Pakistan squash legend expects British Open breakthrough
A new era could emerge at this year's British Open, predicts legendary Pakistan squash player Jahangir Khan, who won the world's oldest tournament a record ten times.
Jahangir believes the new wave of players could break through at the tournament in the Airco Arena starting Monday.
"There were a lot of upsets in the World Open last year (in November) and we weren't expecting them," said 52-yearold Jahangir.
"I think a new era is quite near. There could be a lot of upsets at the British Open too."
Jahangir identified three Egyptians as possible challengers - Ali Farag, a 23-yearold Harvard graduate, Karim Gawad, 24, and Omar Mosaad, a steadily improving 28-yearold.
Farag beat three top ten players on the way to the Detroit title in January, Gawad rose to a career-high world number seven after capturing the Swedish Open the following month, and Mosaad is at world number four after reaching the World Open final.
"They are good talents coming up," Jahangir said.
"They all know what the guys at the top of the rankings have to struggle with. And they are younger than the others and hungrier."
A spectacular exception to this is Gregory Gaultier, the Frenchman who has become world champion for the first time at the age of 32, belatedly achieving what many thought was past him.
Gaultier expects to return to competition next week after nine weeks out with a ruptured ankle, as he bids for a third British Open title.
Whether Gaultier achieves this may depend on how well he understands his body and mind after such an absence, and perhaps also on how well Mohamed El Shorbagy, his conqueror in five games in last year's final, handles the pressure of a title defence.