Wednesday 15 December 2010

World's best to descend on Queen's

Super Series Squash Finals 2011The World's top PSA players will once again contest the ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals 2011 at Queen's Club in January.

Top of the eye-wateringly strong line-up will be newly-crowned World Champion Nick Matthew.

And if that wasn't enough to get you hammering the Seetickets website in anticipation, the tournament's organisers are also billing 'court cleaners doubling as dancers'! ...

The event is taking place early in the new year: 11-15 January 2011, at Queen's Club, London.

The Super Series final was last held at Queen's in 2009 after moving from Broadgate Arena in the City of London. That tournament was billed as the launch of '21st Century Squash', with the promoters employing a marketing/design agency to generate publicity and improve the look and feel of the live event.

January's event looks to be building on this theme, with spectators being treated to an "iconic inflatable structure, specifically created for the show-piece event. Inside the structure the ‘Z-Court’ will contain the very latest in squash viewing enabling uninterrupted 360° views of the action.

"The purple glass court features innovative lighting and natural flooring, and combined with the new coloured ball has been specifically developed to capture the speed of the game on camera and produce the best quality viewing experience."

Squashblog will be there again - see the report in the new year.

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Wednesday 22 September 2010

Barney back to belittle the great game

Coverage in the GuardianJournalist Barney Ronay has a pop at squash in today's Guardian (have a read for yourself - and not for the first time!) in his article on the Games.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are in serious trouble as I write, with the Delhi organisers desperate to reassure competitors, spectators and the media that venues and accommodation will be ready on time.

Some commentators are already questioning the viability of future Games - something that will ring alarm bells in the squash world, where the Commonwealths are (for those eligible) the nearest they are likely to get to the Olympics ...

With squash missing out on the entry to the 2016 Olympics, the World Open and the Commonwealth Games remain the biggest titles for the top British and Australian players (would be interesting to know which one those players value most). With the women's top twenty currently stacked with a number of players from the far east the competition is arguably stronger than for the men's draw.

The loss of the Commonwealth Games would deprive squash of its highest-profile platform for selling itself as an irrefutable multi-Games sport - and promoting squash to a wider audience in general.

Here's hoping for a competitive tournament conducted in the best spirit; given the professionalism of the players I have no worries here (but not too many lets/hold-ups please!).

The draws have now been made for this year's event - see here. Let's hope the BBC finds time to televise some of it. I think they only screened the men's final live last time (Melbourne, 2006), a great tussle between Peter Nicol and David Palmer that most people (including me!) missed as it was on while they were at work.

2010 Commonwealth Games

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