Egypt is to host the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour Finals for the first time after an agreement was reached today by the PSA and title sponsors CIB to bring the world’s leading players to the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo.
The prestigious event, featuring the world’s top eight male and female players, will be the finale for the 2018-2019 season and is due to take place between June 8 and 13.
The tournament had been staged in Dubai for the last three years at venues such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera and Emirates Golf Club.
The PSA World Tour Finals will be the third major professional squash tournament to be held at the Wadi Degla Club after it hosted the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championships and the 2014 PSA Women’s World Championships.
"The PSA World Tour Finals always provides a fitting climax to the PSA World Tour season and we are excited to be staging this season’s tournament in Cairo," PSA chairman Ziad Al-Turki said.
"With a number of the sport’s highest-ranking players hailing from Egypt, squash already has significant presence and popularity in the country, and we hope to build on that by holding the World Tour Finals there.
"I would like to thank both the Wadi Degla Club and CIB for their support in staging this event, and I look forward to watching the action unfold in June."
The six-day event will offer total prize purse of $320,000 (£244,000/€283,000) split equally between the men’s and women’s events.
Players will be split into two groups of four and will play round-robin best-of-three matches in the group stages, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout semi-finals and beyond.
To qualify for the PSA World Tour Finals, players must finish in the top eight of the PSA World Tour Finals leaderboard, with points on offer at all PSA World Tour events during the 2018-2019 season.
Egypt's world number one Ali Farag currently tops the men’s leaderboard and has already qualified after winning the PSA World Championships, J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and the Qatar Classic this season.
He sits ahead of compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy, whose wins at the U.S. Open and Hong Kong Open have seen him also qualify.
Another Egyptian, Karim Abdel Gawad, is the other player to have already earned his place in Cairo after triumphing in December’s Black Ball Open.
Women's world number one Raneem El Welily, another Egyptian player, heads up the women’s leaderboard and has qualified for Cairo courtesy of her title win in October’s U.S. Open.
She is followed by world number two Nour El Sherbini, also from Egypt, winner of both the PSA World Championship and the Tournament of Champions.
New Zealand’s Joelle King is the other automatic qualifier after lifting her maiden Platinum title at the Hong Kong Open in November.
"We are excited to be bringing the PSA World Tour Finals to Egypt for the first time in the tournament’s history, and I believe that the Wadi Degla Club will provide the perfect venue for squash’s season finale," Wadi Degla squash director Karim Darwish said.