A good friend of mine, and a fellow squash player, mentioned recently that he thought that professional squash needed more drama, excitement, and rivalry.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on everybody. With the PSA Tour suspended until the end of April and most local clubs now closed, it's definitely a very strange and uncertain time for squash worldwide.
BUT... (and that's a big but), it's amazing to see so many amateurs, professionals, and fans shining a positive light on such a negative situation. The sense of community in the world of squash has been overwhelming on social media, with players from all over coming together to share training regimes, challenges, general help, and all-round awesome content.
With no live squash to watch, the PSA have done a great job of giving squash fans their regular fix of professional content. The PSA Youtube Channel is full of awesome segments like 'Signature Shots', 'PSA Rewinds', and, our personal favourite, the 'Greatest Battles' videos, the most recent of which highlights some of the closest matches between Mohamed Elshorbagy and Ramy Ashour.
PSA also post regular content on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts which feature some great trickshot compilations, isolation games, and even videos to wash your hands to...
Professionals Share Workouts & Training Tips
It's clear that many people are using this time to work on their strength, fitness, and flexibility to make sure they're fully prepared for getting back on court.
Many squash professionals such as Miguel Rodríguez, Grégory Gaultier, and Nouran Gohar have been sharing squash-orientated fitness exercises and challenges on social media, giving amateur players an insight into the world of the pros, and allowing them to tailoring their own stay-at-home training. English ex world no. 1 Nick Matthew has also been streaming his own regular live training workouts so you can train in real time with an all time great!
Be sure to take a look on their social media accounts if you're trying to prepare your body for when squash clubs re-open.
However, it must be mentioned, one of our personal favourites is Amanda Sobhy's 'In Home Workout' video, if you haven't seen it, be sure to take a look on her Instagram.
You won't be disappointed!
The #toiletpaperchallenge Revolution
Possibly the most entertaining thing to come out of this situation is the numerous squash challenges and trickshots being posted by professionals and amateurs, which are getting more extreme by the day!
(We believe) it all started with Daryl Selby posting a video of himself hitting a squash ball through the middle of a roll of toilet paper... and Bog Roll Bullseye was invented. Over the past week or so players from all over have been posting their own creative versions of the #StayAtHomeChallenge, hitting squash balls at various targets. Many of the best clips have been shared by Daryl and other pros and gone viral within the squash world.
This creativity is doing an awesome job of bringing squash players together through a difficult time, while promoting the sport and giving it an entertaining edge, and we hope it continues even when we're all back playing again!
To finish with, here's one of the best clips from 'The Colombian Cannonball' Miguel Rodríguez:
A Short Rundown of the Event:
This year's Windy City Open in Chicago was an absolute rollercoaster of unbelievable squash, and was packed full of marathon matches. With some stand-out performances from multiple players such as Borja Golan, Diego Elias, Mathieu Castagnet, Camille Serme, Sarah-Jane Perry, and of course Paul Coll... just to name a few! This tournament certainly wasn't one to be missed.
Think about the basic sports we have been exposed to over the years.
This year’s tournament is proving to be very entertaining. The round of 16 has just finished and there has already been a few terrific matches. The match between Simon Rosner and Omar Mosaad in particular was really entertaining yesterday and was really fun to watch. The momentum swings were incredible as was the pace of the ball. I could not believe how hard Mosaad was hitting. The commentary on @_SquashTV about how hard they were hitting and how loud it was at the venue was hilarious. The other match that was fantastic was the Tarek Momen versus Chris Gordon match. Twitter was absolutely abuzz with conversation about this match and Gordon's terrific effort in this match.