By LEE HORTON
Amr Shabana has followed Egyptian world number one Ramy Ashour by pulling out of next week’s US Open in Philadelphia.
The Delaware Investments event will be without its 2012 champion Ashour and world No. 8 Shabana, who has been forced to withdraw from the tournament. World No. 14 Sarah-Jane Perry is also out due to injury.
It’s a huge blow for the prestige event which is offering equal prize money for both the women’s and men’s championships. There’s a pot of $115,000 up for grabs in both events, the first in the history of squash.
There have been rumblings within the game that several male players were unhappy with the parity, although there is no suggestion that either Shabana or Ashour have quit because of that.
Ashour claimed he was resting to save himself for the men´s World Championships in Manchester.
Shabana’s absence has moved Spaniard Borja Golan into the seventh seed main draw position, where he will now face Canadian champion Shawn Delierre, who has moved into the main draw from qualifying because of the Egyptian’s withdrawal.
Fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen now slots in as the eight seed and will face a qualifier in the first round of the main draw.
The women’s draw also sees movement with the withdrawal of Perry.
Perry told her followers on Twitter: “Thanks for all the concerned messages. I’m gutted I’ve had to pull out of the Carol Weymuller Open, U.S. Open, and Monte Carlo. Was really looking forward to playing but, unfortunately, injury has forced my hand. I’m determined to come back stronger, fitter and hungrier!”
Perry’s withdrawal has moved American world No. 23 Amanda Sobhy into the 16 seed position, changing her first round match as a result.
Previously set to face world No. 2 Laura Massaro in the first round, Sobhy will now take on Guyana’s world No. 19 Nicolette Fernandes. Fernandes beat Sobhy in the last round of qualifying in four tight games at the Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn last night . English world No. 35 Victoria Lust will slot into Sobhy’s previous position from the qualifying pool to face Massaro.
Lauren Briggs has also withdrawn from the tournament, and has since been replaced in the main draw by Canadian world No. 32 Samantha Cornett.