Squash and tennis join forces in the Netherlands later this month when the Double AR Rotterdam Open Squash 2013 and the HDI Gerling Rotterdam Open Tennis 2013 take place simultaneously at Rotterdam’s renowned multi-sporting club Victoria, which also hosted the combined men’s and women’s World Squash Championships in 2011.
The squash event, a PSA Challenger 15 championship, will start on Tuesday 27 August in the Dutch capital of sports and run through to Sunday 1st September. The ITF Futures tennis tournament kicks-off three days earlier (August 24th) and also ends on the first day of September.
The cooperation of the two high-profile sporting events in the Netherlands comes just before the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on which sport will join the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games.
Squash is in contention for the much desired available spot at the Olympics – and has been supported by many tennis legends, including Roger Federer, Andy Murray (pictured), Andre Agassi and Kim Clijsters, in its Squash 2020 campaign to become an Olympic sport. The highly-awaited decision will be made on September 8th during the IOC-congress in Buenos Aires with squash facing tough competition from wrestling and baseball/softball.
Alex Gough, CEO of the PSA, is very enthusiastic about the initiative of the two events joining forces: “It is great to be working with Tommy Berden again after he ran the men’s and women’s World Championships in Rotterdam in 2011. It was arguably the most successful and biggest squash event ever held and we are excited that he is helping to bring these two events together.
“Squash has had incredible support from the tennis stars, so having these two events side by side is another great piece of exposure for our sport.”
Deputy-director Hans Zoethoutmaar from Rotterdam Topsport is also delighted with the partnership: “When there are so many parallels between the two racket sports, you have to make the most of it as the host city. Both events have free admission, take place at a fantastic venue and have ambitious tournament directors that have run world class events before. That is what we like in our city.”
Spokesman Tommy Berden of the Double AR Rotterdam Open Squash 2013 added: “It is great to work with the tennis guys. We have adjusted the playing times of both events to ensure visitors can watch squash and tennis matches when they come to the club, and are also organizing some side events together, like a Kids Day on Wednesday and a Business Day on Friday. We will no doubt continue to work together in the future and aim to extend our partnership for the 2014 events.”
More information about the Double AR Rotterdam Open Squash 2013 and HDI Gerling Rotterdam Open Tennis 2013 can be found at the official websites www.rotterdamopensquash.com (squash) and www.rotterdamopen.com (tennis). Admission to both events is free throughout the whole week.
Double AR Rotterdam Open 1st round draw:
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Qualifier
Raphael Kandra (GER) v Qualifier
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [WC] Sebastiaan Weenink (NED)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Qualifier
Jens Schoor (GER) v Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) v Qualifier
 Adrian Grant (ENG) v Jan Koukal (CZE)
Article and image courtesy of the Professional Squash Association