Hosted by the Shanghai New District, the event is one of many in Asia that has seen an increase in prize money in recent months. It will take place from the 23-28th October, following on from the Macau Open Silver 25 and will see a host of the world’s top players battle it out for a total prize fund of $55,000. The upgrade adds to an already lucrative month on the WSA calendar as China and Macau join the US Open World Series Event and Monte Carlo Classic in October.
WSA World Tour Chairman and acting CEO Ingrid Lofdahl-Bentzer is delighted by the increased appreciation from the Far East. She said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce another tournament upgrade and it really emphasises the growth that the Tour is currently experiencing. We announced the elevation of the Nicol David KL Open Championships in Malaysia in early Spring, and we are thrilled to be able to do so again with the Lujiazui Finance City China Squash Open.
“It is hugely rewarding to host increasingly popular and successful events in this part of the world. The WSA World Tour has a very strong player base in Asia and it’s wonderful that we are starting to see some recognition for these players’ remarkable talents.”
The rise of the tournament to Gold 50 status is a further boost for the WSA and the squash community as a whole as the sport continues in its bid for a place in the 2020 Olympic Games. The recent success of players such as Annie Au (HK), Low Wee Wern (MAS) and Dipika Pallikal (IND), alongside the ever-present dominance of WSA World No1 Malaysian Nicol David, have helped raise the popularity of squash across markets in many Asian countries, including China, and will surely be seen as an encouraging sign for the World Squash Federation’s bid to the International Olympic Committee.