Held outside on a glass showcourt situated on the grounds of the Palais de Tokyo – one of Europe’s largest contemporary art centres – the Paris Squash will be the first major professional squash tournament to be held in France since the men’s 1994 French Open. 96 of the world’s greatest male and female squash players will battle for silverware in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Farag is the top seed in the men’s event and he will look to build on last season where he won five PSA titles – including the PSA World Championships and the British Open – despite a four-month spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
The 31-year-old’s first match of the new campaign will come against compatriot Youssef Soliman and an eye-catching quarter-final fixture against local hero and French #1 Victor Crouin could be in store if both players play to their seedings.
Toulon-based Crouin, seeded #8 and one of six home players in the draw, will begin his event in round two with World #4 Mostafa Asal potentially awaiting in the semi-finals. Asal ended the 2022-23 season on a high, winning the CIB PSA World Tour Finals trophy for the third time in a row.
In the bottom half of draw, Peru’s Diego Elias – who enjoyed a seven-week spell as the sport’s first South American World #1 and won four PSA titles last season – is seeded at #2 and is predicted to face off against England’s third seed Mohamed ElShorbagy – who meets France’s Baptiste Masotti in his opening match- in the last four.
In the women’s event Gohar – who won five events during the 2022-23 campaign – is seeded to play Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the quarters and New Zealand’s Joelle King in the semis.
World Champion Nour El Sherbini takes the second seeded spot and faces a tricky run to the final, with fellow Egyptians Rowan Elaraby, Salma Hany, Nour El Tayeb and Hania El Hammamy all likely to stand in her way.
Melissa Alves is the highest-ranked Frenchwoman in the draw. The 29-year-old from Kourou, French Guiana begins her event against England’s Katie Malliff. Alves is joined in the draw by four other Frenchwomen – Enora Villard, Marie Stephan, Ella Galova and Ana Munos – with the latter two winning the wildcard spots. The men’s wildcard spots will be decided by a qualifying tournament held before the event at M Squash in Bouc-Bel-Air.
As well as the Palais de Tokyo – which hosts matches throughout the tournament – play will also take place at the Societe Sportive du Jeu de Paume, Squash Montmatre and the Complexe Omnisports Geo Andre in the early stages.
Action from the Palais de Tokyo will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown live by PSA’s broadcast partners. The event will also be broadcast by L’Equipe from the quarter-finals onwards as well as Sport en France in the early rounds.