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Defending Windy City Open champions Raneem El Welily (left) and Gregory Gaultier (right)

Windy City Open: A Look Back at the Tournament’s History

The Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company will feature the world’s greatest players at the University Club of Chicago between February 22 – 28.

The World Series tournament acts as the fifth stage on the PSA World Series Standings and will see the top men’s and women’s players in the world battle it out for crucial points for the PSA World Series Standings – where a top eight finish will be rewarded with qualification for the lucrative, season-ending World Series Finals.

This year’s edition of the Windy City Open will become the most lucrative PSA World Series tournament ever, with $500k of prize money be split equally across both the men’s and women’s draws.

The Windy City Open made its debut back in 1982 under a hardball format, with United States player Mark Talbott taking inaugural title on home soil.

Talbott added the next 11 Windy City Open titles to his tally, before a change of format – to the widely recognised softball format in which today’s players play under – brought about a new winner as Canadian Gary Waite dispatched Australia’s Byron Davis in the 1994 final.

The Windy City Open made its home at the prestigious University Club of Chicago in 2001, with Frenchman Thierry Lincou defeating John Williams to take the crown.

A glut of World Champions got their hands on the trophy over the next few years, with Nick Matthew, David Palmer, Amr Shabana and Gregory Gaultier all earning their places in the record books.

Matthew, a two-time winner in 2004 and 2015, made history with his second title win in Chicago, with his victory over then-World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy seeing him become the oldest ever winner of a World Series event at the age of 34, surpassing the legendary Shabana.

A women’s event was added to the calendar in 2008, with home hope Latasha Khan falling to Mexico’s Samantha Teran in the inaugural final, before the second women’s tournament threw up an all Indian finale as Joshna Chinappa defeated Dipika Pallikal Karthik three years later.

2014 saw the tournament awarded World Series status for the first time, with the ‘French General’ Gregory Gaultier defeating three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour to lift his maiden Windy City Open crown.

The women’s event, meanwhile, became an annual tournament that same year, with England’s Laura Massaro seeing off Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in a five-game thriller, although El Welily made amends the following year by beating Malaysian superstar Nicol David to capture her first World Series title.

The 2015 instalment of the Windy City Open – which took place shortly after the historic merger between the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Women’s Squash Association (WSA) – saw it become the second World Series tournament to offer equal prize money across both the men’s and women’s game, cementing the event’s status as one of the most pioneering tournaments on the PSA World Tour calendar, with Matthew and El Welily lifted the men’s and women’s titles, respectively.

At last year’s tournament, El Welily continued to show her dominance in Chicago as she claimed her third successive Windy City Open crown to add to her 2015 and 2016 triumphs, seeing off compatriot and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini for the second year running in the final.

Meanwhile, Gregory Gaultier claimed the men’s title as he defeated Marwan ElShorbagy – who was competing in his first ever World Series tournament final – by a 5-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 scoreline to capture the 13th World Series title of his glittering career.

The Windy City Open will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) between February 22-28 – sign up to a monthly subscription for just $9.99 using the promo code $9.99*

Previous Winners – Men
2017 Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2016 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2015 Nick Matthew (ENG)
2014 Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
2013 Borja Golan (ESP)
2012 Saurav Ghosal (IND)
2011 Oliver Pett (ENG)
2010 No competition
2009 No competition
2008 No competition
2007 Amr Shabana (EGY)
2006 David Palmer (AUS)
2005 John White (SCO)
2004 Nick Matthew (ENG)
2003 Paul Price (AUS)
2002 Nick Taylor (ENG)
2001 Thierry Lincou (FRA)
2000 No competition
1999 Stephen Meads (ENG)
1998 Marcus Berrett (ITA)
1997 No competition
1996 No competition
1995 Mark Chaloner (ENG)
1994 Gary Waite (USA)
1993 Mark Talbott (USA)
1992 Mark Talbott (USA)
1991 Mark Talbott (USA)
1990 Mark Talbott (USA)
1989 Mark Talbott (USA)
1988 Mark Talbott (USA)
1987 Mark Talbott (USA)
1986 Mark Talbott (USA)
1985 Mark Talbott (USA)
1984 Mark Talbott (USA)
1983 Mark Talbott (USA)
1982 Mark Talbott (USA)

Previous Winners – Women
2017 Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2016 Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2015 Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2014 Laura Massaro (ENG)
2013 No competition
2012 No competition
2011 Joshna Chinappa (IND)
2010 No competition
2009 No competition
2008 Samantha Teran (MEX)

*Offer available to subscribers based outside of Europe only

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