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Ramy Ashour in action at the 2016 Hong Kong Open

Draw Preview: Hong Kong Open

The 2017 instalment of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open main draw gets under way on Tuesday November 14 as the best players in the world descend on the Hong Kong for the next World Series event of the season.

Action from Hong Kong will be LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player as last year’s men’s champion Egypt’s Ramy Ashour is back in action, after suffering with injury and illness at the start of the season, as he looks to defend his crown.

‘The Artist’ – who defeated compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in last year’s final – will get his tournament under way against tournament wildcard Hong Kong’s World No.26 Leo Au on November 15 at 19:00 local time. Whilst, second seed and 2016 runner-up, Gawad will open against Mexico’s World No.17 Cesar Salazar.

Gawad could face seed number four Egypt’s Ali Farag in the semi-finals should the Egyptians make it through their respective matches. The U.S. Open winner will open against English qualifier Tom Richards in round one.

Tournament top seed and France’s World No.1 Gregory Gaultier will start against compatriot and World No.23 Gregoire Marche. The ‘French General’ made his eagerly anticipated return to action at the Qatar Classic, after struggling at the start of the season with injury. Gaultier reached the semi-final stage before he was knocked out by eventual champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, and the pair could meet once again as they are seeded to meet in the semi-finals should they make it through their respective fixtures.

Egypt’s ElShorbagy has been a force to be reckoned with so far this season, reaching the final of every tournament he has competed in this year, including picking up three titles in total – the Orcale NetSuite Open, Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill and most recently the Qatar Classic. The ‘Beast from Alexandria’ will be aiming to keep up his formidable form as he opens against home hope Hong Kong’s Max Lee.

Meanwhile in the women’s draw, defending champion Nouran Gohar will open against tournament wildcard Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling.

The young Egyptian brought an end to Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion, Nicol David’s, unprecedented 10-year winning-streak at the tournament at the semi-final stage last year before going on to win the tournament, beating American No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the final.

David – who won the event every year from 2006 to 2015 – will see her tournament get underway against Canadian Danielle Letourneau – who came through qualification against Hong Kong’s Ho Ka-Wing and England’s Jenny Duncalf.

Elsewhere, World No.1 and top seed Nour El Sherbini will also open against a qualifier in the form of compatriot Nada Abbas and could come up against tough competition in the form of England’s World No.4 Laura Massaro in the semi-finals, with the two seeded to meet should they come through their respective earlier round matches.

English contingent Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry will get their tournaments in action against Egyptian qualifier Hania El Hammamy and France’s World No.31 Coline Aumard, respectively, in round one.

In the bottom-half of the draw, second seed Raneem El Welily will start against England’s Fiona Moverley – who won the Open International de Squash de Nantes earlier this season – whilst, seed number three, France’s Camille Serme is in action against Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold who saw off Hong Kong’s Carmen Lee and Ka Yi Lee in qualification to secure a main draw berth. El Welily and Serme are seeded to meet in the semi-finals should they both progress as expected.

The Hong Kong Open marks another World Series event of the season for the Men’s and Women’s Tour and presents another chance for players to earn points for the World Series Standings as they bid to qualify for the season-ending PSA World Series Finals – with only the top eight players on the men’s and women’s standings earning a coveted berth at the lucrative tournament.

Currently ElShorbagy sits atop the men’s standings after winning the Qatar Classic and finished runner-up at the U.S. Open. Whilst Nour El Tayeb is the leader on the women’s standings after her victory at the U.S. Open.

The main draw of the Hong Kong Open will be held at the Hong Kong Squash Centre between November 14-16 before moving to the glass court erected at the arena in Hong Kong Park Sports Centre on November 17-19.

Matches from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) or Eurosport Player (Europe only), while semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets can be purchased by completing and sending a booking form via email to cady@hksquash.org.hk or by fax to 852-28690118
 
The booking form can be downloaded here: www.hksquashopen.com/ticket.php
 
For more information, please visit the tournament website: www.hksquashopen.com/home.php

Draw – Men's First Round (Top Half): To Be Played November 14th
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Paul Coll (NZL) v [Q] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Simon Rösner (GER) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)

Draw – Men's First Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played November 15
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG) v [4] Ali Farag (EGY)
[WC] Leo Au (HKG) v Ramy Ashour (HKG)
[Q] Declan James (ENG) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [8] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [7] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Draw – Women's First Round (Top Half): To Be Played November 14th
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Nada Abbas (EGY)
Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [15] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[11] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[WC] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v [7] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[8] Alison Waters (ENG) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [14] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [4] Laura Massaro (ENG)

Draw – Women's First Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played November 15
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Rachel Arnold (MAS)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [12] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[9] Annie Au (HKG) v [Q] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)
[Q] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [5] Nicol David (MAS)
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Coline Aumard (FRA)
[Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [10] Joelle King (NZL)
[13] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Fiona Moverley (ENG) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

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