Stars set to shine in San Francisco
By SEAN REUTHE
Six current and former World No.1s are set to shine the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open after the draws for the PSA M100 and PSA W50 tournaments were released this week.
Taking place between September 26-30 in San Francisco, United States, the 2017 edition of the Oracle NetSuite Open features the strongest draw in its history and sees current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier seeded on the same side of the draw as former incumbent and tournament-debutant Mohamed ElShorbagy.
Both players begin their tournaments against qualifiers and will have hopes of reaching the final, where they are seeded to meet one of World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad – who topped the World Rankings in May of this year – or Nick Matthew, the three-time World Champion who has spent 19 months at World No.1 since 2010.
Gawad will come up against tournament wildcard Faraz Khan in round one, with Matthew set to face off against Spain’s Borja Golan.
Meanwhile, there could be a meeting between two former World No.1s as early as the quarter-finals, with James Willstrop set to meet ElShorbagy if he can defeat Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in the opening round.
The women’s event also has a high-calibre draw with top seed and defending champion Laura Massaro – who last year became only the third Englishwoman to top the World Rankings – seeded to face Malaysian superstar Nicol David, who holds the record for the longest time spent at World No.1 after her nine-year reign between 2006-2015, in the title-decider.
Massaro clashes with wildcard Aisling Blake in round one and is seeded to meet compatriot and World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry in the last four.
David, meanwhile, gets her tournament under way against Egypt’s Heba El Torky and could face number four seed Emily Whitlock for a place in the final.
The qualifying stages and first round of the Oracle NetSuite Open will be held at local clubs between September 24-26, with matches from the quarter-finals onwards taking place on the Oracle NetSuite Challenge court on Justin Herman Plaza between September 27-30.
Live action from the Oracle NetSuite Challenge court will be shown on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while tickets start from $20 and can be purchased at www.netsuiteopensquash.tix.com
2017 Oracle NetSuite Open, San Francisco, USA.
Men’s First Round:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Daryl Selby (ENG)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[Qualifier] v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Qualifier] [WC] Faraz Khan (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Women’s First Round:
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL)
[Qualifier] v  Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Olivia Blatchford (USA)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Heba El Torky (EGY) v  Nicol David (MAS)
Pictures courtesy of PSA