ISSUE03-2017InternationalSquashMagazine

internationalSPORTgroup

INTERNATIONAL

ISSN 2042-7611

SEPTEMBER | 2017

UK £3.00 | € 4.50 | USA $ 5.50

MAGAZINE

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


ISSN 2042-7611

CONTENTS

INTERNATIONAL

Front Cover

Gregory Gaultier World Number No.1

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

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INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

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SEPTEMBER | 2017

UK £3.00 | € 4.50 | USA $ 5.50

MAGAZINE

Acknowledgements:

Professional Squash Association

Steve Cubbins & Framboise Gommendy

www.squashsite.co.uk

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CONTENTS

AJ BELL ESF EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL CLOSED

SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

07 FRENCH DUO GREGORY GAULTIER AND CAMILLE SERME WILL

HEAD A STELLAR LINE-UP AT THIS YEAR’S AJ BELL ESF EUROPEAN

INDIVIDUAL CLOSED CHAMPIONSHIPS WHICH WILL SEE EUROPE’S

LEADING PLAYERS CONVERGE ON THE DAVID ROSS SPORTS

VILLAGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM FROM THE 24TH TO

27TH AUGUST WITH ASPIRATIONS OF WINNING EUROPE’S MOST

PRESTIGIOUS INDIVIDUAL TITLES

SIMON RÖSNER & CAMILLE SERME CROWNED

WORLD GAMES CHAMPIONS

11 SIMON RÖSNER AND CAMILLE SERME WON GOLD FOR GERMANY

AND FRANCE RESPECTIVELY AT THE WORLD GAMES IN WROCLAW,

POLAND – THE QUADRENNIAL MULTI-SPORT EVENT FOR NON-

OLYMPIC PROGRAMME SPORTS STAGED UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

WSF WORLD DOUBLES SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

14 NEW ZEALAND DOMINATED THE FINALS DAY OF THE WSF WORLD

DOUBLES SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS AND RETAINED BOTH THE

WOMEN’S AND MIXED GOLD MEDALS WHIL E AUSTRALIA RECLAIMED

THE MEN’S TITLE AFTER UPSETTING THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS IN

THE CLIMAX OF THE WORLD SQUASH FEDERATION EVENT AT THE

NATIONAL SQUASH CENTRE IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

FIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SQUASH

18 JAMES WILLSTROP TALKS WITH INTERNATIONAL SQUASH

MAGAZINE TO IDENTIFY THE FIVE KEY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR

SQUASH: FIND A FRIENDLY CLUB; TAKE SOLID ADVICE FROM A

SMART COACH; WATCH AND LEARN FROM THE BEST PLAYERS;

INVEST IN A PHYSIO; MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY SESSION; AND

ENJOY IT

QUESTION & ANSWER: IKER PAJARES BERNABEU

21 RISING SPANISH STAR IKER PAJARES BERNABEU TALKS WITH

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

AJ BELL PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS –

MANCHESTER 2017

23 THE BIGGEST EVENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL SQUASH

CALENDAR, THE 2017 AJ BELL PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL

LIGHT UP MANCHESTER FROM THE 8TH TO 17TH DECEMBER WHEN

THE GREATEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD DESCEND ON THE UK’S

LEADING SPORTING CITY TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR THE RIGHT TO BE

CROWNED WORLD CHAMPION

ASICS GEL-BLAST SQUASH SHOE

27 INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE REVIEWS THE LATEST

EDITION OF THE ASICS GEL-BLAST, A PROVEN FAVOURITE WITH

SQUASH PLAYERS OF ALL STANDARDS, FEATURING STRIKING NEW

COSMETICS AND OFFERING THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE,

DURABILITY AND SUPPORT

WORLD RANKINGS

29 MEN’S & WOMEN’S WORLD RANKINGS AT A GLANCE

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 03

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


World Amateur Champion (aged 15)

Youngest British Open & World Champion (aged 17)

Unbeaten in 555 consecutive matches over 5 years

and 8 months – the longest winning streak of any

sportsman

10 time British Open Champion (1982-1993)

6 time World Champion

Played longest squash match in

history (2 hours, 46 minutes)

JAHANGIR


If longevity, consistency and

domination in their sport are the key

ingredients to being recognised as the world’s

greatest sportsman, there is only one name that

stands head and shoulders above all others.

Jahangir Khan is a man whose name is synonymous

with squash. A man universally recognised as the

world’s greatest ever player and an athlete who

transcended his sport to be acknowledged as the world’s

greatest ever sportsman. A man who set the bar so high,

precious few others have come close, never

mind surpass his achievements.

Through courage, determination and personal sacrifice,

Jahangir Khan overcame personal tragedy to dominate

and ultimately transcend the world’s most

physically demanding sport.

Throughout his record breaking career, he used

and was synonymous with only one brand.

INSPIRED BY JAHANGIR KHAN MADE TO WIN


What’s On!

Summer 2017 in Nottingham...

www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/summer


AJ BELL ESF EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL

CLOSED SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

AJBELLESFEUROPEANINDIVIDUAL

CLOSEDSQUASHCHAMPIONSHIPS

French duo Gregory Gaultier and Camille Serme will head a stellar lineup

at this year’s AJ Bell ESF European Individual Closed Championships

which will see Europe’s leading players converge on the David Ross Sports

Village at the University of Nottingham from the 24th to 27th August with

aspirations of winning Europe’s most prestigious individual titles.

Gaultier will be keen to avenge his shock defeat to Spain’s

Borja Golan in last year’s final and will no doubt be wary of

the challenge from the defending champion as well as that of

former World No.1 James Willstrop who will lead the charge of

home-based players in the men’s draw.

Englishmen Declan James, Josh Masters, Patrick Rooney

and Charlie Lee, will all be keen to impress in a high-class

field which will feature several leading players from around

Europe including Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller, German No.2

Raphael Kandra, Austrian No.1 Aqeel Rehman and Portugal

No.1 Rui Soares.

“The AJ Bell ESF European Individual Closed Squash

Championships will be my first event of the new season,” said

nine-time champion Gaultier.

“Everyone will be fresh and ready to play after the summer

break and I’m really looking forward to playing and

representing my country. It will be the first time that I will

have played at the University of Nottingham since the 2016

British Open and I’m really looking forward to experiencing the

university’s wonderful new facilities,” added the World No.1.

Compatriot Camille Serme will head the women’s draw and can

be relied upon to mount a tough-minded defence in pursuit of

a record sixth title.

Since winning her fifth European individual title last

September, the 28-year-old French favourite has enjoyed a

sensational run of form on the PSA World Tour, winning the

2016 US Open, Cleveland Classic and prestigious Tournament

of Champions title earlier this year as well as recently being

crowned World Games Gold Medallist.

The World No.3 will be joined in Nottingham by compatriot

Coline Aumard with Emily Whitlock and Millie Tomlinson of

England and Belgian sisters Nele and Tinne Gilis her likely

main contenders.

Hosted on behalf of the European Squash Federation in

partnership with England Squash and University of Nottingham

Sport, this year’s AJ Bell ESF European Individual Closed

Squash Championships will mark the first occasion that the

event has been staged in the British Isles.

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 07

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AJ BELL ESF EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL

CLOSED SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

AJBELLESFEUROPEANINDIVIDUAL

CLOSEDSQUASHCHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’SDRAW

ROUND 1 ROUND 2 QUARTER SEMI FINAL

FINAL FINAL

[1] GREGORY GAULTIER FRA

BYE

LUDOVICO CIPOLLETTA ITA

[9/16] CHARLIE LEE ENG

[9/16] DIMITRI STEINMANN SUI

ROZLE LANGUS SLO

ADAM PELCZYNSKI POL

[5/8] JOSH MASTER ENG)

[5/8] RAPHAEL KANDRA GER

BYE

PATRICK MAIER LIE

[9/16] RUI SOARES POR

[6/16] ONDREJ UHERKA CZE

BALÁZS FARKAS HUN

BYE

[3/4] NICOLAS MUELLER SUI

[3/4] BORJA GOLAN ESP

BYE

VICTOR BYRTUS CZE

[9/16] YURI FARNETI ITA

[9/16] AQEEL REHMAN AUT

TUKASZ STACHOWSKI POL

BYE

[5/8] DECLAN JAMES ENG

[5/8] LUCAS SERME FRA

BYE

ŽAN BOMBEK SLO

[9/16] PATRICK ROONEY ENG

[9/16] SÉBASTIEN BONMALAIS FRA

DIMITRI DIAMADOPOULOS ITA

BYE

[2] JAMES WILLSTROP ENG

8 | September 2017 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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AJ BELL ESF EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL

CLOSED SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS

AJBELLESFEUROPEANINDIVIDUAL

CLOSEDSQUASHCHAMPIONSHIPS

WOMEN’SDRAW

ROUND 1 ROUND 2 QUARTER SEMI FINAL

FINAL FINAL

24 AUG 2017 24 AUG 2017 25 AUG 2017 26 AUG 2017 27 AUG 2017

[1] CAMILE SERME FRA

BYE

ZUZANA KUBANOVA CZE

JACQUELINE PEYCHÄR AUT

LUCY TURMEL ENG

BYE

BYE

[5/8] INETA MACKEVICA LAT

[5/8] TINNE GILIS BEL

BYE

BYE

CRISTINA GOMEZ ESP

ELISE ROMBA FRA

BYE

BYE

[3/4] MILLIE TOMLINSON ENG

[3/4] COLINE AUMARD FRA

BYE

MARIJA SHPAKOVA SUI

BYE

NADIA PFISTER SUI

BYE

BYE

[5/8] NELE GILIS BEL

[5/8] ANNA SERME CZE

BYE

BYE

SINA KANDRA GER

SANNE VELDKAMP NED

CINDY MERLO SUI

BYE

[2] EMILY WHITLOCK ENG

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 09

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WORLDGAMES

HASTA LA VISTA CLUB, WROCLAW

SIMONRÖSNER&CAMILLESERME

CROWNEDWORLDGAMESCHAMPIONS

Simon Rösner and Camille Serme won gold for Germany and France

respectively at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland – the quadrennial

multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports staged under the

patronage of the International Olympic Committee.

Capacity crowds at the Hasta la Vista Club, the world’s largest

purpose-built squash venue, showed their appreciation for a

succession of exhilarating matches on the all-glass show court,

where medals were also won by Hong Kong and Malaysia - with

France claiming an historic gold, silver and bronze set.

Serme faced unexpected opponent Joey Chan from Hong Kong

who produced the event’s biggest shock when she dethroned

Nicol David, the three-time Gold Medallist, in a five-game semifinal.

The match clearly took its toll on the left-hander ranked 19 in

the world as Serme swooped to an 11-4 11-3 11-4 victory in just 26

minutes.

“That’s the best I could have expected,” said the French No.1.

“I played well and was sharp.

“Joey played two five-setters in the last two days, so I think she

was tired - I played some shots she didn’t even go for. I am very

happy to win - beating a top 20 player like that will give me a lot

of confidence going into the new season.”

On the Games’ French success, Serme explained: “At the

beginning of the week we didn’t expect to do this well. We have

tried to get into the Olympics three times and with Paris now

staging the 2024 games, I hope this success will show that we

have the chance to win medals.”

In the men’s final, which brought the four-day event to a fitting

climax, top seed Rösner battled for 78 minutes with French

outsider Gregoire Marche who overturned two higher-ranked

opponents to reach the title decider.

The German No.1, runner-up in the event four years ago, led 6-2

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 11

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WORLD GAMES

HASTA LA VISTA CLUB, WROCLAW

I am very happy

to win - beating a

top 20 player 3-0

like that will give

me confidence

going into the

new season

CAMILLE SERME

8-5 and 9-7 in the first game before reaching game-ball at 10-8,

but underdog Marche went on to have two game-balls of his

own before Rösner finally clinched the game 15-13.

After winning the second game, World No.11 Rösner built up

a 7-3 lead in the third, however with the Gold Medal in sight,

Marche, ranked 12 places lower, fought back to 9-all before

closing-out the game 11-9 to reduce the deficit.

The German favourite seemed to have refocussed when he

stormed to a 6-1 lead in the fourth but a succession of unforced

errors allowed Marche to establish a 7-6, then 8-7 lead.

That was the end of the 27-year-old Frenchman’s run, however,

as a patient Rösner moved ahead point by point before

converting his first match-ball to claim a memorable 15-13 11-6

9-11 11-8 victory.

“It’s amazing,” said Rösner as the success sunk in. “I am truly

over the moon!

“Greg is such a tough competitor - in that third game when

I was 7-3 up he was fighting hard and I might have been too

impatient. In the fourth I needed to be 100 per cent focussed to

get through. It was such a great feeling playing in front of such

a great crowd - and it’s been like this since day one. That’s what

makes this event so special!”

France’s third medal came in the Bronze Medal play-off when

5/8 seed Mathieu Castagnet came back from game-balls down

in both the first two games against Diego Elias to beat the 3/4

seed from Peru 14-12 12-10 11-8 in 56 minutes.

Nicol David bounced from her shock semi-final defeat, where

she fell to a fellow Asian opponent for the first time in 15 years,

to take the Women’s Bronze Medal, beating Great Britain’s

surprise semi-finalist Fiona Moverley 11-4 11-8 11-3.

“The chance to win a medal is still something to play for

- I wanted to get on and give it everything I had,” said the

Malaysian, who was seeded to reach a fourth successive final.

“I am really pleased to have won the medal. It’s fantastic to have

an event like this in Poland. The World Games is really good

for squash and I hope we will get more recognition through

participating in it,” added the former World No.1.

World Games Squash Championships, Wroclaw, Poland

Men’s Gold Medal Final:

[1] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA)

15-13, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8

Bronze Medal Play-off:

[5/8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [3/4] Diego Elias (PER)

14-12, 12-10, 11-8

Women’s Gold Medal Final:

[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [3/4] Joey Chan (HKG)

11-4, 11-3, 11-4

Bronze Medal Play-off:

[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5/8] Fiona Moverley (GBR)

11-4, 11-8, 11-3

theworldgames2017.com

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 13

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WSF WORLD DOUBLES SQUASH

CHAMPIONSHIPS

WSFWORLDDOUBLES

SQUASHCHAMPIONSHIPS

New Zealand dominated the finals day of the WSF World Doubles

Squash Championships with New Zealand and retained both the Women’s

and Mixed Gold Medals while Australia reclaimed the Men’s title after

upsetting the defending champions in the climax of the World Squash

Federation event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England.

Kiwi Joelle King was the star of the day, first partnering

Amanda Landers-Murphy in the Women’s Doubles final to beat

English outsiders Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters, fighting back

from a game down and saving three match-balls from 10-8 in

the decider to win 9-11 11-1 11-10 in 46 minutes.

“That was so tough,” said a delighted and relieved Landers-

Murphy after her second Gold Medal since first winning the

title with King in Darwin, Australia, a year ago. “We were ahead

in all the games and were both just glad that we could stay

strong and keep it together at the end.”

Duncalf, the 34-year-old former World No.2, said: “Losing 11-10

in the third is always quite tough. We did well to win the first

and then the second was a bit of a disaster. The third was very

up and down and they won it right at the end. They are the

defending champions and we knocked out the Commonwealth

Gold Medallists [Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal of India]

so we’re very pleased with that.”

Immediately after the final of the Women’s Doubles, King

linked up with Paul Coll to beat England pair Alison Waters and

Daryl Selby 11-8 9-11 11-6 in the Mixed Doubles final.

14 | September 2017 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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WSF WORLD DOUBLES SQUASH

CHAMPIONSHIPS

Coll, also a Gold Medallist for the second time in a year, said

after his Manchester Gold: “We felt good together again today.

We dropped off a bit in the second, but managed to get early

leads in the first and third, which always takes the pressure off.

“We have a great team spirit in the Kiwi camp. It’s been a

tough week to start the season off, but a lot of fun, and we’re

obviously delighted to be going back with more gold medals!”

Englishman Selby, like Waters a World Doubles finalist for

the first time, said: “We were seeded five so to win a Silver

Medal is a fantastic achievement - to push the reigning World

Champions as hard as we did is really pleasing. Al and Joelle

both did really well to play two matches in a row and we

weren’t far away in the end.”

Continuing the Antipodean run in Manchester, Australians

Ryan Cuskelly and Cameron Pilley took Gold in the Men’s

Doubles, despatching Scotland’s reigning champions and top

seeds Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban 11-6 11-3 in 34 minutes.

“We’ve had a lot of tough matches with them,” said Australian

No.1 Pilley, renowned as one of the hardest hitters of the ball.

“They beat us last year so it was good to turn the tables this

time. There were some brutal rallies in the first, but we stuck

to our game plan and it worked out, then in the second we

continued to execute and they made a few errors which helped

our cause.”

WSF World Doubles Squash Championships,

Manchester, England

Men’s Doubles Final:

[2] Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt

[1] Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 11-3

Bronze Medallists:

[4] Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL),

[5] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG)

Women’s Doubles Final:

[1] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt

[5] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG) 9-11, 11-1, 11-10

Bronze Medallists: [2] Joshna Chinappa &

Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND),

[3] Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS)

Mixed Doubles Final:

[1] Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL) bt

[5] Alison Waters & Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6

Bronze Medallists:

[7] Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL),

[4] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS)

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 15

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FIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SQUASH

BY JAMES WILLSTROP

FIVEWAYSTOIMPROVE

YOURSQUASH

By James Willstrop

James Willstrop talks with International Squash Magazine to identify

the five key ways to improve your squash: find a friendly club; take solid

advice from a smart coach; watch and learn from the best players; invest

in a physio; make the most of every session; and enjoy it!

Find A Home

The best place to start is by finding

and embracing a thriving squash club

or community. You will meet players,

glean inspiration and can join a league

structure where you can compete and

improve. You can find training partners

and perhaps a good coach who will

motivate you to practice and put in the

hours required.

There is a social aspect to squash that

usually enhances any efforts you make

to improve. I now live further away

from the squash club where I grew up

playing in Pontefract, but I continue to

go back there because it’s a warm and

friendly club. We train in groups under

the direction of my father Malcolm. The

days when I have to train extra hard

or do double sessions are made much

easier because of the atmosphere.

Search for good advice but don’t

obsess over it

Try to find a reputable coach or trainer.

They are not particularly easy to come

by so it’s not a disaster if you can’t find

one or afford to pay for it.

People are obsessed with quick fixes

and many fork out hundreds of pounds

a month for a few 40-minute sessions

with a coach. High standard coaching

is highly effective if you want to keep

improving, but no coach in the world

does the work for you. You can improve

so much from hard practice, training

and putting in the hours yourself.

World-class coaches, fancy facilities and

equipment are helpful but not essential.

Hard work costs nothing but your time

and energy – and you need lots of that if

you want to get better at squash.

Practicing with technical faults is not

ideal but there are plenty of world

standard players who have reached high

levels with what some experts might call

dodgy technique. If you were to study

the top 20 squash players in the world

no technique is the same. There is no

right way to play the sport because so

many have done it so well so differently.

Watch, Watch, Watch

Watch squash. Watch the best players

play a lot and watch less good players

sometimes. See how the best do it and

see also when it’s done less well – if you

can discern the difference.

When we watch, we absorb and try to

emulate. When we see and store images

and patterns of play we can call on them

and take inspiration and ideas from

them. It’s almost plagiarism.

Inspiration is hard to come by when

your experiences give you nothing to

work with. If you’ve seen it, you can

draw upon it. Budding singers will

listen to Pavarotti; writers will read

Shakespeare; tennis players will enjoy

Federer. And squash? Try Amr Shabana

or Ramy Ashour, whose videos are

online, or if you can, go see the best

players in the flesh.

Look After Your Body

Squash places enormous stresses and

imbalances on the body. There is a great

deal of impact going through joints and

muscles in every rally. Prepare the body

as best you can with the time you have,

in a very specific way.

If you only have two chances to train

in a week, use them wisely. I’d advise

against going for two five-mile runs or

doing 10 sets of all-out arm curl efforts

in front of the mirror. These exercises

are little to do with the movements

specific to squash.

Train, Play & Practice At Different

Intensities

Make sure there is some direction in

every session you do. Your solo practice

during your lunch break can be either

valuable or useless depending on how

you do it. Think about the best way to

spend that time.

During much of your practice you will

want to work with intent and intensity,

because that is what is required in a tough

match, so it’s wise to think about what

you want to improve during the session.

Try to create a scenario where you

concentrate for five-minute spells very

intently. Avoid just hitting the ball any

old way and thinking about dinner at

the same time; make every shot you

hit severe and purposeful. Shorten the

session if you like, but do what you do

as well as you possibly can.

18 | September 2017 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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FIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SQUASH

BY JAMES WILLSTROP

People are obsessed with quick

fixes and many fork out hundreds of

pounds a month for a few 40-minute

sessions with a coach

Think about the shots or plays that

let you down in your previous match

and work on them, making your

concentration match-like. It’s not easy

to do and requires effort. I’ve said it

before, anyone can practice badly.

Conversely though, if you are

training hard, make time for some

sessions which are easy, not

mentally taxing. Get into a group

and simply enjoy it. That’s good for

improvement too. If I’ve come off

a hard tournament I will try to give

myself a few days of relaxed practice

where the aim of the sessions is to

enjoy it, have fun or maybe just mess

about, hitting any shot I want.

James Willstrop is an UNSQUASHABLE brand

ambassador and sponsored player.

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 19

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Q&A: IKER PAJARES BERNABEU

Spanish star Iker

Pajares Bernabeu talks with

Q&ARising

International Squash Magazine.

IKERPAJARES

BERNABEU

Best sporting memory:

Watching Borja Golan defeating Gregory

Gaultier in the final of the European

Championship in 2016 and becoming the

first ever Spaniard to win the title.

Sports watched:

Tennis and swimming. If I had to choose

one, I’d say swimming.

Sports played:

Only squash

Why a life in sport, or if it hadn’t

happened, what would you have done

instead?

I was born to be an athlete. Sport makes

me happy and healthy, so what better

than turning your happiness into a paid

job? I can safely say that if I didn’t play

squash, I’d be competing in other sports.

Toughest part of your sporting life:

The toughest part of my sporting life is

travelling and food.

Travelling makes you really tired and I

have serious problems with food when

I`m not at home. It’s hard to maintain

your normal eating habits and that’s

why I always try to stay in an apartment

instead of a hotel to have the possibility

of cooking my own meals.

Most memorable sporting moment:

Winning all my PSA World Tour titles.

There is a story behind every title. I can’t

choose one, I’d say all of them.

Worst sporting moment:

I had one of the worst weeks of my life

in Mumbai where I was playing a PSA

tournament. My teammate and I had

terrible stomach ache and a high fever

during the tournament. The food made

us very sick.

Sporting heroes:

Rafael Nadal and Nick Matthew.

Favourite venue and why:

I love playing in Malaysia. It’s my

favourite country and I had unforgettable

experiences there. The food and the

country are so nice so it feels like home.

The Barcelona Open is also one of my

favourite venues. Playing in front of

my team and family gives me extra

motivation.

Sporting event you would pay the most

to see:

I’d have paid a lot of money to see Rafael

Nadal winning his first ever Roland

Garros in 2005.

Question asked most often by the

public:

Unfortunately, “What is squash?”

And the answer:

I basically explain what squash is. The

rules, system, events…

Greatest change you would like to see

in the running of your sport:

It would be amazing for squash to be in

the Olympics and to have the opportunity

to show the world how hard and

entertaining our sport is.

How well is squash covered in the

media?

It’s improving so fast. SquashTV is

doing an unbelievable job. The new

technologies are really helping to make

this sport much better covered by TV

and make it exciting to watch.

Sporting motto:

“Don’t burn your opportunities for a

temporary comfort”

Who would you most like to invite to

dinner and why?

I’d love to invite the legend Nicol

David. She is a ten as a person and as

a player. I’d be all night learning from

her and asking and asking… Would she

marry me?

Iker Pajares Bernabeu is an

UNSQUASHABLE brand ambassador

and sponsored player.

Country: Spain

Date of Birth: 22nd March 1996

Place of Birth: Barcelona, Spain

Place of Residence: Barcelona, Spain

Marital Status: Single

Highest PSA World Ranking: 65

PSA World Tour Titles: 5

PSA World Tour Finals: 3

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 21

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


IF HISTORY IS AN INDICATION,

YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE


AJ BELL PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

MANCHESTER 2017

The biggest event on the international squash calendar, the 2017

AJ Bell PSA World Championships will light up Manchester between

the 8th to 17th December when the greatest players in the world

descend on the UK’s leading sporting city to battle it out for the right

to be crowned World Champion.

Qualification and early rounds of the

prestigious event will be held at the

renowned National Squash Centre, while

the quarter-final stage onwards will see

the championships move to Manchester

Central in the heart of the city.

Of the 150+ players competing, only

two will taste the ultimate glory and

International Squash Magazine takes a

look at at the main contenders.

WOMEN’S FAVOURITES:

Laura Massaro (ENG)

One of England’s greatest ever squash

players, Laura Massaro’s determination

and will to win have seen her become a

perennial title challenger who, aged 33,

shows no signs of slowing down.

What she lacks in natural shot-making

flair, Massaro makes up for in a

combination of mental fortitude,

resilience, physical strength and

supreme fitness - forming a package

that makes her almost impossible to

beat on her day.

The reigning British Open Champion

will have the advantage of having a

passionate home crowd behind her in

Manchester and, having captured the

2013 World Championship title, she has

all the big match experience to deal with

the pressure.

The former World No.1 will be hoping for

a favourable draw in the early rounds

to enable her to reach the latter stages

in full fitness - where the dangers of an

intensely competitive field will lie in wait.

Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Despite being just 21-years-old Nour El

Sherbini has dominated the PSA World

Tour for the past 18 months, maintaining

the World No.1 spot unbroken

throughout that period and winning

the past two editions of the World

Championship.

Her victory in 2015, coming from 0-2

down to defeat Massaro, saw her

crowned the youngest-ever Women’s

World Champion and she will be a firm

favourite to complete a hat-trick of wins

this December.

A sublime finisher and shot-maker, El

Sherbini is one of the most exciting

players on the PSA World Tour but

one who also harbours a fierce inner

determination and fire that forms the

backbone to her success.

The burden of expectation will not phase

a player who has been at the very top of

the game since her teenage years.

Raneem El Welily (EGY)

One of the world’s most naturally gifted

and skilful players, Raneem El Welily is

an enigmatic character who is at times

sublime and at times perplexing.

A consistent figure inside the top five

since 2012, a period that saw her become

the first player in nine years to dethrone

Nicol David and become the first-ever

female Egyptian World No.1, El Welily has

at times failed to deliver on the promise

that accompanies her talent.

When she puts her game together she is

arguably the best player on World Tour

but mental lapses and concentration issues

seem to accompany her into every event.

She has appeared in two World

Championship finals previously, where she

fell to defeat against Nicol David in 2014

after holding multiple match balls, and then

to El Sherbini in 2016. If she can conquer

her mental doubts, she will be a force to

reckon with in 2017.

Camille Serme (FRA)

The only female player to claim two World

Series titles during the 2016/17 season,

lifting both the U.S. Open and Tournament

of Champions titles, Camille Serme is a

complete all-round player who is both

physically strong as well as gifted with the

racket in hand.

Since turning professional in 2005,

questions had surrounded the

Frenchwoman’s mental strength, but a newfound

approach adopted at the end of 2016

seemed to put those questions to bed - but

she is yet to taste success on the biggest

stage of all. A disappointing semi-final

exit during the last World Championship

instalment, an event she entered in the

form of her life, will have fuelled her

inner desire.

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 23

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


AJ BELL PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

MANCHESTER 2017

MEN’S FAVOURITES:

Mohamed ElShorbagy

A ferocious hitter with incredible physical

strength and mental determination,

Mohamed ElShorbagy has won every title

there is to win - except for the PSA World

Championship, and the Egyptian, who now

resides in Bristol, will be determined to

change that record in his adopted home

country this December.

ElShorbagy has twice lost out in the

championship final, to Ramy Ashour in both

2012 and 2014 in two of the greatest finals

ever, and will deeply feel the absence of the

biggest title of all.

The 25-year-old suffered a slump in form

during the 2016/17 season after spending

over two years atop the World Rankings,

but having finished the season on a high

with victory at the PSA Dubai World Series

Finals, will be out to settle his score with

the World Championships this year.

Gregory Gaultier

Current World No.1 Gaultier has been an

ever-present inside the World’s top 10 for

almost a decade and continues to defy age,

becoming the oldest ever No.1 at the age

of 34.

The enigmatic and charismatic star, dubbed

the ‘French General’ for his controlling and

dominating style of play, has gone from

strength-to-strength during the past two

years, only improving with age.

Having banished the mental demons that

plagued him during four previous World

Championship defeats, Gaultier won the

biggest title in squash in 2015 and will be

determined to double his tally before

he retires.

Karim Abdel Gawad

The defending World Champion, Karim

Abdel Gawad’s rise to prominence during

the 2016/17 season saw him capture the

World Championship crown and take the

World No.1 spot much to the surprise of

squash fans around the world.

The ‘Baby-faced assassin’s’ maturity

throughout the season saw him add a new

level of physical fitness to his supreme

racket control - a combination that allows

him to make the game look effortless.

Gawad is often a slow starter and key to a

successful title defence in Manchester will

be his ability to start strong and avoid a

series of consecutive five-game battles en

route to the latter stages.

Nick Matthew

Champion in 2013 when the tournament

last took place in Manchester, 37-year-old

Nick Matthew will be hoping for one last

hurrah in front of a partisan home crowd

in what will likely be his last ever World

Championship appearance.

Matthew has forged a career through his

fierce competitiveness, mental stubbornness

and legendary fitness which has seen him

grind down and despatch the sport’s very

best players for almost 20 years.

Victories in the 2010 and 2011 World

Championships saw him become the first

player in 15 years to win back-to-back world

titles and with the chance to join Geoff Hunt

as joint third on list of all time winners with

four titles, rest assured Matthew will leave

no stone unturned in his quest for success.

As well as the main contenders, there are

also many other key names to watch as

the top squash players head to Manchester

in December.

Ramy Ashour is one of the most gifted

players ever to play the game and is a real

fan favourite on the PSA World Tour - a

player of stunning, unpredictable capacity.

His victory in the 2014 World Championship

after a six-month injury absence was

one of the greatest ever, but victory this

December would perhaps even go beyond

that achievement.

Ali Farag has enjoyed a meteoric rise since

joining the PSA World Tour in 2009 with

the Egyptian already ranked inside the top

five and with many touting him as a future

World No.1. with a languid and relaxed

style, Farag is a master mover and sublime

finisher - traits that could see him sneak

under the radar come December.

Nouran Gohar is just 19 years of age and

is already a leading contender on the

women’s international circuit. A hard-hitting

style and physical strength make her a

nightmare for all opposition. If she can add

a few more nuances to her game, come

December she could be unbeatable.

Nicol David is one of the most decorated

sports stars of her generation and has been

crowned World Champion an incredible

eight times. The Malaysian has been on a

downward trajectory for the past two years,

but if anyone knows how to win on the

biggest stage of all, it is David.

Tickets for the AJ Bell PSA World

Championship can be booked

online at

www.ajbellworldchampionships.com

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 25

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


ASICS GEL-BLAST SQUASH SHOE

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The ASICS GEL-Blast is a proven favourite with squash players of all

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Through dedication to continuous research and innovation in

collaboration with world-class players competing on the men’s

and women’s PSA World Tours, including former British Open

Champion Laura Massaro, ASICS learn the needs of modern

squash players, helping to continually improve its products.

The latest edition of this long- standing performance

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outstanding comfort.

Dynamic Wrap technology supports the midfoot during fast

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For more information, please visit www.asics.co.uk

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 27

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


KARIM

A B DEL

G A W A D

W O R L D

CHAMPION

AVAILABLE NOW AT

PREFERRED RETAILER


MEN’S PSA WORLD RANKINGS

France

1 11

Born: 1982

Lives: Aix-en-Provence, France

GREGORY

GAULTIER

KARIM

ABDEL

GAWAD

England

6 16

Born: 1983

Lives: Leeds, England

JAMES

WILLSTROP

MARWAN

ELSHORBAGY

World Tour Titles: 38

Highest World Ranking: 1

Egypt

2 12

Born: 1991

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

MOHAMED

ELSHORBAGY

World Tour Titles: 18

Highest World Ranking: 1

Egypt

3 13

Born: 1991

Lives: Bristol, England

World Tour Titles: 19

Highest World Ranking: 1

Egypt

7 17

Born: 1993

Lives: Alexandria, Egypt

RAMY

ASHOUR

World Tour Titles: 24

Highest World Ranking: 1

England

4 14

Born: 1980

Lives: Sheffield, England

NICK

MATTHEW

World Tour Titles: 5

Highest World Ranking: 6

Egypt

8 18

Born: 1987

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

TAREK

MOMEN

World Tour Titles: 35

Highest World Ranking: 1

Egypt

5 15

Born: 1992

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

ALI

FARAG

World Tour Titles: 38

Highest World Ranking: 1

Egypt

9 19

Born: 1988

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

FARES

DESSOUKY

World Tour Titles: 9

Highest World Ranking: 5

World Tour Titles: 4

Highest World Ranking: 6

Egypt

10 20

Born: 1994

Lives: Alexandria, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 2

Highest World Ranking: 9

SIMON

RÖSNER

PAUL

COLL

DARYL

SELBY

RYAN

CUSKELLY

MOHAMED

ABOUELGHAR

BORJA

GOLAN

MAX

LEE

CAMERON

PILLEY

DIEGO

ELIAS

STEPHEN

COPPINGER

Germany

Born: 1987

Lives: Paderborn, Germany

World Tour Titles: 8

Highest World Ranking: 6

New Zealand

Born: 1992

Lives: Hoofddorp, Netherlands

World Tour Titles: 12

Highest World Ranking: 12

England

Born: 1982

Lives: Shenfield, England

World Tour titles: 12

Highest World Ranking: 9

Australia

Born: 1987

Lives: New York, USA

World Tour Titles: 15

Highest World Ranking: 12

Egypt

Born: 1993

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 6

Highest World Ranking: 15

Spain

Born: 1983

Lives: Santiago, Spain

World Tour Titles: 31

Highest World Ranking: 5

Hong Kong

Born: 1988

Lives: Hong Kong

World Tour Titles: 11

Highest World Ranking: 12

Australia

Born: 1982

Lives: Den Haag, Netherlands

World Tour titles: 13

Highest World Ranking: 11

Peru

Born: 1996

Lives: Lima, Peru

World Tour Titles: 4

Highest World Ranking: 19

South Africa

Born: 1984

Lives: Cape Town, SA

World Tour Titles: 10

Highest World Ranking: 14

For more information, visit: www.psaworldtour.com

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE September 2017 | 29

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


WOMEN’S PSA WORLD RANKINGS

1

NOUR EL

SHERBINI

Egypt

Born: 1996

Lives: Alexandria, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 10

Highest World Ranking: 1

11

NOUR EL

TAYEB

Egypt

Born: 1997

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 3

Highest World Ranking: 5

2

RANEEM

EL WELILY

Egypt

Born: 1989

Lives: Alexandria, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 15

Highest World Ranking: 1

12

JOELLE

KING

New Zealand

Born: 1988

Lives: Cambridge,

New Zealand

World Tour Titles: 10

Highest World Ranking: 4

3

CAMILLE

SERME

France

Born: 1989

Lives: Creteil, Paris

World Tour Titles: 13

Highest World Ranking: 2

13

EMILY

WHITLOCK

England

Born: 1994

Lives: Colwyn Bay, Wales

World Tour Titles: 15

Highest World Ranking: 13

4

LAURA

MASSARO

England

Born: 1983

Lives: Preston, England

World Tour Titles: 21

Highest World Ranking: 1

14

JOSHNA

CHINAPPA

India

Born: 1986

Lives: Chennai, India

World Tour titles: 11

Highest World Ranking: 10

5

NOURAN

GOHAR

Egypt

Born: 1997

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

World Tour Titles: 4

Highest World Ranking: 2

15

VICTORIA

LUST

England

Born: 1989

Lives: Victoria, Canada

World Tour Titles: 9

Highest World Ranking: 14

6

NICOL

DAVID

Malaysia

Born: 1983

Lives: Penang, Malaysia

World Tour Titles: 81

Highest World Ranking: 1

16

TESNI

EVANS

Wales

Born: 1992

Lives: Rhyl, Wales

World Tour titles: 1

Highest World Ranking: 16

7

SARAH-

JANE

PERRY

England

Born: 1991

Lives: Kenilworth, England

World Tour Titles: 8

Highest World Ranking: 7

17

OLIVIA

BLATCHFORD

USA

Born: 1993

Lives: Wilton, USA

World Tour Titles: 5

Highest World Ranking: 17

8

AMANDA

SOBHY

USA

Born: 1993

Lives: New York

World Tour Titles: 14

Highest World Ranking: 6

18

DONNA

URQUHART

Australia

Born: 1987

Lives: Brisbane, Australia

World Tour Titles: 9

Highest World Ranking: 13

9

ALISON

WATERS

England

Born: 1984

Lives: London, England

World Tour Titles: 10

Highest World Ranking: 3

19

JOEY

CHAN

Hong Kong

Born: 1988

Lives: Hong Kong

World Tour Titles: 6

Highest World Ranking: 16

10

ANNIE

AU

Hong Kong

Born: 1989

Lives: Hong Kong

World Tour Titles: 13

Highest World Ranking: 5

20

SALMA HANY

IBRAHIM

England

Born: 1996

Lives: Alexandria, Egypt

World Tour titles: 3

Highest World Ranking: 19

For more information, visit: www.psaworldtour.com

30 | September 2017 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


8-17 DECEMBER

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