August 19 - Rotterdam’s Victoria sporting club is gearing up to play host to two world class tournaments with the Double AR Rotterdam Open Squash 2013 and the HDI Gerling Rotterdam Open Tennis 2013 taking place in the Dutch city in the coming days.
By Gary Anderson, republished from Inside The Games.
The squash event, a Professional Squash Association (PSA) Challenger 15 Championship, is due to run from August 27 to September 1, while the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures event is scheduled to start on Friday (August 24) and runs through until September 1.
Organisers of the Rotterdam Squash Open hope that the simultaneous staging of the two tournaments will raise the profile of squash and boost its campaign for Olympic inclusion just a few days before the decision is due to be made at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires on September 8.
Some of the biggest names in tennis, including multi-Grand Slam winners Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Andre Agassi and Kim Clijsters, have backed the campaign to get squash on the Olympic sports programme as it battles with wrestling and baseball-softball to claim the final spot for the 2020 Games.
“Squash has had incredible support from the tennis stars, so having these two events side by side is another great piece of exposure for our sport,” said PSA chief executive Alex Gough.
Rotterdam played host to the men’s and women’s World Squash Championships in 2011 and the 2013 Rotterdam Open is a new event on the professional World Tour, and among the players scheduled to compete in the tournament is eight-time Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema and former world number nine Adrian Grant from Britain.
Tommy Berden, a spokesman for the 2013 Rotterdam Open says the simultaneous running of the two events will provide a feast of sporting action for racket sport fans.
“It is great to work with the tennis guys,” he said.
“We have adjusted the playing times of both events to ensure visitors can watch squash and tennis matches when they come to the club, and are also organising some side events together, like a Kids Day on Wednesday and a Business Day on Friday.
“We will no doubt continue to work together in the future and aim to extend our partnership for the 2014 events.”
Deputy director of Rotterdam Topsport - the events firm helping to stage the squash tournament – Hans Zoethoutmaar added: “When there are so many parallels between the two racket sports, you have to make the most of it as the host city.
“Both events have free admission, take place at a fantastic venue and have ambitious tournament directors that have run world class events before.
“That is what we like in our city.”