Nicol David fights to keep top spot from Raneem El Welily
By NATHAN CLARKE
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, the 24-year-old Egyptian, will be aiming to get his 2015-16 season off to a triumphant start when he tops the draw at the 2015 Stars On The Bund China Open, PSA M100 tournament while World No.1 Nicol David will be the star attraction in the women’s competition.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Shanghai’s iconic bund on the terrace of The Peninsula Hotel, the 2015 China Open will be the first ever M100 tournament on the PSA World Tour, offering prize money of $100,000 to the 16-man field, and will get under way on Thursday September 3 – when Elshorbagy will be aiming to pick up where he left off after winning the prestigious Allam British Open at the end of the 14/15 season.
In what will be the first competitive tournament of the season for many of the world’s best players, Elshorbagy is set to face a stiff challenge as he hopes to add to his collection of 14 PSA titles, with dynamic World No.3 Gregory Gaultier and German World No.7 Simon Rösner chief contenders in a tough field.
In the women’s event David, the incumbent World No.1 for the past nine years, will face a stern challenge from World No.2 Raneem El Welily – the dazzlingly talented Egyptian who finds herself just a handful of points behind David in the world rankings.
A likely match-up in the title decider could have massive ramifications in the battle to be No.1, with David knowing she will have to be at her very best in order to maintain her place at the top.
However, progress to the final will not be straightforward for either player with the likes of Allam British Open Champion Camille Serme and dangerous American talent Amada Sobhy amongst the challengers in what promises to be a thrilling event.
“This is the second year that world-class squash, ‘the preferred sport on Wall Street’, will be appearing on the Bund, historically known as the Wall Street of Asia”, said Mr. Sheng Li, CEO of SECA, investor and organizer of the China Squash Open.
“We are committed to bringing the world’s best squash players to China and to give squash a new world-class stage in which to showcase itself. Thanks to our Stars On The Bund we are fully delivering these promises.”
“The China Squash Open is growing bigger every year and this reflects the efforts we are making to develop squash in this highly potential market,” added Franco Amadei, China Squash Open Tournament Director and SECA Squash Academy COO.
Stars On The Bund China Open, Shanghai.
PSA M100 – First Round Draw:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[WC] Ivan Yuen (MAS) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [FRA] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
PSA W50 – First Round Draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) v [Qualifier]
Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [Qualifier]
[WC] Teh Min Jie (MAS) v  Emma Beddoes (ENG)
 Annie Au (HKG) v Rachel Grinham (AUS)
[Qualifier) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)