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Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) v Gregory Gaultier (left)

ElShorbagy and Gaultier to Battle for World No.1 Spot at Tournament of Champions

World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy will battle with current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier for top spot on the PSA Men's World Rankings in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, with the pair seeded to meet in a blockbuster final clash at the prestigious World Series tournament on Thursday January 25, 2018 inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

Held between January 18-25, the 2018 edition of the Tournament of Champions will celebrate its 21st year at Grand Central Terminal, with ElShorbagy and Gaultier set to meet in the title-decider in a repeat of their dramatic semi-final clash at the same tournament earlier this year, in a match which will decide the destination of the World No.1 spot in the following month’s rankings.

ElShorbagy lifted the sport’s biggest title, the PSA World Championship crown, last week and he will kickstart his attempts to capture a third Tournament of Champions title next month against Hong Kong’s Leo Au in round one, with a semi-final meeting against U.S. Open winner Ali Farag potentially also on the cards, while three-time winner Ramy Ashour is also on their side of the draw.

2009 winner Gaultier, meanwhile, gets underway against tournament wildcard Todd Harrity – the United States No.1 – and could meet either World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy or defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad en route to the final.

Also featuring is 2012 champion Nick Matthew, who will make his last ever appearance at the tournament before he retires at the end of the season. The 37-year-old Englishman lines up against a qualifier in round one and is seeded to meet long-term rival James Willstrop in the second round – 12 months after Willstrop ended a 19-match losing streak to Matthew at the same stage of last year’s tournament.

The women’s draw is headed by World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini as she targets a second Tournament of Champions crown after her title win in New York back in 2016.

El Sherbini is seeded to meet compatriot Raneem El Welily – who beat El Sherbini to be crowned women’s World Champion last week – in the final, with a semi-final meeting against either two-time runner-up Laura Massaro or World No.5 Gohar in store.

Defending champion Camille Serme is seeded on El Welily’s side of the draw and they are predicted to meet in the semi-finals, the stage where Serme lost out to El Welily at the World Championships last week.

Meanwhile, United States No.2 Amanda Sobhy makes her long-awaited comeback from a ruptured achilles against a qualifier in round one. The former World No.6 has been out of action since February and will have U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb and El Welily in her way as she bids to go one better than her runner-up finish at the 2016 edition.

Two other American women join Sobhy in the main draw – World No.12 Olivia Blatchford and 15-year-old Marina Stefanoni, who has been awarded the wildcard entry in what is the first time that a trio of American women have competed in the main draw of the Tournament of Champions.

The men’s tournament will take place between January 18-25, while the women’s tournament starts two days later and will be staged between January 20-25.

The Tournament of Champions will offer up points for the men’s and women’s PSA World Series Standings – which are currently headed by ElShorbagy and El Welily – as players battle for a top eight finish which will guarantee their participation at June’s PSA World Series Finals.

Matches held on the all-glass showcourt inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the 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 for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased on the tournament website.

Draw – First Round: 2018 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier]
James Willstrop (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[Qualifier] v [6] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Simon Rösner (GER) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[3] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Borja Golan (ESP) v [Qualifier]
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v [8] Paul Coll (NZL)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Diego Elias (PER) v [Qualifier]
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Leo Au (HKG) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Draw – First Round: 2018 Women’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Joey Chan (HKG)
[Qualifier] v [16] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[13] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [WC] Marina Stefanoni (USA)
Salma Hany (EGY) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
[14] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Fiona Moverley (ENG) v [4] Laura Massaro (ENG)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [6] Nicol David (MAS)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Qualifier] v [12] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[15] Tesni Evans (WAL) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[Qualifier] v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

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