By.Asghar Ali Mubarak :
The U.S. Open Squash Championships will be held at Drexel University Philadelphia from 5th to 14th October .2017.Top Pakistani will participate in this mega event. JansherKhan’s last win in 1995 marks the last time that a Pakistani player won the title.
The U.S. Open squash is the most prestigious squash tournament in the world. It is a major international display of supreme talent in the sport, and showcases the top players from around the world.In 2012 the U.S. Open squash championships was also held at same venue Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
The event forms part of the World Series for both the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women’s Squash Association (WSA), and is organized by the national governing body for squash in the United States, U.S. Squash.
The championship was started in 1954 as an opportunity for professionals and amateurs to compete against each other. Prior to the mid-1980s, the tournament was held using the hardball squash format a North American version of squash, which uses a smaller court and a faster-moving ball than the international “softball” version. In 1966, the championship merged with the Canadian Open and became the North American Open.
The North American Open continued to use the hardball format and came to establish itself as the most prestigious event in the hardball game. In 1985, the United States Open was reinstituted as a “softball” squash event using the international format.
A separate North American Open competition has continued to run as a hardball event.The four side glass court used at the 2011 US Open Squash Championships hosted by Drexel University at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
The first championship final in 1954 saw the Boston amateur player Henri Salaun defeat the great Pakistani player Hashim Khan in Hashim’s first foray to North America. Subsequently the championship came to be dominated by members of the Khan family for more then 30 years.
Hashim won the title three times between 1956 and 1963. His son Sharif Khan then captured the title a record 12 times in the 13-year period between 1969 and 1981. Four other members of their extended family also won the championship – Roshan Khan (three titles), Azam Khan (one title), Mo Khan (three titles), and Jahangir Khan (three titles – one hardball and two softball). Sharif’s younger brother Aziz Khan also finished runner-up in 1981.
Another Khan, Jansher Khan, also won three titles in the 1980s and 1990s. Jansher’s last win in 1995 marks the last time that a Pakistani player won the title. Jansher khan is a squash legend. He won 8 World Championships, 7 Hong Kong Opens, 6 British Opens, 10 Pakistan Opens.
Jansher’s challenge to Jahangir in 1985-86 was dismissed as the precociousness of an upstart and disdainfully rejected. The man was only 16 and a half. Jansher was true to his word, he beat Jahangir six successive times and then started a rivalry which contributed in no small measure to the acceptance of squash as a true international sport.
These two were supported by Ross Norman (New Zealand), and the mighty Australian quartet of Chris Dittmar, Chris Robertson, Rodney Martin and Brett Martin.Jansher’s record of domination speaks for itself – eight World Championships, Seven Hong Kong Opens, six British Opens, ten Pakistan Opens – so far. Such is Jansher’s domination that his occasional defeat merits a headline, his wins are taken for granted.Comparisons between Jahangir and Jansher are inevitable. Jahangir had a merry first five years because his opposition was provided by an ageing generation who had seen their best in the early and late 1970’s. Jansher was confronted by a most formidable array of younger players all in their prime led by Jahangir, and it was through them he had to make this presence known. His training regimen simply had to be many notches higher.The manner in which he gradually but firmly established his superiority is now a part of history. Initially, Jansher had to fight many a tenacious opponent in long drawn out battles. It led to classic confrontations and some of the matches would rate as the greatest games of all time. The Pakistan Open final in 1986 when he roared back to beat Jahangir two games down and the World Open final in Malaysia 1988 against Chris Dittmar are classic examples. They also led to renewed interest in squash because Jahangir’s domination had ironically led to a loss of spectator interest.In recent years, players from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada have enjoyed success at the event.