To mark the occasion the title, held in March in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be renamed the CIMB NICOL DAVID KL OPEN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012.
Following the world No1’s record sixth World Open title win last year, the tournament sponsors CIMB Group have paid tribute to Nicol David, who currently has 59 WSA titles to her name.
Group Chief Executive of CIMB Group, Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak said: “Nicol is a national icon, and she is arguably Malaysia’s most successful sportsperson ever. We decided to rename the KL Open to ensure her achievements are remembered and celebrated annually.”
Nicol has played in eleven previous CIMB KL Open finals, winning seven of them, and last year was honoured by Malaysia’s Prime Minister for her successes after securing her most recent world open title.
Last year she claimed all but one of the WSA World Series events, falling just short of a clean-sweep in the Delaware Investments US Open to Kasey Brown in Philadelphia.
The upgrade will also see the prize money total increase from $45,000 to a $60,000 total and will sit alongside the Australian Open, Malaysian Open, US Open, Qatar Classic and Hong Kong Open as this year’s WSA World Series events, culminating with the Cayman Islands World Open in December.
WSA Chairman Ingrid Lofdahl-Bentzer commends the deal that further raises the profile of women’s squash. She said: “It’s wonderful to see CIMB continuing to recognise the value of supporting squash and honouring Nicol David by naming the tournament after her. Furthermore we are very pleased to see an already prestigious event take the step up to World Series.
“Last year, was a particularly exciting one on the WSA World Tour with a number of younger players starting to make an impact so we are sure they will be rewarded with a fantastic event and Nicol David will have to be at her best to defend her title.”
The CIMB NICOL DAVID KL OPEN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 will mark the first World Series event of the year for the WSA World Tour, following the highly successful staging of the ATCO World Series Finals at the Queen’s Club, London in January.
Top seeds Nicol and World No2 Jenny Duncalf will face qualifiers in the first round, but are drawn to meet each other in the final of the event, which starts on 28th March 2012. No3 seed Laura Massaro will face Samantha Teran of Mexico in the first round, whilst No4 seed Madeline Perry will play Camille Serme.
Round 1 draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) vs Qualifier
 Kasey Brown (AUS) vs Qualifier
 Madeline Perry (IRL) vs Camille Serme (FRA)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) vs Low Wee Wern (MAS)
Annie Au (HKG) vs  Natalie Grinham (NED)
Samantha Teran (MEX) vs  Laura Massaro
Qualifier vs  Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Qualifier vs  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
Full draw available here: http://www.horizonsolutions.tv/entry/wispa/rankpdf.php?page=tourdraw&tour=11SQWI36