Chicago Attracts World's Top Women Squash Players For First Time
Chicago will host its richest women's squash event ever when the Women's METROsquash Windy City Open gets underway tomorrow at the University Club of Chicago in the largest city in the US state of Illinois.
The Women's Squash Association (WSA) Gold event - the third of the year - boasts a star-studded field featuring eight of the top ten players in the world, led by England's world No2 Laura Massaro.
"I'm really excited to be heading to Chicago for the first time in my career," said the 30-year-old from Preston in Lancashire who is seeded to win the 13th Tour title of her career.
"It's fantastic it's on the WSA calendar at Gold level and the promoters have done brilliantly raising the money to get the top women to The Windy City Open," added the reigning British Open champion.
"I've heard Chicago is a fantastic city so I'll look forward to exploring the city if I have time and it's not too cold!" Massaro begins her Windy City campaign against a qualifier and is likely to face fellow WSA board member Kasey Brown, the newly-elected President ranked 13 in the world, in the quarter-finals.
The draw predicts a semi-final clash with England team-mate Alison Waters, the No3 seed, before a possible final showdown against Raneem El Welily, the world No3 from Egypt.
Joelle King leads New Zealand interest in the event. The fourth seed faces Irish wild card Aisling Blake in the opening round before a possible meeting with the Irish number one Madeleine Perry in the last eight.
Asian interest is led by Low Wee Wern, the fifth seed from Malaysia. But Wern has a tough opener against regional rival Dipika Pallikal, the world No10 from India.
1st round draw:  Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier  Kasey Brown (AUS) v Annie Au (HKG)  Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier  Camille Serme (FRA) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)  Madeline Perry (IRL) v Qualifier  Joelle King (NZL) v [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL)  Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Dipika Pallikal (IND)  Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Qualifier