American Amanda Sobhy is aiming to go one better than her performance last year and win the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tournament of Champions (TOC) which is due to open at Grand Central Terminal in New York City tomorrow.
The world number six and top-ranked home hope is due to open against Australia’s world number 19 Donna Urquhart.
She has targeted raising the popularity of the sport in the host nation.
“Short term, I would love to win the Tournament of Champions,” she said.
“Long term, I want to be number one and become the world champion.
“Ultimately my goal is to grow the sport in the US.
“I want squash to have the same exposure like baseball, hockey and football.
“My job is to perform and get to top and let people know about squash.”
Sobhy will have her work cut-out if she is to achieve her objective considering the presence of Egypt’s world number one and defending champion Nour El-Sherbini.
El-Sherbini is due to open her tournament against Hong Kong’s world number 18 Joey Chan on Saturday (January 14).
Sixth seed Nicol David of Malaysia, the 2014 champion, is another contender but will face a tough first match against England’s Jenny Duncalf.
Three-time Commonwealth Games champion Natalie Grinham of Australia will open against Joelle King of New Zealand in what she has said will be her final tournament before retirement.
Egypt’s also boast the top seed in the men’s competition in Mohamed Elshorbagy.
The two-time defending champion is scheduled to play his first round match tomorrow against a qualifier.
The 24 top-ranked men’s and women’s players are due to compete in an event set to run until January 19.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.