Marlene has tough draw but none were going to be easy

The biggest squash tournament in
the Caribbean is approaching with some of the world’s best men’s and women’s
players confirmed to arrive next week.

The men’s and women’s main draws
for the 2011 Cedrus Cayman Open at Camana Bay were made last week.

All of the international players in
the women’s main draw are ranked in the top 14 in the world. Defending champion
Nicol David, the world’s top woman player who is undefeated in the two previous
Cayman Opens, will be here again. The tournament runs from 3-9 April at the
glass court in Camana Bay and at the squash club in South Sound.

Cayman’s wild card entry Marlene
West is currently world ranked No.114 and she was drawn against Rachel Grinham
from Australia. Grinham is a former world No.1, former World Open Champion,
double Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a semi-finalist at last year’s Cayman
Open. Her current world ranking is No.3, so she’s still one of the world’s
best.

Cayman has wildcard entrants,
teenagers Kristina Myren and Eilidh Bridgeman, who will play in the 16 player
qualifying tournament. Myren and Bridgeman won a silver and a bronze
respectively at the 2010 Caribbean Junior Championships.

The Cayman Islands National Squash
Association has also given a wildcard to the only Caribbean woman that is
currently on the pro squash tour, world No.48 and 2009 Caribbean champion
Nicolette Fernandes.

In the men’s draw Cayman’s Myron
Blair will be leading the charge against 2008 World Champion and 2010 World
No.1 Egypt’s Ramy Ashour. This will be a great match and an excellent start to
the tournament.

Cayman’s Gabe Rabess was silver
medallist at the recent national championships and only recently returned to
squash. He will be the underdog in his match against Shawn Simpson from
Barbados, but will certainly be capable of an upset. This should be a very
entertaining match.  All first round
matches by the men will be played at South Sound Squash Club. The first matches
begin at South Sound Squash Club on 3 April.

David Finch is the new Cayman
national champ and the Cedrus Cayman Open will be a great chance for him to
cause some upsets. His opponent is Barbadian Gavin Cumberbatch who is a regular
at the Cayman Open and was the 2007 Caribbean Champion. These two played last
year in the Caribbean Championships with Cumberbatch winning, but in a close
match.

Cayman’s Cameron Stafford is the
Caribbean junior champion. He plays Van Rolle, the top junior from Bahamas.
Stafford is seeded to win this match, but nothing should be taken for granted
as his opponent is very talented and will make him work.  The final Cayman player is Alex Frazer who
drew the world No.19 from England Ali Walker.

All the profits of the 2011 Cedrus
Investments Cayman Islands Squash Open go to the junior squash programme. Over
$32,000 worth of squash equipment will be donated to the programme and considerable
funding and all profits will go to squash association to allow free and subsidised
squash for Cayman’s juniors.

During the tournament over 300
juniors from 12 different schools will get free workshops with the visiting
pros. Cayman’s elite and national junior squash teams will get to train on the
glass court at Camana Bay, with profits from the tournament raffle helping fund
the national junior team attending the 2011 Caribbean Junior Championships in
Guyana. 

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Marlene West has a tough draw against the world No.3.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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