Saudi businessman Ziad Al-Turki promises a “new era for the popularity of Squash” with the launch of the ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals at The Queen’s Club in London in January next year.
The enigmatic entrepreneur, who was linked with the purchasing of Manchester City in 2009, has been a fanatical squash fan and player for many years and has pledged his financial and personal commitment to re-invigorate the sport by broadening its appeal to a wider, younger audience, in order to encourage a new generation of players and to increase its appeal as an exciting spectator sport.
“Squash for me is a sport which is incredibly fast-paced, exciting and a test of both physical and mental strength,” said Ziad Al-Turki. “I believe that given the right investment and support, squash can become one of the most exciting and loved sports. I am investing my time and money into something I am passionate about and with the finals in January 2011 we hope to announce a new era for the popularity of the sport. It will definitely help to put squash back on to the sporting map.”
One of the first major investments made is the ATCO PSA World Series Finals, from January 11-15, which is the culmination of the 2010 PSA Super Series tour. The event, formerly known as the Super Series Finals, will see the world’s eight top male players competing for the Tour championship title and the highest first prize ever played for in the UK and Europe.
The final line-up for the ATCO PSA World Series Finals is not yet decided, but is likely to include Egypt’s reigning world number one Ramy Ashour, and England’s Nick Matthew, winner of two Commonwealth Games gold medals in Delhi last week. The pair head the current 2010 PSA Super Series rankings.
The seventh Super Series event of the year, the El Gouna International Open, is currently underway in Egypt – and this will be followed by the HH Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah Trophy, The Patriarch Amir, Kuwait Open and Qatar Classic in November, and the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in Delhi in December.
The ATCO PSA World Series Finals – which will be hosted at The Queen’s Club, the home of racquet sports – will take place in an iconic inflatable structure, specifically created for this showpiece event. The ‘Z-Court’ will contain the very latest in squash viewing, featuring an all-glass court with glass supports, enabling uninterrupted 360 degree views of the action.
The five-day event, which will be attended by a number of famous names, will be hosted by leading sports presenters Jake Humphreys and Chris Hollins, and will offer fans a unique and exciting experience, with interactive live Twitter feed and bespoke website as well as the very latest in sports technology.
The ATCO PSA World Series is a statement of intent from the combined forces of the Professional Squash Association (PSA), Ziad Al-Turki, and brand and experiential agency Greenspace, to reinvigorate and regenerate the sport of squash. This triumvirate work incredibly closely together and share the same desire; to take the exciting and high energy sport to the masses, making it a favourite with sports fans, through both viewing and participation.
PSA CEO Alex Gough added: “Ziad has added an incredible amount of passion, commitment and financial support to the sport. This, combined with his astute business knowledge, superb contacts and his unfailing passion to take squash to the next level can only be good news for the sport.
“The ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals will be a fantastic event and a culmination of a hard year for all the players, with those at the very top of their game being rewarded with the ultimate prize. 2010 has been a year of growth for squash and we’re looking forward to an exciting future.”