Mr and Mrs Farag fight to regain Drexel trophies
By ELLIE MAWSON – Squash Mad Correspondent
The world’s top squash players will compete for the first PSA Platinum title of the 2019-20 season between October 5-12 at Philadelphia’s Drexel University as the draws for the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships were released today.
The U.S. Open is one of eight prestigious Platinum events to take place during the 2019-20 PSA World Tour season, and this year’s tournament sees prize money increase by 10% to a record total of $371,000, which is split equally between male and female athletes for a seventh successive year.
Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will return to defend their crowns, while men’s World No.1 Ali Farag and women’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb will also aim to star in Philadelphia – two years after their U.S. Open triumphs saw them become the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.
World No.1 Farag leads the men’s draw and receives a bye into the second round where he will face either compatriot Karim Ali Fathi or England’s Daryl Selby. The 2017 tournament winner is seeded on the same side of the draw as the likes of World No.7 Mohamed Abouelghar, Peru’s World No.8 Diego Elias and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad, who he could face in the semi-finals.
Seeded at the opposite side of the draw is defending men’s champion ElShorbagy. The World No.2 will take on either Spain’s Borja Golan or Mexico’s Arturo Salazar in round two.
The elder ElShorbagy brother is bidding to join Peter Nicol as the only men’s four-time U.S. Open champions, and is seeded on the same side of the draw as Germany’s 2018 finalist Simon Rösner, who along with New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s world No. 3 Tarek Momen, who he could meet in the semifinals.
Home favourite Todd Harrity, who reached the last 32 in Philadelphia last year, will play Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in round one. Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s Andrew Douglas and Connecticut’s Spencer Lovejoy take the wildcard spots and face England’s Declan James and Egypt’s Mazen Hesham, respectively, in round one.
In the women’s draw, World No.1 El Welily leads the line-up and will line up against either wildcard Laila Sedky or Egypt’s Nadine Shahin in round two.
The Egyptian is seeded to come up against France’s World No.3 Camille Serme, who won the tournament back in 2016, in the semi-finals and also has England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King on her side of the draw.
Reigning World Champion El Sherbini is situated at the opposite end of the draw and faces either wildcard Sabrina Sobhy or Egypt’s Mayar Hany in round two.
The two-time runner-up will be looking to get her hands on the coveted trophy for the first time in her career, but has the likes of 2019 British Open winner Nouran Gohar, World No.5 Nour El Tayeb and home favourite Amanda Sobhy standing in her way on her side of the draw.
United States No.1 Sobhy receives a bye into the second round where she will take on either compatriot Olivia Fiechter or England’s Emily Whitlock. Other home interest comes in the form of Team USA No.2 Olivia Blatchford-Clyne, who faces England’s Lucy Turmel in round one, while World No.42 Haley Mendez takes on Australia’s former World No.1 Rachael Grinham.
The U.S. Open gives players the first opportunity this season to qualify for June’s PSA World Tour Finals. The reigning PSA World Champions and all Platinum event winners automatically qualify for the World Tour Finals. The remaining places are allocated to the highest ranked players on the Road to Egypt Standings, and points for the standings will be on offer at all PSA World Tour events this season.
Glass court action from the U.S. Open will be staged in Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center, while matches on the traditional side courts will be held at Drexel University as well as the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
Matches from the glass court will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only), the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan) and various broadcast partners.
Tickets start from $30 and are available for purchase through the tournament website.
2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
 Ali Farag (EGY) [Bye]
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [17/32] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[17/32] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [Bye]
[17/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
Todd Harrity (USA) v [17/32] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) [Bye]
 Diego Elias (PER) [Bye]
George Parker (ENG) v [17/32] Tom Richards (ENG)
[9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) [Bye]
Iker Parajes Bernabeu (ESP) v [17/32] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[17/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) [Bye]
[17/32] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [Bye]
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [Bye]
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [17/32] Leo Au (HKG)
[9/16] Fares Dessouky (EGY) [Bye]
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [17/32] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [Bye]
[9/16] Zahed Salem (EGY) [Bye]
[17/32] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Richie Fallows (ENG)
 Simon Rosner (GER) [Bye]
 Paul Coll (NZL) [Bye]
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) [Bye]
[17/32] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [WC] Spencer Lovejoy (USA)
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [Bye]
[17/32] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[WC] Andrew Douglas (USA) v [17/32] Declan James (ENG)
[17/32] Borja Golan (ESP) v Arturo Salazar (MEX)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [Bye]
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) [Bye]
[WC] Laila Sedky (USA) v [17/32] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[17/32] Julianne Courtice (ENG) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
 Yathreb Adel (EGY) [Bye]
 Alison Waters (ENG) [Bye]
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v [17/32] Joey Chan (HKG)
[17/32] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [Bye]
 Joelle King (NZL) [Bye]
Lucy Turmel (ENG) v [17/32] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
[17/32] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) [Bye]
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) [Bye]
Nada Abbas (EGY) v [17/32] Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[17/32] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
 Camille Serme (FRA) [Bye]
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) [Bye]
Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) v [17/32] Nele Gilis (BEL)
[17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)
 Salma Hany (EGY) [Bye]
 Tesni Evans (WAL) [Bye]
Coline Aumard (FRA) v [17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[17/32] Milou van der Heijden (NED) v Melissa Alves (FRA)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [Bye]
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) [Bye]
Olivia Fiechter (USA) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[17/32] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) [Bye]
 Annie Au (HKG) [Bye]
Haley Mendez (USA) v [17/32] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY) v [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [Bye]
Article by ELLIE MAWSON (PSA). Edited by ALAN THATCHER.
Pictures courtesy of PSA