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Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships set to deliver top names and big money

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Top draw: Faraz Khan from the United, the 50th-ranked player in the world, will compete at the Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships, which will be staged May 3 - 7 at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association. The championship will feature players ranked between 50 and 150 in the world ranking, who will compete for $10,000 in prize money and a spot in the Professional Squash Association World Open Championships (Photograph courtesy of psaworldtour)

One of the strongest fields ever assembled is set to compete in the 2022 Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships with some of the best players in the world expected to descend on the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association courts.

The event will feature men’s and women’s players ranked between the top 50 and 150 in the world, who will showcase their talents at the Devonshire facility from May 3 to 7.

Both the men’s and women’s draws will comprise 32 players that will compete for $10,000 in prize money in each category, as well as a spot in the Professional Squash Association World Open Championships, to be held at a venue and date yet to be announced.

Among the players already confirmed are the men’s and women’s top seeds, Faraz Khan, of the United States, and Hana Moataz, of Egypt. Khan is ranked 50th in the world, while Moataz sits in the 57th position on the women’s ranking.

“The exciting news about this event is, because we got this World Championship qualifying spot, we have players ranked from just outside of the top 50 to just inside the top 150 who won’t be able to get into the World Championship on their ranking, so this will basically be the event to get into that spot,” Micah Franklin, the head of squash at BSRA, told The Royal Gazette.

“We are going to be looking at a lot of young and up-and-coming, hungry guys and girls who are trying to get in just based on their level of play, not their ranking, especially on that side of youth. From what I remember, we have four up-and-coming British guys who some people might have never heard of before but in two or three years we might be hearing from these guys a lot more — and the same thing goes on the ladies’ side.”

Micah Franklin

Franklin noted that the event is the closest to attaining gold or platinum status.

“We are going to be taking this pretty serious,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of talented players coming. The top eight seeds are all pretty much top 100 and maybe a couple just outside.

“We’re looking at a very strong draw here and for sure probably the best level of competitive squash we’ve had in Bermuda since maybe even the 2007 World Open, which was at Southampton Princess.

“The last three or four times we’ve run this event it was a smaller prize money without the World Open qualifying spot. So with additional prize money plus the World Open qualifying spot, that’s boosted the entry levels.

“It’s going to be a big tournament in perspective of a little club in Bermuda and we are going to have players from all over the world. In the draw we have players from Egypt, Colombia and all over Europe.”

The tournament will also feature six local players that will compete in the first round qualifier in the men’s and women’s draws pitting players ranked nine to 16 against those ranked 17 to 32 for the right to advance to the round of 16.

Noah Browne, the newly crowned national men’s champion, university student Taylor Carrick and Franklin will represent the island in the men’s draw.

Flying the island’s banner in the women’s draw is national women’s champion Emma Keane, Rachel Barnes and Eilidh Franklin.

“We know that the competition is going to be tough,” Franklin added. “But we are going out there with no pressure and the crowd behind our backs and trying to pull off a couple of upsets.

And from what I can see, and the level of squash right now that we have, there’s no reason we couldn’t do that. I do see the ability in a lot of our players to step up to the wicket and get those results.

“We are by no means the favourites. But we have no pressure, so it’s within our rights to say that we would be competitive.”

Franklin praised event title sponsor Chubb.

“Chubb are our title sponsor and we are really thankful for their support for this event, especially on such short notice,” he said.

“They came to the wicket and we will be giving them super help with the junior clinics during the event. There will be clinics so the players will be giving back.

“Their money is going to go towards that as well as just getting spectators in here and the spectacle of squash back in the club.”

For more details e-mail micah@bermudasquash.com or call 292-6881

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Published March 24, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated March 25, 2022 at 7:51 am)

Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships set to deliver top names and big money

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