CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open Draws Released
The draws for the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open, PSA Platinum tournament have been released, with Cairo’s Black Ball Sporting Club hosting back-to-back women’s and men’s events from Fri 12th and Thu 25th March.
In the women’s event – to be held between 12th and 18th March – 18 of the world’s top 20 will line up in Cairo. World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry returns to defend her title and receives a bye through to round two where she will take on either Egypt’s Mariam Metwally or Latvia’s Iveta Mackevica.
The Englishwoman is seeded to meet World No.1 and two-time Black Ball Open runner-up Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the woman Perry beat in December’s Black Ball Open final – World No.5 Hania El Hammamy – features on their side of the draw and is seeded to play the victor of Perry and El Sherbini’s predicted last eight battle.
El Hammamy is a former Black Ball Open champion after beating El Sherbini in the title decider in March, 2020 to lift her maiden PSA Platinum title.
World No.2 Nouran Gohar will get her tournament under way against experienced Englishwoman Alison Waters. Waters came within a whisker of eliminating the Egyptian at December’s Black Ball Open, only going down 14-12 in a nail-biting fifth game of their second round match.
Gohar is seeded to play France’s World No.3 Camille Serme in the semi-finals as both players bid to reach their first Black Ball Open finals.
Mohamed returns to Black Ball
In the men’s tournament, World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy will line up at the Black Ball Open for the first time since 2018. ElShorbagy, who reached the quarter-finals on that occasion, is hot on the heels of compatriot Ali Farag in the battle for the World No.1 spot and will look to bounce back from a surprise third round exit to World No.35 Youssef Ibrahim on his last PSA World Tour appearance at November’s Qatar Classic.
ElShorbagy is seeded to play World No.4 Paul Coll in the last four, while younger brother Marwan ElShorbagy and tenacious Welshman Joel Makin also feature on his side of the draw.
Farag also has a dangerous path to the title decider and is seeded to play defending champion Fares Dessouky in the quarter-finals, before a prospective semi-final matchup with World Champion Tarek Momen. 2018 Black Ball Open champion Karim Abdel Gawad is predicted to play Momen in the quarter-finals.
Ahmed Ismail and Ahmed Wael take the wildcard spots in the men’s tournament and will play Mexico’s Cesar Salazar and Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng. Malak Fathy and Nadeen Kotb have been named the women’s wildcards. Fathy will take on USA’s Sabrina Sobhy, while Kotb will come up against England’s Julianne Courtice.
Action from the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the PSA & Black Ball Facebook pages. The semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.
The CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be held in accordance with strict COVID-19 protocols. All players and staff will be tested prior to travelling to the tournaments before taking a further test upon arrival. Once a negative result has been received, that person will then be allowed to enter the tournament bubble, with further testing every four days during the tournament.