Squash may seem simple enough as a game in which you hit a ball off the wall, but there’s far more that goes into being a top-notch player than meets the eye.
Few are more aware of what’s needed to be great at the sport than Hadrian Stiff, owner of Elite Squash and coach to some of the world’s best players. With plenty of experience under his belt, Stiff is the perfect tutor to learn the game from and the public will have the chance to get first-hand knowledge from the coach at Elite Squash UAE’s masterclass coaching camp.
To be held next month from June 9-10 at the Aviation Club in Dubai, the camp will offer the rare opportunity to receive training and advice from Stiff, as well as a seat to watch the PSA World Series Finals.
Two players to keep an eye on in the Dubai tournament next month are world No3 Mohamed El Shorbagy and world No5 Marwan El Shorbagy. The Egyptian brothers have taken the sport by storm, with Stiff having worked with them to maximise their talents.
That same type of professional coaching will be available at the masterclass camp, where players will learn about movement, technique and tactics through personal feedback and video tutorials.
After a thrilling finish in the last qualifying event for the 2017 PSA Dubai World Series Finals at El Gouna, Egypt, 2016 defending champion Gregory Gaultier of France kept alive hopes of a fourth PSA World Series Finals title in a row when he heads to Dubai in June.
Gaultier, known as “The General”, defeated Karim Abdel Gawad to take his 38th career PSA World Tour title in El Gouna, and became the first non-Egyptian winner of the tournament.
Gaultier is among a star studded line up of players who are now packing their bags for Dubai, where the top eight ranked male and female players in the PSA Road to Dubai rankings will contest the PSA Dubai World Series Finals from June 6-10 at Dubai Opera.
Gaultier is in blistering form, winning the last three qualification events, and his current unbeaten run of 19 matches is the longest of his glittering 17-year career.
Although he will surrender the world number one position next month to Gawad, who finished the qualification race in first place just five points clear of Gaultier, the 34 year old’s recent form sees him come to Dubai as the favourite to defend the title he won last year.
Egypt’s impressive dominance of squash continues, claiming four of the eight qualification places. Former world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy finished in third position with his brother Marwan, the PSA Men’s Young Player of the Year in 2016, in fourth. Another former world number one Ramy Ashour finished in equal seventh despite battling injuries throughout the year.
England’s former world number one Nick Matthew also had an injury interrupted season, but still managed two runner-up finishes and qualified in fifth. His countryman James Willstrop, also a former world number one, came in in sixth. Germany’s Simon Rosner made five quarter finals throughout the season and finished in equal seventh with Ashour.
The women’s line-up was finalised in March and will feature world number one Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, defending champion Laura Massaro of England, France’s Camille Serme, eight-time World Champion Nicol David of Malaysia, Egypt’s Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar, and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters.
Tickets for the 2017 PSA Dubai World Series Finals are available to purchase through www.dubaiopera.com or from the Dubai Opera Box Office. For further information on both the PSA World Series and the PSA World Tour, visit www.worldseriesfinals.com.
Squash World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is all set to replace Gregory Gaultier as World No.1 in next month’s rankings following his victory over fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International on Thursday.
In recent months, Gawad has climbed the rankings by winning the World Championship title, Qatar Classic title and Tournament of Champions title.
“Today is extra special for me, reaching the finals here in El Gouna in front of this amazing crowd is a great pleasure for me,” said Gawad.
“It makes me very happy. I didn’t want to think about it [the battle for World No.1] because I’ve been thinking about it a bit in the last two tournaments and it affected my way of playing so much.
“I don’t want to think too much about it [being World No.1] because I still have one more match and this is more important for me. Tomorrow is another day, I have to keep my focus and I have to concentrate as much as I can.”
Check out the moment he won the game against Dessouky to seal top spot in the rankings below.