Article by Kristi Maroc
Player lists have been released for the 2012 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, revealing that all of the world's top ten men and women will be competing in this year's event!
With every major star in the squash world heading to Philadelphia to compete for the prestigious title, the U.S. Open is certain to conjure up an abundance of skillful and exhilarating squash battles among the best of the best.
The confirmed player list includes the world's greatest competitors such as skillful Englishman James Willstrop (#1), his compatriot Nick Matthew (#2), feisty Frenchman Gregory Gaultier (#3) and captivating Egyptian Ramy Ashour (#4), as well as last year's U.S. Open winner, Amr Shabana from Egypt (#6), who has also won four World Open titles in his lustrous career.
All will have a long and challenging road to make it through to the final deciding match and take home the grand prize on October 12, and with the bar set so high it's anyone's guess who the champion will be.
No one wanted to miss out on their shot at the U.S. Open title in the women's draw, with all ten of the world's top 10 ranked women showing up to compete for the crown. The draw includes the powerful Nicol David (#1) from Malaysia who is yet to win a U.S. Open title in her astounding career history of 63 professional titles to date, as well as Egyptian sensation Raneem El Weleily (#2) who recently made a big jump into the top of the rankings, last year's defending champion from England Laura Massaro (#3), and athletic Aussie Kasey Brown (#8) who toppled Nicol David at last year's U.S. Open to make the final.
After an off season to prepare, and big prize money up for grabs, all players will be looking to bring their finest game to the center stage in October to progress through the challenging draws.
The U.S. Open forms part of the 2012 World Series for both the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Women’s Squash Association (WSA), and offers $185,000 in combined prize money.
Discounted tickets for the renowned 2012 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships will remain at early-bird sale prices for just one more week, until Saturday June 30.
At 25-50% off, tickets to witness an elite international showcase of squash talent are at bargain prices right now!
Held in Philadelphia, a passionate sports city just over an hour out of New York City by train, tickets are selling quickly to this professional squash spectacle.
Amtrak is also offering a 10% discount on the best available rail fare to the U.S. Open, making it easy to travel from New York and other US cities to this captivating event.
The U.S. Open is undoubtedly among the most coveted professional squash tournaments in the world, as it is part of the PSA and WSA World Series Tours.
This year the event boasts a record grand prize of $185,000, distinguishing it as one of the most highly rewarded championships in professional squash, and making it certain to draw all of the world’s best players.
In the men’s draw, current world #1 James Willstrop (ENG) has already confirmed that he will be playing, as too has his compatriot and long-term rival, last year’s finalist world #2 Nick Matthew (ENG).
The women’s draw will include longstanding world #1 and record six-time World Open champion Nicol David (MAS), and 2011 U.S. Open women’s defending champion world #2 Laura Massaro (ENG).
In addition to an incredible showcase of world class professional squash, there will also be an exciting array of activities and events happening throughout the championships, including an interactive squash zone, awards, club nights and much more.
At these heavily discounted prices for tickets, you need to get in fast! Discounted tickets are only available for one more week, until June 30. Head to www.usopensquash.com now to purchase yours!
At the U.S. Open website you can also watch a video tour of Philadelphia and the U.S. Open with local squash professional formerly ranked within the world’s top 50, Gilly Lane.
- DISCOUNTED TICKETS: To buy your discounted tickets before June 30, click here.
- AMTRAK DEAL: For further details on the Amtrak discount and getting to the venue, click here.
- GILLY IN PHILLY: To be shown around Philly by local squash star Gilly Lane, click here.
- SCHEDULE: For information on events and activities during the 2012 U.S. Open, click here.
- Gilly Lane
- John White
- Nick Matthew
- Nicol David
- Drexel University
- Delaware Investments
Article by Kristi Maroc
At almost 32 years old, England’s Nick Matthew has achieved virtually every accolade there is in professional squash, including the U.S. Open title in 2007 and finalist in 2011, plus an unfaltering world number one ranking for the entire year in 2011.
In a recent interview following his impressive win of the British Open, the current world number two confirmed he will again play the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships in October this year.
Nick also says he has hopes to reclaim the world number one position once more in his career.
“That would probably be my main goal now – just to have one more turn at the top,” says Nick, settling back into his seat for the interview just minutes after walking off the court from beating Egyptian Ramy Ashour in the British Open final.
“Obviously James Willstrop – my big rival – is there right now, but before I retire I’d love to get it back one more time.”
He is the first Englishman to win the British Open three times, one more remarkable addition to Nick’s already impressively long list of career highlights - not to mention attaining it by defeating the exceptionally skilled Ramy, another of Nick’s long-term rivals, for the first time in five successive matches.
“When I win three nil in the first round of a tournament I’m surprised, never mind against somebody like Ramy in the final,” says Nick.
“I’m over the moon, absolutely delighted. I don’t have many more of these finals in me, I’m getting on a bit now, so I’ll enjoy it while I can.”
After Ramy’s ruthless performance against James Willstrop in the semi-final the day before, many expectations were that the 24-year old Egyptian would win the British Open. However on finals day Nick dispelled any illusions of who deserved to take home the trophy, overthrowing Ramy in straight sets in just 33 minutes.
“I’m nearly 32…but I’m a young 32 some days!” Nick chuckles.
“I played great today, one of my best performances ever, so on such an occasion I can’t wish for anything more really.
“I don’t feel like I’m ready to stop yet though. Hopefully after a good summer, starting back probably with the U.S. Open, I can have a good start to the season and get some more titles under my belt.”
“I’m at a point now where I’m trying to peak for major events – the big ones in the calendar like the British Open, World Open, U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions – ones that I’m passionate about winning,” he says.
“It’s sometimes hard to play every single week, but to be the number one in the world you have to be the best player over 12 or 13 tournaments over the year, and that’s something I’ve got to get better at if I want to win get that number one spot back.”
As a PSA and WSA World Series event, and with total prize money of $185,000, the U.S. Open in October will bring all of the world’s top players to Philadelphia to compete for the prestigious title.
“I love playing in the US – some of the best atmospheres are at tournaments we play in the States,” says Nick.
“It’s a relatively new sport there so the crowds are always really passionate and really loud, and they always seem to be packed out every day. They love the dynamic and athletic nature of the game and they really get behind us.”
“As a kid, I played every sport under the moon and then fell in love with squash. It suited my personality, with the one-on-one combat. I loved the dynamic nature too, where you had to think a lot and think for yourself. It made you independent at a young age.
“I realized from coming to the British Open as a kid that you could make a living out of it if you were good enough, and willing to work hard enough – and so I’ve been working hard ever since.
“In the United States, the number of kids you see attending the big tournaments like the U.S. Open and the Tournament of Champions is great. And they’re all so keen to play!
When asked what he would say to those young players who have dreams of turning professional like him, Nick says:
“The sport is growing on television, so you can really do well out of it. This is the professional game and where you want to be.
“I’ve made a few sacrifices along the way, but I’ve enjoyed every minute and it’s beyond my wildest dreams what I’ve done up until this point.”
“I think there’s an opportunity there to be that American superstar – not taking anything away from the current players – but to be that first real top ten world champion from the US," says Nick.
“When that happens, I think squash is really going to take off in the States."
To see Nick Matthew live at the 2012 Delaware Investments U.S. Open, you can buy tickets at http://www.usopensquash.com/tickets/. Tickets are on sale now!
Nick Matthew produced a devastating display of squash to overcome fellow Englishman James Willstrop in the final of the US Open to claim his first PSA Super Series title - and the biggest prize of his career - at theRoseland Ballroom in New York City.
The triumph - marking his sixth PSA Tour title - follows last month's disappointment of surrendering the British Open crown he won for the first time in 2006.
The 27-year-old from Sheffield in Yorkshire made his 'Big Apple' breakthrough when he defeated the sport's newest star Ramy Ashour - the 20-year-old world number two from Egypt who has won five PSA Tour titles this year - in the semi-finals.
The sixth seed's stunning semi-final victory took 69 minutes, whilst Willstrop battled for 98 to overcome Egypt'sKarim Darwish in the other semi - 24 hours after upsetting Gregory Gaultier, the defending champion and newly-crowned British Open champion, in a 76-minute marathon!
But Matthew was too strong for fellow Yorkshireman Willstrop in the final of the $120,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event, winning 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 in 54 minutes.
"Nick was absolutely outstanding tonight," Willstrop told www.squashsite.co.uk. "I've played him on so many occasions, and I've never seen him play so well. He was just far too good, and I couldn't do anything against him. No excuses.
"He was a man on top of his form. I wanted to win this tournament, but he deserves it because he has made himself into a world class athlete," added the 24-year-old from Leeds, who is himself enjoying a resurgence of form - last month winning his seventh PSA Tour title at the Prince English Grand Prix.
"He put me under constant pressure and got onto every single shot. He's a great student of the game, and his training has made him able to play three tough matches in a row, and I need to work up to that level. I am very pleased, but I just didn't have enough tonight."
In a tribute to the support he and Matthew receive at home, the runner-up added: "I just want to give a shout to the EIS (English Institute of Sport) and England Squash, and all the others including the Lottery Funding because they've supported us and coached us.
"It's a massive help, and tonight shows what they've done for us. It's a big day for all the people who have helped. I'm proud for both of us," concluded Willstrop.
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  James Willstrop (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (54m)