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Tantalizing First Round Match-ups in 2015 Men’s and Women’s Draws

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December 21, 2015
by Brad Burke

With all of the world’s best players on board for the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the world’s largest spectator squash event,

the on-court action will be compelling from the very first round when the tournament gets underway on Friday, January 16 in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal.

The first Professional Squash Association World Series event of 2015 for the men, and the opening International 100 tournament of the year for the women, the Tournament of Champions is one of the most iconic squash tournaments in the world and the 2015 edition will treat fans to blockbuster encounters from the start, with some of the sport’s greatest practitioners set to lock horns on day one.

2014 World Champion Ramy Ashour, a three-time ToC titleholder whose athleticism and creativity never fail to delight the ToC fans , faces one of the toughest first round encounters, lining up against World No.9 and fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen in what is certain to be a thrilling exhibition of unorthodox shot-making. World No.6 Peter Barker of England will have to be at his best to get the better of dangerous German World No.10 Simon Rösner in another stand-out encounter.

Defending champion Amr Shabana of Egypt will also have his work cut out, taking on countryman and World No.14 Marwan Elshorbagy (younger brother of the tournament’s top seed Mohamed Eshorbagy) on the opening day of action while England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew faces dangerous compatriot Daryl Selby in a potentially attritional encounter in one of the toughest first round draws ever seen at a PSA World Series event.

Elsewhere James Willstrop, the English No.2, in his return to action after a three-month injury break, faces South African Stephen Coppinger while World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy will take on American hopeful and tournament wildcard Todd Harrity.

In the women’s draw, defending champion Nicol David of Malaysia, who has been #1 in the world for a record-breaking 101 months, will take on Australia’s Rachael Grinham, a former world champion. David’s Malaysian countrywoman, Low Wee Wern, world no.7, will have her hands full with the home crowd favorite, world no. 11 Amanda Sobhy, a Harvard senior who hails from Long Island.  It is likely to be a shotmakers’ duel when Egypt’s world No. 3 Raneem El Welily faces off against her countrywoman Omney Abdel Kawy while world no. 4 Nour El Sherbini will have to fend off Hong Kong’s tenacious Annie Au .

“Every year at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions we are treated to a breath-taking exhibition of world class squash and this year’s draw look set to deliver yet another level of intensity from the very first round,” said tournament promoter John Nimick, President of Event Engine, Inc.

“The draw has thrown up some fascinating match-ups and I for one am relishing the chance to watch some of world sport’s finest athletes testing each other’s limits during what promises to be an exhilarating week of action in majestic splendor of Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal.”

2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Men’s Main Draw:

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Todd Harrity (USA) – 6pm, Fri., Jan. 16

Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Qualifier] – 3:45pm, Fri., Jan. 16

Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Qualifier] – 12:45pm, Fri. Jan 16

[Qualifier] v [7] Borja Golan (ESP) – 8:15pm, Fri. Jan 16

[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Tarek Momen (EGY) – 6:45, Fri. Jan. 16

Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Qualifier] – 3pm, Fr. Jan. 16

Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS) – Noon, Fr. Jan. 16

Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v [4] Amr Shabana (EGY) – 7:30pm, Fri.  Jan. 16

[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG) – 12:45 pm, Sat, Jan. 17

Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Qualifier] – Noon, Sat. Jan. 17

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Qualifier] – 3:45pm, Sat. Jan. 17

Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [8] James Willstrop (ENG) – 3:00pm, Sat. Jan. 17

[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v Simon Rösner (GER) – 7:30pm, Sat. Jan. 17

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Qualifier] – 6pm, Sat. Jan. 17

Alister Walker (BOT) v [Qualifier] – 1:30pm, Sat. Jan. 17

Max Lee (HKG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) – 6:45pm, Sat. Jan. 17

2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Women’s Main Draw

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v.[12] Rachel Grinham (AUS) – 7:15pm, Tues. Jan. 20

[5] Alison Waters (ENG) v. Q1 – 5:30pm, Tues. Jan. 20

[4] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v. [9] Annie Au (HKG) -12:15pm, Mon. Jan. 19

[8] Nour El Tayeb (ENG) v. Q2-11:30am, Mon. Jan. 19

[7] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v.[11] Amanda Sobhy (USA) – 1pm, Mon. Jan. 19

[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v. [10] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) – 1:45pm, Mon. Jan. 19

[6] Camille Serme (FRA) v. Q3 – 3:45pm, Mon. Jan, 19

[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v. Q4 – 7:15pm, Mon. Jan. 19

Tickets for the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions range in price from $8 to $170 and may be purchased at www.tocsquash.com. Patron packages are also available at www.tocsquash.com.