Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – Defending Motor City Open champion Ryan Cuskelly faces stiff competition as he tries to defend his crown January 30-February 4 at the Birmingham Athletic Club.
Australian Cuskelly will be seeded fifth as top seed and World #5 Marwan Elshorbagy of Egypt leads 10 of the of the planet’s Top 25 into battle as the Motor City Squash and Education Foundation hosts the 2018 Open presented by the Suburban Collection.
Rounding out the Top 5 seeds are #2 seed and World #11 Paul Coll of New Zealand, #3 seed Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar (World #9), and World #10 Diego Elias of Peru – seeded fourth.
An MCO veteran, Cuskelly capitalized last year on a rash of upsets to win his first Motor City title in nine tries. He defeated 2016 defending champ Ali Farag of Egypt (now World #3) in the final. Farag will not return this year while Cuskelly comes in as World #15 after a solid 2017.
Hungry for his title is five-seed Elias who has been rocketing up the rankings. The Peruvian – at just 21, one of the sport’s hottest young stars – put on a great show here last year as the World #23 when he upset Elshorbaby in the quarterfinals. He enters the MCO this year ranked #10 in the world.
Another to watch is second-seed Coll, whose athletic game has catapulted him to world prominence at the age of 26. Last year he was the first New Zealander in over 20 years to crack the Top Ten.
Motor City Open qualifying rounds start Tuesday, January 30, with one of Michigan’s young talents, Ned Mylod, making his first MCO appearance against England’s Nathan Lake. The Main Draw’s First Round is set for Thursday, February 1 and the singles finals concluding the tourney at 4.30 PM Sunday, February4.
The $70,000-purse MCO is the fourth largest professional squash tournament in the US and the second-longest running. The champion will take home nearly $12,000 and a Longines watch from Greenstone’s Jewelers.
The Junior Clinic is a signature event of the MCO with tourney pros playing with and coaching junior squash players from the greater-Detroit area and Windsor on Saturday, Feb. 3. Juniors enrolled in Racquet Up Detroit, a youth development program that combines squash, mentoring, tutoring and community service, will also participate in this year’s Junior Clinic.
Qualification Draw, First Round: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Qualification Draw, Second Round: Wednesday, Jan. 31, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
First Round, Main Draw: Thursday, Feb. 1, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Quarter Finals, Main Draw: Friday, Feb 2, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Semi-Finals, Main Draw: Saturday, Feb. 3, 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Finals, Main Draw: Sunday, Feb. 4, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Birmingham Athletic Club
4033 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI
FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION CONTACT: Julian Wellings, MCO Squash Director, 248.646.5050, email@example.com