internationalSPORTgroup™ BRITISH OPEN – MANCHESTER 2009

The world’s most prestigious and longest established squash championships will boast a galaxy of squash stars, led by the world's top men and women, as well as featuring the world's largest and most successful annual Masters Championships, with thirteen age group events ranging from Over-35 to Over-70.
 
Qualifying competitions and early rounds of the main championships will be held at The Northern from Tuesday 8th September with action moving onto the spectacular all-glass show court at the National Squash Centre in Sportcity from Thursday 10th September through to the finals on Monday 14th September.
 
“The economic landscape of the past twelve months has changed dramatically and has affected all sports at all levels” said Paul Walters, Chief Executive Officer of event promoters internationalSPORTgroup™.
 
“However, despite the tough economic climate and obvious challenges, we have worked very hard with England Squash & Racketball and our event partners to ensure that we deliver a world class event worthy of the championships unrivalled heritage. The circumstances are not dissimilar to those that we inherited in 2005 when we staged the British Open for the first time. We organised a great event then and we'll organise a great event again this year."
 
The internationalSPORTgroup™ British Open – Manchester 2009 has received significant backing from Manchester City Council and a host of associate sponsors including HEAD Sport, the championships official racket and footwear partner, squash court supplier ASB, jewellers Michael Spiers and property claims specialists Imperial Consultants.
 
Leading contenders for the men’s title are likely to include three Egyptians; World No.1 Karim Darwish, World Champion Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana; two Frenchmen, Thierry Lincou and Gregory Gaultier; an Australian, David Palmer; and Englishman Nick Mathew.
 
Can the elegant Karim Darwish consolidate his superiority of his compatriots Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana? Will the courageous David Palmer outdo the Egyptian trio to win his fifth British Open title? Will the two best ever Frenchmen, Thierry Lincou and Gregory Gaultier, delight us again with their style and versatility? Or will the recently crowned World Games Champion Nick Matthew of England repeat the brilliance which in 2006 saw him become the first home-grown British Open Champion for 67 years?
 
They are all impenetrable questions and the women’s championship may prove to be equally diverse, with the outcome even less certain. World No.1 Nicol David will be the pre-tournamentfavourite, but Australia’s three time champion Rachael Grinham will hope to recapture her brilliance of 2007 which saw her last lift the coveted trophy, whilst her younger sister Natalie, England’s quartet of Jenny Duncalf, Tania Bailey, Alison Waters and Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, and the ever-dangerous Natalie Grainger from the USA, will wait dangerously in the wings.
 
What is certain, however, is that never its seventy-seven year history has the championships ever comprised so many potential winners.
 
For more information, visit the British Open – Manchester 2009 official website:www.isportgroup.com/BritishOpenSquash
 
Tickets for the British Open - Manchester 2009 can be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing by telephone on 0870 220 0735 or for further information email: info@isportgroup.com

The internationalSPORTgroup™ British Open – Manchester 2009 will be staged at the National Squash Centre and The Northern in Manchester from the 8th to 14th September and promises to “fly in the face of the worldwide recession.”