England Squash & Racketball (ESR) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) confirmed today that the historic Allam British Open Squash Championships will form part of the PSA World Series in 2012.
The British Open returns to London at the iconic O2 arena from 14-20 May 2012.
The PSA World Series Platinum championship boasts a prize fund of US$150,000 and will become one of the richest international events of the year.
[quote] Nick Rider, CEO England Squash & Racketball, commented: “We are delighted that the Allam British Open will form part of the 2012 PSA World Series. One of the most historic championships in the game, the British Open remains arguably the most prestigious tournament in the world.
“In the absence of Olympic inclusion in 2012, the British Open at an Olympic venue will be a fitting replacement and an opportunity for the world’s top squash players to showcase the sport on its biggest platform to date.”
PSA CEO Alex Gough added: “Winning the British Open is the dream of every squash player in the world, so we are delighted that this illustrious event is not only back on the calendar, but being staged as a PSA World Series event in England’s great capital city.”[/quote]
The British Open is one of the world’s most prestigious and longest-established squash championships, with a rich history back to the early 1920s. Widely revered as the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’, the British Open is one of the most sought-after titles by players from all over the world.
Past champions include the illustrious Pakistani Jahangir Khan (winner of a record 10 titles from 1982-1991), Australia’s Geoff Hunt (8 titles between 1969 and 1981), Jansher Khan (6 titles from 1992-1997) and Britain’s most successful champion Jonah Barrington (6 titles from 1967-1973).
Contesting the 2012 title will be Englishman James Willstrop, the reigning world number one who reached the final in 2005, 2008 and 2009 and challenged by England’s current world number two Nick Matthew (champion in 2006 & 2009) and France’s 2007 Champion Gregory Gaultier.
The women’s event also boasts a number of notable champions, none more so than Australian Heather McKay, who won a record 16 titles from 1962-1977, and England’s Jenny Duncalf (World number 2) and Laura Massaro (world number 4) will be aiming to keep the title on home soil.