Amanda Sobhy is the top-ranked woman in the U.S. in professional squash. She is among 64 of the world’s best, playing the fast-paced racquet sport inside a portable glass squash court at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.
“It is an incredible atmosphere. I tell people all the time, ‘Oh yeah, we have a tournament in Grand Central,’ and they are like, ‘What? How do you do that?’ And I say, ‘You just set up a glass court and it’s fine,” said Sobhy, a Long Island native whose sister, Sabrina, is also competing.
What You Need To Know
- The JP Morgan Tournament of Champions is a squash tournament at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall
- The tournament runs through May 7
- It returns for the first time since January 2020
- Sixty-four of the world’s top players are competing in the event
The 24th JP Morgan Tournament of Champions is back at Grand Central for the first time since January 2020. It was cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic, and then postponed in January as the omicron variant brought a surge.
“We joke that this isn’t the 2022 Tournament of Champions, it’s the 2022.5 Tournament of Champions,” said John Nimick, the tournament director and producer of the event.
Sobhy said she missed coming back to the New York area for the tournament. She is now based in Philadelphia.
“I missed the home energy, and just the hometown crowd, having my friends be able to see me,” Sobhy said. “I haven’t see people in years, so I kind of use this tournament as an excuse to bring people together to come and visit me.”
Shahjahan Khan is the top-ranked American on the men’s side, and top 30 in the world. This is his first Tournament of Champions. He said he didn’t think all of the commuters walking by the court at Grand Central would be a distraction.
“Once we are on the court, our focus is on the ball and on our opponent. That’s it,” Khan said.
For passersby at Grand Central, it is hard not to have their focus on the court, which takes three and a half days to put up. Nimick says it’s like a billboard promoting the sport.
“We put the word “squash” out there on the front so people know what they are looking at and they can watch for free,” said Nimick, who noted that fans can also buy tickets for the seats on three sides of the court.
The tournament runs through May 7. Head to its website for more information.