Reigning PSA Men’s World Champion Ali Farag has been handed a banana skin fixture against Germany’s Raphael Kandra as the World No.1 kickstarts his title defence at the 2019-20 edition of the most prestigious tournament on the men’s tour, which this season takes place at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar between November 8-15.
Farag – who won his first title of the season at last week's FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – defeated World No.3 Tarek Momen at Chicago’s Union Station in February to capture the biggest title in men’s squash, and the 27-year-old Egyptian will be the man to beat in Doha as he tops a draw featuring 64 of the world’s leading male players.
If Farag can come through his encounter with the tenacious World No.30 Kandra, he will have to battle through a field that also contains the likes of World No.7 Diego Elias, World No.6 Simon Rösner and World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad, the latter of whom is seeded to play Farag in the semi-finals.
On the opposite side of the draw, No.2 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will look to continue the form that has already seen him win the J.P. Morgan China Open, Oracle NetSuite Open and reach the final of last week's U.S. Open as he looks to win a second World Championship crown.
ElShorbagy and Farag have struck up an enthralling rivalry over the past three seasons and the pair are seeded to meet in a blockbuster final. ElShorbagy begins his tournament against fellow Egyptian Karim El Hammamy, while tricky fixtures against the likes of India’s Saurav Ghosal, World No.8 Mohamed Abouelghar and Momen could await the in-form 28-year-old.
Home interest comes in the form of World No.46 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, who pushed Momen to five games during an entertaining second round fixture at the U.S. Open last week. He plays Frenchman Gregoire Marche in the opening round, while wildcards Hamad Al-Amri and Syed Azlan Amjad play Momen and Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu, respectively.
In addition to the total prize money of $335,000, players will also compete for automatic entry to the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which will feature a men’s and women’s event containing both reigning PSA World Champions as well as the winners of all PSA Platinum events. Farag and Gohar have already qualified after their triumphs at the U.S. Open.
Live coverage from the glass court at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex will be broadcast on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
Draw – 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v  Gregoire Marche (FRA)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
Kristian Frost (DEN) v Edmon Lopez (ESP)
Max Lee (HKG) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Declan James (ENG)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
Richie Fallows (ENG) v  Joel Makin (WAL)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG) v George Parker (ENG)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[I] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [WC] Hamad Al-Amri (QAT)
Borja Golan (ESP) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [WC] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Zahed Salem (EGY) v Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [I] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
Todd Harrity (USA) v Leo Au (HKG)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [I] Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
Arturo Salazar (MEX) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [I] Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)