ELSHORBAGY HEADLINES EXTRAORDINARY BRITISH OPEN MEN’S DRAW
March 2, 2016
After adding his name to the illustrious list of Allam British Open title winners in 2015 by downing current World Champion Gregory Gaultier in a thrilling five-game final, 25-year-old Egyptian World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy returns to the Airco Arena, Hull next week as favourite to successfully defend his crown in what is a mouthwatering men’s draw.
Elshorbagy joined the likes of squash legends Jonah Barrington, Geoff Hunt, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan on the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ winners list with his 94-minute, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, win last year but he knows he will have to be at his very best in order to fulfil his hopes of becoming a two-time champion as he heads what promises to be one of the most competitive British Open competitions in recent memory with a series of high-profile encounters pitting the sport's finest practitioners together from the very first day of competition when the form book could be ripped apart.
Elshorbagy has taken the title at four of five PSA World Series tournaments so far during the 2015/16 season and will begin his British Open campaign against a qualifier on March 22 as part of the top half of a draw which also features World No.4 Omar Mosaad, former World No.1 James Willstrop, World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, recent Canary Wharf Classic winner Mathieu Castagnet and Marwan Elshorbagy – Mohamed’s younger brother and World No.11.
The opposite side of the draw sees Nick Matthew, who at 35-years-old is the oldest competitor in this year’s draw, and 2014 champion Gaultier seeded to meet in the semi-finals should both make it that far while 2013 winner Ramy Ashour, the flamboyant Egyptian who went 49-matches undefeated through 2012 and 2013, is afforded an ‘under the radar’ status as he returns to the British Open for the first time since 2014 amidst yet more question marks surrounding his fitness.