18 Jul 2018

WSF & PSA'S SQUASHFORWARD INITIATIVE BEGINS IN AMSTERDAM



The joint initiative between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) – officially kicked off its first activity over the weekend with juniors from all four corners of the globe taking part in a series of brainstorming sessions during the Dutch Junior Open in Amsterdam.

SquashFORWARD has been formed with the goal of engaging with the next generation of squash players in order to give them the chance to help shape the future of the sport, and the initiative will help make squash even more innovative, inclusive and sustainable.

Co-chaired by women's World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and men's World No.11 Diego Elias, SquashFORWARD members also include France's Victor Crouin, Malaysia's Eain Yow Ng, United States' Marina Stefanoni, Switzerland's Dimitri Steinmann, Japan's Satomi Watanabe and Ukraine's Nadiia Usenko.



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 #SquashFORWARD

The first SquashFORWARD activity kicked off at the @DutchJuniorOpen over the weekend 🙌

🗣 @nadiia_usenko was on the ground as she spearheaded a number of focus groups to take ideas from junior players across the world to help shape the future of #squash

10:11 AM - Jul 16, 2018
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Usenko was on the ground in Amsterdam as she spearheaded a series of brainstorming sessions to gather ideas from her fellow juniors.

The sessions centred around the topics of innovation, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility and over 50 juniors took part. Comments from the juniors were hugely positive, many of the participants said they liked being included and felt that the process was an important one given that some of them will also be appearing at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games in October, where squash will be present as a showcase sport.

Ideas from these sessions will be taken on board by SquashFORWARD and forward-looking recommendations will be shared in Buenos Aires.

“These focus groups have a huge meaning because such an event has been organised for the first time. Thanks to that, juniors all over the world got an opportunity to exchange their points of view about perspectives of developing squash,” said Usenko, who won the women's U-19 Dutch Junior Open title in the tournament's first ever all-Ukrainian final.

“I was happy to be part of these activities at the Dutch Junior Open because I love squash and cannot imagine my life without it. I am ready to do everything in my power to increase the popularity of squash in all corners of the globe and hopefully to see it on the Olympic programme.”

WSF President Jacques Fontaine added: “As the IOC Executive Board members gather in Lausanne this week to discuss key topics that will determine the future of the Olympic Movement, including the Paris 2024 programme, we are excited to witness the future of our own sport being shaped by young players from across the world. The SquashFORWARD initiative will no doubt contribute to enhancing squash’s profile as we bid for inclusion on the Olympic programme.”

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “We’re delighted to see that the inaugural SquashFORWARD activity was a success. SquashFORWARD has been created in order to help us establish a dialogue with the sport’s next generation and we look forward to sharing the findings in Buenos Aires in October.”

Bombala sports round-up


Squash
This year’s Tarra Kia Bega Squash Open is set to become one of the richest squash events in Australia.

The Bega event alone will offer $15,000 for the PSA tournament, a prize almost 10 per cent of the entire Squash World Series prize and will be the richest in NSW.

The Open – to run on August 8-12 –  will now match the Australian Squash Open for prizes and will be a massive draw card for visiting international players.

Club president John Stylianou said it was “a massive coup for the small Bega club” and it was great to have Kia Australia sign on for a three-year sponsorship deal.

“They have a fantastic approach to sponsoring sport, and through the connections with Tarra Kia they agreed to match our prize pool with the Australian Open,” Mr Stylianou said.

“We’re now the biggest tournament in NSW and because of that already have a full house of players.”
 Championships. Duty roster: Saturday – Simon Stephen.

Egyptians seeking to continue dominance at World Junior Individual Squash Championships

Egyptians Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby have been confirmed as top seeds for the event ©WSF
Egyptians Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby have been confirmed as top seeds as they bid to defend their men's and women's titles respectively at the World Junior Individual Squash Championships in Chennai.

The two players are favourites to repeat their success from last year's event in Tauranga in New Zealand at the tournament at the Indian Squash Academy,due to begin tomorrow.

Tarek, the world number 280, is seeded to face 17-year-old compatriot Mostafa Asal in the final on Monday (July 23).

Asal represents a dangerous opponent for Tarek as he has won three titles on the Professional Squash Association World Tour this year.

Araby already has five World Tour triumphs to her name at the age of 17 and is expected to retain her women's crown in Chennai.


The 17-year-old Egyptian star ousted top seed Hania El Hammamy, the compatriot whom she is again predicted to face in the 2018 showpiece contest, in last year's final.

Should Araby emerge triumphant at the tournament, the women's junior world title would be in Egyptian hands for the eighth year in a row.

A total of 171 players from 28 countries are scheduled to participate at the World Junior Individual Squash Championships.

The event precedes the biennial Men's World Junior Team Championship, scheduled to start on July 24 and conclude on July 28.

Egypt’s young squash stars raring to go


Pride of place:Egypt̢۪s Rowan Reda Araby and Marwan Tarek have been top-seeded for the World juniors.K. Keerthivasan


Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby are primed to defend their crowns
That Egypt is a powerhouse in squash is a well-known fact and the world’s top three players in both men’s and women’s sections are from the African nation. The system is honed to produce champions, with the junior programme in the Arab country being top class.

In fact, at the World junior squash championships to be held here from July 18 to 29, the top four seeds in boys and the top two in girls sections are Egyptians.

“It is nothing new,” said Haitham Ashoush, Egypt’s coach. “It didn’t happen overnight but is a culmination of hard work over the years. This is not the first time that we are on top in the world rankings.”

Haitham, a former PSA player, said it will not be easy for Egypt this time. Teams such as England, Malaysia and India have prepared well and it will be foolhardy to take them for granted, he said. “The Indian boys will be a surprise package. So will England and Malaysia. Egypt will be pushed,” said the 30-year-old.

Haitham said his target was to win all three gold medals in the World juniors. “We are keen to win the boys’ team, individual boys’ and girls’ titles,” he said.

In a huge upset, Egypt had lost to Pakistan in the boys’ team final in the previous edition in Poland (2016). “We have done our homework and we will do our best to regain the title. We are optimistic,” said Haitham. “The final [in 2016] was close. That day some of our players had an off-day. It happens.”

Top seeds Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby, in their last year as juniors, would want to bid goodbye by retaining their titles.

Training with Mohamed El Shorbagy has been back home has been a great source of strength for Marwan. “This is one thing you don’t find anywhere [else],” he said.

Rowan said she loves competing against her own people. “I enjoy it, but it’s tough playing against players from your own country. I might meet J. Shiha in the quarters,” said the 18-year-old, whose role model happens to be El Shorbagy.

17 Jul 2018

Want to break into top 60 of squash rankings’: Chennai’s Sunayna prepares for Asiad


Third-year visual communications student Sunayna Kuruvilla, from MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai, is all set to represent India at the Asian Games to be played in Jakarta in August.

Talking to TNM from her home in Chennai, the 19-year-old squash player is brimming with confidence.

She laughs when asked the most cliched question that is normally thrown at students who do other activities along with their studies. How does she balance academics and professional sport?

“I’ve been playing squash since I was nine years old, so it doesn’t feel like a balancing act anymore," she says.

“My parents were initially a little apprehensive about me taking part in sports as they felt that my academics would take a back seat but I was someone who wanted to ace everything I did, whether it is studies or squash, so that was taken care of.”

This Chennai-based player will be the third member of the Indian team which includes top players like Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, who also happens to be Sunayna’s cousin.

Sunayna credits Dipika for being the reason she fell in love with the sport.

Dipika, who is one of the leading squash players of the country, enrolled 9-year-old Sunayna for a summer coaching camp and it was from there, according to Sunayna, that she developed a passion for the sport.

Sunayna now has two back-to-back under 19 National Squash Championship titles under her belt and following her second title at Ajmer in 2017, she was ranked number 1 in India’s junior squash circuit.

Just after the Asian games in Jakarta, Sunayna is scheduled to play at the World Women’s Team Championship at China in September.

“I knew 2018 was going to be a big year for me and I’ve been working towards it,” says Sunayna who goes on to add that being the third member of the team, she wants to be prepared so that her teammates can count on her.

“I’m up by 6 am on a normal day and I train with my coach for about an hour after which I head to the gym and later in the evening I spend around one and a half hours on match play,” says Sunayna, who is currently 89 in the world rankings.

In between her training, college work and tournaments, Sunayna admits that she has no time to socialise with her friends, unlike most people her age.

“I’m very close to my school friends and they understand when I say I can’t meet them, because of my tight schedules.”

“In college, I hardly socialise. I’m just there,” she quips.

For a person of her age, the kind of achievements she has amassed over the years is no mean feat.

When asked about how her parents feel, she grins and says that they are used to it as her cousin Dipika has been doing it for years.

To reach the heights where she is today, Sunayna admits the odds were stacked against her.

“There will always be people who will tell you that you won’t be able to do it and that you shouldn’t do it which will make you question yourself.”

“There are moments of self-doubt when you start questioning yourself as to whether you’ve taken the right choice or not,” says Sunayna who goes on to add that there is always a big risk involved when you choose a career in sports.

“And that was a risk I was willing to take because this is something I love to do.”

“I really believe that if you have a goal in mind and that you’re willing to work towards it, then nothing can stop you,” she says.

Speaking about her goals, Sunayna says that her long-term aim is to become the highest ranking Indian squash player just like Joshna and Dipika.

“At the moment, I want to break into the top 60 in the world rankings by the end of the year.”

The talented player represented India at the 2015 World junior championship as well as 2015 Asian junior championship, where she won a bronze medal.

Sunayna also won a gold medal against Pakistan at the 2016 South Asian Games and currently trains at the Indian Squash Academy in Tamil Nadu.

Squash Team Return From Championships

2018 CASA Junior Championships (1)
The Bermuda Junior Squash Team returned home last night after competing in the 2018 Caribbean Area Squash Association’s [CASA] Junior Championships in Jamaica, where the Bermuda’s Boys’ Team finished third and the Girls’ Team finished sixth.The team was greeted by family, friends and the Minister of Social Development and Sports Michael Weeks, who congratulated the young athletes on their showing.

2018 CASA Junior Championships (1)

Jamaica 6th as Barbados cop Caribbean Junior Squash Championship



Young players from Barbados pose with their trophy after emerging as overall champions at the 2018 JN General Insurance Caribbean Area Squash Association's Junior Championships. Barbados beat Guyana in the finals of both the boys' and girls' team competitions to claim the coveted regional title for the second-consecutive year. The team received their trophy from Lynford Reece (centre), senior manager, distribution at JN General Insurance, on the final day of the championships, which ran from July 8-14 at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston

Jamaica finished sixth as emerging power Barbados triumphed in an epic showdown with former regional giants Guyana to emerge as overall champions for the second-consecutive year as the JN General Insurance Caribbean Area Squash Association's (CASA) Junior Championships wrapped up on Saturday at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

Having upset perennial winners Guyana last year on Guyana's home ground, Barbados came to the competition to prove that 2017 was not a fluke. With three age-group champions in the line-up, the girls' team was dominant, delivering a convincing 4-1 beating to Guyana.

Under-17 champion Meagan Best dismissed Madison Fernandes 11-2, 11-1, 11-0; Under-19 champion Amanda Haywood trounced Rebecca Low 11-3, 11-2, 11-4, Jada Smith-Padmore beat Kirsten Gomes 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-2 and Under-15 champion Sumiraa Suleman prevailed 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 in a gripping five-game battle against Abosaide Cadogan.

However, Rebekah Nichols' 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 2-11 loss to Georgiana Fernandes meant that the boys' team final would decide the overall winner. Predictably, Caribbean Under-17 champion Khamal Cumberbatch and Under-19 champion Josiah Griffith delivered wins for Barbados with the former beating Rithew Saywack 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 and the latter taking down Alexander Cheeks 11-2, 11-3, 11-8.

Then Chemar Burnham lost 7-11, 5-11, 5-11 to Daniel Islam and that put Barbados' fate squarely in the hands of young Aidan Parris, who faced off with Michael Alphonso, who had beaten him to in the finals to take the Under-13 title. On this occasion Parris exacted revenge, keeping his head amidst the deafening cheers from rival supporters to post a 7-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 win and make it two in a row for Barbados.

In their final match-up of the team competition, the Jamaican girls rallied to end a challenging week with a win over Bermuda. All Jamaica Under-17 girls' champion Mia Mahfood put Jamaica in the lead when she held off Charlotte Toogood 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, and then Mira Handa followed on with an 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 win over Hailey Moss.

Bermuda pulled one back when Mia Lake lost 6-11, 4-11, 9-11 to Abigail Brewer and then Jamaica fielded new regional Under-13 girls' champion Savannah Thomson and that settled the matter. Thomson beat Celia Robinson 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 to take the win for Jamaica and the girls finished fifth overall.

ASLAM AND ZAFAR SECURE PAKISTAN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS CIRCUIT III TITLES


Pakistan duo Tayyab Aslam and Faiza Zafar secured the Jubilee Insurance Company Ltd. Pakistan Squash Championships Circuit III men’s and women’s titles, respectively over the weekend.

World No.95 Aslam defeated fellow countryman Farhan Zaman to claim his fourth and biggest PSA World Tour title after claiming an 11-8, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8 victory in 44 minutes.

Meanwhile in the women’s final, Faiza faced younger sister Madina Zafar and was able to extract her revenge after Madina defeated her in the final of the SNGPL Pakistan International Squash Circuit II less than two weeks ago.

Older sister and World No.99 Faiza claimed her second PSA World Tour title with an 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 16-14 win.

Meanwhile at the City of Greater Bendigo International, Ireland’s World No.145 Sean Conroy and Australia’s World No.45 Christine Nunn took home the men’s and women’s titles, respectively.


Conroy and Nunn with the City of Greater Bendigo International titles

Top seed Nunn claimed her fifth successive PSA World Tour title after a formidable run of form. The Australian defeated compatriot and number two seed Sarah Cardwell in the final in straight games to secure her ninth PSA World Tour title and continue her rich vein of form.

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Conroy made it a weekend to remember after he sealed his maiden PSA World Tour title. The Irishman came from 2-1 down to win 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 in a five-game thriller.

Results
Jubilee Insurance Company Ltd. Pakistan Squash Championships Circuit III
Men’s Round One
[1] Asim Khan (PAK) bt Umair Zaman (QAT) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 (29m)
[7] Amaad Fareed (PAK) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (16m)
[Q] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [3] Ahsan Ayaz (PAK) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-1 (26m)
[8] Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari (PAK) bt [Q] Haris Iqbal (PAK) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (19m)
[5] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [Q] Abbas Zeb (PAK) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (23m)
[4] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt [WC] Naveed Rehman (PAK) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
[6] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt [Q] Mohammad Naeem (PAK) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10 (41m)
[2] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt Zahir Shah (PAK) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (21m)

Women’s Round One
[1] Faiza Zafar (PAK) bt Maqaddas Javed (PAK) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (14m)
[Q] Komal Khan (PAK) bt [7] Noor ul Huda (PAK) 3-2: 11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 (39m)
[3] Anam Mustafa Aziz (PAK) bt Saima Shoukat (PAK) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 17-15 (41m)
[5] Amna Fayyaz (PAK) bt [Q] Myra Saleem (PAK) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (16m)
Moqaddas Ashraf (PAK) bt [6] Zoya Khalid (PAK) 3-2: 11-6, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 (36m)
[4] Zahab Kamal Khan (PAK) bt Fehmina Asim (PAK) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (18m)
[8] Riffat Khan (PAK) bt [Q] Rushna Mehboob (PAK) 3-1: 7-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)
[2] Madina Zafar (PAK) bt [Q] Nimra Aqeel (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (13m)

Men’s Quarter-finals
[5] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [1] Asim Khan (PAK) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (43m)
[4] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt [7] Amaad Fareed (PAK) 3-1: 13-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-4 (75m)
[6] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt [Q] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 3-2: 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 (61m)
[2] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [8] Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari (PAK) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 12-10 (23m)

Women’s Quarter-finals
[1] Faiza Zafar (PAK) bt Moqaddas Ashraf (PAK) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11 (30m)
[Q] Komal Khan (PAK) bt [4] Zahab Kamal Khan (PAK) 3-1: 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4 (24m)
[8] Riffat Khan (PAK) bt [3] Anam Mustafa Aziz (PAK) 3-1: 11-1, 5-11, 11-2, 11-3 (19m)
[2] Madina Zafar (PAK) bt [5] Amna Fayyaz (PAK) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (19m)

Men’s Semi-finals
[4] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt [5] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 3-2: 1-11, 4-11, 1-4 retired (16m)
[2] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [6] Israr Ahmed (PAK) 3-0: 14-12, 11-6, 11-7 (38m)

Women’s Semi-finals
[1] Faiza Zafar (PAK) bt [Q] Komal Khan (PAK) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-0 (14m)
[2] Madina Zafar (PAK) bt [8] Riffat Khan (PAK) 3-2: 11-3, 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 2-7 retired (37m)

Men’s Final
[4] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt [2] Farhan Zaman (PAK) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8 (44m)
Women’s Final
[1] Faiza Zafar (PAK) bt [2] Madina Zafar (PAK) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 16-14 (32m)

City of Bendigo International
Men’s Round One
[4] Ignacio Gutiérrez Keen (ARG) bt Stu Hadden (IRL) 3-2: 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10 (67m)
Javed Ali (AUS) bt [LL] Cameron Penna (AUS) 3-1: 5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
Harley Lam (HKG) bt [6] Joel Luca (AUS) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-2 (41m)
[Q] Inwoo Lee (KOR) bt Jason Turner (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (26m)
[Q] Seong Yeon Yoo (KOR) bt Shahzad Khan (AUS) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (50m)
[Q] Corben White (AUS) bt [5] Thomas King (CAN) 3-2: 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (55m)
[1] Joe Green (ENG) bt [Q] Wee Ming Hock (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-2
[Q] Harshil Singh (AUS) bt Faisal Riaz (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-5
[3] Enzo Corigliano (FRA) bt [Q] Alex Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-1 (11m)
Matthew Lai (HKG) bt Rodrigo Bonzo (ARG) 3-1: 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 (30m)
Alvin Heumann (USA) bt Mansoor Zaman (PAK) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (22m)
[7] Daniel Lomaglio (ARG) bt Muhammad Waheed (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 (23m)
[Q] Sam Ejtemai (AUS) bt [8] Lachlan Coxsedge (AUS) 3-0: 13-11, 11-4, 11-6 (30m)
[Q] Young Hun Jo (KOR) bt Madison Eggert (CAN) 3-1: 11-8, 11-3, 13-15, 12-10 (39m)
[2] Sean Conroy (IRL) bt Haris Iqbal (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt [Q] Majeed Hussain (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 (27m)

Women’s Round One
[1] Christine Nunn (AUS) [bye]
Zoe Petrovansky (AUS) bt [7] Trace Johnson (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (14m)
[8] Maria Kalafatis (AUS) bt [L] Bethany Campbell (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (17m)
[3] Taylor Flavell (AUS) [bye]
[4] Selena Shaikh (AUS) [bye]
[6] Shehana Vithana (AUS) bt Lynette Vai (PNG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-3, 11-0 (15m)
[5] Colette Sultana (MLT) bt Chloe Kalvø (NOR) 3-0: 11-1, 11-2, 11-9 (12m)
[2] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) [bye]

Men’s Round Two
[Q] Sam Ejtemai (AUS) bt [Q] Seong Yeon Yoo (KOR) 3-1: 14-12, 11-3, 8-11, 11-1
Alvin Heumann (USA) bt Harley Lam (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
[Q] Inwoo Lee (KOR) bt [7] Daniel Lomaglio (ARG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (25m)
[Q] Young Hun Jo (KOR) bt [Q] Corben White (AUS) 3-1: 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (38m)
[2] Sean Conroy (IRL) bt [Q] Harshil Singh (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (18m)
[3] Enzo Corigliano (FRA) bt Javed Ali (AUS) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 (37m)
Matthew Lai (HKG) bt [4] Ignacio Gutiérrez Keen (ARG) 3-1: 11-2, 5-11, 9-3 retired (25m)
Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt [1] Joe Green (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)

Men’s Quarter-finals
[3] Enzo Corigliano (FRA) bt Alvin Heumann (USA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)
Matthew Lai (HKG) bt [Q] Inwoo Lee (KOR) 3-1: 11-13, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 (54m)
[2] Sean Conroy (IRL) bt [Q] Young Hun Jo (KOR) 3-0: 11-1, 11-6, 11-6 (22m)
[Q] Sam Ejtemai (AUS) bt Tomotaka Endo (JPN) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9 (50m)

Women’s Quarter-finals
[1] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt Zoe Petrovansky (AUS) 3-1: 10-12, 11-2, 11-1, 11-6 (24m)
[2] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt [5] Colette Sultana (MLT) 3-1: 14-16, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6
[4] Selena Shaikh (AUS) bt [6] Shehana Vithana (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 14-12 (22m)
[3] Taylor Flavell (AUS) bt [8] Maria Kalafatis (AUS) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3, 11-3 (13m)

Men’s Semi-finals
[2] Sean Conroy (IRL) bt Matthew Lai (HKG) 3-2: 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 (59m)
[3] Enzo Corigliano (FRA) bt [Q] Sam Ejtemai (AUS) 3-2: 11-7, 9-11, 11-1, 5-11, 11-1 (40m)

Women’s Semi-finals
[2] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt [4] Selena Shaikh (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
[1] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt [3] Taylor Flavell (AUS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (18m)

Men’s Final
[2] Sean Conroy (IRL) bt [3] Enzo Corigliano (FRA) 3-2: 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 (59m)

Women’s Final
[1] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt [2] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 3-0: 14-12, 11-7, 11-6 (42m)

Bega Open the richest squash event in NSW


Lucrative: A player reaches for a shot as the ball bounds towards the glass court wall during the Bega Open PSA tournament last year.


Lucrative: A player reaches for a shot as the ball bounds towards the glass court wall during the Bega Open PSA tournament last year.

This year’s Tarra Kia Bega Squash Open is set to become one of the richest squash events in Australia.

The Bega event alone will offer $15,000 for the PSA tournament, a prize almost 10 per cent of the entire Squash World Series prize and one of the richest in NSW.

The Open – to run on August 8-12 –  will now match the Australian Squash Open for prizes and will be a massive draw card for visiting international players.

Club president John Stylianou said it was “a massive coup for the small Bega club” and said it was great to have Kia Australia sign on for a three-year sponsorship deal.

“They have a fantastic approach to sponsoring sport, and through the connections with Tarra Kia they agreed to match our prize pool with the Australian Open,” Mr Stylianou said.

“We’re now the biggest tournament in NSW and because of that already have a full house of players.”

To say the prize pool has generated good interest would be an understatement with players from more than 10 countries registering and more players seeking entry than will fit on the 24-player card.

The biggest tipping point for Mr Stylianou is that the top seeds will be the same top contenders as those in the Aus Open just a week before.

“I’m just so tickled pink by that, to be able to put this on in Bega and host this thrills me, it’s so wonderful,” he said.

Australian Commonwealth Games contender Rex Hedrick will be the top seed, while the tournament also features four players in the top 100 of the global rankings.

Returning players also included last year’s winner, the now Swedish national representative Dmitri Steinmann and the ‘local’ contender in Josh Larkin from Canberra.

Mr Stylianou said it had been a bit of a “mad scramble” to lock in the deal, but the response from Squash Australia in supporting the Bega event had been overwhelming.

The Bega event is recognised as one of the stops on the Australian Squash Tour coordinated by Squash Australia.

The Tarra Kia Bega Open will run from August 8-12, but also feature the 80 player local tournament for people of all abilities.

Mr Stylianou said Squash Australia’s Kay Kendall and ACT Squash president Michael Nuttall would also be visiting to talk about progressing the tournaments with Bega locking in rights to hold the PSA event until 2020.

“With the support of Kia Australia, this has really become quite a big deal,” Mr Stylianou said.

Squash powerhouse Egypt aims for a clean sweep



That Egypt is a powerhouse in squash is a well-known fact with top four and top three in senior men and women PSA world rankings occupied by Egytpians. The system is honed to produce champions, with the junior programme in the Arab country being top class.

In fact, in the world junior squash championships to be held here from July 18 to 29, the top five seeds in boys’ and the top two in girls' are Egyptians. “It is nothing new,” said Haitham Ashoush, Egypt’s coach here. “It didn’t happen overnight. It is a culmination of years of hard work. This is not the first time that we are top in the world rankings [juniors & seniors].”

Haitham, a former PSA player himself, said it will not be easy for Egypt this time. Team such as England, Malaysia and India have prepared well, and it will be foolhardy to take them for granted, he said. “Indian boys will be a surprise package. So will England and Malaysia. Egypt will be pushed,” said
Egypt’s Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby, the top seeds in boys and girls, would want to bid goodbye to the event by retaining their individual titles as this is their last year in juniors.the 30-year-old.

Haitham said his target, though, is to win all three gold medals in the world juniors. “We are keen to win the boys’ team, individual boys’ and girls’ titles,” he said.

Egypt lost to Pakistan in the boys’ team final in the previous edition (2016) in Poland, and it was a huge upset. “We have done our homework [this time]. We will do our best to regain the title. We are optimistic,” said Haitham. “The final [in 2016] was close. That day some of our players had an off-day. It happens.”

Egypt’s Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby, the top seeds in boys and girls, would want to bid goodbye to the event by retaining their individual titles as this is their last year in juniors.

Training with Mohamed El Shorbagy back home has been a great source of strength for Marwan. “This is one thing you don’t find anywhere [else],” he said.

Rowan said she loves the tournament and enjoys competing against her own people. “I enjoy it, but it’s tough playing against players from your own country. I might meet J. Shiha in the quarters,” said the 18-year-old, whose role model on and off the court happens to be Mohamed El Shorbagy.

16 Jul 2018

Bendigo International Open squash joy for Nuun

 Christine Nunn  captured her fifth PSA title this year by winning the Bendigo International Open on Sunday. Picture: GRAHAM TIDY, FAIRFAX MEDIA
Christine Nunn captured her fifth PSA title this year by winning the Bendigo International Open on Sunday. Picture: GRAHAM TIDY, FAIRFAX MEDIA

TOP-RANKED Christine Nunn has proved her class by winning the Bendigo International Open women’s crown.

2nd seed @cardwell_sarah hoping it will be 5th time lucky against favourite @Christine_Nunn1 in all-Aussie women’s @PSAWorldTour Bendigo International final http://www.squashinfo.com/events/7760  @Squashoz @squashvic @LadiesSquash

Nunn, ranked No. 45 in the world, defeated number two seed Sarah Cardwell in an all-Australian final at Bendigo Squash Centre on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Canberra-born player, who now calls Melbourne home, won in straight games 14-12, 11-7, 11-6 in a scoreline which did not do the closeness of the contest justice.

The PSA title win was Nunn’s fifth win this year and came against her close friend and 2018 Commonwealth Games doubles partner Cardwell.

It was their first meeting at a PSA World Tour event since 2012 and ended a run of outs for Nunn against Cardwell, who had won all four of their previous meetings.

Nunn’s path to the final included a semi-final win over third seeded Australian Taylor Flavell.

In the men’s open final, Irishman Sean Conroy defeated France’s Enzo Corigliano in a five game thriller 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9.

Conroy, the tournament’s third seed, twice came from a game down to overhaul the second seeded Frenchman in an epic final.

The Irishman entered the tournament on a high after reaching a career-high world ranking of 141 two months ago.

15 Jul 2018

SQUASHSKILLS BLOG: IS CAFFEINE AN EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE ENHANCER FOR THE SQUASH PLAYER?


Although most people are familiar with caffeine and are aware of some of its potential benefits and effects, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions as to its exact uses and functions within the body. Used correctly though, it can be a very useful performance enhancer for the squash player.

Caffeine is found in a variety of plants, foods, and beverages, and is widely used the world over – estimates suggest that four out of five people in Western cultures consume some source of caffeine every day.

Whilst caffeine is known primarily as a stimulant drug, it also has a number of other potential actions within the body.
– estimates suggest anything up to 60% of competitive athletes have used it to boost competitive performance, with performance enhancing effects having been demonstrated in both longer duration endurance and shorter-term high-intensity efforts.

Despite this, for a lot of people caffeine has a rather negative reputation. People talk of its potential anxiety/insomnia related side-effects, its alleged dehydrating effects, and of its addictive nature.

Caution should certainly be exerted by those with high blood pressure, or with any kind of cardiac impairment – advice should always be sought from a doctor before supplementing with caffeine, if you suffer from any medical conditions related to either of these areas.

Beyond this however, most side-effect issues are dependant very much on the individual user, and are often rather over-blown – the reported dehydrating effects for example, have been shown to be based on flawed evidence. As regards issues of addictiveness, some regular caffeine consumers have been known to develop a mild physical dependence, and experience negative moods and headaches if suddenly withdrawn. It is not a ‘true’ addiction such as with drugs/nicotine/alcohol however, and most ‘sufferers’ are comfortably back to normal within a couple of days of ceasing use.

Some people do report anxiety issues and difficulty sleeping after caffeine use, but this is often more to do with dosage and timing – consuming caffeine in the two or three hours before you go to bed is probably not a good idea, for example (caffeine actually has a relatively short half-life however, and around 50% of it will have been eliminated from your body within 4-5 hours).

In terms of dosage, different people will have different needs/tolerances – research suggests lower levels can be effective, with most people being on the continuum of needing between 1 to 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight to feel some mental and physical boost, up to around 5mg/kg for more pronounced performance enhancement effects.

Even at the upper end, this will only be around 350-400mg of caffeine in a daily dosage for the average person – still under half of the level theorized to have any possible negative health effects. For elite level athletes, Sports Nutritionists have actually suggested intakes of as high as 5-10mg per kilo of bodyweight for one-off events/competitions, though this probably wouldn’t be advisable on a regular basis.

Drug-tested athletes should also be aware that some governing bodies do test for abnormal levels of caffeine – this would usually be at an equivalency level of around 10mg per kg of bodyweight however. In part because of its potentially extremely potent effects, there is some debate over whether there should be stricter controls on the use of caffeine in sport.

So what are the actual specific effects of caffeine, and how does it work?

Caffeine acts in the body through several theorized mechanisms, but the most significant influence is its effect to counteract a substance called ‘adenosine’ that we have circulating in high levels in our body.

Adenosine acts in the brain to suppress activity in the central nervous system, so by acting on this substance caffeine reduces this suppression whilst increasing excitation and activity in neurotransmitters (this short video outlines the process well). In respect to physical activity, this can have the effect of boosting focus, enhancing general body coordination, lowering our perceived exertion (how hard an activity feels), and even potentially dampening exercise-induced muscle pain.

Even more relevant to the athlete, is the suggestion that caffeine may help boost endurance by increasing fat utilization and decreasing glycogen utilization (our bodies contain far more fat than glycogen).

This effect of increasing fat oxidation and sparing muscle glycogen, allows us to work harder for longer. This is also obviously of great benefit to those training for fat-loss goals, and for this reason caffeine is also a common ingredient in many ‘fat-burner’ supplements.

One interesting preliminary study from 2008 also showed that large volumes of caffeine ingested with post-workout recovery beverages actually increased muscle energy store replenishment – more research is needed to establish exactly the lowest dosage this will occur at is, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

In addition to all this, there is even some promising research that suggests regular caffeine intake may play a role in reducing the risk of certain Cancers, liver disease, Parkinsons Disease, and Diabetes (Type 2).

So for squash players, it’s well worth considering giving caffeine a go ahead of your next session, to help kick-start your energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue. This link has an excellent database of the caffeine contents of various beverages, but the two most common ones are still coffee and commercial energy drinks (such as Red Bull) – be aware however of the high additional sugar content of many of these caffeine based energy drinks. Caffeine tablets are often a quicker and more convenient way to ingest caffeine, particularly if you don’t enjoy the strong taste of the aforementioned beverages or wish to avoid the extra calories – it’s worth noting though, that coffee may actually confer a number of additional health benefits.

For best results experiment with intake timings of between 20-60 mins before exercise, and try and eliminate extraneous caffeine from your daily routine to ensure you really feel the full effects of your pre-exercise boost (although some recent research has suggested that habitual daily intake may not in fact impact the performance enhancing effects of acute caffeine supplementation after all).

For those interested in some further reading there’s a good article on caffeine and athletic performance here. For a more comprehensive review of some of the main scientific literature regarding caffeine and performance, check out both the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s position stand on caffeine, and this extremely in-depth Examine.com feature.

SQUASHSKILLS BLOG: THE IMPORTANCE OF WARMING UP



Before any kind of strenuous physical activity, it’s important to ensure that the body is properly warmed-up. Whilst the vast majority of people will be familiar with this advice, there is often a lack of understanding as to precisely why the warm-up is so vital, and how to go about structuring one correctly. There is also often a particular misunderstanding of the value of ‘stretching’ as part of any warm-up regime before sport/exercise.

In today’s blog article SquashSkills examine these areas in more depth, and provide a little more info and guidance as to what exactly constitutes an appropriate warm-up for such an extremely demanding sport as squash.
The goal of any warm-up is to physically (and mentally) prepare the athlete for the training or competition ahead. A properly designed graduated warm-up will raise the body temperature and increase blood flow to the working muscles, resulting in the following positive impacts on performance (Courtesy of the National Strength & Conditioning Association):

Faster contraction/relaxation of muscles
Improvements in rate of force development, and reaction time
Improvements in muscle strength and power
Lowered viscous resistance in muscles
Improved oxygen transportation and delivery
Enhanced metabolic reactions
Reduced risk of injury due to increased muscle temperature

Note that these enhancements come from a warm-up in the form of a steady build-up of multi-directional movements and light aerobic activity, which increase heart rate/blood flow/respiratory rate/muscle temperature. These benefits do NOT come from just ‘static stretching’, which many people mistake for an appropriate warm-up.

Standard static stretching can be useful in some circumstances for affecting joint flexibility, particularly as part of a physio guided rehab programme, but has little beneficial effect as part of a standard warm-up and will not have all the same favourable physiological effects as detailed above.

There is often a mistaken belief that static stretching as part of a warm-up will help prevent injury, by ‘loosening’ tight tissues. While evidence suggests that the raising of the body’s temperature through light graduated aerobic activity can be beneficial for injury prevention in some situations (due to the increased resistance to muscle tears in warmer tissues), there is actually very little research supporting standard static stretching carried out before exercise having any effect on injury frequency. Indeed, it has been shown by some researchers that excessive static stretching as part of a warm-up may actually REDUCE performance, due to reductions in muscle force production and power.

What IS important as part of an appropriate warm-up for an intensive sport such as squash however, is increasing mobility and functional range of motion in the joints. ‘Dynamic Stretching’, where muscles are taken through a controlled yet active range of motion, and then gradually increased as core temperature rises and joint fluid viscosity is decreased, has been shown to be the best way to increase sports-specific mobility in preparation for optimal performance. Movements such as controlled leg swings, lunges, hip circles, and knee raises are great for this purpose.

So what exactly should a suitable warm-up for squash consist of, and in what order? To cover all of the appropriate areas of raising temperature, increasing mobility, and optimising the body and mind for training/competition, a warm-up should consist of 3 parts lasting around 5 minutes each:

1) Initial Pulse-Raiser (Raise body temperature and heart rate)
e.g. Light jogging, heel flicks, sidesteps, skipping

2) Dynamic Flexibility & Muscle Activation (Increase joint range of motion and engage key muscles)
e.g. Controlled leg swings, knee thrusts, deep lunges

3) Secondary/Specific Pulse-Raiser (Raise heart rate and prep body for tempo of session)
e.g. Ghosting, court sprints, tuck jumps, shuttles

These areas follow and complement each other organically – starting with some light movement to warm the muscles and increase the heart rate, then increasing the range of motion and activation in the now warmed and prepared muscles, before finishing with some higher intensity specific movements (that won’t place excessive strain on the joints now they have been properly readied for full activity).

You can check out a sample dynamic warm-up video here on the site, that shows these areas in more detail and shows the 3 stage warm-up in action in a format specific to squash. As the video points out, these 3 stages can be adapted to both the specifics of the session you’re about to take part in, and to the inherent unique variances in regards to exactly how much time and intensity you personally need to spend on the warm-up, to really optimise your own individual performance.

13 squash players selected to represent India at World Junior Squash Championship

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As India hosts the World Junior Squash Championship, there will be a total of 13 players that have been chosen carefully to represent India at the tournament in Chennai. The Championship will start from July 18 till July 29, with a total 28 countries participating in it including India.
During the event in Chennai, matches are going to be conducted in both men's and women's category and will also be played across team and individual events. Cyrus Poncha, Director of the tournament has revealed that 171 players will be participating in the event, out of which 116 are men and 55 women. India will have 13 players participating.

At the World Junior Squash Championship, host India will have to keep an eye out for the Egyptian contingent. The contingent will be led by Marwan Tarek and Rowan Reda Araby, who are top seeds in the men's and women's sections respectively.

“In the men’s team event, Pakistan is the defending champion and is expected to face a huge challenge from the formidable Egyptian squad,” said Poncha.

As per Poncha, India, who finished sixth in the last edition in Poland in 2016, will be encountering an immense challenge to perform better.

Indian Squash Academy Courts and the Express Avenue Mall (from quarter-finals stage) will hold the matches for the event. Pakistan recently secured their visas for the tournament and will be arriving by late Sunday in Chennai. The individual event for both the men's and women's will be between July 18 to 23, whereas the team events for men will start from July 24 to July 29.

Yash Fadte, Veer Chotrani, Utkarsh Baheti, Rahul Bhaita, Sankalp Anand, Advait Advil have been chosen to play in the men's category, whereas, Ashita Bhengra, Yoshna Singh, Aishwarya Khubchandani, Jania Singh, Sanya Vats and Ananya Danke has been selected to represent the women's category.

14 Jul 2018

Winner for 2017/18 RALLY OF THE SEASON


There were some incredible rallies during the 2017/18 season – we've chosen 10 of the best, Squash fans have voted for their favourites both in male and female categories!
psaworldtour  -  The 2017/18 Men's Rally of the Season as voted for by the fans... With 37% of the votes, it's this JOKE rally between Simon Rösner & mo-elshorbagy in Dubai WATCH VIDEOHERE

psaworldtour -  With 39% of the votes, this epic clash between Nour Eltayeb & Raneem elwelily is the 2017/18 Women's Rally of the Season!WATCH VIDEOHERE

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WSF & PSA'S SQUASHFORWARD INITIATIVE BEGINS IN AMSTERDAM

The joint initiative between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) – officially kicked off its fir...