June 4, 2018, Dubai, UAE: The elite of world squash are back in Dubai this week to battle it out for one of the most prestigious and fiercely contested titles in the sport, the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals, which will take place at the Emirates Golf Club from 5-9 June.
Only the eight top-ranked players from the PSA Road to Dubai Standings have earned a place at the prestigious tournament, which offers a US$160,000 prize pool for both men and women. To qualify for Dubai the players had to amass points from PSA World Series tournaments held around the world in the 2017-18 season, and today the players, distinguished guests and media gathered at the pre-event Press Conference.
The Press Conference was attended by PSA Chairman Ziad Al Turki; H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council and Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf, along with all players including 2017 defending champions Laura Massaro and Mohamed ElShorbagy.
Speaking at the Press Conference H.E. Saeed Hareb said “Firstly we would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, for his patronage of the event.
“We are pleased to be welcoming the world’s best squash players back to Dubai for the third time. As many of you know, in Dubai we have over 450 major sporting events taking place here each and every year, and this is one of the top events we host. We hope you have a wonderful week.”
Ziad Al Turki said, “We are delighted to be back in Dubai for the annual showpiece to crown the season’s top players. We have had an incredible season, with many firsts –we had the first couple win a tournament together (Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag at the US Open), the first joint World Championships with equal prize money, the first German and the first Colombian to win a World Series event, and the first women’s professional sporting event in Saudi Arabia. And now we have the final to end this incredible season. Dubai is one of the most exciting cities and we are looking forward to an exciting week.”
Christopher May added: “It is great to have you here, we are delighted to host this amazing event for the first time. It’s also the first time we’ve hosted a joint event at the Club, and we look forward to an amazing week.”
Mohamed ElShorbagy said “We’ve all been aiming to get to Dubai, and are really happy to be here. We are looking forward to lots of exciting matches, every match is the standard of a World Series final so it will be a great week.”
With the star-studded line-ups including six players who have reached number one in the world, as well as both current world champions and five former world champions, the action promises to be thrilling in every session. Four matches will be played in each afternoon session during the group stage from June 5-9. Group stage matches will take place at 3:00pm, 3:45pm, 4:30pm and 5:15pm (Group B) and 8:00pm, 8:45pm, 9:30pm and 10:15pm (Group A) between June 5-7 with the semi-finals due to take place from 8:00pm on June 8. The finals will commence at 8:00pm local time on June 9.
The men’s line-up includes current world number one and world champion Mohamed ElShorbagy of Egypt, along with three other former world number ones; England’s Nick Matthew, 2016 Dubai champion Gregory Gaultier of France, and Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad. Egypt’s Ali Farag and Tarek Momen, Germany’s Simon Rosner and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez complete the eight.
The women's line-up is equally impressive and features current world number one and world champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt. The field includes two former world number ones and former world champions, Egypt’s Raneem El Welily and England’s defending champion Laura Massaro. Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb and Nouran Gohar, England’s Sarah- Jane Perry, New Zealand’s Joelle King and France’s Camille Serme complete the line-up.