US SQUASH

World’s Top Squash Players Gear up for New PSA Season Stateside and Abroad

Team USA’s Todd Harrity (l) and Amanda Sobhy at the 2019 Pan American Games (images: Buda Mendes/Getty Images, Paul Vallejos/Lima 2019)

As the summer draws to a close this Labor Day weekend, the 2019-2020 PSA World Tour season is set to begin with major events abroad and in the United States–including the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco and FS Investments U.S. Open in Philadelphia–this September and October.

The first PSA Gold tournament of the season, the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open, starts next week, September 4-8. Egypt’s reigning world champions and world No. 1’s, Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily, will both open up their seasons in Shanghai as they bid to stay on top of the world rankings. World No. 42 Haley Mendez is the sole U.S. representative in China, and is set for a first-round match up against Egypt’s Nadine Shahin.

Tour focus then shifts to the PSA Silver Open de France presented by Tailor Capital, September 9-14, which will be the first event of the season broadcasting on SquashTV and PSA World Tour’s Facebook Watch. A four-player U.S. delegation enters the women’s draw in Nantes, which will be contested in an all-glass court staged in a thirteenth century castle, the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne. Pan American Games triple gold medalist Amanda Sobhy is seeded third and could face U.S. teammate and fellow Harvard graduate Mendez in the second round. Sobhy is seeded to meet her gold-medal-winning Pan Ams teammate Olivia Blatchford Clyne, the seven seed, in the quarterfinals. After enjoying a breakout debut season as a full-time professional jumping from world No. 168 to world No. 39, Princeton graduate Olivia Fiechter opens up her season in the top half of the draw with a first-round match up against Holland’s Milou van der Heijden.

The Tour then travels to the west coast for the first major event of the season in the U.S., the PSA Gold Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco, September 24-30. The Oracle NetSuite Open rings in its tenth year and eight on the Embarcadero with its highest prize money to date, $242,000 offered equally across the men’s and women’s twenty-four-player draws. Egypt leads both draws will all four top two seeds–Mohamed ElShorbagy and Tarek Momen in the men’s draw, and Raneem El Welily and Nour El Sherbini in the women’s draw. Team USA will have six representatives in California, including wild cards Faraz Khan and Mendez. Pan Am Games double gold medalists Todd Harrity opens up his season with a difficult draw against Egypt’s two-time world junior champion Mostafa Asal. Sobhy, the inaugural women’s champion in 2015, will be in search of a second Oracle NetSuite Open title as the seven seed with a potential quarterfinal clash with Egypt’s world No. 5 Nour El Tayeb. Blatchford Clyne and Fiechter are set for first-round matches in the top half of the draw against Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and India’s Joshna Chinappa, respectively. For tickets and more information visit oraclenetsuiteopen.com.

The following weekend is slated for the first PSA Platinum event of the season, the FS Investments U.S. Open, October 5-12, at Drexel University’s Daskalaskis Athletic Center in Philadelphia. The world’s top players will be competing for $371,000 across two, forty-eight-player draws. Player entries and draws will be released in September, but fans can reserve their place now for one of the most memorable weeks of squash in the U.S., which also features the U.S. Skill Level Championships, Arlen Specter Junior Championships, Intercollegiate Doubles and a full slate of special events. For tickets and more information visit usopensquash.com.

Both the Men’s and Women’s PSA World Championships will take place this fall this season, but held separately. The CIB PSA Women’s World Championship will take place following the FS Investments U.S. Open, October 24-November 1, with squash returning to one of the sport’s most iconic locations–next to the Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. The Men’s World Championship follows, November 8-15, and returns to Qatar for the first time since 2014.

For the full PSA World Tour, Challenger and Satellite calendar visit psaworldtour.com.

 

 

 

 

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