Busy times as we court the best players
ACTIVITIES at the Coffs Harbour Squash Centre have been hectic this week finalising preparations for the influx of visitors taking part in this week's North Coast Open.
The event forms part of the Squash Australia Tour and is host to many of the international numbers chasing world ranking points along with Australia's best talent.
The line-up for this year's Open promises to provide tough competition as player's seek vital ranking points, and with a record number of 138 participants, there'll be a host of international players in the PSA Men and Women's Open along with the large support program of graded events.
It's a cracking line up featuring Rhys Dowling as the number one mens seed.
Dowling who has been steadily climbing the PSA rankings and is one of Australia's 'next generation players'.
He recently represented Australia at the World Games in Poland where he performed extremely well recording a couple of impressive wins against more fancied opponents.
Since returning to Australia he has been runner-up in the South Australian Open as well as a semi finalist in the Shepparton International and Bega Opens.
Dowling is looking to go one better this weekend for his second PSA title in 2017.
The number two seed will be Matthew Hopkins.
'Hoppie' is a very crafty and capable leftie and has been enjoying mixed success on the Australian Tour to date with his best results being a runner-up finish in the Devonport Tasmanian Open as well as being a quarter finalist in the Victorian Open.
Hopkins is very experienced and has previously represented Australia at world junior level and has been ranked as high as 69 on the PSA rankings. He's sure to delight spectators at every stage.
The third seed in the mens draw is Swiss player Dimitri Steinman.
A win last weekend over Josh Larkin in the final at Bega makes Steinman the hot form favourite. That win means Steinman arrives in Coffs Harbour full of confidence for his first tilt at the North Coast Open title.
The fourth player looking to stamp his name onto the trophy in Ben Grindrod.
The Kiwi is certainly one to watch and opens his campaign against a qualifier in the opening round before a possible meeting with fellow countryman Luke Jones or Australian Solayman Nowrozi.
Heading the women's field will be Coffs Harbour's own Tamika Saxby.
The 24 year-old won five PSA titles last year and she returns home looking to cement her good form after having some time out with injury.
Saxby represented Australia at the World Games in Poland a month ago and she's confident and in top form and will be certainly one to watch this weekend.
Saxby was a quarter finalist in the Victoria Open and won the City of Kalgoorlie and Boulder Golden Open earlier this year.
The number two seed is Lisa Camilleri of Brisbane.
Camilleri's been performing strongly on the Australian Tour, finishing runner-up in the South Australian Open and was a quarter finalist in the Victoria Open.
Number three seed Christine Nunn has been enjoying good form, winning the South Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in the Bendigo Open.
She's played in the North Coast Open before so is no stranger to the courts and will be looking to perform strongly.
Samantha Foyle rounds out the top four in a very competitive Women's Open.
Foyle was a semi-finalist in the Bendigo Open where she lost to Ho Tze-Lok of Hong Kong and she competed in New Zealand earlier in the year where she reached the quarter finals of the Matamata Open.
The action starts tomorrow with the men's qualification rounds starting from 10am and 3.30pm. The top four qualifiers advance to the main draw which starts at 6.30pm on Friday night for both men and women.
Everyone is invited to come along to the Coffs Harbour Squash Centre and watch the matches at any time or over the weekend which is jampacked with a huge support program of graded and junior events.
With the Commonwealth Games on the horizon, members of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) will be in attendance and any players looking for details on purchasing tickets for the Games can enquire with personnel in attendance.
10am - Men's qualification (Round One)
3pm - Men's qualification (Round Two)
5pm - Junior Clinic and meet the PSA players
6.30pm - 9.30pm - Main Draw, First Round Men and Women PSA
10am - Men's Quarter Finals
11.30am - Women's Quarter Finals
2.45pm - Men's Semi Finals
4.15pm - Women's Semi Finals
1.30pm - Women's Open Final
2.15pm - Men's Open Final