New Delhi: Injuries sustained by top players in this week’s Saudi PSA World Open has taken a toll on the draw for next week’s Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the 10th and final PSA Super Series squash event of the year, to be held here from December 14-19.
Egypt’s Ramy Ashour, Saudi quarter-final casualties Karim Darwish and Gregory Gaultier, have withdrawn from the USD 192,500 championship at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, following medical advice.
All three have suffered hamstring injuries.
Ashour, the world number one, was seeded to retain the title he won for the first time last year in the prestigious PSA event’s first staging in Mumbai.
“We are all very disappointed, of course, that the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters has lost three of its top seeds in the past few hours,” said PSA Tour Executive Sheila Cooksley.
“It just shows how tough this game of ours is and, as with all sports, injuries come at the most unlikely times and it is devastating for the three of them.
“The PSA World Tour has a tough calendar with five major events in the last three months of the year. But despite losing these three players, we have no doubt that the event will still be a top drawer tournament because now there is such a tremendous depth of talent on the PSA Tour,” added Cooksley.
England’s Adrian Grant, the 15th seed, has also been forced to withdraw from the event as a result of a torn abductor.
The revised seeding now suggests an all-English final between Nick Matthew and James Willstrop - the same line-up which brought to a climax the 2010 Commonwealth Games squash competition at the same venue in October, when world number two Matthew clinched the first of two gold medals at the Games.
The Matthew/Willstrop line-up would also be a repeat of the 2010 World Open final in Saudi Arabia.
Indian men’s challenge would be spearheaded by country’s number one racqueter and Asian Games bronze medallist Saurav Ghosal, including Harinder Pal Sandhu and Siddharth Suchde.