KARACHI: The Pakistan duo of Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman will appear in the qualifying round of the $150,000 JP Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) from November 7-14 in New York, US.
Zaman, who recently won the DG Rangers National Squash Championship, will face New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the first qualifying match and Nasir Iqbal will take on Guyana’s Sunny Seth for a place in final qualifying round.
Nasir — currently ranked 36th — can inch closer to his goal of breaking into the top 30 by gaining significant points from the event while Zaman, who is languishing at 68th, could jump several places by doing well in the qualifying phase.
Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Amir Nawaz said that it would be vital experience for both players and they can get important points out of it.
“Both are in good form and I’m hoping that they will do well in the JP Morgan competition,” Nawaz told The Express Tribune. “It won’t be easy though, as all the top players of the world are participating.”
For the first time in the ToC’s history, equal prize money and equal size draws will be offered to both men and women alike.
A record 46 of the top 50 ranking players have confirmed their entries and a record 112 athletes will compete.
The athletes hail from a record-setting 25 nations and six continents, with an exciting mix of several returning ToC titleholders and younger players who have been challenging those at the top in every major tournament so far this season.
Defending champions Mohamed Elshorbagy and Raneem El Welily of Egypt will be the top seeds in the men’s and women’s draws respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2016.