Manchester Open 2024: Tournament Preview

Just one day to go until the Manchester Open 2024, where some of the world’s best players will go head-to-head to try score the final Silver-level title of the season.

The Brits will be coming out in full force at the National Squash Centre, with Round 1 having six all-England duels, as we head into the last two British tournaments of the season. The tournament, which takes place between May 22-26, will be available to watch live on SQUASHTV.

World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy will be making a return to home soil as top seed after his last 16 exit in Cairo at the CIB PSA World Championships to older brother and World No.7 Mohamed – after the pair lead England to the European Teams title at the start of the month.  The 30-year-old is looking to win his first event since December 2022, and will begin his campaign by playing either Martin Svec or Gregoire Marche in Round Two.

Another top seed, Nour El Tayeb, the defending champion at the Manchester Open, is returning twelve months later after winning alongside husband Ali Farag last year. El Tayeb, 31, who’s currently ranked No.6 in the world, reached the quarter finals of the World Championships, losing out to eventual World Champion Nouran Gohar.

England’s Georgina Kennedy will be another serious contender on home soil, ranking just below Nour El Tayeb at No.7 in the world, and No.2 seed for the event. Despite the disappointing nature of her exit in the last 16 of the World Championships, Kennedy has been in great form of late, reaching the semi-finals of the El Gouna International and winning the German Open in April.

Kennedy, 27, could face the likes of Canada’s Hollie Naughton, Japan’s Satomi Watanabe and Egypt’s Salma Hany on her way through the draw if the event were to go to seeding.

Back in the men’s draw, we have No.2 and No.4 seeds, Joel Makin from Wales and Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the same half of the draw. Makin and Ibrahim could be on their way to a rematch after the Black Ball Squash Open 2024 where they met in Round Two – with Makin losing 1-3, could he be out for potential revenge?

No.3 seed Rowan Elaraby, who’s currently ranked World No.9, met Georgina Kennedy in the last 16 of the CIB World Championships, having a great win over five games where she came back from 2-0 down. Going for her first title of the season Egypt’s Elaraby, 23, will look to draw some confidence from her recent placements to help her in the Manchester Open.

Elsewhere, notable British wildcards include Saran Nghiem, who was also a wildcard last year. The 20-year-old grew up playing squash at the National Squash Centre, so she will be hoping this gives her the edge against the fierce competition. Finnlay Withington, another Manchester born player, has received his second wildcard at the venue. Only 20, this is the perfect opportunity for him to mix it with more experienced players.

The first two days will see action take place on two glass courts, with quarter-finals onward on the main glass court.