Saturday, 22 Jun 2024 About Us Privacy policy TERMS AND CONDITIONS Contact Us
SQUASH - Int News 28 May, 2024

British Open Squash Championship 2024: The Contenders
British Open Squash Championship 2024: The Contenders

ISLAMABAD (Sports Desk): The prestigious British Open returns to Birmingham for the second successive year. The event will run from 2-9 June with action taking place from the Edgbaston Priory Club and The Rep Theatre.

A total of 96 players will compete across the week including all of the world's leading players. We've taken a look at the top contenders in each draw and broken down their seasons so far and chances of taking home the titles next week in Birmingham.

Ali Farag: Men's top seed Ali Farag is the leading player in the men's draw again this year. The defending champion took the 2023 title in impressive fashion to win the event for the first time, whilst also fasting to observe Ramadan. Since that win last April, the World No.1 has won 10 World Tour events and reached the final in all but one of the tournaments that he has played in, terrific consistency from the Egyptian.

With the disappointment of losing out in the semi-finals of the recent World Championships, Farag could return to action with fire in his eyes to prove why he is the best player in the world. Multiple British Open titles will certainly be on Farag's wish list.

Paul Coll: 2x British Open champion Paul Coll is the No.2 seed for the event and will relish a glass court back indoors. The New Zealander has won four events this season, three of which have seen the latter stages played on indoor glass courts as opposed to the outdoor ones that are predominantly seen in Egypt. Coll undoubtedly prefers these conditions and after having a break whilst the Manchester Open and QSF 3 were happening, the Kiwi will be returning to action with a fresh mind and body, which spells danger for the rest of the field.

Diego Elias: The new World Champion Diego Elias will be back in action for the first time after his momentous win at the British Open as he looks to claim his first Platinum event win of the season. The Peruvian has no doubt enjoyed his win but will make sure that he is fit and firing for the last Platinum tournament of the campaign. Elias looked to be lacking confidence at times this season but that will not be the case now after his last event in Cairo.

Elias finds himself in a tricky portion of the draw, which includes five top 16 players: Victor Crouin, Youssef Soliman, Tarek Momen, Joel Makin and Youssef Ibrahim. If Elias progresses through those tough matches to the semi-finals, a potential rematch with Ali Farag is on the cards. The Egyptian will certainly be after revenge following his dethroning.

Mostafa Asal: 'The Raging Bull' Mostafa Asal earned a place in his first World Championships final in his previous event, falling in the final to rival Elias in three games. The week looked to have took its toll on the young Egyptian in the title decider but the World No.4 will be desperate to return to action in Birmingham.

Asal has endured an up and down season but after a disappointing start has found his form in the second half of the season with wins in Florida and Black Ball as well as three runner-up finishes. A slight knee injury forced his late withdrawal from the Manchester Open but hopefully the entertaining 22-year-old has overcome that and will be ready to take on his rivals again in Birmingham.

If the seedings go to plan, Asal will need to defeat both the Elshorbagy brothers in consecutive rounds to move into the semi-finals, where Paul Coll may be waiting.

Nour ElSherbini: World No.1 Nour ElSherbini will return to defend her British Open title next week in Birmingham and is once again seeded to scoop the top prize. The Egyptian has been a force to be reckoned with again this season, winning six titles and firmly establishing herself as the World No.1. Despite the wins, ElSherbini may not count this as one of her best seasons due to tasting defeat in a World Championships for the first time since 2017 as she lost out to Nouran Gohar in the final a few weeks ago in Cairo. The loss certainly would have stung the 7x World Champion who will be gunning for revenge next week.

Nouran Gohar: Having lost the last three World Championship finals, some thought that Nouran Gohar would never lift the coveted trophy, but 'the Terminator' proved them wrong as she deservedly defeated thorn in her side ElSherbini in four games to claim the title a few weeks ago in Cairo.

A terrific accomplishment for Gohar who has been in great form since her return from injury. The confidence that the World No.2 will be feeling now is probably the highest it's ever been and having not won the British Open since 2019, Gohar will be sure that she can take home the title and claim the Worlds and British double.

Hania El Hammamy: 2022 champion Hania El Hammamy knows what it takes to win this prestigious event and she will need to draw on every bit of that experience from 2 years ago to lift the title next week.

El Hammamy claimed two Platinum titles in the first half of the season but since the turn of the year is trophy-less in five attempts. Two losses to ElSherbini and Gohar as well as a loss in London to Sivasangari Subramaniam have left the 23-year-old searching for answers in her game. She has recently started working with former World Champion Laura Massaro and although this may turn out to be a good partnership, changes in swing and mentality take time to be fully embedded into a players game.

The feisty, clinical nature of El Hammamy makes her a danger at any event and with coach Massaro on hand next week, another British Open would certainly be a welcome end to the season for the World No.3.

;