Stars battle for $590,000 at The Pyramids
By SEAN REUTHE – Squash Mad Correspondent
The CIB Egyptian Open will bring world-class squash back to the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza between September 10-17 when 96 of the world’s leading players will battle it out for a share of the $590,000 prize fund – which is the highest total player compensation ever at a PSA Platinum event.
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “CIB have been incredible supporters of the sport over a number of years now – in particular during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic where their support was invaluable – and I’m delighted to see them raise the bar once again to provide record-breaking prize money at a PSA World Tour Platinum level.
“I’d like to thank CIB, Hussein Abaza [CIB Chief Executive and Board Member] and Amr Mansi [Tournament Director] for their continued hard work, and I look forward to watching our athletes compete at one of the most iconic sporting locations in the world once again.”
World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World Champion Ali Farag are seeded to meet in the men’s final in the latest battle for the World No.1 spot, which Farag reclaimed on September 1.
ElShorbagy tops the draw and will take on either Frenchman Baptiste Masotti or wildcard Ibrahim Elkabbani in round two ahead of a potential third round encounter with Scotland’s Greg Lobban. The 30-year-old is then seeded to play fellow Egyptian Mostafa Asal and World No.4 Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.
Meanwhile, Farag will open against Frenchman Gregoire Marche in round two before a potential clash against Mohamed ElSherbini in the last 16. Farag is then predicted to play 2019 Egyptian Open winner Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarter-finals before a semi-final fixture against New Zealand’s Paul Coll in a rematch of their Allam British Open final showdown, which Coll won to lift his first major title a fortnight ago.
In the women’s event, World No.1 Nour El Sherbini headlines the draw and is seeded to face World No.2 Nouran Gohar in the title decider. The pair met in both the PSA World Championship and British Open finals – with El Sherbini winning both – and the 25-year-old will take on either fellow Egyptian Menna Hamed or Wales’ Emily Whitlock in round one.
From there, El Sherbini is seeded to play World No.10 Rowan Elaraby, World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry and World No.4 Camille Serme en route to the final. Gohar, meanwhile, opens up against Canada’s Hollie Naughton before predicted encounters against Nada Abbas, World No.5 Hania El Hammamy and World No.6 Amanda Sobhy.
Fayrouz Aboelkheir and Malak Khafagy take the wildcard spots in the women’s event and they will face South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller and Donna Lobban, respectively. Yahya Elnawasany takes the other remaining wildcard spot in the men’s draw, and he will play Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam.
The prize money will be split equally across the men’s and women’s events and all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV, while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.
2021 CIB Egyptian Open.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye] [WC] Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) v [17/32] Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
[17/32] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v Shahjahan Khan (USA)
Bernat Jaume (ESP) v [17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[17/32] Arturo Salazar (MEX) v Max Lee (HKG)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [bye] [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) [bye]  Mostafa Asal (EGY) [bye]  Fares Dessouky (EGY) [bye] Mazen Gamal (EGY) v [17/32] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
[9/16] Zahed Salem (EGY) [bye] Henry Leung (HKG) v [17/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[17/32] Todd Harrity (USA) v Asim Khan (PAK)
Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) v [17/32] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
[17/32] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]  Paul Coll (NZL) [bye] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) v [17/32] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[17/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
[9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) [bye] [17/32] Lucas Serme (FRA) v Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)
Ramit Tandon (IND) v [17/32] Borja Golan (ESP)
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye] [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) [bye] [17/32] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) v [WC] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY) [bye] [17/32] Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Faraz Khan (USA)
Aditya Jagtap (IND) v [17/32 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) [bye]  Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [bye] Menna Hamed (EGY) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (WAL)
[9/16] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) [bye] [WC] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) v [17/32] Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
[17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY) v Cindy Merlo (SUI)
Vanessa Chu (HKG) v [17/32] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
[17/32] Farida Mohamed (EGY) v Enora Villard (FRA)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [bye]  Tesni Evans (WAL) [bye] [9/16] Olivia Fiechter (USA) [bye] [17/32] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
Lee Ka Yi (HKG) v [17/32] Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
[17/32] Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Sana Ibrahim (EGY)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) v [17/32] Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) [bye]  Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]  Amanda Sobhy (USA) [bye] Menna Nasser (EGY) v [17/32] Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[17/32] Melissa Alves (FRA)
Pictures courtesy of PSA