has increased from 16 players to 24.

This means that play will start on Sunday March 10 with eight matches on the glass court, while the tournament will once again feature a best-of-three games format up until the semi-finals stage following a successful trial of the format at last year’s event, which was won by World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Tournament Director Tim Garner said: “We are delighted to announce that this year’s event will feature an extra day’s play. For the first time action will take place on the all-glass court at the weekend.

“People’s Sunday will kick off the 2019 event with eight matches. When the event started 15 years ago there were few visitors to the Canary Wharf estate at weekends but now the whole area is a hive of activity with the retail malls bustling.

“People’s Sunday will allow us to have a bigger attendance to the event, which sells out in a matter of weeks, and will open it up to a new audience that is not able to make the trip to Canary Wharf during the working week.”

Salman Haider, Head of UK Consumer Bank and International Personal Bank EMEA, Citi, commented:  “We are pleased to be the title sponsor of the 2019 Canary Wharf Squash Classic tournament. It is great to support such a prestigious event and one that is held right on the doorstep of our Citigold lounge in Canary Wharf."

With the removal of a qualifying competition, the top eight seeds receive byes into the second round on Monday and Tuesday, while the remaining entrants will battle it out on the Sunday to join them in the last 16.

Tickets will go on pre-sale on October 3 and general sale on Friday October 5 and are available for purchase via Ticketmaster.

All of the action will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe only), while action from the semi-finals and finals will be shown by major broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Perry Opens Up on ‘Emotional’ Oracle NetSuite Open Title Win

England’s World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry will appear at the Oracle NetSuite Open, PSA World Tour Silver event in San Francisco later this week, 12 months after taking the biggest title of her career there in emotional scenes.

Perry, a runner-up in 2015, overcame compatriot Laura Massaro for the first time ever in the semi-finals of the 2017 edition, before launching an astonishing comeback from two games down against Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the final to claim her most significant title to date.

What followed was an outpouring of emotion from Perry, who revealed that the death of her grandmother shortly before the tournament gave her extra determination to fight for the trophy.

"Last year was very special to me" said Birmingham-born Perry.

"It was my biggest PSA title so far and I had to fight so hard in the semis and the final. 

"I was so emotional at the end because my nan passed away just before and I wanted to win so badly for her. She was one of my favourite people and she was always very proud of me, so I was determined to fight until the end."

In addition to her Oracle NetSuite Open triumph, Perry enjoyed a fruitful 2016/17 season which saw her reach a career-high World No.6 ranking in addition to securing a place at the ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals for a second successive season.

The 28-year-old is targeting a top four spot by the end of the new campaign and, after a quarter-final finish at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open earlier this month, is aiming to find her best form in San Francisco.

"History says I do well here and, whilst the draw is even stronger this year, I'm confident I can perform well and hopefully that will win me some matches," she said.

"My goals this season are to consolidate my top eight spot and get some results against the girls above me, I would love to be top four by the end of the season. The World Championships in Chicago is obviously the main event to aim for.

"Summer training went really well, I didn't manage to put everything into practice in China, but hopefully I can here. Consistency is something I've been working hard to improve, without losing my own style of play."

Perry will begin her 2017/18 campaign in San Francisco against either World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby or World No.15 Salma Hany in the second round after after the number five seed received a bye into the last 16.

Also appearing in the women’s draw are the likes of World Champion Raneem El Welily, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Joelle King and former champions Massaro and Amanda Sobhy, while World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy headlines the men’s tournament.

The tournament’s largest ever prize fund of $206K is split between the men’s and women’s tournaments - both of which will feature a 24-player draw after the new PSA tour structure came into effect on August 1, while the tournament will take place on San Francisco's Embarcadero Plaza between September 27 - October 2.

First and second round action will be played at the Bay Club Redwood Shores, Squash Zone, Bay Club San Francisco, the Olympic Club and the University Club, while the quarter-finals onwards will be held at the all-glass Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court erected on Embarcadero Plaza from September 29 – October 2.

Fixtures shown on the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

More information on the tournament can be found on the Oracle NetSuite OpenFacebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Tickets start from $20 and can be purchased via the tournament website.

Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [WC] Charlie Johnson (ENG)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
[8] Diego Elias (PER) (bye)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [916] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[9/16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Coline Aumard (FRA)
[7] Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [9/16] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [9/16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9/16] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) (bye)

26 Sep 2018

United States Harrity Secures PSA World Championships Place with Madeira Title Win

United States World No.50 Todd Harrity has secured his place at the prestigious PSA World Championships after he defeated England’s World No.53 Joshua Masters in the final of the International Tournament Madeira Island.

The International Tournament Madeira Island is one of a number of PSA Challenger Tour events which will see the winner secure their place at next year’s coveted PSA World Championships, which will take place in Chicago and will become the first professional squash tournament to offer a prize purse of $1 million.

Harrity was forced to work hard to win his third PSA title after he found himself a game down as 23-year-old Masters – who reached the final in Madeira last year - started the match brightly.

United States No.1 Harrity – who prevailed in a gruelling five-game semi-final with India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar yesterday - found himself 6-1 down to his English opponent – who had not dropped a single game throughout the tournament – in the opening moments, but was able to find a way back and even held game ball at one point, which he failed to convert and Masters was able to capitalise to take the lead on a 12-10 tie-break.

However, 28-year-old Harrity did not let that unsettle him as he came battling back in the second to grow in momentum and level the scores. From that moment on, the 28-year-old was able to execute his game plan well and take advantage of some errors from his English opponent to take a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth, Harrity was able to stretch his advantage to eventually claim a 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 win in 49 minutes and ensure his place in Chicago next year for the prestigious PSA World Championships.

“I think for me it was just about keeping things as simple as possible,” said World No.50 Harrity.

“I tend to overthink and sometimes psych myself out, so yesterday [in the semi-finals] I tried to think of it as though it was close, and I was lucky to scrape through and I was lucky to be in the final.

“I just tried to relax today and not put pressure on myself. I had really good preparation and have been playing well and then Josh just came out firing.

“I just tried to not let that bother me and after the first game I just tried to loosen up and play my shots and go for it a bit more.

“I was really happy to be able to come back and not get down mentally after I had done all the hard work and then lost it on the tie-break in the first, but I’m really pleased with how I came back and I’m sure we will have many more battles to come.

“It’s definitely a big wait of my shoulders to already have qualified for the World Championships and it will give me peace of mind that no matter what happens I still have a spot guaranteed there.

“I tried not to think about it too much this week and just take one step at a time, but it feels great to have qualified.”

Result: Final

[1] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [2] Joshua Masters (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (49m)

World No.1 ElShorbagy to Kick Off Season in San Francisco this Week

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy will play his first tournament of the season at the Oracle NetSuite Open between September 27 - October 2 as he aims to defend the title he won with style last year at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza.

ElShorbagy’s debut appearance at this tournament 12 months ago culminated in a final victory over fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad, which laid the foundations for a dominant season for the 27-year-old from Alexandria, who went on to claim seven further PSA Tour titles - including a maiden PSA World Championship crown - and returned to the summit of the PSA World Rankings.

Speaking ahead of the PSA World Tour Gold event, ElShorbagy outlined how much he enjoyed the tournament last year and says he is raring to go after the summer break which saw him link up once again with coach and two-time World Champion David Palmer, one of the key figures behind the Egyptians resurgence during the last campaign.

"I absolutely loved my time last year in San Fran," said ElShorbagy.

"I really did enjoy the tournament, and it’s not a surprise knowing [Tournament Promoter] John Nimick over the years. He has always known how to make the tournaments he has done very enjoyable, professional and very comfortable for the players to just focus on their game during his events.

"My summer training has been going well with mixing it between training in Bristol and now at Cornell [University] with [David] Palmer before the season starts. Of course, before I start my summer training I start to analyse myself first on what kind of weaknesses in my game I need to improve and work on, and I have been working on a few things this summer that will hopefully improve my game for next season."

ElShorbagy’s dominant 2017/18 campaign came off the back of a disappointing 2016/17 season, which saw him lose his grip on the World No.1 spot and pick up just one major title.

However, the Bristol-based powerhouse says that the experience gained in suffering that slump in form has helped him scale new heights over the past 12 months and he envisages becoming an even better player during the upcoming season than the one who dominated the PSA Tour over the previous campaign.

"I have already proved a lot of things last season with my comeback to the top," he said.

"But I have been to the top before and lost it and I know how it made me feel, and this time if I lose it I want to lose it because someone else raised the bar over me, because someone else played better than me, not because I lost hunger or motivation.

"I think that’s always the advantage I will have, that I went through a lot of phases in my career at such a young age and that I have gained a lot of experiences, and now getting back to the top with that kind of experience, it will definitely make it harder for someone to get me out of it this time.

"Hopefully I am going to be better next season. All I want is to be better than the player I was last season, that’s my main competition right now."

ElShorbagy will headline a star-studded line-up in San Francisco alongside the likes of U.S. Open champion Ali Farag, Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner and British Open champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

A women’s PSA World Tour Silver event will also be held, with top seed and World Champion Raneem El Welily, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Joelle King and eight-time World Champion Nicol David just some of the big names that will compete to dethrone defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry, who also features.

A record prize fund of $206K is split between the men’s and women’s tournaments, both of which will feature a 24-player draw after the new PSA tour structure came into effect on August 1.

First and second round action will be split between the Bay Club Redwood Shores, Squash Zone, Bay Club San Francisco, the Olympic Club and the University Club, while the quarter-finals onwards will be held at the all-glass Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court erected on Embarcadero Plaza from September 29 - October 2.

Fixtures shown on the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Squash fans can follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tickets start from $20 and can be purchased via the tournament website.

Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [WC] Charlie Johnson (ENG)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
[8] Diego Elias (PER) (bye)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [916] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[9/16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Coline Aumard (FRA)
[7] Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [9/16] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [9/16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9/16] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) (bye)

World's Best to Line-Up in Doha for Qatar Classic

The 2018 Qatar Classic will welcome the world’s leading players back to Doha between October 27 - November 2 when World No.1 and defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy will kick off his attempts to lift the PSA World Tour Platinum title for the fourth time at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

ElShorbagy, 27, won the Qatar Classic in 2013, 2015 and 2017 and also appeared in the final of the 2012 and 2014 PSA World Championships, which took place in Doha, the capital of the State of Qatar.

The Egyptian will look to keep his superb run going in Qatar but will face resistance from the likes of World No.2 Ali Farag, 2011 winner Gregory Gaultier and the in form Simon Rosner and Miguel Angel Rodriguez as he looks to take the lion’s share of the $177K prize purse.

Local interest comes in the form of the Qatari Champion, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, and Syed Azlan Amjad and Abdulrahman Al-Malki, who will appear in the main draw for the first since the 2006 edition.

Al Tamimi is currently playing at a career-high World No.28 ranking and will look to reach the latter rounds of this tournament for the first time.

As a PSA World Tour Platinum tournament, the winner of the event will automatically qualify for a coveted berth at the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which includes both a men’s and women’s tournament and features the reigning PSA World Champions together with the season’s Platinum event winners and players that qualify by placing high enough on the PSA Road to Dubai Leaderboard.

Action from the Qatar Classic will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), with action from the semi-finals on November 1 and the final on November 2 being shown live by mainstream broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

For more on the Qatar Classic, follow the tournament on Twitter.

2018 Qatar Classic – Entry List
1) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2) Ali Farag (EGY)
3) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
4) Tarek Momen (EGY)
5) Simon Rösner (GER)
6) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
7) Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
8) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
9) Ramy Ashour (EGY)
10) Paul Coll (NZL)
11) Diego Elias (PER)
12) Saurav Ghosal (IND)
13) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
14) Omar Mosaad (EGY)
15) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
16) Daryl Selby (ENG)
17) James Willstrop (ENG)
18) Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
19) Max Lee (HKG)
20) Cameron Pilley (AUS)
21) Leo Au (HKG)
22) Raphael Kandra (GER)
23) Declan James (ENG)
24) Cesar Salazar (MEX)
25) Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
26) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
27) Borja Golan (ESP)
28) Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
29) Gregoire Marche (FRA)
30) Greg Lobban (SCO)
31) Tom Richards (ENG)
32) Mazen Hesham (EGY)
33) Alan Clyne (SCO)
34) Campbell Grayson (NZL)
35) Joel Makin (WAL)
36) Chris Simpson (ENG)
37) Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
38) Adrian Waller (ENG)
39) Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
40) Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
41) Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
42) Arturo Salazar (MEX)
43) Ben Coleman (ENG)
44) Youssef Soliman (EGY)
45) Rex Hedrick (AUS)
46) Mohamed Reda (EGY)
Wildcard) Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT)
Wildcard) Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT)

Ikoyi club host First Nairda National Junior Squash Open

Ikoyi club 1938 squash section present, First Nairda National Junior Squash Open U-16 (Boys & Girls)

see caption above for more details.

23 Sep 2018

First Nairda National Junior Squash Open

Ikoyi club 1938 squash section present, First Nairda National Junior Squash Open U-16 (Boys & Girls)

see caption above for more details.

Dalian Delights In Successful Staging Of Historic World Championship

Traditional Chinese musicians and dancers regaled athletes, officials and volunteers at the Closing Ceremony dinner for the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in Dalian as the Liaoning Province seaport city celebrated the successful staging of the historic first world squash championship to be held on mainland China.

Egypt, with a powerful squad boasting four world top six-ranked players, successfully defended the title – beating seven-times champions England to claim the title for a fourth time in 10 years.

PSA Sign Partnership with FeedConstruct

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) have signed a partnership with digital content providers FeedConstruct which will see the PSA deliver live video content from all matches broadcast on the PSA World Tour and PSA Challenger Tour to FeedConstruct's Friendship platform.

FeedConstruct - which is owned by award-winning online and land-based gaming solutions developer BetConstruct - will offer this content to their large client base of more than 300 business-to-consumer sports betting companies using a pay-per-match model.

"We are pleased to establish a partnership with FeedConstruct and are looking forward to working with them over the coming months," said PSA Chief Commercial Officer Tommy Berden.

"FeedConstruct have extensive experience in providing live video content to the gaming industry and we believe that squash - with its unpredictable nature and supremely talented athletes - will be a perfect fit for their platform."

Head of FeedConstruct Samvel Nersisyan said: "We designed the Friendship platform to be a global marketplace of unique sport and gaming videos. We happily welcome PSA on our platform with their video content of exciting and thrilling squash."

For more information on FeedConstruct, visit www.feedconstruct.com or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This partnership has been driven by Hampshire Sports, the exclusive agency for the sale, distribution and exploitation of the video betting rights for the PSA. 

"We believe this partnership will enhance the business vision and goals of the PSA and FeedConstruct on a new digital platform created for rights owners to manage their own rights " said Hampshire Sports Director Janet Allen.

About PSA
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) is the global governing body responsible for the administration of both men's and women's professional squash around the world. With over 900 registered players and more than 200 events taking place around the globe every year, the PSA World Tour and the PSA Challenger Tour - both managed and run by the PSA - showcases the game of squash at its highest level in some of the world's most unique and stunning locations. For further information, please visit:

About FeedConstruct
FeedConstruct provides real-time data and digital content for the most popular sporting events around the world. They have seamlessly integrated four key products into a single comprehensive platform, making access to high-quality live streams, odds feed, statistics and scouting data simpler and easier than ever.

Egypt crowned Women’s World Team Champions in Dalian

Defending champions Egypt fulfilled their seeding in the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in China, successfully retaining their title by beating perennial rivals England, the No.2 seeds, 2/0 in the final of the biennial World Squash Federation championship at the Xigang Gymnasium in the seaport city of Dalian.

It was the two nations’ fifth meeting in the final in since 2006 and Egypt’s fourth triumph over the seven-times champions.

Things looked to be going the way of the favourites early in the opening match between the third strings Nouran Gohar and Londoner Alison Waters (both pictured below). Such is the might of the Egyptian squad that they were able to rest their number one – the world No.1 Nour El Sherbini – yet still field at third string Nouran Gohar, the squad number four who is ranked six in the world!

Gohar raced to a two-game lead – but Waters, earning her 140th international cap for England, battled back to level the match. It took just less than an hour but Gohar finally nailed her opponent, winning 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7 in 55 minutes.

Experienced Egyptian world team championship campaigner Raneem El Welily then faced England’s Laura Massaro – both former world number ones. The match was the pair’s 31st meeting since May 2004 – with the English player having a 19-11 head-to-head advantage going into the match.

El Welily, the reigning world No.2, took a two-game lead over Massaro (both pictured above) before the Lancashire lass reduced the deficit by winning the third game. But the fourth game was a short affair, El Welily dropping just three points before winning 11-3, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3 to give the title to Egypt.

“You always forget about how hard it is for managers and coaches to watch the players – especially on the women’s side where it’s all about tactical squash,” said Egypt coach Amr Shabana, the four-time world champion afterwards. “The attrition and speed has gone up in the last ten years. But at the end of the day it’s very tactical – and you can see the tactics going back and forth.

“So I am very proud of the girls especially after Nour El Sherbini messed up her Achilles tendon yesterday – so I am very happy that they stuck together and kept it together.”

When asked if the approach to this fifth final against was any different from before, Shabana responded: “I tried to fire them up: I asked them, just before they started to warm up, how many times they have won the world team title? I know England has won it seven times – but how many times have you won it, how many times did England win it?

“It is only four. So I said, you are not exactly favourites here; you are not used to that feeling. You still have a long time before you can say you are dominant – and that’s what I wanted them to know. I wanted to remind them, it’s not us on top of the mountain, it’s actually England on top of the mountain. It’s up to us to work our way up to that.”

When reminded that Australia have won the title nine times, Shabana immediately said: “So we are not even among the two best teams yet! We might be higher in the rankings but by far we’re not the most dominant nation as of yet. Yes, we’re higher-ranked right now, but people tend to think we have always been this!”

Which nations represented the biggest potential threat to Egypt in the future? “Hong Kong, Malaysia and India – in that order,” said the coach. “After that you can see USA coming up next. Hong Kong have an amazing system, as does Malaysia. And USA wants to show off that university mentality.”

England coach David Campion was not dismayed by his team’s performance: “We were fairly confident Alison might be able to get us off to a decent start with her track record against Gohar. But, to be fair, both Raneem and Gohar played really well for Egypt – both played superb squash. And from 2/0 down when Al came back I thought she might be able to do – but it wasn’t to be.

“They both gave it everything. Laura’s match with Raneem was a quality match. Raneem was superb and when she plays like that she’s very difficult – she beats everybody when she plays like that.

“We can’t really be too disappointed with the outcome when you see the level of squash they play at today.

“It’s another silver medal against Egypt. We’ll keep fighting away and hopefully keep as competitive as this going forward!”

16 Sep 2018

Egypt & England to contest Women’s World Final in Dalian

For the fifth year time in seven years, Egypt and England will contest the final of the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in China after the top two seeds survived semi-finals in the biennial World Squash Federation championship which went the full distance.

Defending champions Egypt, boasting a powerful squad featuring four players in the world top six, were the first to make the final after overcoming surprise opponents Hong Kong China, the fifth seeds who defeated No.3 seeds USA in the quarter-finals at the Xigang Gymnasium in the city of Dalian.

Second string Raneem El Welily, currently the world’s second best player, eased Egypt ahead following a straight games win over Hong Kong left-hander Joey Chan. But the favourites suffered an uncharacteristic setback – for the second time in 24 hours – when top string Nour El Sherbini, the world No.1, went down in five games to the top-ranked Hong Kong player Annie Au (both pictured above).

Au led 1/0 and 2/1 – then squandered a match ball in the fourth before finally closing out the match 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3 to level the tie. Despite a brave fight in the decider, HK event debutant Lee Ka Yi, the fourth string ranked 57 in the world, was no match for Nour El Tayeb, going down to the world No.3 from Egypt 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (both pictured below).

“Our number one player is always going to have a tricky match,” said Egypt coach Amr Shabana later. “But you have to give it to the Hong Kong federation – their system is amazing. I remember maybe 15 years ago, it was a surprise when a Hong Kong player did well – now it’s not a surprise! The Hong Kong federation and the national team should be very proud of themselves.

“Even their number four player today was playing against our number three player – and she was very promising. As the Egyptian national team, we have to be very proud to have got through this match.

“But we’re in the final now, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s job done for me. It was up to me not to lose before the final, and if we do win this tournament none of the credit is to me. We’re playing with the best players in the world and all I am trying to do is manage them and get the best out of them. Once they step out on court tomorrow it’s up to them. So far so good!”

The later semi-final bore a striking similarity to the first – when England took the lead, then saw surprise opponents France, the sixth seeds, strike back before the second seeds restored order with a straightforward win in the decider.

In only the fourth championship meeting between the two nations in 31 years, England moved ahead through Sarah-Jane Perry, who beat French opponent Coline Aumard 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6.

France then registered their first ever match win over England in the competition when world No.5 Camille Serme extended her 11-8 head-to-head record over Laura Massaro by beating the former world No.1 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 to level the tie.

With some 200 world ranking positions between them, it was perhaps no surprise that England’s experienced world No.10 Alison Waters needed only three games to overcome French opponent Melissa Alves (both pictured above) 11-6, 11-3, 12-10 to put England into the final.

The semi-final success extends England’s remarkable record of having been in every final, bar one, since 1981 – 37 years ago!

“It’s never straightforward,” explained England coach David Campion. “Especially when you’ve got players shooting at you like you saw at the end there with Melissa.

“Our team is vastly experienced – but there are a lot of top players here, so you’ve got to prepare for every match. You can’t expect to just walk into a final. We’ll push Egypt as hard as we can!”

There was drama in both the ties in the play-offs for the 5-8 places. Third seeds USA beat No.7 seeds New Zealand – third string Reeham Sedky being taken the full distance by the Kiwi No.2 Amanda Landers-Murphy before winning 11-6, 10-12, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 57 minutes, then US No.1 Amanda Sobhy pulling through against Joelle King (both pictured in action below) when the NZ world No.4 was forced to retire hurt with a toe injury to her left foot.

“We had to regroup after yesterday’s loss – of course, we were disappointed,” admitted US coach Thierry Lincou. “We rested Reeham and today she was fresh and ready to go. We hoped she would inject some positivity into the group and she had good start – it was close but she did a good job

“We knew that the second match would be tough especially after Amanda’s match yesterday and Joelle’s win yesterday. So we knew that the first one would be important.

“So winning the first one enabled us to relax. We knew had the advantage in the first string.

“Then Amanda went out there very relaxed and played super squash.”

USA move progress to meet Malaysia in the playoff for fifth place for the second time in a row after the No.4 seeds triumphed over eighth seeds Canada. Playing in the event for the first time since 2014 after a two-year layoff following knee surgery, Low Wee Wern gave Malaysia the perfect start by fighting back from 2/0 and match-ball down to beat Danielle Letourneau (both pictured below) 6-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-2, 11-5.

Team number one Nicol David clinched the win by beating Samantha Cornett 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 before 16-year-old Aifa Azman showed enormous promise by beating Canadian Hollie Naughton 11-6, 11-4 in the best-of-three dead rubber.

“It was good today – Wee Wern was great,” said Malaysian coach Peter Genever. “She played first and was two games and match-ball down and came back and won. Then Nicol was dominant and played at a really good tempo and played beautifully in the end.

“Then Aifa in the dead rubber was good – I told her, we still want to win 3/0 – and she played positively. She’s going to be really good for us in the future. Overall, it was a good result for us.

“Now we’ll play the US who beat us in the same match in the last edition – they came fifth and we came sixth – so maybe we can get a little revenge, but it’s going to be tough!”

[1] EGYPT bt [5] HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Raneem El Welily bt Joey Chan 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (24m)
Nour El Sherbini lost to Annie Au 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 3-11 (51m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Lee Ka Yi 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (21m)

[2] ENGLAND bt [6] FRANCE 2/1
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Coline Aumard 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)
Laura Massaro lost to Camille Serme 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11 (52m)
Alison Waters bt Melissa Alves 11-6, 11-3, 12-10 (25m)

France & Hong Kong gatecrash World Team Semis in Dalian

France and Hong Kong China upset the form book in today’s quarter-finals of the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in China by despatching fourth seeds Malaysia and third seeds USA, respectively, to secure surprise semi-final berths in the 2018 edition of the biennial World Squash Federation championship being staged in the seaport city of Dalian.

It was Hong Kong who produced the event’s first significant upset on one of the two all-glass showcourts at the Xigang Gymnasium. Seeded five, the recently-crowned Asian Games gold medallists came into the quarter-finals knockout stage of the championship as underdogs – having lost to Asian rivals Malaysia in the qualifying stage and therefore ending up as runners-up in the Pool.

It was the Hong Kong number one Annie Au who set the tone for the upset, twice leading against Amanda Sobhy and twice seeing the US top string fight back to draw level. But world No.11 Au (pictured below with Sobhy) led throughout the decider to close out the match 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5 after 53 minutes to put the fifth seeds in the driving seat.

Fellow left-hander Joey Chan made the most of the opportunity – and repeated her victory over Olivia Blatchford last week in Shanghai by beating the US number two 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11 in 41 minutes to take Hong Kong into the semi-finals for the third time in a row.

“There was always a chance,” said HK national coach Chris Robertson when asked if USA had been their ideal opponents in the knockout stage. “On paper there was definitely a chance. I don’t think we were favourites, which is why we were seeded five and they were seeded three.

“We played quite well against Malaysia – a 3/2 and two 3/1s, and Annie was 2/0 up against Nicol (David) – so it wasn’t as if we hadn’t been playing OK. Obviously we had a really good Jakarta, so the girls are a little bit more used to winning.

“So today was in many ways our final. We just wanted to give just one last push. Both Rebecca (Chiu) and I told the girls: just use the whole of the court a bit more. Annie and Joey are both good shot players – and Annie just set the tone. She just attacked.

“Once she won, it changed the dynamics a little bit: Joey has a chance, and Joey beat Olivia just last week in Shanghai, so you know you’ve got a chance. And she went out there and played – and used the front of the court a little bit more than she’s done earlier in the week.

“I don’t we were favourite at number three so maybe the playing order today helped us a little bit.

“You’ve just got to take the opportunities when they come – and I don’t think we did that against Malaysia. But I think we did it a little bit more today.

“I’m absolutely delighted. To come here and win a medal is really beyond our expectations. Now we can go and play Egypt with absolutely zero expectation – and go on and enjoy it!”

It was in the evening session that France, led by world No.5 Camille Serme, pulled off the day’s second upset by denying Malaysia a place in the last four for the second time in succession. Serme led by example, taking just three games to overcome her illustrious opponent Nicol David, the former world No.1 (both pictured above), 11-9, 11-2, 11-5.

David, making her ninth successive appearance in the championships since 2002, boasted a 19-2 head-to-head record over the French number one going into the match – and the win proved to be Serme’s third in a row over the past 10 months.

Buoyed by this unexpected advantage, France’s second string Coline Aumard recovered from a game down to defeat Malaysian teenager Sivasangari Subramaniam 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 before collapsing in tears of joy with her jubilant team-mates (all pictured below) on the showcourt.

“Today Camille played really, really, well – and maybe Coline played her best game ever,” said French coach Philippe Signoret afterwards. “I am so happy for the girls. We were seeded six and we now have a bronze medal – and maybe more!”

Hong Kong now play defending champions Egypt for a place in the final – but the firm favourites suffered a major blow in their tie against 7th seeds New Zealand when top string Nour El Sherbini, the world No.1, went down 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 to Kiwi Joelle King (see below), ranked three places lower.

Order was quickly restored when last week’s China Open champion Raneem El Welily, the world No.2, defeated Amanda Landers-Murphy 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 to level the tie for the top seeds before Nour El Tayeb clinched Egypt’s anticipated place in the semis by dismissing Abbie Palmer 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 in just 14 minutes.

“I know that Nour Sherbini is always going to have strong matches – because, if anything, all the countries have at least one or two good players,” explained Egypt coach Amr Shabana, the four-time world champion, later.

“She started off well – but what I really liked about Joelle today was that her demeanour inside the court was amazing. She was very positive, very composed and focussed.

“For Nour, it is still early in the season and she didn’t have that very high level of concentration that Joelle had. And I think today was a match of attitude – it wasn’t a match of attrition or skill … it was more of a mental match. And I think Joelle, being early in the season, had the superiority today.

“Joelle is a very solid player – you can see from the results – and she deserved her win today.

“This is early in the season and Nour likes to take her time and ease into things. She only started training in August. She likes to peak towards the majors of the year – even though this is important for her. We’re lucky to also have 2, 3 and 6 in the world in the team!

“This has been very good for our players – they are still young, believe it or not. Even Raneem is young in her squash years – so it is good to be in this position today. It’s been very good for us to be put in this position.

“But, in the world teams you are playing for your country – you are not playing for yourself – so it’s very easy to get stressed out. It’s good to experience this stress – it’s very healthy to be put in this position.”

Former champions England were the final team to secure their place in the semi-finals – beating 8th seeds Canada to set up the last four clash with European rivals France. Team number one Laura Massaro battled for 45 minutes to overcome her Canadian equivalent Samantha Cornett (both pictured above) 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 – having to save game balls in the fourth to prevent a decider.

It took just 24 minutes to seal the semi slot after England number two Alison Waters beat Hollie Naughton 11-1, 11-6, 11-6.

Main Draw Released for Carol Weymuller Open

The main draw for next month’s Carol Weymuller Open has been released, with Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb and England’s World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry seeded to meet in the final of the PSA World Tour Bronze event, which will take place at the Heights Casino between October 17-22.

El Tayeb - who beat Perry in the quarter-finals of last week’s J.P. Morgan China Squash Open - is seeded on the same side of the draw as England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters and United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford.

The Egyptian receives a bye into the second round and will take on either United States’ World No.43 Haley Mendez – who grew up playing squash at the Heights Casino - or compatriot and World No.20 Hania El Hammamy for a place in the last eight.

Birmingham-born Perry is seeded to meet compatriot Victoria Lust in the quarter-finals and will have to navigate a draw that also contains the likes of Wales’ World No.12 Tesni Evans and United States’ former World No.6 Amanda Sobhy.

The Carol Weymuller Open will be the first PSA World Tour Bronze tournament to take place under the new PSA Tour structure, meaning that qualification has been scrapped and a 24-player draw will battle it out for the title, with the top eight seeds receiving a bye into the second round.

For more information on the tournament, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

2018 Carol Weymuller Open – Main Draw

[1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [Bye]

Haley Mendez (USA) v [9/16] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

[9/16] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Tinne Gilis (BEL)

[8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) [Bye]

[6] Olivia Blatchford (USA) [Bye]

Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [9/16] Hollie Naughton (CAN)

[9/16] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)

[3] Alison Waters (ENG) [Bye]

[4] Tesni Evans (WAL) [Bye]

Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v [9/16] Mayar Hany (EGY)

[9/16] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)

[7] Salma Hany (EGY) [Bye]

[5] Victoria Lust (ENG) [Bye]

Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

[9/16] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [WC] Nicole Bunyan (CAN)

[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [Bye]

Seede through to World Teams Quarters in China

The third day of Pool matches saw the playoff positions df the WSF Women’s World Teams Champoionship in Dalian, China, decided – top two in each pool progress to the quarter-finals, the bottom two enter the 9-16 playoffs.

Top seeds Egypt, England, USA and Malaysia had already qualified with two wins out of two, and they all played the bottom-ranked teams in their Pools, all wrapping things up with a third 3-0 win to finish top of the pools.

The  eight second and third ranked teams met to battle it out for the second qualifying spot in each pool, all starting on one win each. In the morning session the Canada v Australia and New Zealand v Japan Pool A and B matches both went to deciders, but it was 7th and 8th seeds New Zealand and Canada who prevailed to secure their spots in the last eight.

The evening session saw very quick matches, with Hong Kong and France quickly clinching their quarter-final spots with 3-0 wins over South Africa and India.

Day Three Matches
14.00 B [7] New Zealand 2-1 [10] Japan
14.00 B [2] England 3-0 Finland
14.00 A [1] Egypt 3-0 Germany
14.00 A [8] Canada 2-1 [9] Australia
18.00 D [5] Hong Kong 3-0 [12] South Africa
18.00 D [4] Malaysia 3-0 Switzerland
18.00 C [6] France 3-0 [11] India
18.00 C [3] USA 3-0 China
Lineups for tomorrow’s playoff matches :
14.00 CC2  [1] Egypt v [7] New Zealand 14.00 C2  Australia v Finland
14.00 CC1  [3] USA v [5] Hong Kong 14.00 C1  India v Switzerland
18.00 CC1  [4] Malaysia v [6] France 18.00 C1  South Africa v China
18.00 CC2  [2] England v [8] Canada 18.00 C2  Japan v Germany

Farag to Begin U.S. Open Title Defence Against Coll

Defending men’s champion Ali Farag will get his title defence under way at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships with a mouth-watering fixture against New Zealand’s World No.10 Paul Coll at the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament taking place at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center between October 6-13.

Farag made history last year in Philadelphia when he claimed his biggest ever title on the PSA Tour just moments after wife Nour El Tayeb had lifted the women’s title, meaning the pair became the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.

Harvard-graduate Farag receives a bye into the second round at this year’s tournament as a result of the new PSA Tour structure - which came into effect on August 1 - but he’ll have a stern test right from the off as he faces the dangerous Kiwi Coll, who reached the final of the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open last week.

The men’s draw will be lit up by some incredible second round fixtures, with 2007 runner-up James Willstrop taking on World No.4 Tarek Momen, World No.5 Simon Rösner lining up against Peru’s World No.11 Diego Elias and World No.3 Marwan ElShorbagy playing England No.1 Daryl Selby.

Top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will get his tournament off to a start against either Australia’s Cameron Pilley or local hero Todd Harrity, while his opposite number in the women’s draw, two-time runner-up Nour El Sherbini, will play either Hong Kong’s Joey Chan or Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in round two.

World No.3 El Tayeb is drawn on the same side of the draw as El Sherbini and is seeded to meet her fellow Egyptian in the semi-finals. The 25-year-old begins her title defence against either India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik or Canadian Danielle Letourneau.

World Champion Raneem El Welily is the number two seed in the women’s game and she is seeded to meet New Zealand’s Joelle King in the last four as the Egyptian aims to improve on last year’s runner-up finish.

The tournament’s wildcards comprise of Christopher Gordon and Andrew Douglas in the men’s event, who will take on England’s Declan James and France’s Mathieu Castagnet, respectively.

The women’s wildcards are US Nationals runner-up Reeham Sedky and Olivia Fiechter, who will look forward to respective fixtures against Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy and Australia’s Donna Lobban.

In addition to the $338,000 prize fund - which will be split equally between the men’s and women’s draw for a sixth year in a row - a place at the PSA World Tour Finals will also be up for grabs, with both the men’s and women’s winners guaranteeing their places at the season-ending tournament.

Action from the glass court situated in the Daskalakis Athletic Center will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live by major broadcasters around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased on the tournament website: www.usopensquash.com/tickets

Follow the tournament on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Men’s Draw
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Todd Harrity (USA) v [9/32] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[9/32] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v (bye)
Ben Coleman (ENG) v [9/32] Tom Richards (ENG)
[9/32] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[9/32] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) (bye)
[9/32] Greg Lobban (SCO) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
[5] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
[9/32] Diego Elias (PER) (bye)
[9/32] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) (bye)
[9/32] Omar Mosaad (EGY) (bye)
[9/32] Declan James (ENG) v [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v [9/32] Borja Golan (ESP)
[9/32] James Willstrop (ENG) (bye)
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
[3] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
[9/32] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[9/32] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [9/32] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[9/32] Max Lee (HKG) v Mohamed Reda (EGY)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [9/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/32] Lucas Serme (FRA) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
[6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
[7] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [9/32] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/32] Leo Au (HKG) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Arturo Salazar (MEX) v [9/32] Zahed Salem (EGY)
[9/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [WC] Andrew Douglas (USA)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/32] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/32] Paul Coll (NZL) (bye)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Women’s Draw
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) (bye)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [17/32] Joey Chan (HKG)
[17/32] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[10] Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
[15] Salma Hany (EGY) (bye)
Haley Mendez (USA) v [17/32] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[17/32] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) (bye)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
[WC] Reeham Sedky (USA) v [17/32] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[17/32] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[11] Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
[13] Victoria Lust (ENG) (bye)
Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) v [17/32] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[17/32] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) (bye)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) (bye)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Nikki Todd (CAN)
[12] Tesni Evans (WAL) (bye)
[16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) (bye)
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [17/32] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[17/32] Nele Gilis (BEL) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v [17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[17/32] Donna Lobban (AUS) v [WC] Olivia Fiechter (USA)
[9] Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
[14] Olivia Blatchford (USA) (bye)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[17/32] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)

13 Sep 2018

Alexandria International Postponed Until November

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has confirmed that the Alexandria International Squash Open - initially scheduled for September 17-21, 2018 - has been postponed until November, 2018 due to unforeseen circumstances.

The PSA World Tour Gold tournament - which was initially set to be held at Bibliothecha Alexandrina - will now take place between November 5-10 at the Madinaty Sports Club in New Cairo.

"We have worked closely with the organising team over the past few weeks and we believe that postponing the tournament until November will result in us being able to put on a top-class event," said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough.

"We are looking forward to the rest of the season and the Alexandria International will be an important part of the PSA Tour calendar over the coming months."

Top Four Seeds Clinch Quarter-Final Slots In Dalian World Championship

Despite it only being the second day of qualifying action in the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in China, it was an important one for the top four seeds Egypt, England, USA and Malaysia – all of whom pulled out all the stops and confirmed their positions in the quarter-final knockout stage of the biennial World Squash Federation championship in the seaport city of Dalian.

Arguably, the key tie was the afternoon battle between Malaysia, the fourth seeds, and Asian rivals Hong Kong China – the fifth seeds who less than two weeks ago deposed Malaysia as the Women’s team gold medallists in the Asian Games

11 Sep 2018

China set to make Squash History in Dalian

Squash history will be made when China hosts its first World Squash Championship – and the first ever to stage all matches on all-glass courts – when teams from the five continents compete in the 21st CGG WSF Women’s World Team Championship in the Liaoning Province seaport city of Dalian.

With 15 players from the world top 20 amongst the 62 representing 16 nations, the biennial World Squash Federation event takes place at the Xigang Gymnasium – featuring two all-glass showcourts, with arena seating, plus four permanent all-glass courts – from 11-16 September.

Egypt, with four players in the world top six including world No.2 Raneem El Welily fresh from her unexpected triumph in last week’s China Open in Shanghai, are the top seeds – firm favourites to become the first team to successfully defend the title since Australia in 2004. Egypt open their 2018 campaign against Australia, the No.9 seeds, in Pool A.

England boast the unprecedented record of having competed in all but one final since making their debut in the event 37 years ago in 1981! The No.2 seeds face Japan, the tenth seeds, on day one of their bid to reach the final for the 13th time in a row.

USA are one of only three teams to have competed in every championship since the inaugural event in 1979 – and, as third seeds, are expected to reach the semi-finals for the first time ever.

“It’s feels good to be in this position – it is a sign that USA are recognised as a force in the women’s game,” conceded US coach Thierry Lincou, the former world No.1 and world champion from France (pictured below, left, with his squad).

“But this is just a seeding – we’ve never reached the top four before. After finishing fifth the last two times, it means that we are getting there. We are in a better position to achieve a top four finish. I think everyone is proud and very excited.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment since the last time. We were so happy to finish fifth – but we thought we could have done a little better. We were seeded seven and it was really tough – but the seeding this year is a little more in our favour. That’s why we are so excited – it’s pure excitement, motivation and desire.”

Malaysia, who recorded a best-ever runner-up finish in 2014, but slumped to a sixth place finish last time, are the fourth seeds in Dalian. The team will led by Nicol David, the former world number one who is celebrating her ninth successive appearance in the championships since 2002. Completing the squad will be Low Wee Wern and teenagers Sivasangari Subramaniam and Aifa Azman.

“The top two teams are obviously a little bit further ahead than everybody else in terms of rankings,” admitted Malaysian coach Peter Genever (pictured below with his squad). “Our priority to start with is to try and get through the pool on top and then take it from there. But we’ve got a very strong team. Nicol played well in China last week – she’s in good form – and Sangari’s playing very well, and Wee Wern and Aifa too.”

After two years out with a knee injury, Low bounced back two months ago to reach the Malaysian National final then win three Tour events in a row.

“Yes, Wee Wern came back and won her first three PSA tournaments back-to-back. The game’s changed quite a lot since she’s been out, including the lower tin, but she’s adapted to it very well.

“This event is massive for us. Our biggest event is the Asian Games and the women’s team did really well in the individual event with gold and silver, but in the team event we only got a bronze – so that’s given us extra motivation to do well here and show that we are better than our performance there.

“Hong Kong won it and we’ve got Hong Kong in our group so that’s going to be interesting. We’re the higher seeds so coming top of the group would make it slightly easier for us in the knockout stage.”

The city of Dalian hosted a welcome reception for the players on the eve of the event – as pictured above.

France’s Masotti Stuns New Zealand’s Grayson in Round Two of Open International de Squash de Nantes

France’s World No.87 Baptiste Masotti stunned New Zealand’s number six seed Campbell Grayson in round two of the Open International de Squash de Nantes as he booked his place in the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time.

Masotti – who is the only unseeded player left in the men’s draw - caused a huge upset at Le Maison du Squash to knock out World No.37 Grayson – who along with the other top eight seeds received a bye into the second round - by an 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 scoreline.

The Frenchman will now face Finland’s Olli Tuominen, who defeated French wildcard Christophe Andre earlier in the day, in the next round at the stunning théâtre Graslin.

“I was very focused because I wanted to win this match to be able to get on the glass court,” said the 23-year-old Frenchman following his win.

“This is my second win over a player in the top 40 and I hope I can continue playing like this and play a lot of matches here.

“My home town is about a one-hour drive away from here and my father came to watch me play. It feels so good to win, this tournament is really nice and I love being able to play in France.”

In the women’s draw, 18-year-old Lucy Turmel also upset the seedings to become the only unseeded women’s player left in the tournament, after she defeated Netherland’s number five seed Milou van der Heijden in straight-games.

The young Englishwoman will now take on Egypt’s World No.30 Nadine Shahin for a place in the semi-finals of the PSA Challenger Tour event.

“Last time I played Milou I lost 3-1, so I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I had to be confident going into it and it was a hard match even though it was 3-0.”

Over on the glass court at the picturesque 18th century théâtre Graslin, top seeds James Willstrop and Emily Whitlock, along with defending champions Gregoire Marche and Fiona Moverley all secured berths into the next round.

England’s former World No.1 Willstrop avoided a scare against compatriot Patrick Rooney as, after building up a solid 2-0 lead, the top seed appeared to suffer with tiredness and in the end narrowly edged past his younger opponent in front of a packed-out house in Nantes.

“Patrick is too good, and I can’t be off my game really,” said Willstrop following his tough tournament opener.

“He played really well, he worked me so hard and took me to the point where I was exhausted. I’m lucky to win that game because if he had of taken me to a fifth then I don’t think I’d have gone through.

“It’s an outstanding venue and we are very lucky to be able to play here. I have a little bit of an invested interest in it because I love the stage and live theatre, so this habitat is even more exciting for me and that’s why I was so desperate to win today.”

Meanwhile, defending men’s champion Gregoire Marche continued his unbeaten run at the tournament after he conquered compatriot Auguste Dussourd under the lights of the théâtre Graslin.

“Nantes has always been a great venue for me and I think this year it is the most beautiful,” said the 28-year-old Frenchman.

“I remember the first year – it was something great – but every year they keep pushing to make it better. I can’t miss this tournament, it is one of my favourites.”

While in the women’s draw, English duo Whitlock and Moverley saw off Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and South Africa’s Milnay Louw, respectively, in straight-games.

Results – Men’s Round Two

[2] Declan James (ENG) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)

[5] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 15-13, 11-5 (52m)

[8] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [WC] Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 11-4 (43m)

Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [6] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (40m)

[7] George Parker (ENG) bt Shehab Essam (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (39m)

[3] Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-1: 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (61m)

[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9 (51m)

[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (51m)

Results – Women’s Round Two

Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt [5] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (32m)

[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (34m)

[7] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Chloe Mesic (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (21m)

[6] Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt Kace Bartley (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)

[3] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Alison Thomson (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 13-11 (34m)

[8] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0: 11-2, 14-12, 11-6 (26m)

[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 14-12, 11-7, 11-1 (36m)

[2] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt Milnay Louw (RSA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (23m)

Draw – Men’s Quarter-finals: To be played Thursday September 6

[1] James Willstrop (ENG) v [5] Lucas Serme (FRA)

[7] George Parker (ENG) v [3] Zahed Salem (EGY)

To be played Friday September 7:

[8] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)

[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [2] Declan James (ENG)

Draw – Women’s Quarter-finals: To be played Thursday September 6

[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [6] Julianne Courtice (ENG)

Lucy Turmel (ENG) v [3] Nadine Shahin (EGY)

To be played Friday September 7:

[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [7] Alexandra Fuller (RSA)

[8] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [2] Fiona Moverley (ENG)

Wildcard Li Beats Former World No.4 Kawy on Day One of China Open

Tournament wildcard Li Dongjin claimed the biggest victory of her career thus far when she overcame Egypt’s former World No.4 Omneya Abdel Kawy at Shanghai’s SECA Academy on the opening day of the 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open, PSA World Tour Gold tournament

World No.88 Li has appeared at the China Open since its inception in 2008 and had made it to the second round of the tournament only once, in 2010, over the past decade. Kawy, meanwhile, was ranked in the top 10 as recently as March 2017 but has appeared at just three tournaments over the past 18 months due to the birth of her son.

And the current World No.86 was powerless to stop Li from racking up a 3-0 victory in 26 minutes, with tie-break wins in the first and third games sandwiching a comfortable 11-7 triumph in the second. Li’s second round match will come against reigning World Champion and 2015 winner Raneem El Weily, with the pair set to face off at the glass court atop the Peninsula Shanghai, which overlooks Shanghai’s famous Bund.

"I have shown my best in the match, I just showed everything I have been trained before," said Li.

"I’m happy to win the game, I’m glad to be here again. Thanks to the support of SECA and the Multi-Ball Games Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport of China for holding this event. I really treasure being giving the chance to compete with these high level players."

2013 champion Nicol David was also in action today as she got the better of India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik by an 11-3, 14-12, 11-9 margin to claim a seventh successive win against the World No.19.

David - an eight-time World Champion - will contest a mouthwatering second round match with England’s World No.7 Laura Massaro in what will be their 32nd meeting on the PSA Tour, with David currently boasting a 22-9 lead on their head-to-head record.

"I’m always happy to have a 3-0 win in the first round and against Dipika too," said David.

"I was pleased with my performance and I’m adjusting to every moment with each game. I’m looking forward to my match tomorrow with Laura."

The other Asian interest in the opening day’s women’s fixtures came in the form of Hong Kong’s Joey Chan, who beat United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford, and India’s Joshna Chinappa, who got the better of Australia’s Donna Lobban.

In the men’s tournament, Germany’s Raphael Kandra was put through his paces by 2013 World Junior CHampion Karim El Hammamy before coming through a 97-minute encounter to win in five games, setting up a repeat of his British Open semi-final clash with Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the next round.

Kandra’s last tournament on the PSA Tour saw him stun the squash world to reach the last four of the prestigious British Open but he was put through his paces by a dogged showing from El Hammamy, with the World No.22 eventually coming through to win 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6.

Qatar’s World No.28 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi is also through to the last 16 after he cruised past India’s Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, making it two wins over the World No.60 in as many weeks after he also got the better of him at the Asian Games.

“I just played him in the team events at the Asian games and had played him a few times before, so I just had to keep the pressure on him at the back of the court,” said Al Tamimi, who will play Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in the next round.

“It’s not the way I love to play but it was the way to beat him, I had to get the ball deep in the corners and when he took me short I tried to attack him from the front."

The China Open is the first PSA World Tour Gold tournament to be played under the new PSA Tour structure - which came into effect on August 1 - meaning that the top eight seeds in both the men’s and women’s events receive a bye into round two.

The likes of women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and men’s World No.5 Simon Rösner will start their tournaments tomorrow at the Peninsula Shanghai, while matches will also be played at SECA Academy.

Results - Men’s First Round: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (51m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (38m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (50m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (57m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt [WC] Wang Junjie (CHN) 11-1, 11-0, 11-3 (17m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt. Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0:
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (45m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt. Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
3-2: 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6 (97m)

Draw - Men’s Second Round: To Be Played September 6
[1] Simon Rösner (GER) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [4] Paul Coll (NZL)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Tom Richards (ENG) v [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[5] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v [2] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Results - Women’s First Round: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10 (50m)
Salma Hany (EGY) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-2, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (53m)
Alison Waters (ENG) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 15-13, 11-9 (40m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (29m)
Joey Chan (HKG) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 (49m)
[WC] Li Dongjin (CHN) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-0:
12-10, 11-7, 12-10 (26m)
Nicol David (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0:
11-3, 14-12, 11-9 (29m)

Draw - Women’s Second Round: To Be Played September 6
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [9/16] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[9/16] Salma Hany (EGY) v [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) [Bye]
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) v [9/16] Alison Waters (ENG)
[9/16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [4] Joelle King (NZL)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [9/16] Victoria Lust (ENG)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [9/16] Nicol David (MAS)
[WC] Li Dongjin (CHN) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Citigold Wealth Management Named Lead Partner for Canary Wharf Squash Classic Tournament

Eventis Sports Marketing has announced its partnership with Citigold Wealth Management, for its 2019 Canary Wharf Squash Classic tournament, held in Canary Wharf.  The tournament will now be known as the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Squash Classic and is the second largest PSA Tour event in Europe, after the British Open. Earlier this year became it became the first ranking PSA Tour event to use a best-of-three scoring format, with Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy taking the honours.

Citi’s partnership with the tournament organisers will kick off at this year’s popular Corporate Challenge, an event that hosts teams formed by Canary Wharf occupants, who battle it out in the hope to be named best corporate squash team in London.  Held in October, this year, the corporate challenge will be rebranded the Citigold Wealth Management Corporate Challenge. The event will be held at London’s iconic East Wintergarden.

"We are thrilled to welcome Citigold Wealth Management on board as title partner of the event and look forward to working with them. We have been searching for a title partner that fits with the events premium status and ideally is a tenant at Canary Wharf, so are very excited to have been able to achieve this with Citi’s involvement," said Tournament Director Tim Garner, of Eventis Sports Marketing. "Citigold Wealth Management is one of the most prominent wealth management organisations in London, and we are pleased to be able to add them to our extensive portfolio of sponsors.”

Salman Haider, Head of UK Consumer Bank and International Personal Bank EMEA, Citi, commented:  “We are pleased to be the title sponsor of the 2019 Canary Wharf Squash Classic tournament. It is great to support such a prestigious event and one that is held right on the doorstep of our Citigold lounge in Canary Wharf”.

Since inception, the Canary Wharf Squash Classic has always had very close links with Canary Wharf Group.  Lucie Moore, Head of Arts+Events comments, “Canary Wharf Group has supported the Squash Classic for over 15 years and we have seen it develop into the PSA World Tour event that it is today.  We are delighted to have the event secured for an additional three years as it forms a key highlight in our varied arts and events programme.  We look forward to welcoming Citigold Wealth Management, one of our longstanding tenants, as the title partner and kicking off the 2019 Corporate Challenge, in our iconic East Wintergarden.” 

The Corporate Challenge was first held in 1983 under the name ‘The Square Mile Squash Competition’ and has become a staple of the Canary Wharf Squash Classic, hosting some of London’s most influential corporations. The 2018 edition was won by Aviva Investors, who defeated OC&C Strategy Consultants in the final.

Garner further commented, "The Corporate Challenge has been an intrinsic part of the Canary Wharf Squash Classic for a number of years and we are looking forward to activating the partnership with the latest instalment of the event."

The 2019 instalment of the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Squash Classic will see the tournament celebrate its 16th edition and it will again be staged at the East Wintergarden in March, 2019.

Live action from the tournament will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while mainstream channels across the globe will show coverage of the semi-finals and final, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia, Astro and more.

For more information on the tournament, please visit www.citiigoldcanarywharf.com

About Canary Wharf Group

Canary Wharf Group plc has overseen the largest urban regeneration project ever undertaken in Europe, designing and building more than 16.5m sq ft of London real estate, which now houses local and international companies and renowned retailers.

The Canary Wharf estate is a major retail destination comprising around 1m sq ft across five shopping malls, including the award-winning leisure development, Crossrail Place, housing one of London’s most stunning roof gardens.  It also has world-class, year-round arts and events programme offering over 200 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate.

Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf, will provide up to 3,600 new homes, 2.8m sq ft of office space, 380,000 sq ft of retail space and over eight acres of public spaces, squares and parks. There will also be a GP surgery and a two-form primary school for 420 children.

Canary Wharf Group is a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.


Main Draws Released for Macau Open

Peru’s World No.9 Diego Elias has been seeded to face India’s World No.12 Saurav Ghosal in the final of the 2019 Macau Open after the main...