Squash Australia has unveiled an expanded 2011 Australian Squash Tour, featuring 14 Professional Squash Association (PSA) and/or Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA) tournaments in every state and territory over a four-month period.
The tour starts with the ACT Open in Canberra in late March and culminates back in the national capital with the Australian Open from August 8-14.
The Australian Squash Tour has been building every year since 2007, with the number of tournaments increasing along with the amounts of prize money on offer.
This has allowed the country’s younger players to compete for valuable ranking points without having to go overseas, as they often had to in the past.
Squash Australia CEO Gary O’Donnell said the growth of the tour highlighted the resurgence of the sport across the country. “Each year we have had more and more interest from people wanting to host stops on the tour,” he said.
“We are delighted that the tour will now take in so many different towns and cities as it gives all our locally-based players, particularly the younger ones, the chance to take part in top quality events.
“We are also pleased to welcome Brisbane back to the tour – it’s important that Australia’s third largest city is host to a professional tournament.”
Brisbane is home to two tournaments in 2011, the men’s Hibiscus Gardens Open in early April and the Queensland Open in July.
Another highlight will be South Australian Squash Week, which will be held from the start of the Millicent Open on June 10 to the end of the Maxwell Wines South Australian Open on June 19 – and will feature a range of promotional events including a Celebrity Pro-Am.
The Australian Open will once again be held on the all-glass court at Canberra’s Royal Theatre and will attract the best players in the world to Australia.
There will also be three tournaments after the Australian Open, with the men’s and women’s events to be played at Coffs Harbour, Mackay and Caboolture later in the year.
PSA CEO Alex Gough said Squash Australia are to be congratulated on their initiatives to grow the number of events in the 2011 Australian Squash Tour. “This steady increase of events over the past years will definitely help the young up-and-coming men and women players, and can only be of benefit in getting more Australian players back in the top levels of the rankings.
“Last year’s Australian Open was a great advert for the game at the highest level and no doubt the 2011 event will be even better,” added Gough.
WISPA Tour Director Tim Garner added: “This tour will be an important stepping stone for many young aspiring pro players, and is a blueprint that hopefully many other nations will follow. We are delighted to see the work that has gone into building this solid base for Australian squash, with the Australian Open sitting proudly at its pinnacle.”
2011 Australian Squash Tour
March 25-27 ACT Open, Canberra
April 1-3 Hibiscus Gardens Open (Men), Brisbane
April 8-10 Westerfolds JDP (Women), Melbourne
May 5-8 Top End Open, Darwin
May 13-15 Alice Springs Open, Alice Springs
May 27-29 City of Perth International, Perth
June 3-5 Golden Open, Kalgoorlie, WA
June 10-12 Millicent Open, Millicent, SA
June 16-19 Maxwell Wines South Australian Open, Adelaide
July 7-10 Victoria Open, Melbourne
July 15-17 Tasmanian Open, Hobart
July 22-24 Queensland Open, Brisbane
July 29-31 NSW Open, Sydney
August 8-14 Australian Open, Canberra