Gawad and Serme lead Dubai standings
By NATHAN CLARKE
Victory at last week’s Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company saw Frenchman Gregory Gaultier take a major step towards securing his place at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals, rising up to number three on the Road To Dubai Standings with just two Men’s qualification events left to play.
Gaultier, who won the prestigious title at the foot of the Burj Khalifa last year, picked up the maximum 100 points courtesy of his 3-1 victory over Marwan ElShorbagy in the title-decider to get one foot into the Finals – which will this year take place in the stunning Dubai Opera House.
Comprising seven of the sport’s biggest tournaments, the PSA Road to Dubai Standings brings the world’s top players to some of the most stunning sporting locations in the world, with points on offer at all PSA World Series tournaments throughout the 2016-17 season.
Only the top eight players on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings will qualify for the lucrative, season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals, which brings the curtain down on the 2016/17 season from June 6-10.
“I’m really happy to have won in Chicago and got some points towards Dubai,” said Gaultier.
“I didn’t do well in the first part of the season so my motivation since January has been to come back and get the victories to ensure I qualify for Dubai.
“It’s the top eight players all competing against each other from day one so winning it is big. I was surprised I won it last year as I was coming back from injury.
“It’s a really big event, the kind of one you want to peak for and I’m sure everyone will be putting on a great show for it again this year and hopefully I’ll be there to defend my title.”
Gaultier now finds himself just 40 points – a semi-final finish at a World Series event – behind World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, while World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad tops the Men’s standings with 330 points.
Marwan ElShorbagy, who reached his first World Series tournament final in Chicago, rises up three places to claim the number four position ahead of James Willstrop and Nick Matthew, with Simon Rösner and Ramy Ashour rounding out the top eight, with just the British Open and El Gouna International remaining in order for them to secure a ticket to Dubai.
The likes of Ali Farag, Ryan Cuskelly, Cameron Pilley and Max Lee sit just outside of the top eight, so Ashour, Rösner and Matthew will all have to come up with strong performances at the next two tournaments to seal their places in the showpiece event.
In the Women’s Road To Dubai Standings, World No.2 Camille Serme stays top with 265 points – securing her place in Dubai alongside World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, Nouran Gohar and Windy City Open winner Raneem El Welily.
Amanda Sobhy, Laura Massaro and Nicol David are all but assured of their Dubai presence with just one event, the British Open, remaining in the Women’s race, while Sarah-Jane Perry faces serious competition from Alison Waters and Nour El Tayeb to claim the number eight spot and a place in Dubai.
Picture courtesy of PSA