El Shorbagy out to defend title
One of the biggest participation sports in the world not included in the Olympics, squash is played by an estimated 20 million people worldwide in more than 180 countries.
This year the World Championships will be held in Chicago, United States, from 23 February to 2 March and will feature 64 of the best male and female players competing for a record prize pool of US$1 million, the highest in the sport’s history.
Organised by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), the global governing body responsible for the administration of both men’s and women’s professional squash, the tournament will take place at Chicago’s Union Station, with matches from rounds one and two also held at MetroSquash and the University Club of Chicago.
In addition to prize money totalling more than US$72,000, the winner of the World Championships will also qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which brings together the reigning World Champions and seven PSA World Tour Platinum winners decided throughout the year.
Defending men’s champion and current world No 1 Mohamed El Shorbagy has been drawn against England’s Joshua Masters in round one and is featured on the same side of the draw as three-time winner Ramy Ashour.
The two Egyptians contested both the 2012 and 2014 finals and could potentially meet in the semi-finals. Ashour, who is yet to play this season due to a knee injury, will play Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in round one.
World No 2 Ali Farag, also from Egypt, is seeded on the opposite side of the draw and he will take on England’s Daryl Selby in round one. Farag has the likes of Peru’s Diego Elias and New Zealand’s Paul Coll in his path to the final, while he is predicted to play World No 3 Simon Rösner in the semi-finals.
Reigning women’s world champion Raneem El Welily begins her tournament against South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller as she bids to continue her strong start to the season, which has seen her take two PSA titles so far.
The 30-year-old was thwarted in the final of this tournament in 2014 and 2016, but finally got her hands on the trophy in December 2017 courtesy of a 3-1 victory against two-time winner Nour El Sherbini in Manchester. El Sherbini begins her tournament against Lily Taylor of England.
Matches from Union Station will be shown live on SQUASHTV (worldwide) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world including BT Sport, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
For more information visit the PSA World Championships website.
PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN'S DRAW 2019
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Joshua Masters (ENG)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Arturo Salazar (MEX)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
Leo Au (HKG) v  Raphael Kandra (GER)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Ivan Yuen (MAS)
Tayyab Aslam (PAK) v Victor Crouin (FRA)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
[Pre-Qualifier] v  Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Declan James (ENG)
Shahjahan Khan (PAK) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
Tom Richards (ENG) v George Parker (ENG)
Todd Harrity (USA) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Vikram Malhotra (IND) v Richie Fallows (ENG)
Borja Golan (ESP) v Rex Hedrick (AUS)
Ben Coleman (ENG) v  Max Lee (HKG)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
Joel Makin (WAL) v Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Mohamed Reda (EGY) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Diego Elias (PER) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Zahed Salem (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN'S DRAW 2019
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
Lee Ka Yi (HKG) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
Anna Serme (CZE) v  Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Fiona Moverley (ENG) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
Menna Hamed (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Nele Gilis (BEL)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
Nikki Todd (CAN) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Salma Hany (EGY) v Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG)
Melissa Alves (FRA) v  Samantha Cornett (CAN)
 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v Haley Mendez (USA)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) v  Mayar Hany (EGY)
 Joey Chan (HKG) v Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Nicol David (MAS) v [Pre-Qualifier]
Olivia Fiechter (USA) v  Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Vanessa Chu (HKG)
Enora Villard (FRA) v  Yathreb Adel (EGY)
 Nada Abbas (EGY) v Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v  Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
 Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Christine Nunn (AUS)
Lily Taylor (ENG) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)