With less than 24 hours to go, Dublin Squash fans are looking forward to the ninth edition of the Canon Kirk Homes Irish Open 2013. As always, there’s both a ladies’ and men’s 16 player draw, each boasting a €15k prize fund. What makes this year’s edition a little more special is that there will be some live online streaming from Thursday onwards on aertv.ie. This service is completely free, so why not tune in and enjoy some expert commentary and analysis! Suffice to say, entry to all matches at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club is also free.
The main draw action begins on Wednesday and we’ll take a closer look at the draws on Tuesday. Before that, there are sixteen men and women who are fighting for the eight (four in each) qualifying spots available. There’s plenty of Irish players playing in the qualifying:
Griffin Gillanders, Stephanie Ryan, Fiona Powers and Ciara Moloney in the women’s draw, and Sean Conroy, Oisin Logan, David Ryan and Michael Craig in the men’s draw. This is a great opportunity for Irish talents to measure themselves against professional Squash players, and while it’s rare to see local players upsetting seasoned professionals, one never knows what an impact playing “at home” will have!
But apart from our Irish hopefuls playing tomorrow, there’ll be plenty of other matches, too. All professional players in the qualifying draws will have travelled to Dublin with only thing goal in mind: reaching the main draw! To do so they have to win two matches in a row, and you can count on plenty of intensity in these matches. The main reason being is that only in the main draw do players receive prize money, losing in the qualifying draw will “only” earn them some points for their world ranking. The highest ranked female player in the qualifying draw is Swiss number one Gaby Huber (world ranking 50), while Malaysian Ivan Yuen (world ranking 73) is the top male qualifier.
So, best of luck to our Irish players, and we look forward to seeing you at Fitzwilliam, or if you can’t make it, online at aertv.ie from Thursday onwards! – Dan Zilic