Monday 30 April 2007

New rivalries emerging

The two (unrelated) Khans dominated in the 80s and 90sGiven that predictability in other sports is a recipe for spectator turn-off, it is incongruous that, at the height of squash's participatory popularity in the 1980s, the professional game was dominated by just a couple of players - Jahangir and Jansher Khan.

Conversely, at the present time when the sport is crying out for more participants and spectators, competition in both the men's and women's professional game is stronger than ever.

Given recent results, however, it may be the case that a return to single-player dominance is on the cards.

Many believe that is is only a matter of months before the young Egyptian
prodigy Ramy Ashour will ascend to the world number one position. Recent
wins in Qatar and Kuwait (with the largest prize-purse in squash history) have established the teenager as the most exciting prospect in world squash, and significantly he has been able to immediately translate his success in the junior ranks to senior tour wins (something that others have failed to do throughout their careers).

Nicol David and Natalie Grinham have met a number of times already in 2007In the women's game, Nicol David has come good on the predictions of those who saw her destined for great things from an early age, with two World Opens already under her belt. The 24 year old from Penang has developed a rivalry with the Natalie Grinham in previous months, after a sustained challenge from Australian's older sister, Rachael.

Significantly both of these players are still relatively young. What many would like to see are great rivalries emerging early, battles fought across the work throughout long careers, a la Fitz-Gerald/Martin or Nicol/Power.

If David/Grinham are becoming the big draw on the WISPA tour, I would like to see James Willstrop - another World Junior Champion - find the greater consistency needed to challenge Ashour in major finals.

1 comment:

  1. Ramy is going to walk all over Willstrop!!


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