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World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy, pictured at last year's Allam British Open.

ElShorbagy to Return for Squash on Fire Open

Former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy is set to make his return to the PSA World Tour – four months after playing in his last PSA match – following the release of the draw for the 2022 Squash On Fire Open, which will be played in Washington, D.C between February 16-20.

The World No.3, who last played in the the second round of the Qatar QTerminals Classic in October 2021, was expected to return from an extended break at the Houston Open earlier this month, but was denied at the last minute due to a positive COVID-19 result prior to the event beginning.

Instead, the 31-year-old will return to the competitive scene in the U.S. capital, where he is seeded first for the PSA World Tour Bronze tournament. Meanwhile, ElShorbagy’s fellow Egyptian and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini is the top seed for the women’s event.

This year’s Squash On Fire Open, which last year was on the PSA Challenger Tour, hosts an impressive array of the game’s top players. If ‘the Beast of Alexandria’ is to win his first tournament since his El Gouna International Squash Open title in May last year, he will need to battle through a talented crowd to do so.

After receiving a first-round bye, ElShorbagy is seeded to meet England’s Patrick Rooney, Egypt’s No.7 seed Omar Mosaad, and Malaysian No.4 seed Eain Yow Ng en route to the final, where a showdown with Welsh World No.8 and No.2 seed Joel Makin likely awaits.

Flying the flag for home fans will be U.S. No.1 Shahjahan Khan and U.S. No.2 Todd Harrity. World No.34 Khan faces England’s World No.38 Nathan Lake in the first round, while World No.35 Harrity takes on France’s World No.41 Sebastien Bonmalais.

Hoping to upset the odds will be Squash On Fire’s Indian wildcard Karan Malik, with the World No.551 facing a tough match against Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, who maintains his pegged ranking of World No.25.

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini tops the women's draw.

In the women’s draw, El Sherbini is expected to meet New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King in the final. Belgium’s Nele Gilis, last year’s Squash on Fire Open champion, goes in as the No.8 seed and is predicted to play younger sister Tinne Gilis in the second round, with the winner likely to face El Sherbini in the quarter final.

No.7 seed Olivia Fiechter is predicted to represent the best hopes of a home winner, with the 26-year-old New York native seeded to meet Egypt’s No.3 seed Salma Hany in the quarter final. World No.26 Sabrina Sobhy is the only other American present. She faces World England’s No.25 Lucy Turmel in the first round.

Latvian No.1 and World No. 43 Ineta Mackevica is a wildcard on the women’s side. The Squash On Fire touring pro will have the home crowd behind her as she takes on France’s No. 20 Melissa Alves in her opening match.

“We’re delighted to welcome some of the world’s best to Squash On Fire. Squash is one of America’s fastest-growing sports and with our perfect location, in the heart of Washington, D.C, state-of-the-art facilities and fully public pay and play model, we’re thrilled to have these incredible talents compete before our ever-growing community,” said tournament director Will Hopton.

“Squash fans all over the world will no doubt fondly remember the 2019 Men's World Team Squash Championships at Squash on Fire and last year’s Squash On Fire Open, and we look forward to delivering another first class experience for fans and players alike.”

The final place in the men’s and women’s events will be decided by a Wild Card Challenge tournament, which will place February 12-13 at the University Club of Washington, D.C.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase via the Squash On Fire website.

Live action from the event will be shown on SQUASHTV. Fans can stay up to date with the latest tournament news by subscribing to Squash On Fire’s newsletter or by following Squash On Fire on Facebook and Instagram.

Squash On Fire Open 2022 Men’s Draw
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG)
[9/16] Todd Harrity (USA) v Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) [bye]
[8] Iker Pajares Bernabeu [bye]
Greg Lobban (SCO) v [9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA)
[9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [WC] Karan Malik (IND)
[4] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) [bye]
[3] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) [bye]
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) v [9/16] Declan James (ENG)
[9/16] Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) v [qualifier]
[5] Youssef Soliman (EGY) [bye]
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) [bye]
Ivan Yuen (MAS) v [9/16] George Parker (ENG)
[9/16] Shahjahan Khan (USA) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
[2] Joel Makin (WAL) [bye]

Squash On Fire Open 2022 Women's Draw
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [bye]
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v [9/16] Farida Mohamed (EGY)
[9/16] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [qualifier]
[8] Nele Gilis (BEL) [bye]
[7] Olivia Fiechter (USA) [bye]
[WC] Ineta Mackevica (LAT) v [9/16] Melissa Alves (FRA)
[9/16] Nada Abbas (EGY) v Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
[3] Salma Hany (EGY) [bye]
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]
Donna Lobban (AUS) v [9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[9/16] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v Rachel Arnold (MAS)
[6] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [bye]
[5] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) [bye]
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [9/16] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
[9/16] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v Aifa Azman (MAS)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) [bye]

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