Professional squash is heading to North Carolina for the first time this week in the form of the inaugural Charlotte Open, a $5,000 U.S. Pro Series tournament, hosted at the recently-opened Charlotte Squash Club.
The four-court facility opened its doors on World Squash Day, October 18, last fall as the city’s first squash-only facility located in a 6,000-square-foot section of the previously-vacated Providence Square Shopping Center in the city’s southeast.
“This tournament gives us the opportunity to raise the profile of squash in Charlotte, and show the community that it’s an international sport while displaying the rigorous demands of the sport at the highest level,” said tournament organizer, Connie Barnes.
“For the local players, it’s extraordinary because they’ll get to see a number of the world’s top 150 players competing in their own, beautiful, world-class facility,” Barnes added. “It will give them a sense of how great it can be to have the PSA players interacting with the members and what they can offer. It will raise the profile of the sport in the area, and will also raise the profile of our charitable urban youth development organization, Squash Empower.”
English world No. 79 Tom Ford makes his U.S. Pro Series debut as the top seed in Charlotte. Ford is seeded to meet Canadian world No. 91 in the final. American world No. 174 Faraz Khan leads home hopes with his first-round draw against eighth-seeded Pakistani Amaad Fareed.
Fresh from winning the Rochester ProAm this weekend, Mexican world No. 99 Eric Galvez enters the draw seeded third against a qualifier in the first round main draw play. Jamaica’s Lewis Walters is seeded fourth, and will face Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein—who was awarded the wild card position—in the first round.
Hosted alongside US Squash-accredited junior silver and adult skill level tournaments, Charlotte Open qualifying begins Tuesday evening, while main draw play begins Thursday, April 23.
To view the complete draw, visit the official tournament page.
For more information on the Charlotte Squash Club, visit the club’s official website.