Tournament of Champions in Grand Central this week
By Sarah Odell
Anyone striding through Grand Central Terminal this week could be excused for looking up from their Blackberries and iPhones and thinking they had accidentally zig-zagged west to Madison Square Garden (OK, not really, but…)
It’s not everyday that an all-glass regulation squash court with stadium seating is erected in the footpath of 150,000 commuters. I’m talking about the annual Tournament of Champions, a mega event featuring 32 of the world’s top squash players – along with a constellation of non-pro events, including the GrandOpen, which I played in last weekend as part of “Squash Week.”
As someone who has watched and played squash in 90-plus degree heat in Israel, on grungy college courts, at some of the most elite clubs in Greenwich, CT, Philadelphia, PA, there is something truly exhilarating about seeing squash in Grand Central. It’s just different to see the game in Vanderbilt Hall, an elegant space with 48-foot ceilings and chandeliers, with views on all sides and the sound of New York traffic about twenty feet from the court.
The story at this year ‘s Grand Open, hosted by the Metropolitan Squash Rackets Association (MSRA) and played at the Harvard Club, Princeton Club, Yale Club, Sports Club LA and New York Sports Club Uptown (and drew 200 players from across the US!)