The coronavirus pandemic disrupted major sporting events across the globe. The squash world tour was no exception and it hit us right before finalizing the planning for a multi-day tour through some neighboring countries.
As so many others we had to adapt our lives and training. #teamyellow took the chance to work on his cardio. #teamorange focused on his strength, power and hairstyle.
Fast forward to mid of June, decreasing infection rates in wide parts of the world made it possible for the Formula 1 to be the first international sports league to return – with two races in Austria. There will be strict safety measures for all people involved and no spectators on track.
Formular 1 followed by the Squash World Tour
That made us think: We are an international sports league with it’s spectators following the events exclusively via social media. We have the lowest possible number of people involved in a sporting event of international relevance. And as the sports fans all around the world are craving for their stars to return, we will jump in and bring the Squash World Tour back!
We are not quite sure yet how that will work out. In a lot of countries squash is still banned because of the nature of the game where a permanent distance between to players can not be granted. In Austria vom July 1 it’s allowed to play matches again! For sure we always want to follow the local restrictions to stop the pandemic. Currently we are evaluating our options. We are looking into the situation at the neighbor countries of Austria. Our favorites: countries we haven’t yet visited: Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy. But for our first match 2020 we will visit a country we have already been to – but a different city!
The day went well so far – I was happy to continue my streak of not losing a game in Germany. In 2017 we went to Berlin where I managed to take a 3-0-win as well. But I knew that the odds for our next match were against me: I haven’t ever won a match on a glass court against #teamorange so far. In case I would have forgotten the fact, Joel kept reminding me about his clean glass-court-record on our way back to the train station of Freilassing.
Watching Mohamed Abouelghar
After a 9 minute train ride we arrived early at Europark Salzburg where the Austrian Bundesliga took place and we had the honor to watch Mohamed Abouelghar facing Austrian National Champion Aqeel Rehman. I was excited to later play on the same court as a PSA-top-10-player. We had an early lunch and then went back to the court where we prepared for our next battle – but only after we took some photos and chatted a bit with all the stars: later World Tour Finals Runner up Mohamed Abouelghar as well as Austrian Champion Aqeel Rehman and the winning Austrian Bundesliga team of NV SU Wr.Neudorf-Mödling.
“Please take some lessons”
Our warm-up-session went well. We both had our difficulties with the diffuse lighting at the shopping mall but the excitement was massive. We both liked the court, especially the good grip and cushion on the plastic floor surprised us, to be honest. Game 1 was fun – although we both had to figure out how to play on the court. The quality of the match wasn’t high, but the intensity definitely was. Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman commented: “Please take some lessons! It hurts to watch you play!” #teamorange managed to take the game 11-7 and for me it was clear that he didn’t think about his lost match only hours earlier.
Without goggles into the decider
After game 1 I took off my squash goggles as it was getting harder and harder to see when the glasses fogged up because of the humidity. My game improved right away, leading to a 11-6 for #teamyellow and a positive attitude for the next game. In the third it was a close call: #teamorange was 10-8 up, I managed to earn a game point for #teamyellow at 10-11, but the orange warrior fighted his way to take game 3 with 13-11. Being back on court after a short break I took advantage of a short period of inattentiveness of Joel: I cruised to a 11-3 in the fourth, forcing a deciding fifth game.
Our nerves were on the edge. The match was stil fair, but we both really wanted to win. We then argued about a let-or-stroke-call at 6-5 for #teamorange who wanted a stroke – but we finally agreed to replay the point as #teamyellow took all possible effort to clear the ball (the way I see it). Joel won the let point, but I stayed focussed and also benefitted from some missed shots of my buddy earning me two match points at 10-7. The first was saved with incredible effort by #teamorange – and almost was the second – but it just hit the tin and I could celebrate my first ever glass-court-victory!
Again we got a ride
Unfortunately our train from Europark to Salzburg was cancelled – we only found out when we arrived at the train station after we bought the tickets on our phones – thanks, ÖBB… Fortunately the waiter of Yaoyao (where we had the early lunch) invited us to share his cap to the center. Thank you one more time! It’s kind of getting a habit – in Břeclav we got a ride to the train station too…
Great year so for #teamyellow
I now lead 2-0 in the annual Squash World Tour ranking, after winning the Vienna Edition another huge step for #teamyellow!
We don’t know yet where we will go next. Stay tuned for our upcoming adventures! If you like what we are doing, we’d appreciate it if you would order our new tees to support us!
After taking an early train from Vienna to Salzburg we took our time to enjoy a breakfast and of course some #sightsquashing in the marvelous birth town of Mozart.
Next stop Germany
Soon after that we took the train to Freilassing in Bayern, Germany, only a few minutes away from Salzburg. As we were tight on schedule (a second match was set up later that day), we already warmed up a little bit in the train – still in Austria. This was the first time we warmed up for a squash match in a country different from the one we played the match. Kinda cool. Actual game. Kinda cool.
We walked from the Freilassing train station to the Sportpark Freilassing and went straight on court. I felt good after a quite long pause and the training on Monday with Peter where we played on the same level. And going into the first game of the Squash World Tour 2019 season, this balance reflected in none of us being able to gain a significant lead. The level of play was high. In the tiebreak however #teamyellow had the longer breath and took the game 13:11.
I still felt good going into the second game, feeling physically fine and on the well maintained court in weird colors there was no significant nick visible – which is always a good thing when playing #teamyellow! And so the battle continued and again Peter was able take the game – this time 11:9.
Now while still feeling good physically, #teamorange was cornered and I had to attack more. Unfortunately, this didn’t pay off either as #teamyellow also secured the third close game with 11:9.
Let’s go on the glass court!
Germany seems not to be a good soil for me, as I lost our match in Berlin in 2017 in straight games as well. I felt like the glass court match later on that day would be quite favorable for me as I was still feeling great and was quick on the feet! Plus there is my perfect score on glass courts of course – I won in Vienna and Graz!
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The Squash World Tour agrees: The second generation Squash Tees is even better than the first! „When I put on the new squash tee for the first time, it felt different than any other tee. A unique feeling of positivity and invincibility flowed me. As I wear tees almost every day for more than 38 years now, I know what I’m talking about“, says Peter #teamyellow.
„I am very happy about our new generation of squash tees! They are lighter and brighter than our first tees. But that’s not all, the tees come with a mystical, supernatural aura of power and strength“, Joel #teamorange describes his experience.
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We are cooperating with the Viennese Squash Federation, the Wiener Squash Rackets Verband or WSRV. They asked us to play all courts in Vienna to show the squash-community in Vienna where they can play. The project is called WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition. As we want to provide value to the squash community, we rating all the clubs in five categories: booking, reachability, facilities, court, price.
Far far away
The final stop of the Vienna Edition was the Sportpark Süßenbrunn, previously part of the Club Danube chain. It takes a while to get to the outskirts of Vienna, specially when you are not aware of the unique bus schedule. We met at 7 pm, 30 minutes ahead of our estimated start, at metro U1 station Rennbahnweg. The public transport app told us to call the collective taxi operated by the Viennese public transport services. But the driver said he would not be there before 7:40 pm. So we took the bus he recommended. Unfortunately the this bus stopped in the middle of nowhere – as we now know, only every 30 minutes there is a bus going this far. Finally on the right bus, our navigator let us leave the bus too early, so we had to walk 3 more stops to finally arrive at the venue – about one hour after we met and 30 minutes late. Our bad!
No boxer shorts
The very friendly receptionist moved our reservation and we went to the locker room to get ready. Guess who forgot his short – again!? Right: #teamorange! Unfortunately there is no shop at the Sportpark anymore, so Joel decided to play with his trousers although our social media team advocated for him to play in boxer shorts – our fans would have loved it!
#teamorange teared a hole in his pants
We took off and to my surprise Joel moved very good! I took it a bit too easy and thought that he would soon have to pay tribute to his pants. But #teamorange stayed laser focussed and took game 1 with 11-4.
I wasn’t at my best today and I was distracted by Joel’s outfit – he even teared a hole in his pants… I tried to concentrate and managed to get to a 10-8 lead. At 10-9 I thought I had the game when Joel’s drop was too low, but because it’s hard to tell if you hit the tin here; we replayed the point. Fortunately #teamyellow also made that point and took the game 11-9.
I thought that things would turn out my way now – but I was wrong. #teamorange played maybe the best two games of his life, hitting the nick multiple times and not making any error on his drop shots. On the other hand several of my back wall balls got stuck on the strange lamp apparatus. But that didn’t make the difference – he just played too good today and won games 3 and 4 with a score of 11-7 and 11-9. Congrats!
It’s bitter, losing the last match of the WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition – but with a total score of 8-3 it was a perfectly clear overall victory for #teamyellow.
Next challenges ahead
I am looking forward to the next challenges ahead! To prepare for our next matches I have to work on my endurance and maybe lose some of the 4 kilos I gained since we started the Vienna Edition in November 2018…
Booking: Only via phone. But no further restrictions. 2,5 of 5 stars.
Reachability: It took us quite a while to get there because of poor description by the Viennese public transport services. Anyways it’s sequestered and not very convenient to reach, specially after 7:30 pm. 1 of 5 stars.
Facilities: Only issue: no shop for people who forgot their shorts. Everything else is fine. And the very friendly receptionist earned them another 0,5 stars: 4,5 of 5 stars.
Court: Floors and walls (classic front and side, glass back) are in perfect shape. Only real issue is the lamp apparatus that declines the height a bit. The 1 cm nick is almost not worth mentioning. 4 of 5 stars.
Price: 24 Euro per hour is reasonable for the quality of the court. 3 of 4 stars.
The Wiener Squash Rackets Verband, WSRV(Viennese Squash Rackets Federation) asked us to visit all squash courts in Vienna. We named this special the WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition. After our matches we are rating the clubs in 5 categories: booking, reachability, facilities, court and price.
And I started well into the game, after a few minutes I was already leading 5-1. I read #teamyellow’s shots very well and was able to surprise him a few times. But that changed quickly, as #teamyellow won the serve, he was hard to beat, dominating the rallies from the serve on. For some reason I was not able to get the necessary length into my shots and I risked too much, so Peter took the first game 11-6.
I didn’t leave the court, played a few balls to get back my touch – and it paid off! I made the first point already and at my serve 9 followed to a convincing 10-0 lead. I let down my guard a little bit, but finished off with 11-3. I earned a little rest.
The third and fourth game became a battle, while #teamyellow picked up a few “impossible” balls, I started to play some not so smart shots, and all my running was not enough. #teamyellow took the games 11-9 and 11-8 respectively to conclude a 3-1 victory.
I know what I have to do
In retrospect, I see that I can win if I play concentrated and tactically smart. When I serve I can dominate the rallies. And again I saw how important it is to be able to play good drop shots.
I am looking forward to our last match of the Vienna Edition at Sportpark Süßenbrunn and to a short break afterwards to refresh the energy tanks.
Booking: Online booking for registered users. But the availability can be checked online for everyone. Also booking via phone for any time in advance is possible. 4,5/5 stars.
Reachability: U4 or railway station Heiligenstad, from there 5 minutes walk. 3,5/5 stars.
Facilities: A bit outdated but functional. The atmosphere is cosy. There is shop, a bar, where food is served as well. 4,5/5 stars.
Court: The courts are in perfect condition. Courts 1 & 2 have classic walls, 3 & 4 wooden front walls. The floors are the best in Vienna, the nick is small. The LED lighting is great as well. 5/5 stars.
Price: We usually compare the price in the evening on weekdays where it’s more expensive in the most places. At C19 the more expensive time (€24,-) lasts only from 5-8 pm and only on weekdays. At all other times it’s €16,- and there are discounts for students. That’s why we award 4/5 stars.
For the Viennese Squash Rackets Federation, the Wiener Squash Rackets Verband, WSRVwe are visiting all squash courts in Vienna. It’s called the WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition. We are playing matches there and rating the clubs in 5 categories: booking, reachability, facilities, court, price.
With only three more squash venues in Vienna to go, we want to finish hard! We will play 3 matches within one week starting at the Country & Sports Club Wien Nord in Floridsdorf. Arriving at the address, #teamorange was already there, not sure if Google Maps had fooled us. But behind an unappealing metal door, the huge sports club revealed.
Entering the venue, the squash court is on the right hand side. We turned on the lights as we were instructed by the friendly bar keeper and the flaws of the court where immediately exposed – we will address them later. But for now you need to know that it was incredibly slippery and that the side walls were totally slick.
In our warm up game we had great fun sliding around the court. Unfortunately we brought our Eye Rackets shoes instead of our ice skates… I wondered: Does my-squash.com sell those for courts like these as well?
#teamyellow going down
The floor was my biggest issue. I had no grip at all! I couldn’t make even one controlled shot. I was permanently sliding. My #teamyellow shoes were terribly dirty after the first few points, covered with dust. #teamorange on the other hand adapted well. He moved much better than me and managed to kinda control the rallies. He took the first game 11-7.
The slick side walls made it almost impossible for me to play a decent boast. If a boast made it to the front wall, it was rather much too high or in the middle of the court. Easily #teamorange advanced to a comfortable 2-0-lead taking game 2 11-4.
I still lead 7-2 on the Vienna Edition in total and I’m looking forward to play at my home club C19 this Thursday!
Booking: Booking via Eversports is possible weekdays from 8am-3pm. On all other dates the court is reserved for members only. Guests can make a reservation via phone a day before they want to play – if no member is using the court they can play. Confusing? For us too! 2,5/5 Stars
Reachability: Final stop of the U6 Floridsdorf. Then two stops with a bus 28A or 29A. Adding 7 minutes walk. 2/5 stars.
Facilities: The venue is nice and spacious. There is a Restaurant, even a small library. The locker room is clean, as well as the shower. A plant in the shower creates a slight rainforest feeling. 3,5/5 stars.
Court: The huge holes in the wooden side walls and the rusty nails the walls have been fixed with make a bad first impression. The vastly damaged front wall, the slippery floor, the cobwebby ceiling do not improve that impression. The slick side walls make it hard to play boasts. The lighting also could be better – one halogen lamp is missing. On the pro side there is a glass back wall and a small nick (#teamorange awarded 5/5 for the nick). The floor structure seems to be okay as well. 2,5/5 stars .
Price: 20 Euro for one hour of squash is too much for that court. 2,5/5 stars.
In cooperation with the Viennese Squash Federation, the Wiener Squash Rackets Verband, WSRVwe are testing all squash courts in Vienna. The series is called the WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition. We are rating the clubs in five categories: booking, reachability, facilities, court, price to bring you value!
As I had to work late and underestimated the walking time from the subway station to the squash courts of Club Danube Alt Erlaa (and Google Maps first sent me to the wrong entrance), I arrived a bit late while #teamyellow and the media team were already preparing for the match. But my mission is clear – although the Squash World Tour Vienna Edition is lost – I have to get back my Mojo!
After some warming up – which, to my enjoyment, we extended a little bit – our match began with #teamyellow serving.
I changed my tactics compared to the last matches and tried to take more risky shots, especially more drops. The idea was, to make the winner of the Vienna Edition run for every point while #teamorange can dominate the rallies, which should at least pay off in the last games when he gets tired.
It worked better than expected. While #teamyellow definitely improved on his serve, a lot of my risky drop shots took him by surprise and while he could reach quite a few of them, I was able to dominate the rallies and take the first high quality game 11-7.
I was feeling so fine, I didn’t even leave the court for the break. I was ready for the next game. And it was beautiful. While everything worked for me, nothing seemed to work for #teamyellow and I could take the game in a convincing manner 11-4.
And again, I was feeling great afterwards, didn’t take the break and waited for Peter to come back and finish him.
#teamyellow constantly hitting the nick
But it seems like he found some good drugs (considered innocent until proven guilty) and the tables turned very quickly. Now everything seemed to work for #teamyellow. The serve was nasty, he hit the nick consistently and I was just running like an idiot – missing a few shots I had to make. He took the game 11-4.
Now #teamyellow was on fire, but I wasn’t here just for fun either. The fourth game was really intense, I made fewer mistakes, but Peter continued to serve well, hit the nick and in general had a great length in his shots. Because I could read his shots better, some really good rallies ensued. In the end though, #teamyellow could take the game 11-6.
Giving away a 9-4-lead in the final game!
Before the final game #teamorange also took a nice break to get back the energy for a tough fight. With a concentrated start, I could take an early lead and could extend it with my serve to as much as 9-4. But #teamyellow didn’t give up and with a few great serves and drop shots, he could first equalize and then take the game 11-9.
As this is of course disappointing to lose after being so close to the first win in centuries, I feel confident again to be able to play on par with #teamyellow and hope that the luck will return soon. #teamorange will get back his Mojo!
Booking: Is only possible via phone, no online-booking. On the website you can find out if there are free courts. 3 of 5 stars.
Reachability: It takes some time with the U6 to Alt Erlaa. From there it’s a 6 minute walk. 3 of 5 stars.
Facilities: Currently the center is under construction. We have been told that the squash courts are closing at the end of May 2019. Therefore we abstain this category.
Court: The walls are in good shape, the floor as well. The lighting is okay. There are glass back walls on all courts. Only point of criticism is the huge nick. “That’s the thing bothering me the most on a squash court”, says #teamorange. Our compromise ranking therefore is 3,5 of 5 stars.
Price: 24 Euro for one hour of squash is the same price as the other Club Danube venues in Erdberg and Ottakring. As we always consider the cost-benefit-ratio, we award 2,5 of 5 stars to CD Alt Erlaa.
The Eye Rackets S-Line Squash Shoes are very popular among squash players all over the globe. Many Pros use them like Karim Abdel Gawad, Paul Coll, Diego Elias, Declan James, Greg Marche, Miguel Rodriguez and many others.
Obviously neon yellow and atomic peach are perfect fits for #teamyellow and #teamorange. The broad color line is a big plus for the shoe. Currently models in lightning blue, electric purple, ice white, night storm navy, black carbon and hot pink are available as well.
The shoe should be orderedone size bigger than usual, as it comes a bit small. The cut is a good fit for players with a wide forefoot. While #teamyellow is satisfied with the stability, #teamorange sometimes feels unstable in the Eye Rackets S-Line Squash Shoes.
We are cooperating with the Viennese Squash Federation, the Wiener Squash Rackets Verband, WSRV. We are testing all the courts in Vienna on the WSRV – Squash World Tour – Vienna Edition. As we want to provide value, we are rating all the clubs in five categories: booking, reachability, facilities, court, price.
After the cheapest court in Vienna, the most expensive one was our battlefield this time: Manhattan Fitness Nord. The club is great, more about that later…
I needed only 3 more games to secure the first yellow triumph of 2019. I didn’t want to leave something to chance, so I was there half an hour early. I took the time to become acclimatized and warmed up properly. At 7:30 I started hitting balls – #teamorange still wasn’t in sight.
About 10 minutes later – I was already at operating temperature, Joel finally arrived. “I underestimated the distance from the U-Bahn station” he said. As usual he wanted to start quite fast with our warmup points; actually he wanted to play a whole game instead of our usual 10 points. “It would also be a good idea to play best of 7 games” he suggested. Classic #teamorangemind games…
I agreed to extend to play a whole warmup game instead of only 10 points. As I played for the first time in years without my knee bandage, I thought it would help me too. Joel won and earned the right to serve.
Right from the beginning I was able to take a comfortable 8:3 lead, but #teamorange managed to equalize the score. It was pitched battle until the end – which was better for #teamyellow: 13-11. In game 2 I was able to take the lead and not lose it once: 11-9. The quality of our match wasn’t as high as in Erdberg, but we had some decent rallies.
Now the table was set! I knew I needed only one more game to secure the overall win on the Vienna Edition. After the break I came back on court and played some of my best shots right away. For #teamorange on the other hand nothing seemed to work as planed… I secured game 3 with 11-8 and raised my fist to celebrate.
Personally I’m happy about the victory – and the result of 3-0. #teamyellow is now the Squash World Tour Champion of Vienna! Even more satisfying than the result is the fact that I did not wear my knee bandage.
Of course we will play all the remaining courts in Vienna as well to find out and tell you what they are like!
Booking: Only possible via phone. On the website it isn’t even promoted that there are squash courts. 2 of 5 stars.
Reachability: Coming there by public transport is a bit tricky and it takes about 10 minutes walk from the U-Bahn station Spittelau or from the tram station Rampengasse. 3 of 5 stars.
Facilities: On several floors there is a well equipped fitness center, there are great wellness facilities and they even have sponsored hygiene products. There is a shop, a bar and extremely friendly stuff. The obvious result: 5 of 5 stars.
Court: 3 of their 6 courts have been renovated recently, so there are no bumps or holes. We played on one of the renovated courts. But unfortunately the walls stained the ball – we never experienced that before. The nick is also quite big. The lighting is good and the court is clean and generally speaking in good condition. But for the price we would expect an even better experience. 4 of 5 stars.
Price: 40 Euro is by far the highest price for one hour of squash in Vienna. 1 of 5 stars.