Injury forces Nick to pull out of El Gouna
By FAYE ANDREWS and NATHAN CLARKE
Three-time squash world champion Nick Matthew OBE is undergoing treatment to resolve a long-term ankle injury but is confident of being fit in time for the PSA World Series Finals in Dubai from 24 – 28 May.
The injury to his right ankle first occurred at the El Gouna International Squash Tournament in Egypt in April 2015. Matthew has had to take regular breaks from training to get treatment to allow him to continue to play on the PSA World Tour.
At the 2016 Allam British Open, however, the issue worsened and Matthew has been forced to take a break from competition to fully heal the injury. The World No.3 has withdrawn from the 2016 El Gouna Squash International and his participation at the European Team Championships in Poland in May is in doubt. His goal is to return to the PSA World Tour at the World Series Finals.
Nick Matthew said: “Playing through injury is never easy and this has been a persistent problem over nearly a year which has stopped me performing the way I know I can.
“I want to get this sorted once and for all and get myself back into competition as soon as possible. It’s frustrating but that’s just part of being a professional athlete.
“I am in an incredibly lucky position to have played injury-free for so many years on tour. I’m confident that with access to the England Squash support team I will have the best medical support which will allow me to get back to my best before we know it.”
Matthew has withdrawn from this month’s El Gouna International, the final PSA World Series tournament of the season, as a result of an ankle injury sustained during the recent Allam British Open.
Matthew’s withdrawal sees British Open runner-up and defending El Gouna champion Ramy Ashour rise up to occupy the number four seeding in a move that boosts the 28-year-old’s hopes of qualifying for the Dubai PSA World Series Finals.
Ashour is now seeded to meet Gregory Gaultier at the semi-final stage in a repeat of the their classic British Open semi-final clash before a seeded rematch with rival Mohamed Elshorbagy could await in the title-decider – with Ashour needing to reach the decider for a chance to compete in Dubai.
Ashour will face Elshorbagy’s younger brother Marwan, the World No.11, in the first round while German Simon Rösner moves up to the eighth seeded position where a qualifier will await him in the first round.
Talented youngster Mohamed Abouelghar comes into the main draw from qualification to complete an 11-strong contingent of Egyptian players in the main draw.
2016 El Gouna International, Egypt
First Round Draw:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Qualifier] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Qualifier] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [WC] Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Max Lee (HKG) v [Qualifier] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Fares Dessouki (EGY)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Qualifier] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Qualifier] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [Qualifier] Tom Richards (ENG) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
The 2016 El Gouna International takes place from April 21-24 at the Movenpick hotel El Gouna and 24-29 at the New Marina El Gouna.