KUWAIT MEN'S WORLD OPEN 2009: AN EPIC VOYAGE By Robert Edwards

During my early years on the World Tour, the professional circuit centred around England, but this has now changed dramatically over the years. Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and now Kuwait have raised the bar to new heights. They have all helped to make the Middle East the epicentre of the men’s professional game.
 
It has been my privilege to be involved in every major professional squash event held in Kuwait since Sheikha Fadyah Al Sabah decided to honour the memory of her late sister – Sheikha Sheikha Al Saad Al Sabah with a series of squash tournaments.
 
These have been emotionally charged years and with each event Sheikha Fadyah has raised the standards and the quality.
 
When, as the PSA World Tour Technical Director I arranged for Sheikha Fadyah to be granted the rights to the 2009 World Open by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and World squash Federation (PSA), I knew that Kuwait would witness a new standard in professional sports presentation. The eyes of the world would be on Kuwait as the host nation - and our Chairman charged us all with making this the best World Open of all time. What a challenge!! This was a gauntlet that had to be picked up.
 
I have a number of reasons for wanting this to become the most iconic event ever – these reasons include:
 
This year the event will be played in the memory of H.H. Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al Sabah – The Patriach Amir. I remember his love of the game – his humour and his kindness with great clarity
Sheikha Sheikha Al Saad Al Sabah, who has left such a legacy behind her. Meeting her was a high point in my memories of Kuwait.
Finally for Sheikha Fadyah Al Sabah, who’s love for her late father and sister is the foundation on which we have built everything. To stand at her side and in some small way to help her achieve something remarkable in their memory and for Kuwait will be an honour. Her personal humility is a driving force for me and my team in Kuwaiti.
 
What better reasons could there be to achieve a mighty goal?
 
We have worked hard for nearly a year in preparing the 2009 World Open and we are now ready to open the doors and welcome the world in.
 
The sixty-four competing players are the finest of any era – they will all be battling for the biggest prize fund in the history of the sport and to be crowned ‘World Champion’.
 
I would like to end by thanking the Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, Sheikha Fadyah, for her trust and her friendship over the years. I know that her father and her sister would be so very proud of what she has achieved – and so will the new sporting nation of Kuwait.
 
Now let’s bring on the gladiators and ‘Lets play Squash’
 
Robert Edwards – The Voice of Squash
Technical Director, Presenter and International Commentator, Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009

After more than 25 years of Presenting and Directing major squash events throughout the world, it is no secret that my personal comfort zone is here in the Middle East.