ElShorbagy and El Sherbini top El Gouna International Draws
Egyptian duo Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini will headline the 2021 El Gouna International Squash Open when the PSA World Tour Platinum event takes place in Egypt from Thu 20th to Fri 28th May.
Update: several withdrawals on 17th/18th, see updated Draws & Schedule
World No.1 Ali Farag misses out on defending his title due to prior family commitments, meaning ElShorbagy will top the 48-player men’s draw as he looks to win this title for the first time since 2016.
This year’s El Gouna International will be held at a new venue – the El Gouna Conference and Culture Center – which will house the glass court from 22nd to 28th May, while the El Gouna Squash Complex will be used from 20th to 24th May for early rounds, and also the Masters event.
ElShorbagy will face former World No.1 James Willstrop in a mouthwatering last 32 clash. On the same side of the draw is Welshman Joel Makin – who beat ElShorbagy in December’s CIB Black Ball Open quarter-finals – and the pair could meet again in the same stage in El Gouna.
The man who took the Black Ball Open crown – Marwan ElShorbagy – is also seeded on the top half of the draw and could have a rematch with Black Ball Open runner-up Fares Dessouky in the quarter-finals, before a prospective semi-final showdown with older brother Mohamed if matches go to seeding.
World Champion Tarek Momen is one of the most notable names in the bottom half of the draw and he features alongside the likes of World No.4 Paul Coll, 2019 runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.8 Miguel Rodriguez.
In the women’s draw World No.1 El Sherbini will get her tournament under way against either Farida Mohamed or wildcard Nour Aboulmakarim, and is seeded to face World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry and World No.4 Camille Serme en route to a predicted final match up with 2019 runner-up Nouran Gohar in the title decider.
Gohar will get her tournament under way against either Zeina Mickawy or Rachel Arnold in round two and has the likes of World No.8 Joelle King and World No.5 Amanda Sobhy on her side of the draw.
The other women’s wildcard – Habiba El Defrawy – will play USA’s Olivia Fiechter in the opening round – while the men’s wildcards – Aly Abou Eleinen and Roger Baddour – will play Youssef Soliman and Youssef Ibrahim, respectively.
All glass court matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the PSA Facebook page (excluding Europe and Japan) while matches from the El Gouna Squash Complex will be streamed via Facebook and the SQUASHTV YouTube channel. The semis and finals will be shown on the channels of PSA’s contracted broadcast partners.
The tournament will abide by strict protocols with relation to health and safety, international travel policies and social distancing guidelines.