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Tournament of Champions: A History

New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal will once again host the prestigious J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions when the World Series event takes place between January 18-25.

The historic tournament offers another chance for players on the Men’s and Women’s Tour to collect points for the World Series Standings as they aim for a top eight finish, which will guarantee their place at June’s PSA World Series Finals.

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 would go on to win four of the first five instalments of the event.

The first 22 tournaments were all won by local players before legendary Pakistani player Hashim Khan brought a halt to the United States dominance in 1955. However, after his victory, Khan would have to wait eight years to lift his second title – with that victory setting up a 14-year period of dominance for his fellow countrymen until Stuart Goldstein returned the title to US hands in 1978.

The next decade and a half saw 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 under the new name.

Khan was also the champion in 1995, where the tournament broke new ground to become 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 New York’s iconic 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 a list that also includes the likes of 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 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 in 2016 became only the third World Series event to offer equal prize money across both the men’s and women’s events.

Last year saw Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad and France’s Camille Serme claim the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, and the two players will be looking to defend their titles when the tournament gets under way later this month.

Gawad successfully saw off France’s Gaultier in last year’s final to be crowned champion, whilst Serme defeated England’s Laura Massaro in five games.

Glass court matches from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased via the tournament website.

Previous Winners – Men (Tournament of Champions only)
2017 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
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 Gregory 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
2017 Camille Serme (FRA)
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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