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Hong Kong: Ramy ready for harbour hat-trick

rammanRamy Set To Retain Hong Kong Crown

29 October 2013

Egypt’s world number one Ramy Ashour is seeded to win his third Hong Kong title in four years.

The draw for the 2013 PSA World Series event  was announced in Hong Kong today.

Ashour will begin the defence of his title, which he won for the first time in 2010, against a qualifier before a predicted final clash with France’s world No2 Gregory Gaultier on an all-glass court at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The event, celebrating its 27th year since 1985, gets under way at the Hong Kong Squash Centre on 3 December – following two days of qualifying – before reaching its climax on Sunday 8 December.

The popular Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open has attracted all but three of the world’s top 25 players – including six former world number ones and three former champions.

England’s James Willstrop, the 2011 champion, is the event’s third seed. The world No3 opens his latest campaign against England team-mate Adrian Grant.

Nick Matthew, bidding to reach the final for the first time since finishing as runner-up in 2004, is the fourth seed – and also faces an England team-mate, Daryl Selby, in the opening round.

But both Matthew and Gaultier, whose first round opponent is Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, are in the same half of the draw as illustrious Egyptian Amr Shabana, the former world number one from Cairo who won the title four years in a row from 2006.

Shabana, the 34-year-old No8 seed, begins his 16th successive campaign since 1996 by taking on a qualifier.

1st round draw:
[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Qualifier
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
[6] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Leo Au (HKG)
Borja Golan (ESP) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Tom Richards (ENG)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) v Adrian Grant (ENG)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Qualifier
[8] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Qualifier
[5] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
Tarek Momen (EGY) v Qualifier
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Qualifier
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)

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