The draws for the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open, PSA Platinum tournament have been released, with Cairo’s Black Ball Sporting Club hosting back-to-back women’s and men’s events between Friday March 12 – Thursday March 25.
In the women’s event – held between March 12-18 – 18 of the world’s top 20 will line up in Cairo. World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry returns to defend her title and receives a bye through to round two where she will take on either Egypt’s Mariam Metwally or Latvia’s Iveta Mackevica.
The Englishwoman is seeded to meet World No.1 and two-time Black Ball Open runner-up Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the woman Perry beat in December’s Black Ball Open final – World No.5 Hania El Hammamy – features on their side of the draw and is seeded to play the victor of Perry and El Sherbini’s predicted last eight battle.
El Hammamy is a former Black Ball Open champion after beating El Sherbini in the title decider in March, 2020 to lift her maiden PSA Platinum title.
World No.2 Nouran Gohar will get her tournament under way against experienced Englishwoman Alison Waters. Waters came within a whisker of eliminating the Egyptian at December’s Black Ball Open, only going down 14-12 in a nail-biting fifth game of their second round match.
Gohar is seeded to play France’s World No.3 Camille Serme in the semi-finals as both players bid to reach their maiden Black Ball Open finals.
In the men’s tournament, World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy will line up at the Black Ball Open for the first time since 2018. ElShorbagy, who reached the quarter-finals on that occasion, is hot on the heels of compatriot Ali Farag in the battle for the World No.1 spot and will look to bounce back from a surprise third round exit to World No.35 Youssef Ibrahim on his last PSA World Tour appearance at November’s Qatar Classic.
ElShorbagy is seeded to play World No.4 Paul Coll in the last four, while younger brother Marwan ElShorbagy and tenacious Welshman Joel Makin also feature on his side of the draw.
Farag also has a dangerous path to the title decider and is seeded to play defending champion Fares Dessouky in the quarter-finals, before a prospective semi-final matchup with World Champion Tarek Momen. Karim Abdel Gawad, the 2018 Black Ball Open champion, is predicted to play Momen in the quarter-finals.
Ahmed Ismail and Ahmed Wael take the wildcard spots in the men’s tournament and will play Mexico’s Cesar Salazar and Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng, respectively. Malak Fathy and Nadeen Kotb have been named the women’s wildcards. Fathy will take on USA’s Sabrina Sobhy, while Kotb will come up against England’s Julianne Courtice.
Action from the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan). The semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.
The CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be held in accordance with strict COVID-19 protocols. All players and staff will be tested prior to travelling to the tournaments before taking a further test upon arrival. Once a negative result has been received, that person will then be allowed to enter the tournament bubble, with further testing every four days during the tournament.
CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open: Men’s Draw
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[9/16] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) v [17/32] Declan James (ENG)
[17/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [WC] Ahmed Ismail (EGY)
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]
[17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) [bye]
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) [bye]
[17/32] Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v [17/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [bye]
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) [bye]
[17/32] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [WC] Ahmed Wael (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]
Todd Harrity (USA) v [17/32] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[17/32] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Victor Crouin (FRA)
George Parker (ENG) v [17/32] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
[17/32] Lucas Serme (FRA) v Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
Richie Fallows (ENG) v [17/32] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
[17/32] Borja Golan (ESP) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
 Joel Makin (WAL) [bye]
Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [17/32] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[17/32] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY) [bye]
[17/32] Tom Richards (ENG) v Edmon Lopez (ESP)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) [bye]
[17/32] Zahed Salem (EGY) v Vikram Malhotra (IND)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open: Women’s Draw
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [bye]
[WC] Malak Fathy (EGY) v [17/32] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[9/16] Tinne Gilis (BEL) [bye]
Cindy Merlo (SUI) v [17/32] Emily Whitlock (WAL)
[17/32] Olivia Fiechter (USA) v Menna Nasser (EGY)
Emilia Soini (FIN) v [17/32] Melissa Alves (FRA)
[17/32] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [bye]
 Joelle King (NZL) [bye]
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v [17/32] Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
[9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) [bye]
Hana Ramadan (EGY) v [17/32] Nada Abbas (EGY)
[17/32] Lucy Turmel (ENG) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) [bye]
 Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]
Jana Shiha (EGY) v [17/32] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[17/32] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v Tessa ter Sluis (NED)
Nicole Bunyan (CAN) v [17/32] Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[17/32] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Anna Serme (CZE)
Enora Villard (FRA) v [17/32] Farida Mohamed (EGY)
[17/32 Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [WC] Nadeen Kotb (EGY)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) [bye]
 Salma Hany (EGY) [bye]
[9/16] Nele Gilis (BEL) [bye]
[17/32] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Menna Hamed (EGY)
[9/16] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) [bye]
[17/32] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
[9/16] Olivia Clyne (USA) [bye]
[9/16] Alison Waters (ENG) [bye]
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) [bye]