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Paul Coll and Joelle King, here celebrating their mixed doubles win at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, will face stern competition at this year’s New Zealand Open.
Some of the biggest stars of the squash world are set to descend upon Tauranga for this year’s New Zealand Open.
In what is the first co-sanctioned tournament in the country since 1993, the November 8-13 PSA World Tour Silver event has a huge number of nations represented.
To be staged on the state-of-the-art glass court in the Trustpower Baypark Arena with Squash TV broadcasting it around the world, the tournament will see players from 20 different countries, headlined by Kiwi world No 2 Paul Coll.
The 30-year-old from Greymouth, who claimed gold medals in the singles and mixed doubles at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last month, will have a fellow former world No 1 for company in Mohamed El Shorbagy, who previously played for Egypt and now represents England.
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New world circuit hot-shot Victor Crouin, of France (No 14), and 2018 British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez, from Colombia (No 16), are also in a men’s draw which features other players from Egypt, India, Qatar, Scotland, the United States, Hong Kong, Hungary, Argentina, Canada, Malaysia and the Czech Republic.
The women’s draw is led by New Zealand legend Joelle King, the world No 5 from Cambridge who teamed with Coll in the Commonwealth mixed triumph and also claimed gold there in the women’s doubles.
But the 33-year-old will face stern competition for the title in Tauranga, with England world No 6 Sarah-Jane Perry – who beat the Kiwi in the Commonwealth singles bronze playoff match – entered, along with King’s Commonwealth semifinals conqueror, Canadian Hollie Naughton (world No 20).
Other nations represented in the women’s field include Japan, Scotland, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong.
The New Zealand Open will be preceded by the Nations Cup, on November 3-6, at the same venue, where eight teams will compete under an innovative scoring format in the opening of the world SquashFORWARD series.
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