THE 2013 edition of the Safeguard Zimbabwe Open Squash tournament roars to life on Friday at Suburbs Squash Club.
The three-day tournament has been sponsored to a tune of $5 000 by the security company and is set to come to an end on Sunday when the finals of all categories will be held.
Nine-time doubles winners and defending champions Mike Burns and Neil Nesbitt, will be seeking their 10th title since the country’s premier squash competition began in 2004. The pair have won all nine editions of the competition. Nesbitt told Southern Eye Sport that they were ready to defend their title come Friday.
“We want to get our 10th title in the doubles category and we will see what happens from there. We might join the younger guys and try to bring them up in the game or venture into the coaching aspect of the game. Our training has been going very well and we are fully prepared for the tournament,” Nesbitt said.
The two had been playing together since 2000 and have won 11 closed doubles and nine open doubles titles. In 2005, the two participated in the World doubles Championships held in Melbourne, Australia, where they finished the competition ranked 13th.
“We are expecting most of our competition to come from the Zambians who will be strong contenders for the title as well,” Nesbitt added. The two Bulawayo-based players beat the Zambian duo of Mwinga Lengwe and Enos Mwale 3-0 to clinch last year’s title, walking away with $500 and a shield for winning the competition, their ninth doubles title.
The defending champions will have to overcome the Zambian pairing of Ray Simbule and Richard Twali, as well as the pair of last year’s losing finalist, in this year’s edition of the games. Lengwe scooped the first prize of $1 000, trophy and a shield after emerging winner in the men’s singles final after beating fellow countryman Ken Mwape 3-0 to win the coveted title.
South Africa’s Sharon Le Roux beat Zambian Sharon Chimfwembe 3-0 to win the women’s title while Zimbabwean Faizal Jassat is set to defend the title in the veterans’ category after he beat fellow countryman Mark Dixon 3-0 to last year’s title.
Other hopefuls for the top honours include last year’s losing semi-finalist in the singles category Admire Magwaza and US-based Zimbabwean Busani Xaba.