The tournament comperes love to refer to us players by our nicknames. Many of these monikers were originally coined by the main Squash TV commentator Joey Barrington in an effort to reintroduce to squash some of the gladiatorial features the sport enjoyed during his father Jonah’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.
Like darts or snooker, some of them are a bit cheesy: Ramy Ashour is the Artist, James Willstrop is the Marksman, Amr Shabana the Maestro, Gregory Gaultier is Asterix, Karim Darwish the Dark Prince, Alister Walker the Predator, I’m the Wolf. But there’s no doubt they add an extra element to the sport. It’s a great way for the audience to connect with a player’s style and, more importantly, personality.
I actually quite like my nickname. I’ve been called a lot worse than the Wolf in my time, believe me. My favourite nicknames of all are Omar Mosaad’s, whom Joey has christened the ‘Hammer of Thor’ thanks to his hard-hitting style, and Simon Rosner’s, who is the ‘German Tree-Chopper’. He really does swing from so high on his forehand, and so steeply, that you can imagine him with a lumberjack outfit on …
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