Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will top the seedings for the 2018/19 PSA World Championships when squash's first $1 million tournament takes place in Chicago between February 23 - March 2.
The World Championships is the most illustrious tournament on the PSA Tour calendar and will bring together 128 of the world’s greatest squash players as they battle for the most lucrative prize purse in the history of the sport, with $500,000 on offer across both the men’s and women’s draws.
Over 25 nations will be represented in Chicago and Egypt’s World No.1 ElShorbagy tops the men’s draw. The 27-year-old from Alexandria defeated younger brother Marwan in Manchester back in December 2017 to lift the iconic title for the first time and he will look to become just the third Egyptian ever to become a multiple World Champion after Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour.
ElShorbagy will be joined in the draw by Qatar Classic champion Ali Farag, Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner, World No.4 Tarek Momen, 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez, World No.7 Paul Coll and Marwan ElShorbagy, who complete the top eight seedings.
Also involved in the draw is three-time champion Ramy Ashour – whose win over Mohamed ElShorbagy in the 2014 final is revered as one of the sport’s greatest ever matches – while 2010 runner-up James Willstrop and 2015 finalist Omar Mosaad are also included. Frenchman Gregory Gaultier – who beat Mosaad in the 2015 final – misses out due to a knee injury.
After final defeats in 2014 and 2016, El Welily finally got her hands on the coveted title with victory over two-time winner Nour El Sherbini back in December 2017 and the pair will be joined in the draw by compatriot Nour El Tayeb, who won the Windy City Open in Chicago last March.
The rest of the top eight seeds comprise of Hong Kong Open champion Joelle King, France’s Camille Serme, English duo Sarah-Jane Perry and Laura Massaro, and Egyptian Nouran Gohar.
Legendary Malaysian Nicol David is also involved and will look to add to her haul of eight World Championship titles, which is unmatched in the women’s game.
US interest comes in the form of World No.11 Amanda Sobhy, World No.19 Olivia Blatchford Clyne, World No.42 Haley Mendez and World No.57 Olivia Fiechter.
The 2018/19 PSA World Championships will take place at Chicago’s Union Station on a specially erected exhibition glass court, while matches from the earlier rounds will also be held at MetroSquash and the University Club of Chicago.
Tickets are priced from just $30 and are available for purchase via Ticketmaster. For more information on the 2018/19 PSA World Championships and the full entry list visit the event’s website.