This question of how long is typical squash match is very interesting, because with it flows the inevitable problem of how to make sure you are fit enough physically and emotionally to withstand all the demands that the squash match will bring.
Recently there has been a shift both in the amateur and professional to adopt Par or American scoring where every point counts regardless of who is serving. This tends to shorten the total match time as players are constantly moving their score on each rally to their goal of 11 points. Should they reach 10 points each one player must win by a margin of 2 clear points 14-12. International scoring was played with a method of scoring where a player had to be serving and win the rally to score a point.
I witnessed the longest match. It was played at the Chichester Open England 1983 between Jahangir Khan, World Champion from Pakistan and Gamal Awad, Egypt’s # 1 whom I as coaching between games. He had been my training partner for a couple of years and we had discussed a plan.
The first game lasted 75 minutes. The plan was to not open the court and to simply wear Jahangir down. Gamal played to the game plan brilliantly but Jahangir matched him length for length. The first rally took 7 minutes and resulted in a let, meaning the point was replayed!
The first point was scored after 15 minutes and the and the entire match which was only 4 games was 2 hours 46 minutes. What do you say to a guy who came back from an 8-1 deficit to win the game but has to face the onslaught of winning 2 more games. All Gamal could ask me was to please rub his legs as they were cramping, he knew that he could not keep this up for ever but was prepared to try to stick to the game plan. We had no idea about how Jahangir felt, it could not have been great, but that first game had taken it’s toll.He played the rest of the match and in the middle of the second game started to go for winners as he knew he had given all he had to give. The final result was 9-10,9-5, 9-7, 9- 2.
The interesting thing about this match was that Gamal was never the same again. This match broke his spirit, realizing that he could not beat Jahangir was devastating to him, and he retired from competition a few years later.