The main draw of the 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament begins on Monday March 21 and day one of the prestigious event has the potential for some massive shocks as a number of the world’s top players go head-to-head.
World Champion Gregory Gaultier and Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley are set to face off in the standout Men’s first round fixture for the first time since their quarter-final matchup in December’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open which Pilley won en route to the final.
It will be Gaultier’s first appearance since the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions two months ago where he suffered an ankle injury against England’s Nick Matthew in the semi-final. Pilley’s form, meanwhile, has tailed off somewhat but he did manage an impressive semi-final finish at the Canary Wharf Classic a week and a half ago.
World No.9 Simon Rösner has a potential banana skin tie against Hong Kong’s Max Lee in store as they get ready to lock horns for the fifth time on the PSA World Tour.
Rösner has the upper hand in the head-to-head stats and has prevailed in three of the pair’s four encounters, including a second round victory in last month’s Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company. However, Lee has proven himself an adept competitor and upset the German in the Qatar Classic four months ago, adding to his previous upsets against World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World No.6 Tarek Momen this season.
Elsewhere in the Men’s draw, Motor City Open victor Ali Farag comes up against wildcard Tom Richards in an intriguing battle, while three-time winner Nick Matthew faces Adrian Waller.
2013 champion Ramy Ashour and Ryan Cuskelly will play Cesar Salazar and Ryan Cuskelly, respectively, and Chris Simpson is set to clash with Zahed Mohamed. Stephen Coppinger’s fixture against Nafiizwan Adnan is the other Men’s fixture on the first day of action.
Five-time winner Nicol David and the woman she beat in the 2012 final, Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini, are the most eye-catching names to compete in the first day of the Women’s event.
Malaysian superstar David opens up against a Mayar Hany and will go on to meet either Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa or Australia’s Donna Urquhart if she comes through her first round fixture unscathed.
El Sherbini, who captured the Tournament of Champions crown earlier this year, will line up against Nicolette Fernandes for a place in the second round and will be the heavy favourite as she bids to improve on the quarter-final finish she achieved in 2015. Jenny Duncalf or Liu Tsz-Ling will await the winner in round two.
England No.2 Alison Waters takes on Rachael Grinham, who has won four British Open titles throughout an illustrious career, in another of the day’s mouthwatering encounters.
The pair actually met in the 2013 instalment of this event with Waters prevailing courtesy of a 3-2 triumph in the second round. One of the pair will go on to play United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy next if the American can move past Coline Aumard.
World No.35 Low Wee Wern is also in action against Hong Kong’s Joey Chan and the winner of that tie will face either Omneya Abdel Kawy or Tesni Evans in the next round.
Draw – Men’s 2016 Allam British Open: Bottom Half
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Ali Farag (EGY) v [WC] Tom Richards (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Paul Coll (NZL)
[Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Max Lee (HKG)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Q] Zahed Mohamed
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Draw – Women’s 2016 Allam British Open: Bottom Half
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
[Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
Joey Chan (HKG) v  Low Wee Wern (MAS)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Q] Mayar Hany (EGY) v  Nicol David (MAS)
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