The world’s oldest international squash matches, the Lapham-Grant matches, will be held in Philadelphia for the first time since 1947 this weekend at Merion Cricket Club and the Cynwyd club.
The annual Lapham-Grant matches take place between four different competitions — the men’s singles competing for the Lapham Cup, men’s doubles competing for the Grant Trophy, women’s singles and doubles competing for the Crawford Trophy, and the ‘legends’ doubles — male players over sixty-five years of age — competing for the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy.
The Lapham cup matches dating back to 1922, are believed to be one of the oldest amateur sporting events between two countries having been played for ninety consecutive years. The Grant Trophy matches were inaugurated in 1945, the Crawford Trophy matches in 1999, and the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy matches in 2001.
U.S. Lapham captain Gilly Lane looks forward to the matches returning to Philadelphia.
“Hosting the matches in Philadelphia, one of the squash hotbeds in the United States, is truly exciting, ” Lane said. “With our court capacity between Merion and Cynwyd, we’re making sure everyone who is traveling long distances will get as many matches as possible, and we have more matches scheduled than in past years, which is great.”
The United States sides will aim to reverse their fortunes after Canada swept the matches last year in Vancouver.
“You always want to win and stand your ground at home, ” Lane continued. “I think everyone is looking forward to a really great weekend. The Lapham-Grant is one of the oldest tournaments out there and it’s definitely one of the most prestigious in terms of how many years it has been run and the amount of history that’s involved. We’re always looking to win, but also doing it the right way, having a good time, and protecting home soil.
“I think the combination of ages and events is fantastic and it brings together everything that is great about squash. It brings together players from around the North America and ranges from players who play the game for a living to others who are playing because it’s the game they love. It’s such a great combination and is unique in that these different levels of players are on the same team representing their countries, and it brings the best competitiveness out of everyone.
“It’s a weekend for rekindling old friendships, making new friendships, representing the United States, doing it with a smile on your face and being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself.
“Massive thanks goes out to the captains Keith Flavell, Mark Pagon, Marci Sier, Molly Pierce, Radhika Cobb, Peter Day, and Bob Dubeau. Most importantly to Tracy Greer, Merion Cricket Club, and Cynwyd club for organizing.”