Farag and El Welily head 2019 U.S. Open draws
The 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships draws have been released, and Egypt’s world number ones Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily lead the field as top seeds,
The tournament takes place from 5th to 12 October at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia.
The U.S. Open is the first of eight PSA Platinum events of the 2019-2020 PSA World Tour season. After becoming the first major event to offer prize money parity in 2013, the U.S. Open will offer equal prize money for a seventh straight year with a record $371,000 split evenly between the forty-eight-player men’s and women’s draws.
UPDATE : Abouelghar withdraws injured
(larger versions of the draws at the bottom of the page)
Reigning champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and El Welily will return to defend their crowns, while men’s world No. 1 Farag and women’s world No .5 Nour El Tayeb will also star in Philadelphia – two years after their U.S. Open triumphs saw them become the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.
Farag, a Harvard graduate, leads the men’s draw and receives a bye into the second round where he will face either compatriot Karim Ali Fathi or England’s Daryl Selby. The 2017 champion is seeded on the same side of the draw as world No. 7 Mohamed Abouelghar, Peru’s world No.8 Diego Elias and former world No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad, who he is seeded to face in the semifinals.
Mohamed ElShorbagy weighs in as the two seed on the opposite side of the draw. The world No.2 will take on either Spain’s Borja Golan or Mexico’s Arturo Salazar in round two.
The elder ElShorbagy brother is bidding to join Peter Nicol as the only men’s four-time U.S. Open champions, and is seeded on the same side of the draw as Germany’s 2018 finalist Simon Rösner, who along with New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s world No. 3 Tarek Momen, who he could meet in the semifinals.
Pan American Games double gold medalist and Wayne, Pennsylvania-native Todd Harrity will play Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in round one. Harrity’s Pan Am Games gold-medal-winning teammate and Penn junior, Andrew Douglas, slots in as one of two men’s wild cards and will face England’s Declan James on the glass court on Saturday. Yale’s Spencer Lovejoy will make his U.S. Open wild card debut on the glass court against Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.
In the women’s draw, world No.1 El Welily will begin her title defense either against compatriot Nadine Shahin or wild card Laila Sedky, a top-ranked U.S. junior.
The Egyptian is seeded to come up against France’s world No. 3 Camille Serme, who won the tournament back in 2016, in the semifinals and also has England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and New Zealand’s world No. 6 Joelle King on her side of the draw.
Reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini enters the draw at the opposite end and faces either Team USA’s Pan Am Games double gold medalist Sabrina Sobhy or Egypt’s Mayar Hany in round two. The two-time runner-up will be looking to get her hands on the coveted trophy for the first time in her career, but has the likes of 2019 British Open winner Nouran Gohar, world No. 5 El Tayeb and home favorite Amanda Sobhy standing in her way on her side of the draw.
Sobhy, Team USA’s Pan Am Games triple gold medalist this summer, will open up her tournament either against U.S. teammate Olivia Fiechter or England’s Emily Whitlock on the glass court on Sunday. Sobhy is seeded to face El Sherbini in the quarterfinals.
U.S. Champion Olivia Blatchford Clyne will take on England’s Lucy Turmel in round one on the glass court on Saturday, which could set up a second round encounter with New Zealand’s world No. 6 Joelle King.