The Contenders

Qatar World Champs : the Contenders

Story from PSA

The PSA Men’s World Championship starts in Qatar this week, and in the past there have been some huge names that have lifted the iconic trophy.

This year’s tournament will take place in Doha, as the world’s best go head-to-head for the title between 8th and 15th November.

Here, we take a look at some of the major contenders for the big prize.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) – ‘the Beast’

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy is the top seed [after the withdrawal of defending champion Ali Farag for personal reasons] and will be looking to become a double World Champion, after his 2017 victory in Manchester.

‘The Beast’ has been in scintillating form so far this season, having reached the final of all three events he has entered. ElShorbagy lifted both the China Open and Oracle NetSuite Open titles, before missing out in the final of the U.S. Open.

His first round clash will be played on the glass court, where he will face up-and-coming French star Victor Crouin.

[2] Tarek Momen (Egy) – ‘the Viper’

Tarek Momen is seeded to reach the final against ElShorbagy as the second seed in the tournament, as he looks to reach a second straight World Championship final, after doing so in Chicago in February.

The World No.3 has not hit his stride yet this season, having lost to ElShorbagy in both the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open and the semis of the U.S. Open.

Momen will face Germany’s Raphael Kandra in the first round in one of the trickier ties to open up the tournament.

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) -‘the Baby-Faced Assassin’

World #4 Karim Abdel Gawad is the only other former World Champion taking part this week, after winning the title in Cairo in 2016.

The Egyptian comes into this year’s event in great form, having won the last two major tournaments played on home soil, the CIB World Tour Finals in June, and the CIB Egyptian Open in front of the Pyramids last week.

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ will go up against Frenchman Auguste Dussourd in the first round, who qualified for the tournament after winning the Aspin Cup in September.

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) – ‘Superman’

The highest non-Egyptian ranked player is New Zealand’s Paul Coll, who will be the #4 seed for the event, looking to better his quarter-final appearance from February.

The Kiwi has started the season strongly, having reached at least the last eight of both the U.S. Open and the Egyptian Open, going as far as the semis in the latter.

Coll will face Qatari wildcard Hamad Al-Amri, who sits just inside the top 300 in the World Rankings.

[5] Simon Rösner (Ger) – ‘the Tree Chopper’

The leading European in the World Rankings is Germany’s Simon Rösner, and he will be looking to go one better than his semi-final appearance in Chicago earlier this year.

The ‘German Tree-Chopper’ is yet to make the semis of a tournament this season, with a last eight showing at the U.S. Open his best outing so far.

Rösner will take on England’s Ben Coleman in opening match of the glass court action in the first round, and he will be looking to extend his 100% record over his opponent.

[6] Diego Elias (Per) – ‘the Puma’

The first South American on our list is Peru’s Diego Elias, who travels to Qatar for the World Championships as the #6 seed, where he will be looking to improve on a best of reaching the last 32.

The ‘Peruvian Puma’ only made the same stage of the Egyptian Open last week, but he was able to go all the way to the semis of the U.S. Open in Philadelphia in October.

Elias will face Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen in the first round, with the pair meeting each other for the first time in Doha this week.

[7] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) – ‘the Bullet”

World #8 Mohamed Abouelghar makes it a quartet of Egyptians in the top eight seeds this week in Doha, as he looks to improve on his last 16 result in Chicago earlier this year.

‘The Bullet’ is making just his second appearance of the season in Qatar, after returning from injury at the Egyptian Open last week, where he lost out to Chris Simpson in the second round.

Abouelghar will face Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in the first round, having won the only meeting between the pair, back in 2017.

[8] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) – ‘the Cannonball’

The second South American inside the top eight seeds is Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez, who is looking for his second major title, after winning the British Open in 2018.

The ‘Colombian Cannonball’ started the season well after making the semis of the Oracle NetSuite Open, before then also reaching the quarter finals of the U.S. Open.

Rodriguez will face Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in the final group of matches on the first day, with the pair meeting for the first time.

That’s your top eight seeds – but there are 56 players who might have other ideas !!