India sends in World number 19 and country’s youngest national champion Joshna Chinappa; and World number 49 and India number 2 Mahesh Mangoankar
The 2015 Australian Open Squash Championships will be hosted by Squash & Racquetball Victoria at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, Albert Park between 3 and 9 August.
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) 25 event has $25,000 as prize money for both men’s and women’s Open events up for grabs.
If the quality of entries can be used as a guide, the return of the Australian Open Squash tournament to the national calendar this year can already be considered an enormous success. The women’s draw has attracted 12 players ranked in the top 50 in the world, headed by Hong Kong’s Annie Au, New Zealand’s Joelle King and Australia’s own Rachael Grinham and India’s no 2 and recent Commonwealth Doubles Gold medallist Joshna Chinappa.
The men’s draw will be headed by Australia’s Cameron Pilley, with players from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan and India snapping at his heels.
Ever since winning the senior Indian National squash championship in 2004, making her the youngest ever women’s national champion, Joshna has been at the forefront of India’s charge in the world of women’s squash. Joshna had some massive highs in 2014 especially when she teamed up with Dipika Pallikal to claim gold in the doubles at the Commonwealth Games and also attained a career high ranking of 19.
In the men’s event, Indian fans will be hoping Mahesh Mangoankar, India’s no 2 and world ranked no 49, can progress through the tournament to the finals. Mahesh was a member of the Indian men’s team that won gold at the 2014 Asian Games.
Squash & Racquetball Victoria Executive Director Fiona Young said the quality of entries for this year’s Australian Open is outstanding.
“To have 18 players ranked in the world top 50 is fantastic and we are keen to show the sporting public how good squash can be live. The all-glass court is a great showcase for the sport and we are hoping for sell-out crowds for the finals. Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australian, so come on Victorians let’s prove it,” she said.
Schedule of Play:
Monday 3 Aug – Qualifying Rd 1 from 12.00 noon (Free entry)
Tuesday 4 Aug – Qualifying Rd 2 from 12.00 noon (Free entry)
Wednesday 5 Aug – Main draw Rd 1 from 1.30 pm (Free entry)
Thursday 6 Aug – Main draw Rd 2 from 4.30 pm (Free entry)
Friday 7 Aug – Quarter-final Sessions commence from 1.00 pm (Sessions comprise two matches – one Women’s, one Men’s and Tickets are required)
Saturday 8 Aug – Semi-final Sessions commence from 2.00 pm (Sessions comprise two matches – one Women’s, one Men’s and Tickets are required)
Sunday 9 Aug – Final Session commences at 3.00 pm (Session comprise two finals – Women’s and Men’s and Tickets are required)
The final will also be webcast live from 3.00pm on Sunday 9 August.
The Aus Open week will include plenty of activities besides the Open action.
Sunday 2 August – final of the Victorian Open and official launch for the Australian Open
Monday 3 August – Sponsor afternoon.
Bronze level sponsorship includes an hour on court to be put through your paces by some of the top players – coaching, tips or just a good workout! Contact the S&RV office if you’d like to be involved. Bronze sponsorship also includes a final ticket.
Tuesday 4 August – OzSquash Day.
A chance for participants in our Primary School clinic program to meet the players and have a hit on court.
Wednesday 5 August – State Grade Pennant Finals Night. Watch the professionals and then support your local teams in the Grand Final play-offs.
Thursday 6 August – Secondary School Squash Comp State Finals.
Saturday 8 August – Squash Australia Annual Awards Dinner.
To be held at the prestigious Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, this is a 3 course dinner with awards, interviews with players past and present, memorabilia auction and lucky door prizes.
Sunday 9 August – Timed Squash Graded Event.
Open to local players of all abilities. There will be 5 grades (based on matrix rankings) with 12 places available in each. Entries now open. This event will run from 11am – 2pm and does not include a ticket to the final.