The countdown to the new squash season is underway, and Team USA's off-season preparations have been marked by dedication of its leading squash players. The growth of squash in the United States has led to intriguing choices by professionals on how to best utilise this crucial period.
At the Kinetic Camp, Amanda Sobhy, the most successful squash player from the US who is ranked World No.6, has continued her partnership with Wael El Hindi. This summer, she was joined by her sister, Sabrina, who is aiming to break into the world’s top 10 and challenge the Gillis sisters from Belgium for top-ranked sibling duo on the PSA World Tour. The Kinetic Camp has become a magnet for professionals worldwide, with the likes of Rowan El Araby, Jasmine Hutton, Tom Walsh, Miguel Rodriguez, and others flocking to Florida's heat for rigorous training under the guidance of Wael El Hindi.
Meanwhile, Olivia Fiechter has been diligently honing her skills at the Ox Ridge Squash Club under the tutelage of former World Squash Champion Rodney Martin. Several top players, including Joel Makin, Eain Yow Ng, Dimitri Steinmann, Abdulla Al-Tamimi, and Nicole Bunyan, have also chosen Ox Ridge for their summer training. Fiechter's rise into the World’s top 10 has been marked by her commitment to elevating her game under the guidance of Rod Martin.
The US National Center, under the mentorship of Ong Beng Hee, has proven its worth, with Team USA members now residing near the Arlen Specter Center. This cohesive environment, combining the experience of Todd Harrity and Olivia Clyne with the ambition of Shahjahan Khan, Timmy Brownell, Spencer Lovejoy, and Andrew Douglas, has fostered a culture of unwavering dedication. Last season, this setup saw remarkable achievements, including Timmy Brownell's top 50 breakthrough, Spencer Lovejoy's Tortola Classic victory, Olivia Clyne's five consecutive semi-final appearances, and Andrew Douglas's maiden US National Squash Championship win. Team USA aims to build on this momentum in the upcoming season.
Many leading squash players from the USA have already kicked off their campaigns in August. Notable performances include Marina Stefanoni and Andrew Douglas in Canada at the Windsor Cup and Windsor City Open. Reigning US National Champion, Andrew Douglas, scored two impressive upsets against international opponents. Marina Stefanoni, entering her senior year at Harvard, clinched victory at the Windsor City Open, marking her transition to full-time professional play.
The Maspeth Squash Club has emerged as a pioneering force in the outdoor squash movement in the US. Located in Queens, NYC, it offers a unique open-air, steel-wall squash experience, a departure from the traditional indoor setup. The venue has gained exposure and attracted touring professionals, who engage in friendly exhibitions and challenger tournaments. Maspeth, led by Robert Gibraltar, blends art and squash, with artistic projects adorning the facility. The initiative aims to introduce the charm of outdoor squash to communities across the US.
In a sport typically associated with indoor facilities, Maspeth's outdoor venture is a breath of fresh air. From the resounding echoes of balls hitting steel walls to the warmth of the sun, the experience is undeniably distinctive. As Maspeth continues to thrive, it aspires to share this unique experience beyond Queens, inviting squash enthusiasts to embrace the outdoor allure.