Preview: Egypt eyes new squash success as Allam British Open kicks off Tuesday

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 20 Mar 2017

Elshorbagy and El Shirbini
Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El Sherbini won the titles in 2016 (British Open official website).

The Allam British Open is set to start on Tuesday as Egypt looks to demonstrate its supremacy in the world's oldest squash tournament.

The event will take place at the Sports Arena in Hull in England and lasts till 26 March.

In 2016, Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El-Sherbini won the tournament's men and women's titles after beating Egyptian compatriots Ramy Ashour and Nouran Gohar in the finals.

This year, Egypt will be represented by ten players in the men's contest, headed by world number 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, world champion Karim Abdel-Gawad, world number 5 Ramy Ashour, and world number 7Ali Farag.

Those leading Egypt in the female league will be world number 1 Nour El-Sherbini, world number 3 Raneem El-Welily and world number 4 Nouran Gohar.

The total prize for the female winners has been increased in this edition to $150,000, matching the rewards for the males competition.

Elshorbagy's mission to clinch his third consecutive British Open title will not be an easy one, as he has been struggling recently and has failed to win any major tournament over the past few months. He could lose his top ranking if he falters again at Hull.

Elshorbagy, 26, will start his campaign against fellow countryman Fares Dessouky, while Abdel-Gawad will be facing Omar Mosaad.

At the women's competition, the 21-year-old El-Sherbini will be looking to defend her title, though she faces a challenge in passing top seeds like France's Camille Serme (2), England's Laura Massaro (5) and Malaysian legend Nicol David (6).

“Winning the British Open last year meant a lot to me,” El-Sherbini, who won the World Championship title last season, was quoted as saying by

“It was a very special victory – to be the first Egyptian winner of the tournament was an amazing achievement and it was the start of a really good period of form for me last year," she said.

“The event has a lot of history and I always love playing in the tournament. I'm trying to train as hard as I can to defend the title and I'm very much looking forward to it."

“Hopefully it will be a good week again," she concluded.

El-Sherbini will take on Line Hansen of Denmark in the first match, while Raneem El-Welily will be facing England's Fiona Moverley.

Main Draw

(All times GMT)

Round 1 – Tuesday 21 March

12:45 Tarek Momen (Egy) v Alan Clyne (Sco)
12:45 Paul Coll (Aus) v Declan James (Eng)
12:45 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
12:45 Cameron Pilley (Aus) v Adrian Waller (Eng)
14:15 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) v Fares Dessouky (Egy)
14:15 Daryl Selby (Eng) v Tom Richards (Eng)
14:15 Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg)
14:15 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) v Ali Farag (Egy)
17:45 Simon Rosner (Ger) v Gregoire Marche (Fra)
17:45 Borja Golan (Spa) v Nick Matthew (Eng)
17:45 Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) v James Willstrop (Eng)
17:45 Max Lee (HGK) v Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
19:15 Ramy Ashour (Egy) v Zahed Mohamed (Egy)
19:15 Diego Elias (Per) v Nathan Lake (Eng)
19:15 Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) v Charles Sharpes (Eng)
19:15 Omar Mosaad (Egy) v Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
12:00 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) v Line Hansen (Den)
12:00 Qualifier v Annie Au (HGK)
12:00 Emily Whitlock (Eng) v Liu Tsz-Ling (HGK)
12:00 Mariam Metwally (Egy) v Alison Waters (Eng)
13:30 Laura Massaro (Eng) v Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
13:30 Mayar Hany (Egy) v Joelle King (Aus)
13:30 Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy) v Tesni Evans  (Wales)
13:30 Nele Gilis (Bel) v Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
17:00 Joshna Chinappa (Ind) v Rachael Grinham (Aus)
17:00 Fiona Moverley (Eng) v Raneem El Welili (Egy)
17:00 Nouran Gohar (Egy) v Nada Abas (Egy)
17:00 Millie Tomlinson (Eng) v Donna Urquhart (Aus)
18:30 Nicol David (Mal) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)
18:30 Jenny Duncalf (Eng) v Joey Chan (HGK)
18:30 Nour El-Tayeb (Egy) v Samantah Teran (Mex)
18:30 Hania El Hammamy (Egy) v Camille Serme (Fra)


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