Squash fans in Cayman thoroughly enjoyed another staging of the Cayman Open, sponsored by Cedrus Investments – and so did the players, especially the ones who have been here all three times since it started in 2009.
Many of the world’s best women competed in the tournament at the squash club in South Sound and glass court in Camana Bay which was once again won by world No.1 Nicol David earlier this month.
The men’s tournament once again had some of the best players in the Caribbean, with the bonus of competition against 2010 world No.1 Ramy Ashour of Egypt who surprisingly lost in the final to England’s world ranked Alister Walker.
Ashour hadn’t been in Grand Cayman a full day yet he was already talking about living here! He had heard so many positive things about the tournament organised by Dan Kneipp that he felt he already knew it intimately.
Colin Ramasra of Trinidad and Tobago was last year’s winner – beating Cayman’s Cameron Stafford – who lost to Ashour in the semis this time. Nevertheless, Ramasra, 27, left Cayman with more fond memories having played Walker earlier in the tournament.
The Cedrus Cayman Open benefits the junior programme. Over $112,000 worth of funding and equipment has gone into the junior programme through the tournament. Over $32,000 worth of squash equipment was donated to the programme by the Cedrus Cayman Open this time.
“I found this Cayman Open to be better than the previous two,” Ramasra said. “The women’s matches were very close from day one and the men’s completely different with Alister and Ramy in the draw.
“I enjoyed Cayman Open 2010 the most because I won,” he laughed. “I came to first one as I felt it was a great way to expose Caribbean squash to the rest of the world.”
The only previous time Ramasra had been here was aged 11 in 1994 for the Junior Caribbean Squash Championships so has seen plenty of changes since then.
“I think the Cayman Open can grow tremendously, as Cayman has great coaches, good facilities, world class players like Mark Chaloner around as well as kids being exposed to tournaments like the Cayman Open.
“Playing wise my highlights were definitely playing on the all glass court was nice and playing Alister was great fun. Recreationally Stingray City and Seven Mile beachwas great too.
Ramasra feelsCayman can build on its growing reputation for staging major squash events and become a major force in sports tourism. “Definitely, I think it already is with tournaments like the Cayman Open.”