The Qatar Classic starts this weekend at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, with the PSA Platinum level tournament returning to the calendar after making way for the PSA World Championships in 2019.
Ali Farag will be World No.1 come the start of the tournament, and the new man at the summit of the World Rankings will also be the defending champion when play begins on Sunday morning in the Qatari capital.
The 2018-19 World Champion will be in the No.2 seed for the tournament, and will face either Pakistani No.1 Tayyab Aslam or England’s Richie Fallows in the second round. He is seeded to meet the reigning World Champion, Tarek Momen, in the semi-finals. Momen won his crown at this venue last year, so both have an affinity with the place. ‘The Viper’ will have an all-Egyptian battle in RD2, facing either Mazen Gamal or Youssef Soliman.
The top half of the draw is scheduled to see Mohamed ElShorbagy take on New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the semis. ‘The Beast’ is a three-time winner of this event (2013, 2015, 2017), and will face either England’s George Parker or Frenchman Victor Crouin in the last 32.
The Kiwi, who reached the final of the PSA Men’s World Championship in Doha last year, could face either Frenchman. Baptiste Masotti or India’s Ramit Tandon in the second round.
Also in the top half of the draw are Germany’s Simon Rösner and Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy. The former already knows his second round opponent, Egypt’s Fares Dessouky.
There are some wonderful first round ties at the PSA Platinum event as well. Given a wildcard for the event, France’s Gregory Gaultier will take on Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu, in a rematch of their clash at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships in Washington, D.C. last December.
The home favourite, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, will take on England’s Patrick Rooney in the first round. There are two other Qataris in action this week, with Syed Azlan Amjad, fresh off a first title on the PSA Challenger Tour, will take on Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini, while Abdulrahman Al-Malki will face England’s Declan James.
Play begins on Sunday, November 1 at 11:00 (GMT+3), with action then taking place across the next seven days.
The action will be available to watch throughout the week, with play from the glass court streamed LIVE on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.