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Gregory Gaultier (above) will be targeting another title in Bellevue.

Tournament Preview: Bellevue Squash Classic

World No.2 Gregory Gaultier will be aiming to lift yet another title when the PMI Bellevue Men’s Squash Classic gets underway May 16 – 20.

With a share of the $150,000 prize fund up for grabs, the Bellevue Classic is the most lucrative 16-man main drawn squash tournament of all time and Gaultier, who recently claimed his fifth consecutive tournament win of the year at the Grasshopper Cup, will be hoping his hot-streak of form continues.

The ‘French General’ is currently on a 23-game unbeaten run and will kickstart his tournament against World No.32 Omar Mosaad – who prevailed against fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham in the qualifying stages – in the first round on Tuesday May 16 at 17:00, local time.

Should the 34-year-old progress against Mosaad, he could meet World No.10 Tarek Momen – who opens against qualifier Gregoire Marche – in the next round. The 29-year-old Egyptian recently beat current World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad at the Grasshopper Cup before falling to Gaultier in the semi-finals.

Former World No.1 James Willstrop is one of the other big names in the main draw and will take on Hong Kong’s World No.18 Max Lee in the first round on Tuesday 20:00.

Meanwhile, three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour will open against Swiss World No.34 Nicolas Mueller, after he came out on top in a thrilling five-game battle with Mexico’s Cesar Salazar to earn a place in the main draw.

The Egyptian has seen his season dogged by injury problems and was last in action at the Allam British Open back in March, where he was forced to retire at the semi-final stage against eventual winner Gaultier after suffering from a hamstring strain.

Ashour could come up against fellow Egyptian Marwan ElShorbagy, should both progress through to the quarter finals. ElShorbagy has enjoyed a successful breakthrough season to date, twice beating older brother and former World No.1, Mohamed and reaching the final of the Windy City Open. The 23-year-old will begin his tournament against qualifier Nafiizwan Adnan on Wednesday.

Egypt’s World No.8 Ali Farag will face tournament wildcard and United States Dylan Cunningham in round one. Farag made it all the way to the final in Zurich at the Grasshopper Cup but was beaten to the title by in-form Gaultier over three games and will be hoping to go one better at Bellevue.

Gaultier and Mosaad will get the main draw underway when they meet in the first round on Tuesday 17:00.

Subscribers to SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player can watch the tournament.

Order of play – Bellevue Classic:
(All times are local GMT-7)
TUESDAY MAY 16
Round One

17:00 [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
18:00 [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
19:00 [7] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
20:00 Max Lee (HKG) v [4] James Willstrop (ENG)

WEDNESDAY MAY 17
Round One

17:00 [3] Ali Farag (EGY) v Dylan Cunningham (USA)
18:00 Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [8] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
19:00 [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
20:00 [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [2] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)

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