The Commodore Squash Club and Twin Cities urban squash program, Beyond Walls, are preparing to host ‘the most exciting squash event in the history of Minnesota’, the 36th Indian Summer Benefiting Beyond Walls tournament, including a Professional Squash Association (PSA) $25,000 International, and a Squash Doubles Association (SDA) $15,000 invitational—alongside Amateur and Pro-Am Doubles draws, October 2-7.
The draw of the first-ever PSA event in Minnesota includes the most top-ranked squash professionals ever to play a single tournament in Minnesota.
“This year’s Indian Summer Squash Tournament promises to be the most exciting pro squash event ever held in Minnesota,” said Jeff Mulligan, tournament director and head professional at the Commodore Squash Club. “We also expect to reach new heights in supporting Beyond Walls and its work to empower youth here in the Twin Cities. In 2012, tournament proceeds for Beyond Walls topped $18,000, and we expect the 2013 tournament to generate even greater support for this incredible program.”
The PSA draw includes three players in the world’s top 20 with the top seed, Botswana international and world No. 15* Alister Walker, seeded to meet England international and world No. 22, Tom Richards, in the final. Dutch three seed, and world No. 18, Laurens Jan Anjema, and Swiss four seed and world No. 25, Nicolas Mueller, are seeded to challenge the top seeds in the semifinals.
Joining the top four in the Main Draw are English world No. 24, Adrian Grant; New Zealand international and world No. 41, Campbell Grayson; American world No. 51, Julian Illingworth; and world No. 48 and current U.S. Champion, Chris Gordon. American world No. 248 Adrian Leanza slots in as the Wild Card and faces Richards in the first round.
After two qualifying rounds through Wednesday and Thursday, Friday’s first round sees an All-American matchup between Gordon and Illingworth in their first head to head PSA appearance since 2010.
This season’s second SDA event has an eight-team draw including a mix of current and former SDA and PSA professionals, with Friday’s first-round matches set to be played at both the Commodore Squash Club and Minneapolis Club.
Australian SDA world No. 7, Matt Jenson, slots in as the highest world-ranked player in the doubles draw, teaming up with Commodore Squash Club’s former SDA professional, Mulligan.
Five players participating in the PSA event are also entered in the Doubles draw. Illingworth will team up with Alex Gough, President of the PSA, to face Irish SDA world No. 38, Willie Hosey and former Canadian SDA professional Mike Pirnak.
A trio of Canadian PSA qualifiers will also try their hand in the doubles draw, including SDA world No. 20 Fred Reid alongside Doug Lifford; recent Princeton University graduate David Letourneau teaming up with SDA world No. 17 Chris Walker; and Thomas Brinkman with Canadian former PSA world No. 12, and SDA world No. 1, Gary Waite. Scotsman and PSA world No. 88 Greg Lobban joins his fellow PSA qualifiers in the doubles competition with teammate Will Hartigan.
The 2013 edition of the Indian Summer tournament is the largest to date, and the first to include a PSA event in what has historically been mainly a doubles tournament.
“The tournament has just been getting bigger and bigger,” Mulligan said.
“My vision is that one day we will have a glass court event here; hopefully in the not so distant future.”
Mulligan sees the historic dual PSA/SDA event as a sign of squash’s continued growth in the region for both singles and doubles, and a chance to expose the Minnesota squash community to high level squash.
“I know that avid squash enthusiasts have seen their share of youtube videos of pro squash, but seeing it live is something completely different,” Mulligan said.
“Being a doubles guy, and ex-touring doubles pro who also loves and respects the singles game very much, I love that we are doing this event with both tours.
“I really think it shows how both sports need each other. More specifically, squash needs a real doubles game so that as the players age they can play this great game for life.”
Squash fans not playing in the Amateur tournaments can get passes for qualifying rounds or purchase an $85 social pass that includes all six days of pro play and all the amenities that the tournament participants enjoy. The Commodore Squash Club is located at 79 Western Ave., and free on-site parking is available.
Through the participating sponsor, partners, as well as both pro and amateur players, the tournament supports Beyond Walls’ work to combine squash playing, academic tutoring, and community service in a manner that successfully transforms the lives of a select group of under-served youth in the Twin Cities.
For more information on the Indian Summer Squash Tournament and to view complete draws, click here.
*World rankings current as of October 1, 2013.