Dream Draw For Ramy In Canberra
3 July 2012
Defending champion Ramy Ashour has been handed a dream first round draw at the 2012 Australian Open, with the Egyptian set to face a qualifier in his opening match in the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event next month inCanberra.
The world No4 from Cairo will be the overwhelming favourite to win his second Australian Open in succession, after main rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop elected not to make the trip to Canberra this year.
The Australian Open will be held in the nation’s capital from August 13-19, the third year in a row that Canberra has hosted the tournament.
Ashour is likely to take on Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the second round and could face Australian number oneCameron Pilley in the semi-finals.
Fifth seed Pilley, three times a runner-up, also opens against a qualifier but could then have to get past a pair of Egyptians –Omar Abdel Aziz and third seed Omar Mosaad – if he is to make the final four.
Second-seeded Englishman Peter Barker has a tricky start against rising Hong Kong star Max Lee before a probable second round clash with Czech number one Jan Koukal.
Australian number two Ryan Cuskelly will take on dangerous Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Muzayen in his first match, while fellow New South Welshman Matthew Karwalski is up against Mosaad.
There is one all-Australian clash, with Brisbane’s Zac Alexander drawn to face Victorian wildcard Rex Hedrick.
An all-English semi-final confrontation is predicted in the lower half of the draw where Barker could meet Tom Richards, the No4 seed from Surrey.
But Richards, boasting a career-high world No15 ranking, may have a British clash to contend with first if Scotland’s eighth seed Alan Clyne reaches his scheduled quarter-final berth.
1st round draw:
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Qualifier
Leo Au (HKG) v Qualifier
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Qualifier
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Qualifier
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Zac Alexander (AUS) v Rex Hedrick (AUS)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Matthew Karwalski (AUS)
 Tom Richards (ENG) v Kamran Khan (MAS)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW)
Martin Knight (NZL) v Qualifier
 Alan Clyne (SCO) v Siddharth Suchde (IND)
 Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Ivan Yuen (MAS)
Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) v Qualifier
Jan Koukal (CZE) v Qualifier
 Peter Barker (ENG) v Max Lee (HKG)
For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com
With women’s entries closing later Tuesday, eight of the top 10 have confirmed they will travel to Canberra.
Malaysia’s Nicol David will defend her crown and will be joined in the field by English duo Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro and 2010 champion Madeline Perry of Ireland.
Former champions Annie Au (Hong Kong), Joelle King (New Zealand) and Rachael Grinham and Kasey Brown (both Australia) will also be in Canberra in August.