ToC Draws Released: Sobhy and Gohar to Clash in Quarters; Gaultier Meets MosaadBack to News
The path to 2020 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions glory has been revealed with American Amanda Sobhy seeded to meet Egypt’s Nouran Gohar in the quarterfinals, and former world No. 1 Gregory Gaultier making his return to the PSA World Tour against Egypt’s ‘Hammer of Thor’ Omar Mosaad in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, January 7-16.
Sobhy, world No. 7, reached the 2016 ToC final following courtesy of a semifinal win over Gohar, the three seed, and will need to get past the Egyptian again in order to replicate her 2016 run.
Gohar, world No. 3, is one of four Egyptian top seeds predicted to reach the semifinals and could face world No. 1 Raneem El Welily in the draw’s top half. France’s Camille Serme, the 2017 ToC champion, will aim to disrupt the all-Egyptian semifinals with a potential quarterfinal against El Welily.
In the bottom half of the draw, reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini will launch her attempt to win a record-tying fourth Tournament of Champions title against either Dutchwoman Milou van der Heijden or Scotland’s Lisa Aitken. El Sherbini is seeded to face compatriot and world No. 4 Nour El Tayeb in the semifinals. Canadian Jonathon Power is the only player to have won four ToC titles since the event’s name change and transition to the PSA World Tour in 1992.
In the men’s draw, Gaultier will take on Mosaad in a repeat of the 2015 PSA Men’s World Championship final when the Frenchman makes his first PSA appearance for fifteen months. Gaultier finally got his hands on the World Championship crown at the fifth attempt after battling past former World No. 3 Mosaad in the title decider in Bellevue four years ago, and the pair will lock horns once again on U.S. soil, with Grand Central Terminal’s stunning Vanderbilt Hall the setting for their latest bout. Thirty-six-year-old Gaultier hasn’t competed on the PSA Tour since October 2018 due to a knee injury, but he will make his highly-anticipated return at the first PSA Platinum event of the new year, where both he and Mosaad receive a bye into round two.
Like the women’s draw, four Egyptians lead the men’s field as the top seeds. Defending champion and world No. 1 Ali Farag will open his tournament either against compatriot Mazen Hesham or Scotland’s Alan Clyne. Farag is seeded to meet New Zealand’s world championship finalist Paul Coll in the quarterfinals and could face world champion and 2018 finalist Tarek Momen in the semis. Momen faces a difficult opener in the form of Marwan ElShorbagy in the second round.
The bottom half of the draw includes three past champions in the form of six seed and 2018 champion Simon Rösner, three seed and 2017 champion Karim Abdel Gawad, and 2015 and 2016 champion Mohamed ElShorbagy. Gawad and Rösner are seeded to meet in the quarterfinals with a potential semifinal against world No. 2 ElShorbagy.
A record $390,000 prize purse will be split equally between the men’s and women’s divisions at this year’s “ToC”, as the tournament is commonly referred to, while a spot at June’s PSA World Tour Finals will also be up for grabs.