By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
The Hong Kong Open is back on the PSA calendar, and world No.1s Ali Farag and Nouran Gohar lead the way in the draws released today.
The Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Squash Open 2022 takes place from November 28 to December 4, with play beginning at the Hong Kong Squash Centre before moving to the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre from the quarter-finals onwards.
It’s the first time the PSA World Tour Platinum event has been held since 2018, with Mohamed ElShorbagy and Joelle King picking up the titles on that occasion.
Men’s top seed Farag was the runner-up the last two times the event was held, losing out to ElShorbagy on both occasions.
Farag captured the second men’s Platinum title of the 2022-23 season at the CIB Egyptian Open but suffered a knee injury ahead of the U.S. Open final which led to an early exit in last week’s Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland.
New Zealand’s Paul Coll is the No.2 seed for the event and features in the draw for only the second time in his career. His best finish came in 2018 when he reached the quarter-final stage as the No.6 seed, losing out to ElShorbagy.
Coll recieves a bye in round one but will then face tough opposition in the following round as he faces Colombian Miguel Rodriguez, who also receives a round one bye.
Rodriguez is still playing great squash at 36 and recently beat Farag in Qatar before the Egyptian gained revenge bon his way to the U.S. Open final, wherehe lost to Diego Elias.
Peruvian Elias will be the No.3 seed in Hong Kong and faces either England’s Curtis Malik or Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas in round two. Elias has won three times out of five finals in 2022 and will be looking to add another title to his name as he enters the Hong Kong Open main draw for only the second time.
Egypt’s Grasshopper Cup champion Mostafa Asal finds himself seeded outside the top four for the first time since November 2021 as he plays in Hong Kong for the second time.
Asal will face the winner of Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi or Henry Leung in round two after his first-round bye. A mouthwatering quarter final match-up could happen if the seedings go to plan as Asal is in the same quarter as world champion Farag.
In the women’s draw, Gohar will look to capture a second Hong Kong Open title after winning in 2016.
The U.S. Open champion has captured two titles and reached three finals so far this season and will look to continue her strong momentum into the third women’s Platinum event.
Gohar will start her campaign in round two against the winner of the all-Hong Kong battle between wildcard Ching Hei Fung and Tomato Ho.
World champion Nour El Sherbini is the No.2 seed and comes into the tournament in good form after picking up the Grasshopper Cup title. El Sherbini will be looking to avenge her loss to Gohar in the U.S. Open if the pair meet in the final.
El Sherbini will face compatriot Nadine Shahin in round two after the pair receive byes in round one.
Defending champion King, who beat Raneem El Welily in the final to capture the only Platinum event win of her career, is seeded at No.4 for this year’s event and faces either England’s Lucy Beecroft or Egypt’s Nardine Garas in round two.
If all seedings go to plan, King is seeded to set up a rematch of the Manchester Open final against Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter-finals.
CIB Egyptian Open champion Hania El Hammamy is the No.3 seed and will be looking to secure a second Platinum title of the season after her victory in Cairo earlier in the season.
El Hammamy is seeded to play dangerous compatriot and No.5 seed Nour El Tayeb in the quarter-finals if both players progress. The world No.3 will be up against either Ka Yi Lee or Zeina Zein in her opening match in round two after receiving a bye.
Action from the Hong Kong will be streamed live on SQUASHTV, while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on the channels of PSA’s broadcast partners.
Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Squash Open 2022. November 28 to December 4..
 Ali Farag (EGY) [Bye] [WC] Tang Ming Hong (HKG) v [17/32] Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
[9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG) [Bye] [9/16] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) [Bye] [17/32] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) v Rui Soares (POR)
Rory Stewart (SCO) v [17/32] Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
[17/32] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v Henry Leung (HKG)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) [Bye]  Mazen Hesham (EGY) [Bye] [WC] Chi Him Wong (HKG) v [17/32] Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
[17/32] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Juan Camilo Vargas (COL)
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA) [Bye] [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [Bye] Balazs Farkas (HUN) v [17/32] Declan James (ENG)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) [Bye]  Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) [Bye]  Diego Elias (PER) [Bye] Curtis Malik (ENG) v [17/32] Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
[17/32] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) v Bernat Jaume (ESP)
[9/16] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) [Bye] [17/32] Todd Harrity (USA) v Ivan Yuen (MAS)
Mazen Gamal (EGY) v [17/32] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
[17/32] George Parker (ENG) v Faraz Khan (USA)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) [Bye]  Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) [Bye] Nick Wall (ENG) v [17/32] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) [Bye] Timothy Brownell (USA) v [17/32] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)
[17/32] Shahjahan Khan (USA) v Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG)
Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) v [17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [Bye]  Paul Coll (NZL) [Bye]
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) [Bye] [WC] Ching Hei Fung (HKG) v [17/32] Tomato Ho (HKG)
[9/16] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) [Bye] [9/16] Hana Ramadan (EGY) [Bye] [17/32] Cristina Gomez (ESP) v Georgia Adderley (SCO)
Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP) v [17/32] Satomi Watanabe (JPN)
[17/32] Sana Ibrahim (EGY) v Chan Yiwen (HKG)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) [Bye]  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [Bye] Nadia Pfister (SUI) v [17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[17/32] Grace Gear (ENG) v Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) v [17/32] Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS) [Bye] [9/16] Tinne Gilis (BEL) [Bye] [17/32] Ka Yi Lee (HKG) v Zeina Zein (EGY)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) [Bye]  Joelle King (NZL) [Bye] Nardine Garas (EGY) v [17/32] Lucy Beecroft (ENG)
[17/32] Ineta Mackevica (LAT) v Hana Moataz (EGY)
Katie Maliff (ENG) v [17/32] Julianne Courtice (ENG)
[9/16] Lisa Aitken (SCO) [Bye] Saskia Beinhard (GER) v [17/32] Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY)
[17/32] Jana Shiha (EGY) v [WC] Cheng Nga Ching (HKG)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [Bye]  Georgina Kennedy (ENG) [Bye] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) v [17/32] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[17/32] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Tessa Ter Sluis (NED)
[9/16] Nele Gilis (BEL) [Bye] [17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Salma Eltayeb (EGY)
[9/16] Salma Hany (EGY) [Bye] [9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY) [Bye]  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [Bye]
Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour