ElShorbagy and Farag Set for World No.1 Battle at Qatar Classic

The World No.1 spot will be up for grabs during the 2020 Qatar Classic, PSA Platinum tournament when three-time champion Mohamed ElShorbagy looks to wrestle it back from the grasp of fellow Egyptian Ali Farag at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex between November 1-7.

Farag, the 2018 champion, will overthrow ElShorbagy as the world’s leading male player on the day the tournament kicks off courtesy of his run to the final at the CIB Egyptian Open last week in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza, where he beat World Champion Tarek Momen to lift the first Platinum title of the 2020-21 season.

But a failure to reach the semi-finals in Doha, coupled with title success for ElShorbagy, will see the latter gain the World No.1 spot once again in December.

To get his hands on the coveted trophy for a fourth time, ElShorbagy is seeded to play World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal in round two, with Asal coming off the back of a first ever Platinum semi at the Egyptian Open. He is predicted to face 2018 runner-up Simon Rösner in the last eight before a potential semi-final with Karim Abdel Gawad, who beat ElShorbagy to win the 2016 edition.

Meanwhile, Farag must negotiate a draw that could see him line up against 2005 winner James Willstrop in round two, followed by the likes of Englishman Declan James, Peru’s Diego Elias and Momen.

Momen returns to the scene of his World Championship triumph last November. That triumph saw the 32-year-old capture the iconic trophy almost two years after his wife, Raneem El Welily, won the women’s World Championship title – leading them to be recognised by the Guinness World Records as the first married couple to become squash World Champions.

No.4 seed Momen is in line to face the man he beat in that World Championship final – New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll – in a blockbuster quarter-final clash. To get that far though, Momen may have to get the better of World No.9 Joel Makin in round three, while Coll takes on World No.12 Mohamed Abouelghar in the second round.

French veteran and former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier has taken one of the two wildcard spots for the the event. The 37-year-old – who reached the quarter-finals at the Pyramids – will play Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu in round one, where a win would pit him against CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner Marwan ElShorbagy.

Qatari No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi lines up against England’s Patrick Rooney in round one, while his compatriot Syed Azlam Amjad takes the other wildcard spot and will play Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini.

Prize money for the tournament will total $175,000. Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour, while the semi-finals and finals will be shown by contracted broadcasters.

The tournament will abide by strict COVID-19 protocols with relation to health and safety, international travel policies and social distancing guidelines.

2020 Qatar Classic: Draw

  • [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
  • George Parker (ENG) v [17/32] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
  • [17/32] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
  • Auguste Dussourd (FRA) v [17/32] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
  • [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) (bye)
  • Benjamin Aubert (FRA) v [17/32] Borja Golan (ESP)
  • [916] Fares Dessouky (EGY) [bye]
  • [8] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
  • [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
  • [WC] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [17/32] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
  • [916] Saurav Ghosal (IND) (bye)
  • Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v [17/32] Raphael Kandra (GER)
  • [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) (bye)
  • [WC] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) v [17/32] Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
  • [17/32] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
  • [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
  • [4] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
  • Tayyab Aslam (EGY) v [17/32] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
  • [9/16] Zahed Salem (EGY) (bye)
  • [9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) (bye)
  • [17/32] Tom Richards (ENG) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
  • Victor Crouin (FRA) v [17/32] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
  • [9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) (bye)
  • [5] Paul Coll (NZL) (bye)
  • [6] Diego Elias (PER) (bye)
  • Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [17/32] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
  • [17/32] Greg Lobban (SCO) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
  • [9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
  • [17/32] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
  • Vikram Malhotra (IND) v [17/32] Declan James (ENG)
  • [17/32] James Willstrop (ENG) v Richie Fallows (ENG)
  • [2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

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