World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy believes next week’s 2015 Allam British Open will be an enthralling and brutal event where the sport’s top stars will keep nothing in reserve as they vie for the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ title.
Elshorbagy has sat at the top the World Rankings since November 2014 but having failed to add to his collection of PSA World Series titles since January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the 24-year-old is relishing the chance to return to winning ways at Hull’s Airco Arena.
“I am really looking forward to playing at the British Open this year,” said the Bristol-based Egyptian.
“It’s a tournament I feel I haven’t been able to play my best in so far in my career and I would love to be able to put my name on that prestigious trophy alongside some of the sport’s greats.
“I feel that the top guys all have an equal chance of winning this tournament. We’ve all had our ups and downs during the season so far but I think that each one of us will want to end his season on a high so it’s going to be a great event.”
Elshorbagy surged to the top of the rankings courtesy of a blistering run of results in 2014 that saw him claim four back-to-back titles and go over 20-matches undefeated, but since reaching the No.1 ranking the man from Alexandria has only claimed one title in six events, a streak he’s out to end.
“It’s been an interesting season so far for me dealing with the pressure of being number one for the first time in my life,” he said.
“To be able to protect that position until now is something that I’m very happy about but I’m determined to hold on to that position for as long as I can and hopefully I can play well in Hull.
Elshorbagy faces former England’s former World #1 and three-time British Open finalist James Willstrop in a fascinating first round encounter on Monday 11th May, a match that would do justice to the later stages of any tournament.