This question of how long a typical squash match lasts is very interesting, because with it comes the inevitable problem of how to ensure that you are physically and emotionally fit enough to withstand all the demands that the squash match will bring. .
Recently, there has been a shift in both amateurs and professionals to adopt normal or American scoring where every point counts no matter who serves. This tends to shorten the total game time as players are constantly shifting their score with each rally towards their goal of 11 points. If they reach 10 points, each player must win by a margin of 2 points net 14-12. International scoring was played with a scoring method where a player had to serve and win the rally to score a point.
I attended the longest game. It was played at the 1983 Chichester Open England between Jahangir Khan, world champion of Pakistan and Gamal Awad, the Egyptian No.1 that I coached between matches. He had been my training partner for a few years and we had discussed a plan.
The first match lasted 75 minutes. The plan was not to open the court and just wear Jahangir. Gamal stuck to the game plan brilliantly but Jahangir tied it length for length. The first rally lasted 7 minutes and ended in a let, which means the point was replayed!
The first point was scored after 15 minutes and the entire match, which consisted of only 4 games, lasted 2 hours 46 minutes. What do you say to a guy who came back from an 8-1 deficit to win the game but faces the onslaught of winning 2 more games. All Gamal could ask me was to please rub his legs as they were cramping, he knew he couldn’t keep this up indefinitely but was willing to try and stick to the game plan. We had no idea how Jahangir felt, it couldn’t have been great, but that first game had taken its toll.
He played the rest of the game and in the middle of the second game he started looking for winners because he knew he had given everything he had to give. The end result was 9-10,9-5, 9-7, 9-2.
The interesting thing about this match was that Gamal was never the same again. This match broke his mind, realizing he couldn’t beat Jahangir was devastating for him, and he retired from the competition a few years later.
Squash lost a legend when in 2004, at the age of 49, he suddenly died of a heart attack.
The longest women’s match lasted 1 hour 57 minutes, with 90 seconds between matches and with a 5 minute warm-up the match lasted a total of 2 hours 7 minutes. It was played in 1981 at Mayfair Parkway in Toronto in the Women’s World Championships final between Rhonda Thorne now Clayton and Vicki Hoffman now Cardwell.
This match also had a tragic outcome, the loss of friendship between these two Australian compatriots. Vicki was fine the whole time she was No.1 in the world and Rhonda, her training partner and teammate, was No.2, but by the time it was reversed it seemed like more than Vicki could accept. Emotionally, it took Vicki years to figure this out. This is often the case in life when the status quo is upset, the new order is not always easily accepted.
This match even changed Rhonda, who, having achieved the goal for which she had strived for so long, lost some of her competitive advantage and retired a few years later after the World Squash Championships. 1983 in Australia. Again, it is not uncommon in life to focus and move towards a goal once achieved, resetting a new destination is often very difficult.
Now, most amateur matches last around 35 minutes for amateurs and 45 minutes for professionals. This means that there has been a slight change in the emotional and physical demands of the competitors. The normal score favors the opportunist and with shorter rallies the intensity must inevitably be high, any lack of focus will likely mean that a point is scored, unlike the international score where there could be only one loss on duty.
However, make sure that anyone who wins a major competition will need to focus, focus, and muster up reserves of strength and courage to ultimately emerge victorious.