For the best squash players in the world, the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions offers a venue to showcase their skills in front of huge crowds in in the Grand Central Terminal of New York City.
The tournament takes place Jan. 18-24 and will mark the 16th year the tournament has taken place at that venue, according to the tournament’s official website.
The Tournament of Champions will feature a 32-player men’s draw, a 32-player qualifying draw and a 16-player women’s draw (via TOCSquash.com). The full draws can be found here.
Defending men’s champion Nick Matthew will take part in the tournament, but he’s ranked just behind No. 1 seed James Willstrop, who plays Miguel Rodriguez at 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 18. Matthew’s first match will take place on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. against Alister Walker.
Round two will feature eight matches beginning at noon on Jan. 20 and ending with a final match at 9 p.m. Quarterfinals matches will be played for the top half of the draw on Jan. 21, and the bottom half on Jan. 22, before finishing with two semifinal matches on Jan. 23 and the championship match on Jan. 24.
The full men’s draw and schedule can be found here.
Willstrop and Matthew were awarded the top seeds in the men’s draw, but another player to watch for in the tournament is No. 4 seed Ramy Ashour. Ashour overtook Willstrop and Matthew for the No. 1 ranking atop the Professional Squash Association rankings with 13,820 points.
According to Ashour’s bio at WorldSquash.org, Ashour is “Egypt’s leading player” and is also “one of the biggest draws on the PSA World Tour.” He ascended to the No. 1 ranking after defeating Matthew in 2012.
With Matthew, Ashour and Willstrop in the field, the tournament looks to be as strong as ever. Gregory Gaultier (3) and Mohamed El Shorbagy (6) are the No. 4 and No. 5 players in the world rankings, respectively, and round out an incredibly balanced draw.
The women’s main draw is set to begin on Jan. 21 at noon with a match featuring No. 4 seed Rachael Grinham and a player to be determined during the qualifying round.
Madeline Perry (1), Dipika Pallikal (2) and Kasey Brown (3) will also begin the tournament on Jan. 21. Perry will face Latasha Khan at 8:30 p.m., while Pallikal and Brown’s opponents will be determined following the qualifying round.
The full women’s draw and schedule are available here.
According to TOCSquash.com, “all but two of the titleholders have either been No. 1 in the world rankings or the winner of the annual World Open championship,” which means of all players to watch in the tournament, Ashour will be under the spotlight to take the title on Jan. 24. He is a two-time winner of the Tournament of Champions, and will be one of the favorites to win another.
Schedule - All times EST (via TOCSquash.com)
|1||Friday 1/18||12 p.m.||First Round (2)|
|2||Friday 1/18||3 p.m.||First Round (2)|
|3||Friday 1/18||6 p.m.||First Round (4)|
|4||Saturday 1/19||12 p.m.||First Round (3)|
|5||Saturday 1/19||3 p.m.||First Round (2)|
|6||Saturday 1/19||7 p.m.||First Round (3)|
|7||Sunday 1/20||12 p.m.||Second Round (3)|
|8||Sunday 1/20||3 p.m.||Second Round (2)|
|9||Sunday 1/20||7 p.m.||Second Round (3)|
|10||Monday 1/21||12 p.m.||Women's First Round (3)|
|11||Monday 1/21||3 p.m.||Women's First Round (3)|
|12||Monday 1/21||6 p.m.||Men's QF (2) Women's First Round (2)|
|13||Tuesday 1/22||12 p.m.||Women's QF (2)|
|14||Tuesday 1/22||6 p.m.||(2) Men's + (2) Women's QF|
|15||Wednesday 1/23||6 p.m.||(2) Men's + (2) Women's SF|
|16||Thursday 1/24||6:30 p.m.||Men's and Women's Finals (2)|