All set for Hull of a battle
By SEAN REUTHE
After falling at the last hurdle against Frenchwoman Camille Serme in the 2015 Allam British Open, England’s World No.1 Laura Massaro, who became just the third English player to top the World Rankings this January, returns to Hull’s Airco Arena from March 21 – 27 as favourite to triumph at the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ in one of the most compelling draws of recent years.
Massaro, the 2013 British Open champion, has taken two of five PSA World Series titles available so far during the 2015-16 season, at the US Open and Qatar Classic.
But, with Nicol David, Raneem El Welily and Nour El Sherbini all also having tasted success and with the likes of defending champion Serme, Tournament of Champions runner-up Amanda Sobhy and serial semi-finalists Nouran Gohar and Omneya Abdel Kawy also in the mix, the 2016 British Open could be one of the most competitive tournament’s in the event’s illustrious history.
Massaro begins her bid for the title against a qualifier on March 22 en route to what is a likely quarter-final clash with 2015 winner Serme. El Welily, the woman who ended David’s nine-year reign as World No.1, is seeded to meet Massaro in the semi-finals while David and El Sherbini could clash in a their third consecutive World Series semi-final – where the Malaysian will be hoping to stop a run of three consecutive defeats to the Egyptian.
Serme will begin her defence with a tricky encounter with tournament wildcard and local favourite Fiona Moverley while Gohar and Sobhy will be hoping to progress beyond the last eight stage when they are seeded to meet El Welily and El Sherbini, respectively.
With Massaro, David, El Sherbini, Sobhy and Gohar playing some of their best squash in recent months, Serme returning to winning ways at the recent Cleveland Classic and El Welily back to the form that saw her top the world rankings, the 2016 Women’s British Open has all the ingredients to go down as one of the most thrilling ever.
2016 Women’s Allam British Open, Hull, England.
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Qualifier]
Line Hansen (DEN) v  Delia Arnold (MAS)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
[WC] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[Qualifier] v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
[Qualifier] v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[Qualifier] v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Emily Whitlock (ENG) v  Low Wee Wern (MAS)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Qualifier] v  Nicol David (MAS)
The 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, takes place in Hull, England from Saturday 19 to Sunday March 27. Qualification rounds will take place at the University of Hull on March 19-20, while the main draw action will be played at the Airco Arena from March 21.
Tickets for the 2016 Allam British Open can be booked online at www.isportstore.com, by telephone on (+44) 0 844 8797 949 or, for more information, email [email protected]