No Mo as World Tour Finals line-up is confirmed
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Egyptian stars Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini will be the top seeds when Cairo’s Mall of Arabia hosts the 2019-20 CIB PSA World Tour Finals from September 28-October 3.
The Mall stages this glorious squash showpiece starring the world’s leading players for a second year in succession, with the
tournament rescheduled from its original dates in June due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify for the World Tour Finals, players must have either finished in the top eight of the CIB Road to Egypt Standings – where points were on offer at all PSA World Tour events during the 2019-20 season – or have won a prestigious PSA World Tour Platinum title.
Farag won both the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships and the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family during the 2019-20 season and finished second on the men’s Road to Egypt Standings.
However, he will be the top seed for the men’s event, with Road to Egypt Standings leader Mohamed ElShorbagy choosing not to take up his qualification spot due to personal reasons. It is understood he faces financial penalties each time he returns to Egypt.
Farag will be joined in Cairo by reigning World Champion Tarek Momen, World Championship runner-up Paul Coll, defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad, Marwan ElShorbagy, Diego Elias and Joel Makin.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Simon Rösner, who finished ninth on the Road to Egypt Standings, comes into the draw as a result of Mohamed ElShorbagy’s absence.
Wins at the World Championship and Windy City Open saw El Sherbini finish top of the women’s Road to Egypt Standings. Former World No.1 Raneem El Welily came second, but will not line up in Cairo following her retirement from the sport this summer.
That means China Open winner Nour El Tayeb moves up to second and is followed by new World No.1 Nouran Gohar. Tournament of Champions winner Camille Serme, Black Ball Open winner Hania El Hammamy, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, USA’s Amanda Sobhy and New Zealand’s Joelle King make up the rest of the women’s draw.
King secures her place in the draw following El Welily’s retirement.
The World Tour Finals work differently to any other event on the PSA World Tour. The top eight men and top eight women are split into two groups of four, with a round robin, best-of-three games format used over the first four days of the tournament.
The top two from each group qualify for the best of three semi-finals, with the winners then going on to face off in the title deciders, which will revert to the best-of-five games scoring used at most tournaments on the PSA World Tour.
All matches will be held at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia and fixtures will be streamed live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
The tournament will abide by strict protocols with relation to health and safety, international travel policies and social distancing guidelines. Discussions are still ongoing about the possible admission of spectators.
CIB PSA World Tour Finals Entry List.
1) Ali Farag (EGY)
2) Tarek Momen (EGY)
3) Paul Coll (NZL)
4) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
5) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
6) Diego Elias (PER)
7) Joel Makin (WAL)
8) Simon Rösner (GER)
1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
3) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
4) Camille Serme (FRA)
5) Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
6) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
7) Amanda Sobhy (USA)
8) Joelle King (NZL)
Pictures courtesy of PSA