2024 Preview – almost time

The Optasia Championships 2024 are less than 24 hours from getting underway, with two high-quality fields ready to battle it out in the men’s PSA World Tour Gold-level event and the women’s Bronze-level event in London.

The event will be held at The Wimbledon Club from March 12th to 17th, with glass court action available to watch live on SQUASHTV, and the semi-finals and finals also shown by the PSA’s broadcast partners.

Farag favourite as Gawad faces tough title defence

In the men’s draw, World No.5 Karim Abdel Gawad will have his hands full in his attempts to defend his title, with five fellow players from the world’s top ten present in the draw. The Egyptian has also been handed a tricky route through the field that includes a potential quarter-final meeting with World No.7 Mohamed ElShorbagy, the 2017 champion who also lost out to Gawad in the 2019 final.

World No.1 Ali Farag is likely to be the man to beat this week following a scintillating recent run of form that has seen him win all 14 of his matches since the turn of the calendar year and, in turn, capture a trio of World Tour titles. Farag finds himself in the same quarter of the draw as No.7 seed Marwan ElShorbagy, while former World Champions Gawad and ElShorbagy also sit in the same half of a stacked draw.

New Zealand’s Paul Coll, who currently sits at World No.2, is the second seed for the event and will begin his campaign for a second title against one of Nicolas Mueller or Todd Harrity. The 2016 winner faces the potential of a blockbuster semi-final clash against Egypt’s Mostafa Asal if the event were to go to seeding.

Elsewhere, there is a host of English talent hoping to deliver impressive performances, with Curtis Malik, George Parker, Simon Herbert and tournament wildcard Jordan Warne all present in the draw.

Race on for first women’s champion

In the inaugural women’s event, World No.4 Nele Gilis tops the draw and will go up against one of Marta Dominguez or Katie Malliff in the second-round. The Belgian No.1, who has captured two titles already this season, is also in the same half of the draw as Wales’ Tesni Murphy and Egyptian duo Hana Moataz and third seed Nada Abbas.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry is the second seed and will be on the hunt for a first PSA World Tour title of the season. Perry, who will be one of seven Englishwomen taking to the court this week, can be found in the same quarter of the draw as compatriot and sixth seed Jasmine Hutton, who is familiar with the venue after playing an exhibition match on last year’s finals day.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Satomi Watanabe will hope to build upon some promising showings at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and the Windy City Open when she arrives as the fourth seed. The World No.19 will open her account against either Torrie Malik or Enora Villard.