Hurghada Hails World's Best
13 May 2011
The popular Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada is preparing to welcome many of the world's top squash players - including five former world number ones - who will compete in the 2011 Hurghada International which gets underway on an all-glass showcourt on the Promenade tomorrow following today's completion of qualifying in Cairo.
Egypt's world No2 Ramy Ashour is seeded to win the men's PSA Tour International 70 event for the fourth year in a row.
The 23-year-old former world No1 from Cairo, competing in his first Tour event since finishing as runner-up in the North American Open in February, will open his defence against compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad, the 19-year-old world No43 who despatched fellow countryman Omar Abdel Meguid 13-11, 11-7, 11-2 in today's qualifying finals.
Ashour is expected to meet second seed Karim Darwish in a repeat of last year's final. Also a former world No1, Darwish too will line up against a qualifier - Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller who edged out Italian Stephane Galifi 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6.
But the two Egyptian stars are expected to face stiff competition from a pair of Frenchmen who have also topped the world rankings: Gregory Gaultier and Thierry Lincou are the third and fourth seeds, respectively - with world No8 Lincou making his tour return after an injury layoff.
Australia's former world number one Rachael Grinham and Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy have shared the women's title for the past seven years - and are seeded to face each other in the climax of the WISPA World Tour Silver 30 event.
Top seed Grinham, winner three times until 2007, faces Egyptian Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy in the opening round, while second seed Abdel Kawy, looking for her fourth successive title, will meet compatriot Salmy Hany, an 18-year-old qualifier who battled for 75 minutes to overcome fellow Egyptian Merhan Amr Mahmoud 14-16, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11 in today's qualifying finals.
Men's qualifying finals:
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 11-9, 21-19, 11-3 (74m)
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) 12-10, 11-7, 11-2 (38m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 13-11, 11-7, 11-2 (27m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Stephane Galifi (ITA) 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)
Women's qualifying finals:
Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Salma Hatem Youssef (EGY) 11-1, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) 12-10, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (53m)
Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt Haidi Lala (EGY) 9-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (36m)
Salma Hany (EGY) bt Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) 14-16, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11 (75m)