With competitive squash returning to the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza for the first time in a decade during the 2016/17 season, we take a look at some of the most stunning backdrops ever to host a competitive PSA World Tour event.
San Francisco played host to the NetSuite Open
5) San Francisco
Global start-up central and one of the coolest and ‘hip’ cities in the world, San Francisco added squash to its sporting lexicon in 2011 with the inaugural staging of the NetSuite Open, a tournament that introduced the likes of Gregory Gaultier, Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour to west coast squash fans. With $70,000 on offer that first tournament drew players in for what promised to be a big pay day but it was the location that captivated the squash masses with the glass court set-up in Justin Herman plaza – in the shadow of the Oakland-bay Bridge and San Fran Ferry Building – an instant addition to the pantheon of iconic squash locations.
Hong Kong Harbour
4) Hong Kong Harbour
First staged in 1985, the Hong Kong Open is the longest running tournament on the PSA World Series and a staple on the travel schedules of the world’s leading squash players. The nondescript Hong Kong Squash club plays host to the early rounds, staging close to 100 matches from qualification to quarter-finals, but in 2005 Women’s World Championship re-located to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. It was there, on the banks of Kowloon that Hong Kong’s breathtaking skyline, packed full of skyscrapers and the dazzling lights of the financial district combined with a plethora of traditional boats in the packed harbour waters, that squash enjoyed one of world sport’s most impressive scene-setters until last being staged in 2013.
New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal
3) Grand Central Terminal, New York
Since first taking squash into the heart of one of New York’s most iconic buildings in 1995 the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions has become a firm favourite for players and fans of the PSA World Tour alike. The location, with the glass-court nestled inside Grand Central Terminal’s extravagant and beautiful Vanderbilt Hall, creates one of the most unique atmospheres on Tour – courtesy of the 250,000+ commuters who pass by the court every day – while also providing one of the most elegant and captivating backdrops ever to welcome a squash court.
The Shanghai Bund
2) The Shanghai Bund
Staged for the first time in 2014, the China Open has quickly built up a reputation as one of the most breathtaking tournaments on the squash calendar courtesy of its prime location on the Shanghai Bund – the city’s waterfront area on the banks of the Huangpu river. The court itself is pitched on the upper decks of the 5* Peninsula Hotel, offering a truly spectacular view across the water to Shanghai’s Financial District – which is packed full of architectural wonders, modern-day skyscrapers and the dazzling neon lights of one of the world’s most modern cities.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
1) The Great Pyramid of Giza
In 1997 with a young Ahmed Barada pioneering Egyptian squash, an ambitious plan to stage a tournament in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza – one of the seven wonders of the world – came to fruition, providing squash with some of the most stunning sporting images ever seen. Capturing global media attention, the 1997 Al Ahram International set the bar for all other tournaments to follow. Held annually until civil unrest in 2006 made it untenable, the tournament returns to the PSA World Tour for the first time in a decade in September 2016, when it is sure to once again cut an astonishing scene for squash fans around the world.
Cartagena – Colombia
Canary Wharf – London
Hurghada – Egypt
Luxor – Egypt