Racquetball stars vie for title

World doubles champion and former top 50 player Cameron White will be one of 142 competitors to take on the Ballarat Open at the Ballarat Squash and Racquetball Centre in Wendouree this weekend. 

COMPETITORS: Steve Andrewartha and Cameron White are two of the nation's best taking part in the Ballarat Open. Picture: Paul Vear/Squash & Racquetball Victoria

COMPETITORS: Steve Andrewartha and Cameron White are two of the nation's best taking part in the Ballarat Open. Picture: Paul Vear/Squash & Racquetball Victoria

For many competitors, the contest will be the final hit out before the pinnacle event of the year, the 2017 Commercial Club Albury Australian Open Championships, which will be held in Albury Wodonga in October.

A strong men’s open field includes Victorian Grand Prix circuit champion Steve Andrewartha, who is seeded to meet White in the battle for the title. 

White holds an impressive competition record, having not been defeated in a tournament in 16 years with 15 Australian Open and 15 Victorian Open titles. 

But Andrewartha has enjoyed success in the past 18 months with seven national and Victorian titles.

He is also leading the field to become the 2017 Victorian Grand Prix circuit champion. 

Other stars to make an appearance on the court include the third-seeded Peter French, who was runner up to Andrewartha in the Tasmanian Open, and the fourth-seeded Garry Pedersen, who won the event in 2012 and 2013, and was runner up in 2014 and 2015. 

World champion and five-time world open title holder Sarah Fitz-Gerald will not be making an appearance in the women’s open despite competing in Ballarat earlier this month in the Australian Masters Squash Championships. 

The top seed will be national Grand Prix circuit leader Kristel Proctor, who was runner up to Fitz-Gerald in the event last year.