The U.S. Open Squash Championships will once again take center stage at Drexel starting this week, as the world’s best players vie for one of the sport’s most prized titles from Oct. 9-18. And faculty, staff and students can watch the action in person for free.
Nicol David, the world’s top-ranked female and defending U.S. Open Champion Nicol David, will lead an exemplary women’s field, while nine of the top 10 men’s players will also take the court during the two-week affair at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
This is the third consecutive year that Drexel has hosted the prestigious tournament on its campus. For the first time in the tournament’s history, both the men and women will be competing for a purse of $115,000—one of the sport’s biggest prizes.
Three Americans will make a run at the championship on the women’s side. Amanda Sobhy, a talented young player from New York who is in her sophomore year as a member of Harvard’s varsity team, is the highest-ranked American female in the field. Also representing the United States are a pair of Seattle natives, Latasha Khan and Kristen Lange. Khan is a veteran of the squash circuit and enters the tournament ranked 30th in the world. Lange is the women’s wild-card qualifier and has ranked as high as 53 in the world.
On the men’s side, Julian Illingworth, the top-ranked men’s player in the United States, will be looking to make a deep run in the tournament after reaching the finals of qualifying last year. Christopher Gordon, a New York native who made waves when he upset Hisham Ashour in a five-game classic at the U.S. Open last year, will return as a wild card in 2013.
Tournament play begins on Wednesday, Oct. 9, with qualifying matches from 5-8 p.m. Thirty-two qualifiers on each side will begin their quest for a title on Friday, Oct. 11, with matches from noon to 7:30 p.m. Semifinal matches will be held on Oct. 17 from 5-9 p.m. with the championships slated for Friday, Oct. 18 starting at 7 p.m. Visit http://www.usopensquash.com/schedule/ for the full tournament schedule.
Qualifying matches and opening rounds will be played on the courts of the Kline and Specter Squash Center, the home of Drexel’s varsity squash teams. All tournament matches from the Round of 16 on will be played on a championship glass court constructed at the center of the Daskalakis Athletic Center’s basketball court.
Drexel students, faculty and staff can receive free tickets, two per person for each day of the championship, with a valid Drexel ID. Tickets are available for pickup at the Drexel Ticket Office in the Daskalakis Athletic Center. For more information, visit www.usopensquash.com.