It’s that time of year where we can officially make our first FIR World Tour and Challenger announcement for 2020.
Here’s FIR President Duncan Stahl to explain everything about the announcement:
“I’m very excited and proud to present the FIR 2020 World Tour and Challengers! Co-ordinating the World Tour is a vital part of what the FIR does as having great tournaments all over the world run by our member countries and their appointed tournament directors is a key way for us to promote and grow Racketlon.
“I think it’s vital to keep improving and keep growing the Tour by continually raising standards but also by introducing new tournaments every year so players get to experience new cities, new countries and play in new venues. After the 2019 Tour saw two brand new tournaments, I’m very pleased to introduce four brand new tournaments in 2020 including two new countries that have never hosted an FIR tournament before.
“The big emphasis we have put on promoting and raising the awareness of Racketlon is certainly starting to show exciting results as we are now taking regular enquiries from players, sports centres and organisations all over the world, so we hope to continue to expand the World Tour over the coming years.
“As always, a huge amount of work goes into organising the Tour so a big thank you to all our member countries, our team of tournament directors and in particular to Kirsten Kaptein, the FIR World Tour Officer.
“Lastly, I’d like to say a big thank you to all the players for continuing to support the FIR World Tour. I know traveling the world playing Racketlon involves a lot of sacrifices but by listening to the players and continuing to raise the awareness of the sport (the two big things we’ve tried to do this year), I hope that we can continue to deliver great tournaments all over the world and create a Tour that we can all be very proud of!”
India and Luxembourg New for 2020
For the first time in 2020, the FIR World Tour will host brand new Challenger tournaments in both Luxembourg and India.
India has been identified as a market with huge racketlon porential for a number of years and we’re delighted to see it make it’s debut this year. The tournament will take place at the amazing Field Club India, very near to Udaipur – also known as the City of Lakes and the crown jewel of the state of Rajasthan. This ‘Venice of the East’ has an abundance of natural beauty, mesmerising temples and breathtaking architecture which makes it a must-visit destination in India.
It certainly adds a fantastic new destination for racketlon players and is also deliberately placed one week after the CH Thailand Open in the calendar, giving players the first-ever opportunity in racketlon history to take part in a mini-Asian Tour. What a start to 2020 that’s going to be!
Our second new tournament takes us to the heart of central Europe in Luxembourg. Bordering France, Belgium and Germany, this is a prime location for a racketlon challenger tournament at a fantastic new racketlon centre. We expect to see plenty of familiar faces take to the court in Luxembourg alongside some new players.
Nick Matthew, Sheffield and the all new RacketFest in Leipzig
Alongside tournaments in Luxembourg and India, there are also two new events on the calendar happening in the United Kingdom and Germany.
After hosting the World Team and Singles Championships in November 2019, the superb facilities at Leipzig Sportpark will return to host a brand new Super World Tour event: RacketFest – promising to be a true festival of racket sports, this big, new summer tournament takes the total number of Super World Tour events up from two to three in 2020, alongside the King of Rackets and the Austrian Open.
Racketlon has also caught the eye of three-time PSA World Squash Champion Nick Matthew, who welcomes the community to his home club of Hallamshire in the city of Sheffield for the inaugural Nick Matthew Steel City Open. Having travelled around the globe for almost 20 years on the PSA Squash circuit, Nick Matthew, one of the all-time most famous names in squash, brings his expertise to the racketlon circuit for a 2020 challenger…and he’s already started training!
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2020 World Championships
In 2019, the World Doubles Championships were hosted in Oudenaarde alongside the King of Rackets. The World Team and Singles Championships will take place in November in Leipzig, Germany.
Once again the World Team and Singles Championships will take place together in the final week of August, this time returning to Victoria in Rotterdam – which previously hosted the World Championships in 2008 – and is certainly one of the most impressive racketlon venues anywhere in the world with superb facilities.
The 2020 World Doubles Championships will be hosted in Prague at the start of April, alongside the hugely popular IWT Czech Open.
Other Changes for the 2020 Season
Outside of these new tournaments, there are few major changes for the 2020 FIR World Tour. After hosting a challenger tournament in 2019 (which sold out in 4 hours!), the London Open returns to the Roehampton Club and is upgraded to an IWT this year. The season-ending 14. Austrian Open – Super World Tour Finals presented by GRAWE sidebyside also moves from Wiener Neudorf to Graz to a new venue in 2020.
This is the first announcement of information and a detailed list of the whole Tour with all the exact dates will follow later this week – so get your 2020 diaries ready!
We will also release more and more detailed information about each of the tournaments over the coming weeks to help you build a great picture of what the FIR 2020 World Tour is going to look like.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer