Squash’s best all set to play

 CONFIRMED: Former world champion Rachael Grinham will compete in Devonport next month. Picture: Supplied
CONFIRMED: Former world champion Rachael Grinham will compete in Devonport next month. Picture: Supplied

Some of the world’s finest squash players will converge on Devonport next month when the city hosts the Tasmanian Open Women’s Squash Tournament.

Among those taking part will be Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medalist Rachael Grinham, who is also a former world champion and four-time British Open winner.

The 41-year-old will be the second seed for what will be the largest tournament to be staged in Tasmania, with England’s Jenny Duncalf its top player. The international contingent will also feature Japanese fourth seed Satomi Watanabe and Egypt’s Menna Hamed, the seventh seed. Along with Grinham, the leading Australian contenders are expected to be Tamika Saxby and Sarah Cardwell, who is the daughter of Australian great Vicki Cardwell. 

Tasmania’s number one player and the nation’s second-ranked junior Grace Pattison, who is originally from Devonport but now calls Hobart home, along with Claire Ward, who is also from the host city, will be two of the state’s best hopes.

Tournament organiser and Squash Tasmania president Leon Barnett said the depth of talent was quite impressive, saying it was a “real coup” to attract someone of Grinham’s standing.

“This is one of the best facilities for squash in Tasmania and rates quite highly compared to the mainland as well,’’ he said.

Qualifying will begin on Thursday, July 26, with matches running until Sunday, July 29. A public “meet and greet” with competitors will take place at noon on Friday, July 27, at the squash centre in Forbes Street.