Sunday, May 26, 2024

‘Squash just has this fabulous combination of skills I love’

BBC News presenter Ross Atkins, a self-confessed squash lover, has been following Fares Dessouky for years and loves the Egyptian’s flexibility and power 

I was chuffed Fares won the Canary Wharf Classic last year. It seemed just rewards for a lot of effort coming back from his injuries and I am keen on his style of play.

There is a general inclination to attack in the modern game. You have someone like, say, Youssef Ibrahim who almost won the Windy City Open last year against Paul Coll. 

I couldn’t believe how attacking he was in the first game and in the end Coll reeled him in. But to see someone go all out like that is really exciting. Victor Crouin is another, high risk and aggressive squash. 

It seems that players have worked out that it’s worth the risk and it reminds us of Andy Murray used to be a brilliant defender in his early days and when he got to the sharp end of tournaments he needed to add extra aggression to his game.

That’s when the Grand Slams came with the combination of defence, retrieval and aggression and I can see that in squash at the moment and it’s a brilliant game to watch. 

For me, squash has this fabulous combination of the skills that racket sport requires but the intensity of high impact aerobics, a HIIT workout, the flexibility of gymnastics – all mixed up in one potent package. 

Squash gets that across, that mixture of all the skills, experience and demands and it has all the attractions of getting people into the sport. Once people start playing it, they get it, right?

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