US Open Extras – Issue #1

A few bits and pieces about what’s going on round and about in Drexel …

Shabana looking strong

It’s good to see defending champion Amr Shabana looking fit, lean, and in good form on his return to Philadelphia. It looks like he’s been on a training regime, as if he needed it, and by the look of it some strengthening exercises are part of the regime too.

Obviously the man is a legend with nothing left to prove, but surely flying is beyond even his powers ?

Coach Coppinger

It’s not something you’d see in a lot of sports – South Africa’s Steve Coppinger was waiting for his booked practice court to come available before his qualifying final tonight against Martin Knight,

On the court were some Drexel students playing squash for the very first time, so Steve was telling them they had to swap sides to serve after winning a point, where the serve had to land, a few basic tops like that!

Of course we had to have a photo. “This will be great when he’s famous,” said one of the new players. “He already is!” another quickly corrected …

Seats fit for …

Resisting the obvious joke about Germans getting there early and putting their towels on the best seats (although Simon Rosner insists the English are just as bad), it was good to see the tour’s most prominent German speakers Simon and Nicolas Mueller practicing on and approving of the glass court.

Although on the basis of this shot, a bit more practice is needed, lads …

Plug A into B and X into ???

If you think the SquashTV operation involved turning up with a camera, a laptop and an internet connection, think again. There’s a lot of kit, and by the looks of @LozzerCozzer pondering over this mass of wires, a lot of ways it can all go wrong too!

In the end he seems to have solved the conundrum by the novel approach of creating several virtual clones of himself …

Lateral thinking at Drexel

Drexel University’s new Kline & Specter Squash Centre adds four courts, in a slightly unusual layout. Apparently the area used to house Hardball courts, which were demolished to make way for a brand spanking new “softball” four court facility.

At one end there’s a narrow space which is used as a relaxation area, although it has a glass wall and a regular glass door too. From there as you look across to the other end you’d be forgiven for thinking the end court had more seating space, but in fact it’s been squeezed into the available space with a door on the side wall!

It’s nice and cosy and sure to provide a great setting with real atmosphere for Drexel’s inter-collegiate team – with John White in charge you wouldn’t expect anything else, would you.

Three Socks Miguel

Speedy Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez has had a couple of tough qualifying matches, but he’s delighted to make the main draw again and get back to the Drexel Glass Court where he thrilled us all last year.

He leaves a bit of debris behind him though, does our Miguel, including multiple pairs of socks. “It’s really humid here, so I have to change my socks every game or I’ll get blisters,” he explained.

Next on court, Steve Coppinger looked particularly distressed at the amount of rubbish Miguel left behind, not that the big South African seems to be particularly angelic in that respect himself …

What’s with the Socks, Jim ?

Jim Zug was the compere for the induction of some new members of U.S. Squash’s Hall of Fame, which saw existing and new members introduces to the Drexel crowd on the glass court.

It’s a nice touch, and from a perona point of view it wa good to see Jack Herrick, former PSA Chairman, again as he was one of the new inductees.

All weel and good, but for some reason Jim insisted that he show me his socks (on the left) compared to those of one of the HoF members. There must be some hidden meaning here I’m sure – all to be revealed later no doubt …

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