North Coast Open squash gears up
PREPARATIONS are nearing completion for the North Coast Open Men’s PSA Challenger and Women’s WISPA Tour events for this weekend at the Coffs Harbour Squash Centre.
Both events get under way on Friday morning with the men’s qualifying round first up followed by the women’s open first round at noon.
The first round for the men starts on Friday night and brings together an international field that began arriving in Coffs Harbour yesterday to prepare for the contest as part of this year’s Australian Squash Tour.
Heading the line-up for the men’s draw will be the Maltese-based Brad Hindle, who is now seeded number one after the late withdrawal of rival and defending champion Mike Corren, who has sadly been forced out due to an injury suffered in Perth last weekend.
Hindle’s main challengers now will be Rex Hedrick, Nathan Stevenson, Ravi Dixit and Hon Fung Wong.
Entries for the weekend include players from Egypt, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong and New Zealand making for some top-class viewing during the weekend.
The women’s draw has also
attracted some very talented players with early favourite Melody Francis to be challenged by Olga Ertlova, Carmen Lee and Sarah Cardwell.
As a past winner in 2009, Queenslander Samantha Davies, along with Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling must also be considered strong challengers for the title.
Francis has enjoyed a great 2011 recording wins in the South Australian, Millicent, South Australia and Victorian Open events this year.
She was a semi-finalist at the NSW Open in July which has seen her World Ranking rise to number 40.
Local talent Tamika Saxby will be looking to perform well on her home courts after competing at the World Junior Titles in Boston in August.
Saxby has been regaining fitness after a recurring leg injury which has kept her 2011 program low key to date.
New Zealand will have rising star Megan Craig, a member of New Zealand’s Women’s Junior Team from Boston, out to improve her world ranking with some class performances in her second appearance here.
The tournament has received some great support from Squash Australia as part of the Australian Tour and locally the Coffs Hotel and Allied Air-Conditioning have contributed to supporting squash in the Coffs Coast region.
North Coast Open Times
10am to noon - Qualifying Rd Men
Noon to 2pm – 1st Round Women
6.30pm to 9.30pm - 1st Round Men (main draw)
10am – Rd 16 matches (main draw)
4pm – Quarter Finals Men/Women
10am – Open Semis Men/Women
3pm – Women’s Final
3.40pm – Men’s Final
Admission for spectators is free.