The 2014 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, perhaps the most prestigious squash tournament in the United States, will take place at Philadelphia’s Drexel University from Oct. 9-18. at its Daskalakis Athletic Center.
The tournament is renowned for its participants, who come from over 20 countries around the world, said Kevin Klipstein, president and CEO of US SQUASH.
The U.S. Open is also the only professional squash tournament in the world when it comes to equality between male and female players. Men and women are eligible for equal prize amounts in their respective brackets — a big draw considering the combined $230,000 available.
Over the past three years, the tournament has drawn some of the top squash players around the world, and this year is no different, said Klipstein.
Champions of the 2013 tournament, Nicol David and Gregory Gaulthier, will return to compete again this year. So far, 12 of the top 16 men’s players have entered the competition, and 15 out of 16 on the women’s side have qualified; officials predict more players to qualify in the coming week.
“Overall, our squash programs have increased in terms of individuals showing interest in squash, we’re even seeing whole different nationalities playing that recently relocated to the states,” says Mike Cash, Managing Director of CityView Racquet Club. “Squash is one of the best sports out there when it comes to the amount of the intensity for the amount of time.”
Last year’s U.S. Open earned the title of “Tournament of the Year” from the Women’s Squash Association. Klipstein and other organizers hope that this year’s tournament will exceed last year’s in terms of quality.
Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center will be converted into a world class squash venue for the duration of the tournament. Because of its popularity over the past three years, US SQUASH has signed a contract with Drexel to keep the tournament there over the next decade.
The qualifying matches will begin on Thursday, Oct. 9 at Drexel’s Kline Specter Squash Center, which is home to the university’s own nationally ranked varsity squash teams. Daily elimination sessions are set to begin on Oct. 11 and continue each day at noon, and the finals will take place on Oct. 18 at 3 p.m.