Oct 31 “D Day” for English hopes in Manchester World Champs

mwc-posterThe world’s squash superpowers are on collision course to settle old scores in the quarter-finals of the $325,000 AJ Bell World Squash Championship to be staged in Manchester next month.

Nick Matthew, England’s twice World Champion, and 2013 Colombian Open winner, Peter Barker, are seeded to meet Egyptian opposition when the quarter-finals get under way at the iconic Manchester Central on the 31st October.

Matthew, seeded four, is scheduled to face four time World Champion Amr Shabana while England teammate and seventh seed Barker could get a tilt at dethroning Ramy Ashour, the defending champion.

Twenty four hours later James Willstrop, a World Championship runner-up to Matthew three years ago and seeded three for the 2013 tournament, could tackle 2012 finalist Mohamed Elshorbagy for a place in the semi-finals.

“We have the prospect of some massive matches,” enthuses Lee Beachill, Chief Operating Officer for the PSA. “And Thursday could just be a fantastic night of squash.

“From the PSA point of view and from Manchester’s perspective, we would love to see Manchester Central packed for these potentially thrilling clashes.

“Ramy’s record for more than a year speaks for itself while Shabana is a four-time World Champion and such a big match player,” adds Beachill, the 2004 World Championship finalist and former World No.1.

Sixty four of the planet’s best players line-up at the National Squash Centre for the sport’s blue riband event of the year. Just eight will progress to the second phase of the tournament at Manchester Central.

“There are interesting match-ups in every round of the draw,” explains Beachill. “It really is very balanced. “

Title holder Ashour, and the winner in 2008 when Manchester last staged the PSA’s leading World Tour event, faces a testing opening tie. Opposing Ashour as he begins his quest for a third world crown is Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the World No.18.

Five time British Champion Matthew begins his quest for a hat-trick of world titles against a qualifier on October 28. Willstrop too is yet to know the identity of his first round opponent, while Barker lines up against Australian Ryan Cuskelly.




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