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Squash Tournament Underway At Grand Central

Squash Court (file / credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images for DAGOC)

Squash Court (file / credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images for DAGOC)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The world’s best squash players are in New York and they’re playing right in Grand Central Terminal!

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

They’re making a racket in Vanderbilt Hall.

“We set up the four-walled glass court, which is behind us. You can hear the ball bouncing off of it. And then we have stadium style seating on three sides of the court but we leave the front wall open to the public,” said Beth Rasin, associate director of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

The glass-cube weighs ten tons!

Even rushed commuters stop in their tracks.

“Very unique,” said Leon from Manhattan, who is a squash player. “Most people don’t know what it is. So you have to tell them it’s kind of like racquetball or tennis.”

But the ball’s a lot harder.

“Especially when you get hit by it,” he said.

The ball is made of rubber and these pros can hit it at 171 miles per hour.

Master player Peter France Nichols says Grand Central isn’t actually the most unusual place he has played.

“This glass court goes up in amazing venues. I’ve played in front of the pyramids in Giza. However, this has its own unique and special atmosphere because it’s New York – the New Yorkers, the crowd,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

“It’s a great, festive, celebratory squash week in New York,” said Rasin.

It’s like a mini U.S. Open, complete with a players village and champagne bar.

The tournament started Thursday and runs through January 26.

Have you played squash? Share your story in the comments section below!