The Ramadan Cup takes place this week in Tehran, and it will be the fourth event to be held in Iran in 2021. The Challenger 5 level tournament begins on Friday 11, and runs through to Monday 14 June.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event has restrictions on entries, meaning only those currently based in Iran are allowed to play. The entirety of the 24-strong draw hail from the Asian nation.
Mohammad Kashani will be the top seed for the tournament, with World No.264 Navid Maleksabet, the highest-ranked player in the draw, as the No.2 seed.
Alireza Shameli, the man who secured the Kish Yasi Cup last month, will be the No.5 seed for the tournament, and we spoke to the World No.304 prior to this event starting.
“It was great to take this title after restrictions of the coronavirus which has made problems for training. But I trained really hard in these few months so I expected to win the tournament and I’m really happy to have done it in my home at Kish Island,” Shameli said.
Shameli with the Kish Yasi Cup
“I felt good, I had good preparation and training for the tournament so I was really ready for it and I could play well and be comfortable but I think I still have room to be better.”
Shameli has been as high as World No.168 in the World Rankings, and the 22-year-old is aiming to go past that, and even further up the Rankings come the end of the year.
“In the last three years, I haven’t been training consistently and I didn’t play any PSA tournaments for a couple of years after I had my best ranking but now I’m back to good training days and I’m full time training,” the Iranian explained.
“I have won against many players who have better rankins than m, and even those in the top 100 so I’m optimistic to be in top 100 at end of this year. In this tournament ahead, I will do my best to repeat the title again and I hope to make it two!”
First Round Draw: Ramadan Cup
 Navid Maleksabet (IRI) – [Bye]
Danial Gharooni (IRI) v [9/16] Omid Hoseini (IRI)
[9/16] Aryan Etemadi (IRI) v Pouria Arbasi (IRI)
 Sepehr Etemadpoor (IRI) – [Bye]
 Seyedalireza Riyaz (IRI) – [Bye]
Pouyan Kamali (IRI) v [9/16] Sadegh Khani (IRI)
[9/16] Ali Taj (IRI) v Seyed Javid Seyedan (IRI)
 Sami Ghasedabadi (IRI) – [Bye]  Amin Ataei (IRI) – [Bye]
Faryad Sahrifian (IRI) v [9/16] Sahand Kabiri (IRI)
[9/16] Soheil Shameli (IRI) v Mani Mansouri (IRI)
 Pouya Shafieifard (IRI) – [Bye]
 Alireza Shameli (IRI) – [Bye]
[9/16] Mohammad Jafari (IRI) v Maziar Hakimy (IRI)
[9/16] Danial Hossein Zadeh (IRI) v Amirhossein Feizpour (IRI)
 Mohammad Kashani (IRI) – [Bye]