An injury sustained in last month’s penultimate PSA World Series event of the year in Kuwait has forced top seed Nick Matthew to withdraw from next week’s Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the ninth and final 2011 World Series event in India.
Title success in the New Delhi event a year ago led the Englishman to the top of the world rankings in January – a position Matthew has retained throughout the year.
“However it’s too much of a risk and eventually sense has prevailed. I am going to use the extra time to come back 100% in the New Year,” added Matthew.
The withdrawal could lead to Matthew losing his world number one ranking: Fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop is enjoying the best form of his life – and this month moved up to second place in the rankings after back-to-back victories in the previous two PSA World Series events, winning the Hong Kong Open and the Kuwait PSA Cup.
Should the 28-year-old from Leeds win the 2011 Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, he will overtake Matthew to become world number one for the first time in January.
Willstrop is the No3 seed in Delhi, and begins his PSA Masters campaign against Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.
Matthew’s withdrawal moves Ramy Ashour to top seed and fellow Egyptian Karim Darwish to the position of second seed. Ashour, the previous world number one, is marking his return to the PSA World Tour after a hamstring injury caused his withdrawal from the PSA World Open in November.
Ashour faces Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan in the first round, while Darwish now takes on Australian Ryan Cuskelly.
France’s Gregory Gaultier moves into the fourth seed position and now lines up against local player Siddharth Suchde. Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema becomes the new No8 seed and will now face Egypt’s Ali Anwar Reda.
It is also an Egyptian that takes up the vacancy in the draw provided by Matthew’s departure. Omar Abdel Aziz, the world No42 from Cairo, will meet line up against Germany’s Simon Rosner.
The $165,000 championship gets underway at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi on Monday (12 December) and reaches its final the following Sunday.
Punj Lloyd PSA Masters: Revised 1st round draw: Karim Darwish (EGY) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Hisham Ashour (EGY) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Siddharth Suchde (IND)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Alister Walker (BOT) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Mohammed Abbas (EGY)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Julian Illingworth (USA) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Full Coverage: www.squashsite.co.uk/psamasters2011