By MICHAEL CATLING
Defending champion Ramy Ashour will make his much-anticipated comeback from injury at the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, when the $150,000 event returns to the Hong Kong Squash Centre next week.
The 26-year-old has been hampered by a hamstring injury for the past month but after receiving the all-clear last week, the Egyptian will be gunning for his seventh trophy this year.
The Egyptian faces a qualifier in his opening round and is seeded to face big-hitting Cameron Pilley in the second-round.
Elsewhere, last year’s losing finalist, James Willstrop, is hoping to reach his first final since the Canary Wharf Classic in March and meets fellow Englishman Adrian Grant in the first round.
A quarter-final encounter with Willstrop awaits Sky Open champion Mohamed Elshorbagy; although the world number six will have to negotiate Hong Kong’s Leo Au and potentially his brother Marwan en route.
In the bottom half of the draw, world champion Nick Matthew has been handed a tricky start to the tournament and faces in-form world number 11 Daryl Selby, who will be looking to avenge his PSL defeat to his compatriot last week.
Experienced Egyptian Amr Shabana is seeded to meet either Englishman in the quarter-finals, with Frenchman Gregory Gaultier potentially lying in wait at the semi-final stage.
The 27th edition of the annual event takes place from December 03 – December 08 with all the action broadcast live on PSA SquashTV.
Round One Draw:
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) v Qualifier – 19:30pm
Cameron Pilley (Aus) v Qualifier – 20:15pm
Stephen Coppinger (Rsa) v Chris Simpson (Eng) – 18:00pm
Ong Beng Hee (Mas) v  Borja Golan (Esp) – 18:45pm
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) v Leo Au (Hkg) – 17:15pm
Marwan Elshorbagy v Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) – 16:30pm
Simon Rosner (Ger) v Tom Richards (Eng) – 14:15pm
Adrian Grant (Eng) v  James Willstrop (Eng) – 13:30pm
 Nick Matthew (Eng) v Daryl Selby (Eng) – 19:30pm
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) v Qualifier – 20:15pm
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) v Qualifier – 18:00pm
Qualifier v  Amr Shabana (Egy) – 18:45pm
 Tarek Momen (Egy) v Qualifier – 13:30pm
Olli Tuominen (Fin) v Qualifier – 14:15pm
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) v Qualifier – 16:30pm
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) v  Gregory Gaultier – 17:15pm
Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)