Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 squash

Kuwait World Open 2009 Semifinal James Willstrop vs. Amr Shabana
Kuwait World Open 2009 Semifinal James Willstrop vs. Amr Shabana

Last week was the Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 squash championships held on Green Island.

Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah was Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee. She was seated at the front along with the other dignitaries.

All the top squash players were there with Egypt being dominant. There is a Kuwaiti in the top also. The Pakistanis used to dominate including Jahangir Khan who dominated the game in the 80’s. In this time he won 555 matches consecutively, the longest winning streak in squash history and one of the longest unbeaten runs by any athlete in top-level professional sports.

He was at the tournament as the President of the World Squash Federation since 2002.

This is the first semi-final match. The Egyptian winner of this match went on to win the final.

Some of my coworkers are squash aficionados – I’ve only played a few times as a kid. They told me that if this was in the UK it would be sold out months before. In the case of Kuwait, we just showed up and it was free to watch. The stadium filled up near the end of the first match but still was not to capacity.

The game is fun to watch but it would have been cool to watch from the far end where the cameras are but I was afraid if I tried to go there I would be kicked out as I don’t have a press pass.

These players are incredibly quick on their feet and able to unbelievabley dig the ball out of the back corners. The rallies go on for dozens of shots and they made very few errors.

Also there is a lot of input from the referee when there are lets. It is a referees judgment whether one player was able to get out the was fast enough in order to allow the other person to reach the shot and have room to swing his racquet. If they were not and the blockage wasn’t deliberate then the shot is replayed. And if the shot was well played whether or not they were impeded the point would be awarded.

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