Wednesday, 7 May 2008

May tournaments bring Egyptian stars to UK

With Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour trading blows around the world in the biggest finals on the PSA Tour, it's been a while since we saw either of them in the UK.

That's about to change in May, with two of the most prestigious men's events being held in Britain.

First up is the prestigious Dunlop British Open (8th-12th May), where Frenchman Greg Gaultier is defending the title ...

The self-styled "Wimbledon of squash" (a moniker I have questioned in the past) will this year be held at the ECHO Arena in Liverpool, as part of the city's European Capital of Culture celebrations.

The British assault on the title will be without 2006 winner Nick Matthew, with the Sheffield man struggling to return after a shoulder injury, though James Willstrop will hope to continue a good run of form in challenging the top French and Egyptian players.

The pick of the first round draws appears to be number 2 seed Ramy Ashour v rising English prospect Alister Walker. Walker recently scored his biggest win, against Gaultier in the Canary Wharf Classic, and seems to raise his game against the top players.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the new venue, and how the event is building towards regaining its status.

The Atco Super Series Finals 2008 will follow the BO by returning to Broadgate Arena in London on 19th-23rd May after moving temporarily last year to Manchester.

Egyptian prodigy Ashour won the event last year at his first attempt, and this year will be joined by Shabana, Greg Gaultier, David Palmer, James Willstrop, Thierry Lincou and Wael El Hindi in the tournament.

The Super Series Finals are contested by the top 8 players who have achieved the best results in the following events around the world over the previous year:

Below: a video of Thierry Lincou from the French TV channel Stade 2 made at the Super Series in 2006.

- Pace Canadian Classic
- Infor Windy City Open
- Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions
- Sheihka Al Saad Kuwait Open
- Qatar Classic (06)
- Dunlop British Open
- US Open
- Saudi International
- Qatar Classic (07)
- Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open
- Endurance Bermuda World Open

Tickets for both events can be purchased through the iSPORTgroup by clicking here.

Dunlop British Open - Liverpool 2008
Atco Super Series Finals 2008

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