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17 Jun 2024

2011 ROWE British Grand Prix Squash Championship: The Best Yet

26 Sep 2011

A spectacular four-game victory by Ramy Ashour of Egypt over England's world No1 and arch rival Nick Matthew in the final of the ROWE British Grand Prix brought to a climax the only Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Series event to be staged in the UK this year.

The ROWE British Grand Prix - Manchester 2011, the fourth of nine PSA World Series championships this year, attracted a star-studded field featuring 16 of the world's top 20 players, including six former world number ones.

"I'm really happy with what we achieved," said Paul Walters, Chief Executive Officer of event promoters internationalSPORTgroup. "We were confident that the championship would be a success, but this year's event went far beyond our expectations. It was the best yet."

The UK's biggest squash championship, boasting a record $115,000 prize-fund, was staged at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England, and was contested by players from 18 countries.

The thrilling final attracted a sell-out crowd, as did the quarter-finals and semi-finals. In total, over 5,000 spectators attended the event.

In a match watched by millions both on TV and on live webcasting via www.psasquashtv.com, it was Ashour who ultimately prevailed to win his second successive British Grand Prix title and, remarkably, remain unbeaten on the ASB all-glass show court having previously claimed the PSA World Series Finals and World Open titles on the court in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

"It's just an honour to win this prestigious event another time," said Ashour after his victory. "This court has never let me down."

By the conclusion of the event, the official tournament website www.britishsquashgrandprix.com had registered more than 1.5million hits, as squash enthusiasts from around the world followed the progress of their idols. The event also attracted more than four hours of live TV coverage from SquashTV across 10 international broadcasters, the highest number of broadcasters to date for any PSA World Series championship. Additionally, the event will be featured in a highlights package on Sky TV in the UK.

Sell-out crowds and online chat rooms covering the event showed their enthusiasm for a new internationalSPORTgroup initiative - the introduction of female models to help with the onsite presentation of the championship. As well as introducing the players, the girls also acted as attendants on the ASB all-glass court.

Event compere Sue Wright, the former England international and world No3 who presented the UK's flagship tournament for the first time, enthused: "The crowd loved it - and at the end of the day it's all about providing entertainment around the squash.

"It's all the trimmings that make the difference between it being an average event - and a world-class event. It's all about upping the profile," said the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and four-time British champion.

The 2012 ROWE British Grand Prix, the third consecutive staging of the event as part of a pioneering agreement with Manchester City Council and the PSA, will see the championship retain the same September dates with tickets on sale from October.