11:38 pm
24 May 2024

Qualifying Draw Released For Forexx Women's World Open

17 Sep 2009

Qualifying action gets under way next Sunday for the Forexx Women's World Open which is being staged in the Netherlands from September 20-27.

Forty-eight players from twenty-two countries will travel to Amsterdam to compete in the qualifying competition of the premier event on the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA) World Tour, where they will have to battle it out for the eight available places into the main draw.

The host nation fields five players in the biggest qualifying draw the WISPA circuit has ever seen. Dutch interest is led by Annelize Naudé, the Amsterdam based world number 34 who is seeded seventh in qualifying. With the top 16 seeds having a bye into the second round, the 32-year old Naudé will not play until Monday evening, when she will face the winner of Deon Saffery (Wales) and Linda Hruzikova (Slovakia) on the permanent three-wall glass court at the city's well-known Frans Otten Stadion.

Meanwhile, Naudé's compatriots Margriet Huisman, Milja Dorenbos, Dagmar Vermeulen and Milou van der Heijden start their Forexx Women's World Open campaign on Sunday. Huisman, the 25-year-old who has been out of action for almost two years with a severe leg injury, faces Kylie Lindsay from New Zealand in the first qualifying round. Dorenbos is drawn to play Lucie Fialova (Czech Republic); Vermeulen takes on Melody Francis (Australia); and 18-year-old van der Heijden plays Celia Allamargot from France in her opening match.

Much interest will be focussed on Egypt's recently crowned World Junior Champion Nour El Sherbini, who will be playing in her first WISPA event outside her home country. The 13-year-old from Alexandria - the youngest world squash champion of all time - takes on England's Fiona Moverley in the first qualifying round.

The Forexx Women's World Open Squash 2009 will be the 25th staging of the world's most prestigious women's individual squash championship. It will also be the first time that the championship has been hosted by the Netherlands since 1989, when it was held in Warmond.

As well as past hosts of the event, the Netherlands also boasts a former world champion in Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson, who triumphed in 2004 over Natalie Grinham, now her compatriot. Grinham, a former Australian who is ranked third in the world and a World Open runner-up on three occasions (in 2004, 2006 and 2007), is seeded second in the main draw - on her new home soil - behind Malaysia's reigning champion Nicol David.

Grinham's sister Rachael, who earlier this week won the British Open crown for the fourth time, and England's Alison Waters are seeded third and fourth, respectively.

The main draw for the Forexx Women's World Open Squash 2009 will be made Sunday September 20 at 11am in the Frans Otten Stadion, only a few hours before the qualifying competition kicks off. More information about the championship can be found on the official tournament website www.womensworldopen.com