Defending champion and World No.1 Ali Farag will square up against unseeded Raphael Kandra of Germany while second-seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will face his compatriot Karim El Hammamy in the opening rounds of the PSA Men’s World Championship to be held from November 8th to 15th at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
The $335,000 total prize purse tournament is featuring a total of 64 players, including the 56 highest ranked players and eight wild card entrants. According to the draw list released, home favourite Abdullah Mohammed al-Tamimi will begin his quest for honours against France’s Gregoire Marche, a bronze medallist at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, while another Qatari player Hamad al-Amri, a wildcard entrant, will have to overcome the challenge of the World No. 3 Tarek Momen of Egypt for a chance to advance to the next round.
Farag who has been in fine form of recent and was on Saturday crowned the 2019 US Open Squash Champion after defeating compatriot ElShorbagy to add to his 17 PSA Tour titles, winning the World Championship title in Doha will be the perfect way to round up a very successful year in style.
The 27-year-old Cairo-born player has had a string of successes on the Tour, especially since the 2018-19 campaign, winning the Oracle NetSuite, Qatar Classic and the Tournament of Champions, which moved him to the World No.1 position for the first time in his career in March 2019.
He equally finished as runner-up at the Channel VAS, Hong Kong Open and Black Ball Open. The last time Farag was in Doha, he went away with his maiden trophy at the PSA World Tour Platinum event after defeating Germany’s world No. 6 Simon Rosner in straight-games.
It will be a third attempt at victory at the World Championships stage in Doha, however, for former world champion ElShorbagy. The 28-year-old Egyptian, who is regarded as one of the most talented players on the PSA World Tour, will be hoping to be lucky this time around with a third time attempt after previously losing twice against the same opponent, his compatriot Ramy Ashour, in the finals of 2012 and 2014 championships held at the Qatari capital.
One of the matches to look out for in the first round will be the all-England encounter between former World No. 1 James Willstrop, a three-time World Team Championships gold medallist, and fiery George Parker, the 2015 Under-19 European Championships winner.
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