31 Aug 2018

PSA Announce Digital Broadcast Schedule for Rest of 2018

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) today announced its digital broadcast schedule for the rest of 2018 as the world’s top players get set to battle it out for some of the sport’s most prestigious titles.

SQUASHTV will give squash fans a front row seat to all of the world class action at nine tournaments across four continents over the remainder of the year.

The Open International de Squash de Nantes will be the first tournament of the season to be shown live on SQUASHTV, with Eurosport Player and DAZN – the other official homes of live and on-demand squash – also showing the action live with the tournament taking place between September 4-9.

Eight more tournaments will be shown live before the end of 2018 including four of the prestigious PSA World Tour Platinum events - the FS Investments U.S. Open, Qatar Classic, Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open and the Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo which has been added to the calendar for the first time.

The SQUASHTV cameras will also be in Dalian between September 11-16 when China hosts the WSF Women’s World Team Championships.

SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and DAZN will broadcast over 550 matches live during the 2018/19 season and the remainder of the schedule will be announced later this year.

"We have made continual improvements to the platform since launching in 2010 and in particular are excited about the potential of our recent partnership with Sports Data Labs, which will enable us to incorporate real-time human data into our broadcasts," said PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill.

"We are also delighted to add three new tournaments to the schedule and are looking forward to the opening months of the season, which will lay the groundwork for what promises to be one of the most exciting seasons yet on the PSA Tour."

SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player & DAZN Schedule: September 2018 – December 2018

Open International de Squash de Nantes: September 4-9, 2018

WSF Women’s World Team Championships: September 11-16, 2018 (SQUASHTV only)

Alexandria International Squash Open: September 17-21, 2018

Oracle NetSuite Open: September 27 - October 2, 2018

FS Investments U.S. Open Championships: October 6-13, 2018

Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill: October 16-21, 2018

Qatar Classic: October 27 - November 2, 2018

Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open: November 19-25, 2018

Black Ball Squash Open: December 3-9, 2018


Fans based outside of Europe can subscribe to SQUASHTV here.

For fans living in Europe, subscriptions must be made to Eurosport Player.

DAZN is the home of live and on-demand squash in Japan. Subscriptions can be made here.





PSA Sign Agreement With DPD Netherlands to Stage PSA World Tour Gold Event

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) and DPD Netherlands have signed a multi-year agreement which will see the international parcel delivery company sponsor a PSA World Tour Gold tournament scheduled for April 2019 at their new headquarters in Eindhoven to mark the grand opening of their new distribution centre.

In addition to the tournament - which will be named the DPD Open and feature both a men's and women's event - the PSA and DPD Netherlands will stage three promotional events on glass courts held at iconic locations throughout the Netherlands to activate the partnership.

As part of the agreement, DPD Netherlands will also become the headline sponsor of the Dutch Squash Federation, which includes title sponsorship of all national championships and the Dutch Junior Open as well as the TMG Junior Series, which is the official junior squash circuit in the Netherlands.

"We are pleased to sign this agreement with DPD Netherlands and are looking forward to bringing world-class squash back to the Netherlands in April," said PSA Chief Commercial Officer Tommy Berden.

"DPD are an internationally recognised brand and have shown a significant commitment to supporting squash in the Netherlands, from the junior level right up to the professional circuit.”

"We are excited to work with DPD over the course of the agreement and are confident of putting on a great event on their new premises next year."

DPD Netherlands Chief Executive Eric Dietz added: "We see a clear match between our company and squash. The sport is fast and dynamic and the professional game in particular is developing rapidly through a range of innovations.”

“Being able to host a major professional sporting event at our own site to mark the opening of our new headquarters and distribution centre is a great example of the versatility of squash and the unique ability that the spectacular glass court offers to the sport. It enables us to showcase our new facilities, generate significant exposure and engage with our key stakeholders around the DPD Open. In that light I am pleased to be able to announce that one of our prime business partners, the BEUMER Group, will become a co-sponsor of the event.

“Squash clearly has a lot of growth potential when the innovations introduced at the PSA World Tour filter down to grass roots level and we would like to be part of this development and help shape the future of the sport.”



SQUASHTV to Produce Live Coverage of Dunlop British Junior Open and European Team Championships

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has reached agreements with England Squash, Edgbaston Priory Club and the University of Birmingham which will see SQUASHTV - the broadcast arm of the PSA - produce live coverage of January’s Dunlop British Junior Open and May’s European Team Championships, both of which will take place in Birmingham and be made available for free to SQUASHTV digital subscribers.

Following on from last year’s successful production of the Dunlop British Junior Open, an agreement has been reached with England Squash which will see SQUASHTV broadcast live action of both the 2019 tournament - which will be held between January 2-6 - and the 2020 edition.

The Dunlop British Junior Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in junior squash and features the most talented young players from across the globe. The tournament makes up part of the newly-created WSF & PSA Satellite Tour which came into effect on August 1 as part of the PSA’s new tour structure and will be held at various venues in Birmingham, including Edgbaston Priory Club and the University of Birmingham.

Meanwhile, SQUASHTV cameras will be on-site at the European Team Championships in Birmingham for the first time ever between May 1-4 after an agreement with Edgbaston Priory Club. France and England currently hold the men’s and women’s titles respectively and the tournament will be held in England for the first time since 2003.

"We have made continual improvements to our SQUASHTV platform year after year and we are pleased to expand our coverage of squash by broadcasting live action from the Dunlop British Junior Open and European Team Championships," said PSA COO Lee Beachill.

"SQUASHTV currently showcases the professional game at the highest level. We have ambitions of making the platform the home of squash as a whole and adding these tournaments to the schedule will assist us in fulfilling that goal.

"Junior squash in particular is a breeding ground for the future stars of the sport and we are excited to reach a new generation of squash players and fans with this agreement with England Squash. We are also looking forward to working with Edgbaston Priory Club to make the European Team Championships a success."

England Squash Chief Executive Keir Worth said: "We are thrilled to have SQUASHTV on board once again to broadcast the Dunlop British Junior Open. This is a great opportunity to showcase the world’s most iconic junior event to new audiences."
Edgbaston Priory Club Head of Squash and Racketball Mike Edwards said: "It is superb to have top-level squash here at Edgbaston Priory Club where we will be erecting an all glass court for the first time in history.

"We have held a number of junior national events at the club in the past few years and I have had the pleasure of being the event director for the Dunlop British Junior Open here in 2018. The European Team Championships is special for us as we will be attracting some of the world’s best players to the club and we can’t wait to welcome all of the competitors, volunteers and spectators."

Title-Holders make winning starts in Asian Games Teams

India and Malaysia, defending champions in the men’s and women’s events, respectively, both recorded two 3/0 wins in today’s first qualifying rounds of the Squash Asian Games Team Championships at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in the Indonesia capital Jakarta.
Fresh from a record fifth gold medal in the women’s individual event, Nicol David led favourites Malaysia to decisive victories over Pakistan (both teams pictured above) and Philippines.
Both ties saw a successful return to international action after a four-year injury layoff by Low Wee Wern, the former world No.5 from Penang (pictured above in action with Pakistan’s Faiza Zafar).
India, winners of the men’s team gold medal for the first time in 2014, defeated hosts Indonesia (both teams pictured below) and Singapore – in both ties resting team number one Saurav Ghosal, a bronze medallist in the individual event.
But India are the No.2 seeds – behind favourites Hong Kong China, led by the two men’s individual finalists Leo Au and Max Lee. Both players were in team action today as the top seeds dismissed Philippines and Japan(the two teams seen below), both 3/0.
Two further days of qualifying action will take place before the top two teams in both pools come together for the semi-final knockout stages.
Asian Games images courtesy of Aulia Dyan
Men’s 1st qualifying rounds:
Pool A:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [9] PHILIPPINES 3/0
[4] PAKISTAN bt [8] JAPAN 2/1
[5] REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt [12] NEPAL 3/0
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [8] JAPAN 3/0
[4] PAKISTAN bt [12] NEPAL 3/0
[5] REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt [9] PHILIPPINES 2/1

Pool B:
[2] INDIA bt [10] INDONESIA 3/0
[3] MALAYSIA bt [7] SINGAPORE 3/0
[6] QATAR bt [11] THAILAND 3/0
[2] INDIA bt [7] SINGAPORE 3/0
[3] MALAYSIA bt [11] THAILAND 3/0
[6] QATAR bt [10] INDONESIA 2/1

Women’s 1st qualifying rounds:
Pool A:
[1] MALAYSIA bt [9] PAKISTAN 3/0
[4] JAPAN bt [8] PHILIPPINES 3/0
[1] MALAYSIA bt [8] PHILIPPINES 3/0
[5] REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt [9] PAKISTAN 3/0

Pool B:
[2] HONG KONG CHINA bt [10] INDONESIA 3/0
[3] INDIA bt [7] IRAN 3/0
[6] CHINA bt [11] THAILAND 3/0


Japan & Pakistan complete Asian Games team semi-final line-ups




The final Squash qualifying action in the Asian Games Team Championships in Indonesia saw the women’s team of Japan and the Pakistan men’s team complete the semi-finals line-up at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta.
Fourth seeds Japan faced rivals Republic of Korea to decide the second position in the women’s Pool A – and a place in the last four knockout stage.
Honours were shared after the first two matches – Misaki Kobayashi winning for Japan before Ji-Hyun Lee levelled the tie for Korea. Teenager Satomi Watanabe (pictured above) clinched victory for the fourth seeds after defeating the Korean number one Yura Choi 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 – an emotional victory which put Japan into the semi-finals, with the certainty of a medal, for the first time.
It was in Pool A of the men’s event that fourth seeds Pakistan battled with Republic of Korea for the final place in the other semi-final line-up. The 2010 gold medallists achieved their goal in style – Asim KhanTayyab Aslam and Israr Ahmed all beating their Korean opposition to secure second place in the pool.
The key clash in Pool B saw No.2 seeds India and third seeds Malaysia – both of whom were already certain of semi-final berths – go head-to-head for top position in the pool. Underdogs Malaysia clinched victory after wins by Eain Yow Ng and Ivan Yuen, second and third strings, respectively – but Indian number one Saurav Ghosal restored pride in the team by winning the third match, defeating Nafiizwan Adnan (pictured below, right, with Ghosal) 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-7 in 58 minutes.
Meanwhile Indonesia‘s women’s team showed their promise by recording their third shock win in Pool B. Seeded 10, the hosts beat Thailand 3/0 to record a hugely-impressive third-place finish in the Pool in their maiden appearance in the event.
Men’s semi-final line-up:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA v [2] INDIA
[3] MALAYSIA v [4] PAKISTAN
Women’s semi-final line-up:
[1] MALAYSIA v [3] INDIA
[2] HONG KONG CHINA v [4] JAPAN

25 Aug 2018

Asian Games 2018: Three Indians assured of squash bronze

Taking time to settle down, the top-seeded Sourav Ghosal defeated his Indian teammate Harinder Pal Sandhu 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 and entered the men’s singles semifinals of the squash competition here on Friday.

In the women’s singles, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal also made the last four.

Joshna defeated Hong Kong’s Chan Ho Ling 11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10.

Easy for Dipika

Dipika brushed aside Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi 11-4, 11-7, 11-8.

All the three Indian winners are assured of bronze medals.

Malaysian underdogs gatecrash Asian Games semis



Against expectations, Malaysia are in line for a triple squash medal haul in the Asian Games in Indonesia after Nafiizwan Adnan and Sivasangari Subramaniam, both 5/8 seeds, pulled off major upsets in today’s quarter-finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta to secure places in the semi-finals for the first time in their careers.

Subramaniam, a 19-year-old from Kedah, scored the biggest win of her career when she beat second seed Annie Au, the world No.11 from Hong Kong, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5.

“I still can’t believe that I’ve managed to produce a win over Annie,” said the jubilant Subramaniam (pictured above, left, in quarter-final action). “She’s the second seed in the tournament and ranked as high as number 11 in the world.

“I went on court just looking to play my best squash, which I did and I’m just so happy to get through to the semi-finals in my first Asian Games,” continued the teenager who recently won the Malaysian national title. “It’s really a big thing getting through into the top four but now I have to reset and focus again because I have another big match tomorrow.”

The player she will now face in a bid to reach the final is Joshna Chinappa, a 3/4 seed from India who needed four games to overcome Hong Kong left-hander Joey Chan 11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10.

Adnan, who showed his potential only months ago in the Commonwealth Games in Australia when he won the bronze medal from the position of 12th seed, continued to defy the seeding in Jakarta by taking out Abdulla Al-Tamimi, a 3/4 seed. Ranked 12 places behind the Qatari, Adnan squandered a 2/0 lead before clinching his win 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9 in exactly one hour.


“It was really a tough fight but it’s worth it because at least there will be a medal for Malaysia,” said the 32-year-old world No.40 (pictured above, right).

“I feel awesome and very glad to win today and contributing a medal to my beloved country, especially in this special “Merdeka” (independence) month. It was a tough match and now I am looking forward to a good rest this evening – and hopefully tomorrow, I’ll do even better than today.”

Adnan progresses to face Max Lee, the No.2 seed from Hong Kong who ended Kuwaiti interest in the event when he beat Ammar Altamimi 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.

Nicol David kept alive her hopes of a record fifth gold medal when she despatched one of the women’s game’s rising stars Satomi Watanabe, of Japan, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3.


“It’s great to be in the semi-finals and I’m very happy with the way I played,” said Nicol (pictured above, left), who now faces Indian rival Dipika Pallikal Karthik for a place in her sixth successive final.

Top men’s seed Saurav Ghosal, bidding to become the first Indian gold medallist in the event, had a tough quarter-final battle on his hands against fellow countryman Harinder Pal Sandhu. After dropping the opening game, the favourite regained control of the match to prevail 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 after 70 minutes.


The world No.12 from Kolkata (pictured above, right) now takes on Hong Kong’s Leo Au in a bid to reach the final for the second time in a row.

Men’s quarter-finals:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [5/8] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (70m)
[3/4] Leo Au (HKG) bt [5/8] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-2, 11-7, 11-4 (43m)
[5/8] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [3/4] Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9 (60m)
[2] Max Lee (HKG) bt [5/8] Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7

Women’s quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5/8] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (23m)
[3/4] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt [5/8] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (23m)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [5/8] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10
[5/8] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt [2] Annie Au (HKG) 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5

Asian Games images courtesy of Aulia Dyan

24 Aug 2018

Egyptian Star El Tayeb to Headline Carol Weymuller Open in October


Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb will headline a top-class draw at Brooklyn’s Heights Casino between October 17-22 when the Carol Weymuller Open becomes the first PSA World Tour Bronze event to take place under the new PSA tour structure.

El Tayeb will be looking to continue her rich vein of form in America after the 25-year-old claimed two titles there last season at the U.S. Open and Windy City Open held in Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively.

She will be joined by some of the biggest names in women’s squash, including English pair Sarah-Jane Perry – the World No.8 who was victorious in San Francisco last year to win the Oracle NetSuite Open - and World No.10 Waters – who finished runner-up at the tournament in 2016 to World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.

Home interest in the main draw comes in the form of United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford and former World No.6 Amanda Sobhy as they look to impress in front of a home crowd.

World No.43 Haley Mendez – who grew up playing squash at the Heights Casino – will be making her first appearance in the main draw without the use of a wildcard.

The wildcard spot is taken up by Canada’s World No.61 Nicole Bunyan – who resides in New York – and she will be joined by fellow countrywomen Hollie Naughton and Danielle Letourneau.

They will face tough competition from the likes of Wales’ World No.12 Tesni Evans, England’s World No.13 Victoria Lust and a strong Egyptian line-up of talent which includes the likes of World No.15 Salma Hany and World Junior champion Rowan Elaraby.

For more information on the tournament, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

Carol Weymuller Open – Entry List

1) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)

2) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

3) Alison Waters (ENG)

4) Tesni Evans (WAL)

5) Victoria Lust (ENG)

6) Olivia Blatchford (USA)

7) Salma Hany (EGY)

8) Joshna Chinappa (IND)

9) Amanda Sobhy (USA)

10) Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

11) Mariam Metwally (EGY)

12) Mayar Hany (EGY)

13) Rowan Elaraby (EGY)

14) Nele Gilis (BEL)

15) Hollie Naughton (CAN)

16) Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)

17) Zeina Mickawy (EGY)

18) Milou van der Heijden (NED)

19) Danielle Letourneau (CAN)

20) Haley Mendez (USA)

21) Julianne Courtice (ENG)

22) Alexandra Fuller (RSA)

23) Tinne Gilis (BEL

Wildcard) Nicole Bunyan (CAN)

Lagos Country Club to Hosts 2018 Cargolux Squash Tournament




The 14th edition of the Cargolux Merchant Express Squash Tournament has been scheduled to hold between Tuesday 28th of August - Satuday 1st of September 2018 at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja with about 130 players expected to slug it out for individual and club prizes.

The 14th edition of this highly rated tournament, shall involve 12 clubs, namely; The host Lagos Country Club, Ikoyi Club 1938, Apapa Club, Lagos State Civil Service Club, University of Lagos Senior Staff Club, Eagle Club, Police College Ikeja and OTrafford Squash Club Ikoyi while Shell Club Port Harcourt, Ibadan Recreational Club, Obafemi Awolowo University Squash Club, Yenagoa Club and Benin Club are all from outside Lagos.


The annual competition which is being sponsored by foremost Nigerian cargo company will feature three major categories. While members of Lagos Country Club will compete in a closed Tournament, the open competition will have three categories including men, veteran and under-19 male and female.

12 clubs, including five from outside Lagos, have been invited to participate in the open Tournament and will be represented by four player two each in the men’s and two each in the veterans’ categories.


For 14 unbroken years, Shina Akinfenwa’s Cargolux Merchant Express has bankrolled the squash tournament and seven years ago expanded its scope to include under aged male and female categories to deepen interest in the sport among younger Nigerians.




Already, preparations are at fever pitch level at the Squash section of the Lagos Country Club as it gears up to host one of the largest gathering of squash players and aficionados. The Section’s four playing courts are in top conditions while the players are busy putting touches to their skills in anticipation of tough challenges from invited players.

Top seeds set quarter-final line-ups in Asian Games in Jakarta





After two rounds of intense action on the opening day of Squash competition in the Asian Games in Indonesia, it is the top eight seeds who will line up in both the men’s and women’s quarter-finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in the capital Jakarta.

All eyes are on Malaysian superstar Nicol David – the only player who has competed in all the previous five Asian Games in which squash has participated. It was as a 15-year-old that the schoolgirl from Penang burst onto the international stage at the 1998 Games in Pattaya, Thailand, where she claimed gold – going on to reach the finals in the next four quadrennial events, winning three further gold medals.

Now 34, and the oldest player in the draw, David is seeded to defend her title – and moved comfortably into the last eight after seeing off China’s Li Dongjin 11-8, 11-5, 11-1.

The former world number one will now face rising star Satomi Watanabe, the 19-year-old from Japan who is the reigning Asian Junior champion. Making her debut in the event, Watanabe defeated Iran’s Fereshteh Eghtedari 11-7, 11-5, 11-2.

Watanabe is joined in the last eight by compatriot Misaki Kobayashi, the 28-year-old eight-time Japanese National champion who surrendered her title to her younger rival last year. Kobayashi’s 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9 victory over the Republic of Korea’s Yura Choi means that Japan has two quarter-finalists for the first time ever.

A new champion is assured in the men’s event where India’s world No.12 Saurav Ghosal is poised to strike gold after going down in a five-game 2014 final marathon in Incheon, Korea.

The 32-year-old from Kolkata, a semi-finalist in the past three championships, reached the last eight after first beating Sri Lankan Shamil Wakeel 11-2, 11-2, 11-1, then taking out Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam 11-5, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8 in the second round.

An Indian medal is assured as Ghosal will now face national team-mate Harinder Pal Sandhu, a 29-year-old from Chennai who made the quarter-finals for the first time after beating Robert Garcia, from the Philippines, 11-4, 2-11, 12-10, 15-13.

Men’s Round Two:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [9/16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 11-5, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8 (47m)
[5/8] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [9/16] Robert Garcia (PHI) 11-4, 2-11, 12-10, 15-13 (54m)
[5/8] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [9/16] Asim Khan (PAK) 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (42m)
[3/4] Leo Au (HKG) bt Agung Wilant (INA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (19m)
[3/4] Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) bt [9/16] Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 14-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (49m)
[5/8] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [9/16] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (36m)
[5/8] Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt [9/16] Alireza Shameli (IRI) 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 (42m)
[2] Max Lee (HKG) bt [9/16] Sajad Zareian (IRI) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)

Women’s Round Two:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [9/16] Li Dongjin (CHN) 11-8, 11-5, 11-1 (22m)
[5/8] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Fereshteh Eghtedari (IRI) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
[5/8] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Yura Choi (KOR) 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9 (46m)
[3/4] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt Yeni Siti Rohmah (INA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (20m)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [9/16] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) 11-2, 11-8, 12-10 (25m)
[5/8] Joey Chan (HKG) bt Ahn Eun Tschan (KOR) 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
[5/8] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Catur Yuliana (INA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (23m)
[2] Annie Au (HKG) bt [9/16] Yvonne Alyssa Dalida (PHI) 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 (19m)

22 Aug 2018

PSA and interactiveSQUASH to Bring Live Squash to Smart Courts Worldwide


     
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) have announced that they are collaborating with Munich-based company interactiveSQUASH to stream live coverage and VOD content from all tournaments shown on SQUASHTV - the broadcast arm of the PSA - directly to interactiveSQUASH's smart courts worldwide.

Coverage from the world’s biggest squash tournaments will be streamed on the front wall of interactiveSQUASH’s innovative smart courts via the implementation of a SQUASHTV application which, when activated, will give the user access to the stream.

The fully-integrated application will enable all squash clubs in possession of an interactiveSQUASH court to utilise their system to project matches and ensure squash fans catch the all the action from the PSA Tour. To be launched during the 2018/19 season, this feature will be made available with a free automatic update to interactiveSQUASH courts worldwide

The PSA and interactiveSQUASH have already collaborated on the development of the ‘MoTrack’ system, which allows for real-time analysis of player and ball behaviour, while a fully interactive front wall was used during June’s ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals to display player stats, replays, entertaining games, visual effects and sponsor’s content and branding.

This new feature is the latest example of the PSA adopting new technologies to improve the presentation and broadcast potential of the sport, with the association recently agreeing on a deal with Sports Data Labs which will see squash become the first professional sport ever to make in-game physiological data assets available for commercialisation.

"Our relationship with interactiveSQUASH has enabled us to illustrate just how explosive squash is whilst simultaneously allowing us to prove the incredible fitness of our athletes through a pioneering statistical tracking system which we successfully trialled last season," said PSA COO Lee Beachill.

"We are excited to explore that relationship further and, through the use of interactiveSQUASH’s innovative smart courts, we will be able to target club players and convert them into followers of the professional game.

"The PSA have made significant strides in terms of broadcasting and athlete data capture over the past 12 months and we remain committed to taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure that squash is at the forefront of innovation."

interactiveSQUASH founder Markos Aristides Kern said: "With the large number of new players that our invention brings to the sport, it is very important for us to also convert some into professional athletes of the sport. This new feature not only allows children and other players to watch the professionals perform, but also makes it much easier for clubs to organise events around the matches and tournaments.

"Together, this all leads to a stronger community and participation within clubs and a source of inspiration for the next generation of players.”


Follow interactiveSQUASH on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


About interactiveSQUASH
interactiveSQUASH is a completely new way to play a classic racket sport. Immersive projection technology combined with exciting gameplay transforms squash into an unparalleled sports experience.
interactiveSQUASH is owned by Fun With Balls, a German company based in Munich.
Fun With Balls specialise in sports tech and creating new active experiences based on existing court infrastructure .

U.S. Open To Bring World-Class Squash to Philadelphia in October



The FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships will become the first PSA World Tour Platinum tournament to take place under the new PSA tour structure when the world’s best players descend on Philadelphia's Daskalakis Athletic Center between October 6-13.

The U.S. Open is one of the most pioneering tournaments on the PSA Tour, becoming the first major squash tournament to commit to equal prize money in 2013, and this year’s tournament will feature its largest ever prize purse with $338K up for grabs across both 48-player draws.

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy - the 2014 and 2016 champion - leads the men’s field which contains former winners such as defending champion Ali Farag and three-time winner Gregory Gaultier.

Farag’s memorable win over ElShorbagy last year came shortly after wife Nour El Tayeb beat World Champion Raneem El Welily to lift the women’s title - meaning they became the first married couple in sporting history ever to win the same major sports title on the same day.



El Tayeb and El Welily are joined in the women’s draw by the likes of World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, 2016 winner Camille Serme, 2015 victor Laura Massaro and three-time winner Nicol David.



U.S. interest in the women’s draw comes in the form of World No.14 Olivia Blatchford, World No.18 Amanda Sobhy, World No.43 Haley Mendez and wildcards Reeham Sedky and Olivia Fletcher.



Wayne-native World No.49 Todd Harrity features in the men’s draw along fellow Americans Andrew Douglas and Christopher Gordon, who take the wildcard spots.



The qualification for the PSA World Tour Finals hots up at the U.S. Open with both the men’s and women’s champions automatically guaranteeing their place at the season-ending tournament.



Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased from the tournament website.



For more on the U.S. Open, follow the tournament on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



2018 Men’s FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Entry List

1) Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

2) Ali Farag (EGY)

3) Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
4) Tarek Momen (EGY)

5) Simon Rösner (GER)

6) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

7) Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

8) Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

9) Paul Coll (NZL)

10) Diego Elias (PER)

11) Saurav Ghosal (IND)

12) Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)

13) Omar Mosaad (EGY)
14) Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)

15) Daryl Selby (ENG)

16) James Willstrop (ENG)

17) Nicolas Mueller (SUI)

18) Max Lee (HKG)

19) Cameron Pilley (AUS)

20) Leo Au (HKG)

21) Declan James (ENG)

22) Cesar Salazar (MEX)
23) Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)

24) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)

25) Borja Golan (ESP)
26) Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)

27) Gregoire Marche (FRA)

28) Greg Lobban (SCO)
29) Zahed Salem (EGY)

30) Tom Richards (ENG)

31) Mazen Hesham (EGY)

32) Lucas Serme (FRA)

33) Alan Clyne (SCO)

34) Campbell Grayson (NZL)

35) Joel Makin (WAL)

36) Chris Simpson (ENG)

37) Adrian Waller (ENG)

38) Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
39) Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)

40) Eain Yow Ng (MAS)

41) Arturo Salazar (MEX)

42) Ben Coleman (ENG)

43) Mohamed Reda (EGY)

44) Todd Harrity (USA)

45) Nathan Lake (ENG)

46) George Parker (ENG)

Wildcard) Andrew Douglas (USA)

Wildcard) Christopher Gordon (USA)



2018 Women’s FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships – Entry List

1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

2) Raneem El Welily (EGY)

3) Nour El Tayeb (EGY)

4) Joelle King (NZL)

5) Camille Serme (FRA)

6) Nouran Gohar (EGY)
7) Laura Massaro (ENG)

8) Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

9) Nicol David (MAS)

10) Alison Waters (ENG)

11) Annie Au (HKG)

12) Tesni Evans (WAL)

13) Victoria Lust (ENG)
14) Olivia Blatchford (USA)

15) Salma Hany (EGY)

16) Joshna Chinappa (IND)
17) Donna Lobban (AUS)

18) Amanda Sobhy (USA)

19) Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
20) Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

21) Joey Chan (HKG)

22) Emily Whitlock (ENG)

23) Mariam Metwally (EGY)

24) Fiona Moverley (ENG)

25) Yathreb Adel (EGY)

26) Mayar Hany (EGY)

27) Millie Tomlinson (ENG)

28) Rachael Grinham (AUS)

29) Nadine Shahin (EGY)

30) Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
31) Nele Gilis (BEL)

32) Coline Aumard (FRA)

33) Hollie Naughton (CAN)

34) Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)

35) Zeina Mickawy (EGY)

36) Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)

37) Milou van der Heijden (NED)

38) Nada Abbas (EGY)

39) Danielle Letourneau (CAN)

40) Haley Mendez (USA)

41) Julianne Courtice (ENG)

42) Alexandra Fuller (RSA)

43) Tinne Gilis (BEL)

44) Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)

45) Nikki Todd (CAN)

46) Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)

Wildcard) Reeham Sedky (USA)

Wildcard) Olivia Fletcher (USA)

1st Olusegun Obasanjo Squash Open: Abdulrahaman, Olatunji Sr. Champion




Professional Squash Association (PSA) players, Abdulrahaman Olanrewaju Yusuff and Olatunji Yemisi have emerged champions of the 1st edition of the HE Chief Olusegun Obasanjo National Squash Open (Senior).

In the men’s match, Yusuff saw off Idowu Enimakure 3-1 (11/3, 8/11, 11/4, 11/8), while Olatunji Sr. was once again too hot for promising youngster, Rofiat AbdulAzeez in Saturday’s final (women). The impregnable Olatunji triumphed 3-0 (11/9, 11/8, 11/1).

The victory, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Private Library (OOPL) Squash court in Abeokuta, Ogun state is the Nigeria squash queen’s second title in two weeks. Earlier this month, the nominee for the Nigerian Sports Award Racket Sportsperson Of The Year won the Safeguard Zimbabwe Open Squash Championship in Bulawayo.

Olusegun Obasanjo Squash Open victors appreciative
Olatunji Sr. in an exclusive chat with Top Media Nigeria after her success in the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF)-organized competition expressed her joy at winning the maiden Olusegun Obasanjo National Squash Open. As well, she is grateful to the organizers of the tournament.

“I feel very happy and great winning the 1st edition of this tournament. I have wonderful matches from all my opponents from the beginning of the tournament till the end.


present at the event: Technical Director, Lagos State Squash Association, Captain Dayo Awobokun, NSF President, Mr Boye Oyerinde and former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
“In addition, I want to say big thanks to the sponsors/organizers of the tournament for bringing up this kind of tournament. I am looking forward to the next edition,” the Ekiti-born athlete concludes.

Similarly, Abdulrahaman is in appreciation mode.

“I give glory and adoration to Almighty Allah for the success of the tournament. Also, I will like to thank my sponsors for their usual support which enable me to participate in different tournaments across the globe to improve my game. The likes of Captain Adedayo Awobokun, Mr. Femi Adeyemo, Mr. Bolaji Akinyemi and Mr. Muyiwa of Ivory Health Club.

“Furthermore, I will like to say big thanks to my teammates, because without them, I cannot do it alone. As well, the entire Lagos state team who display their unending support, before, during and after the tournament. I really appreciate them all.”

He continues: “To the coaches who are supportive with training and fitness programs, starting from my day-one coaches: Coach Tunde Yahyah, Coach Bola Mogaji, Coach Yusuf Durosinlorun, Coach Kabir Sanni, a.k.a ‘Eba’. Not forgetting Brother Kabir who always advise me on what to improve on.”

“I will also like to say huge thank you to the first set of people who encouraged me when I started in Kwara. Persons like Prof. Tayo Talabi, Prof. Olayinka Buhari and Late Engr. Akinola Matthew (May his soul rest in peace).

“To my family too. For their support and prayers always. I really appreciate.”

On the tournament itself, the top-ranked player states: “Although, I have won series of Championships, this is my first National Open. The federation has been off for a while. Thank God the board is back to life.

“The tournament was well-organized. I say thank you to the sponsors who make the tournament a memorable one. Because I cannot recall when last squash players are fed, accommodated and provided with transport. There were even some gifts to take home.

“To all the sponsors, on behalf of my fellow players, I say a big thank you!” Abdulrahaman notes as he speak exclusively to Top Media Nigeria.

Under-19
Meanwhile, in the Juniors category, Onaopemipo Adegoke continue to be a nemesis for Headwaters Squash Academy’s Desmond Iguodala.

Fresh from his outing at the Safeguard Zimbabwe Open Squash Championship, ‘Onas’ as he is fondly called defeated Iguodala Sr. 3-0 (15/13, 12/10, 11/4) in 39 absorbing minutes to cement his status as national junior champion.

In the female junior category final, Odunade Adeyi was victorious over fellow Kwaran, Kudirat Dahood. Score was 3-1.

The 6-day event in squash enthusiast, Olusegun Obasanjo’s name has a prize money of N1.8 million.

News Credit: Top Media

PSA and interactiveSQUASH to Bring live squash to smart courts worldwide




The Professional Squash Association (PSA) have announced that they are collaborating with Munich-based company interactiveSQUASH to stream live coverage and VOD content from all tournaments shown on SQUASHTV – the broadcast arm of the PSA – directly to interactiveSQUASH’s smart courts worldwide.

Coverage from the world’s biggest squash tournaments will be streamed on the front wall of interactiveSQUASH’s innovative smart courts via the implementation of a SQUASHTV application which, when activated, will give the user access to the stream.

The fully-integrated application will enable all squash clubs in possession of an interactiveSQUASH court to utilise their system to project matches and ensure squash fans catch the all the action from the PSA Tour. To be launched during the 2018/19 season, this feature will be made available with a free automatic update to interactiveSQUASH courts worldwide

The PSA and interactiveSQUASH have already collaborated on the development of the ‘MoTrack’ system, which allows for real-time analysis of player and ball behaviour, while a fully interactive front wall was used during June’s ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals to display player stats, replays, entertaining games, visual effects and sponsor’s content and branding.

This new feature is the latest example of the PSA adopting new technologies to improve the presentation and broadcast potential of the sport, with the association recently agreeing on a deal with Sports Data Labs which will see squash become the first professional sport ever to make in-game physiological data assets available for commercialisation.

“Our relationship with interactiveSQUASH has enabled us to illustrate just how explosive squash is whilst simultaneously allowing us to prove the incredible fitness of our athletes through a pioneering statistical tracking system which we successfully trialled last season,” said PSA COO Lee Beachill.

“We are excited to explore that relationship further and, through the use of interactiveSQUASH’s innovative smart courts, we will be able to target club players and convert them into followers of the professional game.

“The PSA have made significant strides in terms of broadcasting and athlete data capture over the past 12 months and we remain committed to taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure that squash is at the forefront of innovation.”

interactiveSQUASH founder Markos Aristides Kern said:

With the large number of new players that our invention brings to the sport, it is very important for us to also convert some into professional athletes of the sport. This new feature not only allows children and other players to watch the professionals perform, but also makes it much easier for clubs to organise events around the matches and tournaments.

“Together, this all leads to a stronger community and participation within clubs and a source of inspiration for the next generation of players.”

18 Aug 2018

Squash Body Hits Out At Dipika Pallikal For Voicing Coaching Concerns

Squash body hits out at Dipika Pallikal for voicing coaching concerns

From Dipika Pallikal to Sourav Ghoshal, the country's top players have lamented the absence of a foreign coach since the exit of Achraf El Karargui days before the Commonwealth Games in March
Squash body hits out at Dipika Pallikal for voicing coaching concerns
Dipika Pallikal

From Dipika Pallikal to Sourav Ghoshal, the country's top players have lamented the absence of a foreign coach since the exit of Achraf El Karargui days before the Commonwealth Games in March
The Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) yesterday hit out at Dipika Pallikal, one of the country's top players, for voicing concerns over the lack of a qualified foreign coach. From Pallikal to Sourav Ghoshal, the country's top players have lamented the absence of a foreign coach since the exit of Achraf El Karargui days before the Commonwealth Games in March.

"It is unfortunate that at a time when the focus should be on the Asian Games, an effort is being made to disrupt the mindset of all concerned with the preparations for the Games," the SRFI said. Dipika had claimed that the exit of Egyptian coach Karargui was a blow to the players and that she did not consider national coach Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvaneshwari Kumari as coaches.

A federation spokesman, referring to the departure of Karargui, said he had left due to personal reasons and one of which was the squabbling between the two leading women Indian players. "To claim that his absence had affected the preparations is an attempt by Dipika to vent her own frustration at the federation for not accepting her request to attest/ratify A Parthiban as her coach to enable the latter to draw the financial benefits which come under the awards scheme," it said.


British Open squash finalists ElShorbagy and Rodriguez seeeded to meet in San Francisco


British Open finalists Mohamed ElShorbagy and Miguel Angel Rodriguez are seeded to meet in a blockbuster quarter-final fixture when the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open brings world-class squash back to San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza between September 27 - October 2.

Rodriguez’s win over the World No.1 in the final of the sport’s oldest competition in May was one of the most dramatic moments of the 2017/18 season and the pair are likely to meet once again in the last eight of the men’s PSA World Tour Gold event.

Both players receive a bye into the second round, where ElShorbagy will play either France’s Gregoire Marche or Welshman Joel Makin, while Rodriguez will face one of fellow South American Diego Elias or tournament wildcard Charlie Johnson in round two.

Second seed Ali Farag will lock horns with either 2016 finalist James Willstrop or Scotland’s Alan Clyne in the second round, with a victory against either of the two British players taking him through to a potential quarter-final clash with two-time champion Ramy Ashour.

The winner of that match is seeded to face either three-time champion Gregory Gaultier or Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner, while one of World No.4 Tarek Momen or 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is also seeded to reach the semi-finals on the opposite side of the draw.

In the women’s PSA World Tour Silver event, defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry is drawn on the same side of the draw as New Zealand’s Joelle King, with the pair seeded to play in the quarter-finals in a repeat of their final meeting in April’s Commonwealth Games.

Elsewhere, 2016 champion Laura Massaro and last year’s runner-up Nicol David are also predicted to meet in the last eight, while top seed Raneem El Welily could play England’s Alison Waters.

United States interest comes in the form of World No.14 Olivia Blatchford and 2015 winner Amanda Sobhy. Blatchford will play France’s Coline Aumard in round one, while Sobhy will lock horns with 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham.

A record prize fund of $206K is split between the men’s and women’s tournaments, both of which will feature a 24-player draw after the new PSA tour structure came into effect on August 1.

First and second round action will be split between the Bay Club Redwood Shores, Squash Zone, Bay Club San Francisco, the Olympic Club and the University Club while the quarter-finals onwards will be held at the Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court erected on Embarcadero Plaza from September 29.

Fixtures shown on the Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tickets start from $20 and can be purchased via the tournament website.

Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/16] Diego Elias (PER) v [WC] Charlie Johnson (ENG)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
[8] Ramy Ashour (EGY) (bye)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [916] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[9/16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Coline Aumard (FRA)
[7] Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [9/16] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [9/16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9/16] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) (bye)

Squash star Abdulla to carry Qatar flag at Asian Games opening ceremony


Even before the first medals are handed out at every major sporting event, one athlete from every country is entitled to a rare honour – the honour of carrying the national flag at the opening ceremony.

It’s a privilege that finds a mention in the annals of a nation’s history and it’s accorded after great thought and deliberation.

This time, Qatar have chosen squash player Abdulla al-Tamimi, who recently won the Malaysian Open title and broke into the top-30, for the honour at the opening ceremony of Asian Games on Saturday.

“Abdulla al-Tamimi will bear the Qatar national flag during the opening ceremony on Saturday,” Chef-de-Mission Ishaq al-Hashimi told the Gulf Times yesterday. “He was a natural choice considering his recent achievements.”

The Malaysian Open title, his fifth so far, was also his biggest victory on the PSA World Tour. He defeated Hong Kong number two Fung Yip in five games in the final.

Al-Tamimi, 23, took to squash in his early teens, and was world number one on the World Squash Federation’s under-19 circuit in 2012.

At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, al-Tamimi was beaten in five games in the quarter-finals by Malaysia’s Max Lee, who went on to win a bronze medal.

Legendary Australian squash player Geoff Hunt was effusive in his praise for al-Tamimi after his Malaysian Open triumph.

“Apart from being an exceptional player, Abdulla is a fantastic role model for the students (of Aspire Academy). He understands the game thoroughly, from technique to tactics and he also enjoys helping people,” Hunt had said, adding that he is having a positive influence on the Aspire students.

“He has already influenced and motivated a number of the squash student athletes positively through his squash results, his presence at training, and his coaching advice,” added Hunt.

Immediately after al-Tamimi had won the Malaysian title he had expressed his intention to make his mark at the Asian Games.

And Hunt, too, believes, his best years are ahead of him.

“I have seen a big improvement in Abdulla’s performance in many areas over the last 12 months and I think this will continue over the next few years.

“By then, I believe he will be challenging the world’s best. It would be nice to see squash included in the Paris Olympics (2024) and I believe Abdulla will be at or near his peak by then.”

Hunt’s assessment comes from his belief that squash players are usually at the peak of their powers by the time they are 30.

Al-Tamimi was yet to arrive in Jakarta yesterday as members of Qatar’s 222-athlete delegation had been busy training for the Asian Games in various parts of the world.

However, the squash event is already in the spotlight at the Asian Games because of the participation, probably for the last time, of Malaysian superstar Nicol David.

One of the greatest women players of all time, David, 34, will be aiming for her fifth gold medal at the continental event, 20 years after taking the stage by storm by winning her first as a 14-year-old.

Now ranked ninth in the world rankings, she has won the World Open title a whopping eight times, winning each time she reached the final.

The squash tournament will begin on August 23.

17 Aug 2018

Coaches or administrators, Indian squash players question the roles of Cyrus Pooncha, Bhuvneshwari Kumari

Coaches or administrators, Indian squash players question the roles of Cyrus Pooncha, Bhuvneshwari Kumari
Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Mahesh Mangaonkar, Ramit Tandon, Dipika Pallikal, Joshna Chinappa Tanvi Khanna and Sunayna Kuruvilla form the Indian 
Indian players question role of coaches Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari in Asiad contingent
The Asian Games-bound Indian squash players have questioned the presence of Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari as coaches in the contingent, saying they can only play the role of administrators in the continental mega event in Indonesia.
The eight players picked for the Asian Games have been training without a full-time coach and most of them don’t train regularly with Kumari and Poncha, who has been a longtime national coach.

Sixteen-time national champion Kumari’s credentials as a player cannot be questioned but she is not involved in the functioning of the national team and only travels with the team during multi-sporting events like the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Poncha may be a coach on paper but he is more effective as a man manager. It is also rare for a coach to be a top tournament administrator but not for Poncha, who was the competition director of the World Junior Championships held in Chennai last month.
Technical inputs matter
But more than a manager, the players need technical and tactical advice during close games, something former coach Achraf Karargui could have provided but the Egyptian was fed up with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and resigned before the Commonwealth Games in April.
“For technical inputs during matches, we rely more on each other,” a player told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“Since we don’t have a full-time coach, it doesn’t leave us with much choice. Their role at the Games is more of an administrator than of a coach. Dealing with off the court issues and communication with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials,” said another player.
“Since there are no world class coaches available in India, who do you replace them (Poncha and Kumari) with,” the player added.
While Poncha is based in Chennai, the home of the Indian Squash Academy, Kumari runs her own academy in New Delhi. They both went to Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2014 and were also part of the contingent in Gold Coast CWG earlier this year.
Ask SRFI: Kumari
Officials at SRFI were unavailable for a comment on the players’ concerns. While Poncha did not answer calls, Kumari said it is the federation, in this case SRFI, which recommends the coaches.
“You should be asking them, not me. I am busy with my academy in Delhi and whenever I am called for national duty, I am more than happy to serve,” she said.
Only last month, India’s highestranked player Saurav Ghosal had lamented the lack of top class coaches in India.
Meanwhile, the players including Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, who were training overseas for the Asian Games, have returned to join the camp in Chennai.
The women’s squad is training on its own while world number 23 Declan James of England has flown in to spar with the men.
Besides Ghosal, the other members of the men’s team are Harinder Pal Sandhu, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Ramit Tandon. The women’s team comprises Pallikal, Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna and Sunayna Kuruvilla. The squad leaves for Jakarta on August 18.
However, the presence of physio Dimple Mathivanan is very much welcome by the players. The Sports Ministry has cleared the entire squash contingent on cost to government.
Squash had fetched an unprecedented four medals for India at the 2014 Asian Games, including a men’s team gold. India had finished second behind Malaysia in the medal count in squash.
We’ll know how good we are at Asiad: Nieva
BOXING Indian boxers will know their global standing from their Asian Games show, High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said yesterday and reckoned the draw could play a crucial role in how well the pugilists perform in Jakarta. Seven men and three women pugilists were given an official send-off by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and Sports India ahead of their flight for Jakarta tomorrow. “Now we will know how good we are. This will be the test and we will know where we stand because some really strong countries will be there,” Nieva said. The boxers had accounted for five medals — one gold and four bronze — in the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea. This was way lower than their best ever performance which came in 2010, when the boxers bagged 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals in all. “The draw is going to be big and it will be certainly a factor. But we have grown enough to ensure that it is not as big a factor. But this is not going to be that easy,” he said. “We will know where we stand on the world stage and how we are going to do in the world championships next year,” he added.

ElShorbagy and Rodriguez On Course for San Francisco Showdown at Oracle NetSuite Open



British Open finalists Mohamed ElShorbagy and Miguel Angel Rodriguez are seeded to meet in a blockbuster quarter-final fixture when the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open brings world-class squash back to San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza between September 27 - October 2.

Rodriguez’s win over the World No.1 in the final of the sport’s oldest competition in May was one of the most dramatic moments of the 2017/18 season and the pair are likely to meet once again in the last eight of the men’s PSA World Tour Gold event.

Both players receive a bye into the second round, where ElShorbagy will play either France’s Gregoire Marche or Welshman Joel Makin, while Rodriguez will face one of fellow South American Diego Elias or tournament wildcard Charlie Johnson in round two.

Second seed Ali Farag will lock horns with either 2016 finalist James Willstrop or Scotland’s Alan Clyne in the second round, with a victory against either of the two British players taking him through to a potential quarter-final clash with two-time champion Ramy Ashour.

The winner of that match is seeded to face either three-time champion Gregory Gaultier or Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner, while one of World No.4 Tarek Momen or 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is also seeded to reach the semi-finals on the opposite side of the draw.

In the women’s PSA World Tour Silver event, defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry is drawn on the same side of the draw as New Zealand’s Joelle King, with the pair seeded to play in the quarter-finals in a repeat of their final meeting in April’s Commonwealth Games.

Elsewhere, 2016 champion Laura Massaro and last year’s runner-up Nicol David are also predicted to meet in the last eight, while top seed Raneem El Welily could play England’s Alison Waters.

United States interest comes in the form of World No.14 Olivia Blatchford and 2015 winner Amanda Sobhy. Blatchford will play France’s Coline Aumard in round one, while Sobhy will lock horns with 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham.

A record prize fund of $206K is split between the men’s and women’s tournaments, both of which will feature a 24-player draw after the new PSA tour structure came into effect on August 1.

First and second round action will be split between the Bay Club Redwood Shores, Squash Zone, Bay Club San Francisco, the Olympic Club and the University Club while the quarter-finals onwards will be held at the Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court erected on Embarcadero Plaza from September 29.

Fixtures shown on the Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tickets start from $20 and can be purchased via the tournament website.

Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) (bye)
Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/16] Diego Elias (PER) v [WC] Charlie Johnson (ENG)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) (bye)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) (bye)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [9/16] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) (bye)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) (bye)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (bye)
[8] Ramy Ashour (EGY) (bye)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [916] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) (bye)

Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) (bye)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[9/16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Coline Aumard (FRA)
[7] Alison Waters (ENG) (bye)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) (bye)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [9/16] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) (bye)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) (bye)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [9/16] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) (bye)
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) (bye)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [9/16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9/16] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) (bye)

16 Aug 2018

Singapore pin hopes on Schooling while Malaysia's David seeks fifth squash gold


Squash legend: Nicol David of Malaysia is going for an incredible fifth Asian Games individual gold
 Squash legend: Nicol David of Malaysia is going for an incredible fifth Asian Games individual gold
SINGAPORE: Singapore will be looking to make a splash in the pool at the Asian Games in neighbouring Indonesia this month as Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling leads a strong swim team aiming to surpass the six medals they claimed at Incheon four years ago.

Texas-based Schooling made history for the tiny island nation when he claimed its first Olympic success in the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Rio Games and he will hope to improve on the three medals, one of each colour, he took home from Korea.

"My goal for Asian Games is to do my best for the country, bring glory to Singapore and helping out the younger kids, we have a young team and I'm super excited particularly for the relays," the 23-year-old told local media.

Schooling is pencilled in for five events in Jakarta as he builds momentum towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and while he is aiming high in Indonesia, Singapore is refusing to set medal goals for the record-sized squad it is sending to the Games.

A total of 265 athletes in 21 sports will be making the short trip across the Java Sea with Singapore officials looking for success in three specific disciplines.

"With the largest Team Singapore contingent heading to the Asian Games, we are certainly expecting the best of them," Asian Games chef de mission Lee Wung Yew said at a recent flag presentation ceremony.

"If you are looking at medal expectations, we are looking at three main sports - sailing, bowling and swimming - but we are also looking at possibly nice surprises in other sports as well."

Squash legend: Nicol David of Malaysia is going for an incredible fifth Asian Games individual gold in Jakarta AFP/GIUSEPPE CACACE

"I'LL NOT TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED"

Across the causeway in Malaysia, squash all-time great Nicol David will be hoping to emerge from what is likely to be her final Asian Games appearance with a fifth individual gold medal, 20 years after winning her first as a 14-year-old.

"The Asian Games is held once every four years ... I'll not take things for granted," said David, who also has two team golds and has returned to Kuala Lumpur from her home in Amsterdam to focus her training on the Asian Games.

David will be the top seed in the individual event but she is expecting a tough challenge from opponents representing Hong Kong and India.

Malaysia, who like Singapore will send a record contingent to Indonesia, will also be hoping for success in tenpin bowling, diving, karate, badminton, track cycling and sepaktakraw after the nation claimed 33 medals, five golds, in Incheon.

However, the 440-strong squad will be missing long-time world number one badminton player Lee Chong Wei, whose hopes of finally winning a maiden Asian Games title at the age of 35 have been scuppered by a respiratory-related illness.



China Open Tickets Go On Sale



Tickets for the 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open have now gone on sale with squash fans given the opportunity to watch a number of the sport’s most recognisable players battle it out for honours at The Peninsula Shanghai between September 5-9.

Prices range between RMB 158 - RMB 2980 and tickets can be purchased from the China Open website: www.chinasquashopen.cn

Germany’s World No.5 Simon Rösner tops the men’s draw alongside the likes of British Open champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez and 2015 champion Gregory Gaultier, while the top 10 women in the world will also be in attendance, including World No.1 and defending champion Nour El Sherbini, World Champion Raneem El Welily and 2016 champion Laura Massaro.

“J.P. Morgan is pleased to become the title sponsor of the exceptional event in China again this year," said J.P. Morgan China Chief Executive Mark Leung.

"As China continues to open up its markets, we are bringing the full force of J.P. Morgan Chase to China to support our clients, further develop the local markets and contribute to the local community. Supporting major sports events is one of our many ways of giving back to the local communities that are so critical to both J.P. Morgan and many of our clients globally."

Both the men’s and women’s draws will be contested by 24 players, while a record prize purse of $241,000 – over a 20% increase on the 2017 edition’s prize money – will be split equally between the male and female players.

First round, second round and quarter-final matches will be split between the SECA Academy Jinqiao Center and The Peninsula Shanghai, while all semi-final and final matches will be held at The Peninsula Shanghai.

For more on the 2018 J.P. Morgan China Open, visit www.chinasquashopen.cn

15 Aug 2018

Foreign players to start arriving from Sep 7 for Int’l Squash tournaments


Foreign players will be arriving in Pakistan from September 7 to feature in the International Men and Women Squash tournaments to take place here at Mushaf Squash Complex.

Talking to APP, a Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) official said Chief of the Air Staff (COAS) International Men Squash and Pakistan International Women Squash tournaments will be played here from September 10 to 14.

“A Malaysian player will arrive here on September 7 while Egyptian players will land here on September 8 and other foreign players will be coming on September 9,” he said.

He said the Men’s event has a cash award of US$ 30,000 while women’s event carries prize money of US$ 10,000.

“The foreign players from 6 countries to participate in the tournaments include Austria, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Egypt, Iran, Thailand and Netherlands,” he said and added that the top seed in mens event will be Hong Kong’s Leo Au while Egypt’s Rowan will be the top seed in female event.

The squash rebellion


The squash rebellion
  Indian players question role of coaches Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari in Asiad contingent
The Asian Games-bound Indian squash players have questioned the presence of Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari as coaches in the contingent, saying they can only play the role of administrators in the continental mega event in Indonesia.
The eight players picked for the Asian Games have been training without a full-time coach and most of them don't train regularly with Kumari and Poncha, who has been a longtime national coach.
Sixteen-time national champion Kumari's credentials as a player cannot be questioned but she is not involved in the functioning of the national team and only travels with the team during multi-sporting events like the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Poncha may be a coach on paper but he is more effective as a man manager. It is also rare for a coach to be a top tournament administrator but not for Poncha, who was the competition director of the World Junior Championships held in Chennai last month.
Technical inputs matter
But more than a manager, the players need technical and tactical advice during close games, something former coach Achraf Karargui could have provided but the Egyptian was fed up with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and resigned before the Commonwealth Games in April.
"For technical inputs during matches, we rely more on each other," a player told PTI on condition of anonymity. "Since we don't have a full-time coach, it doesn't leave us with much choice. Their role at the Games is more of an administrator than of a coach. Dealing with off the court issues and communication with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials," said another player.
"Since there are no world class coaches available in India, who do you replace them (Poncha and Kumari) with," the player added.
While Poncha is based in Chennai, the home of the Indian Squash Academy, Kumari runs her own academy in New Delhi. They both went to Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2014 and were also part of the contingent in Gold Coast CWG earlier this year.
Ask SRFI: Kumari
Officials at SRFI were unavailable for a comment on the players' concerns. While Poncha did not answer calls, Kumari said it is the federation, in this case SRFI, which recommends the coaches.
"You should be asking them, not me. I am busy with my academy in Delhi and whenever I am called for national duty, I am more than happy to serve," she said.
Only last month, India's highest-ranked player Saurav Ghosal had lamented the lack of top class coaches in India.
Meanwhile, the players including Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, who were training overseas for the Asian Games, have returned to join the camp in Chennai.
The women's squad is training on its own while world number 23 Declan James of England has flown in to spar with the men.
Besides Ghosal, the other members of the men's team are Harinder Pal Sandhu, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Ramit Tandon. The women's team comprises Pallikal, Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna and Sunayna Kuruvilla. The squad leaves for Jakarta on August 18.
However, the presence of physio Dimple Mathivanan is very much welcome by the players. The Sports Ministry has cleared the entire squash contingent on cost to government.
Squash had fetched an unprecedented four medals for India at the 2014 Asian Games, including a men's team gold. India had finished second behind Malaysia in the medal count in squash.

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