The world’s most iconic squash tournament, the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, returns to Grand Central Terminal for the twenty-first year, January 18-25, in New York City.
The first round of men’s main draw matches commenced play on the all-glass court in Vanderbilt Hall Thursday afternoon following two days of men’s qualifying at local clubs. Women’s qualifying also began Thursday afternoon with the women set to take to the glass court starting Saturday, January 20.
The men’s draw has the world No. 1 ranking at stake with current holder Gregory Gaultier hoping to fend off Egypt’s World Champion and world No. 2 Mohamed Elshorbagy, who enters as the two seed. Gaultier opens his tournament against Team USA’s world No. 50 Todd Harrity Thursday evening at 7:30pm ET.
Title holder Karim Abdel Gawad will hope to regain his form that saw him capture his first World Series title last year in Grand Central as the four seed. Harvard graduate and world No. 3 Ali Farag is aiming for his first title since winning the U.S. Open in October and enters the tournament as the three seed.
The women’s main draw includes three American women for the first time in tournament history, including Amanda Sobhy’s PSA comeback from a ten-month injury hiatus and fifteen-year-old Marina Stefanoni making history as the youngest player to compete in a ToC main draw courtesy of the women’s wild card. U.S. champion and world No. 13 Olivia Blatchford will aim to record her first career main draw victory on the glass court.
Egypt’s world No. 1 and 2016 champion Nour El Sherbini leads the women’s draw as the top seed. The twenty-two-year-old is predicted to face compatriot and world champion Raneem El Welily in the final. France’s defending champion and world No. 3 Camille Serme defends her title as the three seed with a predicted semifinal against El Welily.
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