Blistering battles in second round
By SEAN REUTHE
Defending men’s champion Ali Farag will get his title defence under way at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships with a mouthwatering 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, Drexel University, Philadelphia (October 6-13).
 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)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
 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)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
 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)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
 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)
 Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) (bye)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [17/32] Joey Chan (HKG)
[17/32] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
 Salma Hany (EGY) (bye)
Haley Mendez (USA) v [17/32] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[17/32] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) (bye)
 Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
[WC] Reeham Sedky (USA) v [17/32] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[17/32] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v Hollie Naughton (CAN)
 Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) (bye)
Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) v [17/32] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[17/32] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) (bye)
 Joelle King (NZL) (bye)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Nikki Todd (CAN)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) (bye)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) (bye)
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [17/32] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[17/32] Nele Gilis (BEL) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v [17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[17/32] Donna Lobban (AUS) v [WC] Olivia Fiechter (USA)
 Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) (bye)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[17/32] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)
Article by SEAN REUTHE (PSA PR and Media Manager). Edited by ALAN THATCHER.
Picture courtesy of PSA