The Cayman World Open presented by BDO starts on Friday and the excitement is building as the organisers put the final touches to hosting the best players in the world.
The glass court Festival Green, Camana Bay is nearly finished and the stadium seating is almost complete.
Event organiser Dan Kneipp said: “The next stage is working with Massive to transform the site. A big benefit to the new court location is there is more space and fewer obstacles that we need to build around. Once Massive has finished with the site it will be one of the most beautiful and dramatic sporting venues. But I’m only biased!
There is no cover for the seated crowd, so what happens if it rains?
“The same thing that happens at the US Open tennis – everyone gets wet,” said Kneipp. “It is an outdoor venue with covering for the glass court only. This is the same setup that we’ve had for the 2010 and 2011 Cayman Opens.
“In 2010 we had rain for the quarter-finals. We still had a full crowd – with everyone wearing rain ponchos – and the court stayed dry under the tent. It will be the same for the 2012 World Open Presented by BDO. If it rains the show must go on and the squash will continue.”
The Cayman Islands National Squash Association is making history by hosting these World Championships. More than 50 athletes from 24 different nations are competing for the title of world champion.
Nicol David is seeded first as she looks to retain her World Open champion status and win her seventh world title in eight years.
The Malaysian world No. 1, who claimed her six World Open titles in Egypt, England, Ireland, China and twice in the Netherlands, also has three Cayman Open titles to her credit.
The first four days are at the South Sound Squash Club, before the action moves to Camana Bay.
David faces a tough first round opponent in former world No.4 and 2010 World Open runner-up Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt.
One of the pair could face ninth seed Annie Au in round two, should the Hong Kong national defeat unseeded Jaclyn Hawkes.
Currently enjoying her highest ranking on the World Squash Association World Tour, Raneem El Weleily is seeded second for the event, having never made it past the second round in her previous 10 World Open campaigns.
Now enjoying the form of her life, the Egyptian will play Aisling Blake in the first round, before potentially meeting No. 13 seed Dipika Pallikal in round two.
Laura Massaro is seeded at No.3 and will face a qualifying opponent in the opening main round, and could face 2007 World Open champion Rachael Grinham in the second round.
Having finally fought back to the top end of the women’s game, Alison Waters has had a successful year regaining full-fitness after a lengthy Achilles injury.
She returned to the No.4 ranking in November and is seeded fourth for the event. She will face local wildcard entrant Marlene West, who reached her highest WSA ranking of 71 in 2010.