ALLAM BRITISH OPEN: THE B I G INTERVIEW
11 POINTS WITH RAMY ASHOUR
INTERVIEW BY ALAN THATCHER
1: How do you feel about the British Open being back on the calendar?
It’s great to be playing the British Open, such an important, glamorous event. It’s really good to finally have it bigger than the few past years which displays it in its right weight and prestige around the world, and especially when all the players compete fiercely to do well in it.
So now the effort has been made to bring back a tournament with great importance like the British Open, we hope the play will match the standard of the size of the tournament.
2: Wonderful to see an Egyptian sponsor come to the rescue. Have you met Dr Allam yet?
I am very proud that Mr Allam is the sponsor. We haven’t met in person but I am very glad and proud that an Egyptian enthusiastic, successful businessman who loves squash is sponsoring the British Open.
3: What do you think of the venue at the O2 Arena?
4: Congratulations on winning at El Gouna. That must have been important for you.
Well, I am glad I came back from the injury and won the tournament. It’s the coming back from the hard times that I am proud of and then comes winning it.
5: I read recently that you feel you are being more professional and more focused about your squash career. Please tell us more. What things in your life have you changed?
Not much. I am working with the Aspire Academy in Qatar. It is an amazing place and they are putting me on the right track and making me do the things I should have done since I started playing sports.
6: There are so many talented Egyptian players in squash. Does squash get much publicity back home?
Yes, it does, the prominent players as well those who are coming through.
7: How are things back home in Egypt after the revolution?
We are awaiting the new president (the rescue).
8: Have the troubles affected squash in any way? (Mohamed El Shorbagy said: “Nothing stops squash in Egypt – not even a revolution!”)
It did as the big tournaments were put off like Sky Petrosport and Al Ahram …. businessmen are too busy watching the stock markets rise and fall rapidly every day and less interest is being directed towards the game.
9: However, the El Gouna tournament put Egypt back on the squash map.
Yes, El Gouna was an amazing gutsy and brave move from Mr Sawires to make such a great event happen at such times…and it was very successful.
10: The Olympics will be taking place in London in a few weeks’ time. How do you feel about the World Squash Federation’s Back The Bid for 2020 campaign?
Of course, happy to back it as we deserve it, but I am feeling bad as I really wished I could have come here for the British Open then go back home, train hard then come back a month later to play the Olympics. It’s a dream for every squash player and it will come true one day, and I will do everything I can to assist the squash world to enlist squash in the Olympics.
11: You said a few months ago that you were thinking about your future in the game. We are all glad to see you back in good shape, playing great squash and winning tournaments again. What goals have you set for the next two years?
A: Staying healthy and every day appreciating being given this gift of squash.
Ramy, thank you for taking time out from your preparations to talk to us. Good luck this week.