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Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) takes on Ali Farag (right) in the final of the 2017 Channel VAS Championships

Channel VAS Championships: Preview

All eyes will be on Weybridge between October 16-21 as World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy returns to defend his title at the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill.

Held at the St George’s Hill Lawn and Tennis Club, the PSA World Tour Gold tournament features 12 of the world’s top 20 players and ElShorbagy tops the entry list as he looks to claim this title for the second year running.

The 27-year-old Egyptian beat World No.2 Ali Farag in last year’s final as he lifted eight PSA World Tour titles during a dominant season for ‘The Beast of Alexandria’.

ElShorbagy has showed no signs of slowing down this season either after lifting his first title of the new campaign just last week at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships in Philadelphia.

The reigning World Champion is seeded to meet Farag in the final once again, and the two met earlier this month in the Oracle NetSuite Open title decider, in which Farag prevailed.

Farag, the 26-year-old Harvard-graduate, also reached the semi-finals in Philadelphia and he will be among the title challengers in Weybridge if he can make it past the likes of 2015 World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad and 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, both of whom are featured on his side of the draw.

Meanwhile, World No.8 Paul Coll will also appear in Weybridge two years after he broke through at this tournament to win the title.

The New Zealander battled through qualification before going on to lift the trophy and has started this season strongly.

26-year-old Coll reached the final of the J.P. Morgan China Open last month and also made it through to a first PSA World Tour Platinum semi-final last week at the U.S. Open, but his tournament came to an end at the hands of ElShorbagy.

Coll is drawn on the same side of the draw as ElShorbagy, but in order to set up a rematch with the World No.1, he may need to overcome World No.3 Tarek Momen, who he beat both in the 2016 final and last week in Philadelphia.

Peru’s Diego Elias and India’s Saurav Ghosal also feature and will be dark horses for the title, while an eight-strong English contingent – headed by former World No.1 James Willstrop – will also line up in Weybridge.

All of the action from the tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while squash fans can watch the action in person by purchasing tickets from Ticketmaster.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to children’s charity CLIC Sargent, who offer cancer support for young people.

Find out more about CLIC Sargent here.

More information on the tournament can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Main Draw – 2018 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
[6] Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] James Willstrop (ENG)
[9/16] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
[WC] Charlie Lee (ENG) v [9/16] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[9/16] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
[7] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [bye]
[8] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]
Tom Richards (ENG) v [9/16] Borja Golan (ESP)
[9/16] Declan James (ENG) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]

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