Photo of the Year 2019

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Voting Closed

The Photo of the Year will be announced in Squash Player magazine
issue SP201, March
Steve Line, Squash Player's globetrotting photographer, has chosen his top 10 photos from events he covered in 2019. Fans can pick their favourite and vote for the Photo of the Year here.
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1. Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Joel Makin (WAL) -2018/19 World Championships, Chicago, 3rd round. Squash is the most athletic of sports and here Ghosal twists in mid air to retrieve a forehand after being wrong footed by Makin. A perfect example of how the camera can reveal a split second of dramatic action that would be lost to the naked eye.

2. Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Paul Coll (NZ) - 2019 British Open, Hull, 3rd round. It is not always the striker that makes the picture. Here Coll makes every effort to leap out of the way to clear the ball …..but unfortunately fails to do so and a stroke is awarded against him. One of squash’s attractions for the photographer is how it continuously provides an interaction between the 2 opponents, something no other racket sport offers.

3. Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Camille Serme (FRA) - 2019/20 World Championships, Cairo, Quarter-Final. Hammamy, the current World Junior Champion, is providing an increasing threat to the more established players on the tour. Here she shows her delight at beating the 3rd seed in her home city in front of the pyramids….and the photo encapsulates the story by contrasting the elation of the winner with the disappointment of the unfortunate loser.

4. Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) – 2019/20 World Championships, Qatar, 2nd round. Qatar has been hosting a major squash tournament since 1992 and has been nurturing their talented home grown player, Tamimi, at the event since 2010. This year it hosted the World Championships and Tamimi achieved his first ever win in his home event by beating Greg Marche and then followed it up here by a victory over Mathieu Castagnet – the delight of the local crowd and Board members is plain to see.

5. Paul Coll (NZ) v Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) - 2019/20 World Championships, Qatar, Semi-Final. The first thing a newspaper editor will ask for is an emotional shot so as to grab the reader’s attention. Coll here is a picture of joy as he secures a win to be the first of his countrymen to reach a World Championships Final since Ross Norman in 1986 - the diagonal angle of his body adds to the dynamic nature of the picture.

6. Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Raneem El Welily (EGY) – 2019 World Tour Finals, Cairo, Semi-Final. The speed of the ball in squash means that the players are constantly improvising their play, with between the legs and around the back shots becoming increasingly commonplace. Here El Tayeb attempts a very awkward variation of the latter and the camera captures just how well she executes it.

7. 2019/20 World Championships (Pyramids), Giza pyramids, Cairo, Final. Ever since the court was put in this position in front of the Giza pyramids in 1996 and 1997 and the photo was used in numerous newspapers and magazines around the world a number of Egyptian promoters have tried to replicate it, but none have managed to obtain permission to get it back to THE location. Well, judging by the reaction of promoter Amr Mansi and the Vice President of sponsors CIB, Hussein Abaza, they were absolutely delighted to return to this premier location and again provide the best ever backdrop in world sport. Majestic!

8. Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Raneem El Welily (EGY), 2019 British Open, Hull, 2nd round. Playing opponents over many years, with all the associated shared experiences and emotions, builds up an intense camaraderie that is unique to sportmen and sportswomen. Here former world no. 2 Jenny Duncalf ends her glittering career against world no 1 Welily and their genuine respect and friendship is so apparent in this lovely photo.

9. Miguel Rodriguez (COL), 2018/19 World Championships, Chicago, 3rd round. A Photo of the Year collection wouldn’t be complete without a diving shot and who better than the King of Divers, Miguel Rodriguez. His total commitment to flying through the air to reach the ball at full stretch has provided some of my top photos and this ranks with the very best. Many thanks Miguel!

10. 2018/19 World Championships, (Chicago) Union Station, Chicago. The greatest marketing tool for squash is the ability for the main show court to be sited in exotic locations around the world, be it Grand Central Station, the Giza pyramids or Hong Kong harbour amongst many others. At almost a century old Union Station is one of the grandest in the US. With the evening session in play the ceiling lights reveal just why it should also be added to the list. Beautiful!

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