Squash: James Willstrop column JAN 18

There are spectacular events staged in all parts of the world in squash, but no tournament has ever reached its climax in the way that the World Series Finals did in London on Saturday, as far as I am aware.

In fact, the tournament didn't reach its expected climax at all for finals day was postponed because of tears in the structure which housed the all-glass court at the Queens Club, a glitch caused by the strong winds overnight.

An inflatable white tent-like bubble contained one of the most impressive squash arenas I have seen, standing majestically in the centre of the Queens tennis complex.

Happily, all the group matches and the semi-finals had been completed, meaning at least four days of action had taken place without issue.

So when the wind blew and the tent structure failed on Saturday, leaving organisers and PSA staff reeling, at least the event up to this stage had been the considerable success that everyone had hoped for.

It had justified the amounts of money that Ziad-al-Turki, a PSA board

member and Saudi benefactor, had thrown into the project to make it second to no other.

I arrived at Queens at around 2pm on Saturday for my 3/4 play-off match to an unusual sight: ticket holders congregated on the clubhouse seats.

Before long the venue was declared unsafe and nothing could be done to save the squash. It had been hoped that something could have been done to make it playable on Sunday, but realistically this was never going to materialise.

Five or six present and former players, including the great Jonah Barrington, conducted a squash question-and-answer session hoping to give the spectators something to ease the disappointment of the postponement.

Certainly Jonah's eloquent way with words kept a rapt audience entertained for an hour or two.

No sooner had this finished than the whole of Queens Club was evacuated, such was the danger. With that, every soul at the club – including members not involved in the squash – began to disperse.

It was a sad and bewildering end to a good week. The final between Yorkshire's Nick Matthew the world number one, and Amr Shabana, will hopefully take place at some stage, when a gap in the calendar becomes available, giving the tournament the conclusion that it needs and deserves.

SIDELINED: Leeds United's 
Mateusz Klich. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Video: Klich and Cibicki stuck on the sidelines at Leeds United