The Netherlands has had to wait a long time, but on Tuesday 9 April 2019 the time has come. Almost seven and a half years after the World Open finals in Rotterdam, won by Nicol David and Nick Matthew, the DPD Open Squash starts in Eindhoven and Oirschot, with a large part of the world’s top players competing.
Tom Lucas acts as tournament director during the new PSA World Tour Gold event. A position that the Amsterdammer deserves in view of his merits for sport in recent years. In addition, Lucas is jointly responsible for the agreement that DPD Nederland concluded a year ago with the PSA to organize a squash tournament of international allure in the Netherlands.
“In December 2016, through Michel Lindner, I came into contact with Eric Dietz, the general manager of DPD Nederland, and I had a number of discussions with him about squash in the Netherlands. During these sparring sessions the opening of the new DPD HUB in Oirschot was discussed, as was the fact that squash is a sport that you can play at almost any location. Eric saw the opportunity to enhance the opening of the new DPD headquarters and distribution center with a major squash event,” said Lucas.
More than fifteen months later, Dietz and Lucas’ vision becomes reality, because from 9th to 14th April, eighteen global top ten players (eight men and ten women) can be admired in our country.
“The field of participants has exceeded my expectations,” Lucas said when asked. “I expected that five top ten players would participate in the men’s and seven in the ladies. However, there have been quite a few more and with Ali Farag, Nour El Sherbini, Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily the two best players in the world are participating in both the men and the women. ”
In addition to the large number of global top players, Milou van der Heijden (PSA-29) and Tessa ter Sluis (PSA-91) admitted with a wild card are also present in the ladies tournament. Among the men a coveted starting ticket goes to Thijs Roukens (PSA-265) or Roshan Bharos (PSA-206). The two young Dutch players will play a mutual qualifying match at Houtrust Squash in The Hague on Sunday 31 March at 13:00 to decide who can participate in the DPD Open Squash in April.
In addition to the strong field of participants, the DPD Open Squash is also unique in various other areas. The event takes place on a glass squash court in the new distribution center of DPD Nederland that will remain operational during the tournament. This means that visitors will soon be able to see what the logistics process of sending a package looks like.
The experience surrounding the competitions will also be considered during the DPD Open Squash. There will be a catering square, various promotional stands and a show program to entertain the visitors.
Until that time, enough operational matters still have to be arranged. Yet the countdown has already blown to the tournament that is being talked about a lot. It is also noticeable by the attention on social media that the tournament is really starting to live.
“Even before ticket sales started, I received messages from squash enthusiasts who wanted to buy tickets. The enthusiasm of the fans is therefore very large. That provides a lot of positive momentum within squash sport, “said the tournament director.
Does Lucas wants to say something to the squashers who are hesitant to watch?
“Hell yes. It has been almost eight years since such a large squash event took place in the Netherlands. It is a unique opportunity to see the world top at work at a very special location. As a squash enthusiast, I would definitely come and watch at least one day in Oirschot, ”concludes Lucas.
With a total prize pool of $ 212,000, evenly distributed across the men’s and women’s division, the DPD Open Squash in 2019 is the second largest squash tournament in Europe [after the British Open].
Almost all the world’s top players are therefore present in the Netherlands from Tuesday 9th to Sunday 14th April. The first round will be played on Tuesday 9 April at Squashtime (address: Vijfkamplaan 22 in Eindhoven) and at DPD Nederland’s new head office and distribution center (address: Westfields 1410 in Oirschot).
From 10th April all matches will be played at the ASB Glass Show Court that is being built up at the DPD premises.
The competitions at Squashtime are freely accessible to the public. An admission ticket is required for all matches that take place at the premises of DPD Nederland. These can be purchased via Ticketmaster and cost between € 17.50 and € 50.00.