After five years of waiting, Manchester once again welcomes the Squash World Championships back to its doorstep this weekend.
After the qualifying action takes place on Saturday and Sunday, the real excitement begins on Monday, with Round One set to commence with a bang.
Over the course of the eight-day event, some of the world’s finest squash talents will make their way to the National Squash Centre before moving to the Manchester Central for the quarter-finals onward.
In anticipation of the event, here you'll find a full listing of this week’s schedule, a breakdown of Monday’s men’s fixtures and some predictions as to who we might see advance to the next round.
|Sat 26 Oct||Qualifying Round One||NSC||12.00-20-00 (doors open 12.00)|
|Sun 27 Oct||Qualifying Finals||NSC||12.00-20-00 (doors open 12.00)|
|Mon 28 Oct||Round One||NSC||12.00-20-00 (doors open 12.00)|
|Tue 29 Oct||Round Two||NSC||12.00-20-00 (doors open 12.00)|
|Wed 30 Oct||Round Three 1st Session||NSC||12.00-17.00 (doors open 12.00)|
|Wed 30 Oct||Round Three 2nd Session||NSC||18.00-22.00 (doors open 17.00)|
|Thu 31 Oct||Quarter-Finals||Manchester Central||matches 19.00 & 21.00|
|Fri 01 Nov||Quarter-Finals||Manchester Central||matches 19.00 & 21.00|
|Sat 02 Nov||Semi-Finals||Manchester Central||first match 16.00|
|Sun 03 Nov||Final||Manchester Central||final at 17.30|
Ramy Ashour vs. Laurens Jans Anjema
The defending world champion returns to Manchester as the No. 1 overall seed and one of the unsurprising favourites to take home the global title once again.
However, Squash Colombia revealed that it's not just squash the player might have a knack for:
Ashour is on a hot streak in 2013 and has won all four tournaments in which he’s competed, the most recent being the NetSuite Open held in San Francisco during late September.
However, not once in those trials has the Egyptian come up against Monday’s Dutch opponent, Laurens Jans Anjema, making for a relatively unknown challenge come their meeting in Round One.
Having said that, the reigning champion undoubtedly holds a statistical advantage over his unseeded enemy and will be hoping to make a statement in his World Championship opener.
| Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Christopher Gordon (USA)||1 p.m. BST||2-3|
|Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)||1 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Max Lee (HKG) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)||1 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Nick Matthew (ENG) v Qualifier||1 p.m. BST||3-2|
| Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)||2 p.m. BST||3-1|
|Leo Au (HKG) v Qualifier||2 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)||2 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Amr Shabana (EGY) v Adrian Grant (ENG)||2 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Peter Barker (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)||3 p.m. BST||3-1|
|Henrik Mustonen (FIN) v Qualifier||3 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Joe Lee (ENG)||3 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Alister Walker (BOT) v Qualifier||3 p.m. BST||3-2|
| Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)||4 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)||4 p.m. BST||3-1|
|Alan Clyne (SCO) v Qualifier||4 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)||4 p.m. BST||3-0|
| James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier||5 p.m. BST||0-3|
|Tom Richards (ENG) v Ben Coleman (ENG)||5 p.m. BST||3-0|
|Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Qualifier||5 p.m. BST||3-1|
| Borja Golan (ESP) v Chris Simpson (ENG)||5 p.m. BST||3-1|
| Simon Rosner (GER) v Qualifier||6 p.m. BST||3-0|
|Abdullah Al Mezayen (KUW) v Qualifier||6 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Julian Illingworth (USA) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)||6 p.m. BST||3-1|
| Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)||6 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier||7 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Qualifier||7 p.m. BST||3-1|
|Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Qualifier||7 p.m. BST||3-2|
| Daryl Selby (ENG) v Qualifier||7 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Tarek Momen (EGY) v Qualifier||8 p.m. BST||1-3|
|Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)||8 p.m. BST||3-1|
|Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Qualifier||8 p.m. BST||3-0|
| Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Qualifier||8 p.m. BST||3-2|
Prediction: Ashour Wins 3-0
Mohamed Elshorbagy vs. Adrian Waller
After managing to make his way to the final of the 2012 competition, Mohamed Elshorbagy can only hope of going one step further and winning the entire tournament this time around.
Last year it was compatriot Ashour who beat Elshorbagy at the competition’s final stage in a five-game thriller decided by the closest of margins.
The No. 6 seed’s Round One opponent is Adrian Waller, who boasts a home-crowd advantage at the National Squash Centre and is a fellow youngster looking to etch out a reputation in the sport.
To add a bit of spice to this matchup, the 23-year-old Enfield native recently beat Elshorbagy’s younger brother, Marwan, at the Delaware Investment Open, meaning there’s reason for the Egyptian favourite to seek some redemption.
Prediction: Elshorbagy Wins 3-1
Borja Golan vs. Chris Simpson
Spain’s highest hope of achieving any success in the men’s competition, Borja Golan will look to banish the memories of how last year’s event ended when he was soundly beaten at the quarter-finals stage by England’s James Willstrop.
This time around, the 30-year-old enters the World Championships ranked ninth in the world and No. 9 seed for the tournament where Charlie Simpson awaits as his first obstacle.
Again Simpson may boast a home advantage, but Golan has won 20 of his last 27 matches, while the Englishman is on a two-match losing streak.
Prediction: Golan Wins 3-2