The iconic Vanderbilt Hall in New York's Grand Central Terminal
Tournament of Champions: A History
New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal will host the prestigious J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions for the 20th year when the first World Series tournament of 2017 takes place between January 12-19.
This historic tournament acts as the fourth stage on the PSA Road to Dubai for the second year in a row and offers vital points for the PSA Road to Dubai Standings – where only the top eight players will qualify for a coveted spot at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals.
Live on SQUASHTV
Watch live action from the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions on SQUASHTV.
Introduced back in 1930 as a Men’s only tournament, under the guise of the US Professional Championships, home player Jack Summers was the first title winner and he would go on to win four of the first five instalments.
The first 22 tournaments were won by local players, before the legendary Pakistani player Hashim Khan bought an end to the United States dominance in 1955. Khan would have to wait a further eight years to lift his second title, and that victory ushered in a 14-year period of dominance for his countrymen until Stuart Goldstein returned the title to US hands in 1978.
The next decade and a half would see four nationalities trade the title with Canadians Clive Caldwell and Michael Desaulniers and Mexico’s Mario Sanchez joining winners from the United States and Pakistan – with six-time World Champion Jahangir Khan claiming the crown between 1984-1985.
In 1993, the event was renamed to the Tournament of Champions, with eight-time World Champion Jansher Khan winning the first tournament since its name change.
Khan was also the champion in 1995, where the tournament became one of the first ever events to be staged in Grand Central Terminal’s stunning Vanderbilt Hall.
The tournament has stayed there ever since, aside from a three-year period between 1996-1998 due to renovations at the venue, making it the only sports championship held annually inside Grand Central Terminal.
Since then, the Tournament of Champions has seen some of the most famous names ever associated with the sport lift the famous trophy, with Canadian Jonathon Power (4), England’s Peter Nicol (3) and Egypt’s Amr Shabana (3) being joined on a list that also includes the likes of current players Ramy Ashour, Nick Matthew, Gregory Gaultier, James Willstrop and Mohamed ElShorbagy.
A Women’s event began in 2001, with Australian five-time World Champion Sarah-Fitz Gerald winning the first two tournaments in 2001 and 2002.
The person she beat in the 2001 final, former World Champion Vanessa Atkinson, finally got her hands on the title for successive years between 2005-2006, with Natalie Grainger becoming the first female United States representative to triumph over the next two years.
Former World No.2 Natalie Grinham – who will retire from the sport after this year’s Tournament of Champions – became the fourth woman to win the tournament on two occasions between 2012-2013, before Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David made her mark on the tournament the following year.
Now recognised as one of the premier tournaments on the PSA World Tour, the Tournament of Champions last year became only the third World Series event to offer equal prize money across both the Men’s and Women’s events as the PSA’s (Professional Squash Association) attempts to address pay disparity continues to bear fruit.
Women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini claimed one of the most lucrative titles of her career after overcoming home hero Amanda Sobhy in last year’s final, while Men’s World No.1 ElShorbagy successfully defended his title against England’s Matthew.
The 2017 edition of the Tournament of Champions promises to showcase all of the drama and athleticism that the sport has to offer, with the world’s biggest names once again returning to New York to battle for the title – find out how you can watch the whole event LIVE.
Tickets to the event are also available for purchase on the tournament website and range in price between $8-$170.
Previous Winners – Men (Tournament of Champions Only)
2016 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
2015 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
2014 Amr Shabana (EGY)
2013 Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2012 Nick Matthew (ENG)
2011 Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2010 James Willstrop (ENG)
2009 Grégory Gaultier (FRA)
2008 Ramy Ashour (EGY)
2007 Amr Shabana (EGY)
2006 Amr Shabana (EGY)
2005 Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
2004 Peter Nicol (ENG)
2003 Peter Nicol (ENG)
2002 Jonathon Power (CAN)
2001 Peter Nicol (ENG)
2000 Jonathon Power (CAN)
1999 Jonathon Power (CAN)
1998 No competition
1997 No competition
1996 Jonathon Power (CAN)
1995 Jansher Khan (PAK)
1994 Rodney Eyles (AUS)
1993 Jansher Khan (PAK)
Previous Winners – Women
2016 Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2015 Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2014 Nicol David (MAS)
2013 Natalie Grinham (NED)
2012 Natalie Grinham (NED)
2011 No competition
2010 No competition
2009 No competition
2008 Natalie Grainger (USA)
2007 Natalie Grainger (USA)
2006 Vanessa Atkinson (NED)
2005 Vanessa Atkinson (NED)
2004 No competition
2003 Carol Owens (NZL)
2002 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS)
2001 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS)
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