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Sammy Linebaugh Reporting...Salt Lake is getting a visit from some of the world's best squash players. About 30 women from ten countries have come here to match their skills with a squash racquet.
Squashworks here in downtown Salt Lake opened up in 1999. Now, three and a half years later, they have about 300 local club members and this weekend -- a show from some of the professional tour's top women.
They come from England, Ireland, Mexico and Malaysia.
Sharon Wee/Malaysia: "I WAS 12 YEARS OLD WHEN I STARTED TO PLAY SQUASH, AND I GOT HOOKED."
Most here as part of the 2003 World Tour played squash as kids.
Cassie Jackman and Vicky Botwright are the top two seeds of the tournament. Both players are from England where squash is big time sport.
Vicky Botwright/England: "EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT SQUASH IS LIKE, IF YOU'RE OUT AND SOMEONE ASKS YOU WHAT YOU'RE DOING, YOU SAY YOU PLAY SQUASH, THEN THEY'LL BE OH, OKAY, WHAT'S YOUR RANKING AND WHERE DO YOU PLAY AT."
In America, though most are familiar with racquetball, squash hasn't exactly reached mega sport status. In fact some here apparently have never heard of the game.
Lara Petera/New Zealand: "IF YOU COME IN ON A FLIGHT EVERYONE'S LIKE WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR, THEY'RE LIKE THAT'S A FRUIT."
Sharon Wee/Malaysia: "LOTS OF PEOPLE, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT IS SQUASH, BUT IF YOU SAY IT'S LIKE RACQUET GAME, THEY SAY OH, RACQUET GAME!"
That's part of the challenge -- to see who can scoop that little ball and smack it away -- match after match.
Vicky Botwright/England: "YOU CAN PLAY FOR 40 MINUTES, HAVE A GOOD SWEAT, BE QUITE AGGRESSIVE AND THEN SHAKE HANDS AND HAVE A DRINK YOU KNOW."
Lara Petera/New Zealand: "A REAL GOOD WORKOUT FOR YOUR LEGS, YOUR BACK, YOUR UPPER BODY, I DON'T KNOW I'M JUST CRAZY OVER IT, I SUPPOSE."
The quarterfinals of this Salt Lake tournament will start tonight. Play continues tomorrow with the finals on Sunday. The winner goes away with eleven thousand dollars.