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Squash back on stage at Boston Symphony Hall

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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For one night only, squash is back at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

The current world no. 1 & 2 champions, as well as two legends (and Boston fan faves) of the game will square off for an encore battle to claim the World Champions Challenge Title.  Last year’s play was fast, furious and fun.  Additional seating has been added to accommodate more attendees.

SQUASH BACK ON STAGE AT BOSTON SYMPHONY HALL

Four World No. 1s Take to the Stage at the “Showdown at Symphony” Encore Battle for the World Champions Challenge Title

BOSTON – July 29, 2011 – In what has proved to be an evening of fast-paced, world-class squash competition, Boston’s favorite ‘sport’ venue, Symphony Hall, will once again host the annual World Squash Champions Challenge competition.

Set for Wednesday, September 14, 2011, “Showdown at Symphony II,” presented by First Republic Bank, a leading provider of private banking and wealth management, including investment, trust and brokerage services, brings together 2011 World No. 1 Nick Matthew (England), 2010 World No. 1 and 2010 Showdown defender Ramy Ashour (Egypt), with longtime fan-favorites 1999 World Open champion Peter Nicol (England) and 1998 World Open winner Jonathon Power (Canada), to compete in a short match shootout for the sport’s “World Champions Challenge” title.  Tickets: information and sales at www.squashshowdown.com<http://www.squashshowdown.com/> .

John Nimick, founder of Squash Engine, Inc., and producer of the squash world’s iconic Tournament of Champions held in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, shares, “To bring together for a single evening two of the sports’ finest legends, as well as the current ranked world no. 1 & no. 2 players is quite a thrill.  Make no mistake, Boston is a serious squash town.”

“Showdown at Symphony” is being played in a format created by Squash Engine, Inc.  The four players must have achieved World No. 1 status or won the World Open. The competition will feature semifinals and 3rd place playoffs played to two (2) games with the winner of the first game earning the choice of selecting either a one- or three-point tiebreaker, if the match is knotted 1-1 in games.  The final will be played best of three games, with the winner earning a prize money bonus.  The winner in Boston will have the opportunity to defend his title at subsequent short format World Squash Champions Challenge events.

Ordinarily a self-contained unit, an additional two feet of flooring will raise the all-glass show court off the flat floor of Symphony Hall, lending more of a “stage” feel to the event. Four-seat Pops tables will surround the court and all floor guests will enjoy a fabulous complimentary menu to further enhance the evening.

Nimick notes, “This year on the global PSA Tour, the current reigning world’s best Matthew and Ashour are 1 and 1 in competition play; both will need to bring their A-game to handle Showdown’s short match format.  Should one of the legends, Power or Nicol, win a game, they will be in a position to notch the tiebreaker and advance.  All elements for a great evening of squash.”

About the Players

All four players invited to participate in Showdown at Symphony, the World Squash Champions Challenge, have either held the World No. 1 ranking or won the World Open.  This year’s match-ups feature two legendary rivals and a couple of soon-to-be giants in the sport.

Hailing from Sheffield, England, 31-year-old Nick Matthew grabbed and has held onto the World No. 1 spot in the PSA rankings since January of this year.  He holds 20 titles, half earned since 2010.  Nick has been on the Tour for 13 years, battled back from serious injuries to achieve his present top ranking and personifies the ideal balance of competitiveness and congeniality.

Nipping at the top spot once again is Egypt’s 23-year-old phenom, Ramy Ashour.  A brilliant player who moves around the court at lightning speed getting off shots that defy gravity, Ramy is often still thought of as “that sensational upstart.”  But with 22 titles under his belt, including 2010’s Egyptian Nationals and the Hurghada International, Ramy is a contender that is here to stay.

Though born in Scotland, Peter Nicol’s greatest days in squash were under the English flag.  He is arguably the finest player ever developed in Great Britain, possessing great command of the court at all times. With 55 titles to his name, Peter spent a staggering 60 months at World No. 1 during his career.  His on-court battles with Canada’s Jonathon Power are the stuff of legend: Nicol serene and unruffled; Power robust and rampaging.  Regardless of your preference, most agree their play is still some of the best squash competition ever seen.

Canada’s Jonathon Power is bold and creative as a squash player, two powerful attributes that make his style so compelling.  The feisty Canadian was World No. 1 for much of 1999 and four months in 2001 and was near the top of the list for most of his career as a pro – never out of the Top Ten for his final six years on the Tour.  Jonathon retired having become No. 1 once more, in 2006, not long after winning the rich Saudi International, his 37th career championship.

“Showdown at Symphony” is made possible through the generous support of First Republic Bank, AERVA, Brown Brothers Harriman, Stephen Columbia, The Jamie Fagan Group, Massachusetts Squash, MFS Investment Management, Natixis Global Asset Management, RunKeeper and Thermo Fisher Scientific.   Boston Racquet Club is the event club and Dunlop Sport is the official racquet and ball. The charity is SquashBusters (www.squashbusters.org <http://www.squashbusters.org/> ), an after school enrichment program that teaches sport and life skills to Boston’s inner city youth.

For tickets and information, please visit www.squashshowdown.com <http://www.squashshowdown.com/> .  Sponsorship, Patron and Group packages are available also.  Individual tickets can be purchased through the BSO Box Office (www.BSO.org<http://www.BSO.org/> ).

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