The PSA World Tour heads back to England this week for the Manchester Open Silver event, taking place from the National Squash Centre from 17-21 May with not one, but two glass courts in operation as 48 men and women try and claim the titles.
World finalists Farag and Gawad in Manchester
In the men’s event, both the recent World Championship finalists are in action as Ali Farag tops the draw whilst Karim Abdel Gawad is the No.8 seed. Farag has been in scintillating form of late, picking up the title in both his last two events and they don’t come much bigger than the British Open and the PSA World Championships. He’ll be looking to continue his win streak to force his way back inside the the top three in the world.
Gawad has also been in terrific form lately and seems to be full of confidence after retiring from the heel injury that kept him out for 10 months. Gawad is a former World No.1 and World Champion and will be desperate to enter the mix of players all fighting for the coveted top spot, and the squash he’s producing at the moment is certainly worthy.
Strong opposition will come from other seeded players Tarek Momen, Victor Crouin and defending champion Joel Makin who have all been involved in World Tour finals this season and will be looking to put together a positive week of squash as the season reaches its final events.
There’s home interest in the opening round as Patrick Rooney, George Parker, Adrian Waller, Greg Lobban and wildcard Finnlay Withington aim to join the seeds in Round Two.
King aiming for a third
Two-time champion Joelle King returns for the fourth time to Manchester in a bid to secure a hat-trick of titles in the North West of England. King is fresh off her first-ever appearance in a World Championships semi-final last week in Chicago and will be eager to continue her form into another Manchester Open.
USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy is the No.2 seed for the event and will be looking to continue the good form that saw her win the Canadian Women’s Open as well as scoring a win over Hania El Hammamy to reach the British Open semi-finals. The World No.4 spot is highly sought after with the benefits of being a top four seed in the big events making a big difference. Sobhy will be looking to put a charge together in the final events of the season to try and steal that away from King as the New Zealander tries to defend it.
Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb, the 2020 Manchester Champion, is still returning from injury but when she is on form, can be extremely difficult to beat. The Egyptian possess great skill at the front of the court and will be hoping to harness all of her power to try and capture her first tournament since the season opener back in August 2022.
England’s Sarah-Jane Perry is the fourth seed, with Gina Kennedy at six and 2019 fi8nalist Tesni Evans at eight, with Jasmine Hutton, Katie Malliff, Lucy Turmel, Emily Whitlock and wildcard Saran Nghiem all in first round action.