Squash Showdown at Boston’s Symphony Hall brings 4 of the world’s best Squash players together for an unforgettable evening of entertainment, September 7, 2013.


Squash Solos at Boston Symphony Hall: England Makes a Point Over Egypt

BOSTON - September 8, 2013 - Down 0-2 in matches at the break, the heart and soul of current England squash Nick Matthew and James Willstrop rallied past Amr Shabana and Mohamed Elshorbagy of Egypt in the second half to win Showdown at Symphony IV in Boston by one point.

Every match went the distance in the shortened game format of the 4th annual World Champions Challenge on the McWIL all-glass Show Court in Boston's venerable Symphony Hall.

Shabana thrilled the 700+ attendees with a one-point shootout tiebreaker victory over James Willstrop, earning the match 11/9 10/11 1/0 in 19 mins.  Elshorbagy followed with a tremendous effort against Matthew resulting in another 2-1 victory for Egypt 11/5, 8/11, 3/2 in 31 mins and a two match to zero halftime lead for the defending champions.

But Willstrop came alive in the third match of the evening, beating Elshorbagy by one point in their shootout tiebreaking third game 9/11, 11/10, 3/2 in 24 mins, leaving 2-time World Champion Matthew to face 4-time World Champion Shabana in the decider.  Matthew took game one, 11-5, but Shabana fought back to take game 2, 11-10.  With the mini-World Cup on the line, Matthew called “3” and won the shootout tiebreaker 3 points to 2 (20 mins), incredibly tying the competition in matches, tying the match in games won/lost and winning the Sharif Khan Trophy for England by a single point 85-84.

Tournament Chairman John Nimick said, "Squash put its best foot forward before a packed audience in a great venue and with four of the world's squash superstars.  Showdown IV was an exciting presentation of the sport's best qualities; great athletes and ambassadors, amazing sport and the ability to showcase historic and iconic venues."

World Champions Clash at 4th Annual “Showdown at Symphony”

England Battles Egypt in Davis Cup-style Challenge Event

BOSTON – August 5, 2013 –  England and Egypt clash again for the World Champions Challenge title at Boston’s venerable Symphony Hall.  On the eve of the International Olympic Committee vote on adding squash to the 2020 Olympics, four top-ten, world ranked players will take to the stage at Boston Symphony Hall on Saturday, September 7, 2013 for “Showdown @ Symphony IV.”  National honors are on the line as John Nimick and Squash Engine, Inc., bring an extraordinary evening of world-class squash featuring star players from England and Egypt.

“Showdown at Symphony,” presented by First Republic Bank, a leading provider of private banking and wealth management services, pits reigning 2013 World Champions England against arch rival Egypt.  The nations have dominated international squash for the last decade with England winning three of the last five biennial World Team Championships to Egypt’s two.  The stars of England’s current World Championship team Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, World No. 3 & 4 respectively, will represent England, while Egypt will field squash phenom Mohamed Elshorbagy (World No. 6) and four-time World Champion Amr Shabana (World No. 8).  Neither star player represented Egypt in their recent loss to England in Mulhouse, France in the final of the WSF World Team Championship.  Tickets and Sponsorship: information and sales at www.squashshowdown.com.


John Nimick, founder of Squash Engine and producer of the squash world’s iconic Tournament of Champions held in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, explains, “In 2011, Egypt’s Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana bested England’s Nick Matthew and James Willstrop for our first World Champions Team Challenge title here in Boston.  This year’s Showdown gets even more interesting as the two stars Egypt elected to leave off its roster back in May get a clean shot at teaming up to take out the heart of Team England.  I can’t help but think that Showdown is the perfect opportunity for Amr and Mohammed to try to even the score.” 

Collectively, these stars of squash own 72 PSA World Tour titles.  Now the youngest player in the PSA top 20, Mohamed Elshorbagy, 22, is officially a PSA world ranked multi-tasker, successfully combining college and competition.  He has consistently ranked in the top ten month after month the past two plus years.  2011 was his breakout year on the PSA Tour, with title triumphs at the Motor City Open in Detroit, the Internationaux de la Reunion in Reunion Island, the Colombian Open in Bogota and the Macau Open in Macau.  However, his ultimate performance to date was in a narrow five game loss to compatriot Ramy Ashour in the final of the 2012 Men’s World Championship.  His is a youthful, exhuberant style of play that is both bold and effective.  Count on him to go for and get attacking shots in all corners, rarely playing it safe.

His compatriot, Amr Shabana, the wizened competitor of the group at aged 34, has just entered his 19th year on the PSA World Tour.  After becoming the first Egyptian to top the Dunlop PSA Men's World Rankings in April 2006, Amr Shabana went on to hold the position for 33 consecutive months - confirming his status as the fifth longest-standing world number one of all-time, behind Pakistanis Jansher Khan and Jahangir Khan, Englishman Peter Nicol and Australian Geoff Hunt.  Despite two years of injury, Amr continues to show great strength and perseverance, still maintaining a solid presence in the top ten world rankings. 

Representing England in this year’s challenge are the world’s current number 3 and 4 ranked players, Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, both also recent world no. 1s.  2012 was a good year for Matthew.  He won a fourth British National title in May and became the first Englishman ever to win the British Open title for a third time. In September 2012, Matthew marked another milestone when he reached the 50th PSA Tour final of his career at the British Grand Prix in Manchester – and celebrated his 25th Tour title win after beating national rival James Willstrop.  A 14-year veteran of the Tour, Nick has battled back from serious injuries to achieve his present ranking and personifies the ideal balance of competitiveness and congeniality.

James Willstrop, England’s most successful junior player of all time, fulfilled his spectacular promise as a PSA World Tour player by attaining the coveted world number one ranking in January 2012 after a sensational three-tournament victory run at the end of 2011.  Ankle surgery in 2009 might have easily signaled the end of his career, but the dedicated Brit battled through that year’s British Open before falling to Nick Matthew in the fifth game of the finals.  2013 began with Willstrop slipping to number four in the world rankings, but together with Nick Matthew both are sure to present a formidable challenge to the Egyptian team.

Nimick shares, “This year’s Champions Challenge format ensures an action-packed experience as the four challengers battle it out in fast paced matches featuring shortened game scoring and shootout tiebreakers.”  All players will compete twice in matches to two games with the winner of the first game having the choice of selecting either a one- or three-point tiebreaker, if the match is knotted 1-1.  The Davis Cup-style competition features singles and reverse singles.

All competition takes place on a portable, self-contained glass court.   An additional two feet of decking is added to raise the all-glass show court off the flat floor of Symphony Hall, lending more of a “stage” feel to the event.  Four-seat Pops tables surround the court and floor guests enjoy a fabulous complimentary menu to further enhance the evening.

Showdown IV is presented by First Republic Bank and supported by Brown Brothers Harriman, Dover Rug & Home, Dunlop, Joslin Diabetes Center, Lexington Partners, MA Squash and MFS Investments. The official charity is SquashBusters (www.squashbusters.org), an after school enrichment program that teaches sport, academics and life skills to Boston’s inner city youth.

Founded in 1985, First Republic Bank and its affiliated companies provide private banking, private business banking and private wealth management, including investment, trust and brokerage services. First Republic specializes in delivering exceptional, relationship-based service through preferred banking and wealth management offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, Greenwich and New York City. More information is available on the Bank’s website at http://www.firstrepublic.com.