HIGHEST-EVER RANKED SOUTH AMERICAN SQUASH PLAYER AND No. 5 IN THE WORLD MIGUEL ANGEL RODRIGUEZ LEADING THE LATIN AMERICAN PRESENCE AT THE PSA WORLD TOUR EVENT TAKING PLACE SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 1 AT JUSTIN HERMAN PLAZA
Now in its 5th year on the San Francisco waterfront, the 2016 NetSuite Open will have the highest number of participants from Latin America than ever before. Leading the list is the spectacular, crowd-favorite, recent Pan American Games double-Gold Medalist and no. 5 in the World: Miguel Angel Rodriguez. “The Colombian Cannonball” made history when he became the first ever South American to reach the semifinals of a PSA World Series event at the 2015 Tournament of Champions in Grand Central Terminal, NYC. Other star athletes from Latin America are Peruvian and 2015 World Junior Champion Diego Elias, Colombian Catalina Pelaez, and Mexicans Cesar Salazar, Samantha Teran, Alfredo Avila, Diana Garcia and Mexican-born Reyna Pacheco, who is now a U.S. citizen.
While Rodriguez is seeded in the Men’s main draw and Pacheco will compete as the Wildcard in the Women’s main draw, the other Latin American players will compete first in tournament qualifying for one of four slots open in both main draws.
The Men’s division has attracted many of the best players in the world including reigning world champion and World no. 2 Gregory Gaultier (FRA), no. 3 Nick Matthew (ENG), no. 5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL), and no. 6 Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY), whose older brother Mohamed is currently on top of the world rankings. In all, the $100,000 men’s division has attracted twelve of the top twenty players in the world.
The Women’s division features four of the top ten players in the world including Malaysian superstar and 9-year World no. 1 Nicol David, current world no. 2 Laura Massaro (ENG), defending NetSuite Open champion and no. 8 Amanda Sobhy of the USA and no. 9 Joelle King of New Zealand. While the men’s purse has remained the same in 2016, the women’s purse has doubled to $50,000.
The 2016 NetSuite Open, taking place from September 27th to October 1st at Justin Herman Plaza, is one of the top 12 professional squash tournaments in the world. The matches are held in the NetSuite Challenge Court, a portable all-glass court with cutting edge, embedded LED video capabilities facing the inspiring view of the Embarcadero in front of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building. Fifty-six of the PSA World Tour’s best players will battle in the two divisions for a total of $150K in tournament prize money.
PSA: stands for the Professional Squash Association World Tour that sanctions more than 200 tournaments annually all over the world.
FACTS ABOUT SQUASH:
- The United States has the fastest growing squash participation worldwide -the Sports & Fitness Association (SFIA) shows 114% growth overall between 2008 and 2013 to more than 1.4 million squash players
- Over the course of a five-year alone, US Squash has seen an 86% growth in participation for middle school squash players, 18% for high school, and 43% increase participation in in the U.S. Junior Open-the largest junior tournament of the world.
- More than 200 colleges and universities have courts, including 23 of the top 25 colleges as ranked by Forbes magazine.