SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open Squash Championships – this year featuring the highest-caliber professional men's and women's draws ever hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area with current and past players – comes to the all-glass Oracle NetSuite Challenge Court in Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero September 24-30.
Now in its sixth year, the event features a $100,000 men's draw and $50,000 women's draw.
"We're thrilled to once again bring the world's best players to downtown San Francisco," said Evan Goldberg, Executive Vice President of Development for Oracle NetSuite. "Long-time fans will get an opportunity to see the top squash players compete at the highest level, while we continue to raise awareness of the game of squash and the importance of academics throughout local schools."
Defending champions Gregory Gaultier of France, current world No. 1 and three-time Oracle NetSuite Open champion, and Laura Massaro of England, former world No. 1 and current world No. 4, both return to defend their 2016 titles.
Egypt's reigning men's world champion and world No. 2, Karim Abdel Gawad makes his Oracle NetSuite Open debut as the two seed. Two other men's former world No. 1's enter the draw in hopes of dethroning Gaultier – Nick Matthew and Mohamed Elshorbagy. Matthew, England's two-time runner up, enters his fourth Oracle NetSuite Open in hopes of capturing his first title. Elshorbagy, who held the world No. 1 ranking for twenty-eight months from 2015-2017, aims to claim his first Oracle NetSuite Open in his debut.
In the women's draw, Nicol David of Malaysia, the sport's most decorated female with eight world championship titles and former world No. 1, returns for her second Oracle NetSuite Open.
"It is a terrific testament to the city, the tournament and the local community that the Oracle NetSuite Open gets a better draw every year," said tournament promoter John Nimick of Squash Engine. "Adding two recent world No. 1 players like Mohamed Elshorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad to an already outstanding list of returning stars is just thrilling. The 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open is a season-opener for the PSA World Tour so all the players will be eager to have a strong result here."
The full field of professionals were revealed on August 14, and draws and match times will be released on August 28.
While the men's and women's draws feature professionals from around the world, the Oracle NetSuite Open benefits the local community through its official charity, SquashDrive, a National Urban Squash and Education Association program. SquashDrive is an intensive after school, weekend and summer program that uses the unique combination of squash instruction, academic tutoring and community service to help Bay Area public school students reach their full potential. Last year, the Oracle NetSuite Open helped SquashDrive reach its $50,000 fundraising goal during the tournament to launch a new College Prep program.
Professionals won't be the only players competing on the Bay Area squash courts during the Oracle NetSuite Open as local clubs prepare to host the Latitude 38 Group Open Singles adult tournament, September 21-24, and Oracle NetSuite US Squash Junior Gold tournament, September 29-October 1.
Two rounds of qualifying and all first-round matches will take place at local clubs, September 24-26.
Tickets are on sale now for glass court play, September 27-30, at www.oraclenetsuiteopen.com, with a price range available for every budget.
For group rates, packages and select box seat availability, contact the Oracle NetSuite Open Box Office at [email protected], or call 415-738-2517.
SOURCE Squash Engine, Inc.