The Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA) is announcing exciting plans to re-brand its top tier championships as WISPA World Series events, leading to an annual WISPA World Series Finals.
The first new WISPA World Series event will be this week’s Cedrus Investments Cayman Islands Open. The $68,500 championship, in its third year in the Cayman Islands, has attracted a star-studded field featuring eight of the world’s top ten women, led by world No1 Nicol David, who will be out to defend her title.
The decision is part of a growing plan by WISPA to work more closely with the men’s international players’ body, theProfessional Squash Association (PSA), in order to maximise the resources and exposure available to both bodies.
“The new initiative will have a number of benefits,” said WISPA Tour Director Tim Garner. “Not only will there be increased profile and prestige of those specific events, but it will also ensure seamless branding at tournaments that host both men’s & women’s World Series events.
“Furthermore, there will be the opportunity for the top players to earn the levels of money that their efforts warrant – and the combined resources of WISPA and PSA will bring improved television and other media coverage that can only benefit the sport as a whole,” Garner continued.
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough added: “This is an exciting time for squash. We have been in discussions with WISPA for a while now on the alignment of the top tier of the game and this is a big step towards this. PSA has been working hard on its media output and we look forward to helping promote the women’s game with the same TV production team.
“We are also looking forward to showing the WISPA World Series events through the online channel Squash TV starting next week from the Cedrus Investments Cayman Islands Open.”
The following events will make up the 2011 WISPA World Series:
Cayman Islands Open
Hong Kong Open
“We are also in discussions with a couple of other potential events which have expressed an interest in joining this elite group,” added Garner. “We will be looking to grow the WISPA World Series to eight events, plus the World Open, in the near future.”