When you think of Dubai or UAE, the first thing you think envisage is the sun, but did you know it is fast becoming one of the best places to watch the world’s top 4 male and female Squash players compete in an end-of-year Squash tournament.
Since 2016, the UAE has hosted the PSA World Series Squash Finals – which is on another level compared to the Tennis’s ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in North Greenwich. It was the Emirates Golf Club that became the third venue to host the tournament.
Squash’s most elite eight male and female players take in a tournament to win a prize of $160,000 each competing in two groups of four and play a round robin to determine the World Series Finals champions, plus enhance their rankings on the PSA standings.
Squash in the United Arab Emirates
In terms of Squash governance; following a rebrand from the UAE Squash Association to the UAE Squash Federation; the country has developed no more than 2,000 squash courts around the country, and has become very popular among Emiratis and expatriates as well.
Just like other sports, Squash is becoming rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports in the country, and the country boasts over 15 world-class venues, in which local residents and even visitors can play the sport.
Oddly enough, 30 years ago the top 32 of the Squash world elite took part in the World Cup held in the UAE. In addition, squash legends Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan have played a number of tournaments in the UAE – hence the UAE is one of Squash’s global premier venues for tournaments, thus making it the ideal location for the closing tournament of the 2017 /18 PSA World Series. ,
End of an era of a legend, success for Egypt’s no.1’s
This year’s edition of the ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals 2017-2018 tournament was considered the best as it rounded off a great year of Squash with Egypt’s no.1 players Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini winning the Player of Year Awards at the 2017/18 PSA Awards ceremony.
Having delayed his retirement, because of a player dropping out of the tournament marked, Nick Matthew OBE (below); had to delay his retirement plans; as a result, he won his first game to progress further in the tournament. However, sadly he lost in the semi-finals to Ali Farg.
Egypt’s no.1 players Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini won the men’s and women’s tournaments by beating Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily, their respective fellow natives in an all-Egyptian final.
As for the Brits, Laura Massora went into the tournament as a reigning champion but lost to Camille Serme of France in the knockout stages.
Overall, the players and the organisers put on a great show, also the UAE has boosted the sport has given the sport a strong status for both domestic and overseas visitors in a way that other countries have failed in Squash development.
Thus, proving that Squash is truly a global sport, and stating the case that the sport should feature in the Olympics Games like its racquet cousins.
Watch highlights of the tournament on the Squash TV YouTube Channel – Click here