Saturday, February 24, 2024

PSA: Palmer faces Azlan as Shabana withdraws

Palmer  gets slight boost from Shabana withdrawal

Australian squash number one David Palmer will be breathing slightly easier following the overnight withdrawal from the Viridian Australian Open of world number five Amr Shabana.

Palmer had been drawn to play Shabana in the first round in Canberra next month in a battle of two former world number ones.

However, following the Egyptian’s withdrawal the draw was remade and Palmer will now face new eighth seed, Malaysia’s Azlan Iskandar.

Iskandar is ranked 10th in the world while Palmer is 11th,  but the 35-year-old Australian would no doubt rather be facing Iskandar in the tournament opener than four-time world champion Shabana.

The Egyptian’s withdrawal also means good news for New South Wales’s Ryan Cuskelly, who, as the highest ranked player in qualifying, now comes into the main draw.

Cuskelly will take on Englishman Tom Richards in the first round.

The Australian Open will be played on the all-glass court at Canberra’s Royal Theatre from August 8-14.


Revised first round men’s draw – prefix denotes seeding:


1-Nick Matthew (ENG) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
7-Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
8-Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v David Palmer (AUS)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Qualifier v Qualifier
3-Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
4-James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
5-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
6-Peter Barker (ENG) v Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Qualifier
Stewart Boswell (AUS) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
2-Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier

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