Blog: The sincerest form of flattery

November 26, 2012 - 11:41am
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Egyptian trio Karim Darwish, Ramy Ashour and Mohamed El Shorbagy get ready for the Hong Kong Open. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS courtesy of

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If that’s the case, then the World Squash Day team can give themselves a pat on the back, for news has emerged of a new venture in a different racket sport. You’ve guessed it, World Tennis Day has been set up to promote the sport that, unlike squash, already has a place in the Olympic Games.

As the Hong Kong Open welcomes a group of visiting officials from the IOC, making an official inspection, we can only hope that the tournament delivers everything we believe our sport can offer the Olympic Games.

Here’s my wish list:

Spectacular entertainment from some supremely gifted racket players who also happen to be among the world’s most phenomenal athletes.
Honesty, sportsmanship and total commitment from every competitor.
A full-house audience every night around the glass court set up by the harbourside, with a spectacular backdrop of the city skyscrapers.
A concerted media campaign by the WSF to ramp up the sport’s profile.
Images beamed round the world to highlight the glass court’s wow factor.
Quality TV coverage with intelligent commentary that explains to non-squash players the meaning of words like lets, strokes, nicks and boasts.

I am sure the players understand the importance of the occasion and will respond accordingly.

With qualifying complete and the main draw about to get under way, it’s time for our leading players to deliver.