A special glass court will be a major attraction of this weekend's Pak'n Save Devoy Squash and Fitness Open and PSA Tournament.
The Open tournament is based at the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre in Devonport Rd and the Mount Squash Club, while the PSA (Professional Squash Association) Tournament will be staged in the glass court in the Tauranga Boys' College gym.
The court is an impressive edifice and took nearly three days to erect.
It comprises 52 glass sections weighing about 100kg each that will give spectators a 360-degree view of the players.
Tournament committee member Char Niles said the court would be surrounded by grandstand seating and corporate and sponsors' tables.
"We have just announced that we are hosting the World Junior Championships in July 2017 so we're obviously wanting to get the glass court up as much as possible prior to then as test runs," she said.
"This will be fantastic exposure for the club and the court will be known as the Carrus Court during the tournament. It will also be used at this year's AIMS Games."
Players representing New Zealand, Australia, US, England and South Korea are competing for the $10,000 prizemoney.
Among them are two former Tauranga Boys' College students in Ben Grindrod, 22, and Jamie Oakley, 18.
Grindrod turned pro in 2013 and is the fourth seed behind number one Evan Williams from Wellington, who last year won the Devoy Pak'n Save Open Tournament.
"I have to be confident and I have a good chance being fourth seed. I have made a few semifinals at this level of tournament before so I am really hunting to get to a final," Grindrod said.
"The glass court gives the tournament a more professional look. It creates a better environment and better atmosphere to the game. It is going to look really good when the crowd is all around it and there are some tight matches."
Oakley was granted a wildcard entry and is in form after winning the NZ Junior Open last weekend.
"This is my first PSA tournament so it is good experience. I play my coach Kashif Shuja in my first match," Oakley said. "To play in this court in front of a home crowd, well you can't ask for much more than that really."
Adam Murrills, 26, from England is also looking forward to playing in the glass court.
"We've got one in Manchester where I live so it is great for a tournament this size that we have got the glass court. It looks great and all the players are looking forward to playing on it."
Northern Ireland's Madeleine Perry, who reached a career high of world number three in 2011, is the top seed in the women's Open field. Tauranga's Kylie Lindsay is third seed and a former Commonwealth Games player who runs the squash development at Devoy Squash.
Play gets under way at 3pm today with women's finals set down for 1pm Sunday and the men's final to follow at 2pm at the Tauranga Boys' College gym. Free entry to the public.
- For more details visit: www.devoysquashandfitness.co.nz