Defending champion Miguel Rodriguez has been pitted on the same side of the draw as last year’s runner-up Mohamed ElShorbagy in the draws for the 2019 Allam British Open which were released today.
Taking place between May 20-26 at the University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre, the British Open is squash’s longest-running tournament and Rodriguez will return to defend his crown 12 months after becoming the first South American ever to lift the prestigious title.
The 33-year-old from Bogota receives a bye into round two, where he will face either Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller or New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson. The World No.7 is seeded to play World No.2 ElShorbagy in the quarter-finals in a rematch of last year’s final.
ElShorbagy, a two-time British Open champion, also receives a bye in round one and could come up against crowd favourite and three-time runner-up James Willstrop in the last 32 if the Englishman can get the better of India’s Ramit Tandon.
Top seed Ali Farag will face either compatriot Mostafa Asal or Frenchman Gregoire Marche in round two and will have to navigate a tricky draw that could see him play the likes of World No.11 Marwan ElShorbagy, World No.8 Mohamed Abouelghar and World No.3 Tarek Momen en route to the final.
Elsewhere, Germany’s Raphael Kandra will look to follow up his giant-killing run to the semi-finals of last year’s tournament and he will take on Marwan ElShorbagy – who he beat en route – in round two.
Meanwhile, England’s top male player Declan James gets a bye into the second round, where he will face former World No.3 Omar Mosaad.
The women’s draw is headed up by 2018 runner-up Raneem El Welily, who will face either 2008 runner-up Jenny Duncalf or World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby in the second round.
World No.1 El Welily is seeded to play United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in round three, World No.7 Nouran Gohar in the quarter-finals and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the semis.
Five-time winner Nicol David will appear at the final tournament of her distinguished career after announcing her decision to retire at the end of this season. The legendary Malaysian will take on compatriot Rachel Arnold in round one, and a win for the 35-year-old will see her lock horns with El Tayeb.
World No.2 Nour El Sherbini beat El Welily to win her second British Open title last May, and she will begin her tournament against either fellow Egyptian Mayar Hany or France’s Coline Aumard.
She is pitted on the same side of the draw as former champions Laura Massaro and Camille Serme and is seeded to face the latter in the semi-finals.
World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry – the highest-ranked English player on the PSA Tour – will play either Hollie Naughton or a wildcard in the second round as she looks to do one better than her runner-up finish in Hull in 2017.
In addition to one of the sport’s most iconic titles, points for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals will also be up for grabs as players battle for a top eight place on the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard, which will see them qualify for June’s showpiece event in Cairo.