Cayman Islands Go Gold For WISPA

An increase in the prize fund has led to the 2010 Women’s Cayman Islands Squash Open going Gold, according to an announcement today by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association.

The $55,300 WISPA World Tour event – the third Gold event of the year, from 11-17 April – will be staged for the first time on an all-glass court erected at Camana Bay, a 500-acre shopping, entertainment, office and residential complex stretching from the Caribbean sea to the North Sound in Grand Cayman.

Launched in 2009, the Cayman Islands Open has again attracted the world’s top players, led by Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David, with Natalie Grainger, in-form Jenny Duncalf, and contenders Rachael Grinham and Alison Waters all in the mix. Grainger will be making her return to the WISPA Tour in Grand Cayman after a seven-month layoff with a foot injury.

Indeed, the draw predicts a quarter-final meeting between David and Grainger – a repeat of last year’s final, won by the Malaysian!

Meanwhile, Cayman number one Marlene West, the main draw wild card, faces the daunting prospect of meeting 2007 world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.

Tournament Director Dan Kneipp is delighted to be welcoming back the sport’s top women: “The Cayman Islands National Squash Association is extremely excited to host the world’s best players to our Caribbean Island.

“We are very pleased to be able to increase our WISPA World Tour championship to the Gold level. Cayman has never seen a pro tournament played on a glass show court, so we know that there will be a lot of enthusiasm and public interest as this is set up on the waterfront at Camana Bay.

“Having eight of the world’s top 10 squash players is creating an enormous buzz in Cayman as we prepare to watch the world’s best competing for our international title.

“The WISPA pros were a huge asset to our junior squash last year, helping hundreds of kids experience the sport for the first time,” Kneipp added. “We again have 14 schools that will be doing workshops and watching the pro matches and we expect this to be an invaluable tool in helping us get more Caymanian juniors into squash.

“The Cayman Islands National Squash Association also sees this as an incredible experience for our Commonwealth Games team as we prepare for Delhi 2010. For a young, amateur team to be playing alongside the world’s best professional will only add to our team’s experience and ability to compete at an international level.

“We welcome the world’s best players and the international squash media to the Cayman Islands in April.”

WISPA CEO Andrew Shelley added: “It is always very satisfying to see an event build, and that is certainly the case with the Cayman Islands Open. The debut last year was memorable for being awash with local school children trying squash at the South Sound Squash Club every day.

“This year juniors will doubtless be a major feature again, but bringing in a glass show court too in the superb outside setting of Camana Bay will be yet another great step forward in raising the profile of squash on the Island and pushing the delights of the Cayman Islands to squash enthusiasts worldwide.”

An all-glass court to be erected at Camana Bay

1st round draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier

[6] Natalie Grainger (USA) v Qualifier

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Marlene West (CAY)

[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA)

UP NEXT: Punj Lloyd Squash Masters 2010

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The largest ever corporate initiative to promote Squash in India

The Punj Lloyd Squash Masters 2010 is hailed to be India’s largest ever corporate initiative to develop and promote the sport of squash at the grassroot level in India. It comprises of a series of squash championships to be held across various age groups throughout India and will culminate in the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters and Punj Lloyd WISPA Silver Tour event.

Besides the US$ 192,500 Punj Lloyd PSA Masters for the top 32 international male players and the US$ 36,500 WISPA Silver Tour event for the top 16 international women players, Punj Lloyd Squash Masters 2010 will include a series of promotional squash tournaments namely Punj Lloyd Defence Services Challenge for all the armed forces and their training establishments, Punj Lloyd All India Inter-School and Punj Lloyd All India Inter-University Championships as well as the Punj Lloyd Corporate-Club Challenge.

Speaking on the occasion, Atul Punj, Chairman, Punj Lloyd Group, said, “The success of Punj Lloyd PSA Masters 2009, convinced me that with the right support, squash could gain mass popularity, which is why Punj Lloyd will ramp up its involvement in squash to now include tournaments at School and University levels besides those for the Defence forces and Corporates. Year 2010 will be truly memorable for squash and for India, which will see a grand finale of the buildup squash tournaments with two international series – the WISPA and Punj Lloyd PSA Masters 2010,” he further added.

India’s own Saurav Ghosal (World no. 22) and Dipika Pallikal (World no. 29), both of whom are sponsored by Punj Lloyd, and Jyoshna Chinnappa (World no. 36), will be the torch bearers for India at the Punj Lloyd Squash Masters.

Speaking on the occasion Saurav Ghoshal said, “With initiatives like Punj Lloyd Squash Masters, the younger generation from schools and universities will get an opportunity to play Squash at a national level. I am glad that Punj Lloyd has adopted a hands-on approach to develop the sport at grassroot levels. It is always a pleasure to play on home ground and with Punj Lloyd PSA Masters being held in Delhi this year, there is added excitement!”

Promotional tournaments has been played between the months of August and November, in an individual and team format, across New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, while the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters and Punj Lloyd WISPA Silver Tour event will be played in New Delhi starting from the 12th to the 19th of December 2010. The winners from each of the promotional tournaments will play in a pre-event of the PSA Masters and the WISPA in Delhi. Winners will also participate in the squash clinics of some of the leading players in the world and will get one- on-one instructions to better their game.

For more information, please go to www.punjlloydsquashmasters.com

SquashStars.com will be following the women’s event which starts on the 16th of December. Check for our latest updates here.
Name Country Current World Ranking
Jenny Duncalf ENG 2
Kasey Brown AUS 7
Vanessa Atkinson NED 8
Camille Serme FRA 10
Jaclyn Hawkes NZL 12
Annie Au HKG 14
Low Wee Wern MAS 15
Engy Kheirallah EGY 20
Delia Arnold MAS 22
Dipika Pallikal IND 29
Joey Chan HKG 31
Joshna Chinappa IND 36

Tickets can be purchased here!