‘So exciting to see this in my home town of Eindhoven’
By ELLIE MAWSON
Netherlands’ World No.31 Milou van der Heijden will be one of the home favourites in action when the DPD Open Squash takes place in Eindhoven from April 9-14.
The PSA World Tour Gold tournament will host 48 of the best male and female players when they descend on the Dutch city next week to battle it out for the titles.
The tournament will be held at the new DPD headquarters in Eindhoven to mark the grand opening of the postal company’s new distribution centre and will feature a total prize fund of $212,000 split equally between the men’s and women’s draws. Home hope van der Heijden can’t wait to see squash come back to the Netherlands.
“I’m very pleased,” said Dutch No.1 van der Heijden. “Obviously for me to play in the event, but also for the Dutch squash fans it is very exciting to have such strong draws in both events. I think it’s going to be a great week.
“Everyone has been talking about it for a while, so it’s exciting that it is almost here now.”
The last time a major squash tournament was held in the Netherlands was the 2011 PSA World Championships in Rotterdam and 28-year-old van der Heijden – who resides in Eindhoven – is looking forward to performing in front of her home crowd once again.
“The last time I played a PSA tournament in the Netherlands was qualification of the World Championships in Rotterdam back in 2011, so that is a long time ago. I think this will be completely different, as I now get to play on the glass court in such a great venue.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience and I hope the crowd will get behind me, like other home crowds do at other tournaments.”
Van der Heijden recently captured her biggest PSA title to date after she defeated France’s Coline Aumard in the final of the Annecy Rose Open and she says she is hoping to carry that winning momentum into next week’s tournament.
“Winning at the Annecy Rose was great, I played well during that tournament. That is definitely the momentum I’m trying to keep going. Every tournament is different though, but winning a tournament never hurts your confidence I think.”
The Dutch player will begin her tournament against England’s World No.22 Millie Tomlinson in round one, with van der Heijden getting the better of her English opponent earlier this season at the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.
“Me and Millie have been playing each other since juniors. We’ve had some battles, so, this time will be no different.
“Millie is strong all around and has been playing well. I will need to be on top of my game and see where it can take me.”
Van der Heijden will be joined in the draw by women’s wildcard Tessa ter Sluis and Roshan Bharos, who takes the wildcard spot in the men’s event.
Opening round matches of the DPD Open will be played on Tuesday April 9 at a purposely built squash arena at the DPD premises and at Squashtime, a 15-court facility in Eindhoven, which is the home of Dutch National Champion van der Heijden. From April 10-14 all matches will be played on the glass court.
Tickets for the DPD Open are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.
For more information, follow the tournament on Facebook and Instagram or visit the event’s website.
Pictures courtesy of PSA and Nick Thompson