Colombian cannonball beats Diego Elias to win Guatemala final
By NATHAN CLARKE and ALAN THATCHER
The 2018 Allam British Open champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez and the man he beat in the final in Hull – Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy – are set to clash once again after they were drawn together in Group A of the men’s event for the season-ending ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals, which takes place at Emirates Golf Club between June 5-9.
The lucrative tournament, which offers an equal prize purse of $320,000 across the men’s and women’s events, brings together the top men and women on the PSA World Series Standings.
Players earned qualification points at each World Series event during the 2017-18 season, to face-off against each other in a round-robin best-of-three game series between June 5-7 for a place in the knockout semi-finals and beyond, with two players progressing from each group of four.
Rodriguez’s heroics at last week’s British Open saw him oust three-time World Champion Nick Matthew to earn his place in Dubai for a second time in three years, while he also became the first South American player ever to win a World Series title after overcoming defending World Series Finals champion ElShorbagy in a thrilling 102-minute battle.
Rodriguez will be arriving in Dubai after a whirlwind fortnight. He continued his fine form in Guatemala yesterday, beating Diego Elias of Peru 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 to win the International Open in Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala, having beaten top seed Paul Coll of New Zealand in the semi-finals 8-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-9.
In Dubai, Rodriguez and ElShorbagy have been drawn against three-time World Series Finals champion Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed’s younger brother Marwan, who claimed a maiden World Series crown last month at the El Gouna International, in what promises to be a compelling group.
World No.2 Ali Farag heads up Group B in the men’s event and is joined by Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner, World No.5 Tarek Momen and 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad.
The five-day event brings together the cream of squash talent and there promises to be plenty of drama in the women’s event too, with last year’s runner-up Nour El Sherbini, the current World No.1, drawn together with World No.3 Nour El Tayeb – who, alongside husband Ali Farag, won the U.S. Open in October – Windy City Open runner-up Joelle King and World No.5 Nouran Gohar in Group A.
Defending champion Laura Massaro is drawn against reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily as she aims to claim a third successive World Series Finals title, while World No.6 Camille Serme and World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry make up the rest of Group B.
The Group stages will get under way on June 5 with Group B action – starting with Sarah-Jane Perry v Camille Serme and Simon Rösner facing Karim Abdel Gawad – beginning at 3:00pm local time, with Group A action, including a repeat of the men’s British Open final between Rodriguez and ElShorbagy, taking to court from 8:00pm local time.
Group stage matches will take place at 3:00pm, 3:45pm, 4:30pm and 5:15pm (Group B) and 8:00pm, 8:45pm, 9:30pm and 10:15pm (Group A) between June 5-7 with the semi-finals due to take place from 8:00pm on June 8. The finals will commence at 8:00pm local time on June 9.
Every match from the tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and finals will be broadcast live on mainstream channels across the globe, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets for the World Series Finals can be purchased here:
2017-18 ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals – Group Draws, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai.
Men’s Group A
Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Men’s Group B
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rösner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Women’s Group A
Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Joelle King (NZL)
Nouran Gohar (EGY
Women’s Group B
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Camille Serme (FRA)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Pictures and graphics courtesy of PSA