The 72nd edition of the Chilton North American Open Doubles Championships will kick off in Greenwich on Friday, and will be jointly run alongside the GLO Greenwich Open women’s professional squash tournament.
The $35, 000 Women’s Squash Association tournament includes 14 of the world’s top 20 players in the world from Egypt, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, England, Australia, Ireland, France, Mexico, Pakistan, Canada, the Czech Republic, and the United States, including GO defending champion and world #2 Raneem El Weleily from Egypt. El Weleily is seeded to win the tournament, with young compatriot Nour El Sherbini the second seed in the draw.
From the USA, Maria Elena Ubina is straight through to the main draw on a wildcard position. Other American contenders include the Sobhy sisters Amanda and Sabrina, and Cecelia Cortes who will all play for a spot in the main draw on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 January.
The men’s doubles tournament includes 19 of the world’s top 20 Squash Doubles Association players from Australia, England, Switzerland, India, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Pakistan, and the United States including teammates and joint world #1 players Ben Gould and Damien Mudge, both from Australia, and #3 Yvain Badan from Switzerland and #4 Manek Mathur from India teaming up on the opposite side of the draw.
If Mudge wins the title it would be his tenth, breaking former teammate Gary Waite’s tournament record of 9. Mudge and Waite won six straight NAO doubles titles together from 2000-2006.
Tournament Director Libby Welch, says that the event offers Greenwich a rare opportunity to host professional athletes.
“This tournament is a leading prize money event and showcases the best professional male doubles and ladies singles players in the world at the same place. It offers the patrons a chance to interact with the players both on the court and at social events, ” Welch said.
“It is so much fun to bring together the entire Greenwich squash community to support the players.
“Spectators will be amazed by the grace, racquet work and sportsmanship of the women on court and the pace, incredible shooting and athleticism the men display on the doubles court.”
The NAO and GO are leading prize money events with $38, 000 and $35, 000 at stake respectively.
Matches will be held at the Round Hill Club, The Greenwich Country Club, and Greenwich Field Club in Greenwich, CT.
Tournament proceeds and donations support the North American Open/Greenwich Open Fund in partnership with US Squash, which provides financial assistance to participants in urban squash programs as they elect to attend private secondary schools or college. To donate, visit http://naosquashdoubles.com/support.