I have grown up watching Ramy Ashour and Nick Matthew and I consider them as my idols. I admire the way both played in their heyday, and it was a happy moment for me when I met both of them.
As a squash player, I feel Ramy is the best the world has ever seen. Before playing any tournament, I make sure to watch old videos, learn a thing or two from his game. His drive and determination inspire me and when I met him in 2010, during a PSA tournament in Mumbai, I asked him about the secret of his success.
It was very exciting to meet him. I took his autograph and I still remember what he told me. “I hope to see you at the big stage soon…”
I really hope it happens. Back then, those words from Ramy were really encouraging. I remember after meeting him, I was so happy and had even put his photo as wallpapers on my phone and desktop. He is one of the best Egyptian players in the world, and it has been a pleasure knowing him.
I was lucky enough to meet my other favourite, Nick Matthew, on a number of occasions.
He is a three-time world champion, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and also three-time British Open champion. He is like the Roger Federer of squash and I had the opportunity of meeting him for the first time in 2010. Later in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, I met him during the British Open. He is an amazing guy and my coach, Amit Chinai, is a big fan of Matthew’s style of play and technique, so I grew up admiring him. He was tough to beat on court. Every time I meet him, he tells me to enjoy the game and not take any pressure from coaches or parents. I still follow his advice and that has helped me improve my game.
As told to Shayan Acharya.
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