World No. 2 Ali Farag to headline squash tournament in Egypt

Marwan El-Shorbagy and Ali Farag will take part in the Alexandria International Squash Open. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2018
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World No. 2 Ali Farag to headline squash tournament in Egypt

  • $103,000 up for grabs in Alexandria
  • Three of the world's top four to take part

Eight of the world's top 20 players will contest a prize fund of $103,000 when Alexandria stages a professional squash tournament for the first time in three years in September.
Eleven of the 24-man draw will be from the host nation, including world No.2 Ali Farag, when the Alexandria International Squash Open, the PSA World Tour Gold event takes place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina between Sept. 17 and Sept. 21.
Joining Farag in the draw is world No.3 Marwan El-Shorbagy, who won the PSA Dubai World Series Finals in Dubai in June. World No.4 Tarek Momen and 2016 World Champion Karim Gawad take up the remaining two spots in the top-four seeded positions in the draw.
World No.13 Mohamed Abouelghar and world No.14 Omar Mosaad are the other Egyptian players amongst the top eight seeds, while Peru’s Diego Elias and England No.1 Daryl Selby are the other top 20 players involved in the tournament.
Round one matches will be played at the Alexandria Sporting Club, while second round fixtures will be split between the club and the glass court staged at Bibliotheca Alexandrina. All matches from the quarterfinals onwards will be held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

2018 Alexandria International Squash Open – Entry List

1) Ali Farag (EGY)
2) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
3) Tarek Momen (EGY)
4) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
5) Diego Elias (PER)
6) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
7) Omar Mosaad (EGY)
8) Daryl Selby (ENG)
9) Declan James (ENG)
10) Cesar Salazar (ENG)
11) Borja Golan (ESP)
12) Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
13) Gregoire Marche (FRA)
14) Greg Lobban (SCO)
15) Tom Richards (ENG)
16) Mazen Hesham (EGY)
17) Alan Clyne (SCO)
18) Chris Simpson (ENG)
19) Adrian Waller (ENG)
20) Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
21) Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
22) Arturo Salazar (MEX)
23) Ben Coleman (ENG)
Wildcard) Omar El Torkey (EGY)


Why Juventus could prove to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s toughest, most rewarding challenge yet

Updated 20 July 2018
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Why Juventus could prove to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s toughest, most rewarding challenge yet

  • Portuguese superstar has moved to Italian giants in deal worth nearly $120 million
  • Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid

LONDON: Love him or loathe him, you have to admire Cristiano Ronaldo’s character.
At a time of life when lesser mortals are lured by big paychecks to the likes of Qatar or China, the mercurial Madeiran has opted for what will be his biggest challenge yet at Juventus.
His career over the last decade has been played out under the cloud of the never-ending debate — “Ronaldo or Messi; who is better?”
Thankfully, that circus was quietened somewhat at the recent World Cup. Some flashes of pure brilliance aside, neither player made a big enough impact to lead their respective teams to glory and Messi’s wait for an international trophy goes on.
And, while both players are undeniably in a league of their own, the fact Ronaldo does have a European Championship title under his belt will always tip the argument toward the Portuguese — especially for those who measure greatness in statistics and trophies.
In fairness, Ronaldo’s statistics are mind-boggling. His stint at Manchester United, where he cut his teeth and started to show his potential as a great of the game, was instrumental in the club winning three Premier League titles and their third European crown. His staggering 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid saw him become the Spanish giant’s record goalscorer on his way to winning everything under the sun.
But the Premier League and La Liga are leagues in which attacking footballers flourish. With the dawning of wall-to-wall TV coverage, they have both been transformed to entertain the billions of people who tune in every week — and in this day and age, goalscoring superstars win you fans, not defenses.
The art of defending has all-but disappeared and the culture of building a spine through a team has slowly but surely been eroded away. Nobody wants to watch an engrossing, absorbing, end-to-end goalless draw anymore — it is all about 6-5 thrillers.
But not so in Italy.
Serie A, for all its scandals and fall from grace since its heady days of the 1990s, is still an extremely difficult league to win. It is a league in which fans and managers place great emphasis on defending, on building teams from back-to-front (not the other way around) and on the mentality of “you cannot lose if you don’t concede.”
Granted, Juventus have walked Serie A for the past seven seasons; it is to be expected from one of the richest clubs in the world. But rarely have they won it at a canter. Never once have they scored anywhere near 100 goals in a season to win it — unlike Manchester City in last season’s Premier League, or Barcelona and Real Madrid almost every season in the same period.
And not once has Serie A’s top-goalscorer reached the dizzying heights Ronaldo (and Messi) hit in La Liga season after season, nor has it always been a Juventus player claiming the golden boot.
This all points to a monumental challenge for Ronaldo. On paper, he should not find it as easy to score goals in Serie A and with the marked improvement of Napoli, Roma and Lazio recently, nor will it be an easy ride for Juventus to claim an eighth scudetto in a row this year.
So, while Messi prefers to stay in one country and within his comfort zone of the defense-shy Spanish league, if a 30-something Ronaldo succeeds in Italy — or, better yet, guides Juventus to the European glory the fans crave so much — it would be his most remarkable achievement yet.
And it would put the tiresome debate over who is the greatest ever to bed, once and for all.
No contest.