In 2021 the Squash World Tour made a big leap: we officially registered as non profit organization promoting the game of squash. Go ahead – check out our goals and join our mission! As we wanted to start early in 2021, we had to find a location where squash courts are open to the public. After a quick research, we decided to go to Dubai – good weather, impressive #sightsquashing locations and a high influencer density – the perfect spot for the first Squash World Tour battle outside of Europe!
We are invited by Tarik and his friend Amado to their home court. It is not just any court – without exaggeration – it must be one of the most iconic situated squash courts on the planet. The court is located in the residences just across Burj Khalifa, the the impressive 828m tall symbol of Dubai. As we arrive early, we decide to walk through Dubai Mall (one of the biggest shopping centers in the world), where we get lost. We somehow make it out of the building, to our left starts the water fountain spectacle in the world’s biggest pool and on the right is Burj Khalifa and our fans are awaiting us.
@squashworldtourOn our way to the #squashworldtour match in #Dubai – 👋 to our fans @thedubaimall – next to @burjkhalifa #squashgame♬ Hello – Dracovii
But we are on our way to our battle fo find out who is going to be Dubai’s Squash World Tour Sheikh. We convince the guard with one of our stickers that we need to pass and after a 15 minute walk around the giant pool with a magnificent view of the water fountain and the Burj, we arrive at the entrance.
Unfortunately there is no view from the squash courts – but the conditions make up for it: both courts are in excellent shape, as you would expect in Dubai. The two courts are booked for two hours for the four of us. Everything is set up for a great game!
I am feeling great. Two days ago we had the chance to play a few games already with another friend we made here: Khaled. I don’t want to brag (maybe a little), but I won all of them. Sure, the fact that Peter was moving like a 40 year old (yes, he is 40 already) might had helped. But still, given the long break from playing squash due to Covid restrictions in Austria, I was in good shape. But I knew #teamyellow was not going to let me have it that easily. And like I expected, after winning the warm up game comfortably, Peter shifted into competitive mode. He definitely moved like a 39 year old (maybe 38) and took an early lead in the first game as I was a bit shocked by his improved performance. A few lucky shots with excellent length and angle helped him secure the first game safely with 11-4 #teamorange.
But I was in battle mode too. The second game was hard fought and as I remember it, I always had a thin lead which I turned into a 11-8 for #teamorange.
The third game was similar. I could make #teamyellow run a lot, and even when he managed to get my drops, he was usually not able to take advantage of that. In the end it was 11-7 #teamorange.
Peter was furious. He took a longer time than usual in the break to collect himself. It paid of. The increased focus combined with some lucky shots gave him a 6-2 lead. I just couldn’t find my way back, the game went 11-6 to #teamyellow.
Video overrule almost crucial
We had to go into the decider! In the final 5th game I started out great with a 4-nothing and then 6-2 lead for me thanks to some fortunate points (hitting 4 nick points helps). I continued to play strong, getting in the length I needed and anticipating Peter’s shots well. One of Peter’s serves I saw out, but the video revealed it to be in. The resulting break didn’t help me much and Peter came back to 6-6. But I kept going and it was just enough for the bringing home the well deserved 11-7 #teamorange victory when Peter’s last boast just hit the tin…
A good start into the 2021 squash season. #teamyellow wasn’t so happy about the outcome, so I expect some improvements in the months to come 😉