“The Tournament of Champions is one of the biggest and brightest tournaments on the PSA Tour calendar,” says Ashour. “I do wait for this tournament every year with excitement. I always feel comfortable and relaxed when I play in New York, perhaps because of the very knowledgeable and respectful crowd. It gives me the feeling that I am in the right place for squash.”
Ashour will be joined in the PSA Super Series Gold championship by three countrymen: 2007 titleholder Amr Shabana, the gifted and charismatic shot-maker who has held the No1 spot in the world rankings for the past 33 months; recent rising star Karim Darwish, who has risen to No2 in the world rankings, up from No8 one year ago; and eighth-ranked Wael El Hindi, a New York fan favourite. Gregory Gaultier of France and England’s James Willstrop round out the top five. 
“The JP Morgan Tournament of Champions reflects the global reach of squash with eight countries and four continents represented just among the top 16 players,” said John Nimick, tournament director and president of Squash Engine, Inc. It is expected that 20 countries will be represented in Grand Central’s only annual sports event as the 16 additional main draw entries and the 32 players vying for the eight qualifying spots are added to the draw. The US will be represented in the main draw by Julian Illingworth, the USA's best-ever international touring pro currently ranked 40 in the world, who will be given a wild card entry.
In addition to title sponsor JP Morgan, the Tournament of Champions’ Silver Sponsors are Lexington Partners, American Express, Frank Crystal & Co., Inc. and MarketAxess. Bronze sponsors supporting the world’s largest spectator squash event are Dunlop, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, New York Sports Clubs, The Campbell Apartment, The Columbia University Center for Shoulder, Elbow & Sports Medicine and Eastern Fabrications Motorcycles. The official tournament hotel is the Roosevelt Hotel and Executive Fliteways is the official jet charter company.
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Issued by iSPORTmedia

The world’s best squash players will once again transform Grand Central Terminal in New York into a spectacular sports arena when the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions gets underway from 23-29 January 2009. Headlining the list of squash stars who will be competing on the glittering four-walled glass court in Vanderbilt Hall will be defending champion Ramy Ashour, the 21-year-old Egyptian currently ranked three in the world rankings, who won the World Open title in September to add to his two Junior World Championships.