Chennai Open to be upgraded

CHENNAI: WISPA, the World Women’s Squash Association, which runs the professional circuit, has decided to upgrade the Chennai Open here, to be held from March 2 to 7, to a gold-level tournament.

In an exciting Asian development, the Women’s Chennai Open in its second year has become a $53,500 tournament that will be organised at the Indian Squash Academy courts here under the auspices of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI). Any event which offers prize money above $45,000 comes under the Gold category and this will be the richest women’s squash event to be held in the country.

With New Delhi hosting the Asian Squash Championships in April, followed by the Commonwealth Games in October apart from other squash Tour events planned, India will become a regular stop for a number of leading players this year.

Welcoming the event, WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley said: “It is great for our Tour that we are able to take the lead in this SRFI initiative. And with the Gold level CIMB KL Open in Malaysia later in March, this Asian event cluster will be the centrepiece on our growing Tour. The Chennai Open is sure to receive a top draw entry, and indeed World No. 1 Nicol David, from Malaysia, is already a confirmed entry,” he added.

The WISPA event leads a festival that also features a $25,000 PSA event and will be immediately followed by the Chennai Open doubles from March 8 to 11, boasting a $15,000 prize fund. — Special Correspondent

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