Three-time British Open champion Mohamed ElShorbagy will compete at the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ as an English player for the first time between April 9-16 when the prestigious PSA World Tour Platinum event returns to Birmingham.
ElShorbagy – a former World No.1 and World Champion who won the British Open in 2015, 2016 and 2019 – switched allegiance to England from Egypt last June and will now line up at the iconic tournament as England No.1 for the first time and will be seeded fifth.
The British Open has moved back to Birmingham for the first time since 2001 and will take place at the spectacular Birmingham Rep from round three onwards, with the opening two rounds being staged at the Edgbaston Priory Club. ElShorbagy is one of six former champions returning to compete for their share of the $358,000 prize pot, which is split equally between the male and female draws.
Headlining the men’s draw is World No.1 and top seed Mostafa Asal, with the 21-year-old Egyptian – who in January became the third youngest man in squash history to reach World No.1 – set to play the winner of an all-Egyptian battle between Karim El Hammamy and Omar Mosaad in round two.
Should the tournament go to seedings, he will face the in-form Diego Elias in the final, with the Peruvian No.2 seed set to play Wales’ Joel Makin in the second round.
Also among the players tipped for the title are Egyptian No.3 seed Ali Farag and New Zealand’s No.4 seed Paul Coll.
Coll, winner of the last two editions of the British Open, plays either Curtis Malik or Eain Yow Ng in round two as he bids to make it a hat-trick of British Open titles.
Reigning World Champion Farag, who is targeting a first British Open title after finishing runner-up in his last three attempts, will play the winner of the first round match between Leonel Cardenas and Balazs Farkas.
Should ElShorbagy and Makin fall, the hopes of a home winner in the men’s draw will fall upon Scotland’s Greg Lobban, or Patrick Rooney, Adrian Waller, George Parker, Nathan Lake, Nick Wall, three-time runner-up James Willstrop, and wildcards Curtis Malik and Sam Todd of England.
In the women’s draw, the Egyptian trio of Nouran Gohar, Nour El Sherbini and Hania El Hammamy are tipped to go deep.
Gohar, who has been World No.1 since April 2022, was the British Open champion in 2019 and will play the winner of the clash between Cindy Merlo and Melissa Alves in round two.
Defending champion El Hammamy, who beat Gohar 3-1 in last year’s final to claim her maiden British Open title, will play either Danielle Letourneau or Alexandra Fuller in the second round.
Meanwhile, three-time champion El Sherbini will face Japan’s Satomi Watanabe or English wildcard and tournament debutant Torrie Malik, who has won three of her last five events on the PSA Challenger Tour.
Birmingham-born Sarah-Jane Perry will look to go one better than her 2017 runner-up spot, while World No.9 Georgina Kennedy returns to the city where she won a Commonwealth Games gold medal last summer.
Joining Perry and Kennedy are four more English and two Welsh players. Jasmine Hutton, Lucy Turmel and wildcards Katie Malliff and Malik will represent the other English women in the draw, with Welsh duo Tesni Evans and Emily Whitlock the other Britons in attendance.
Tickets for the British Open are on sale and available for purchase here.
Action from Birmingham Rep 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 Edgbaston Priory Club will be announced in due course.