PSA NewsSquash News | Professional Squash AssociationSun, 20 Aug 2017 05:01:38 +0100 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:01:38 +0100 http://psaworldtour.com Making His Own Way - Marwan ElShorbagy Speaks to Squash Player *Squash Player's Richard Eaton talks to Marwan ElShorbagy about how he has emerged from the shadow of brother Mohamed to be a force in his own right on the PSA World Tour* ------ Marwan ElShorbagy has found his own route. If that sounds like an outdated description of a 24-year-old who has already reached World No.5 and has been playing the best squash of his life, it should be remembered that his sat nav has not entirely been in his own possession. Marwan knew how he should attempt to move forward quite a long time ago. “I don’t have to live my brother’s story; I can have my own story. I have to be the best version of myself,” he says. The trouble is, some people wouldn’t let him, especially after Mohamed, his older brother, spent many months as World No.1. They went to surprising lengths to impose tiresome comparisons. You will never be as good as your brother, Marwan was sometimes told. Even after he matched some of Mohamed’s achievements by twice becoming world junior champion and going on to win half a dozen PSA Tour titles, adverse comparisons continued, which inflicted constant, morale-draining pressure. It sometimes seemed to him that his steady improvements warranted little consider- ation. Incredibly, when Marwan beat Mohamed for the first time, in Chicago in February, there were those who refused to accept the result was meaningful. A few even claimed it was fixed. “It was really hard,” Marwan said. “The timing of the win knocked my brother off the world no.1 spot, which made me feel like I was taking away something from him, when he has given me so much. How I cried - and how he was so happy for me."20170818104237_17WCO28880.jpg?x=0&y=-46&w=616&o=608This aftermath was so painful and confusing that the sceptical responses seemed absurd. Thankfully, there were important, mind- changing compensations. After watching the video of Mohamed consoling him on court and observing how happy his brother had been for him, Marwan felt some relief. Even better, those deep-seated, post-match moments were communicated to hundreds of thousands of people via social media. “We are two brothers, close to each other, and people saw that,” Marwan says. “A lot of other brothers spoke about it to each other and it meant a lot to see this going viral. I think it meant a lot to other people as well. “It changed the way people looked at things. It can be good when you change people and change how people think. It helped me.” Although Marwan soon repeated his win over Mohamed – at El Gouna in April, in the process qualifying for the World Series Finals in Dubai – it seems that future successes are unlikely to halt the irksome comparisons entirely. But he can hope that the increasing quality of his results may reduce them and his sensible perspectives shield him from the worst frustration. Those who have seen the pace and accuracy of Marwan’s game may have noticed his attention to detail, and should know he is a threat to any leading player in any tournament.20170818104531_17WF1603.jpg?x=0&y=-9&w=613&o=608None of this would ever have happened had he given in to feelings of homesickness and loss when he first moved from Alexandria to Millfield School in Somerset in his early teens. “I told my mum I didn’t want to move to England, because I was so close to my friends. She didn’t force me, but she did push me. It was really hard,” he admits. “That first week was the toughest week of my life. I had no friends and knew no-one, and wanted to go back every single day, I remember.” But how quickly that all changed. “Ian Thomas and Jonah Barrington helped me from the start. I began to get a good education and soon it made me a responsible guy,” Marwan said. Within a few years he was doing a degree in business studies at the University of the West of England, enjoying a very companionable house-share with several other squash players in Bristol and improving his on-court movement with coach Hadrian Stiff. There were other benefits as well. “I can do a lot of stuff here which is not allowed in Egypt,” he says. “It’s more comfortable and more open. The routine is easier. It’s more organised. It’s more relaxed, especially at the end of the season.20170818113404_17WCO34341.jpg“There (in Egypt) it’s hectic. It’s the chemistry of the way people treat each other. People on the street don’t have smiling faces. There are a lot of poor people in Egypt. It’s just hard. I always feel the pressure there and feel like coming back to Bristol.” Consequently, his squash has improved steadily and he feels better in himself. We are “like a family”, Marwan says of his house- mates. Despite this, it would be wise to note Marwan’s words about what the English don’t do so well, as they are falling seriously behind the Egyptians in the development of talent. “It’s a problem here,” he agreed. The difference, he suggests, is in motivation. “Egypt produce so many good juniors because they have coaches and parents pushing them. It makes them hungry. It makes them work for something they never dreamed of,” he says. Nevertheless, it is in England where he feels most appreciated. “I remember Ian Thomas asked me to do some teaching at Millfield School a couple of years ago, just after I’d reached the top 10,” he recalls.20170818114117_DSC_3888.JPG?x=0&y=0&w=613&o=608“We thought of what to talk about. And I realised I’d been through so much in my life and I was only 22 years old.” These reflective inclinations brought to mind his mother, Basma, who occasionally suggested that there was a lot going on with Marwan that people couldn’t see. While the elder brother tends to speak his mind, straight and simple, Marwan’s thoughts may be less easy to guess. A window into this insight became apparent as Marwan pondered which improvements might help him take the last few ultra- difficult steps to the very top. “One of my friends told me that I put pressure on myself,” he commented. "'You are in the top 10,’ he told me, ‘and even if you stop now, you have done something.’" It has been hard for him to move beyond a recognition that last season was better than the one before, but he has become more positive about himself. “Getting to number five is my highest ever,” he reminds himself. “I beat my brother for the first time, I beat Nick Matthew for the first time and now I have beaten everyone in the top 10.” 20170818114327_17WF1677.jpgBut his awareness that there remain things to develop is what exercises him most. “My mentality was always to try to be a better player than yesterday,” he emphasises. “But it is starting to become more than that. I want to be number one. “It won’t happen this season. But I need to tell myself I can win World Championships and become World No.1. My mentality needs to change. “If I can make these changes, then on a bad day I can win tournaments. I have seen my brother nowhere near his best, but still winning tournaments. That’s what makes the difference [between others] and a real champion.” What ingredients in Marwan’s game most enable him to succeed? His answer, ironically, is that a lot of people wonder how he wins matches. “I may be the most underestimated player in the top 10,” he says wryly.20170818115150_DSC_3872.JPGNot wishing to offer too many insights to potential rivals, he uses other players to illustrate his game. One of them is Mathieu Castagnet, France’s former World No.6. “How hard it is to play him!” Marwan says. “From the outside, you may have no idea why he wins matches. But go on court and he will show you.” Marwan also recalls Peter Barker, an Englishman who made the world top five “without a great game”, Marwan says. “As soon as I was on court with him, it was pace and accuracy, pressure all the time. “That was good enough and it’s good enough for me. Watching from the outside, people often don’t see. That is what I have learnt about this game.” Marwan also knows more about the wider world. “Living in England has changed how I think about life and made me realise it isn’t all about squash all the time,” he reflects, though the paradox is that this may well be making him a better player. “Looking back at it now, my mum...” he says, pausing briefly before reaching his emotional conclusion, “she knew what was right and what was wrong.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4941/making-his-own-way-marwan-elshorbagy-speaks-to-squash-player 4941 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:23:52 +0100 The Greatest Comebacks in World Championship History The PSA World Championships have been home to some of the greatest matches of all time, with the honour of becoming the sport’s World Champion seeing players delve into their mental reserves like no other tournament on the PSA World Tour. As such, a number of incredible comebacks have rocked the prestigious tournament since its inaugural edition in 1976, with players fighting back from the brink of defeat to claim the sport’s biggest title and a place in history. Here, we have a look back at some of the greatest final comebacks ever to grace the distinguished tournament. *2006: David Palmer (AUS) bt Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 9–11, 9–11, 11–9, 16–14, 11–2*20170817123859_06WO Palmer 06WO5423.jpgFrenchman Gregory Gaultier’s imperious form during the 2016/17 saw him break records and make history as he became the oldest World No.1 of all time - more than a decade after one of the lowest points of his career. Gaultier - then just 23 years of age - had upset the seedings to reach his maiden World Championship final and stunned three-time winner and defending champion Amr Shabana in the semi-finals to set up a showdown with Australia’s David Palmer, who was a losing finalist the previous year. Played in front of the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, Gaultier was in majestic form in the early stages of the encounter as he surged into an early lead, producing some dazzling squash to take the opening two games before Palmer fought back in the third to halve the deficit. Gaultier steadied the ship and looked a certainty to join the pantheon of former World Champions when he found himself 10-6 up with four match balls in hand. But a combination of inexperience, nerves and excitement caught up with the Frenchman and Palmer capitalised to level the match against all the odds and force a decider. A fifth-game collapse from Gaultier saw Palmer storm to victory for the loss of just two points to take his second World Championship title, while the defeat would prove to be a damaging one for Gaultier as he went on to lose a further three World Championship finals. The ‘French General’ finally got the monkey off his back though in the 2015 instalment as he overpowered Egypt’s Omar Mosaad to claim an emotional win in Bellevue, United States - earning his rightful place in the history books. *2014: Nicol David (MAS) bt Raneem El Welily (EGY) 5–11, 11–8, 7–11, 14–12, 11–5*20170817122447_20160308093323_SH12411.jpgMalaysian superstar Nicol David has more World Championship titles to her name than any other female player - eight to be exact - and the most recent of those victories saw her showcase the mental resilience and nerves of steel that have set her apart as one of the sport’s greatest ever players. David was up against Egypt’s Raneem El Welily - who would go on to end David’s nine-year reign at World No.1 less than a year later - in the final and, buoyed by partizan home support in Cairo, El Welily looked certain to become the first Egyptian woman to lift the World Championship crown. David had fallen in the last four of the previous year’s tournament after a shock semi-final defeat to then-18-year-old Nour El Sherbini and the ghost of that loss looked to weigh heavily on the experienced Malaysian, with only a late comeback against Omneya Abdel Kawy seeing her reach the title-decider. To the uninitiated, it was El Welily who looked like the eight-time World Champion of the two as she played with a swagger and an incredible shot-making ability to nullify David’s retrieval skills and she was rewarded with four match balls to put herself on the cusp of victory. El Welily wavered though as an unforced tin enabled David to rally and it was the woman from Malaysia who ended up closing out the fourth to set up a deciding fifth game. With El Welily’s confidence shattered, David eased to victory in the fifth to seal an emotional eighth World Championship crown. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tOhOdveHgZQ?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> *2004: Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt Lee Beachill (ENG) 3-2: 5–11, 11–2, 2–11, 12–10, 11–8*20170817123919_04WO2671 - Lincou.jpg?x=1&y=-77.5&w=613&o=608Former World No.1 Thierry Lincou is the second Frenchman on this list but he was on the right side of a comeback after he recovered from match ball down to overcome England’s Lee Beachill in Doha, Qatar. Lincou had reached the final a year earlier in 2003 but fell to Egypt’s Amr Shabana. Eager to atone for that defeat, Lincou had reached the 2004 final after saving match ball against Graham Ryding in the semi-finals and he looked down and out again in the title decider after a series of well-structured rallies from then-World No.1 Beachill saw the Englishman go 10-9 up in game four. But Lincou held his nerve and contained Beachill with an expertly-taken backhand winner to draw level before two further winners from the man from France took the fixture into a fifth game. At 6-6 in the final game, Beachill began to tire and Lincou pounced, attacking with vigour to become the first Frenchman ever to win the iconic title. *2015: Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 6–11, 4–11, 11–3, 11–5, 11–8*20170817124308_20160430124704_El-Sherbini-WWC-Winner.jpgWhile El Welily failed in her quest to become Egypt’s first female squash World Champion, the country didn’t have to wait long for a maiden winner as Nour El Sherbini came back with a vengeance against England’s Laura Massaro to take the sport’s biggest prize. The fixture was a repeat of the 2013 final - where Massaro defeated a teenage El Sherbini - and the result looked to be going in Massaro’s favour once more as she played with pinpoint accuracy and masterful control to go two games ahead. But El Sherbini finally won the length battle between the two in the third game as the tide began to turn and, with the wisdom of Shabana ringing in her ears after he offered her some wise words at the end of the second, El Sherbini duly levelled to set up a spectacular final game showdown. The two head-to-head in a climactic end to the encounter, with a monster rally at 8-6 to El Sherbini bringing the crowd to their feet. And it was El Sherbini who broke forward to take the victory, becoming the youngest ever World Champion of all time, while she also overtook Massaro in the World Rankings to become World No.1 - a position she has held ever since. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7JDN7Tbyy20?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> *2002: David Palmer (AUS) bt John White (SCO) 3-2: 13–15, 12–15, 15–6, 15–14, 15–11*20170817124429_02WO PalmerWO.jpg?x=0&y=-170&w=613&o=608Palmer was also forced to come from behind to collect the first of his two World Championship triumphs after he weathered a storm against Scotland’s John White. Palmer had beaten White in all three of the pairs previous meetings, however a dominant display from White - in which he inflicted a barrage of drops and drives on his opponent - saw him storm two games ahead. The momentum of the match flipped in the third game as Palmer took it to gain a foothold in the game but White raised his game to go match ball up at 14-13. Palmer cut a composed figure though to level and White returned his next serve into the tin to send the match into a decisive fifth where, boosted by his superb comeback, Palmer stayed on top to complete the victory after an epic 102-minute contest. The 2017 AJ Bell PSA Men's and Women's World Championships will take place at the National Squash Centre, Manchester and Manchester Central between December 9 - 17, 2017. Tickets are priced from just £10 and are available to purchase by visiting <a href="http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ajbellworldchamps">Ticketmaster</a> http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4940/the-greatest-comebacks-in-world-championship-history 4940 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:22:15 +0100 Oracle NetSuite Open to Host Strongest Ever Draw in September #PSAWorldTour   The 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open will host the world’s top four male players for the first time in the tournament’s history between September 26-30 when the PSA M100 and W50 tournament returns to San Francisco for its eighth instalment.   Held on a stunning all-glass showcourt on Justin Herman Plaza in the shadow of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the 2017 edition of the Oracle NetSuite Open promises to be one of the most competitive ever, with World No.1 Gregory Gaultier headlining a draw that also features four former-World No.1s in Karim Abdel Gawad, Mohamed ElShorbagy, Nick Matthew and James Willstrop.Gaultier, the oldest World No.1 of all time, will look to draw on the form that saw him win his third NetSuite Open, the event's previous name, last year ahead of Willstrop in the final, while Matthew, a two-time runner-up, will be hoping to avoid a first round exit for the second year in succession after the three-time World Champion crashed out at the first hurdle last time out.   Defending champion Laura Massaro and eight-time World Champion Nicol David are the star names in the women’s draw, while the inclusion of British Open runner-up Sarah-Jane Perry, Emily Whitlock, Victoria Lust, Olivia Blatchford, Donna Urquhart and Salma Hany Ibrahim means that the women’s event will feature eight of the world’s top 20 players for the first time.   World No.122 Faraz Khan of the United States has been granted the wildcard position for the men’s tournament, while Ireland’s Aisling Blake - a former World No.21 - will appear in her first main draw since 2015 after being granted the wildcard spot for the women’s event.   "The Oracle NetSuite Open has been one of the premier tournaments on the PSA World Tour calendar for the last five years and we are delighted to welcome the world’s best players back to San Francisco in what looks set to be one of the most exciting and competitive editions of the tournament," said Tournament Promoter John Nimick.   "The popularity of squash continues to grow in California and we are sure that squash fans in attendance at the all-glass Oracle NetSuite Challenge court will be captivated by a world-class field next month.   "We are also delighted to bring Oracle on board as a title sponsor. Oracle are one of the leading software and technology companies in the world and we look forward to working with them during this year’s tournament."   The qualifying stages and first round of the Oracle NetSuite Open will be held at local clubs between September 24-26, with the main draw lighting up the San Francisco waterfront between September 27-30.   Live action from the Oracle NetSuite Challenge court will be shown on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while tickets start from $20 and can be purchased at www.netsuiteopensquash.tix.com *2017 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open - Entry List* 1) Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 4) Nick Matthew (ENG) 5) James Willstrop (ENG) 6) Tarek Momen (EGY) 7) Fares Dessouky (EGY) 8) Daryl Selby (ENG) 9) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 10) Borja Golan (ESP) 11) Diego Elias (PER) Wildcard) Faraz Khan (USA)   *2017 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open - Entry List* 1) Laura Massaro (ENG) 2) Nicol David (MAS) 3) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 4) Emily Whitlock (ENG) 5) Victoria Lust (ENG) 6) Olivia Blatchford (USA) 7) Donna Urquhart (AUS) 8) Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 9) Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 10) Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 11) Heba El Torky (EGY) Wildcard) Aisling Blake (IRL) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4939/oracle-netsuite-open-to-host-strongest-ever-draw-in-september 4939 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:58:01 +0100 Season Review: Marwan ElShorbagy Proud of Strong Campaign Egypt’s World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy is riding high after his greatest season to date on the PSA World Tour - a campaign that saw him reach the world’s top five in addition to claiming arguably the most important win of his career. The 24-year-old, who now resides in Bristol alongside older brother and former World No.1 Mohamed, had threatened to be a contender at the sport’s major tournaments over the past few seasons and he finally earned his place amongst the world’s elite after a number of standout performances last season. A narrow defeat to compatriot Ramy Ashour in round two of the Hong Kong Open in August was followed by two semi-final finishes at the Macau Open and NetSuite Open, however his form tailed off towards the end of the year. But he came into his own in 2017, with his displays at the Windy City Open in Chicago serving as a particular highlight as he claimed his first ever win over Mohamed in one of the most emotional moments of last season. In their seven previous meetings, Marwan had never been able to take more than a game off his brother - who by the time of their meeting in Chicago was ranked at World No.1 - and the form book was even further weighted in his Mohamed’s favour after he had claimed comfortable 3-0 wins at their fixtures at the U.S. Open and Tournament of Champions earlier on in the season. "My brother has given me so much," said Marwan. "He advised me a lot through my career, whether it was in my junior career or the senior one. We are always there for each other and as I always keep saying, I’m so grateful to the sport as it made my relationship with my brother like this as we share the same life, we have the same dreams and goals." And the respect between the two meant that there was an emotional climax to the encounter after Marwan played some of his best squash to recover from 2-1 down to get the better of his older brother. Despite that win for Marwan proving to be one of the defeats that ultimately cost Mohamed his World No.1 spot, a beaming Mohamed enveloped his brother with a hug and offered words of encouragement as a sobbing Marwan took in the enormity of his victory - although he recalls it was a bittersweet triumph. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lovely touch between the two brothers <a href="https://twitter.com/maelshorbagy">@maelshorbagy</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/MoElshorbagy">@moelshorbagy</a> at the end of their match <a href="https://t.co/JtIXdMceEz">pic.twitter.com/JtIXdMceEz</a></p>— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour/status/836353124025524224">February 27, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br> "Every time I go on court with my brother it's always very tough for both of us," Marwan admits. "Beating him in Chicago was very tough for me as I knew this win could affect his ranking and I know how much it means to him to stay World No.1. I had a great week in Chicago and I think I was playing some of my best squash there." Buoyed on by his landmark success over Mohamed, Marwan moved on to dispatch fellow Egyptian Ali Farag in the last four to reach his maiden World Series Final, with the man who took the World No.1 spot away from Mohamed, Gregory Gaultier, standing in his way. Marwan showed no signs of nerves as he blew Gaultier away in the opening game but the Frenchman’s years of experience eventually told as he outlasted his opponent to take it in four games, denying Marwan his first ever World Series title. Despite the defeat, Marwan - who moved into the world’s top five for the first time the following month - was full of pride after reaching the title-decider, saying: "It was amazing to be in the final, I enjoyed every second of it and I was very proud with how the week went. "It showed me that I can play at that level and it gave me a lot of confidence." That final appearance in Chicago - in addition to a last four finish at the El Gouna International where he claimed a second successive win over Mohamed en route - saw him qualify for the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals for the first time after he finished fourth on the PSA Road to Dubai Standings Marwan was heavily involved in the promotional activity for the tournament - flying out to Dubai to take part in a photo-shoot - and he made a perfect start to the showpiece event in Dubai Opera after beating three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and Germany’s Simon Rösner to make it two wins from two. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O-gHX7ZXAUc?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> However, a defeat to World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in his final group fixture, coupled with Rösner’s 2-0 win over Matthew, saw Marwan fail to qualify for the knockout semi-finals. But the man from Alexandria says that he was ultimately pleased with his consistency throughout the season and has vowed to continue his fine form into his next campaign. "I think I was very consistent in the World Series tournaments this season. I finished the season being number 4 in the World Series rankings. Going to Dubai and participating in the World Series Finals has always been a dream for me and to play in Dubai Opera made the whole experience even better.  "I will keep enjoying my journey next season." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4938/season-review-marwan-elshorbagy-proud-of-strong-campaign 4938 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:21:13 +0100 Most Successful Players in World Championship History: Manchester will play host to the PSA World Championships when the biggest tournament in squash gets under way on December 8 at the National Squash Centre. Manchester will be only the second destination ever, and the first since Rotterdam in 2011, to host concurrent Men’s and Women’s World Championships when around 200 of the world’s best squash players descend on the city. This tournament will also mark the first time ever that the prize purse for the pinnacle event on both the Men’s and Women’s Tours will be equal, with the winners set to take home $45,000 each. We take a look back at some of the most successful players in World Championship history. 20170811141949_89WO Jansher & King of Malaysia.jpg*Jansher Khan* Legendary Pakistani player Jansher Khan leads the way in Men’s World Championship titles with eight - just ahead of his namesake an fellow icon Jahanghir Khan, who collected six titles. Alongside his namesake, Jansher dominated the sport and particularly the World Championships from 1981 to 1996. Jansher won his first World Championship title in 1987 when he beat Australia’s Chris Dittmar and claimed eight titles from that year up until 1996 when he secured his last World crown against Australia’s Rodney Eyles. From 1992 until 1996, Jansher recorded a record five successive World Championship crowns as he continued to write his name into the sport’s history books. Over the course of his record eight triumphs at the World Championship, Jansher was beaten by Jahanghir in 1988, however he was able to extract his revenge five years later in 1993 when he beat him over four games. *Jahangir Khan* Prior to Jansher's ascendency, it was Jahanghir who dominated the World scene, becoming the youngest ever winner of the title when he beat Australia’s Geoff Hunt to win his first title at just 17-years-old in 1981. That tournament also sparked the start of an incredible 555-match unbeaten run – the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sport as recorded by Guinness World Records – which lasted five years until his defeat to New Zealand’s Ross Norman in the 1986 final. Jahangir continued his to show his dominance over his Australian opponents as he dispatched Dean Williams and Chris Dittmar, as well as Norman, over the course of his six World title triumphs. 20170811142623_09WO9528.JPG*Amr Shabana* Egypt’s former World No.1 Amr Shabana captured the World Championship an impressive four times, with his victories coming in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Shabana capped off a remarkable year in 2003, when as ninth seed he forced his way through a star-studded field in the World Championship in Pakistan. He dispatched the previous year’s champion David Palmer in five games in the third round before going on to take out Palmer’s Australian teammate Anthony Ricketts in the last eight. A win over compatriot Karim Darwish in the semi-final followed before Shabana went on to clinch the prestigious title by beating France’s Thierry Lincou in the final – a win that wrote him into the history books as Egypt’s first winner of squash’s biggest title. The Egyptian’s next win in 2005 saw him become the first player since the heyday of the Khans to win multiple titles as he strolled past Australia’s David Palmer in the final in Hong Kong. In 2007, Shabana was crowned World Champion for the third time in five years in Bermuda when he downed Frenchman Gregory Gaultier. Shabana’s last World title came in 2009 when he beat compatriot Ramy Ashour. 20170811142902_Hunt 2H.jpg?x=0&y=-1&w=566&o=608*Geoff Hunt* Australian Geoff Hunt was the first ever winner of the Men’s World Championship title when he triumphed over Pakistan’s Mohibullah Khan in five games back in 1976 in London, England. Not only was Hunt the event’s inaugural champion but he also went on to win the title three more times in 1977, 1979 and 1980 beating Pakistan’s Qamar Zamen in all three of those finals. Widely to be considered as one of the greatest squash players in history, Hunt also holds the record as the oldest male winner of the World Championship title at 33 years and six months when he won the last of his four World titles in 1980.20170811143136_11WO29586.JPG*Nick Matthew* England’s former World No.1 Nick Matthew lifted his first World Championship title in 2010 when he dispatched fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop over four games in the final in Saudi Arabia. The triumph took Matthew back to the top of the World Rankings – a position he held throughout 2011. The Yorkshireman also backed up his World title triumph with another in Rotterdam the following year as he beat Frenchman Gregory Gaultier and become the first player in 15 years to retain the title. The 37-year-old from Sheffield also went onto claim victory on home soil at the World Championships when the tournament was last hosted in Manchester in 2013 when he once again triumphed over Gaultier to lift his third World Championship crown. 20170811143258_10WW David 10WW16181.jpg*Nicol David* Malaysia’s Nicol David is the most successful player in Women’s World Championship history with a record eight titles to her name. David recorded her first triumph in 2005 when she was just 21 years old, beating Australian Rachael Grinham in Hong Kong to spark a spell of dominance in the tournament. The former World No.1 claimed her next title the following year with victory over another Grinham, this time Rachael’s sister Natalie which was said to be “one of the great finals of the Women’s World Championship”. This win also saw her become the first Malaysian athlete to win a World Championship title for the second consecutive time and the fourth person in history to retain the sport’s title. She recorded five World Championship crowns on the bounce from 2008 to 2012. Her last victory in the tournament came in Cairo, Egypt in 2014 when she came from 1-0 game down to defeat Egyptian Raneem El Welily in a five-game thriller. 20170811143426_02WW Fitz-Gerald QW024213.jpg?x=3&y=-62&w=597&o=608*Sarah Fitz-Gerald* Sarah Fitz-Gerald lifted the World Championship title five times during her esteemed career. The Australian’s first title triumph came in 1996 when she beat England’s Cassie Jackman in the final to lift the title in Malaysia. Fitz-Gerald then backed up this victory with two more in 1997 and 1998, beating fellow countrywoman Michelle Martin in both finals. The Australian then faced two years without a title mainly due to knee surgery and in 2000 she lost in the semi-final to Carol Owens before going on to claim a further two victories in 2001 and 2002, beating New Zealand’s Leilani Joyce and England’s Natalie Pohrer respectively. *Susan Devoy* New Zealand’s Susan Devoy dominated the women’s circuit in the late 1980s and early 1990s and secured the World crown on four occasions during that period. Her first World Championship title was in 1985, with a subsequent win following in 1987, both victories were against England’s Lisa Opie. Devoy secured another successive World double when she beat England’s Martine Le Moignan and Australia’s Michelle Martin in the 1990 and 1992 finals respectively. For the majority of her career the World Championship was held biennially, something that stopped Devoy from potentially doubling her tally.20170811145219_CAIR0202.jpg*Ramy Ashour* Egyptian talisman, Ramy Ashour, strolled to victory in four games to seal his first World Championship crown in 2008 when he beat compatriot Karim Darwish to the prestigious title. The following year, Ashour made the final once more, however, was halted by fellow Egyptian Amr Shabana to prevent him winning back-to-back titles. He was then made to wait three years for his next final appearance when he gathered his second World title as he came out on top in a gruelling five-match encounter with fellow countryman Mohamed ElShorbagy in 2012. Two years later in the 2014 final, Ashour faced ElShorbagy once again in a dramatic and enthralling final. ElShorbagy had saved five match points to battle back from 5-10 down in the deciding game, however, the creative play of Ashour prevailed to see him crowned World Champion for an impressive third time in one of the greatest finals ever. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4937/most-successful-players-in-world-championship-history 4937 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:15:16 +0100 Season Review: Matthew Not Ready to Hang Up Racket Just Yet England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew is eyeing up both World Championship and Commonwealth Games Glory over the next 12 months as he prepares to begin his 20th season on the PSA World Tour. The Yorkshireman is one of the sport’s greatest ever players and has been ranked in the world’s top five since 2009 while being a regular title-contender in squash’s biggest tournaments. ‘The Wolf’ began last season slowly - slumping to a shock first round defeat against Gregoire Marche in the opening round of the NetSuite Open - but he was soon back to his best at the U.S. Open, reaching the final until injury thwarted him while 2-0 up against then-World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-Di9Ii0T8GM?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "After such a slow start to the season in San Fran, I had a real low patch contemplating whether or not I could still hack it at the top level, so to get to the final was a major achievement," said Matthew. "Obviously having come so close there, it was a massive disappointment that I didn't win it but overall it was a feeling of a successful week and one that proved to myself that I could still do it." The man from Sheffield rounded off the year by taking silverware at the AJ Bell British Grand Prix - ending a 21-month title drought - before the man he beat to win that title in Manchester, long-term rival James Willstrop, finally got the better of Matthew in January's Tournament of Champions to end a 19-match, decade-long losing streak to his fellow Yorkshireman. Testament to Matthew’s famed resilience though, 'The Wolf’ recovered in style, claiming his sixth title at the Canary Wharf Classic in March with victory over Fares Dessouky. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/elAJajaal6A?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> That win also saw Matthew make the extraordinary gesture of donating all of his prize money - $11,000 plus - to the #Sunshine4Sumner campaign to help fund the treatment costs of 11-year-old squash player Sumner Malik, who has been diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Speaking about the gesture, Matthew said: "I think his story has touched everyone in squash. I'm just delighted I was in a position to do my bit to help. "I wish we earned what the tennis guys do so that I could help properly and I wish Sumner and his family all the best." One of Matthew’s standout moments of the season came at the sport’s longest-running tournament - March’s British Open - where, in front of his home fans, Matthew battled through to become the oldest finalist since Pakistani great Hashim Khan in 1958. Matthew defeated Borja Golan, Simon Rösner, Tarek Momen and then ElShorbagy to reach his fifth British Open final where, after going a game ahead against current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier, he ended up falling in four games to the rampant Frenchman. "After a big disappointment at the ToC, the patch between February and April was my best of the season, so again the overriding feeling was one of pride in how well I was playing rather than being too disappointment not to cross the line in first [at the British Open[. "This period was due to a massive amount of input from everyone in my team but especially my coach, DP [David Pearson], who really reinvigorated me in this period.  "How Greg was playing at the end of the season was unbelievable to watch and is a real motivator for me to try and get up to his level again. We are always texting each other when the other does well and we see it as a big source of pride to keep the next generation at bay as long as we can. "I think if we can't win ourselves then we would both prefer the other to win the event." Matthew turned 37 in July, but his ability to compete with both the younger, up-and-coming players and the established elite on the PSA World Tour has set him apart from many of his contemporaries and has enabled him to stay at the forefront of the game despite his increasing years. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Happy Birthday <a href="https://twitter.com/nickmatthew">@nickmatthew</a>! We won't make a big fuss, we know you don't like to mention your age... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Squash?src=hash">#Squash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheWolf?src=hash">#TheWolf</a> <a href="https://t.co/cSkhf4zWf0">pic.twitter.com/cSkhf4zWf0</a></p>— SQUASHTV (@SquashTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/SquashTV/status/889873826808569857">July 25, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> The veteran puts his longevity down to the professional approach to the sport that he has maintained since his youth while, for the time being at least, his future goals extend to the end of next season - at which point he will have competed at another home World Championship and a Commonwealth Games, the latter of which will see him target a fourth gold medal. "I've promised not to mention my age too often this season but I'm obviously proud of my longevity and I think it stems from being very professional from a young age," said Matthew, who lifted the third of his World Championship titles in Manchester four years ago. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RUs8RosM7Bg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "When you are younger, you might feel like you can get away with not doing all of the extra attention to detail like stretching and having a good diet because your body hasn't had the mileage at that point but they pay dividends in the long run.  "Other than a home Olympics, [a home World Championship] is probably the biggest thing in sport. I actually watched the 2013 final back the other day with the kids on my summer camp in the USA and it was incredible to be reminded of the support I received from the home crowd which really lifted me on to success. "The support Manchester gives to sport in general, but especially squash, is unparalleled around the world and I'm sure it will be a great event this time round too.  "It’s a big focus of mine for the season as well as the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4936/season-review-matthew-not-ready-to-hang-up-racket-just-yet 4936 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:52:52 +0100 Dunlop Named Official Racket and String Provider for the 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Championships Dunlop has been confirmed as the Official Racket and String Partner for the 2017 AJ Bell PSA Men's and Women's Squash World Championships set to take place in Manchester this December (8-17). "We're delighted to welcome Dunlop on board as our first official partner as we continue to build towards the championships this December," said AJ Bell PSA World Championships tournament organiser, Paul Walters. "Dunlop is an established and leading brand within the squash community that has become synonymous with producing the very best balls and rackets in the sport, and we look forward to a successful partnership with them throughout the year." Dunlop Squash representative Steve Heatley said, "The World Championship is the pinnacle tournament in the squash calendar and we are delighted to be partnering with the event this year ahead of what promises to be one of the most competitive World Championships ever." For more information and to see the full range of Dunlop products, visit specialist racket retailers throughout the UK. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4935/dunlop-named-official-racket-and-string-provider-for-the-2017-aj-bell-psa-world-championships 4935 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:37:52 +0100 Stellar Line-Up Guaranteed at 2017 U.S. Open Philadelphia’s Drexel University will stage the opening PSA World Series tournament of the 2017/18 season when the 2017 U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management brings 112 of the world’s best players to Pennsylvania between October 7-14. The U.S. Open became the first World Series tournament to offer equal prize money across both the men’s and women’s events in 2013 and parity in earnings will be on offer for a fifth successive year in October, where a prize purse of $330,000 - the highest in the tournament’s history - will be up for grabs. World No.1 Gregory Gaultier - a U.S. Open champion in 2006, 2013 and 2015 - will headline the men’s draw, while reigning World Champion and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, who was a beaten finalist last year, is seeded first in the women’s event. Gaultier will be joined in a world-class men’s draw by the likes of World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, 2007 champion Nick Matthew and 2012 winner Ramy Ashour. New York-born World No.64 Christopher Gordon is handed the wildcard spot for the men’s event and he will look to progress beyond the opening round for the first time since 2012. The Women’s draw also boasts some of the world’s greatest players, with last year’s winner Camille Serme, World No.2 Raneem El Welily, two-time winner Laura Massaro, World No.5 Nouran Gohar and three-time victor Nicol David all vying for honours alongside El Sherbini in Philadelphia. United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford is the highest ranked American in the women’s draw and she will be joined by World No.53 Haley Mendez - the 23-year-old from Brooklyn - who will make her debut appearance in the U.S. Open main draw after being granted the wildcard position. The U.S. Open represents the first chance for players to earn points for the World Series Standings as they bid to qualify for the season-ending PSA World Series Finals - with only the top eight players on the men’s and women’s standings earning a coveted berth at the lucrative tournament. Qualification for the 2017 U.S. Open takes place between October 5-6, while the main draw will be held between October 7-14 inside the Daskalakis Athletic Centre at Drexel University. Action from the tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while tickets start from $25 and can be purchased here: www.usopensquash.com/tickets *2017 Men’s U.S. Open - Entry List* 1) Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 4) Nick Matthew (ENG) 5) Ali Farag (EGY) 6) James Willstrop (ENG) 7) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 8) Ramy Ashour (EGY) 9) Tarek Momen (EGY) 10) Fares Dessouky (EGY) 11) Simon Rösner (GER) 12) Paul Coll (NZL 13) Daryl Selby (ENG) 14) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 15) Mohamed Abouelghar 16) Max Lee (HKG) 17) Cameron Pilley (AUS) 18) Diego Elias (PER) 19) Cesar Salazar (MEX) 20) Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 21) Gregoire Marche (FRA) 22) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 23) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) Wildcard) Christopher Gordon (USA) *2017 Women’s U.S. Open - Entry List* 1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2) Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3) Camille Serme (FRA) 4) Laura Massaro (ENG) 5) Nouran Gohar (EGY) 6) Nicol David (MAS) 7) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 8) Alison Waters (ENG) 9) Annie Au (HKG) 10) Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11) Joelle King (NZL) 12) Emily Whitlock (ENG) 13) Joshna Chinappa (IND) 14) Victoria Lust (ENG) 15) Tesni Evans (WAL) 16) Olivia Blatchford (USA) 17) Donna Urquhart (AUS) 18) Joey Chan (HKG) 19) Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 20) Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 21) Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 22) Heba El Torky (EGY) 23) Mariam Metwally (ENG) Wildcard) Haley Mendez (USA) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4934/stellar-line-up-guaranteed-at-2017-us-open 4934 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:21:24 +0100 Season Review: Gawad Ready to Take on the World Again Reigning World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is getting ready to launch another assault on the World No.1 spot next season after a campaign that saw him develop from a talented, yet inconsistent, also-ran into one of the sport’s biggest names. The 26-year-old from Giza - known on Tour as the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ - had been entrenched in the world’s top 20 for over two and a half years by the time the 2016/17 season began, with his lack of discipline off court and a self-confessed ‘laziness’ when it came to training preventing him from making further inroads into the upper echelons of the sport.But things changed in June when - under the tutelage of coach Omar Abdel Aziz and fitness coach Ali Ismail - he redoubled his training efforts and two months later he was walking onto court in Hong Kong for his first ever World Series final. "When I started my pre-season, I was really worried that I would get stuck in that ranking for a long time and not be able to improve my ranking again," said Gawad, then ranked at No.8 in the world. "I talked to my coaches and we worked really hard, I improved a lot of weak points in my fitness and made sure I got stronger. I focused on my fitness more than anything else, I remember I was spending more than two hours each session with Ali every day and sometimes two sessions a day. "Sometimes when I was really tired and bored he took me to the beach to relax and also to practice. "When I reached the finals in Hong Kong, I was really surprised with how I was performing and I was really happy that the hard work was paying off. "I would say Hong Kong was the most important run for me this season because it gave me the confidence to win the major tournaments." Gawad ultimately went down to fellow Egyptian Ramy Ashour in the final, but that defeat proved to be a small stumbling block on his path to superstardom. The next month he became the first man since the legendary Ahmed Barada to win the Al Ahram Open in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza, a victory that launched him into the world’s top five for the first time. But it was in November where Gawad’s determination and will to succeed really came to the fore after he found himself 2-0 down to England's World No.53 Nathan Lake and on the verge of a shock first round exit from the PSA Men’s World Championship - the sport’s biggest tournament. Gawad - a five-game specialist - came through to turn the tables and progress to the next round but revealed he was furious after an unsatisfactory start to the tournament. "After the first match, the dream of winning the tournament became so weak," Gawad recalled. "I was playing very bad squash, I couldn’t find my length, I had no tactics and wasn’t thinking right on court. "I won the match but I was really disappointed and was really mad. [Egypt’s four-time World Champion] Amr Shabana talked to me after the match and he said ‘you’ll play the best tournament of your career now’. "He added that in all of the World Championships he won, he was about to lose from the first round and ended up winning the tournament. That helped me a lot and it gave me a lot of confidence so I kept improving during the tournament." And, true to Shabana’s advice, Gawad did just that, edging past Mohamed Abouelghar in round two before beating Max Lee, Nick Matthew and then-World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy to earn a place in his first ever World Championship final - where he faced the man he had lost to in Hong Kong. After conceding the opening game, Gawad responded with a dazzling display of squash that saw him lead Ashour by two games to one, until a hamstring injury to Ashour saw him retire from the biggest match in the sport. Gawad admits that the moment was bitter-sweet but recalls his pride of becoming the third Egyptian World Champion of all time after Shabana and Ashour himself. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xMrkZHjYmcg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "I wasn't really happy that Ramy had to retire. When he went off court for the injury break, my coach, Omar, came to me and I told him that I really didn’t want him to retire. "I wasn’t happy winning like this, I wanted to finish the match. I really felt in control and I was playing one of my best matches ever. "To hear the referee saying Ramy had retired was really hard for me. I was really really happy but at the same time I was sad for Ramy for getting injured because I know pretty well what he is going through and I was also disappointed for me that I couldn't finish the match and the tournament the way I wanted. "But in the end, finding myself raising the trophy in front of my home crowd and being the only Egyptian to win the tournament in Egypt is a feeling that I can't ever describe. "I had been dreaming of it since I was eight years old and it came true at the time when I wasn't expecting it. I know I was playing really well but it was still hard for me to imagine that I could win the World Championship. I was really, really happy." That World Championship triumph propelled him to a maiden World Series title at the Qatar Classic later that month, while he made it a third title in a row after capturing the Tournament of Champions crown inside the iconic Grand Central Terminal in New York in January. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SszeOM6AV1o?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> All of those wins put him in the reckoning for the World No.1 spot and, after squandering opportunities to top the rankings with surprise defeats to Borja Golan and Abouelghar in the Windy City Open and British Open, respectively, Gawad admits he was feeling the pressure despite his relaxed on-court persona. "For sure it affected my squash," he admits. "I am not the kind of player who puts pressure on himself, I always say to be a good player you need to believe that the result is not in your own hands but to play the best squash is in your hands. "You will never benefit from putting pressure on yourself, it will only affect your game , so putting the pressure on myself wasn't the right way to handle stuff but it was hard to deal with. "When I lost my second chance to become World No.1, I was really disappointed but at the same time I learned a lesson. I talked to my coaches and told them that I wouldn’t think about it again and would only think about my squash and the way I perform." Gawad finally claimed top spot with a semi-final victory over Fares Dessouky in April’s El Gouna International. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5YGN518jXlo?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> The World No.1 spot has since been reclaimed by France’s Gregory Gaultier, but Gawad is determined to be the man out in front by the end of next season. "I didn't even realise I became World No.1 after beating Fares in El Gouna, I was shocked hearing it," he said. "I didn't open any social media during the tournament, so I focused just on my game. But celebrating it in front of my home crowd was just the best way to become World No.1. "Of course, my goals for next season are to defend my World Championship title and to play the World Team Championships and win something for my country. "I also want to become World No.1 again and win the major tournaments." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4933/season-review-gawad-ready-to-take-on-the-world-again 4933 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:00:10 +0100 Season Review: David Relishing New Campaign Malaysia’s World No.6 Nicol David is looking forward to the new season and a chance to climb back up the Women’s World Rankings. David’s 2016/17 campaign saw her slip outside the Women’s top five on the World Rankings in December for the first time in her career since 2004, however, there was success to come for the Malaysian icon as she lifted her first PSA World Tour title since December 2015. Playing in the shadow of the stunning El Santisimo statue, David stormed out of the blocks to power past a nervous looking Olivia Blatchford – who was featuring in her biggest ever final – in straight games at the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca tournament. That win saw David take a share of the $70,000, the most lucrative purse ever to be offered at a women’s squash tournament in South America, in addition to claiming an 81st Tour title of her glittering career. <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vl1_cymLfgY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> “It was a great feeling to win a title after some time and also being in a new place, in a new environment, in a beautiful setting and to win that was really special and I really took that on board,” said the 33-year-old. “I hope to bring that forward into my training for the next season and just give it a good go.” The 2016/17 season brought a majority of semi and quarter final finishes and David – who topped the World Rankings for nine years between 2006 – 2015 – is looking forward to the new season getting underway. “The season was actually getting better, I was feeling better and a lot more in the mix and playing better squash too. “It’s more about physically and mentally connecting well and now with the way the game is, the players are all different styles so you have to be really on your game and be that one step up all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing how the season goes.” David is particularly relishing the opportunity to compete for squash’s biggest title and one that she knows well, after winning it a record eight times – the Women’s World Championships – when they come to Manchester in December. “I’m just wanting to focus on my training this month and see how I can do in that first tournament and start there and build my way up to the World Series tournaments. “Obviously, the World Championships in Manchester will be a real highlight of the year.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4932/season-review-david-relishing-new-campaign 4932 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:10:02 +0100 Blockbuster Season of Squash to be shown on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and DAZN #PSAWorldTour The Professional Squash Association (PSA) have today announced the SQUASHTV schedule for the 2017/18 season, with the world’s greatest squash players set to star in some of the world’s most iconic locations in all four corners of the globe. Over 500 matches are expected to be broadcast live as SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and DAZN - the official homes of live and on-demand squash - bring footage from the sport's most prestigious tournaments to squash fans around the world, with the likes of the AJ Bell PSA World Championships, the PSA World Series Finals, the Allam British Open and the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions all lighting up the calendar over the next 10 months. Live action on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and DAZN kicks off with the Open International de Squash de Nantes between September 6-10, while six more tournaments will be shown live before the end of 2017. SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and DAZN will also broadcast the PSA World Championships between December 10-17, where the men’s and women’s events will be held alongside each other for the first time since 2011, with equal prize money on offer for the first time in history as the greatest players in the world compete for the biggest titles in squash. "Our coverage on SQUASHTV continues to go from strength-to-strength and we are delighted with our improvements to the platform since its inception in 2010," said PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill. "SQUASHTV offers squash fans unparalleled access to the PSA World Tour and we are looking forward to broadcasting the world’s best players once more during what promises to be an exciting season." *SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player & DAZN Schedule: September 2017 - June 2018* Open International de Squash de Nantes: September 6-10, 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open: September 26-30, 2017 U.S. Open: October 7-14, 2017 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill: October 18-22, 2017 Qatar Classic: October 29 - November 3, 2017 Cathay Pacific Airway & Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open: November 14-19, 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Championship: December 10-17, 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions: January 18-25, 2018 UCS Swedish Open: February 8-11, 2018 Windy City Open: February 22-28, 2018 Canary Wharf Classic: March 5-9, 2018 Grasshopper Cup: March 14-18, 2018 El Gouna International: April 20-27, 2018 British Open: May 2018 PSA World Series Finals: June 2018 (Some dates subject to change) Fans based outside of Europe can subscribe to SQUASHTV <a href="https://psaworldtour.com/tv" target="_blank">here</a>. For fans living in Europe, subscriptions must be made to <a href="http://www.eurosportplayer.co.uk/" target="_blank">Eurosport Player</a>. DAZN is the home of live and on-demand squash in Japan. Subscriptions can be made <a href="https://www.dazn.com" target="_blank">here</a>. *About SQUASHTV* Launched by the PSA in 2010, SQUASHTV is the official home of live and on-demand squash, providing fans with unrivalled access to the world's best squash action. As of January 1st, 2016, SQUASHTV has also partnered with Eurosport Player to expand coverage of the sport in Europe. With hundreds of matches shown live every year, SQUASHTV is the number one place to watch the drama unfold on the PSA World Tour. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4931/blockbuster-season-of-squash-to-be-shown-on-squashtv-eurosport-player-and-dazn 4931 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 09:57:01 +0100 Season Review: Massaro Pleased with Season’s Achievements on ‘Strong’ Women’s Tour Two months ago, at the stunning Dubai Opera, England’s Laura Massaro finished her season on a high with victory at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals. The 33-year-old’s season saw her clinch the China Open, NetSuite Open and British Open titles before her victory in Dubai and Massaro credits a conversation with her coach, David Pearson, following her defeat in the final of the Tournament of Champions to produce a strong showing at the end of the season. Serme took the opening game in the final at New York’s Grand Central Terminal before Massaro’s renowned will and determination came to the fore. However, at 2-2 the Frenchwoman responded impressively to see out the win and Massaro admitted the honest conversation with her coach helped spur her on to success at World Series events. “I probably had a conversation with DP after ToC, when I lost to Camille and I said: “I’m really not happy with my season so far,” said the 33-year-old. “Obviously, it was really good to get the San Francisco and China titles but it wasn’t at the World Series level that you always want to do well at. “DP was saying that I was maybe being a bit hard on myself in that the Women’s Tour is obviously really strong at the moment, so to go out and win the British Open in the way that I did was something I was really proud of because I basically got my backside kicked in Chicago by [Nouran] Gohar so I was really pleased with how I regrouped. “I took a lot of that form into the World Series Finals so overall I’m really happy with my season even though it did get a bit shaky through the middle.” At the British Open, Massaro overturned a 2-0 game deficit against World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the semi-final before going on to become the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the prestigious title twice when she beat England teammate Sarah-Jane Perry and the 33-year-old admitted that game gave her a mental edge for the remainder of the season. <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ldkyG1JPjao" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9DVDCJPfPQM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> “There was only the World Championships after that and then the World Series Finals, so I think that gave me a lot of belief. “It was tough going into the World Championships after winning the British. I got a little bit sick as well so obviously that made it harder and I was disappointed with a quarter final finish but aside from that, getting that win against Nour in the British Open stood me in good stead, mentally more than anything, for the World Series Finals especially having to play her twice in the space of three days.” With competition on the Women’s Tour tougher than ever before, Massaro is constantly striving for improvement and believes that she has been playing some of her best squash of late. “I think the Women’s Tour is the strongest it’s been since I’ve been on Tour in terms of depth more than anything. “When I came on Tour there were two or three that were really strong at the top – Sarah Fitzgerald, Cassie Jackman, Carol Owens were all at the top of the game and then that sort of took over with Nicol [David] and Natalie and Rachael Grinham for a significant period of time and then I think it’s now really changed where there are seven or eight of us who can really win World Series events. Then below that there is also a lot of people who are challenging us for those spots as well. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B7iJmOJhy_o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> “I think the level of women’s squash is really high. It’s obviously hard to compare because of the change in score and change of the tin, but in terms of how I feel that I’ve had to move my game on, not just since first coming on Tour but within the last couple of years. I think the women’s game has to be stronger because I think I’m playing better than I have done before and I’m still sitting at fourth in the world. “I definitely think it’s the strongest it’s been, particularly in depth, but also in the way that we are playing the game and I think it’s hugely exciting.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4930/season-review-massaro-pleased-with-seasons-achievements-on-strong-womens-tour 4930 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 09:26:24 +0100 Season Review: El Sherbini Targets World Domination Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini shows no signs of waning in her quest for domination as she continues her spell at the top of the Women’s World Rankings for the 16th successive month. With Egypt’s Red Sea providing the backdrop, El Sherbini lifted her second World Championship title at the age of just 21 in El Gouna, despite the season providing challenges for Egypt’s first ever female World Champion. El Sherbini fell at the final hurdles of the Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza, U.S. Open and Windy City Open to Raneem El Welily and Camille Serme, until everything fell perfectly into place at the World Championships. The young Egyptian was in spell binding form as she dispatched compatriot El Welily in straight games in the final to clinch her first major title since her maiden World Championship triumph 12 months earlier. “My highlight of the season would definitely have to be winning the World Championships in El Gouna after having a tough season,” said the 21-year-old. “It was a relief – especially because I had to win it to defend my title and my World No.1 spot, so the tournament meant a lot to me. “It wasn’t easy after almost losing all the major titles last season but something clicked that week and I’m glad that it happened.” <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6HGgEkkn4Eg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> The Egyptian has continued to set her sights high going into the new season, including making big changes to her training regime in an effort to lead the Women’s Tour and retain her World Championship title. “My hope is to learn from last season’s mistakes. I am working now on changing everything – my regime, my training techniques, everything – so that I can adapt to a better season and hopefully dominate. “The biggest challenges for me will be everything from overcoming the young rising players to also battling against my fellow top ten players throughout the season. “The most important thing for me is to win the World Championships again, in Manchester.” With the likes of Serme, Massaro and El Welily all winning titles last season, El Sherbini knows that the competition is fiercer than ever on the Women’s Tour. “Everyone has improved and everyone has stepped up their game. I think everyone can go for any title and we are all the same now, it’s just a matter of how mentally strong you are during the match. “I am enjoying now more than any other time and I think everyone else is too.” 20170807111455_Nour El Sherbini.jpgEl Sherbini’s reign at the top of the World Rankings now matches that of former World Champions Rachael Grinham and Cassie Jackman and the 21-year-old believes consistency is key. “I am really pleased to stay top, of course the rankings are a numbers game, what’s more important for me now is to be consistent on court and maintain a solid result throughout the whole season.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4929/season-review-el-sherbini-targets-world-domination 4929 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 11:13:23 +0100 Success for New Zealand and Australia at World Doubles in Manchester The WSF World Doubles Squash Championships came to an end over the weekend as New Zealand retained both the Women’s and Mixed gold medals, whilst Australia reclaimed the Men’s title after upsetting the defending champions, Scotland, at the National Squash Centre in Manchester. Kiwi Joelle King was the star of the day, first partnering Amanda Landers-Murphy in the Women’s final to beat England’s Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters, fighting back from a game down and saving three match-balls from 10-8 in the decider to win 9-11, 11-1, 11-10 in 46 minutes. “That was so tough,” said a delighted and relieved Landers-Murphy after her second gold medal since first winning the title with King in Darwin, Australia, a year ago. “We were ahead in all the games and I’m just glad that we could stay strong and keep it together at the end.” “Losing 11-10 in the third is always quite tough,” said Duncalf. “We did well to win the first and then the second was a bit of a disaster. The third was very up and down and they won it right at the end. “They are the defending champions and we knocked out the Commonwealth gold medallists (Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal of India) so we’re very pleased with that.” Immediately afterwards, the 28-year-old World No.12 from Cambridge linked up with Paul Coll to face England pair Waters and Daryl Selby in the Mixed final as the Kiwis grabbed an 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 victory in 47 minutes. “We felt good together again,” said Coll, who became a gold medallist of the second time in a year after his Manchester gold. “We dropped off a bit in the second, but managed to get early leads in the first and third, which always takes the pressure off. “We have a great team spirit in the Kiwi camp. It’s been a tough week to start the season off, but a lot of fun, and we’re obviously delighted to be going back with more gold medals!” Englishman Selby, like Waters became a World Doubles finalist for the first time, said: “We were seeded five so to win a silver medal is a fantastic achievement. To push the reigning World Champions as hard as we did is really pleasing. “Al and Joelle both did really well to play two matches in a row and we weren’t far away in the end.” Australians Ryan Cuskelly and Cameron Pilley also reigned victorious in Manchester as they took gold in the Men’s event, dispatching Scotland’s reigning champions and top seeds Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban 11-6, 11-3 in 34 minutes. “We’ve had a lot of tough matches with them,” said Pilley. “They beat us last year so it was good to turn the tables this time. There were some brutal rallies in the first, but we stuck to our game plan and it worked out, then in the second we continued to execute and they made a few errors which really helped our cause.” *RESULTS: World Doubles Squash Championships, Manchester, England* *Men’s final* [2] Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [1] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 11-3 (34m) Bronze Medalists: [4] Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL), [5] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) *Women’s final:* [1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [5] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) 9-11, 11-1, 11-10 (46m) Bronze Medalists: [2] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND), [3] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) *Mixed final* [1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 (47m) Bronze Medalists: [7] Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL), [4] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS) *Men's Play-Off results* Fifth place play-off: [3] Zac Alexander & David Palmer (AUS) bt [7] Peter Creed & Joel Makin (WAL) 11-5, 11-5 (24m) Seventh place play-off: [6] Tom Richards & Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Dylan Bennett & Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-5, 11-4 (19m) Ninth place play-off: [8] Nafiizwan Adnan & Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [10] Lance Beddoes & Evan Williams (NZL) 11-7, 11-5 (29m) Eleventh place play-off: Mohd Syafiq Kamal & Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [11] Andrés Herrera & Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 (45m) Thirteenth place play-off: [12] Douglas Kempsell & Kevin Moran (SCO) bt Jean-Pierre Brits & Christo Potgieter (RSA) 10-11, 11-6, 11-10 (37m) Fifteenth place play-off: David Baillargeon & Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [9] Vikram Malhotra & Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) w/o *Women's Play-Off results* Fifth place play-off: [8] Samantha Cornett & Nikki Todd (CAN) bt [7] Tesni Evans & Deon Saffery (WAL) 11-6, 11-9 (28m) Seventh place play-off: [4] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [6] Rachel Arnold & Nicol David (MAS) w/o Ninth place play-off: [12] Lisa Aitken & Carrie Hallam (SCO) bt [11] Sarah Cardwell & Christine Nunn (AUS) 11-5, 11-8 (27m) Eleventh place play-off: [10] Catalina Pelaez & Laura Tovar (COL) bt [13] Alexandra Fuller & Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 11-6, 11-8 (17m) Thirteenth place play-off: [9] Natalie Grinham & Milou van der Heijden (NED) *Mixed Play-Off results* Fifth place play-off: [2] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [13/16] Lisa Aitken & Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 11-10, 11-4 (25m) Seventh place play-off: [6] Joshna Chinappa & Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt [3] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) w/o Remaining final positions: 9 Amanda Landers-Murphy & Zac Millar (NZL); 10 Victoria Lust & Adrian Waller (ENG); 11 Milnay Louw & Christo Potgieter (RSA); 12 Nikki Todd & David Baillargeon (CAN); 13 Milou van der Heijden & Dylan Bennett (NED); 14 Catalina Pelaez & Andrés Herrera (COL); 15 Samantha Cornett & Shawn Delierre (CAN); 16 Natalie Grinham & Piedro Schweertman (NED) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4928/success-for-new-zealand-and-australia-at-world-doubles-in-manchester 4928 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:52:29 +0100 Willstrop Delighted to be Injury Free After Successful Season Former World No.1 James Willstrop says that he is enjoying his squash after shaking off his injury woes to return to the upper echelons of the sport during the 2016/17 season. Willstrop, the 33-year-old from Yorkshire, topped the World Rankings for 11 months back in 2012 but an extended period of illness and a troublesome hip injury saw him plummet down the rankings, resulting in him dropping out of the top 20 in the latter stages of 2015. But the man known on Tour as ‘The Marksman’ returned to something approaching his very best last season, reaching finals at the NetSuite Open, British Grand Prix and the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals, while he was rewarded for his fine form with a move up to World No.6. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hj0XdpSCgMs?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "I’m really happy with the season as a whole, I got through it and played a lot of squash and that’s what made me really happy," said Willstrop. "I’ve had good results and I’ve got a decent ranking at the moment, so I’m really happy with it. I’m enjoying it more than anything, that’s what matters the most to me." While Willstrop, a 19-time PSA World Tour title winner, is pleased to be back on court doing what he loves, he admits that the injury-enforced break may have done him good in the long term. "The coping of it was alright because I could see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "It’s a bit cliched but when the realisation happens that you know you can get out of it and hopefully play again then that’s a good feeling. "I wasn’t restless or anything, I was quite glad of the rest and enjoyed it to be perfectly honest. It’s not easy and it’s taken a long time but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to get back to where I was. "I never had that luxury of thinking that it would or wouldn’t happen, I just thought I would try my best and try to get to wherever I can. The point was to enjoy squash and that’s what I’ve done. Some success has come with it, which is even better, so my fingers are crossed for those people that are having those injuries now. "I didn’t really mind being injured because I needed the rest anyway in my personal situation. With hindsight, I feel fresher from it. I didn’t want to be injured at the time but now I can see that it was actually a really good thing." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4927/willstrop-delighted-to-be-injury-free-after-successful-season 4927 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 12:35:48 +0100 Home Pairs Claim Surprise Semi Slots At World Doubles In Manchester The quarter-final knockout stage of the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships in England produced two surprise semi-final pairs for the hosts at the National Squash Centre in Manchester. Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters, the fifth seeds who upset the form book by beating higher-seeded English compatriots Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry to finish in pole position in Pool D in the Women's event, secured their place in the last four when number six seeds Rachel Arnold & Nicol David of Malaysia were forced to concede the match due to an injury to Arnold. "It's never the way you want to win, but we're delighted to be in the semis," said Duncalf. The English underdogs will face second seeds Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik after the Indians - winners of the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014 in Glasgow - survived a close three-game tussle with Canadians Samantha Cornett & Nikki Todd, dropping the first game but pulling away at the end of the third. "They played well and surprised us," admitted Pallikal. "We're just glad to get through that one and be in the semis." England's other unexpected semi-finalists are Declan James & James Willstrop, the fifth seeds in the Men's event who upset the third-seeded Australian duo Zac Alexander & David Palmer 11-10, 6-11, 11-9 in 77 minutes. "My partner played brilliantly tonight," Willstrop said. "He had to put up with a lot of striking down the backhand side and you don't get the rewards straight away in doubles, you have to have the mental strength to keep going and know that the momentum can swing in your favour in the match. "I had complete confidence in Dec tonight, it was coming on to his forehand a lot and he handled it." There will also be Australian and New Zealand interest in both the Men's and Women's semi-finals. Rachael Grinham, the former World No.1 from Queensland who is bidding for a record fourth World Doubles gold medal in Manchester, partnered Donna Urquhart to a 10-11, 11-9, 11-8 win over England's Massaro & Perry.20170804112439_RachaelGrinhamUrquhart_WDoubles17_qf1.jpg?x=-4&y=-117&w=618&o=608"It was all Rachael today," said left-hander Urquhart. "It was her type of crosscourt game and she played really well to get us back into it in the third." Scotland's men's title-holders Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban extended their unbeaten run in the event with an 11-4, 11-7 win over Welsh pair Peter Creed & Joel Makin. "We played good doubles in the first game, moving them around and controlling things," said Clyne. "The second was a bit messy, but we worked well together to get through. It's good to get another 2-0 win under our belts." A full day of action in the Mixed event produced the line-up for Friday's quarter-finals - which includes outsiders Lisa Aitken & Douglas Kempsell, the 13/16 seeds from Scotland who scored their fourth successive pool win today by beating South Africans Milnay Louw & Christo Potgieter 11-5, 11-8. In only their second ever appearance in the World Doubles Championships, Colombia achieved their first win today when 13/16 seeds Catalina Pelaez & Andrés Herrera beat Scotland's Carrie Hallam & Chris Leiper in straight games in the final pool round in the Mixed event. *Results* *Men's Quarter-Finals* [1] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [7] Peter Creed & Joel Makin (WAL) 11-4, 11-7 (37m) [4] Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt [6] Tom Richards & Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-7, 11-7 (47m) [5] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) bt [3] Zac Alexander & David Palmer (AUS) 11-10, 6-11, 11-9 (77m) [2] Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Dylan Bennett & Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-7, 11-1 (20m) *Women's Quarter-Finals* [1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [7] Tesni Evans & Deon Saffery (WAL) 11-9, 11-8 (38m) [3] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [4] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 10-11, 11-9, 11-8 (54m) [5] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) bt [6] Rachel Arnold & Nicol David (MAS) w/o [2] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt [8] Samantha Cornett & Nikki Todd (CAN) 10-11, 11-6, 11-8 (44m) *Mixed 3rd & final Pool round* *Pool A* [1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) bt [9] Deon Saffery & Joel Makin (WAL) 9-11, 11-0, 11-8 (47m) [13/16] Lisa Aitken & Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt Milnay Louw & Christo Potgieter (RSA) 11-5, 11-8 (23m) [1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) bt [8] Victoria Lust & Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-2, 11-8 (23m) Milnay Louw & Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt [9] Deon Saffery & Joel Makin (WAL) 11-7, 11-9 (24m) *Pool B* [2] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [10] Samantha Cornett & Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-5, 11-5 (16m) Milou van der Heijden & Dylan Bennett (NED) bt [13/16] Rachel Arnold & Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) w/o [2] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [7] Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL) 11-8, 11-6 (32m) [10] Samantha Cornett & Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Milou van der Heijden & Dylan Bennett (NED) 11-1, 11-9 (19m) *Pool C* [3] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [11] Amanda Landers-Murphy & Zac Millar (NZL) 11-6, 11-3 (17m) [13/16] Catalina Pelaez & Andrés Herrera (COL) bt Carrie Hallam & Chris Leiper (SCO) 11-5, 11-9 (35m) [6] Joshna Chinappa & Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt [3] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 (42m) [11] Amanda Landers-Murphy & Zac Millar (NZL) bt Carrie Hallam & Chris Leiper (SCO) 11-5, 11-9 (24m) *Pool D* [4] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS) bt [12] Natalie Grinham & Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-6, 11-4 (22m) [13/16] Nikki Todd & David Baillargeon (CAN) bt Laura Tovar & Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 11-5, 11-10 (20m) [5] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [4] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS) 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 (47m) [12] Natalie Grinham & Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt Laura Tovar & Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (42m) *Draw* *Men's Semi-Finals* [1] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) v [4] Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL) [2] Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [5] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) *Women's Semi-Finals* [1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) v [3] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) [2] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v [5] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) *Mixed Quarter-Final* [13/16] Lisa Aitken & Douglas Kempsell (SCO) v [7] Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL) [3] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [5] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) [4] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS) v [6] Joshna Chinappa & Vikram Malhotra (IND) [2] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4926/home-pairs-claim-surprise-semi-slots-at-world-doubles-in-manchester 4926 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:16:29 +0100 Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes Retires from Professional Squash Former World No.19 Nicolette Fernandes has announced her retirement from professional squash after a 14-year career that saw her lift two Tour titles. Fernandes, 34, was born in Toronto, Canada but went on to represent Guyana on the international stage, winning a Gold medal at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games. Further success was to come for Fernandes in 2010 when she became Guyana’s first female to win both the men’s and women’s National Championships, a feat for which she was named Guyana’s Sportswomen of the Year. Fernandes’ achievements on the Tour saw her win 149 of her 277 matches, with title triumphs at the Greek Open and Internacional Sporta Open in 2009 and 2012, respectively, while she reached a career-high World Ranking of No.19 in October 2013. “I just want a little bit of a break from squash, I’ve been doing it for 15 years as my profession," said Fernandes to the Guyana Chronicle. "I’m just taking a break from squash in general. I felt like it was the right time. I was at peace with where I was with my life and all I had accomplished and it just felt like the right time. "Squash has been my profession for the last 15 years, so if I continue to play squash now it’s for the sheer love of it, which I do have. I don’t think I will be representing Guyana at the Caribbean Seniors. "The ultimate goal was always to be World No.1 and be a champion. I didn’t achieve those but man did I try. Nobody could fault my effort. "Because of that I have peace because I put everything into it. Most of the time it was just me going around the world playing, there were a few of my countrymen going around, but mostly it was just me. "I did something that, as a child, I always wanted to do. Sometimes you just dream of something as a child and when it comes through you just try to take it all in, and for these 15 years that’s what I did, just tried to take it all in and I loved everything about it. "Everyday training, competing, and travelling. I loved everything about it. I did miss my family, but that’s natural." http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4925/guyanas-nicolette-fernandes-retires-from-professional-squash 4925 Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:41:06 +0100 Season Review: Serme Hails ‘Best Season’ Yet The 2016/17 season provided plenty of highlights for current World No.3 Camille Serme as she was the only player on the Women’s Tour to lift two World Series titles, while reaching a career high World Ranking of No.2. In October 2016, Serme made history by as she became the first Frenchwoman to lift the U.S. Open crown after beating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini over four games – her first World Series title since she won the 2015 British Open. Serme overcame Amanda Sobhy in the semi-finals to set up the final clash with El Sherbini. The pair took a game apiece in the opening stages until a crucial third game went the way of Serme after she recovered from 4-0 down to go back ahead and then held her nerve in the fourth to write her name into the history books. From that moment on America became a happy hunting ground for Serme as she went on to add the Tournament of Champions and Cleveland Classic titles to her collection. In New York, Serme proved that she was the player to beat on the Women’s Tour as she downed then-World No.2 Nouran Gohar and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini on her way to the final before triumphing 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 over England’s Laura Massaro to claim the ToC title. “This season has been my best season so far,” said the 28-year-old. “I feel really happy about the way I have played. It felt amazing to win the U.S. Open and the ToC – obviously they are two big tournaments in a row and it seems that I like playing in America!” <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uqt4Wn3_CnA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nk61i-d3r7Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Alongside her title wins, Serme was also voted Women’s Player of the Year at the PSA Awards in Dubai along with compatriot, Gregory Gaultier picking up the Men’s award and the Frenchwoman said the accolade meant a lot to her. “Having received the best Player of the Year award was really special for me because my father was with me in Dubai and Greg having it as well, we were both really happy to have it at the same time for France. “Greg was in crazy form those last six months - he has been amazing and a great example in France for all the players.” Serme’s formidable form saw her top the Road to Dubai Standings, with the 28-year-old falling narrowly short of a berth in the final after El Sherbini fought back despite a hand injury in the best-of-three, however, Serme was grateful for the experience. “It was amazing to compete in Dubai, especially after last year, this year I thought was a higher standard and playing in the Opera was so great. I just enjoyed my squash so much and almost made it to the final but I can’t complain because it was great.” With a stellar 2016/17 campaign behind her, Serme has her sights set high for the future. “My dream always has been to become World No.1 and become World Champion so that is still my goals for next season, but I know that when I focus too much on those things that’s when I get really nervous on court so I actually try to focus more on what to do on court and how I can improve more and that’s when I play better.” http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4923/season-review-serme-hails-best-season-yet 4923 Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:59:15 +0100 Message from the CEO: A look ahead to the new season *PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough reflects on a successful 2016/17 season and looks ahead to the upcoming campaign in which the professional game looks set for further growth* -------- Last season was one of the most exciting and historic seasons in the history of the PSA World Tour, a campaign that saw a new World Champion crowned, the coveted World No.1 spot change hands multiple times and the PSA World Series Finals produce a fitting culmination to the season as squash became the first sport ever to be held at the incredible Dubai Opera. The 2017/18 season promises to be even better, with the battle for the coveted World No.1 spots across both the Men’s and Women’s Tours set to intensify in the coming months, while December will see the Men’s and Women’s PSA World Championships held alongside each other for the first time since 2011 - with equal prize money on offer for the first time in the tournament’s 41-year history. Prize money was also at an all-time high during the 2016/17 season, with an overall growth rate of 5.2 per cent compared to the season before seeing prize money increase to almost $5.8 million across both the Men’s and Women’s Tours. That trend is set to continue in the coming season, with a new World Series tournament - the Saudi PSA Women’s Squash Masters - being added to the calendar in November, while a Women’s event will be added to the El Gouna International for the first time next April. February 2018 will also see the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company become the most lucrative World Series event ever, with a confirmed $500,000 prize fund that will be split evenly across the Men’s and Women’s events. The 2016/17 season also saw squash’s global presence increase dramatically, with eight new host countries added to the tournament calendar - an increase of six compared to the season before - with Costa Rica, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore and Wales all hosting professional squash tournaments. Our sport is set for further growth throughout the 2017/18 campaign and we look forward to watching the action unfold ahead of what promises to be a thrilling season of world-class squash. http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4922/message-from-the-ceo-a-look-ahead-to-the-new-season 4922 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 14:06:57 +0100 Season Review: Gaultier Delighted With Achievements After ‘Special’ Year #SeasonReview French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier is coming off the back of arguably the greatest season of his distinguished 17-year career and the 34-year-old is aiming for even more success in the next campaign. The charismatic Frenchman recovered from a difficult 2016 to establish himself at the summit of the game once more in 2017, with a remarkable run of form seeing Gaultier lift six PSA World Tour titles on the bounce after going 27 matches unbeaten - the longest unbeaten streak of his career. Gaultier’s historic season also saw him lift his third British Open title, which meant he became the oldest World No.1 of all time - and he admits that his motivation stemmed from the fact that he had an injury-hit 2016 which prevented him from being at his best. "Lots of us have the same goals and want to be the best at what we do," said Gaultier. "With my age and the years I’ve spent on the Tour, I now have a lot of experience. As long as I play on the Tour, my goals won’t change because without goals, you don’t have motivation. "This year was pretty special but my motivation really came from a very poor year I had in 2016, with a lot of injuries and bad performances, which caused a lot of frustration. "I wanted to prove something to myself, that I could come back to a good level." And that’s exactly what the ‘French General’ did, taking the honours at September’s NetSuite Open before injury struck again in November, with an ankle injury sustained against Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals bringing his World Championship title defence to a halt. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nJk6EsEvWBg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "I was devastated," admits Gaultier. "I was playing well against Tarek in the quarters, we had a great match and I must have twisted my ankle during a lunge. Straight after the match I couldn't even walk. Once it got cold it got worse and worse. "We did everything possible with my physios and I still went to the practice with some hope but I couldn't even go on the bike to warm-up. My chances were gone. "I really thought that year wasn't suppose to be mine, I broke my ligament in New York and then I thought winning the World Championship would made me forget that bad year, then I hurt the same ankle again at a late stage of the event." After sitting out the Qatar Classic and bowing out of the British Grand Prix at the semi-final stage, Gaultier headed to New York after the Christmas break - where his charisma and showmanship was on full display inside the iconic Grand Central Terminal. Then-World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy stood between Gaultier and a place in the Tournament of Champions final, with Gaultier still smarting from their previous meeting, which had seen ElShorbagy overcome the ‘General' in controversial circumstances to win the El Gouna International the previous April. An imperious display from Gaultier saw him surge into a 2-0 lead when, at 8-7 up in the third, an incorrect decision by the video referee in ElShorbagy’s favour saw the wheels come off for Gaultier as ElShorbagy fought back, eventually taking the third before going on to level the scores in game four. To make matters worse, the Frenchman suffered an injury to his glute during the third game and looked to be on his way home at the end of the fourth after he finished the game slumped over on the floor. But, rather than shake hands, Gaultier got to his feet for a nail-biting decider in which he turned the match on its head once more. Playing on one leg, Gaultier battled his way back into the match, with every point he won bringing about wild gesticulating as the crowd got behind the man from Epinal and he eventually closed it out to earn an incredible victory. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kEUNIVkAzqg?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "Of course it was a weird match, I was feeling great, hitting and moving well and was happy to get some good feeling again on court until I hurt my glutes and piriformis," Gaultier explained. "I couldn't bend my left leg anymore. Mo probably thought I was going to shake hands but I decided not to and gave it a try until the last point as I didn't want to give up. I tried to stay focused on my shots and targets rather than thinking of the pain. "He started to lose it and played wrong tactically and gave me opportunities. I just played with the crowd, who were going crazy after each point. It gave me adrenaline and I couldn't believe I could keep scoring points and getting close to winning.  "Without all my physios and my doctor, who were there to help after the match, overnight and the next day, I wouldn't have played in the final. I had to do lot of physio work everyday the two following weeks to get rid of that injury." Gaultier failed to lift the Tournament of Champions title - falling to World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final - but a 3-1 win over the same opponent in the following month’s Swedish Open final kickstarted his incredible run of form, which culminated in a superb title victory at the British Open. His victory over home favourite Nick Matthew saw him become the oldest winner of the sport’s most distinguished title since Hashim Khan in 1958, while he also overtook ElShorbagy at the summit of the World Rankings - replacing Sarah Fitz-Gerald as the oldest ever World No.1, male or female. "I didn't know I was the oldest winner in the British Open, I was just delighted to lift that special trophy again," he said. <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/P7I39FzsH9c?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <br> "This moment will stay in my memory forever and I will still try hard to put my name on it again." Gaultier’s stunning run saw him win the Swedish Open, Windy City Open, British Open, El Gouna International, Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Classic and he puts his remarkable consistency down to experience, saying: "I think I built up confidence after winning each match and each event, I recovered well in between events and I was relaxed all the time. "Maybe it’s experience and the things you keep working every day to improve that came together. Mentally, I kept pushing myself until my limit." Gaultier had a mixed week during the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals, finishing bottom of his group after failing to win a match in the best-of-three games format - which he puts down to a combination of factors. "When I came back home from Seattle [for the Bellevue Classic], I felt heavily fatigued. I didn't have much strength to train again and I just tried to rest as much as possible. I felt like my body was slow and flat all day long. "On top of that I had some family and personal issues that really affected me mentally, it added a lot of stress. When I got there [to Dubai], I didn't expect to move or play at that kind of level.   "I still did what I could on court, I pushed myself but that's the way it went. I decided to play, I lost, I took it on the chin and now I just think of next season. "Of course I was disappointed to end the season that way. I haven’t trained since that event , I just started my summer preparation a short time ago. I needed a break really, I’m not a machine and I have certain limits. "When you add the travelling and training on top, I played an average of one match every three days from January 1 until the end of May, including PSA events and others commitments." Despite his on-court malaise in Dubai, Gaultier was honoured off the court after his incredible season saw him awarded the PSA Men’s Player of the Season at the PSA Awards Gala held the night before the tournament. 
Gaultier was honoured alongside compatriot and Women’s World No.3 Camille Serme and he was delighted to pick up the award.20170802123331_17WF0304.jpg"It was an amazing feeling as it's the first time in my career, I’m really thankful to all the people who voted, especially as it was shared with Camille. "It’s a very unique moment for two Frenchies to win at the same time." And what are the future goals for the man who has won it all? "To become World Champion and to win as many events as possible!" he says with a smile. If the legendary Frenchman can keep up the incredible form he displayed in 2017 then few would bet against him adding to the history books once more next season.<a href="http://uk.eurosportplayer.com/" target="_blank">*Watch Gaultier in action next season by subscribing to Eurosport Player - subscriptions start from just £29.99 for a yearly pass*</a><a href="http://uk.eurosportplayer.com/" target="_blank">*Watch Gaultier in action next season by subscribing to SQUASHTV - subscriptions start from just $4.99 per month using promo code 499FOR4 at checkout*</a> http://psaworldtour.com/news/view/4920/season-review-gaultier-delighted-with-achievements-after-special-year 4920 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:21:59 +0100