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Ali Farag in action

World No.1 Farag Tops Houston Open Draw in January

World No.1 Ali Farag will lead the draw for the 2022 Houston Open – which will be a PSA World Tour Gold event for the first time – between January 4-9 at the Houston Squash Club.

The reigning World Champion will make his debut at the event and has a bye through to the second round where he is expected to meet Germany’s tricky left hander Raphael Kandra. Farag will need to be on his toes to defeat the talented German, who made his first Platinum event quarter final appearance of the year at the Qatar Classic in October, and will be looking to rediscover that form in 2022.

Rising star Mostafa Asal is the No.4 seed in the event and is seeded to meet Farag in the semi-finals. Farag has an impressive record against his younger compatriot, beating him seven times in eight matches. Asal’s only win came in a best of three format at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in June 2021.

In the bottom half of the draw, World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy makes his first tournament appearance since his early exit in the Qatar Classic in October.

The 2017 World Champion is looking to recapture the form that has seen him win 43 titles on the PSA Tour. ElShorbagy’s first match is expected to be against entertaining Frenchman Gregoire Marche. Marche has never been able to claim a PSA World Tour victory against ‘The Beast’ in six attempts.

A potential sibling battle is seeded to take place in the quarter finals, as Mohamed’s younger brother, Marwan, is expected to advance through to face his brother for the 19th time on the PSA World Tour. Mohamed has been dominant over his younger brother in the past and leads the head-to-head record 14-4, but Marwan has claimed some impressive victories, including the 2019-2020 PSA World Championships quarter final.

Winner of the recent Qatar Classic, Diego Elias, is seeded No.3 for the event and will be looking to make another big statement on the PSA World Tour. Elias is at his highest World Ranking to date – World No.5 – and with his smooth mix of attacking flair and electric pace, he is proving to be a real threat to the world’s top 4.

Elias will face either the event’s wildcard Nasir Iqbal, from Pakistan, or Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in his first match of the tournament. A win would set up a potential quarter final with extravagant Egyptian Mazen Hesham, who can always be a dangerous opponent due to the talent he possesses.

Players will battle for a share of the $110,000 prize purse in what will be the first PSA World Tour event of 2022. All of the action from the Houston Open will be streamed live on SQUASHTV, .

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Houston Open 2022 – Draw

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
Ramit Tandon (IND) v [9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
[7] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [bye]
Todd Harrity (USA) v [9/16] Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
[9/16] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) [bye]
[3] Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
[WC] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) v [9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
[8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) [bye]
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
Declan James (ENG) v [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]

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