The women’s world championships began qualifying in Cairo, Egypt, at the Wadi Degla squash complex.
It’s apt for Egypt to host this event as women’s squash in Egypt is currently the strongest it has ever been. Several younger players now blend with established players such as Omneya Abdel Kawy and Raneem El Weleily and are really making an impact.
The first round began yesterday and Nicol David heads the field, with defending champion Laura Massaro for England seeded two. Weleily and Nour El Sherbini are the 3 and 4 seeds.
Alison Waters is England’s number five seed and should she reach the quarter-finals her opponent there is expected to be Massaro; the pair had a niggly match at the Commonwealth Games in the summer, but just last week won the World Team title together for England in Canada.
In the third quarter, an all country affair looks possible: home nation’s El Weleily is seeded to meet Nour El Tayeb in a match that could potentially tap into the aesthetic aspect of the game. In the top half, in contrast David is seeded to meet Camille Serme, though the French woman must beat England’s Emma Beddoes today first.
Of course the strength in depth of the women’s tour and the very nature of World Championship squash will mean that nobody will be hanging their hats on seedings.
An enticing world championships ahead then which can be followed at squashsite.co.uk