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Gregory Gaultier meets Ali Farag in World Series Final opener in Dubai

Gregory Gaultier plays Ali Farag

Reigning champion meets new boy in opening match on stage


Defending champion Gregory Gaultier, the French World No.1 who has gone 27 matches and six consecutive tournaments undefeated in 2017, will take on Egyptian World No.5 Ali Farag – a late replacement for the injured Ramy Ashour – in the final match on the opening day of action at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals on June 6.

Inside Dubai Opera, the duo will meet for the third time in three events, after contesting both the Grasshoper Cup and PMI Bellevue Classic finals, in what will be the climax to a day of competition that will also see fierce rivals Laura Massaro, 2013 Women’s World Champion and defending Women’s World Series Finals champion, and Nicol David, eight-time Women’s World Champion, go up against each other for the 31st time in their careers.

The action gets under way at 3pm when last season’s Women’s runner-up and former World No.1 Raneem El Welily of Egypt takes on compatriot Nouran Gohar, the 19-year-old who won the Hong Kong Open in August, before England’s former World No.1 Nick Matthew begins his quest for one of the few trophies to have eluded him during a glittering career to date as he goes up against debutant Marwan ElShorbagy of Egypt.

The two players who topped the PSA Road to Dubai Standing also make their first appearance in the afternoon session, with France’s Camille Serme playing England’s Alison Waters and World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, who will be making his debut at the tournament, facing Germany’s Simon Rösner in a match that could prove vital for both men’s hopes of advancing to the latter stages.

With eight matches, split across two sessions, the opening day will also see former World No.1s Mohamed ElShorbagy and James Willstrop lock horns before Women’s World Champion and current World No.1 Nour El Sherbini faces England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

The World Series Finals sees the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road To Dubai Standings compete in two groups of four in a round-robin best of three format, with only two players from each group progressing to the knock-out semi-finals.

PSA Dubai World Series Finals, Dubai Opera House, June 6-10. Group Stages.
Women – Group A
Camille Serme
Raneem El Welily
Nouran Gohar
Alison Waters

Women – Group B
Nour El Sherbini
Laura Massaro
Nicol David
Sarah-Jane Perry

Men – Group A
Karim Abdel Gawad
Marwan Elshorbagy
Nick Matthew
Simon Rosner

Men – Group B
Gregory Gaultier
Mohamed Elshorbagy
James Willstrop
Ali Farag

Match Schedule (June 6, 2017):
15:00 El Welily v Gohar
15:45 Marwan ElShorbagy v Matthew
16:45 Serme v Waters
17:30 Gawad v Rosner

21:30 Massaro v David
22:15 Mohamed ElShorbagy v Willstrop
23:15 El Sherbini v Perry
00:00 Gaultier v Farag

7 June 2017
15:00 Serme v Gohar
15:45 Gawad v Matthew
16:45 El Welily v Waters
17:30 Marwan ElShorbagy v Rosner

21:30 El Sherbini v David
22:15 Gaultier v Willstrop
23:15 Massaro v Perry
00:00 Mohamed ElShorbagy v Farag

8 June 2017
15:00 Gohar v Waters
15:45 Matthew v Rosner
16:45 Serme v El Welily
17:30 Gawad v Marwan ElShorbagy

21:30 David v Perry
22:15 Willstrop v Farag
23:15 El Sherbini v Massaro
00:00 Gaultier v Mohamed ElShorbagy

Picture courtesy of PSA 


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