World No.1s Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini will appear on home soil for the first time during this season when the Al Ahram Squash Open NEWGIZA marks its return to the PSA World Tour calendar after a 15-year hiatus today (Monday September 19).
One of the world’s most stunning locations, the Great Pyramid of Giza, provides the backdrop for a professional squash tournament for the first time since 2006 and sees a 34-strong Egyptian contingent across both the Men’s and Women’s events battle it out for a share of the equal $100,00 prize purse.
Ashour, who has suffered a plethora of hamstring injuries over the past three years, returned from yet another spell on the sidelines by taking the Hong Kong Open crown last month – his first World Series title in 16 months.
Ashour and ElShorbagy have played out some of the greatest matches of recent times, with their 2014 World Championship final clash in particular going down in the squash annals as one of the most thrilling matches in history.
The charismatic Ashour, known on Tour as ‘The Artist’, opens up against Omar Abel Meguid in round one and fans of the two Egyptian powerhouses will be eagerly anticipating their prospective matchup, if they make it that far.
With the likes of World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad, Hong Kong Open runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.10 Ali Farag also in the mix, the Great Pyramid of Giza looks set to play host to a scintillating Men’s draw.
The Women’s draw, headed by El Sherbini, also has an extremely high-calibre field, with seven of the world’s top eight female players descending on Cairo.
El Sherbini is the favourite after a record-breaking 2016, which has seen the Alexandria-born 20-year-old become the youngest ever World Champion, the first Egyptian female to win the iconic British Open and replace Laura Massaro at the summit of the World Rankings.
She is seeded to meet the dangerous World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar, who last month secured her maiden World Series title in Hong Kong, in the last four, while former World No.1 Raneem El Welily and Malaysian eight-time World Champion Nicol David could meet in a mouthwatering semi-final clash on the opposite side of the draw.
Hong Kong Open runner-up Amanda Sobhy and 2015 British Open champion Camille Serme are also in action in the bottom half of the draw – meaning that the path to a coveted final berth is fraught with danger.
2016 Al Ahram Squash Open NEWGIZA – Men’s First Round Draw
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[WC] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[Q[ Mohamed Reda (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Borja Golan (EGY) v [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
[Q] Karim Ali Fathi v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
2016 Al Ahram Squash Open NEWGIZA – Women’s First Round Draw
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[Q] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
[WC] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[Q] Tesni Evans (WAL) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[Q] Fiona Moverley (ENG) v  Nicol David (MAS)
Not able to watch the Al Ahram Open live? Check out our live scoring page.
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