Egyptian stars dominate lineups at the mega squash event

Laura Massaro of England (left) reaches for the ball against Nour El Sherbini of Egypt during their final match of the PSA Womens World Championships in Kuala Lumpur on April 30, 2016.
Laura Massaro of England (left) reaches for the ball against Nour El Sherbini of Egypt during their final match of the PSA Women's World Championships in Kuala Lumpur on April 30, 2016.

Dubai - For just Dh25 per head during the pool qualifiers, one can get to see at close hand in the 500-seat capacity tent, the world's top eight men's and women's squash superstars engage themselves in gigantic battles for five days.



By Moni Mathews

Published: Wed 25 May 2016, 10:07 PM

The powerful Egyptians will be the dominant force at the year-end PSA Dubai World Series finals, scheduled from today to Saturday, at the all-glass court inside the air conditioned tent at the Burj Park, opposite the Burj Khalifa.
For just Dh25 per head during the pool qualifiers, one can get to see at close hand in the 500-seat capacity tent, the world's top eight men's and women's squash superstars engage themselves in gigantic battles for five days.
After the 2pm starts from Tuesday to Thursday, the semis and finals begin at 7pm on Friday and Saturday in the event offering prize purses of $160,000 each in the men's and women's sections.
In the men's field, world number one, Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy, whose form for the past two seasons has been phenomenal, meets seventh rated Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet in Tuesday's (today) feature match at 7pm.
Greg Gaultier, a former world champion, has been given the trust vote by the seeding committee, giving the Frenchman the status to probably contest the final on Saturday against Elshorbagy. "I have taken an immediate liking again to the well maintained court on which I won a title six months ago. I am quite fit after my six-month injury layoff," Gaultier who meets sixth seeded German Simon Rosner on the opening day, said on Monday.
Gaultier won the first two games against Elshorbagy before losing the dramatic El Gouna PSA Series final in Egypt last month, and might do better in a less partisan environment like Dubai. The second Egyptian in the men's section is fourth seed Omar Mosaad. He has a date with Cameron Pilley of Australia who has been given the final ranking spot of eight for the championship.
Third seed and three-time former world champion Nick Matthew of England plays the entertaining and fast moving Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, seeded fifth, in another interesting first round encounter.
Matthew said: "I'm feeling fit, I want to put the injuries behind me now and focus on the last tournament of the season, and finish on a high. It's great to be back here, it's the first time I've been to Dubai for a major event, and it's great to come to new venues and I'm very excited. I am getting used to the whole layout and this is interesting."
The women's section has four Egyptian stars, led by world champion Nour El Sherbini, a 20-year old who has been consistently shaking up the top of the ladder list on the PSA World Tour. The second seed here and current world champ, runs into seventh listed Frenchwoman Camille Serme on day one while top seed Laura Massaro of England, who lost to Nour after leading 2-0 at the worlds recently, meets Harvard University product Amanda Sobhy of the US, the eight seed here.
The most successful and dominant female player in the history of squash, Nicol David from Malaysia, takes on fifth seeded Egyptian star Nouran Gohar in round one.
PSA Dubai World Series finals
Men (with seedings):
Group A:
(1) Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egypt), (3) Nick Matthew (England), (5) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Colombia), (7) Mathieu Castagnet (France).
Group B:
(2) Gregory Gaultier (France), (4) Omar Mosaad (Egypt), (6) Simon Rosner (Germany), (8) Cameron Pilley (Australia).
Women:
Group A:
(1) Laura Massro (England), (3) Nicol David (Malaysia), (5) Nouran Gohar (Egypt), (8) Amanda Sobhy (USA).
Group B:
(2) Nour El Sherbini (Egypt), (4) Raneem El Welily (Egypt), (6) Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egypt), (7) Camille Serme (France).
Fixtures
Tuesday (with seedings)
2pm: (7) Camille Serme (France) v (6) Omneya Abdel Kawy (France).
2.45pm: (4) Omar Mosaad (Egypt) v (8) Cameron Pilley (Australia).
4pm: (2) Nour El Sherbini (Egypt) v (4) Raneem El Welily (Egypt).
4.45pm: (2) Gregory Gaultier (France) v (6) Simon Rosner (Germany).
7pm: (1) Laura Massro (England) v (5) Nouran Gohar (Egypt).
7.45pm: (1) Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egypt) v (7) Mathieu Castagnet (France).
9pm: (3) Nicol David (Malaysia) v (8) Amanda Sobhy (USA).
9.45pm: (5) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Colombia) v (3) Nick Matthew (England)
moni@khaleejtimes.com 


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