Diego Elías withdrew from the Houston Open with COVID-19 ©PSA

The Houston Open, the first Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour event of 2022, begins tomorrow and four of the world's seven top-ranked men's players are set to be in action.

It was due to be five, but COVID-19 forced Peruvian star Diego Elías to withdraw.

Elías had been in strong form in the second half of 2021, winning both the Manchester Open and Qatar Classic.

Instead of competing in Houston, Elías will be self-isolating in Peru.

The top four seeds in Texas will therefore all be Egyptian, with world number one Ali Farag one of them.

Ali Farag is the top seed for the Houston Open ©PSA
Ali Farag is the top seed for the Houston Open ©PSA

World numbers three, five and seven Mohamed ElShorbagy, Mostafa Asal and Marwan ElShorbagy are also playing, but the quartet - along with all other seeded players - have received a bye into he second round, so will not be in action tomorrow.

France's World Games silver medallist Gregoire Marche taking on American Shahjahan Khan is among the pick of the first-round matches, as is the all-Egyptian clash between Youssef Ibrahimi and Karim El Hammamy.

The men-only Houston Open is a PSA Gold event and will be played at Houston Squash Club.

The tournament is due to conclude on Sunday (January 9).