World No.1s Nouran Gohar and Mostafa Asal have been named as the top seeds for the upcoming PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family, which will bring 128 of the world’s best squash players to Chicago between May 3-11, 2023.
The PSA World Championships is the most prestigious tournament in squash and features a $1,000,000 prize fund split equally between the male and female draws. Chicago’s spectacular Union Station – which hosted the 2018-19 PSA World Championships – will stage the action from round two onwards, while the opening round of matches will be held at the University Club of Chicago.
Gohar – who has finished as runner-up at the PSA World Championships in each of the last two seasons – will look to capture her fifth PSA title of the season. The 25-year-old’s quest to become World Champion will begin with a first round match against fellow Egyptian Nour Aboulmakarim.
From there, Gohar is seeded to play Fayrouz Aboelkheir and Belgium’s Tinne Gilis before a mouthwatering potential quarter-final match-up with Nour El Tayeb, the runner-up in 2019. Gohar’s semi-final opponent, if matches go according to seeding, will be No.3 seed and arch-rival Hania El Hammamy.
Six-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini is aiming to become only the second woman ever – alongside Malaysian legend Nicol David – to win five consecutive World Championship titles. The 27-year-old is seeded second and begins her title challenge against Hana Moataz. A quarter-final match against No.8 seed Rowan Elaraby could await El Sherbini, while she is seeded to play New Zealand’s Joelle King in the last four.
There will be five Americans in action in the women’s draw, with World No.5 Amanda Sobhy leading the way. The Philadelphia-based 29-year-old will go up against Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho in the opening round, while she will be joined in the draw by compatriots Olivia Fiechter, Olivia Clyne, Sabrina Sobhy and Marina Stefanoni.
Asal – who will turn 22 years of age during the quarter-finals – will line up against Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio in round one of the men’s draw. Matches against 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad and Welshman Joel Makin – who recently beat Asal in the Canary Wharf Classic semi-finals – could then follow.
Asal is seeded to play Frenchman Victor Crouin in the quarter-finals. Crouin and Asal have had an acrimonious relationship in the past with both players making negative comments about each other on social media. Reigning World Champion Ali Farag is seeded to be Asal’s semi-final opponent. Farag has often found his best form in Chicago having won two of his three World titles in the Windy City.
Peru’s Diego Elias and 2017 champion Mohamed ElShorbagy have been seeded at No.2 and No.3, respectively, and are predicted to meet in a blockbuster semi-final clash. Elias begins his tournament against Germany’s Raphael Kandra, while ElShorbagy is up against US No.4 Timothy Brownell in round one.
Brownell is one of four American men competing in the draw, with Shahjahan Khan, Todd Harrity and Faraz Khan also involved.
There are still seven places up for grabs in each draw. One spot will be given to the winners of the Wildcard Playoff – held at the University Club of Chicago between March 29-30 – with the other six spaces going to the victors at the PSA World Championships Qualifying Event, held at Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham between April 12-14.
Tickets for the PSA World Championships are on sale now and can be purchased here.
Action from Union Station will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown live by PSA’s broadcast partners. Streaming details for matches held at Union Station will be announced in due course.