Organisers of the 2007 Women's World Open Squash Championship in Madrid have confirmed that the sport's biggest ever women's event will be staged adjacent to the Royal Palace (the Palacio Real) in the Spanish capital, from 23-27 October.
An all-glass court will be the centre-piece of the event which will attract all the world's top players, led by Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who will be seeking her third successive triumph in the sport's most prized championship.
"It will be a spectacular setting, with the stunning court in the open air, visible from all sides - and with the city's historic Royal Palace as a sensational backdrop," said World Squash Federation (WSF) President Jahangir Khan, himself a six-times Men's World Champion.
Qualifying will take place at the Pallestra Squash Club in Madrid from 21-22 October, followed by first and second round main draw action.
Additionally, a pre-qualifying competition to select Spanish wild-cards will be held at the Club Castellana in Madrid, which will also be available for player practice.
Matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be staged on the all-glass court from Thursday 25 October through to the final on Saturday 27 October.
"I can hardly think of a city which would be better for the Women's World Open and I am really excited about fighting for that title this year in Madrid," said defending champion Nicol David.
"Not only that, but having the glass court by the Royal Palace will be awesome for the players and great to promote women's squash and the city internationally. See you there!"
The historic agreement to stage the biggest-ever event in women's squash - boasting a cash prize-fund of more than $100,000 - has been reached between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Madrid City Council.
The Championship will be staged in partnership between Madrid City Council; the Federacion EspaÅˆola de Squash; the WSF; and the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA). Madrid 16, the organisation lobbying to host the 2016 Olympic Games, is also supporting the event.
(A photograph of Madrid's Palacio Real is available on request)
Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of WSF
Tel: +44 (0)1737-243333; Mobile: +44 (0)7773-325130
WSQ 3858 8 May 2007
photo Getty Images
photo Anton Vos
By Ian Chadband
By Alex Sharp
By Alex Sharp