The CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5 begins on Tuesday afternoon at the Smouah Sporting Club in Alexandria, with 48 players aiming to take home the Challenger 20 level titles after five days of action.
The tournament, which is the fifth on the Egyptian Challenger Tour so far in 2021, will feature 15 of the world’s top 50 ranked players across both draws, and will be a majority-Egyptian field.
World No.14 Nadine Shahin will be the top seed for the women’s event, with seven of the top eight seeds hailing from the home nation. Nada Abbas, Yathreb Adel and Zeina Mickawy are also amongst those in the top eight.
Canada’s Danielle Letourneau, who won her second National Championship earlier this year, will be the lone non-Egyptian amongst those top eight seeds, with the World No.19 as the nearest challenger to top seed Shahin.
A whole host of juniors will be in action in the women’s draw, including the likes of Fayrouz Aboelkheir and Nour Aboulmakarim, both of whom have claimed their maiden titles on Tour this year.
One of the other non-Egyptians in action is Miguel Rodriguez, with the Colombian World No.12 the top seed for the men’s event, and he will face stiff competition from Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, Mohamed ElSherbini, Zahed Salem and Karim El Hammamy.
Qatari No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi will be the No.6 seed for the Challenger 20 level event, in his return to the Tour from an injury which has seen him miss the U.S Open presented by Truist and the Qatar QTerminals Classic.
“I was very upset at the start when I got hurt in Egypt and couldn’t recover quick enough for both U.S Open and Qatar,” he admitted.
“I was out of the court for 10 weeks and finally got back on court and start playing again only a few weeks ago. I’m feeling a lot better now as I’ve been here in Solihull with Rob Owen the last 18 days, and I think this helped me a lot to get back in shape a lot quicker.
“Now I feel I’m ready to compete again! I decided to play this event because I felt like I needed to get few matches in the body before playing the Asian Individual Championships in Pakistan in the middle of December!”
Al Tamimi has only featured five times on Tour this year with niggles and injuries holding him back, but he has used those opportunities to learn and grow moving forward.
“I think this past year, I have had my ups and downs but most of the year I’ve been chasing my fitness level and every time I felt I was back in shape, feeling good, playing good squash and beating few of the higher ranked players, I got injured,” the Qatari No.1 explained.
“I’m pleased with the way I’m coming back but the goal is to be more careful now and learn from the past and not rush into coming back to play so quick. I have to listen to the body a bit more this coming season and choose the right tournaments to play instead of playing every possible one.”
Following on from the 2021 Asian Individual Championships next month, Al Tamimi admits that the next big goal for him will be the Asian Games in 2022. Future work with Rod Martin is one of the steps to reaching those goals as well.
“The biggest goal for me is Asian Games next September and I will put in all the effort to be as fit and as ready as I could to win that,” Al Tamimi explained.
“Starting this from 20th December this year, Rod Martin is coming to Qatar for few weeks until the TOC [Tournament of Champions] and then I’m heading there and staying in New York with Rod for couple months.
“Really looking forward for 2022 as I will be with Rod more often from now on and can not wait to go up the rankings.”
The event takes place from Tuesday 30 November to Saturday 4 December at the Smouha Sporting Club in Alexandria, and you can follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.
Men’s First Round Draw: CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) – [Bye]
Aadit Zaveri (IND) v [9/16] Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY)
[9/16] Vladislav Titov (RUS) v Abdallah Elmasry (EGY)
 Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) – [Bye]
 Karim El Hammamy (EGY) – [Bye]
Mohamed Nasser (EGY) v [9/16] Shehab Essam (EGY)
[9/16] Yassin Elshafei v Abhishek Agarwal (IND)
 Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) – [Bye]
 Zahed Salem (EGY) – [Bye]
[WC] Omar Sobhy (EGY) v [9/16] Mazen Gamal (EGY)
[9/16] Khaled Labib (EGY) v [WC] Omar Azzam (EGY)
 Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) – [Bye]
 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) – [Bye]
Omar ElKattan (EGY) v [9/16] Ammar Altamimi (KUW)
[9/16] Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) v Shady El Sherbiny (EGY)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) – [Bye]
Women’s First Round Draw: CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5
 Nadine Shahin (EGY) – [Bye]
Nardine Garas (EGY) v [9/16] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
[9/16] Sana Ibrahim (EGY) v [WC] Nour Wageeh (EGY)
 Hana Ramadan (EGY) – [Bye]
 Mariam Metwally (EGY) – [Bye]
Habiba Hossam (EGY) v [9/16] Malak Khafagy (EGY)
[9/16] Menna Hamed (EGY) v Nour Heikal (EGY)
 Yathreb Adel (EGY) – [Bye]
 Nada Abbas (EGY) – [Bye]
Haya Ali (EGY) v [9/16] Salma Eltayeb (EGY)
[9/16] Nadeen Kotb (EGY) v Kincso Szazs (ROM)
 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) – [Bye]
 Mayar Hany (EGY) – [Bye]
[WC] Nada Ehab (EGY) v [9/16] Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY)
[9/16] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) v Malak Fathy (EGY)
 Danielle Letourneau (CAN) – [Bye]