The ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals will take place next month when the showpiece tournament brings the curtain down on the 2017/18 season between June 5-9 at Dubai's Emirates Golf Club.
Following on from last year’s event, which was held at Dubai Opera, the World Series Finals is one of the most highly-anticipated tournaments on the PSA World Tour and will see the world’s top eight men and women battle for a share of the lucrative $160,000 prize fund.
Only the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road to Dubai Standings qualified for a coveted berth in Dubai, with points up for grabs at all eight World Series tournaments throughout the season.
Those eight players make up two groups of four in their respective sexes, with a round-robin format determining the semi-finalists. Each player will play three matches, and the two players with the most points in each group will advance to the latter stages.
The scoring system is slightly different to a normal PSA World Tour event. A best-of-three format is adopted up until the semi-finals and final, which will be played in a best-of-five format as used in all other PSA World Tour events.
After both groups are decided, the tournament then becomes a straight knock-out as the battle for the title intensifies.
The World Series Finals began life in Zurich, Switzerland back in 1993 as the legendary Pakistani player Jansher Khan toppled Chris Dittmar to win the first of his four titles – all of which came in the first five instalments of the event.
The tournament moved to England in 1996 and would stay there for 17 editions, with Hatfield, London and Manchester all playing host to the world’s greatest players.
Del Harris remains the only English winner after prevailing on home soil against Brett Martin in the 1996 final, while the likes of Scotland’s Peter Nicol (3), Canada’s Jonathon Power (2), Australians David Palmer Anthony Ricketts, and Frenchman Thierry Lincou all got their hands on the trophy over the next ten years.
In the last decade, Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour has triumphed twice, while his compatriot, the iconic Amr Shabana, has also had his name etched into the trophy on two occasions.
Shabana also made it to the final of the 2010/11 instalment, but the final was subsequently cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which meant that the court, staged in an inflatable arena, was deemed unsafe.
A women’s tournament began in 2012 and saw Malaysian superstar Nicol David take the first two titles, beating Madeline Perry and Laura Massaro in successive finals.
2016 saw Dubai become only the second city outside of Europe to hold the prestigious World Series Finals, with the tournament being staged at the Vitis Club in Zurich (1993-1994), the Galleria in Hatfield (1996-1999), Broadgate Arena in London (1999-2006), the National Squash Centre in Manchester (2007-2008), and Queen’s Club in London (2009-2013).
Last year saw the tournament held at Dubai Opera – the first ever sporting event to be held there – when Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and England’s Laura Massaro claimed victory to end their seasons on a high.
Taking part in this year’s event in the Men’s category are: Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY), Ali Farag (EGY), Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY), Simon Rösner (GER), Tarek Momen (EGY), Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL), Gregory Gaultier (FRA) and Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY).
In the women’s event, the competitors are: Nour El Sherbini (EGY), Raneem El Welily (EGY), Nour El Tayeb (EGY), Laura Massaro (ENG), Joelle King (NZL), Camille Serme (FRA), Nouran Gohar (EGY) and Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG).
Previous Winners – Men
2017 – Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2016 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2013 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2012 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2011 – Amr Shabana (EGY)
2010 – Nick Matthew (ENG)/ Amr Shabana (EGY) – Final not played
2009 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2008 – Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2007 – Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2006 – Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
2005 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2004 – Thierry Lincou (FRA)
2003 – Jonathon Power (CAN)
2002 – David Palmer (AUS)
2001 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
2000 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1999 – Peter Nicol (SCO)
1998 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1997 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1996 – Del Harris (ENG)
1995 – No competition
1994 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
1993 – Jansher Khan (PAK)
Previous Winners – Women
2017 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2016 – Laura Massaro (ENG)
2012 – Nicol David (MAS)
2011 – Nicol David (MAS)