The tournament gets under way on Friday in New York with three-time winner and world champion Ramy Ashour having withdrawn due to a knee injury.

Ashour - winner in 2008, 2011 and 2013 - returned from injury to clinch the world title in Qatar last year but has again fallen victim to fitness concerns and will not compete in the tournament, which takes place in New York's Grand Central Terminal.

England's James Willstrop, winner in 2010 against Ashour, has also been ruled out after failing to recover sufficiently from a hip operation in September.

"Like all squash fans, I am saddened that Ramy will not have the opportunity to go for his fourth career ToC title this year, but I am excited about the depth and strength of the men"s draw and have no doubt ToC '15 will be tremendous," explained tournament chairman and director John Nimick.

"We look forward to seeing Ramy Ashour on court again in Grand Central Terminal next year.

"James is a great friend of the tournament and of our charities StreetSquash and CitySquash.

"Perhaps one of the younger players will make his big breakthrough here, just as James did when he was 19-years-old and defeated several top-seeded players to establish himself as a contender."

With Ashour out of action, Gaultier has a stronger chance of recording his second win at the competition after losing out in the final over the last two years.

The Frenchman is seeded second for the event behind Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy, who will get his campaign under way against American Todd Harrity.

England's third seed Nick Matthew faces compatriot Daryl Selby in his opener while Egypt's Amr Shabana takes on Finnish opponent Olli Tuominen.

Another Englishman Adrian Waller and France's Gregoire Marche will hope to make the most of their late inclusions, having been included in the first PSA event of the year due to the withdrawals of Ashour and Willstrop.