PSA British Open

Defending champions Ali Farag and Nour El-Sherbini are acknowledged as the top seeds for the British Open 2024 in Birmingham.

Nour El Sherbini and Ali Farag holding the 2023 British Open Trophies. (Image Source: British Open: Tournament History - PSA World Tour.

The PSA British Open will be held in Birmingham between the 2nd and 9th of June 2024 with the tournament returning to the UK's Second City for the second year running. This tournament will see the elite squash players from across the globe travel to Birmingham to compete for one of the sports top titles as the season draws to a close. 

History of British Open

Since its founding in 1930, the British Open has been one of the most prestigious and established tournaments in the game. Often called the "Wimbledon of Squash," it's ironic to note, that the tennis game that's currently celebrated annually at the All-England Club, originated from the game of "racquets" played in an enclosed court.

Jahangir Khan became one of the most dominant figures in squash history.

Jahangir Khan, The Sultan Of Squash. Image Source: Tournament History – British Open Squash

The Men's Championship

The men's championship has frequently been controlled by outstanding players for extended periods of time. The championship was won by Egyptians F.D. Amr Bey and Mahmoud Karim in the 1930s and 1940s, which resulted in the 1948 implementation of a knockout format for the best 32 players in the globe.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Pakistani brothers Hashim Khan and Aam Khan proved to be a formidable force, but their influence was minimal. Pakistan had an amazing 16-year dominance thanks to the unstoppable Jahangir Khan in the 1980s and Jansher Khan in the 1990s, until Jansher Khan was vanquished in 1998 by Scotland's Peter Nicol.

After winning his second British Open in 2002 and leading a decade of openness with champions from Australia, Wales, France, and England to our current World Number One, Sheffield-born Nik Matthew, Nicol is still one of the most well-liked players in the modern game. 

The Women's Championship

Surprisingly, he Ladies Championship started before the men’s title in 1921, and has similarly been dominated for long reigns by outstanding players; Joyce Cave and Nancy Cave (England) in the 1920s; Margot Lumb (USA) 1930s, Janet Morgan (England), 1950s, Heather MacKay (Australia) 1960-70s, Vicki Cardwell (Australia) and Susan Devoy (New Zealand 1980s, Michelle Martin (Australia) 1990s, and Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Australia) 1990 – 2000s.

While Heather MacKay is undoubtedly the greatest female player of all time due to her long-standing and unwavering dominance of the game (she went 18 years without losing during the 1960s and 1970s), Malaysia's Nicol David is the queen of the modern game.

The British Open continues to be the championship that every player aspires to win, despite squash's eventual defeat against golf and rugby sevens. This deflated hopes that squash would be included in the Olympic sports line-up for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Players to Watch

The top-seeded players in England, Mohamed ElShorbagy and Sarah-Jane Perry, will face off against the reigning champions, Paul Coll of New Zealand, and Hania El Hammamy of Egypt at the British Open in Birmingham in June. A record $370,000 in prizes will be awarded, with an equal portion going to both sexes competitors. Along with the participants from the Edgbaston Priory Club for the first two rounds, and the defending champions Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini will also be vying for the most incredible championship in the game.

Diego Elias

At the British Open last year, Elias, a Peruvian, fulfilled a childhood ambition by rising to the top of the world rankings. After Gawad defeated Mohamed ElShorbagy in the third round, it was certain that the 27-year-old would ascend to the top. Elias made it to the championship round despite the evident circumstances, but he was defeated by Farag in four games to cap off an incredible week. He is now ranked fourth in the world and hasn't won a title higher than silver yet this season. To quiet the naysayers, Elias will be looking to bounce back from his poor performance from last year and have a solid week in Birmingham.

Ali Farag

Egypt's Ali Farag wins 2018 Qatar Classic

Ali Farag, the Egyptian squash sensation, previously amazed everyone with his remarkable performance, securing the British Open title while observing a fast. Image Source: SQUASH: Ali Farag wins Qatar Classic title after defeating Paul Coll (

In the previous year's championships, men's top seed Ali Farag stunned everyone with an incredible performance that included winning his maiden British Open title while fasting. Farag has participated in fifteen events since his success last year, making it to the finals in all but one of them and taking home the trophy in ten of them. The world number one, who just celebrated his 40th PSA victory in El Gouna, will be itching for more as he prepares to defend his championship in Birmingham. In the second round, he will face Omar Mosaad and Leandro Romiglio's winner.

Paul Coll

Paul Coll, World Number 2 - PSA British Open

Paul Coll, PSA World No. 2 - Image Coll Powers Through To Squash Final - RNZ.CO.NZ

Paul Coll, the two-time winner of the British Open, is seeded second for this year's tournament and hopes to secure his ranking as the world's No.2 by winning a sixth championship this year. As one of just two players this season to defeat Farag, Coll appears to have improved his offensive abilities. He could get his revenge after losing to former world champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the El Gouna International. If the seedings work out, the two will face each other again in the quarterfinals. In his opening round two encounter, the New Zealander will take against the victor of Nicolas Mueller and George Parker.

Nour El-Sherbini

El Sherbini Retains Women's World Championship Crown with Win Over El Welily

Nour El-Sherbini. Image Source: Egypt's Nour El Sherbini lifts squash World Championship crown - TNT Sports

With a commanding victory over Nouran Gohar in straight sets, women's top seed El-Sherbini won the tournament last year and went on to win a record three British Open titles. The 28-year-old with her impressive showcasing this season, Nour will be looking to win seven games in the 2023-24 season. After receiving byes in the first round of the competition, the World No.1 also can exact revenge on Sivasangari Subramaniam of Malaysia in the second round of play. She is therefore one of the elite players to watch out for at the British Open.

Nele Gilis

Nele Gilis

Nele Gilis Image Source: Geel FM | Urban Cookie Collective - The Key,the Secret

After being seeded as high as No. 4, Nele Gilis rounds out the top four seeds going into this year's competition. Having been ranked 29 in the world at the time, her best finish at a British Open was in 2019, when she overcame her sister Tinne to advance to the quarterfinals. Currently, she holds a spot in the World's top four and her ultimate objective is to secure her seeding to increase her chances of making it to a second Platinum event final.

Hania El-Hammamy

The current World No.3 and No.2 seed for the event, El Hammam, is poised to return and claim her first British Open title in Birmingham, following her withdrawal from the recent El Gouna International.

Hania El-Hammamy is an Egyptian squash player currently ranked World No. 3. Image Source: Hania El Hammamy Withdraws From Upcoming El Gouna International Squash Open - PSA World Tour

The No. 2 seed in the event and the current World No. 3 El Hammamy is aiming to win her first British Open championship in her career. The rising Egyptian squash star was regrettably forced to withdraw from the recent El Gouna International, but she is determined to make a spectacular comeback and win her first title of the year because of her commitment to training. She will face her countrywomen and World No. 10 Rowan Elaraby in her opening round match within round two, therefore it is imperative that she performs at her peak from the start.

Scottish Players to Watch

Greg Lobban

Greg Lobban - World Number 16 is playing at the PSA British Open

Greg Lobban is a professional squash player from Scotland who was born in Inverness, and in May 2024, he achieved his career high position of World No. 16. Additionally, he is the first Scottish player to rank in the World’s top 20 since former world number one White in Birmingham 2008. Greg and doubles partner Rory Stewart created history by capturing the first squash medal for TEAM Scotland since 1998 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Greg Lobban is one of the newest athletes to enrol in Heriot Watt University's Sports Scholarship Programme, and the top athlete in Scotland and medallist in the Commonwealth Games. He wants to balance the demands of competing on the PSA World Tour with his studies for an MSc in International Sports Management. This scholarship, which is administered by Heriot-Watt University and Oriam Scotland's Sport Performance Centre, gives both professional and amateur athletes the opportunity to follow their passion for sports while pursuing a degree. “When I heard about this program and what it offers, it immediately caught my eye”, Greg Said. While on scholarship, the thirty-year-old will divide his time between his responsibilities at the university, coaching squash, and training at Oriam, where his wife, Donna Lobban, is Head Coach for the Squash Programme and a three-time Commonwealth Games medallist.

Greg Lobban defeated Fares Dessouky in the feisty five-game match to advanced his first ever World Tour final at the Manchester Open, thanks to strong Scottish contingent within the National Squash centre. The 31-year-old is competing in the British Open this year, which is being held in Birmingham from June 2–9, and with an eye to make it to the final and win the championship.

Georgia Adderley

Georgia Adderley discusses role models ambitions and her love for squash as we celebrate Scotland's women and girls in sport week.

Georgia Adderley is Scotland's emerging squash talent. Image Source: Georgia Adderley discusses role models, ambitions and her love for squash as we celebrate Scotland’s Women and Girls in Sport Week - Scottish Squash

Georgia Adderley was born and raised in Edinburgh, and she made her name in the Scottish squash history back in 2017, when she became the first Scot to win the British Junior title for 22 years. She had an impressive success on the senior tour in 2021, winning four titles and breaking into the top 60 worldwide rankings. The 23-year-old debuted at Birmingham's Commonwealth Games in 2022. In the Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles, she placed fifth, while in the Women's Singles, she placed ninth.

Alongside her success at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, she also reached the Bermuda Open final in May, the Karachi Open semi-final in Pakistan, and her second Scottish National Title in June the same year. Georgia will be taking part within this year’s British Open in Birmingham on June 2nd - 9th, alongside side Greg Lobban who both have become the 2024 Scottish National Champions (its Greg’s fourth National title and third for Georgia).

Overview of Heriot-Watt University Squash Scholarship

Heriot-Watt University's Men's 1st Team Squash Scholarships made history.

The 2023/24 season has been a historic year for Heriot-Watt University's Squash Scholarship Programme, with unprecedented achievements and milestones.

The goal of the Heriot-Watt University Sport Scholarships is to give student athletes access to a high-performance training environment as part of their regular programme. It is provided in collaboration with Oriam, Heriot-Watt University, and the Heriot-Watt University Sports Union. By providing top-up support, these scholarships serve as an all-inclusive means of enabling athletes to excel in their chosen sports and academic pursuits while attending Heriot-Watt University. At Heriot-Watt University, applicants for undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, regardless of their country of origin or length of study, are eligible to apply and be shortlisted for a sport scholarship.

Squash Scholarship

Squash Scholars will be required to meet the selection criteria every year, with sport performance, academic performance, and commitment to the programme vital for reselection each year, and they will receive a 40% tuition fee reduction. The criteria will vary between sports and will be at the discretion of each Head Coach in place to oversee the sport programme and includes:

  • Postgraduate applicant
  • Women’s – WR < 250
  • Men’s – WR < 400

Undergraduate applicant:

  • Member of performance squad
  • Open application with references & video evidence of current level

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