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Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily top seeds in Chicago Worlds

Defending champions Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy

Squash on track for first million-dollar tournament

Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will top the seedings for the 2018-19 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family when the sport’s first $1 million tournament takes place in Chicago’s Union Station between February 23 – March 2.

The World Championships is the most illustrious tournament on the PSA Tour calendar and will bring together 128 of the world’s greatest squash players as they battle for the most lucrative prize purse in the history of the sport, with $500,000 on offer across both the men’s and women’s draws thanks to the support of Mark and Kimbra Walter of Chicago.

Over 25 nations will be represented in Chicago and Egypt’s World No.1 ElShorbagy tops the men’s draw. The 27-year-old from Alexandria defeated younger brother Marwan in Manchester back in December 2017 to lift the iconic title for the first time and he will look to become just the third Egyptian ever to become a multiple World Champion after Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour.

ElShorbagy will be joined in the draw by Qatar Classic champion Ali Farag, Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner, World No.4 Tarek Momen, 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez, World No.7 Paul Coll and Marwan ElShorbagy, who complete the top eight seedings.

Also involved in the draw is three-time champion Ramy Ashour – whose win over Mohamed ElShorbagy in the 2014 final is revered as one of the sport’s greatest ever matches – while 2010 runner-up James Willstrop and 2015 finalist Omar Mosaad are also included. Frenchman Gregory Gaultier – who beat Mosaad in the 2015 final – misses out due to a knee injury.

After final defeats in 2014 and 2016, El Welily finally got her hands on the coveted title with victory over two-time winner Nour El Sherbini back in December 2017 and the pair will be joined in the draw by compatriot Nour El Tayeb, who won the Windy City Open in Chicago last March.

Chicago’s Union Station venue

The rest of the top eight seeds comprise of Hong Kong Open champion Joelle King, France’s Camille Serme, English duo Sarah-Jane Perry and Laura Massaro, and Egyptian Nouran Gohar.

Legendary Malaysian Nicol David is also involved and will look to add to her haul of eight World Championship titles, which is unmatched in the women’s game.

US interest comes in the form of World No.11 Amanda Sobhy, World No.19 Olivia Blatchford Clyne, World No.42 Haley Mendez and World No.57 Olivia Fiechter.

Meanwhile, World No.48 Todd Harrity will have US hopes on his shoulders in the men’s event.

The winners of the E.M. Noll Classic, PSA Challenger event – which takes place in February – will also qualify for the World Championships, while the final place in the women’s draw will be allocated in due course

In addition to prize winnings totalling over $72,000, the winner of the World Championships will also qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which pits together the reigning World Champions and all seven PSA World Tour Platinum winners.

The 2018-19 PSA World Championships will take place at Chicago’s Union Station on a specially erected exhibition glass court, while matches from the earlier rounds will also be held at MetroSquash and the University Club of Chicago.

Tickets are priced from just $30 and are available for purchase on Ticketmaster.
2018-19 PSA World Championships, Union Station, Chicago, USA.

Men’s Entry List:
1) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2) Ali Farag (EGY)
3) Simon Rösner (GER)
4) Tarek Momen (EGY)
5) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
6) Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
7) Paul Coll (NZL)
8) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
9) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
10) Diego Elias (PER)
11) Saurav Ghosal (IND)
12) Max Lee (HKG)
13) Fares Dessouky (EGY
14) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
15) Raphael Kandra (GER)
16) James Willstrop (ENG)
17) Omar Mosaad (EGY)
18) Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
19) Daryl Selby (ENG)
20) Tom Richards (ENG)
21) Declan James (ENG)
22) Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
23) Joel Makin (WAL)
24) Ramy Ashour (EGY)
25) Zahed Salem (EGY)
26) Leo Au (HKG)
27) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
28) Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
29) Cameron Pilley (AUS)
30) Cesar Salazar (MEX)
31) Greg Lobban (SCO)
32) Gregoire Marche (FRA)
33) Borja Golan (ESP)
34) George Parker (ENG)
35) Youssef Soliman (EGY)
36) Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
37) Mazen Hesham (EGY)
38) Chris Simpson (ENG)
39) Adrian Waller (ENG)
40) Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
41) Lucas Serme (FRA)
42) Campbell Grayson (NZL)
43) Arturo Salazar (MEX)
44) Mostafa Asal (EGY)
45) Ivan Yuen (MAS)
46) Alan Clyne (SCO)
47) Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
48) Todd Harrity (USA)
49) Ben Coleman (ENG)
50) Nathan Lake (ENG)
51) Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
52) Joshua Masters (ENG)
53) Mohamed Reda (EGY)
54) Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
55) Rex Hedrick (AUS)
56) Richie Fallows (ENG)
57) Vikram Malhotra (IND)
58) Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
59) Shahjahan Khan (PAK)
60) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
61) Christopher Binnie (JAM)
62) Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
63) TBC – Place goes to winner of E.M. Noll Classic
64) Victor Crouin (FRA)

Women’s Entry List:
1) Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
3) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
4) Joelle King (NZL)
5) Camille Serme (FRA)
6) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
7) Laura Massaro (ENG)
8) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
9) Alison Waters (ENG)
10) Tesni Evans (WAL)
11) Amanda Sobhy (USA)
12) Annie Au (HKG)
13) Nicol David (MAS)
14) Joshna Chinappa (IND)
15) Victoria Lust (ENG)
16) Salma Hany (EGY)
17) Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
18) Joey Chan (HKG)
19) Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
20) Yathreb Adel (EGY)
21) Emily Whitlock (ENG)
22) Mariam Metwally (EGY)
23) Mayor Hany (EGY)
24) Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
25) Fiona Moverley (ENG)
26) Nadine Shahin (EGY)
27) Rachael Grinham (AUS)
28) Nele Gilis (BEL)
29) Samantha Cornett (CAN)
30) Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
31) Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
32) Nada Abbas (EGY)
33) Coline Aumard (FRA)
34) Milou van der Heijden (NED)
35) Hollie Naughton (CAN)
36) Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
37) Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
38) Julianne Courtice (ENG)
39) Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
40) Haley Mendez (USA)
41) Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
42) Tinne Gilis (BEL)
43) Low Wee Wern (MAS)
44) Christine Nunn (AUS)
45) Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
46) Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
47) Heba El Torky (EGY)
48) Rachel Arnold (MAS)
49) Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG)
50) Vanessa Chu (HKG)
51) Lucy Turmel (USA)
52) Lisa Aitken (SCO)
53) Nikki Todd (CAN)
54) Olivia Fiechter (USA)
55) Lee Ka Yi (HKG)
56) Enora Villard (FRA)
57) Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
58) Menna Hamed (EGY)
59) Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
60) Melissa Alves (FRA)
61) Anna Serme (CZE)
62) TBC – Place goes to winner of E.M. Noll Classic
63) TBC – Place will be allocated in due course
64) Sarah Cardwell (AUS)

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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