James Zug

Conqueror of the World

By James Zug 555: The Untold Story Behind Squash’s Invincible Champion and Sport’s Greatest Unbeaten Run by Rod Gilmour and Alan Thatcher Worthing, England: Pitch Publishing, 2016 It is hard to recall now, a quarter of a century later, just what a big deal Jahangir Khan was. He was consistently dominant like no other player […]

Maria Toorpakai—The Squash Pro Who Became a Media Star

By James Zug A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight By Maria Toorpakai with Katharine Holstein (Twelve, 2016) Within the squash world, it was well-known that Maria Toorpakai had a special story. She had been a promising junior, the first woman to come out of the great […]

Expat Entrepreneurs Open Shop Stateside

Lighting the Way: A New Solution for Squash Court Lights By James Zug It started about seven years ago when Lee Witham and his wife Jihyeong (everyone calls her JiJi) decided to build a weekend home in upstate New York. Working early from scratch, they ambitiously decided to build a net-zero energy house. It wasn’t […]

New Squash Documentary Takes a Look Behind the Glass

By James Zug Camera crews often come to film at urban squash programs. Usually they are making a short segment for local television. It is pretty common. George Polsky, the founder and executive director of StreetSquash, counted twenty different crews that visited his program. The twenty-first has stayed. Archimedia Films is making a feature-length documentary […]

Merion Says Farewell to Hardball Singles

By James Zug In February, the U.S. National Hardball Singles Championships had a successful farewell as a national championship at Merion Cricket Club. Eighty-one players from around the continent came to Philadelphia to play with the Slazenger fuchsia ball in the eighteen-and-a-half-foot-wide court. The draws contained some classic hardball names—Davenport, Edwards, Pearson—as well as a […]

A Historic Wimbledon of Squash

By James Zug Kingston upon Hull, the East Yorkshire port town, has a delightful old district along the harbor: narrow, cobblestoned streets, ancient pubs, a museum about slavery in the Georgian home of William Wilberforce. On the other side of town, in West Hull, is KC Stadium where Hull FC, the rugby league team, and […]

Take the Elevator: The Windy City Soars to New Heights

by James Zug A couple of indelible images from the 2016 Windy City Open remain in the squash frontal lobe. The “I don’t believe it, that is a joke, an absolute joke,” sequence at 7-5 in the fourth game of Mathieu Castagnet & Daryl Selby’ s second-round match. If you are a reader of this […]

The Ferocity of His Velocity: Gregory Gaultier Finally Wins the World Title

By James Zug When Gregory Gaultier won the 2015 Men’s World Squash Championships, the scene was perhaps as dramatic a moment as we have ever seen at the forty-year-old event. Gaultier was avenging nine years of agony. The finals of the 2006 World Open, held in front of the Pyramids of Giza, was the original, […]

SquashBond Promotes Bonds of Friendship in Israel

By James Zug It sounds deceptively simple. Put two kids in a squash court and let them play. Nothing is simple in Israel. History, religion, politics impinge—disruptively—on every aspect of life. “Back in 2012, I was talking with Variv Bloomberg at a tournament and we got the idea of trying to help kids in Israel,” […]