International Squash Magazine - Allam British Open Issue

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INTERNATIONAL

JUNE | 2019

ISSN 2042-7611

UK £3.00 | € 4.50 | USA $ 5.50

MAGAZINE

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


ISSN 2042-7611

CONTENTS

INTERNATIONAL

Front Cover

2019 Allam British Open Winners

Mohamed ElShorbagy & Nouran Gohar

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

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Catherine Levack

JUNE | 2019

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE

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MAGAZINE

Acknowledgements:

Professional Squash Association

www.squashsite.com

Howard Harding, World Squash Federation

World Media Director

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CONTENTS

MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY & NOURAN GOHAR WIN

2019 ALLAM BRITISH OPEN TITLES

05 EGYPTIAN DUO NOURAN GOHAR AND MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY WERE CROWNED 2019 ALLAM

BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONS FOLLOWING IMPRESSIVE VICTORIES OVER CAMILLE SERME AND ALI

FARAG IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FINALS STAGED AT THE ALLAM SPORT CENTRE IN HULL.

ENGLAND & FRANCE CROWNED EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONS

09 A DRAMATIC FINALS DAY AT THE 2019 EUROPEAN TEAM SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS AT

EDGBASTON PRIORY CLUB IN BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, SAW HOSTS ENGLAND RECLAIM THE MEN’S

TITLE AND FRANCE DETHRONE 40-TIMES CHAMPIONS ENGLAND TO WIN THE WOMEN’S TROPHY

FOR THE FIRST TIME.

JOELLE KING WINS INAUGURAL MANCHESTER OPEN

11 NEW ZEALAND’S JOELLE KING CLAIMED THE MANCHESTER OPEN TITLE WITH A STRAIGHT GAMES

VICTORY OVER TESNI EVANS OF WALES IN THE FINAL OF THE INAUGURAL PSA WORLD TOUR SILVER

EVENT.

PSA WORLD TOUR FINALS TO BE HELD IN CAIRO

13 THE PRESTIGIOUS PSA WORLD TOUR FINALS WILL BE HELD IN EGYPT FOR THE FIRST TIME

AFTER AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED BETWEEN THE PROFESSIONAL SQUASH ASSOCIATION (PSA)

AND TITLE SPONSORS CIB TO BRING THE WORLD’S LEADING SQUASH PLAYERS TO THE WADI

DEGLA CLUB IN CAIRO BETWEEN THE 8TH AND 13TH JUNE FOR THE SEASON-ENDING TOURNAMENT.

RAMY ASHOUR RETIRES FROM PROFESSIONAL SQUASH

14 EGYPT’S THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION RAMY ASHOUR, WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED AS ONE OF

THE MOST TALENTED PLAYERS OF THE MODERN GENERATION, HAS ANNOUNCED HIS IMMEDIATE

RETIREMENT FROM PROFESSIONAL SQUASH

THE BIG PICTURE: JAHANGIR KHAN WINS 1ST BRITISH OPEN TITLE

16 AS PART OF OUR COLLECTION OF SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE IMAGES FROM THE SPORT,

INTERNATIONAL SQUASH MAGAZINE PRESENTS ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE & MOST INSPIRING

PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING THE GREAT JAHANGIR KHAN AFTER WINNING HIS FIRST OF A RECORD 10

BRITISH OPEN TITLES IN 1982.

LAURA MASSARO RETIRES

18 LAURA MASSARO, THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FEMALE ENGLISH PLAYER OF THE MODERN ERA WHO

IN 2014 BECAME THE FIRST ENGLISHWOMAN IN 15 YEARS TO LIFT THE PSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

TITLE, PLAYED HER LAST COMPETITIVE MATCH ON THE PSA WORLD TOUR AT THE ALLAM BRITISH

OPEN, A TITLE SHE CLAIMED TWICE IN HER STELLAR CAREER.

ALI FARAG & RANEEM EL WELILY CROWNED DPD OPEN

CHAMPIONS

21 EGYPT’S WORLD NO.1’S ALI FARAG AND RANEEM EL WELILY WERE CROWNED 2019 DPD OPEN

CHAMPIONS WITH RESPECTIVE WINS OVER MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY AND NOUR EL SHERBINI

AT THE NEW DPD HEADQUARTERS IN EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS, WHICH MARKED THE GRAND

OPENING OF THE TITLE SPONSORS NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTRE.

ALI FARAG & RANEEM EL WELILY WIN

EL GOUNA INTERNATIONAL TITLES

22 ALI FARAG AND RANEEM EL WELILY CONTINUED THEIR DOMINANT FORM ON THE PSA

WORLD TOUR BY TAKING THE HONOURS AT AN ALL-EGYPTIAN FINALS NIGHT AT THE EL GOUNA

INTERNATIONAL AS THEY BEAT KARIM ABDEL GAWAD AND NOURAN GOHAR IN THEIR RESPECTIVE

FINALS AT THE SPECTACULAR ABU TIG MARINA TO COLLECT THE SILVERWARE IN SUCCESSIVE

INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS.

MELIOR SQUASH

25 THREE YEARS AGO, MELIOR SQUASH WAS A RELATIVE UNKNOWN IN THE SQUASH WORLD.

TODAY THE COMPANY IS WELL RECOGNISED AS A LEADING PROVIDER OF SQUASH COURT

SERVICES, WITH A STRONG REPUTATION AND AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF PROJECTS INCLUDING THE

CONSTRUCTION OF BOTH PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY COURTS.

SQUASH COURT SPECIFICATIONS

26 LEADING COURT PROVIDER ASB EXPLAINS WHY STRICT COURT SPECIFICATIONS ARE SO

IMPORTANT TO THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT AT ALL LEVELS.

MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY CROWNED GRASSHOPPER CUP CHAMPION

27 MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY OVERCAME FELLOW EGYPTIAN TAREK MOMEN 11-8 13-11 11-8 TO BE

CROWNED 2019 GRASSHOPPER CUP CHAMPION AT ZURICH’S HALLE 622.

EDMON LOPEZ & LUCY TURMEL CROWNED SPRINGFIELD

SCOTTISH OPEN CHAMPIONS

28 THANKS LARGELY TO THE BACKING OF ONE OF SCOTLAND’S LEADING HOUSEBUILDERS,

SPRINGFIELD PROPERTIES, THE SCOTTISH OPEN MADE A HUGELY SUCCESSFUL COMEBACK TO THE

PSA WORLD TOUR FOLLOWING AN 18-YEAR HIATUS WITH EDMON LOPEZ OF SPAIN AND ENGLAND’S

LUCY TURMEL EVENTUALLY CROWNED RESPECTIVE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS AT THE

ORIAM, SCOTLAND’S SPORTS PERFORMANCE CENTRE IN EDINBURGH.

WORLD RANKINGS

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

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 03

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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


ALLAM BRITISH OPEN

MOHAMEDELSHORBAGY

&NOURANGOHARWIN

2019ALLAMBRITISHOPENTITLES

Egyptian duo Nouran Gohar and Mohamed ElShorbagy were

crowned 2019 Allam British Open champions following impressive

victories over Camille Serme and Ali Farag in their respective finals

staged at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull.

The British Open is the sport’s longest-running tournament,

and Gohar, the two-time former World Junior Champion,

put her name in the history books with a sensational

dismantling of Serme as she powered to an 11-3 11-8 11-3

victory in just 30 minutes to win the women’s event.

Gohar, the hard-hitting 21-year-old who was runner-up to

Nour El Sherbini in 2016, stormed to a comfortable victory

over 2015 winner Serme to lift her first PSA World Tour

Platinum title since the Hong Kong Open in August 2016.

“It means so much to me, especially because it is the British

Open,” said an emotional Gohar after lifting the seventh

PSA World Tour title of her career.

“I feel very comfortable. The environment, the city itself, it

feels a bit like home. It is very cosy here and it really helps

me to feel good on court. To have the accuracy, you have

to be both relaxed and focused. I feel this attitude and

environment really helped me.

“This morning after my hit, I started crying. I never did that

before. Even in Hong Kong, I didn’t do that. I think I was

very young, so maybe I couldn’t really comprehend how

much it meant to me to be in the final of a major event. My

mum kept telling me to enjoy the occasion and to relax. She

told me to take the chance and if I played my best then I

would take the win.

“When I won the Hong Kong Open, she [her mother] was

there as well. I think she might be my lucky charm, and

there is also someone who is not always with me, but he is

the main reason for what I have. My dad is the reason why I

play squash because he loves it so much,” added Gohar who

earlier in the championships had defeated Nour El Tayeb

and World No.1 Raneem El Welily en-route to her second

British Open final.

The men’s final saw ElShorbagy capture the third British

Open title of his career after he overcame World No.1 and

World Champion Farag 11-9 5-11 11-5 11-9 in 66 minutes to add

to his 2015 and 2016 triumphs.

ElShorbagy, who also finished as runner-up 12 months ago,

had lost three of his four matches with Farag this season,

but a fired-up performance from the 28-year-old saw him

earn the win in the latest instalment of their rivalry.

Whilst Farag came through a brutal 77-minute semifinal

with New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the semi-finals,

his opponent hadn’t dropped a game throughout the

championships, which ultimately proved decisive in allowing

Elshorbagy to become the first Egyptian since Abdelfattah

AbouTaleb in 1966 to win a trio of British Open crowns.

“I have such respect for Ali. What he achieved this season is

unbelievable,” said ElShorbagy.

“Our last match last season in Dubai, he told me that what

I did last season was inspirational. This time is it my turn

to say that what he has done this season was inspirational.

Normally, winning the US Open, Hong Kong and British

Open in one season would be enough to keep me at No.1.

“Ali just showed consistency throughout and he was the

toughest I had to face. We are going to improve each other

for the rest of our careers and after a lot of great players

have retired, I think squash now needs a new rivalry. The

people need a new rivalry and hopefully we can both give

the people what they want and what they will enjoy.”

It means so much to me, especially because it

is the British Open

NOURAN GOHAR

06 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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ALLAM BRITISH OPEN

The people need a new rivalry and hopefully we can both

give the people what they want and what they will enjoy

MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY

2019 Allam British Open, Hull

Men’s Final:

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag

(EGY) 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9

Women’s Final:

[7] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA)

11-3, 11-8, 11-3

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 07

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EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

ENGLAND&FRANCE

CROWNEDEUROPEANTEAMCHAMPIONS

A dramatic finals day at the 2019 European Team Squash

Championships at Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham, England

saw hosts England reclaim the men’s title and France dethrone 40-times

champions England to win the women’s trophy for the first time.

England were the favourites for the

women’s title, having beaten France in the

last five finals and only having previously

failed to emerge as champions once, in

2010, in the event’s 41-year history.

Camille Serme put France ahead with

victory over Sarah-Jane Perry in four

games, but former World No.1 Laura

Massaro levelled the tie after overcoming

Coline Aumard, also in four games.

In the decider, Melissa Alves came flying

out of the block, taking the first two

games 11-1 11-3 against England’s higherranked

Victoria Lust, whom she had never

before beaten. Lust fought back to take

the third, and again from 1-7 down in

the fourth drew level at eight-all. But it

was Alves who took the next two points,

winning her second match ball with front

court winner from Alves, a no let for Lust,

and to French disbelief and delight they

had finally become women’s European

Team Champions.

“We thought it was possible,” said a

delighted French Manager Philippe

Signoret. “Melissa can play very well and

she was on fire in the first two games.

This squad has a great history. I’ve known

them since they were seven, so to see

them do this is fantastic for them, and for

France. And in England, too!”

Serme, making her 14th appearance for

France in the championships, was ecstatic:

“We’ve been trying to win this for so long

now, it feels great. Thanks to England for

pushing us over the years, we’re delighted

to finally win one.”

In the men’s final, England faced Spain,

the third seeds, who had upset defending

champions France in the semi-finals to

reach the final for the first time in the

event’s 47-year history.

England had beaten Spain 4-0 in the

pool stages, but Spanish No.1 Borja Golan

missed that tie and immediately made

amends by beating England No.1 Declan

James in the opening match to put the

underdogs ahead.

James Willstrop, a veteran England

campaigner making his 16th appearance in

the event, put the second seeds level with

a straight-games win over the previous

day’s Spanish hero Iker Pajares Bernabeu.

Daryl Selby twice came from behind to

put England ahead with a five-game win

over Bernat Jaume which left England

needing just one game from the final

match and Spain requiring a 3-0 win and

points countback.

But England’s Tom Richards was always

ahead against Edmon Lopez, and clinched

victory by taking the game 11-9 as Lopez

dived in vain into the back corner.

“I’m really proud to have been able

to captain this team to the title,” said

36-year-old Daryl Selby. “It’s been a long

time since the event was held at home,

so to do it here with the support of the

crowd makes it even more special.

Earlier on finals day, sisters Nele Gilis and

Tinne Gilis steered Belgium to victory

over Scotland in the women’s third-place

play-off to win Bronze for the second year

in a row whilst Scotland’s men went one

better by beating France in the men’s

third-place play-off to record their best

finish since 2016.

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 09

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PSAWORLDTOUR.COM/TV

EUROSPORTPLAYER.COM


MANCHESTER OPEN

JOELLEKINGWINSINAUGURAL

MANCHESTEROPEN

New Zealand’s Joelle King claimed the Manchester Open title with

a straight games victory over Tesni Evans of Wales in final of the

inaugural PSA World Tour Silver event.

King, the reigning Commonwealth Games

Gold Medalist, dropped just a single game

leading up to the final and continued her

impressive form to win a tight first game

before powering to an 11-8 11-2 11-4 victory.

British Champion Evans had prevailed in

two mammoth five-game battles against

Sarah-Jane Perry and top seed Nour El

Tayeb in the quarter-finals & semi-finals

respectively, but was unable to continue

that momentum as she struggled to put

a halt to a confident King, who eased to

victory in 33 minutes to claim her second

title of the season.

“I’m over the moon,” said 30-year-old

King following her win. “Someone had to

lose tonight, but Tesni can hold her head

up high after what she has achieved this

week. She has a few years on me yet, so

I’m sure that she will be back stronger.

“She has shown all week that she never

gives up. She came from 2-0 down

against the World No.3, so I came out in

the third like it was the first and never

slowed down and I came out on the right

side tonight.

“It’s special to win any event, coming

off Hong Kong it has been a long time

in between, but it makes it even more

special when it is the first women’s-only

event here. I have to say a huge thank

you to Manchester for holding this

event in partnership with PSA and all

the volunteers and spectators who have

supported us this week.”

Evans added afterwards: “After the week

I’ve had, she’s definitely someone I didn’t

want to play.

“I’m obviously disappointed that I couldn’t

put up a big enough fight, but she was

just too good. She was on everything

early and when you’ve had some tough

matches under your belt it was tough.

“I just tried to give everything and on

reflection, after a disappointing day, I can

reflect on it and take a lot of good things

from the week I have had.”

Supported by Manchester City Council,

the The Manchester Open follows the

successful staging of the award-winning

AJ Bell PSA World Championships in

the city in December 2017, where equal

prize money was on offer across both

the men’s and women’s events for the

first time in the tournament’s history.

2019 Manchester Open Final

National Squash Centre

Manchester

Final:

[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt

[6] Tesni Evans (WAL)

11-8, 11-2, 11-4

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MORE THAN BUILDING FOUR WALLS

EXPERIENCE

QUALITY

PASSION

ENGINEERING

DISRUPTION

1976 The first ASB SquashCourt

1978 ASB Pro GlassBackWall

1979 ASB movable wall

1979 ASB rotary GlassBackWall

1981 The healthy ASB SportsFloor

1990 ASB GameCourt

1991 ASB SquashCourt System 100

1995 ASB RainbowCourts

1998 ASB ShowGlassCourt

2000 ASB SensitiveTin

2001 ASB TopSquash

2006 ASB GlassFloor

2007 First Glass Court on a cruise ship

2009 ASB ShowGlassCourt (upgrade: glass fins replace metal poles)

2011 ASB RefereeSystem and ASB TopSquash (screens)

2011 ASB ShowGlassCourt/upgrade: bigger panels, TV visibility

2012 ASB TVO Floor (TV optimised)

2013 ASB ShowGlassCourt / upgrade: LED (out, service and tin) lines

2014 ASB System 100/L (floor runs under wall)

2014 ASB Permanent GlassCourt

2015 ASB EventGameCourt

2015 ASB PublicSquashCourt

2016 ASB LumiFlex (full LED video sports floor)

2017 ASB TPoint (the revolutionary squash hub)

WWW.AS B S Q U A S H .C O M


PSA WORLD TOUR FINALS

PSAWORLDTOURFINALS

TOBEHELDINCAIRO

The prestigious PSA World Tour Finals will be held in Egypt for the

first time after an agreement was reached between the Professional

Squash Association (PSA) and title sponsors CIB to bring the world’s

leading squash players to the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo between the 8th

and 13th June for the season-ending tournament.

Having been successfully staged in Dubai

over the past three seasons at venues

such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera and

Emirates Golf Club, the CIB PSA World Tour

Finals will act as the season finale to the

2018/19 PSA World Tour campaign.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals feature the

world’s top eight male and female players

and will be the third major professional

squash tournament to be held at the Wadi

Degla Club after it hosted the 2016 PSA

Men’s World Championships and the 2014

PSA Women’s World Championships.

“The PSA World Tour Finals always provide

a fitting climax to the PSA World Tour

season and we are excited to be staging

this season’s tournament in Cairo,” said

PSA Chairman and A. A. Turki Group of

Companies (ATCO) Chairman Ziad Al-Turki.

“With a number of the sport’s highest-ranking

players hailing from Egypt, squash already

has significant presence and popularity in

the country, and we hope to build on that by

holding the World Tour Finals there.

“I would like to thank both the Wadi Degla

Club and CIB for their support in staging

this event, and I look forward to watching

the action unfold in June.”

CIB Chief Executive and Board Member

Hussein Abaza, said: “We are delighted to

sponsor the PSA World Tour Finals and

remain committed to supporting world-class

squash in Egypt. We have been involved in a

number of major tournaments in the region

already this season and we will also serve

as title sponsor for the PSA Women’s World

Championships, which will bring the world’s

best back to the Great Pyramid of Giza,

one of the most iconic venues in sporting

history.

“Our sponsorship of the PSA World Tour

Finals will see us build on a successful

partnership with PSA, and I for one

cannot wait to see some of the greatest

athletes in world sport take to the court

in Cairo in June.”

Wadi Degla Squash Director, Karim Darwish,

said: “We are excited to be bringing the

PSA World Tour finals to Egypt for the

first time in the tournament’s history,

and I believe that the Wadi Degla Club will

provide the perfect venue for squash’s

season finale.

“The Wadi Degla Club is no stranger

to hosting the world’s biggest squash

tournaments and I look forward to

welcoming players to Cairo on June 8th

for what promises to be a thrilling week.

I would also like to thank CIB for their

support and look forward to working with

both them and PSA in the coming months.”

The six-day event will offer a total prize

purse of $320,000 split equally between

the men’s and women’s events. Players will

be split into two groups of four and will play

round-robin best-of-three matches in the

group stages, with the top two from each

group progressing to the knockout semifinals

and beyond.

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RAMY ASHOUR RETIRES

RAMYASHOURRETIRES

FROMPROFESSIONALSQUASH

During my

25 years on the

squash court, I won

a combined eight

World Championships

(including senior,

junior and team), and

I never loved anything

more than I have loved

the game of squash

14 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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RAMY ASHOUR RETIRES

Egypt’s three-time World Champion Ramy

Ashour, widely acknowledged as one of the

most talented players of the modern generation,

has announced his immediate retirement from

professional squash.

Known as ‘The Artist’, Cairo-born

Ashour, spent 21 months at World No.1

between 2010-2013 and won PSA World

Championship titles in 2008, 2012 and

2014. The last of his world title triumphs

saw Ashour return after a six-month

injury absence to claim the sport’s

biggest title in stunning style, beating

long-term rival Mohamed ElShorbagy in

the final - a match which has gone down

in history as one of the greatest matches

of all time.

In 2013, Ashour also became the first

Egyptian for 47 years to win the sport’s

oldest tournament, the British Open,

which came in the midst of a 49-match

unbeaten run as he won nine successive

PSA World Tour titles.

Since making his PSA debut in 2004,

Ashour has lifted 40 titles on the

international circuit from 59 finals,

winning a total of 358 of his 435

matches on the PSA tour. Ashour’s final

tournament win came at the Grasshopper

Cup in March 2018 as he tore through

the draw without dropping a game, again

beating ElShorbagy in the final.

Ashour was also voted the second

greatest male player of all time

behind Pakistan’s Jahangir Khan in

the summer of 2018, with thousands

of squash fans taking part in a poll

conducted by the PSA.

Despite his undoubted skills with a

racket, Ashour has been ravaged by

injury over the past decade, suffering a

range of hamstring and knee injuries. The

latter has kept him out of action since

last May, with his final ever appearance

coming at the 2018 British Open.

“I’m not the biggest fan of beginnings

and endings,” said Ashour.

“During my 25 years on the squash

court, I won a combined eight World

Championships (including senior, junior

and team), and I never loved anything

more than I have loved the game of

squash. Squash has given me so much

but also took a lot from me physically

and mentally.

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough added:

“Ramy has inspired countless aspiring

squash players around the world and is

without a doubt one of the most talented

players the game has ever seen.

“I would like to take this opportunity to

thank Ramy for his contributions to the

PSA Tour over the past 15 years and

everyone at the PSA wishes him well for

the future.”

Ramy has inspired countless of aspiring squash

players around the world and is without a doubt one of

the most talented players the game has ever seen

ALEX GOUGH, PSA CHIEF EXECUTIVE

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 15

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THE BIG PICTURE: JAHANGIR KHAN WINS

FIRST BRITISH OPEN TITLE

THEBIGPICTURE

As part of our collection of some of the most memorable images from the sport,

International Squash Magazine presents one of our favourite & most inspiring

photographs showing the great Jahangir Khan after winning his first of a record 10

British Open titles in 1982.

16 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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THE BIG PICTURE: JAHANGIR KHAN WINS

FIRST BRITISH OPEN TITLE

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 17

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LAURA MASSARO RETIRES

LAURAMASSARORETIRES

Laura Massaro, the most successful female English player of the

modern era who in 2014 became the first Englishwoman in 15 years to lift

the PSA World Championship title, played her last competitive match on

the PSA World Tour at the Allam British Open, a title she claimed twice in

her stellar career.

In 2013, Massaro ended a 22-year

wait for a female English player to be

crowned British Open champion, a feat

she repeated in 2017 to become the

first Englishwoman since 1951 to win

squash’s longest-running tournament

on two occasions.

The only Englishwoman to win both the

World Championship and British Open

titles, trophies which she held at the

same time, Massaro also topped the

PSA Women’s World Rankings for four

months in 2016, making her one of just

three female English players to hold the

No.1 ranking.

Massaro has been ever-present in the

world’s top 10 since May 2008 and, since

turning professional in 2000, won 23

PSA Tour World titles from 43 finals,

with her most recent trophy win coming

at the Monte Carlo Classic in December

where she defeated Tesni Evans of Wales

in the final.

Away from the PSA Tour, Massaro also

has three Commonwealth Games Silver

Medals and four British National titles to

her name, while she led England to the

Women’s World Team Championships

crown in 2014 after four runner-up

finishes at the tournament.

“I’ve been really lucky to have a healthy

body, a really long career, and it’s

probably been more than I’ve ever

expected in terms of titles and my

achievements in the game,” Massaro said.

“There’s no point in trying to chase the

world’s best when my best level of squash

is probably behind me, and it’s going to

be very hard to get that back. I’ve always

gone after being the best in the world and

winning titles. But I think its time to hang

up the racket, give a little bit back now

and watch these amazing youngsters do

their thing on court.

“I’m hugely proud of what I achieved, I

always wanted to be successful, I wanted

to hang up my racket feeling that I

couldn’t have achieved any more in the

game than I have, whether it was titles or

the level of play.

“That’s down to everyone who has

helped me in my career. There are too

many people to mention, but DP [David

Pearson] and Danny [husband Massaro]

go without saying. I owe my level of

squash to them, along with all the other

coaches who have helped me on my way.

“They, along with the physios,

fasciotherapists, Caroline, Jade, Vicky

and Sylvan, have helped my movement

be so efficient and have given me my

longevity, along with Mark Campbell, who

has given me the strength and fitness to

maintain my level. Without all of them,

my career wouldn’t have been what it

has been.

“I also want to say thank you to my

family and friends who have been there

supporting me in the ups and downs of my

career since I was a young junior player.”

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said:

“Laura has always been a consummate

professional. Her success on the tour has

been testament to her hard work and

unwavering mental strength.

“Laura has been an incredible role

model for aspiring squash players, and

everyone at the PSA wishes her well for

the future.”

Laura has always been a consummate professional. Her

success on the tour has been testament to her hard work and

unwavering mental strength

ALEX GOUGH, PSA CHIEF EXECUTIVE

18 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


LAURA MASSARO RETIRES

I’m hugely proud of what

I achieved, I always wanted

to be successful, I wanted to

hang up my racket feeling

that I couldn’t have

achieved any more

in the game than

I have

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 19

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DPD OPEN CHAMPIONS

ALIFARAG&RANEEMELWELILY

CROWNEDDPDOPENCHAMPIONS

Egypt’s World No.1’s Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily were crowned

2019 DPD Open champions with respective wins over Mohamed

ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini at the new DPD headquarters in

Eindhoven, Netherlands, which marked the grand opening of the title

sponsors new distribution centre.

El Welily claimed her second successive

title on the Professional Squash

Association (PSA) World Tour after

producing an incredible comeback from 2-0

down to win 10-12 9-11 11-8 11-8 11-8 against

reigning World Champion El Sherbini.

The top seed, who had been extended to

five games in all of her earlier matches,

held numerous game balls in the first

game, but El Sherbini battled back to

rattle off the points in quick succession to

eventually take the opener on a tie-break.

The three-time World Champion doubled

her advantage in the second, however her

fellow Egyptian showed incredible mental

strength to battle back in style to claim

her 21st professional title.

“The five-setters really paid off eventually,”

said 30-year-old El Welily. “To come back

from 2-0 down against Nour is almost

impossible, mentally at least, so I’m really

happy with the way I managed to push

myself mentally and physically and show

some character towards the end.”

World No.1 and World Champion Ali Farag

dominated his rival ElShorbagy to claim

the men’s title - the first meeting between

the two world’s leading players since the

final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of

Champions in January which Farag won

to claim the World No.1 spot from his

illustrious compatriot.

The first game looked as though it would

set the tempo for the rest of the match,

with both players showcasing their ability

to send it all the way to a tense tie-break,

which ElShorbagy eventually claimed.

However, Farag came out firing in the

second and never looked back as he

controlled the rest of the match against a

below-par ElShorbagy to take an 11-13 11-6

11-4 11-4 victory.

“The first game was really tough, and it

was a tough one to lose,” said Farag.

“I’m glad I regrouped myself and Nour

[El Tayeb] gave me a very good tip after

the first. It’s always a pleasure to share

the court with someone who is one of the

greats of our sport and I’m looking forward

to many more battles in the future.

“He was No.1 when I was starting so

Mohamed is always going to be favourite.

I don’t put much pressure on myself but

obviously I’m very happy with the way I

handled things,” added the 26-year-old.

2019 DPD Open Squash,

Eindhoven

Men’s Final:

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

11-13 11-6 11-4 11-4

Women’s Final:

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

10-12 9-11 11-8 11-8 11-8

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 21

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


EL GOUNA INTERNATIONAL

ALIFARAG&RANEEMELWELILY

WINELGOUNAINTERNATIONALTITLES

Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily

continued their dominant form

on the PSA World Tour by taking

the honours at an all-Egyptian

finals night at the El Gouna

International as they beat Karim

Abdel Gawad and Nouran Gohar

in their respective finals at the

spectacular Abu Tig Marina to

collect the silverware in successive

international tournaments.

22 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


EL GOUNA INTERNATIONAL

Farag, who finished runner-up to

compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy last

year, avenged his defeat to Gawad in

December’s Black Ball Open by winning

the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

The World No.1 built on a strong start

to record an impressive 11-9 12-10 11-3

victory over his compatriot who had his

opportunities, leading 9-7 in the first

game and 6-2 in the second, before

Farag came back both times to take a

two-game lead.

An ankle injury suffered by Gawad

restricted the former World Champion’s

movement in the third and Farag made

no mistake in collecting his maiden El

Gouna crown and first title on home soil

since February 2015.

“I’ve played Karim in so many great finals

in Egypt,” Farag said after winning his

17th PSA Tour title.

“It was really a shame what happened at

the end of the second and in the third.

I’m sure if he was better physically, it

would have been a totally different story.

I think he had an amazing week, he’s

playing well this season, and it’s great to

have him on tour.

“This season has been amazing for me,

I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

I might have won a lot of big titles, like

the World Championships and claiming

that No.1 spot at the Tournament of

Champions, but this one is a very

special one as I’m sharing it in front of

my people.”

Women’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily

successfully defended her El Gouna

International title after overcoming

fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar to lift her

third successive PSA World Tour trophy.

El Welily beat World No.2 Nour El Sherbini

in last year’s final and was up against the

woman who ended El Sherbini’s run in this

tournament at the quarter-final stage.

The 30-year-old took the opening game,

despite being under immense pressure

from her hard-hitting opponent.

Gohar, nine years El Welily’s junior, struck

back in the second as El Welily went

walkabout to surrender a 5-2 lead to lose

9 of the next 11 points as Gohar levelled.

The momentum swung back in El Welily’s

favour as she came back to take the third

12-10 on the tie-break and their battle

continued into the fourth game where

Gohar, sporting heavy strapping on her

left knee, required an injury break after

a lunge into the front corner to send El

Welily 8-6 up.

Gohar returned to court but lacked the

same explosivity in her movement and

El Welily closed out the win to earn the

22nd PSA Tour World title of her career.

“I think that the blood injury break turned

me down a little bit, so I’m glad I managed

to come back after being 6-2 down in the

third,” said the defending champion.

“It’s definitely hard pushing yourself this

way, but when you’re in a final of such

a great tournament, you do your best

to stay in, and you do your best to win.

That’s what I was thinking at that point.

“It’s always special here in El Gouna and

I think I speak for the players when I say

we really enjoy being here. Not just for

the organisation, but also for the good

weather, the great crowd, and there’s

nothing better than playing in front of

your home crowd.”

2018 El Gouna International

Men’s Final:

1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

11-9, 12-10, 11-3

Women’s Final:

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt

[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY)

11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 23

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


MORE THAN JUST

SQUASH COURTS

Europe's fastest growing and most exciting squash

court construction and maintenance company with

the ability to provide a plethora of sevices to all

aspects of the squash world.

MELIORSQUASH.COM

Simply the best.


MELIOR SQUASH

MELIORSQUASH

Three years ago Melior Squash was a relative unknown in the

squash world. Today the company is well recognised as a leading

provider of squash court services, with a strong reputation and an

extensive list of projects including the construction of both permanent

and temporary courts.

Since 2016 the company has grown it’s portfolio,

delivering a wide range of squash services from small

court maintenance projects to collaborating on major

tournaments across the globe.

A one-stop-shop for all things squash, founder Nick Thompson

has used his extensive list of contacts to partner with many

organisations in the industry, aiming to give his customers an

easier and more dynamic solution to their needs. The Melior

Squash approach is personable and tailored to each project,

helping clients to find their perfect solution, be it a new floor,

a court booking system or new ways to grow and develop

their club.

“One thing that set them apart for us was not only their

extensive knowledge but also their professionalism,” said

Luke Bishop of The Wyvern Club in Somerset. “They gave

advice that was suitable for our club and it was clear that their

recommendations were honest and genuine, rather than just

with their business in mind. We haven’t experienced that with

other contractors”

Melior Squash is also uniquely committed to growing and

developing the sport, both in England and worldwide. From

the sponsoring of upcoming players to investing in grassroots

tournaments and initiatives, it has a passion for the sport which

is clearly reflected in both its work and in its ethos.

“We’re squash players and fans here at Melior, which means we

truly enjoy the work we do,” explained founder Nick Thompson.

“2019 has been a particularly exciting year for us. We’ve had the

pleasure of working in Chicago at the PSA World Championship,

in the Netherlands at the DPD Open and here at home we were

delighted to be involved in other events such as the Canary

Wharf Classic. We are looking forward to what the next few

years hold for squash, particularly in England with the 2022

Commonwealth Games, and we hope that through more dynamic

events and tournaments utilising the versatility of transportable

glass courts we can help to boost the numbers of people both

playing and spectating.”

So, what is next for the company? “Well we’re feeling especially

motivated to grow our business in France after the completion

of our first job across the channel in Pornic, near Nantes. We’re

feeling very optimistic about the sport of squash with the

upcoming World Squash Day and continuing to work with the

many people that are innovating and investing in squash. We’re

proud to be a part of this industry and we hope we can continue

to grow and evolve as we have done over the past three years.”

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 25

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


ASB SQUASHCOURTS:

SQUASH COURT SPECIFICATIONS

SQUASHCOURT

SPECIFICATIONS

Like every professional sport in the world, rules and regulations

are required to ensure proper practice and controlled conditions

for competition. This applies equally to the game of squash and the

World Squash Federation (WSF) has set out a set of rules which include

specifications for a squash court. There are two factors which make these

specifications so important.

The Original

For a sport with an extensive worldwide tour

(organised by the PSA) that is challenging for

participation in the Olympic Games, proper

competition and clear rules are the basis of

everything. The WSF has established detailed

squash court specifications to ensure that

all tournaments and competitions are played

under similar conditions and that results are

therefore comparable and ensuring that an

unfair home advantage does not affect the

outcome of matches.

These squash court specifications, designed

to ensure that equal playing conditions

are provided for tournaments around the

world, outline the size of the court (9,75m in

length, 6,4m in width and 5,64m in height,

measured from the top of the parquet

floor); the playing surfaces permitted (no

more than two different wall surfaces); the

amount of light recommended (min. 500

Lux) and even the amount of times that the

air in the squash court should be exchanged

per hour (four times).

Finally, the WSF’s court specifications state

clear conditions for the court walls in terms of

verticality and straightness. At ASB, the large

pre-fabricated elements in combination with

a jointless plane finish ensure that the ASB

SquashCourt meets the highest standards of

court specifications around the world.

The second reason for detailed squash court

specifications is safety, ensuring not only the

same playing characteristics for both players

but also providing a safe playing environment.

One of the most important parts of the court

is the glass and the specific type of glass that

is used. The WSF’s specifications clearly state

that a 12mm security glass must be used to

avoid dangerous breakage should players

fall against a glass surface. Security glass

is a special glass that falls into tiny pieces

when it breaks, reducing the risk of serious

cuts should the glass break. At ASB, only

premium glass is used, made in Germany and

manufactured according to high German and

European standards.

26 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


MOHAMED ELSHORBAGY CROWNED

GRASSHOPPER CUP CHAMPION

MOHAMEDELSHORBAGY

CROWNEDGRASSHOPPERCUPCHAMPION

Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame fellow Egyptian

Tarek Momen 11-8 13-11 11-8 to be crowned 2019

Grasshopper Cup champion at Zurich’s Halle 622.

A lot of great names have won this

trophy like Gregory Gaultier and Ramy.

To put my name besides the greats

of squash is an honour

Both players had overcome Egyptian opposition in the

semi-finals, with ElShorbagy seeing off former World

Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, while Momen dispatched

Mohamed Abouelghar in straight games after the

mercurially talented Egyptian had defeated tournament

favourite Ali Farag in the quarter-finals.

2014 Grasshopper Cup runner-up Momen, appearing

in his third successive PSA Tour final for the first time

in his career, had beaten ElShorbagy in the semi-finals

of the PSA World Championships and Canary Wharf

Classic, but had no answer to his motivated countryman

who played at a ferocious pace to claim the title with a

stunning 50-minute victory.

ElShorbagy, a losing finalist in 2018 to compatriot Ramy

Ashour, built on a strong start to take the opener and

came back from game ball down to take a crucial second

game following a controversial video referee decision.

Momen kept on fighting in the third but there was no

stopping ElShorbagy as he closed out the win to lift his

36th PSA World Tour title and his first of 2019.

“I’m really proud to win it,” said ElShorbagy.

“This is the third time I’ve come back here, and a lot of

great names have won this trophy like Gregory Gaultier

and Ramy. To put my name besides the greats of squash

is an honour and I’m really proud to lift this trophy in

front of this crowd.

“Tarek has been playing the squash of his life this

season and I know how hard it is to back it up after

every tournament. He should be really proud of what he

achieved,” added the 28-year-old champion.

2019 Grasshopper Cup, Zurich, Switzerland

Final:

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8, 13-11, 11-8

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 27

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SPRINGFIELD SCOTTISH OPEN

EDMONLOPEZ&LUCYTURMELCROWNED

SPRINGFIELDSCOTTISHOPENCHAMPIONS

Thanks largely to the backing of one of Scotland’s leading

housebuilders, Springfield Properties, the Scottish Open made a

hugely successful comeback to the PSA World Tour following an 18-year

hiatus with Edmon Lopez of Spain and England’s Lucy Turmel eventually

crowned respective men’s and women’s champions at the Oriam,

Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre in Edinburgh.

Turmel, who reached the final with ease,

dropping just one game en-route, faced

the combative and in form second seed

Melissa Alves from France who had

surprisingly looked vulnerable in the

earlier rounds.

The English teenager and top seed

quickly gained the ascendancy in

the opening exchanges and despite

overcoming sustained resistance in the

opening two games, Turmel closed-out

the match 12-10 13-11 11-7 in 36 minutes.

“That was the toughest match of the

week,” admitted a jubilant Turmel. “Even

if it was three-nil, I had to work for

every point and when Melissa gets into

her rhythm she’s so hard to stop. There

was extra pressure being the top seed

so to win this one feels extra special.”

A capacity crowd at the Oriam were

denied the chance to watch the ninetime

Scottish National Champion Alan

Clyne challenge for the title after the

top seed was beaten by rising English

star Patrick Rooney in a thrilling fivegame

semi-final.

Rooney’s opponent in the men’s final

proved to be the recently crowned

Spanish National Champion and second

seed Edmon Lopez, who comfortably

won an all-Spanish semi-final against

Bernat Jaume.

Despite his earlier exertions, Rooney

showed little signs of fatigue against

his more experienced Spanish rival and

more than held his own in the first two

games which Lopez eventually edged

13-11 11-9.

Rooney, who admitted later that he

wasn’t really looking past the first

round, continued to play superbly,

leading throughout the third which he

took 11-8 and at 10-8 in the fourth, the

final looked destined to be extended to

a fifth game decider.

However, urging himself on after every

point, Lopez levelled and finally closedout

game 13-11 on his second match ball to

earn himself his 7th PSA World Tour title.

“I came into the tournament with

some good preparation, but with some

pressure too as one of the top seeds,”

said Lopez. “Patrick played very well,

I’m really glad I managed to take that

fourth game and I’m really happy to win

this new title in this fantastic facility.”

Springfield Scottish Squash Open

Oriam, Scotland Sports

Performance Centre, Edinburgh

Men’s Final:

[2] Edmon Lopez (ESP) bt

[7] Patrick Rooney (ENG)

13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11

Women’s Final:

[1] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt

[2] Melissa Alves (FRA)

12-10, 13-11, 11-7

28 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


MEN’S PSA WORLD RANKINGS

EGYPT

1 11

Born:

1992

ALI

FARAG

EGYPT

2 12

Born:

1991

MOHAMED

ELSHORBAGY

EGYPT

3 13

Born:

1988

TAREK

MOMEN

EGYPT

4 14

Born:

1991

KARIM ABDEL

GAWAD

GERMANY

5 15

Born:

1987

SIMON

RÖSNER

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

Lives:

Bristol, England

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

Lives:

Giza, Egypt

Lives:

Paderborn, Germany

OMAR

MOSAAD

JOEL

MAKIN

RAPHAEL

KANDRA

ZAHED

SALEM

DECLAN

JAMES

EGYPT

Born: 1988

Lives: Cairo, Egypt

WALES

Born: 1994

Lives:

Birmingham, England

GERMANY

Born:

1990

Lives:

Paderborn, Germany

EGYPT

Born:

1992

Lives:

Alexandria, Egypt

ENGLAND

Born:

1993

Lives:

Nottingham, England

NEW ZEALAND

6 16

Born:

1992

PAUL

COLL

COLOMBIA

7 17

Born:

1985

MIGUEL

ANGEL

RODRIGUEZ

PERU

8 18

Born:

1996

DIEGO

ELIAS

EGYPT

9 19

Born:

1993

MOHAMED

ABOUELGHAR

Lives:

Greymouth,

New Zealand

Lives:

Bogota, Colombia

Lives:

Lima, Peru

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

GREGOIRE

MARCHE

JAMES

WILLSTROP

FARES

DESSOUKY

RYAN

CUSKELLY

FRANCE

Born:

1990

Lives:

Aix En Provence,

France

ENGLAND

Born: 1983

Lives:

Harrogate, England

EGYPT

Born: 1994

Lives:

Alexandria, Egypt

AUSTRALIA

Born: 1987

Lives:

Greenwich, USA

INDIA

10 20

Born:

1986

SAURAV

GHOSAL

Lives:

Kolkata, India

DARYL

SELBY

ENGLAND

Born: 1982

Lives:

Sheffield, England

For more information, visit: www.psaworldtour.com

INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE June 2019 | 29

www.isportgroup.com/InternationalSquashMagazine


WOMEN’S PSA WORLD RANKINGS

1

RANEEM

EL WELILY

EGYPT

Born:

1989

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

11

ANNIE

AU

HONG KONG

Born: 1989

Lives: Hong Kong

2

NOUR EL

SHERBINI

EGYPT

Born:

1995

Lives:

Alexandria, Egypt

12

ALISON

WATERS

ENGLAND

Born:

1984

Lives:

Hertfordshire, England

3

NOUR EL

TAYEB

EGYPT

Born:

1997

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

13

VICTORIA

LUST

ENGLAND

Born:

1989

Lives:

Victoria, Canada

4

CAMILLE

SERME

FRANCE

Born:

1989

Lives:

Creteil, Paris

14

SALMA

HANY

EGYPT

Born:

1996

Lives:

Alexandria, Egypt

5

JOELLE

KING

NEW ZEALAND

Born:

1988

Lives:

Cambridge,

New Zealand

15

JOSHNA

CHINAPPA

INDIA

Born:

1986

Lives:

Chennai, India

6

SARAH-JANE

PERRY

ENGLAND

Born:

1990

Lives:

Kenilworth, England

16

YATHREB

ADEL

EGYPT

Born:

1996

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

7

NOURAN

GOHAR

EGYPT

Born:

1997

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

17

HANIA EL

HAMMAMY

EGYPT

Born:

2000

Lives:

Cairo, Egypt

8

AMANDA

SOBHY

USA

Born:

1993

Lives:

Boston, USA

18

NICOL

DAVID

MALAYSIA

Born:

1983

Lives:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

9

TESNI

EVANS

WALES

Born: 1992

Lives: Rhyl, Wales

19

JOEY

CHAN

HONG KONG

Born:

1988

Lives:

Hong Kong

10 LAURA

MASSARO

ENGLAND

Born:

1983

Lives:

Preston, England

20

OLIVIA

BLATCHFORD

CLYNE

USA

Born:

1993

Lives:

Wilton, USA

For more information, visit: www.psaworldtour.com

30 | June 2019 INTERNATIONALSQUASHMAGAZINE

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