Allam British Open 2013 not far to come. Check out some incredible play from last year’s semi-final Ramy Ashour vs James Willstrop – sit back and enjoy …
André Agassi, Kim Clijsters and Stefan Edberg have followed fellow tennis legend Roger Federer in backing Squash to be added to the Olympic Games programme in 2020.
“Squash is absolutely one of the best/toughest sports,” said Agassi, the eight-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic gold medallist in 1996. “The Games would be proud!”
Federer was one of the first leading tennis players to pledge support for his fellow racket sport: “I think it’s a wonderful sport. It’s unfortunate some sports don’t get the opportunity to be in the Olympics – I think squash would deserve it.”
Since then, fellow stars Agassi, Clijsters and Edberg have also given Squash their backing.
“I think Squash would be a great addition to the Olympic Games,” said Clijsters, one of the greatest ever players in the women’s game who won 41 WTA singles titles including four Grand Slams. “It’s a great competitive game and different from the other racket sports in not having a net dividing the players.
“It shows great intensity. With the modernisation of the game I think it deserves a place in the Olympic Games.”
Edberg first started playing squash when he was on the ATP Tour and used to play in the top Swedish league: “Squash has all the credentials to be an Olympic sport – it would complement the other racket sports that are already part of the programme and it would be great to see it included in the Games,” said the former world number one and Olympic gold medallist.
World Squash Federation President N Ramachandran is delighted by the growing list of world top athletes who are backing the sport’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games programme.
“It is heart-warming to have tennis idols like Agassi, Federer, Edberg and Clijsters supporting Squash’s campaign – and equally gratifying to see top athletes from sports like rugby, cricket, football, cycling, badminton, weightlifting, diving and shooting rallying to our cause.”
German No1 and World No 12 Simon Rosner is ready to rumble the big boys (Ramy Ashour, Nick Matthew and Greg Gaultier) at the KPMG Grand Slam Cup (8th of May) at The Squaire in Franikfurt Airport. More: www.grandslamsquash.com
Former world No1 Peter Nicol (le) together with business partner and friend Tim Garner (ri) started their 7 Continent Challenge tour. The bid to play 7 matches in 7 continents in 7 days, to highlight squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, has been delay to become a 40-hour marathon journey to get in the Ascension Islands.
After Peter and Tim been invited to tea at Governor’s House with Governor Nigel Haywood both teamed up for a photo shoot together with a bunch of penguins. Afterwards Nicol won the 1st of the 7 matches 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 12-10.
4 of the leading squash players in the world will come together to compete for the inaugural KPMG Grand Slam Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, on 8 May 2013.
The innovative one-night squash spectacular will feature Egypt’s current World No1, reigning World Champion and recent 2013 Tournament of Champions winner Ramy Ashour, together with England’s 2011 World No1 and World Champion Nick Matthew, plus France’s 2009 World No1 and 2013 Swedish Open Champion Gregory Gaultier.
Home interest will be covered by German No1 and World No12 Simon Rosner, recent winner of a seventh successive German national title.
The KPMG Grand Slam Cup will take place at The Squaire, Europe’s latest architectural (visit http://www.thesquaire.com/en for more details). The five hectare mini-city adjacent to Frankfurt’s International Airport opened in 2011.
A state-of-the-art all-glass ASB ShowCourt will be erected inside the building’s main atrium, the largest in Europe, and will be surrounded by a temporary dinner-theatre style arena for the unique night of elite pro competition.
“The Grand Slam Cup offers sports fans of any sort an unparalleled opportunity to experience the very best squash has to offer in a spectacular setting,” said event promoter John Nimick of Event Engine, long-time promoter of the sport’s iconic Tournament of Champions in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
“Ashour, Matthew and Gaultier are the great players of the era and Rosner will have home country advantage and support! This is a can’t-miss event,” added Nimick.
Event Engine is a global partner of the Welldone Agency Group, which is headquartered in Frankfurt and is the Executive Producer of the KPMG Grand Slam Cup.
The spectacular 10-ton ASB ShowCourt consists of 32 separate panels of 12 mm tempered safety glass allowing one-way viewing. While the audience surrounding the court walls on all four sides can see clearly into the court, the players perceive solid surfaces on the front and side walls.
The one-night-only Grand Slam Cup format features semi-finals and final, each played two games to 11 points with a one or three point shootout tiebreaker if the match score is one-all. The players will play a one point tiebreaker if a game is tied 10-10. A one game third place playoff ensures each marquee player plays twice.
The KPMG Grand Slam Cup will be presented as an all inclusive VIP hospitality event, including a meet and-greet with the squash stars, special reception, courtside table seating, dinner and beverage service.
Egypt’s Ramy Ashour (le) heads the April Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, published by the Professional Squash Association, with the highest points average ever recorded.
Final appearances in all nine PSA World Tour events in which he has appeared over the past 12 months – with title triumphs in eight, including last month’s PSA World Series North American Open and Kuwait PSA Cup – take the 25-year-old from Cairo’s points average to 1,872.50, more than 700 above his nearest rival!
Unbeaten since losing the British Open final to England’s Nick Matthew last May, Ashour (pictured) celebrated his 36th win in a row two weeks ago when he defeated Englishman James Willstrop 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-3 in the Kuwait PSA Cup climax.
April 2013 top 20 (inc. points average):
1  Ramy Ashour EGY 1,872
2  Nick Matthew ENG 1,140
3  James Willstrop ENG 1,085
4  Gregory Gaultier FRA 1,001
5  Karim Darwish EGY 722
6  Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 681
7  Amr Shabana EGY 589
8  Peter Barker ENG 584
9  Borja Golan ESP 426
10  Tarek Momen EGY 424
11  Omar Mosaad EGY 406
12  Simon Rosner GER 338
13  Alister Walker BOT 328
14  Daryl Selby ENG 321
15  Tom Richards ENG 315
16  Laurens Jan Anjema NED 311
17  Cameron Pilley AUS 284
18  Stephen Coppinger RSA 270
19  Saurav Ghosal IND 261
20  Adrian Grant ENG 260
England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Karim Darwish are the happy winners of the KL Open 2013. Massaro beats Alison Waters 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 in an all-English final. The World No3, who had ended Nicol David’s hopes of a 9th KL Open title in the semis, is the 1st Englishwoman, who won in Kuala Lumpur in 15 years tournament’s history.
The men’s final was a repeat of the 2011 edition, an all-Egyptian affair between Karim Darwish and Mohamed El Shorbagy, the top two seeds ranked 6 and 5 in the world. The elder Darwish (31) stayed strong to beat his 9 years younger compatriot 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 to take his 2nd KL Open title after 2011.
James Willstrop collected his 4th Canary Wharf Classic title with a stunning display of quality squash to subdue his England team-mate Peter Barker in the final at East Wintergarden in London.
Barker, the No4 seed from Essex had produced an outstanding performance to beat reigning champion Nick Matthew in the semi-finals, but he was unable to repeat that level of consistency against Willstrop, the world No4.
“This is one of my favourite venues – I love playing in the Canary Wharf Classic,” said Willstrop, who beat Barker 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 after 57 minutes of play.