Matthew Lines Up Against Wild Card In ROWE British Grand Prix Draw

The ROWE British Grand Prix - Manchester 2011, one of the year's nine PSA World Series championships, will take place at the National Squash Centre in Manchester from 19-25 September.
 
Top seed Matthew, who recently became England's first world number one for six years, will want to make up for the disappointment of being forced to withdraw from last year's championship after being taken ill on the eve of the event.
 
Jens Schoor, the German number two who is ranked 86 in the world, will be making his second appearance in the championship.
 
But Matthew will have to overcome a number of significant hurdles as he heads to his predicted place in the final on Sunday 25 September. The 31-year-old from Sheffield is expected to face his England team-mate Peter Barker, the No7 seed from London, in the quarter-finals before a likely battle with fellow Yorkshireman and England No2 James Willstrop, last year's runner-up, in the semis.
 
Matthew and Willstrop, the fourth seed from Leeds, have contested a number of dramatic encounters on the world stage, including last year's Commonwealth Games and World Open finals - but none perhaps more memorable than the final of the 2009 British Open on the spectacular ASB all-glass showcourt in Manchester, where both players had match-balls before Matthew ultimately prevailed 12-10 in the fifth after 122 minutes!
 
And Matthew's opponent in this year's final is expected to be Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour, the world No2 from Cairo who is the title-holder.
 
Ashour, one of six former world number ones in the British Grand Prix field, opens his 2011 campaign against a qualifier - before a predicted quarter-final clash with top-ranked Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the sixth seed who won the British Open trophy on the same court in 2007.
 
An all-Egyptian encounter between Ashour and third seed Karim Darwish is the anticipated semi-final in the lower half of the draw.
 
But world No3 Darwish has one of the toughest first round matches - against Manchester-based Australian Stewart Boswell, the former world No4 who has 20 Tour titles to his credit.
 
Another surprising first round clash thrown up by the PSA's new more open draw policy - where only a quarter of the players in a draw are seeded - has fifth seed Amr Shabana, the four-time World Open champion who topped the world rankings for an impressive 33 months, taking on fellow countryman Hisham Mohd Ashour, the world No13 and highest-ranked player to face a seed in the opening round.
Matthew, Willstrop and Barker will be joined by a number rising stars of English squash in the ROWE British Grand Prix draw, including Essex's Daryl Selby, the reigning British National champion who is set to make his world championship debut for England in Germany this month; world No18 Adrian Grant, winner of the Commonwealth Games Men's Doubles gold medal with Matthew; Jonathan Kemp, the world No22 from Halifax; and Tom Richards, the world No25 from Surrey.
 
The ROWE British Grand Prix, for the second year the biggest event to be held in England, will be the fourth PSA World Series event of the year, following this month's Australian Open in Canberra.
ROWE British Grand Prix 1st round draw:

[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Jens Schoor (GER)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v Qualifier
[7] Peter Barker (ENG) v Qualifier
[5] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Qualifier
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier
[3] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Stewart Boswell (AUS)
Alister Walker (BOT) v Qualifier
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[8] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Qualifier
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Qualifier
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier
 
Tickets for the ROWE British Grand Prix - Manchester 2011 can now be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing or by telephone on 0844 8797 949. For further information email: sales@isportgroup.com

England's world number one Nick Matthew will line up against wild card player Jens Schoor in the first round of the ROWE British Grand Prix Squash Championship in Manchester, according to the draw
revealed today by the Professional Squash Association (PSA).