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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

PSA Announces Partnership with Olympic Channel

2 hours 52 min ago

The Professional Squash Association (PSA), in collaboration with the World Squash Federation (WSF), has reached a cooperation agreement with the Olympic Channel in a partnership that will see all three organisations collaborate on content for the multi-platform global media destination.

The agreement will provide the Olympic Channel, launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016, with access to highlights from the world’s biggest squash tournaments, a range of feature video content featuring the sport’s greatest athletes and an array of written content for its global platforms, ensuring that squash will reach a bigger audience than ever before.

“We are delighted to officially launch our relationship with Olympic Channel, which is a key step for squash as we continue to work toward our goal of bidding for inclusion in future Olympic Games,” said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough.

“The Olympic Channel is a pioneering multi-media platform and we feel that squash, with its commitment to innovation, will make a fantastic addition to their existing content output.

“Establishing this partnership will ensure that our sport gains greater visibility through the Olympic Channel’s distribution platforms and we are looking forward to highlighting our athletes with engaging and relevant content.”

The agreement means that squash has joined more than 65 international governing bodies who have partnered with the Olympic Channel, strengthening the profile of squash amongst fans of other sports.

Commenting on the agreements, Olympic Channel General Manager Mark Parkman said:

“We share a common goal to increase both the size of the audience and active participation for their organisations, and we look forward to working together to promote their sports and to help grow their audiences worldwide.”

The partnership with the Olympic Channel comes after squash has gone through a strong period of growth in recent years. The PSA launched their OTT streaming service – SQUASHTV – in 2010 and, since then, huge strides have been made in improving SQUASHTV’s coverage of professional squash.

State of the art glass courts host the sport’s greatest players in some of the most iconic sporting locations in the world, while recent partnerships with the likes of interactive Squash and Sports Data Labs have revolutionised the sport’s coverage, enabling biometric data such as player heart-rate data and distance covered to be used in live broadcasts.

New Zealand Tops GC2018 Medals Table As Squash Relishes Its 20th Anniversary

Mon, 16/04/2018 - 10:21

While Squash relished its sixth appearance in the Commonwealth Games since making its debut in Malaysia in 1998, hosts Australia together with New Zealand and England shared the gold medals in the five events at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast – with New Zealand topping the medals table for the first time since 2002.

105 athletes from 28 nations, officiated by 27 referees from 11 Commonwealth nations, competed in some 140 Singles matches and 115 Doubles matches – the busiest and most successful athlete being Kiwi star Joelle King (pictured above) who compressed 15 matches into the period en-route to collecting two gold and one bronze medal.

Athletes from India returned home with a best-ever two medals, while Malaysia celebrated its first men’s singles medal thanks to unexpected bronze medal success by Nafiizwan Adnan.

Australian veterans David Palmer and Rachael Grinham, both aged 41 and former world number ones, also had much to celebrate. With a successful defence of his Men’s Doubles gold medal – this time in front of a packed and partisan home crowd, and with Zac Alexander, a different partner from 2014 – Palmer extended his tally over six Games to nine medals, more than any other squash athlete.

Queenslander Grinham (pictured below with Palmer) became the most decorated female athlete after a Women’s Doubles bronze took her total to eight medals, thereby maintaining her record as a medallist in each Games in which she has competed.

“It has been a great spectacle for the spectators and the sport as a whole,” said Squash Australia CEO Richard Vaughan. “It was great to see our players exceed expectations. It’s been excellent all round.

“This will be a huge injection for the sport going forward and it’s our job to maximise this.”

The spectacular all-glass showcourt, plus the six side courts which can easily be converted to four doubles courts, will be moved to a new National Squash Centre as a legacy of the Games.

“For the next six weeks we’re going to be busy transitioning these courts into our new Squash Stadium in Carrara,” Vaughan continued. “We’ve been missing a really good venue with a glass court. This will give us a solid foundation to host major events in the future.”

Australian legend Geoff Hunt, the eight-time British Open and four-time World Open champion between the 60s and 80s (pictured above with Australian Men’s Doubles gold medallists Palmer and Alexander), was overwhelmed by the spectacle of the event and the unprecedented home crowd – some 2,500 spectators surrounding the glass court on all sides.

“The great thing about a court like this (see below) is that you can see the squash from everywhere. You’ve got a good view wherever you sit.

“Also, the quality of the TV coverage now is fantastic – it’s made a huge difference. It’s one of the best things to have happened for our sport.”

Hunt, who presented the medals at the Men’s Doubles ceremony, continued: “I coached the Australian team in the 1998 Games. I would love to have been involved in my day as a player – but it wasn’t to be!

“The people like me, Jonah BarringtonKen HiscoeGogi Alauddin and Hiddy Jahan were the pioneers – we started the PSA Tour. To see the sport to develop to where it is now is exciting for us because we all started it off!”

Cyrus Poncha, the Indian National Coach, said: “We were very disappointed not to get another gold in the Women’s Doubles, but our pair was beaten by the two-time world champions.

“But we are delighted to be going home with two medals rather than one. Joshna (Chinappa) and Dipika (Pallikal) in the women and Saurav (Ghosal) [all three pictured below] in the men have done great honours for Indian squash over the past ten years – and it’s testament to the system we started in 2000. All credit to our Patron Mr N Ramachandran – it was his foresight to build our Academy in Chennai. It was his brainchild”

Speaking about the success of the New Zealand team, manager Wayne Werder said: “We’ve got such a small team. But it’s been a brutal week – Joelle’s had 15 matches and Paul (Coll) 14.

“We started our preparation for this two years ago. I think our strength is our team culture – all the players get on so well with each other.”

Major Maniam, now a Director of the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia but from 2002-2016 the Director of Coaching in India, said: “I was delighted to be involved in the historic debut of squash as head coach in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

“We did not earn any medals at the Games but that’s when we enhanced our long-term elite training programme to do well in the coming years. Nicol David went on to win gold in 2010 and 2014.

“No other Malaysian had won a medal until Nafiizwan’s bronze this year. We are absolutely thrilled with this result and hope to better it the next time around.

“I’m also pleased with all our doubles pairs as they put up creditable performances. We’ll be there with a vengeance at the next games I’m sure.

“My thanks to the hosts Australia for organising a great event and my hearty congratulations to all participants and in particular medal winners.”

World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley summed up the sport’s Gold Coast experience: “When squash started its Commonwealth Games journey 20 years ago, the staging and presentation bar were set high in Kuala Lumpur – and it has been nothing but continued progress ever since. The spread of nations, the innovation on and around the court, superb broadcast and general sports presentation are general features that grow edition upon edition.

“Here specifically, the wonderfully ebullient atmosphere generated by the spectators has been memorable – with our athletes responding to it; and the firm, fair and consistent standard of refereeing a standout too.

“Squash will evolve still further and Birmingham will doubtless rise to the challenge in four years’ time – but the splendid Gold Coast Games will give them something to think about!”

2018 Commonwealth Games images courtesy of Toni Van der Kreek

King & Palmer Share Glory on Final Day at 2018 Gold Coast Games

Sun, 15/04/2018 - 13:10

It was fitting that the final match on the final day of 11 days of intense Commonwealth Games Squash competition at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast produced a second gold medal for hosts Australia – when Zac Alexander & David Palmer held off English rivals Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller in a thrilling near-hour-long Men’s Doubles climax which went the full distance.

It was almost certainly the farewell Games performance of veteran campaigner Palmer, the 41-year-old former world number one from New South Wales who has featured in the sport’s six appearances in the Commonwealth Games since 1998, and has now extended his record medals haul to nine.

But it was New Zealander Joelle King who topped the individual medals table in the 2018 Gold Coast Games after striking gold in the Women’s Doubles, to add to her Singles gold and Mixed Doubles bronze.

 

King, the world No.4, partnered Amanda Landers-Murphy to an 11-9, 11-8 win in the Women’s final over Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik, the Indian pair who won gold in the 2014 Games in Glasgow. It was the climax of an arduous 11 days for 29-year-old King whose tally is now five medals over three Games since 2010.

FULL M&W DOUBLES FINALS REPORT

Men’s Doubles Final:
[5] Zac Alexander & David Palmer (AUS) bt [7] Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-9, 3-11, 11-6 (57m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[4] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) bt [2] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-9, 11-9 (58m)

Women’s Doubles Final:
[1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [3] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 11-9, 11-8 (22m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[4] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [7] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-6, 11-8 (21m)

FULL M&W DOUBLES FINALS REPORT

Urquhart & Pilley extend Aussie ownership of Mixed Doubles Gold

Sat, 14/04/2018 - 15:51

Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley, an Aussie pairing that has only been together for eight months, claimed Commonwealth Games Squash gold after winning the Mixed Doubles final in straight games in front of a capacity and partisan crowd at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast – thus keeping the event’s gold medal in Australian hands for the fourth time since 2006.

The fourth seeds made their breakthrough in the semi-finals when they despatched second-seeded English pair Alison Waters & Daryl Selby.  Their opponents in the final also pulled off a semi-final upset – Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal, an Indian pairing celebrating their second successive partnership in the Commonwealth Games,  surviving a dramatic third game tie-break against the event favourites.

But, buoyed by the crowd, Urquhart & Pilley – first cousins who hail from Yamba in New South Wales – defeated the Indians 11-8, 11-10 in 31 minutes to claim the first squash medal for the hosts on Gold Coast.

Full Doubles Day Five Report

Mixed Doubles Final:
[4] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [5] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-8, 11-10 (31m)

Bronze medal play-off:
[1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) bt [2] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-6, 11-6 (28m)

Men’s Doubles Semi-finals:
[7] Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [4] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-10 (86m)
[5] Zac Alexander & David Palmer (AUS) bt [2] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-8, 11-5 (30m)

Women’s Doubles Semi-finals:
[3] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt [7] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-10, 11-5 (25m)
[1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [4] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-9, 11-5 (20m)

Full Doubles Day Five Report

India & Hosts Australia to contest Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Final

Fri, 13/04/2018 - 16:45

India and hosts Australia will go head-to-head in a surprise Commonwealth Games Squash Mixed Doubles final after the top two seeds failed to survive three-game semi-finals at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast, Australia.

It was the end of the line for the favourites when Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal, the fifth seeds from India, defeated New Zealanders Joelle King & Paul Coll, the reigning world champions, 9-11, 11-8, 11-10 in 53 minutes.

From 6-3 down in the third and final game, the Kiwis came back to take a 7-6 lead before India moved on to match-ball at 10-9. King & Coll grabbed the next point to force a sudden death 10-10 ‘match-ball’ for both pairs – but after a lengthy rally, King hit the ball into the tin to put Pallikal and Ghosal into the final.

The second semi immediately followed on the all-glass showcourt – with the capacity crowd eager to cheer on a home pair. Undoubtedly buoyed by the crowd, Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley recovered from the loss of the first game to beat Alison Waters & Daryl Selby, the No.2 seeds from England, 10-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 55 minutes.

FULL DOUBLES DAY FOUR REPORT

Men’s Doubles quarter-finals:
[7] Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [1] Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) 9-11, 11-8, 11-10 (73m)
[4] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) bt [11] Vikram Malhotra & Ramit Tandon (IND) 10-11, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)
[5] Zac Alexander & David Palmer (AUS) bt [3] Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-9, 6-11, 11-7 (64m)
[2] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [10] Mohd Syafiq Kamal & Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 (52m)

Women’s Doubles quarter-finals:
[7] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [9] Rachel Arnold & Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-8, 11-10 (25m)
[3] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt [5] Samantha Cornett & Nikki Todd (CAN) 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 (39m)
[4] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [6] Tesni Evans & Deon Saffery (WAL) 9-11, 11-10, 11-3 (48m)
[1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) 11-10, 11-5 (24m)

Mixed Doubles semi-finals:
[5] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) 9-11, 11-8, 11-10 (53m)
[4] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [2] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) 10-11, 11-7, 11-7 (55m)

FULL DOUBLES DAY FOUR REPORT

Indians & Malaysians break through as doubles action intensifies on Gold Coast

Thu, 12/04/2018 - 23:25

With medals in sight as competition intensified on the first day of knockout action in the Commonwealth Games Squash Doubles in Gold Coast, Australia, it was athletes from India and Malaysia who upset the form book at Oxenford Studios.

DAY THREE DOUBLES REPORT

 

 

Squash Celebrates 20 Years of Sport & Legacy in the Commonwealth Games

Thu, 12/04/2018 - 02:05

A strong united delegation of senior officials of the World Squash Federation (WSF), joined by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), are in Gold Coast this week to attend the XXI Commonwealth Games, as the sport celebrates the 20th anniversary of its inclusion in the event.

Squash’s participation at the Commonwealth Games is a powerful demonstration of where it stands today internationally: a well-established sport that is played worldwide on 50,000 courts in no less than 185 countries and one that regularly reinvents itself by placing a strong emphasis on innovation, inclusiveness and sustainability.

As Squash is vying to be included in the programme of the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, along with other high-profile international multi-sport events such as the World Games, Pan American Games and Asian Games have been providing the sport with a high-level testing ground for the latest showcourt, refereeing and broadcast technologies, as well as a platform to showcase the legacy that Squash is capable of leaving to the host cities and countries.

The Commonwealth Games have indeed left significant tangible legacies in Delhi, Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur and Manchester, where the Squash venues have become major centres or the sport’s National Centres, providing access to high-performance training and competition for thousands of young people over the years.

The showcourt from the Melbourne Games in 2006 is still in use – and the state-of-the-art Gold Coast showcourt, plus the nine match courts, will be relocated locally to establish a new Australian National Centre in Carrara.

The Games have also showcased the development of referee Video Review, and a new generation of all-glass showcourts, which have since become an integral part of Squash competitions around the world.

To name a few examples of intangible legacy: Malaysia attributes its current major status on the international Squash scene to its debut in the home Commonwealth Games back in 1998; India can claim a similar effect, as the country’s greatest success in the sport was achieved when Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, initially perceived as outsiders, claimed the Women’s Doubles title and India’s first gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. This victory not only reinforced India’s sporting profile internationally, but also created the new role models for all young women in the country.

In 2018, Squash makes its sixth appearance at the Commonwealth Games and the sport’s truly international profile is on display in Australia.  105 players from 28 nations, including the host country, England, New Zealand, Pakistan and India, but also Lesotho, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Mauritius, Cayman Islands, Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, all came together in Gold Coast to do their best at this prestigious competition.

WSF President Jacques Fontaine said: “With the inclusion of Squash in the Commonwealth Games twenty years ago, the event became a major showcase for our sport.  Today we want to take it even further. As our sport goes through a significant transformation inspired by new technologies, new ways of youth engagement through sport, new geographies joining in, and a better representation of women in sport,  we hope to capitalise on this incredible journey and showcase why Squash has all the ingredients to be included in the Olympic Games programme.”

PSA CEO Alex Gough commented: “With its ultra-modern glass showcourts on display here at the Commonwealth Games this week and the innovative plans we have for the upcoming Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games in October this year, Squash has been at the forefront of the innovation which enhances the spectator experience and allows for sustainable, cost-effective and adaptable infrastructure solutions.”

Next week delegation members will travel from the Commonwealth Games in Australia to represent WSF and PSA at the SportAccord Convention in Bangkok where they will be able to discuss the current international sport agenda and make the case for Squash with representatives of the global sport movement.

Intense Day Two action sets up Commonwealth Games Doubles Knockout Stages

Wed, 11/04/2018 - 16:26

After a day two count of 30 pool matches spread across five courts, Commonwealth Games Squash action moves into the knockout stages on Thursday in the Women’s and Mixed Doubles at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast, Australia.

A crucial encounter in the Women’s event opened proceeding on the all-glass showcourt where top-seeded New Zealanders Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy faced Aussie pair Sarah Cardwell & Christine Nunn, the No.8 seeds, in a match which the Kiwi world champions – after losing in Monday’s first pool match – had to win in order to progress to the knockout stage.

With King, the newly-crowned Commonwealth singles gold medallist, now in the ‘doubles zone’, the favourites took just 21 minutes to see off the home duo 11-8, 11-6.

“If we lost, we were definitely out,” conceded King afterwards.  “I guess we just wanted to come back and try and play better than we did yesterday – it was a pretty poor start from myself.  I had the afternoon off yesterday and was able to recover a bit more.

“Doubles is one of those games where it takes a little bit to gell – especially when you’ve been playing singles and you’ve got to try and switch over.  And we certainly gelled a lot better in that game.”

FULL DOUBLES DAY TWO REPORT

Women’s quarter-final line-up:
[9] Rachel Arnold & Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v [7] Laura Massaro & Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[3] Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v [5] Samantha Cornett & Nikki Todd (CAN)
[4] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [6] Tesni Evans & Deon Saffery (WAL)
[2] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) v [1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)

Mixed last sixteen round line-up:
[1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) v [15] Meagan Best & Shawn Simpson (BAR)
[8] Joshna Chinappa & Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) v [10] Amanda Landers-Murphy & Zac Millar (NZL)
[3] Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL) v [13] Faiza Zafar & Farhan Zaman (PAK)
[5] Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [11] Aifa Azman & Sanjay Singh Chal (MAS)
[6] Rachael Grinham & Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [12] Madina Zafar & Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
[4] Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [14] Marlene West & Cameron Stafford (CAY)
[7] Jenny Duncalf & Adrian Waller (ENG) v [9] Lisa Aitken & Kevin Moran (SCO)
[2] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) v [16] Dianne Kellas & Bradley Hindle (MLT)

FULL DOUBLES DAY TWO REPORT

Malaysians Overcome World Champions As Commonwealth Games Doubles Get Underway

Tue, 10/04/2018 - 16:36

Less than 24 hours after the drama of the Singles medals finals day, Commonwealth Games Squash action switched to Doubles as players took to the wider courts in bids for glory in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed events at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast, Australia.

There was a significant Pool upset early in the day in the women’s event when Rachel Arnold & Sivasangari Subramaniam, the ninth seeds from Malaysia, brushed aside top seeds Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy, the reigning world champions from New Zealand.

The match took place some 16 hours after King celebrated becoming the first Kiwi to win a singles gold medal – after surviving a dramatic and energy-sapping 78-minute final.

But Arnold & Subramaniam  clearly made no allowances for this, storming to a shock 11-10, 11-10 best-of-three victory (the standard doubles scoring) over the favourites.

DOUBLES DAY ONE REPORT & RESULTS

 

King & Willstrop Strike Commonwealth Games Gold

Mon, 09/04/2018 - 16:52

England and New Zealand shared the glory on Singles finals day at the 2018 Commonwealth Games Squash when Kiwi Joelle King struck gold in the women’s event and it was third time lucky for two times runner-up James Willstrop in the men’s climax at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast, Australia.

King, a gold medallist in the Women’s Doubles in 2010, became New Zealand’s first ever Singles gold medallist when she beat England’s Sarah-Jane Perry (both pictured in action below). It was always clear that the match would be a close-fought affair – and so it was.

Fourth seed Perry had two games balls in the first, but it was King who closed out her fourth game ball to win the opener 16-14. The New Zealander opened up a two-game lead – but Perry drew level to force a decider.

From eight-all in the fifth, King moved ahead to clinch the match 16-14, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8 after 78 minutes take gold.

On winning her country’s first gold, King acknowledged: “Yes, it feels pretty good. We’ve had some great names that have come through the squash community from New Zealand and no-one’s managed to do it yet – so it’s a privilege, to be honest, to be the first one to do it and I’m just looking forward to celebrating with my team-mates.

“Yes, I’m back on court tomorrow – 11am, I’ve heard – so there’s no rest for the wicked really. You’ve just got to go back, recover and be ready to go again. Doubles is a completely different format. I think I’ll be a bit rusty in my first round!”

Whilst seeded two, King became the event’s highest-ranked player after moving up to four in the world on the eve of the start of the event. “To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to that,” said the 29-year-old. “Obviously I was excited and happy that my ranking had moved but I didn’t really look any further than the fact there were probably about 12 players in this draw that could realistically win the tournament – so I just took it match by match.

“Today was typical final squash – a big occasion and both players wanting to give it everything they have. All I can say is she played really well – she just did not go away, she didn’t let me have it all my own way, that’s for sure.”

England gained revenge in the two nations’ battle in the men’s final when Willstrop, the fourth seed, prevailed in straight games over in-form Kiwi Paul Coll, the number two seed ranked nine in the world.

Both players had had arduous routes to the final – Willstrop denying home interest in the later stages by beating top Australian Cameron Pilley in 95-minute quarter-final battle and Coll surviving a 106-minute semi-final clash with Welsh outsider Joel Makin less than 24 hours before the final.

Willstrop (seen above celebrating his success) was in imperious form, claiming his first 3/0 win since the opening round by beating Coll 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 in 47 minutes.

“It just clicked for me today,” admitted the 34-year-old from Harrogate. “It’s stuff you dream of. It’s one of the most brilliant performances I’ve had in my career. It just worked and it clicked – that’s happened today. I don’t know why, maybe the hours of solo practice I’ve put in on my own on court, in Harrogate and Ponte, all my life.

“It’s an incredible thing – and to make it happen on a big day like today – it’s one of the best performances. Whatever happened today, it’s an achievement.

“I love playing the game – and four years ago there were some doubts about that – and to think I’m now here with a gold medal in the singles … I can’t really process it to be honest.

“And if you’d talked to me on Friday when I played Campbell (Grayson), I didn’t feel that great about myself, it was a real fight …. and three days later it’s all different.”

Is it his biggest title? “I guess as a title, I reckon it probably is the best. It’s a wonderful occasion – and the atmosphere and everything around it adds to it.”

The Bronze medal matches were just as dramatic and emotionally-charged. The women’s clash saw Malaysian superstar Nicol David, the long-time world number one and gold medallist in 2010 and 2014, take on fast-rising Welsh star Tesni Evans.

Undaunted by a 4/0 career head-to-head record in the 34-year-old Malaysian’s favour, sixth seed Evans (pictured above at the medal ceremony with King and Perry) delivered a scintillating performance to see off David, the No.3 seed, 11-7, 3-11, 12-10, 11-7.

“It’s truly amazing – unbelievable really – I’m absolutely over the moon,” exclaimed the Welsh wizard. “I’ve had a great week and to beat someone like Nicol for the bronze medal is just out of this world. If you’d asked me 10 years ago, 5 years ago, I never would have thought I would beat her. She’s an absolute legend. That’s the first time I’ve ever beaten her so that’s extra special as well.

“I’ve gone from the bottom of the scale to the top of the scale, literally. I was really down yesterday after my semi-final match – but thank you to Dave (Evans) and my team, they really picked me up last night. They made me just realise where I am and that I still had a medal to fight for.

“I can’t do too much celebrating tonight as I’ve got a doubles match tomorrow. At this minute I don’t know but, don’t worry, I’ll definitely be celebrating.”

The first Games medal for Wales for 20 years was greeted with delight by national coach David Evans. “It’s an amazing result for Tesni and Welsh squash as a whole, getting a medal in the Commonwealth Games,” said the former British Open champion. “The last one was in 1998 with Alex Gough, so to get a medal is unbelievable.

“But more, to beat Nicol – who we’ve all got so much respect for, with what she’s achieved. For Tes to beat Nicol to get a bronze just adds a little bit extra to it.”

On the impact this will have for Welsh squash, Evans added: “I’m only a mere coach, but funding-wise this should help. What Tesni’s done in getting a Commonwealth Games medal is pretty special – we’re a very proud country, we all fight for each other. Hopefully it will put squash back up there again.”

Defending champion David was composed about the result: “I gave what I could today – someone has to come out a winner. I just couldn’t quite put some things together. It’s tough out there but I’m really proud of the years of representing Malaysia.

“Maybe it’s pushing it a little bit to make another Commonwealth Games. If I play it would only be for the singles – and that would definitely be a tough task.”

Malaysia took bronze in the men’s play-off where 12th seed Nafiizwan Adnan (pictured below, right, with Willstop & Coll) beat Welshman Joel Makin, the No.11 seed, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 in 81 minutes.

When asked how big the win was, Adnan replied: “It was the biggest ever match I’ve ever played – it was enormous. I can’t believe it, I was so nervous just now.

“Today I’m the first male player in Malaysia to win a medal – I am very proud, not just for myself but for my team. Everyone’s behind me – my coach and the support team. Every day we prepare – so I want to give to them.”

2018 Commonwealth Games images courtesy of Toni Van der Kreek

Men’s Final:
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (47m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[12] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [11] Joel Makin (WAL) 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 (81m)

Women’s Final:
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt [4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 16-14, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8 (78m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [3] Nicol David (MAS) 11-7, 3-11, 12-10, 11-7 (40m)

It’s England v New Zealand for Commonwealth Games Squash Gold

Sun, 08/04/2018 - 18:37

After dramatic semi-finals before a capacity 2,500 crowd surrounding the all-glass showcourt at Oxenford Studios in Gold Coast, Australia, it will be England and New Zealand going for Squash singles gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Monday.

FULL SEMI-FINALS REPORT

Men’s semi-finals:
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [12] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (49m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [11] Joel Makin (WAL) 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (106m)

Women’s semi-finals:
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [6] Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (34m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt [3] Nicol David (MAS) 13-11, 11-5, 1-11, 11-5 (43m)

England’s event debutante Sarah-Jane Perry was the first to claim a place in the women’s final after a powerful performance against rising Welsh star Tesni Evans. Perry, the fourth seed ranked eight in the world, hardly put a foot wrong as she dismissed sixth seed Evans – the surprise conqueror of event favourite Laura Massaro – 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 to extend her unbeaten record over the 25-year-old from Rhyl

Perry will go for gold against Kiwi opponent Joelle King, the No.2 seed (pictured below) who, as world No.4, is the highest-ranked player in the event.

A bronze medallist in the 2014 Singles, and a gold and silver medallist in the 2010 Doubles in Delhi, King is no stranger to the Commonwealth Games experience. The 29-year-old faced ‘veteran’ Games star Nicol David – the illustrious former world number one who has played in every Games since 1998 and won gold in 2010 and 2014, and boasted a 13-1 head-to-record over her opponent going into the match.

But the Malaysian’s formidable eight-year unbeaten Games run came to an end when King triumphed 13-11, 11-5, 1-11, 11-5 in 43 minutes.

England’s seasoned campaigner James Willstrop became only the second player in Games’ history to reach a third final – following the achievement of his fellow countryman Peter Nicol in 2006 – when he beat Nafiizwan Adnan, the No.12 seed from Malaysia, in the first men’s semi.

It was in the previous round that Adnan brought a notable era to an end when he removed England’s Nick Matthew, the gold medallist in 2010 and 2014. Fourth seed Willstrop played a sure-footed and disciplined game to see off the UK-based Malaysian 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 in 49 minutes.

The final match of the day was a long-drawn-out affair which – despite the lack of local interest – had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats. New Zealand’s No.2 seed Paul Coll, the current world No.9 who has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the international squash ranks over the past two years, faced surprise opponent Joel Makin, a Welshman ranked 43 in the world.

It took 106 minutes to produce a winner – with underdog Makin one point away from a match-ball in the third game before Coll grinded his way to a 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 victory which sees the 25-year-old into the final for the first time.

FULL SEMI-FINALS REPORT WITH QUOTES, PHOTOS & MORE

 

Four Nations share Semi-Final slots after marathon Gold Coast action

Sat, 07/04/2018 - 18:40

A quartet of players representing England, Malaysia, New Zealand and Wales will line up in both the men’s and women’s Squash singles semi-finals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, after a day of shocks and marathons which ended well after midnight.

FULL QUARTER-FINALS REPORT

Men’s quarter-finals:
[12] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [1] Nick Matthew (ENG) 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6 (81m)
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (95m)
[11] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [8] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-9, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 (99m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 (77m)

Women’s quarter-finals:
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [1] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13 (61m)
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [7] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Alison Waters (ENG) 7-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 (61m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt [8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (34m)

FULL QUARTER-FINALS REPORT

 

Stretch Yourself in 2018 with #Squash …

Fri, 06/04/2018 - 22:36
Try #squash by contacting your
local club or National Federation

FIND YOUR LOCAL SQUASH FEDERATION “I get to meet amazing players from all over the USA and around the world who are just as passionate as I am about the about the sport” : Christian Capella

England Coast into Gold Coast Commonwealth Quarters

Fri, 06/04/2018 - 17:44

England celebrated 100% success in today’s third round of Squash singles events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where the nation will have interest in three of the four quarter-finals in both the men’s and women’s events – for the fifth time since 2002.

The day began with a blow for the hosts when it was announced that No.6 seed Ryan Cuskelly, the world No.15 from New South Wales, had withdrawn following a leg injury sustained during his second round match – putting Malaysia’s 12th seed Nafiizwan Adnan through to the quarter-finals.

Defending gold medallist Nick Matthew led the way for England in the men’s event with an 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 win in 43 minutes on the all-glass showcourt at Oxenford Studios over Vikram Malhotra, the 16th seed from India.

Unbeaten in the event since 2006, the gold medallist in 2010 in Delhi and 2014 in Glasgow will celebrate his 38th birthday in July – by which date he will have retired from the professional squash circuit after a glittering career which includes the world number one ranking and three world championship titles.

“I enjoyed being on there with these dangerous players,” said the top-seeded Yorkshireman after claiming his place in the last eight.  “People are going to raise their game 10 or 15 per cent in this environment – and I need to raise mine by 10 or 15 percent as well. But I didn’t today – I probably played at my normal level.  He put on a really good show today and I was probably a little lucky to come away relatively unscathed at the end.

“I came in probably expecting to play Ryan in front of the Aussie crowd – but I’ll have to fully reassess that.  I’ve played Wan before – he is a dangerous player. He used to be based in Manchester and I trained with him a few times.  He’s a little bit more of a known quantity compared to today as I’d never played Vikram before.”

On competing in the Commonwealth Games, Matthew added:  “We had that massive moment at the Opening Ceremony and everyone is buzzing in the village.  Team England are such a close team. I just love things like this, rubbing shoulders with the other big names in the England team.  It shows in the respect each of has for each other’s sports.

“Squash may not be an Olympic sport but, if it was based on the respect the other athletes have for our sport, we’d be in there tomorrow!  You can sense that among the guys and I just want to make them proud.

“Australia’s a great sporting country and we’ve been given an unbelievable welcome.”

Later, compatriots James Willstrop and Daryl Selby joined Matthew in the last eight.  Fifth seed Selby overcame rising Scottish star Greg Lobban 11-6, 11-2, 6-11, 11-7, while Willstrop, the No2 seed and 2010 and 2014 silver medallist, despatched New Zealander Campbell Grayson 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 70 minutes.

FULL DAY TWO REPORT

Men’s 3rd round:

[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [16] Vikram Malhotra (IND) 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (43m)
[12] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) w/o
[7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Lewis Walters (JAM) 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (38m)
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [10] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (70m)
[11] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Christopher Binnie (JAM) 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (32m)
[8] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Rex Hedrick (AUS) 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (47m)
[5] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [9] Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 11-2, 6-11, 11-7 (55m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (39m)

Women’s 3rd round:

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [11] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 (34m)
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Aifa Azman (MAS) 11-7, 11-1, 6-11, 11-8 (34m)
[7] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [16] Christine Nunn (AUS) 6-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5 (59m)
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [13] Nikki Todd (CAN) 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (24m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt [10] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 20-18, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3 (50m)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [9] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (24m)
[8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [15] Tamika Saxby (AUS) 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (25m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt [12] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 (40m)

FULL DAY TWO REPORT

Opening Day Is Jamaica Day At Commonwealth Games

Thu, 05/04/2018 - 18:53

While the two reigning gold medallists eased into the third round of the Squash singles events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, the opening day of action belonged to Jamaica after the Caribbean country’s only two male players caused major upsets to reach the last 16.

UK-born Lewis Walters, ranked 260 in the world, raised his country’s spirits in the first round when he beat Peter Creed, the 15th seed from Wales ranked over 200 places higher, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 in 48 minutes.

Just a few hours later, the 30-year-old Games debutant continued his unscheduled run by seeing off Malta’s Daniel Zammit-Lewis 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 to claim his slot in the last 16 round.

Walters was then able to join his team-mates watching the epic second round battle between his Doubles partner Christopher Binnie and India’s bronze-medal hope Saurav Ghosal. The No.3 seed from Kolkata, who this month celebrated a career-high world No.13 ranking, took the opening two games and looked to be coasting to his anticipated place in the next round.

But world No.65 Binnie, who had already played a 1st round match in the afternoon session, kept his focus and drew level. In a topsy-turvy decider, favourite Ghosal moved forward to match-ball at 10-8. But, undaunted – and cheered on by a significant weight of Jamaican support from the crowd – Binnie battled through to claim his shock 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 triumph in 74 minutes.

“I felt pretty confident going into the match and even though I went down two love I kept on pushing,” said a delighted Binnie afterwards. “We had all the Jamaican contingent here tonight – a big crowd tonight and that was great.”

On the decider, the eight-time Caribbean champion explained: “I was just trying to play one point at a time and keep calm. I think I controlled my emotions pretty well. He made a couple of errors at eight-all and put a couple of balls in the middle where thankfully I didn’t hit the tin. He had a couple of match balls and I was lucky to pounce on a couple of good ones at the end. I’m just happy to get through

“It’s the biggest day of my career for sure – even though it’s a short career so far – but it’s only the second round so I have to put some perspective on it. But I have to enjoy this – he’s top 20 in the world and it’s the first top 20 win I’ve ever had. But I’ve been working really hard and hopefully tomorrow I can be close to this again to try and put in another good performance.”

FULL DAY ONE REPORT

Men’s Round Two:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Ian Rukunya (UGA) 11-2, 11-6, 11-2 (20m)
[16] Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt Xavier Koenig (MRI) 11-4, 11-3, 11-0 (16m)
[12] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Evan Williams (NZL) 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
[6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Othneil Bailey (SVG) 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
[7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Ernest Jombla (SLE) 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
Lewis Walters (JAM) bt Daniel Zammit-Lewis (MLT) 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (33m)
[10] Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Kevin Moran (SCO) 11-9, 11-0, 11-9 (31m)
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (27m)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt [3] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (74m)
[11] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Micah Franklin (BER) 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt Sunil Seth (GUY) 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 (32m)
[8] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 (60m)
[5] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Michael Kawooya (UGA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (21m)
[9] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (24m)
[14] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-8, 11-6, 11-1 (33m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Kelvin Ndhlovu (ZAM) 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (26m)

Women’s Round Two:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Amanda Haywood (BAR) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (15m)
[11] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Mihiliya Methsarani (SRI) 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (23m)
Aifa Azman (MAS) bt [14] Lisa Aitken (SCO) w/o
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Taylor Fernandes (GUY) 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (17m)
[7] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Faiza Zafar (PAK) 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 (16m)
[16] Christine Nunn (AUS) bt Dianne Kellas (MLT) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 (16m)
[13] Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Khaaliqa Nimji (KEN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (17m)
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Alison Mua (FIJ) 11-1, 11-3, 11-6 (13m)
[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt Colette Sultana (MLT) 11-1, 11-4, 11-2 (23m)
[10] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Mary Fung-A-Fat (GUY) 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (18m)
[9] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt Charlotte Knaggs (TRI) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (19m)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Meagan Best (BAR) 11-5, 11-1, 11-8 (22m)
[8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Lynette Vai (PNG) 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 (16m)
[15] Tamika Saxby (AUS) bt Eilidh Bridgeman (CAY) 11-4, 11-2, 11-1 (16m)
[12] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Alison Thomson (SCO) 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt Deon Saffery (WAL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (22m)

FULL DAY ONE REPORT

 

Hong Kong celebrate historic Asian Team Championship double

Thu, 29/03/2018 - 09:43

Hong Kong China claimed both the men’s and women’s titles in the Asian Squash Team Championships for the first time in the event’s 37-year history in the 2018 championships in Cheongju in the Republic of Korea.

The 19th staging of the biennial event attracted 15 men’s teams and 11 women’s teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Hosts Korea made history in the women’s championship by reaching the final for the first time after upsetting second seeds Japan in the semi-finals.

However, Hong Kong were too strong for the fifth seeds, winning 2/0. Hong Kong number one Annie Au beat Korean Ahn Eun Tschan 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 before Joey Chan came back from a game down to beat Lee Ji Hyun 8-11, 11-0, 11-2, 11-7.

The victory marked Hong Kong’s fifth women’s title in their seventh final appearance in the last eight events. The bronze medals went to Japan and Malaysia.

Max Lee put Hong Kong ahead in the opening match after defeating Farhan Zaman 11-9, 11-9, 11-7.

Though Leo Au dropped the second game to Tayyab Aslam, the Hong Kong No.2 fought back to claim victory 11-6, 8-11, 11-0, 11-7 and clinch the historic first ever men’s gold medal for the team.

“This is a massive achievement and it proved that our bronze medal at the World Championships last year was no fluke,” Lee  later told the South China Morning Post.

Iran also made history by winning its first-ever bronze medal in the Asian Team Championships after the fifth seeds beat Japan in the quarter-finals. Malaysia also finished co-third.

“Korea Squash Federation is very happy to see so many teams showing their support and coming to Cheongju to participate in the Championships. We are also thrilled to see our women’s team win the first-ever silver medal in the hometown. It is very encouraging!” said Ms Heo Tae-sook, President of Korea Squash Federation.

David Mui, the ASF President was grateful to Korea Squash Federation for hosting the Asian Championships: “The Cheongju International Squash Stadium that was used for the championships is superb. There are 7 single courts with glass back wall and 1 all-glass court, which make it a perfect venue for both training and competition. The event was also well organised.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Korea Squash Federation, who made the Championships all the success. My thanks would also be extended to all the officials, referees and helpers.”

At the 38th ASF AGM, which was held during the championships, the Mongolian Squash Federation became an ASF member.

Pictured celebrating the occasion are (L to R): Kim Won Kwan, ASF VP; Altankhuyag Otgon, Secretary General of Mongolian Squash Federation; David Mui, ASF President

Asian Squash Team Championships, Cheongju, Republic of Korea

Men’s semi-finals:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [5] IRAN 2/0, [2] PAKISTAN bt [4] MALAYSIA 2/0

Final:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [2] PAKISTAN 2/0
Max Lee bt Farhan Zaman 11-9, 11-9, 11-7
Leo Au bt Tayyab Aslam 11-6, 8-11, 11-0, 11-7

Remaining positions: 3rd MALAYSIA & IRAN; 5th REPUBLIC OF KOREA; 6th SINGAPORE; 7th QATAR; 8th JAPAN; 9th PHILIPPINES; 10th IRAQ; 11th JORDAN; 12th CHINA; 13th SRI LANKA; 14th THAILAND; 15th CHINESE TAIPEI

Women’s semi-finals:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [3] MALAYSIA 2/0, [5] REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt [2] JAPAN 2/1

Final:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt [5] REPUBLIC OF KOREA 2/0
Annie Au bt Ahn Eun Tschan 11-4, 11-5, 11-5
Joey Chan bt Ji-Hyun Lee 8-11, 11-0, 11-2, 11-7

Remaining positions: 3rd: JAPAN & MALAYSIA; 5th CHINA; 6th IRAN; 7th SRI LANKA; 8th PAKISTAN; 9th SINGAPORE; 10th CHINESE TAIPEI; 11th THAILAND

FULL RESULTS FULL PHOTO GALLERY

PSA Unveil New Tour Structure For Professional Squash & Announce Initiative With WSF

Tue, 27/03/2018 - 10:36

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) today unveiled its new vision for professional squash which will see a new-look professional squash tour structure come into effect for the 2018/19 season onwards, while a WSF & PSA Satellite Tour has also been announced following the recent partnership agreement between the PSA and World Squash Federation (WSF)
The changes, which have been made in order to streamline the sport and increase earning potential for professional squash players, will see the current PSA World Tour rebranded into two individual circuits – comprising of the PSA World Tour and PSA Challenger Tour – while qualification rounds will be scrapped and a series of new tournament tiers will be introduced across both circuits.

Under the new look, the PSA World Tour will continue to be home to all current top-tier events offering total prize money from $50,000 – $1,000,000 and above, including the PSA World Championships and PSA World Tour Finals – while new tournament tiers in the form of World Tour Platinum, featuring 48-player draws, and World Tour Gold, World Tour Silver and World Tour Bronze, all of which are set to feature 24-player draws, will be introduced.

The 2018/19 PSA World Championships, which will be held in Chicago with a record $1 million prize fund up for grabs, will be the first World Championships to be staged under the new tour structure. Both draws will comprise of 56 PSA entrants and one wildcard, with the other seven places taken up by winners from selected tournaments on the PSA Challenger Tour in a ‘Road to Chicago’ competition.

The PSA Challenger Tour will provide a platform for the world’s most exciting up-and-coming players to cut their teeth on the professional circuit against some of squash’s most experienced professionals, with tournaments offering prize money between $5,500 – $30,000. Tournament tiers consist of Challenger Tour 30, Challenger Tour 20, Challenger Tour 10 and Challenger Tour 5 tournaments, while a round robin system will be trialled at selected Challenger Tour 5 tournaments throughout the 2018/19 season.

Following on from last year’s partnership agreement between the PSA and WSF, the WSF & PSA Satellite Tour will be formed, which will integrate sanctioned World, Regional, National and Junior tournaments into the PSA World Rankings to create a pathway to the professional circuit for aspiring, up-and-coming players, strengthening the link between the global governing body for squash and the professional tour.

Comprising the WSF National Championships, Satellite Tournaments, World & Regional Junior Championships, National Junior Opens and National Junior Championships, the WSF & PSA Satellite Tour will run throughout each calendar year.

Players will earn PSA World Ranking points based on their results at tournaments on the PSA World Tour, PSA Challenger Tour and the WSF & PSA Satellite Tour.

“We are committed to promoting a thriving and sustainable professional squash circuit and feel that simplifying the tour structure and easing the transition from junior squash to professional squash will help us to achieve those aims,” said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough.

“Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the WSF in August 2017, we have been hugely encouraged by the commitment from both sides to forge a strong working relationship and believe that partnering with the WSF in this manner will be a significant boost to the growth of the sport in the coming years.”

PSA Tour Director Hannah Ridgard-Mason said: “This is an exciting time for the tour and we believe that these changes will enable us to further promote the game at the highest level while creating visibility for the PSA Challenger Tour, which will be the backbone of the new tour structure.

“We would like to thank our players and tournament promoters for their cooperation during this transition and look forward to working with them closely to ensure that the new tour structure will be a success.”

WSF President Jacques Fontaine added: “It was an important intention for me to bring WSF and PSA closer together when I became WSF President – as a unified sport we will progress even more strongly. Our MoU has achieved this aim. Now joining together to allow players competing in our member nations’ national and junior championships to have the opportunity of ranking points is an example showing the benefits of this unity.

“Our priorities as a sport are to offer leadership in education, accessibility and sustainability, and competition too – and our strong bond with PSA addresses the last pillar especially. I am sure that the WSF & PSA Satellite Tour will go from strength to strength.”



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