An international flavour will mark the Manawatu Squash Classic at SquashGym Palmerston North next week.
About 160 entries are expected across the professional and lower grades, including competitors from Pakistan, Japan and Australia as well as some of New Zealand's top players.
A couple of players entered from Pakistan are ranked about 300 in the world but are young up-and-comers.
One of them has just been to the junior world championships and was one of the top three juniors in Pakistan.
Australian veteran Mike Corren is attending as well as New Zealand No 3 Evan Williams, of Wellington.
Manawatu's newly adopted Kashif Shuja, a former world No 36 from Auckland, should be in the mix in the finals.
Joseph Watts, 21, New Zealand's No 9, will be another local hope.
In the women's competition, the favourite will be New Zealand No 1 Joelle King, who should come up against New Zealand No 4 Amanda Landers-Murphy in the final.
Manawatu's best chance is Danielle Fourie, who should make it to the semifinals, but will have a tough job in beating King and Landers-Murphy.
There is a qualifying round on Thursday night for the last four spots in the professional ranks.
A round of competition will be held on Friday, two rounds on Saturday then, after another round on Sunday, the finals will be held that afternoon.
The event also incorporates the Central Open.
- © Fairfax NZ News