Squash legend poised for padel success
It seems scarcely a week goes by without an ex-tennis player converting to padel. What is baffling though is why – with our sport being a hybrid of tennis and squash – the defection rate from former elite squash players is scarcely noticeable. That is until now! RJ Mitchell reports.
The Bandeja can reveal that Jahangir Khan, the uncontested squash GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), with a record-breaking 16 major titles in his stay-pressed ‘80s shorts, is not only a keen padel fan but has launched his own ‘Padelized’ racket brand in conjunction with Unsquashable, the company which supplied his rackets during the mind-boggling 555 match unbeaten run he clocked up in the mid-80s, and is about to launch padel courts in Pakistan.
Speaking exclusively to The Bandeja Jahangir, a keen racket sport fan who was twice World Hardball Champ, said: “Of late everywhere I go I have been hearing about how popular padel is becoming and how the sport is growing. In Dubai I believe there are six month waiting times for membership at some venues. In many ways the way padel is growing reminds me of how squash grew in the boom of the 70s and 80s. The big difference is that padel is easier technically and physically to take up and play than squash.
“Also with it being doubles it is a very sociable sport – I am looking forward to bringing my friends to the JK Legends Arena, which I will shortly be opening back home in Karachi (Pakistan),” added the squash legend.
Moving on to the inspiration and ethos behind his new Padelized JK racket series Jahangir said: “When the opportunity came along through Unsquashable to launch the new Padelized range with my JK racket series it was just something new that really excited me.
“Padelized padel equipment incorporates state-of-the-art technology to help players perform at their best and gain maximum enjoyment from playing one of the world’s most exciting and healthy sports and a sport I am enjoying more each time I play it. All rackets share a distinct 460cm2 round head which allows the balance point to be closer to the handle. This improves manoeuvrability and increases the overall sweet spot for greater ease of play.”
The rackets also benefit from what Jahangir described as a ‘major benefit’ – a technological breakthrough called ProSkin. This innovative racket face surface treatment gives better grip on the ball and maximises control, providing superior levels of spin and better control.
These are exciting times for Jahanghir, who will shortly open The Legends Arena bearing his name in his home city of Karachi – and you guessed it there will be padel!
Reflecting on this he said: “With padel tennis I have got involved with the Legends Arena by JK development in Karachi. We will have two padel courts for sure. There will also be futsol pitches, a multi-sports court, jogging track, kick boxing academy, tae Kwando, gym and a cricket academy. But the padel aspect really excites me. My padel courts will be the first in Pakistan and from other provinces in Pakistan I have already had people asking me to build courts in their areas!
“Although I still play squash for fun and do some private coaching in the USA and of course I still like to hit a squash ball, I think I will be playing more and more padel in the future!” he added. 🎾