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Drexel University to Host U.S. Open Squash Championship

11 May, 2013


Tickets on Sale Now for Highlight of Squash Year

Action Shot SquashTickets to the 2013 U.S Open Squash Championships are now on sale, providing the opportunity to see the best players from around the world compete on U.S. soil. The country’s most prestigious tournament will take place October 9-18 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on the campus of Drexel University located in Philadelphia.

As a special launch offer, U.S. Open general admission and Champions Club tickets are currently on sale until May 29. Get 20% off using discount code usopentixlaunch. 

Even before the first ball is served, the 2013 U.S. Open has already made history as the first ever professional squash tournament to offer equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

Players will compete for their share of a $230,000 total prize purse, divided equally to $115,000 in each draw.

The women’s draw will also be increased to 32 players from a previous 16, now in line with the men’s draw, providing an opportunity for more female professional players to compete in a World Series event.

The news caught the attention of many in the sports world, including tennis great Billie Jean King, who expressed her support.

“This announcement is so much more about the message than the money, and I am thrilled another U.S. championship event has stepped up and done the right thing.”

With more money in the pot, the stakes are higher in 2013 than ever before. Spectators are sure to see a tournament full of exciting matches and spectacular play from the best squash players in the world today.

“This year’s event, with the full 32 draw for men and women will be our best presentation of the championships to date. Our partnership with Drexel, now in its third year, also makes it easy for us to put on a great entertainment showcase,” said Kevin Klipstein, CEO of U.S. Squash. “This is not your ordinary squash event.”

The event forms part of the 2013 World Series for both the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Women’s Squash Association (WSA).

All the action starts Wednesday, October 9.  For more information, head to www.usopensquash.com.

About the U.S. Open: The U.S. Open is the most prestigious squash tournament in the United States, and one of the most significant in the world. It is a major international display of supreme talent in squash, showcasing the top players from around the world, and bringing fanatical visitors from across the globe to view elite competition.

The event forms part of the professional World Series tour for both the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Women’s Squash Association (WSA).  It is especially unique as it is one of only a few combined World Series stops for both the Men’s and Women’s tour.

Starting in 1954, the U.S. Open has a tradition of intense competition in a dynamic atmosphere.  It has previously been held in iconic locations such as Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park in Chicago and Symphony Hall in Boston.

Since 2011, the U.S. Open has been held in Philadelphia, at the heart of the squash community, where Drexel University is transformed into a world-class showcase venue to host the prominent event.

History: The U.S. Open Squash Championship began on New Year’s Day, 1954 at the University Club of New York City and literally changed the sport of squash overnight. The event, which was first run as a hardball tournament for the top amateur and professional players in the world, crowned its first champion Henri Salaun, a French-American amateur player. At the end of the four-day event Open director Ned Bigelow presented Salaun the Open’s $500 grand prize. Salaun’s victory over Hashim Khan in the finals graced the front pages of major newspapers, including The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, and the Washington Post, all of which were filled with photographs of the Open. New York was abuzz with the excitement.

The Open remained in New York for the next two years, but from 1957 to 1965, the event crisscrossed the country, quickly becoming a prominent tournament in the world of professional squash. It was hosted in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Indianapolis, and Atlantic City, and returned to the University Club of New York in 1963 only to be shuttled off to Buffalo and then Wilmington the following years. During these early years the Open was dominated by the presence of the Khan family. Hashim Khan won three titles between 1956 and 1963, while his relative, Roshan Khan, also won three titles in the same decade.

In 1966 the U.S. Open merged with the Canadian Open, forming the North American Open, which remained a hardball event. In the 1970s and 80s the Khans continued to overwhelm the squash scene. Sharif Khan made fifteen straight North American finals appearances from 1968 to 1982, winning twelve of those titles. All in all, the Khan family owns a combined twenty-nine U.S. Open and North American Open Championships. The U.S. Open was reborn, once again as a hardball event (while the North American Open ran separately), in 1983 when Howie Rosenthal promoted the event. Both the 1983 and 1984 U.S. Opens were held at the Yale Club of New York with great American Mark Talbott winning in 1983 and falling to Jahangir Khan in 1984 in the finals.

In 1985, Tom and Hazel Jones who were managing the title at that time made the decision to switch the event from a hardball to a softball tournament. Jones moved the Open out to San Francisco and was one of the first to experiment with the 17-inch tin and 15-point scoring format (which was later adopted world-wide for softball events in 1989), where the Open was received very well.

In 1986 Jones moved the Open to Houston, and the following year the venue was switched to the Palladium Night Club in New York City where a brand new, imported portable court from Europe was set up on the dance floor. The Open achieved enormous success that year and has continued to thrive amongst an eager American audience, where players from across the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, and France have all claimed championships.

In the late 1990′s, U.S. SQUASH acquired the rights to the trademark and is responsible for the management of the title.

About US SQUASH: U.S. SQUASH owns and operates tournaments including the U.S. Open and North American Open. As the national governing body for squash in the United States, U.S. SQUASH is a not-for-profit membership organization which manages all tournaments, leagues and official rankings; organizes U.S. Squash Championships; selects, trains and manages U.S. National teams competing internationally; and drives grassroots and junior development.

U.S. SQUASH’s mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of the United States community by increasing participation of squash, building awareness of the sport, and enriching the experience for players.

For more information on U.S. SQUASH go to www.ussquash.com.

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