Professional squash stars once again descend on Boston on Friday (1st December) for the 21st consecutive year of the BSPA Boston Open.
Although the event is into its third decade, there is still room for history to be made as Millie Tomlinson aims to become the first player to win four consecutive titles in Lincolnshire.
A win for the women’s top seed and world #22 would see her match the total number of Boston Opens won by Tania Bailey (who won hers between 2000 and 2009).
The 25 year old finished runner-up to world #10 Alison Waters in the Wimbledon Cup and won the $15,000 NASH Cup in Canada in September.
She was also runner-up to world #3 Camille Serme in the European Individual Championship in August, held about 60 miles from Boston - at the University of Nottingham.
Millie’s closest challenger is expected to be Lisa Aitken. The second seed is the highest ranked Scot in the world at #62. This year, she has won PSA World Tour titles in Switzerland and New Zealand.
Ali Hemingway makes her fifth consecutive appearance at the Open, and is joined as a 3/4 seed by Elspeth Young who finished runner-up at the Scottish Nationals in March.
Turning to the men’s draw, Jaymie Haycocks is the top seed. This is his first appearance in Boston since losing in five sets to Alan Clyne in the quarter-finals of 2008’s edition. The world #74 made it to the last eight of the British National Championship in February, losing out to eventual winner Nick Matthew. He’ll be hoping to join Mark Cairns and Simon Parke as a player to win the Boston Open at the age of 34.
21 year old Scot Rory Stewart is the second seed. He won the British U23 Open in January and was a semi-finalist in Boston last year.
3/4 seed Vini Rodrigues from Brazil also returns having made the quarter-finals here last year. He won the South American Championship in Paraguay in September 2016. The other 3/4 seed, Rob Downer, is new to this event and reached a highest world ranking of 120 in May last year.
Tom Walsh beat fellow 5/8 seed Nick Wall in the final to win the British Junior U19 Nationals in October. 18 year old Curtis Malik completes the seedings.
There is a quartet of local players - Adam Hildred, Harry Falconer, Dan McGinn and Martin Gibson (who first appeared in the Boston Open in 1999!)
bspasquash.com will have all the results and reports from the event as it progresses, while scores will also be available as they come in @bspabostonopen on twitter.
As always the Boston Open is free for the public to attend. Everyone is welcome to the club on Rosebery Avenue to watch the professionals in action. Play runs roughly from 2.15-9pm on Friday and 11.30am-7pm on Saturday, with Sunday’s finals at 2 and 3pm.