El Shorbagy Set to Defend Title in Doha

Published October 27th, 2018 - 08:52 GMT
Mohamed ElShorbagy
Mohamed ElShorbagy

The men's 2018 Qatar Classic gets under way this week when the best male players in the world descend on Doha for a chance to win the PSA Platinum title.

The Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex will play host to the event, where World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy leads the draw for a chance to win his fourth title at the event.

The Egyptian World Champion is the hot favourite heading into the tournament, having reached the final for the last five consecutive events.

World No.1 ElShorbagy will face either Wildcard Qatar's Syed Azlan Amjad or Hong Kong's Tsz Fung Yip in round two with the top eight seeds receiving a bye into round two.

Situated at the opposite end of the draw is compatriot and rival Ali Farag. The World No.2 has beaten ElShorbagy once already this season in the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open and could come up against the 'Beast from Alexandria' in the final in Doha should they both play to their respective seedings.

Farag faces a tricky opening round in Qatar as he faces compatriot and World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar, who has enjoyed a strong start to the season by winning his biggest ever title at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open.

Other strong contenders for the title include World No.4 Tarek Momen, who will be high on confidence after his biggest tournament win at the Channel VAS Championships at St George's Hill.

The number three seed will face 'Swiss Rocket' Nicolas Mueller in round two as both players receive a bye into the second phase.

U.S. Open runner-up Simon R'f6sner will take on either England's George Parker or New Zealand's Campbell Grayson for a place in round three as he targets his second major PSA title after falling narrowly short to ElShorbagy in Philadelphia earlier this month.

Home interest comes in the form of World No.24 Abdulla Mohd al Tamimi who faces Malaysia's World No.42 Eain Yow Ng in round one.

The two wildcards are Azlan Amjad and Abdulrahman al Malki who face Hong Kong's Tsz Fung Yip and Australia's Cameron Pilley, respectively, in the opening round.

The Qatar Classic features a prize purse of $177,750 and the winner will automatically qualify for a spot at June's PSA World Tour Finals.

The PSA World Tour Finals features both a men's and a women's event, with entrants comprising of the reigning PSA World Champions, the season's Platinum event winners and players that qualify by placing high enough on the PSA Road to Dubai Leaderboard.

Live matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while action from the semi-finals and finals will be shown live by major broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

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