World’s Best Squash Stars Confirmed for World Open in Rotterdam

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A star-studded cast featuring the world’s best players will line up in the World Open Squash 2011, the richest ever event in world squash which will take place in Rotterdam, from 28 October to 6 November.

England’s world number one Nick Matthew will be hoping to become the first man for 15 years to retain the sport’s most prized title, while Malaysian superstar Nicol David, also ranked one in the world, will be aiming to become the first to win the women’s trophy for a sixth time. Former world champions Ramy AshourAmr ShabanaDavid PalmerThierry Lincou and Rachael Grinham — all of whom are also former world number ones — are also among the entrants for the biggest squash championship ever.

Dutch interest in the world’s premier event, which features the 112 best men and 72 best women in the world, is led by national champions Laurens Jan Anjema and Natalie Grinham, who are seeded to reach the last 16 of the most important squash event of the year. Anjema, 28 years old from the Hague, celebrated a fine start to the new squash season by reaching the quarter finals of the prestigious Australian Open as an unseeded player, before only narrowly losing out in the final of the Colombian Open, and will be looking to surpass his seeding.

Anjema’s compatriot Grinham, from Almere, has already reached the final of the World Open four times, in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009, was ranked number two in the world for 30 months between 2007 and 2010, and is considered to be one of the biggest challengers to hot favourite David despite her current low ranking of 13. The 33-year old two-time European Champion returned to competitive action a year ago after giving birth to son Kieran and is looking for the highly-sought-after World Open title that has so far eluded her.

The two notable absentees on the entry lists are Dutch legend and former World Champion Vanessa Atkinson, still ranked number ten in the world despite retiring from professional squash over four months ago, and America’s Amanda Sobhy, the 2010 Junior World Champion who is ranked world number 20 in the world but has just started her first year at Harvard University.

The draw for the World Open Squash 2011 — which offers a total prize fund of US$ 418,000, a record in squash — will be made in Rotterdam on Monday 10th October at a special press conference featuring Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, and representatives of the governing bodies PSA and WISPA.

The first six days (28th Oct to 2nd Nov) of the most prestigious squash championship on the PSA and WISPA World Tours will take place at the renowned Victoria Squash club in Rotterdam, the final stages (3rd to 6th Nov) will be played on a full ASB Glass Court which will be erected on the podium of the spectacular New Luxor Theatre in the Dutch City of Sports.

More information can be found on the official tournament site http://www.worldopensquash2011.com.

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