ALL OF THE WORLD’S TOP – RANKING PLAYERS ON BOARD FOR 2017 TOC
New York, NY – Dec. 7, 2016. The J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) announced today that every one of the world’s 24 top-ranking men’s and women’s players has been confirmed for the 2017 championship to be contested January 12 – 19 in Grand Central Terminal.
“What a great way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ToC championship competition in the awe-inspiring setting of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall,” said John Nimick, President of Squash Engine, Inc., the tournament promoter. “The fact that every single one of the world’s top 24 players in the men’s and women’s PSA rankings has entered the 2017 ToC is a testament to the enthusiasm of the ToC crowds, the majesty of the court setting and the allure of competing for this prized title on one of the sport’s grandest stages.”
Defending champions Nour El Sherbini and Mohamed Elshorbagy, both of whom are currently ranked #1 in the world, will face stiff competition as they attempt to retain their titles. The men’s field includes four other ToC titlists, all of whom have been ranked #1 in the world. Gregory Gaultier of France, Nick Matthew of England and Ramy Ashour of Egypt, will be the third, fourth and fifth seeds, respectively while England’s James WIllstrop continues his climb back up the rankings after being sidelined with a hip injury a year ago.. The number two seed will be Karim Abdel Gawad, who has taken the squash world by storm in the past four months, winning three of the last four tournaments he has played, including the World Championships.
The women’s field includes three previous titleholders – Raneem El Welily of Egypt, Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands and Malaysia’s Nicol David, who will also be presented with the ToC Women’s Leadership Award during tournament week. The reigning women’s world champion, France’s Camille Serme, will be seeded fifth, just behind Egyptian teenager Nouran Gohar and England’s veteran Laura Massaro
The four-walled glass court will be constructed in the five days prior to first round play. Fans will be able to catch the action in Grand Central from the ticketed seats in the stadium, free standing room at the front wall or on closed circuit TV screens on the west side of Vanderbilt Hall. The ToC is the only sports championship presented annually in Grand Central Terminal. In 2016, the ToC generated 704 hours of global coverage, attracting 2.2 million viewers and realizing more than $40 million in media value for its sponsors and partners.
The J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions is one of eight World Series events sanctioned by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and one of only three to offer equal prize money and draw size for both men and women. It is the only PSA World Series event to have been staged in the same venue for two decades.
J.P. Morgan, a global financial services company, is returning for its ninth year of Platinum title sponsorship. Gold Sponsor Lexington Partners, the world’s largest independent manager of secondary private equity and co-investment funds, marks its nineteenth year of ToC sponsorship. The Hospital for Special Services (HSS) joins the ToC for the first time a a diamond sponsor and the Official Hospital and Provider of Medical Services
Tickets range in price from $8 to $170 and are available for purchase at www.tocsquash.com.
Squash is contested in all the major international multi-sport regional games and has been rated by Forbes magazine as the healthiest sport based on cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, calories burned and risk of injury. The sport was first played in England more than 140 years ago and is now popular in 185 countries, with nearly 50,000 squash courts worldwide. There are more than 16 million squash players around the world and 800,000 in the United States.