AJ Bell World Championship draw!

“It means everything to me,” said the British Under 23 champion Ben Coleman (le). “It’s my ambition to be one of the best squash players in the world so there’s no better way than to play the best.

Title-holder Ramy Ashour is on a semi-final collision course with Britain’s two-time champion Nick Matthew after the draw for the $275,000 AJ Bell PSA World Squash Championship in Manchester has been made.

But the Egyptian, bidding for a 3rd world crown in 5 years, insists: “The draw will not decide whether you are going to win the World Championship.”

“Most players are eager to get in the top 10 and I don’t think there is a big gap between the top 10 players and the top 20 players,” added Ashour. “All are pretty close and anything can happen on court.”

World number one Ashour, unbeaten since losing to Matthew in last year’s British Open final – a run of 41 matches and eight tournaments – says of a potential meeting with Matthew: “Nick is a great athlete and a great person. He deserves to have a bigger profile in the UK.

England’s Ben Coleman (le), the winner of the Wild Card event, didn’t get his wish to meet Egypt’s four-time champion Amr Shabana debut. Instead, the British Under 23 champion was handed an opening encounter with compatriot Tom Richards, the world number 22.

The draw was made by officials representing stakeholders; Manchester City Council, England Squash & Racketball and UK Sport. “We can’t wait for the action to start now”, ee Beachill, chief operating officer of the Professional Squash Association said.

1st round draw:
[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v Qualifier
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY)
[14] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[15] Alister Walker (BOT) v Qualifier
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Joe Lee (ENG)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) v Qualifier
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[8] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Adrian Grant (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Leo Au (HKG) v Qualifier
[16] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[11] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Christopher Gordon (USA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Max Lee (HKG) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Qualifier
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier
Tom Richards (ENG) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Qualifier
[9] Borja Golan (ESP) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[12] Simon Rosner (GER) v Qualifier
Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) v Qualifier
Julian Illingworth (USA) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
[6] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[5] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Qualifier
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Qualifier
[13] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Qualifier
[10] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Qualifier
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Qualifier