Saudi Arabia Just Hosted Their First Ever Women Squash Tournament
Lately, Saudi Arabia has been taking several steps towards a more liberal and open society. Initiatives and policies are being adopted to allow women become more active in the society. In the last couple of months, policies were issued to allow women to drive and to enter sports stadiums, and recently, to hold sports tournaments for women.
In a similar manner, Saudi Arabia is currently hosting the first professional squash tournament for women! The event that kicked off in Riyadh is the first of the 2018 women’s squash World Series, it started on Sunday and will end on Friday.
Such an honor & privilege for me, the players and squash to be part of a women liberation movement & a new chapter in Saudi Arabia's history. Participating in Saudi women's open here for the first time ever and feeling overwhelmed with all the love and support we've received in #KSA. Thank you Ziad Al Turki @zalturki for pulling all this and Thank you Princess Reema for the great hospitality :). Looking forward to my match tomorrow and I hope we play here again next year.
The tournament has 32 of the most fierce squash players in the world and the grand prize is $165,000. The Chairman of the Professional Squash Association happens to be the Saudi Ziad Al Turki, and the tournament was hosted by Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports.
“Things are changing in Saudi, and they are changing fast. Win or lose, you are making history.” Said Al Turki in a dinner before the tournament.
Made it to the 2nd round here in Saudi hamdolelah. Nele is a strong player, physically she is very powerful and she hits the ball very hard. So I was trying to not give her anything to hit today… The court is different from any court we normally play on so I was trying to get used to it, I was trying all my shots, trying to move on court to get the feel of it. The World Championship is the biggest tournament of the year for us, we all try and win it at least once in our career. Some try for years and never get it… I got close a few times in the past, and this year, 3 Egyptians were in the semis, Nour El Tayeb and and Nour El Sherbini in the final. So hopefully, we’ll have many more titles going to Egypt in the coming years isa.
World Champion Raneem El-Welily and the Current PSA Number One Nour El Sherbini both made it to the second round, and we can’t be more proud of our Egyptian Champions.