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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Squash: Al-Ahram Open kicks off Saturday after 10-year absence

With Egyptians holding the number-one world ranking in both women and men's squash, they will be serious contenders for the titles in Al-Ahram Open that kicks off this week

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 17 Sep 2016
Al-Ahram Open
A photo published by world number one Mohamed El-Shorbagy for Al-Ahram Open squash tournament location at the Giza Pyramids
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The Al-Ahram Squash Open international tournament will return to action at the Giza Pyramids after a 10-year absence with the qualifying round kicking off on Saturday.

Al-Ahram Open, one of the major tournaments in the squash world, rejoins the PSA World Tour calendar for the first time since 2001 with $100,000 worth of prizes for each of the men and women's events.

The tournament's main draw will start on Monday and will run until 23 September.

Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy, who has been on top of the men's world ranking since November 2014, and the women's world number one Nour El-Sherbini, are leading the seeds at both events.

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet (9), and Egypt's duo World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad and Ramy Ashour (5), will be prominent competitors in the men’s competition.

"What an amazing location. I can't wait to play there," Elshorbagy said via his official Facebook account on Thursday after posting a photo for Al-Ahram Open location.

World No.6 Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt has admitted that playing in front of the Great Giza Pyramids at Al Ahram Squash Open will be like a dream come true.

"I’m very, very excited, I have been dreaming of playing there for 14 years,” Gawad was quoted as saying by the official website of the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

“I remember being 10-years-old, being in the crowd watching and just wanting to hit at least one shot on that court more than anything else," he added.

While Egypt seems to be a favourite for the title in the men's event, it is a different affair in the women's contest.

The women's eight-time world champion and squash legend Nicole David of Malaysia, France's Camille Serne (6) and American Amanda Sobhy (7) are serious contenders for El-Sherbini and Raneem El-Welily (world number 5) and Omneya Abdel-Kawy who has dropped to 8th place.

World junior champion Nouran Gohar of Egypt is also excited about playing at Al-Ahram Open and wants to follow in the footsteps of Egyptian former World No.2 Ahmed Barada, who lifted the title on his home soil back in 1998.

“I'm so excited, I can't wait to play in front of the Pyramids,” World No.4 Gohar told psaworldtour.com

“There’s so much motivation to play there for all the Egyptian players. It's so huge for us, Ahmed Barada was like a superhero in Egypt and he was so well known because of this tournament. So for us now to have that chance to play there is huge.

“I know it will be a great event and hopefully I can do well in it in front of my home crowd," she concluded.

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