Squash Open’s back!

Staff Writer

THE Zimbabwe Squash Open tournament is back after a four-year absence during which the sport was crippled by dwindling numbers and poor competition.



Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The tournament, to be held in Bulawayo starting today, has attracted players from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

The Zambians have dominated local squash competitions in recent years, winning the last Zimbabwe Open titles in both the men and ladies singles in 1999. The tournament had been played every year since 1991 before its traditional sponsors withdrew after the 1999 edition.


Zambian Ray Sinbule is the Open’s men number one seed while fellow countryman Ken Muhwapi is the second seed. The local team’s hopes will be pinned on Samson Muhwati and Craig Heath, who are the third and fourth seeds respectively. The country’s top player, Murray Martin, withdrew due to work commitments. In the men’s doubles, locals Mike Burns and Neil Nesbitt will fight it out for honours with home favourites Mike Harvey and Trevor Williams of Bulawayo.


Zimbabwe is tipped to haul most of its awards in the ladies and veterans’ categories. Tara Ralphs and Sheri Curle are the top seeds while Mike Carter and Richard Mills are dominant veterans and undoubtedly the country’s most successful players in recent years. The Zimbabwe Open is the last major tournament this year.