Squash

AJ Bell World Squash Championships 2017

AJ Bell’s association with top-level squash began in 2013 with the Men’s AJ Bell PSA World Championships in Manchester. From 2014 to 2016 we sponsored the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix, and in 2017 we put our name to the AJ Bell European Individual Closed Squash Championships in Nottingham. To finish the year in style, we are once again supporting the biggest squash tournament on the planet; welcome to the AJ Bell PSA World Championships 2017.

The best in the world – in Manchester

Between 8 and 17 December players from more than 30 nations will descend on Manchester’s National Squash Centre and the stunning Manchester Central Convention Complex to compete in the first-ever world championships where both male and female winners will earn equal prize money. If that’s not momentous enough, remember that Nick Matthew’s imminent retirement means this will also be your last opportunity to watch Britain’s greatest-ever player compete for the title of World Champion.

Test your mettle

Any squash fans lucky enough to get tickets should definitely visit our AJ Bell stand in the Manchester Central Convention Complex, where we’ll be running a Virtual Reality squash challenge. Designed to test your speed, agility and commitment, it’s free to enter and the highest scorer each day will win a variety of squash prizes. The highest scorer overall will win £100 of vouchers! Terms and conditions apply.

Meet our squash ambassadors

To give you an insight into the lives of those competing at the highest level of the sport, we have teamed up with our amazing squash ambassadors, Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro.

Nick Matthew

How do you train for a huge tournament like the Worlds?

In theory the hard work should have already been done and the last week or so is all about fine tuning and going into the event with the perfect balance between freshness and sharpness. In practice it’s obviously a tough balance to achieve but it helps if you’ve planned your schedule well in advance so that preparation for a key event has been done over months and years rather than just weeks.

How/why did you get into squash?

Got into it initially through my parents and enjoyed trying it. Loved the vibe at junior tournaments as a kid, had loads of friends at the events and got hooked on the sport.

Do you have any pre-match superstitions?

Always put my left shoe on first!

What is your most memorable match?

Probably the Worlds final the last time it was in Manchester in 2013. I was 2-0 up v Gregory Gaultier and he saved match Ball before taking it to the fifth game. I remember the crowd were amazing and really roared me over the line.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast.

If you could change one rule in squash what would it be?

That it’s a stroke when you hit your opponent with the ball. It’s usually an accident and should just be a simple let.

Which city have you played in that you would like to return to for a holiday?

Bermuda.

In a typical training block, how do you fuel your body?

Plenty of sleep. Plenty of physio. Massage. Plenty of stretching, yoga, foam rolling. And healthy eating.

If you could go back in time and give your 10-year-old self some advice, what would it be?

Get a better haircut. And sort out your backhand.

If you want to find out more about Nick, take a look at this short video...

Laura Massaro

How do you train for a huge tournament like the Worlds?

It's hard to get it right but training wise I try to focus on the events prior and trying to get the run-up right. Then with 2/3 weeks to go the training gets cranked up and more specific. Sharper and harder with a lot of time on court. Then 3/4 days out I will taper down slightly to freshen up. Mainly it's about trying to stay mentally fresh and sharp too.

How/why did you get into squash?

I started playing because my parents played and I had fairly good hand-eye co-ordination. I am competitive so because I was pretty good it meant I wanted to play more and more and it really just progressed from there.

Do you have any pre-match superstitions?

Not really... I try if I can to not get myself into any superstitions because then you find yourself in trouble when you can't do it. Generally I love to eat at the same place and get myself into the same routine daily but that differs from event to event. I do have to have a coffee pre match though!

What is your most memorable match?

The World Championship final I won in 2014. I have never been more nervous in my life and am really proud that I managed to hold it together enough to take the title. A really good memory.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Roast dinner!

If you could change one rule in squash what would it be?

If you get hit off the back wall I don't think it should be a stroke to the hitter. Annoying!

Which city have you played in that you would like to return to for a holiday?

New York City. I love going back every year to play in the Tournament of Champions but it will be nice to go back when I stop playing so that I can enjoy all the great food and drink!

In a typical training block, how do you fuel your body?

Difficult to say really as it differs but I try to recover and eat according to my workload. Good carbs when I'm training hard and good protein recovery too. Sleep is huge as well. I am dairy-free so try to get good recovery in without going down the dairy route.

If you could go back in time and give your 10-year-old self some advice, what would it be?

Watch more professional squash and eat more chocolate because you will restrict it when you're older ... haha!

If you want to find out more about Laura, take a look at this short video...

Stay connected

Be sure to follow the @AJBellGroup Twitter account for more details over the course of the tournament.

AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix Gallery
AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix Gallery
AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix Gallery

View gallery