Hania El Hammamy
The first player on our Ones to Watch list for 2020 is the only member to feature in the top 10 of the World Rankings. Hania El Hammamy sits at World No.10, her highest career ranking, despite having only just turned 19 years of age in September.
The young Egyptian has been a figure in the top 50 since June 2016, when she was just 15-years-old, and has consistently risen up the ranks to now sit inside the top ten.
El Hammamy lifted two titles in 2019, winning the Edinburgh Sports Club Open and the Bahl and Gaynor Cincinnati Cup in back-to-back weeks in February, with the latter being her biggest win to date.
She has broken through at the majors recently, reaching three semi-finals in her last four events. The teenager made the last four at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open and the Open de France – Nantes 2019 presented by Tailor Capital, before then becoming a World Championship semi-finalist in Giza in October.
El Hammamy will be looking to keep her major form going at Grand Central Terminal in early January, as she competes at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.
The second Egyptian on the list, and the second star to have been born in the 21st Century, Rowan Elaraby currently sits at World No.21, having previously broke into the world’s top 20 earlier this year.
The teenager has been inside the top 50 since before her 17th birthday, and although she has not tasted title success over the last twelve months, Elaraby has found form in some of the major tournaments.
The 19-year-old made the last 16 of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open in March, before reaching her first ever Platinum quarter final at the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, where she was defeated by Nour El Tayeb.
Elaraby will be a consistent figure in the American run on the PSA World Tour to start 2020, with entries into the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Bahl and Gaynor Cincinnati Cup and the Walter Family Windy City Open.
Mostafa Asal (right) takes on Zahed Salem (left) in the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship
Unsurprisingly, the first man on our list is Egypt’s Mostafa Asal, who is into the top 20 in the World Rankings for the first time in his career, despite having only been born in 2001.
Despite having only turned professional less than 24 months ago, Asal has surged up the rankings, flying up from outside the top 500 to inside the top 20 in that space of time, thanks to some solid performances in the major tournaments.
The young Egyptian won the CAS International Squash Championship in Pakistan at the start of the year, and also reached the semi-finals of the Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open. In the majors, he reached the last 16 at the Egyptian Open, Oracle NetSuite Open and the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open to start the 2019-2020 campaign off.
Asal is preparing to feature in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York at the start of 2020, as he aims to reach a quarter-final in a major tournament for the first time in his career.
Youssef Ibrahim in action
Into the top 50 for the first time in his short career is Youssef Ibrahim, who now currently stands at World No.42, his best ever position in the PSA World Rankings.
The Egyptian, who is currently studying at Princeton University in the United States, had risen from outside the top 125 in the past 12 months, thanks to winning two events, both of which were World Championship qualifiers.
Ibrahim took the title at the E.M. Noll Classic to qualify for the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family in Chicago, where he made the second round. He then qualified for the PSA Men’s World Championship 2019-2020 after winning the Growthpoint S.A. Open in the summer, and he went on to achieve a second round result in Qatar in November.
The Egyptian will return to the E.M. Noll Classic to defend the title he won earlier this year, as his only entry into a tournament on the PSA World Tour at the start of 2020.