Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ontario Junior Closed

     This past weekend 10 of the WSF juniors competed in the BMO Nesbitt Burns Ontario Closed tournament.  This is one of the biggest tournaments in Ontario as it counts for points to make Team Ontario at the Canadian Winter Games.  In other words, the best players came out including those that are playing on University teams. 
     The highlight of the weekend was Ananya Maheshwari.  Ananya was seeded 2nd in the U15 draw but her first round opponent pushed her to a tough game 5 which Ananya was able to win.  After that, there was no looking back for Ananya as she end up defeating the #1 seed in 4 games, making her the U15 Ontario Champ.
      Our other highlight was Amin Khan.  Amin was coming off a win at our tournament and came into this tournament seeded #3.  Unfortunately, Amin couldn't beat a hot Dylan Deverill as he did in the last tournament.  However, Amin went on the win the bronze medal in the U17 draw.
     Other highlights from the weekend include our newly-adopted Phil Shillington.  If you haven't met Phil yet, he is a co-op student from Ottawa who has been helping out Graeme and Dave.  Phil is relatively new to the Gold scene, coming off a recent victory in a Silver tournament.  Phil ended up playing on Sunday in the Bronze division final.  Phil quickly went down 2-0.  However, he snuck out games 3 & 4, pushing the match to a game 5.  Phil ran out to a 9-2 lead, only to have his opponent tie the match at 10-10.  They went back and forth for many points until Phil finally emerged with a 14-12 victory.
     Jagroop Bhangoo and Hannah Guthrie both played stellar by beating higher seeds in the their draws.  Jagroop lost in a very tough consolation semi-final match.  Hannah shook off one of her nemesis and won the Bronze division. 
     Vishaal Mehta continued his improved play and also took home the Bronze division crown.  Usman continued to give all his opponents tough matches and never going down without a fight.  Sara Khan drew top seeds early on but played them tough.  Luca Dalla Bona made his return to provincial level squash and played like he never left.  Complete draws can be found here.  Next up, the Canadian Open at White Oaks.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Windsor U15 at RTC Cup

     This weekend 7 of Windsor's top U15 players took part in the inaugural Round Table Cup at Mayfair Lakeshore.  This team tournament was open to all clubs in Ontario and the intent was to get the province's top U15 players together for some meaningful matches and, of course, crown the top club!  8 of Ontario's most prominent club were up for the challenge.  Windsor Squash and Fitness team consisted of, Imola Nagy, Ananya Maheshwari, Carter Furmanek, Dylan Charles, Vishaal Mehta, Gavin Chamandy and Gabe VanMorsel coached by Dave Morrish.
     Windsor cruised through the first two rounds barely dropping a match.  In the semi-finals they came up against a very strong Mayfair Lakeshore team.  WSF managed to squeak through with a very tight 4-3 win, putting them in the finals verse the #1 seed, Ontario Racquet Club.  First up was Imola Nagy.  Imola's game has been coming on strong and she showed this weekend she was ready to take the next step in her game.  She played a strong match, hitting great shots and moving her opponent around the court.  Unfortunately, her opponent was a veteran of many high level squash tournaments and he was able to hang around and take the match. 
      There was no concern on the WSF team because Gavin was up next.  Gavin has really picked up his game and he was very steady on the court thus far.  Gavin continued his great play with amazing retrieving and shot-making and tied up the match 1-1.   Next up was Dylan.  Dylan came out firing Game 1 and put on a brilliant display of steady, error-free play and easily won game 1.  Dylan's opponent wasn't going down without a fight and Game 2 could have gone either way.  A couple of great shots by his opponent allowed him to take Game 2.  Game 3 & 4 were equally tight but Dylan just could not pull through.  ORC 2, WSF 1.
     Next up was Carter.  Carter had plenty of opportunities to win game 1 with 3 game balls.  A couple of bad bounces caused Carter to lose Game 1.  The rest of the match was equally tight.  Either player could have won this match but ORC took the win, 3-1.  While this was going on, Gabe was also battling it out on the court next door.  Gabe put up a fierce battle against a very tough opponent and he couldn't put a stop the ORC wave.  This meant that mathematically, WSF couldn't win.  That didn't stop Ananya and Vishaal playing for pride and make this a closer match.  In the end, ORC was too strong, winning the tournament 6-1.  However, Windsor did amazing finishing 2nd out of 8 and finishing higher than their seed.  Well done team!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ciena Healthcare Gold #2

   Windsor Squash and Fitness was the second stop on the Ontario Gold circuit and 95 of Ontario's best squash players made their way to Windsor.  For some of Windsor's newer juniors, this was their introduction to high-level tournament play.  For others, they were looking to continue to move up the rankings and improve their play. 
     Friday and Saturday saw some amazing squash.  Top-seeded Ananya Maheshwari moved on in her round-robin after playing a tough 5-gamer.   Amin Khan (#4 seed) upset the #1 seed in 4 games.  Vishaal Mehta and Jagroop Bhangoo cruised through the consolation draws. 
     Saturday night was the Ciena Healthcare sponsored dinner.  Windsor is the only tournament that puts on a dinner/banquet for all its participants.  The highlight of the night is the iPhone draw for the players, courtesy of Ciena Healthcare.  How appropriate that Phil Shillington (Dave's co-op student) won a phone given that he just dropped and broke his this week. 
     Sunday was finals day for all the draws/division.  Without a doubt, the most anticipated match of the day was Amin's.  Amin was out to revenge his loss to Daniel Malik in the last tournament.  Today was Amin's day as he rode the home crowd support to take the U17 title in 5 games.  Well done Amin!
     Not to be overlooked was another important match.  Ananya was in the U15 finals on the court next door.  Windsorites were torn about what match to watch.  Ananya's match also went 5 games and game 5 was only separated by a couple of points.  Unfortunately Ananya couldn't pull out game 5.  Ananya's play showed us that she is going to be a tough competitor in future tournaments. 
     Other notables from the weekend.  Jagroop had a really strong tournament by winning the consolation.  Vishaal stepped up his game and making it to the consolation finals.  Nathan Brockenshire showed that he is ready to compete in Ontario Golds. 
     Once again, the Windsor community stepped up and helped make this event the best junior tournament in Ontario.  Many compliments were given by out of towners about WSF hospitality and the greater community.  Thank you Anis for sponsoring this event and making it the great tournament it is.  Thank you to Graeme and Dave for running a very smooth tournament.  Thank you to the junior committee for all of your work behind the scenes. 
    Pictures of the event (courtesy of Iris and Isobel) can be found here.  Complete draws can be found here.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

World Masters, Final Day

     This is it.  A week of world class squash (not by us of course) comes to a close.  In our finals matches, Trevor played off for 5th place in his division and won 3-1
      Dave finished off the week on a very positive note.  Dave was playing the Canadian 50+ masters champs, Trent Haase.  However, Dave never let Trent get comfortable during the match.  Dave kept Trent on his heels and used his arrays of shots to frustrate him.  Despite Dave's 3-0 win, it was a hard-fought victory.  Dave ended up in 13th place.  Well done Dave!

Highlights from the week


1.  Meeting so many squash people from around the world
2.  Winning an international match
3.  Corrupting Jay


1.  Meeting like-minded individuals from around the world
2.  Playing on Day 6 of an international tournament
3.  Realizing Cheetos were a vegetarian source of protein


1.  Catching up with old friends
2.  Reaching final 16
3.  Hanging out with WSF guys


1.  Interacting with so many friendly people
2.  Meeting former top players in the world
3.  Hanging out with WSF guys


1.  Catching up with great players from the past
2.  Creating new friendships
3.  Doing everyone's laundry :)

Thank you Charlottesville for being a great host and putting on a first class event.  Photos of the week can be found here (well, some of them :))

Saturday, August 4, 2018

World Masters, Day 6

    As we approach the final days of the tournament we have a guest blogger for today.  Yes, Mr. Boast himself can actually write......

     Today started off as it usually does with the clattering of pots and pans in the kitchen followed by the shrill of Dave Morrish’s voice through the walls of our tiny apartment as he and Trevor (our newfound room-mate and Morrish’s buddy from South Africa and former world #22) reminisce in great detail about a match they played back in 1984.  The juniors would recognize this voice which similarly echoes through the triple thick pane glass squash court walls at Windsor Squash & Fitness. Craig lays there motionless on his blowup mattress in the living room with a pillow over his head seemingly i’m assuming for the dual purpose of comfort and/or a noise barrier. Today’s bonus discussion was how Dave ordered too much food at dinner last night but that problem was easily solved as Trevor quickly woofed down his vegetarian ravioli when we met him back at the apartment last night. Trevor‘s timing was right as Jay didn’t have an opportunity to take advantage of this rare opening of uneaten food and had to settle for his normal bowl of twigs sprigs and sprouts which includes some magic potion to keep him so young looking. He must have forgotten that the corn he boiled three days ago is still sitting in the same water in the pot on the stove. Having said that some may not recognize him as the picture of health as he discovered Cheetos on this trip and Craig and i are still trying to figure out how we’ve gone through 4 bags and need to go to Kroger for reinforcement.  Yours truly is sitting in bed writing this blog as we speak and waiting for the dust to settle before Dave, Jay and Trevor head out the door to the club. Only matches today include Trevor at 12:30 PM and Al at 1 PM. I am considering going into the kitchen to make breakfast but see a motionless Craig in the fetal position out there taking advantage of the peace and quiet. I’ll give him a few more minutes of R.E.M time before making my move. Even if I did happen to wake him up we all know that Craig is a team player and not a complainer. He’ll have to get up soon and visit the “loo” soon, as Dave would say anyway.

     First up was Trevor.  As Al mentioned Trevor is a world-class squash player but today he was feeling the effects of his previous match against previous master's winner, Willie Hosey.  Trevor came out flat today against a sharp-shooting Dominic Hughes from the USA and put an end to his tournament.
     Next up, our guest blogger.  Al was playing a guy that was born in Windsor and now lives in Waterloo (now he has a game when he travels).  His opponent was deceiving in warmups and it looked like this was going to be an easy win for Al.   However, once the match started his opponent turned it on hitting winner after winner.  Al had his chances to win and was slowly tiring out his opponent.  Unfortunately, Al needed to get a game win to extend the match and probably get the win and that didn't happen.  Congratulations Al on a great tournament and exceeding your tournament expectations.   
     Today was semi-finals day and the matches were incredible.  Dave Morrish was the guest commentary on Alistair Walker's match.  You can listen to Dave here (with a big shout out to Windsor Squash) and decide if Dave has a potential second career.  

Thursday, August 2, 2018

World Squash Masters, Day 4 & 5


     Today didn't get off to a great start for Windsor.  While Al did earn his second win of the tournament by playing his best game yet as he won over a French player named Default.  It was an amazing match as Al couldn't miss and his opponent had no answer.  So Al moves on to the next round with his "victory".
     Craig, on the other hand, had a really tough match against a true frenchman from Quebec.  Oddly enough, Dave used to give him lessons when he was in Ottawa.  However, the advice Dave gave Craig was clearly the wrong advice as his opponent took him down in 3 games ending Craig's tournament.
      Next up was Windsor's golden jewel of this tournament, Dave,  and wouldn't you know it, he was playing on the show court so you can see his match here.  Dave came up against a South African player, Mike Tootill, that Dave used to play against on the Tour.  He beat him once once on tour but Tootill's game really took off in his later years and Dave knew that he would have his hands full today.  Dave prediction came true as he went down 3-0.  However, that didn't stop Dave from making highlight reel shots and keeping his opponent guessing.  Congratulations Dave for making into the round of 16, no small feat when there are 128 players in your draw.  If you want to watch his match, you can find it here.


      Well, today got off to a rough start thanks to a US Squash sponsored party :).  First up was Al, who was playing the owner of Squash Gear.com and drinking water last night.  Al got off to a very rough start and didn't wake up until the end of Game 1 when he turned it on to squeeze out Game 1.  After that game there was no looking back and Al earned a 3-0 victory.
      Next up was Dave at 7:00, no wait, make that 1:30.  Apparently Dave is just learning how to read a draw.  Dave was feeling the effects of his previous matches and clearly didn't have it today, losing to a strong player from Ireland.  Fortunately for Dave he has a day off until his next round.

Here is a news story the local CBS ran on the tournament.

Live streaming can be found here. 
Complete draws can be found here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

World Squash Masters, Day 2 & 3


      Everyone had a "rest" day (it is masters squash) except for Dave.  Dave was up bright and early ready for the match.  Yes, our apartment reeked of Tiger Balm.  When he hit the court there was a bounce to his step.  As the match progressed, Dave floated around the court and hit deceptive shots that kept his opponent on his heels.  Dave cruised to a 3-0 victory and gave Windsor its first win.  Everyone is back on court Tuesday.


     This was looking to be a long day was each one of us were scheduled to play an hour apart from one another.  First up was Jay. In game 1, Jay had some trouble adjusting to his Irish opponents shot-making and lost game one.  In game 2 Jay adjusted and began to move his opponent around the court and almost took game 2.  In the end Jay went down in 3 and moved on the Plate 2 round later in the day. 
     Next up was Al.  He drew a hard-hitting lefty from Australia.  Al struggled to find any momentum in this match.  His opponent kept him off-balance with his kills and deadly serve.  By the time Al figured out his opponents game the match was over, relegating Al to the Plate 2 also.
     Next on the schedule was Craig.  Craig drew a former professional hardball player and a member of the McArthur Squash Club(check it out).  Craig jumped out to a 2-0 lead by playing steady and keeping his opponent under pressure.  Despite a little blip in game 4, he held on for his first World Masters win and advanced to the round of 16 in the consolation draw.  More importantly, it meant he didn't have to play again that day giving him some valuable rest. 
      Dave was looking to continue his hot play from yesterday and he did just that.  He continued with that bounce in his game and once again relied on keeping his opponent on his heels with his deception.  Dave cruised to a 3-0 win to move to the round of 16.  Unfortunately Dave has now come up against the #1 seed, one of the top 50+ players in the world and an old training partner of Dave's. 
      Jay was then up with his second match of the day and was starting to feel the effects of the tournament.  Jay was up against a crafty Irishmen that could shoot from anywhere on the court but struggled to get around the court.  Jay moved him around and hit many winners but the Irishmen kept just hanging around and Jay just couldn't put him away marking the end of Jay's tournament.  One of the most amazing thing about Jay this week is that this was his first tournament ever!  Way to start big Jay!
     Al was still searching for his first win of the tournament and not rely on Craig and Dave to supply all of Windsor's wins.  Al finally got his game going with lots of boasts and good length and easily won 3-0. 

Live streaming can be found here. 
Complete draws can be found here.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

World Squash Masters

2018 WSF World Masters Squash Championships      For the first time ever, the World Squash Masters is taking place on North American soil.  This tournament takes place every 2 years and is open to anyone who is 35 years or older.  This is the Olympics for squash players who continue to play competitively.  The draws are full of former top PSA players and even some still playing on the PSA tour.  This year's event saw over 800 players enter from 59 different nations, including 52 from Canada.
      Of those from Canada, 4 Windsor Squash players made the 10 hour drive to Charlottesville, Virginia.  Craig Guthrie(45+), Dave Morrish(50+), Jay Patel(55+) and Al Valente(55+) are all representing WSF in their respective age divisions.  Unfortunately, this was the best representation Windsor could get. 
      As you can imagine, the draws in this tournament are huge.  The 45+ draw has 101 players in it, while the 50+ had 90 and the 55+ had 119.  So for Al to win the tournament he will have to play 5 matches (not to mention beat 5 former top 20 PSA players and Canada's national champ from this year).  But it is not about winning, it is about competing and trying your best, right?
      First up in the first round matches were Jay Patel and Craig Guthrie.  Jay chose the right tournament to make his debut and he started in spectacular fashion.  At times, Jay seemed to be easily controlling this match.  However, his opponent continued to fight back and pushed Jay into game 5.  Jay had 3 match balls but was unable to close out his pesky opponent, losing 15-13. 
      Craig's first opponent was a veteran of the tournament circuit and started out hitting soft volleys and hard kills.  While Craig stayed in the rallies, he wasn't able to take a game off of his opponent.
     Next up was Al.  Al was playing a hard-hitting leftie from the British Virgin Islands.  Al got off to a slow start and had some difficulty adjusting to the pace of the court.  After going down 2 games, Al decided to turn it on (yes, boast) and ran out to a quick lead.  However, in the end he wasn't able to take advantage of his lead and lost in 3. 
     Next up, Dave Morrish tomorrow!

Live streaming can be found here. 
Complete draws can be found here.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Club Championships


     Matches continued Thursday evening, although it was a little quieter than previously nights.  In the Junior draw semi-finals, Ryan Guthrie and Amin Khan went back an forth for a good 45 min.  Despite having 4 match balls in the fifth game, Ryan couldn't pull it out giving Amin a 12-10 victory.  On the other side of that draw, Jagroop and Aaron were battling it out.  Unfortunately, Nagy had to withdraw due to injury.  This sets up a Jagroop vs. Amin final Saturday at 3:15.
     The B semi-finals is set for Friday as Steve Allen dispatched Arthur Nagy.  One half of the 40+ semi-finals is set as Dave Guthrie defeated Mike Wilbur.  In B doubles, the team of Usman Khan and Jagroop Bhangoo took on the "experience" of Herb and Ron Funkenhauser.  Game 1 game down the the final point and an unfortunate error by Jagroop gave Funkenhauser squared the game.  Game 2 also came down to the final point.  This time is was the Funkenhauser's who made the mistake.  It was looking like this match was going to back up the doubles courts for the evening.  As the match progressed the Funkenhausers began to fade allowing Khan/Bhangoo to take the match.
     The final match of the evening was an A doubles semi-finals of Guthrie(C)/Williams vs. Guthrie(D)/Lansens.  The match consisted of many uncharacteristic errors by Guthrie/Lansens which allowed Guthrie/Williams to cruise to victory and earn a spot in the finals Saturday at 4.


     What a night for squash!  No matter what court you were watching, there was a great match being played.  Starting off the evening was a tough, gut-it-out match between Doug Fields and Anis Khan.  Rallies left both players gasping for air.  Doug hit a couple of key winners that gave him game 5, earning him a trip to the B finals.   On the other side of the draw, Hannah Guthrie had her hands full with Stevie Allen and his speed.  This match too went down to the 5th game.  Steve blew a very big lead and hit a costly tin at 9-9 that led to him losing the match.
     In the A draw, Ryan Guthrie was trying to play the role of giant slayer and take down Paul Gebrael.  The rallies were long and neither player was giving an inch.  However, Paul proved to be to strong on this day taking down Ryan 3-1.  On the other side of that draw, Jagroop Bhangoo was hoping his strong play would carry him past Amin Khan.  While he played Amin very tough, Amin had too many shots tonight for Jagroop.  A Final is set for Saturday!
     In the 40+, playing partners Al Valente and Craig Guthrie took each other one.  What do you know?  Another game 5.  Valente made a couple of crucial errors down the stretch that cost him the match, setting up brother vs. brother final on Saturday.
    In the remaining A doubles semi it was Allen/Fields taking on top seed Eugeni/Gebrael.  Eugeni/Gebrael showed why they are the top seed, dispatching Allen/Fields 3-1.


     Finals day!  First match of the day was the UK racquetball final between Paul Gebrael and Chris Greig.  On a hot day with an already bouncy ball, the rallies were long.  However, Paul had too many shots for Chris and took the title 3-0.
     Onto the mixed doubles draw.  Usually a high competitive draw, this year it saw only two teams entered.  The experienced team of Doug Fields and Janice Funkenhauser versus the inexperienced team of Hannah Guthrie and Kabir Bhangoo.  In the first 2 games, Fields/Funkenhauser moved Guthrie/Bhangoo all around the court, forcing them into many, many, many errors.  However, the tables were turned in the next two games as Guthrie/Bhangoo started hitting tighter shots.  In game 5 Guthrie/Bhangoo continued this strong play and defeated Fields/Funkenhauser.
     In the other doubles matches of the day, upstarts Jagroop Bhangoo and Usman Khan took on Carlyle D'Souza and fill-in Jay Patel.  Bhangoo/Khan were looking like doubles veterans as they worked D'Souza/Patel all around the court as they cruised to victory.  In the A doubles, two players that were partnerless a week ago (Guthrie/Williams) took on the favourites of Eugeni/Gebrael.  Eugeni/Gebrael chased down the best shots Guthrie/Williams could throw at them and threw in a few good shots of their own.  Stymied at every turn, Guthrie/Williams lost 3-1, giving Paul his second title of the day.
     In the 40+ draw the Guthrie brothers took each other on.  I think next year you will have to submit government-issued ID to confirm your age in this draw.  Neither player looked anywhere near their true ages.  As was every match in this event, it was a tough one.  Players alternated games and then in game 5, points.  In the end, the older brother (Dave) took the 40+ title.
     Straight off the doubles court and onto the singles it was for Dougie Fields and Hannah Guthrie.  Doug was looking to exact revenge for his doubles loss.  Their styles couldn't have been more opposite with Hannah relying on her speed and court coverage to overcome Doug's hard drives and reverse winners.  Despite being exhausted, Doug did not relent, consistently hitting winners at every opportunity and winning the B draw.
     And for the match that the crowd showed up for, Amin vs Paul in the A final.  Could Paul go 3 for 3 on Saturday?  Or was Amin going to add to his just-won junior title?  It looked that way early as Amin played mistake-free squash with a lot of winners.  However, a slight let-up in game 3 opened the door for Paul and he took advantage, stealing games 3 and 4.  And why wouldn't the last match of the tournament be a tough game 5?  Both players badly wanted to win but it was youth that prevailed and Amin won both the junior title and the A title.  Well done Amin!
      Those of you that came out Saturday afternoon/evening not only got to see some great squash but got to experience the BBQing skills of Dave and Graeme as they fed the crowd hot dogs, sausages and burgers.  A couple things to note about this week.  People seemed to like this format very much.  The club was busy every night with a lot of matches going on.  For next year, we will stick with the same format, the Tuesday after Victoria Day.  Also, it was much talked about the quality of matches.  Everyone was going that extra mile and not willing to give an inch, which at times led to some testy exchanges.  In the end, the quality of squash was much higher than a typical league night as can be attested by the number of matches that went 5 games.
     Complete draws can be found here.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Club Championships- Early Rounds

      It is that time of year when we determine who the Club Champions will be.  This year the Club Championships are running over the course of this week.  Matches started on Tuesday and continue through to the finals on Saturday, which wraps up with a BBQ.   This year there were a lot of divisions to be decided and many juniors were scattered throughout the divisions, forcing the "old-timers" to step up their game.


     A busy night as most people that entered were playing.  In the A draw, Jagroop Bhangoo made a statement by defeating Brian Porter in the first round 3-0.  In the B draw, all the seeds moved on but the highlight match of the night was Jay Patel vs. Steve Allen.  Jay hyped the match early by declaring Steve would have a tough match ahead of him.  By end of the evening however, all seeded players prevailed and Steve Allen survived to play another day.
     In the 40+, the big match of the night was Wilbur v. Lansens.  A match that could go either way.  On this night, Wilbur brought his A game and defeated Lansens in a tight match.  Other than that, all the seeds moved on.
     Moving on to doubles, which featured many entertaining matches on this night.  In B doubles the team of D'Souza/Charles rode Charles' frame winners to victory over DeMarco/Brousseau.  In A doubles, up and coming team of Khan/Guthrie (Amin/Ryan) took on veterans Guthrie/Lansens.  At first glance it appeared that the veteran experience was more valuable than youth energy.  However, as the match went on and headed into game 5, it was anyone's match.  Veteran experience eventually won out in a tight game 5.


     Matches on this night proved to be much closer than the previous night.  The A draw saw a great match between #1 seed Paul Gebreal and upstart Jagroop Bhangoo.  Bhangoo took Paul to a fifth game but couldn't defeat Paul in the end.  Paul is the lone adult in the A semi finals.  Jagroop, however,  was not done this night.  He continued his strong play and took down Usman Khan to earn a spot in the junior semi-final draw.
      In the 40+ draw all the seeds moved on leading to some great Friday night matches.  Without a doubt though was the match of the night.  Young vs. Old(er) (sorry Anis but as you put it "40 years of experience needs to get going").  And get going it did.  Anis was down 2-0 to Aparna but somehow found the fountain of youth and made an incredible comeback to win in an amazing game 5.   Chalk one up for the older guys.

     Matches continue every evening right through until Saturday at 4 when Graeme and Dave will be BBQing some food for everyone.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ontario High School Squash Championships

     This weekend saw the last tournament of the year at Executive Squash and Fitness with the Ontario High School Championships.  130 players made up 13 different schools, most from the Toronto and Niagara area.  Windsor had 3 teams representing, Vista, Massey and Sandwich.  The format of this tournament is a true team format.  You rank your player from 1-7 and play against another school.  Number #1 from each school play, #2's and so on.  First team to win 4 matches moves on.  There are 3 divisions, ranked, semi-ranked and unranked.  Vista entered a team in the ranked and semi-ranked divisions while, Massey entered a ranked team and Sandwich entered a team in the unranked division.
     This was Sandwich's first time in this tournament and even though they were missing a player on their team, they finished 4th out of 12 teams.  Vista's semi-ranked team played all their opponents very tough and lost a close match in the semis.  In the end, they finished 4th out of 13 teams.
     On paper it appeared that Massey and Vista had the strongest teams and the seedings worked out as Massey and Vista ended up in the finals against one another.  Vista proved to much for Massey to handle as Vista cruised to a 5-2 victory, earning them the title as the best team in Ontario.  This marks the 2nd time that Vista has won this tournament.
     It was clear at the tournament that many of the players and coaches acknowledged strength of Windsor's junior program and all players demonstrated excellent sportsmanship on the court and great citizenship off the court.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

World Squash Masters

This summer the World Squash Master (see link) is coming to beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia, a short drive from Windsor.  Some members of the Windsor Squash community are planning on attending (some have even signed up already).  The events runs from Sunday, July 29- Saturday, Aug 4.   We are looking at renting a house.  If you are interested in this event, see Dave Morrish. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Final Gary Waite Tournament

    As if Windsor juniors weren't busy enough this weekend, this was also the very last stop of the Gary Waite Tour.  All season, each weekend that a Gary Waite event is on, there has been and East and a West division.  For this event, both divisions met up for the final.  Many Windsor players took part, trying to win the final event and it was a Windsor domination.
     In the U10 division, both Iris Williams and Sebastien Stojanov got 2nd place, both losing a very close match in the finals.  Dawoud Pirzada, who is getting better every time he steps on the court won the consolation at only 7 years old.
  In the U13 division, Olivia Bhatti also got 2nd place while Christian Lindo won the consolation.  Courtney Furmanek won the O14 consolation.   Her brother, Carter, lost in a very tough final to take 2nd place.
     The beauty of the Gary Waite Tour is that it rewards participation and decides a year end winner based on their participation and performance over the course of the season.   Carter Furmanek took 1st in the O14 division, while Mehrab Pirzada took 2nd.  Jacob Bhatti took 1st in the 11-13 division and Maisie took 1st in the U10 Girls division.   Sebastian Stojanov took 1st in the Boys U10 division.  Well done for all the participants and parents that played and supported this event the course of the season.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Provincial Championships

   This weekend wrapped up the Ontario Gold season.  The provincial championships brought the best players to WhiteOaks for the weekend and 11 Windsor players competed in this event.  The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night banquet in which players and parents listened to an inspirational speech by Olympic swimmer Martha McCabe.  Her dedication to her sport and dealing with failure was a great message to Ontario squash players that success cannot be achieved without perseverance, total dedication and hard work.
     But the highlight of the night was Dave Morrish winning Coach of the Year.  This is an amazing honour, especially since Graeme won this same award last year.  It really speaks to the dedication of these two and the fact that they have put Windsor on the map as the place to be for squash.  Dave was recognized for his dedication to the sport and for the development of Windsor's players.  Dave had no clue that he had even been nominated.  When put on the spot to give a speech, something that Dave dreads, he came through.  He gave a very emotional speech about how after years of traveling around, he has finally found a home in Windsor and in Canada.  Dave, you did such a great job you have been nominated as official MC at all future Windsor events.  If you want to hear Dave's speech, you can find it here.
     Windsor wasn't done with the honours though.  Hannah Guthrie won the girls Most Improved Player of the Year.  Hannah has shown much dedication to squash by working hard with her coaches and training on and off the court.  This resulted in numerous wins this year over players with a higher ranking.  Hannah has proven to be a tough match for whoever she gets on the court with.
     As for the tournament, Ananya completed her domination of the girls U13 draw this year, by winning the U13 draw.  Ananya went through the entire season losing only a few matches.  Well done Ananya!
     The other highlight of the weekend was the stellar play of Jagroop Bhangoo.  Jagroop lost his first round in a very tough match but he went on to play great in the consolation draw and eventually winning that draw.  Well done Jagroop!
     All in all this has been a very successful season.  Windsor players are always tough to contend with and while they may not win their respective draws, their play and behaviour on the court leaves a lasting impression with their opponents.  As the season progresses many players who may have been dominate in their age group age out of that division and suddenly become the youngest player in their new division, playing players that may be 2 years older than them.  Congratulation to Graeme and Dave and all the players from Windsor that competed this year in the highest level of squash.  Great things still to come.
     Pictures can be found here.  Draws can be found here.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Busy Weekend for WSF

    If you came by the club Friday night you might have wondered why it was so quiet.  Many adults members took part in the very popular Toledo tournament.  Some of the juniors were taking part in the Ontario Winter Games in Barrie and others were playing in the Silver tournament at Mayfair Lakeshore.  I will spare you the details of the Toledo tournament as no one advanced far in the draws and the real action at Toledo is off the court and, well, this blog might not be the place to talk about it :)

Ontario Winter Games

     The province of Ontario is broken up into different regions (we are southwest, Windsor to London) and each region has their best player at each age level compete.  7 of here
the 8 players were from Windsor this year.    The girls team consisted of Aparna, Ananya, Sara and Hannah, while the boys team was Vishaal, Usman, Amin and Jayden (London).  We got off to a great start by upsetting one of the Toronto teams.   Usman and Hannah pulled off upsets to contribute to the win.    The next round we dominated Ottawa.  We barely lost in the next round to another Toronto team, leaving us 2 in our pool.   We drew yet another Toronto team in the playoffs only to lose 5-3.   We then played off for the bronze medal and again lost 5-3.  However, Windsor brings home a 4th place and was very close to winning their matches.  Well played Southwest!  Complete draws can be found

Silver Tournament at Mayfair Lakeshore

     3 of our players headed up to this tournament.  Dylan Charles, Mehrab Pirazzi and Gabe Van Morsel (ok, an adopted Windsor player).  Dylan was coming off his first gold and was looking to capitalize on what he learned.  He cruised through his first round only to draw the 2nd seed in the second round.  Despite losing, Dylan played him very tough and tired him out for the next round.  Luckily for Gabe, he drew the second seed next and easily defeated him.  Gabe continued his strong play and went on the win the U13 draw.  Well done Gabe!  In the end, Dylan won the bronze division.  Mehrab competed in the tough U15 division.  He played strong but lost in the quarters of the consolation division.  Draws can be found here

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gary Waite Tour

   Who would have thought that the day would come when we have 3 squash pros and in one weekend, we have enough juniors playing tournaments that they are in different cities and events.  While some players were at the Gold in Toronto, other were playing the ever-popular Gary Waite Tour in London on Sunday.  7 Windsor players made it to this event and they made their presence felt.  Maisie Williams has made it clear this season that she is the player to beat in the Under 10 group as she won this event to add to her last one.  Jacob Bhatti continues to improve as he won the 11-13 consolation draw.  Imola Nagy is following in her brother's footsteps by playing in the Gary Waite series and she continued with her strong play by winner the Grinner's division.  The last stop for the Gary Waite tour is scheduled for March 25th in London.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Junior Gold #4

    This weekend 7 juniors took part in Gold #4 at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and  Curling Club.  Almost all players won their first round matches to move on to the next round.  Far different from last year at this time when many of our players continued to have difficulty staying in the main round.   Ananya (seeded #1 in U13) cruised through to the finals where she met up with Gabrielle Waite of the great Waite squash family.  Ananya proved to be too steady with too many good shots for Gabrielle.  Congratulations to Ananya for a well-played tournament and bringing home the gold medal to Windsor.
     Amin has made the jump into U17 and quickly realized that it is a much different game.  In the second round, he met up with Dylan Deverill (4th seed), a player who he has never beaten.  Not this time as Amin was able to take Dylan in 4 games to move on to the semi-finals.  It was during this match that Amin had the rally of the weekend.  Despite numerous nicks by each player during the rally, neither one could finish off the rally.   After what felt like 50 shots, Amin was finally able to put Dylan away.  Unfortunately for Amin, in the semis he discovered what moving up to another age division means.  You can't get away with the same shots and suddenly you find yourself under intense pressure.  In the end Amin finished in 4th place.
    Dylan Charles made his first Gold appearance (outside of Windsor).  Despite playing his first two round very tough, he wasn't able to pull out a victory.  It wasn't until the 3rd round that Dylan found his form, easily dispatching his opponent.  Dylan ended up in the Bronze final where he played great and battled down to the wire but unfortunately could not get the victory.  However, Dylan showed that he is ready to make the leap to the Gold tournaments.
     Ryan drew the #3 seed in the first round.  He almost always draw a seed in the first round.  Playing the seeds in the first round has caused Ryan to raise his overall game and it really showed in the next round.  Round  2 was a 1 hour, 15 min affair.  He must have been inspired by Jahangir and Shawn's talk of the record.  The rallies were long and neither playing was making many mistakes and both were chasing every ball down.  Despite 2 match balls in the 5th, he could get the victory.  A great match all the same.  Ryan won his next round and ended up in the Bronze final where he again played very strong and lost in a close match.
     Hannah won her first match easily and drew the #1 seed the next round.  She played her very tough and every game was a carbon copy of the previous.  Play was tight, right up to 8-8.  A couple of bad bounces and uncharacteristic errors and the game was lost.  Game 2, repeat.  Game 3, repeat.  Despite the 3-0 score, the match was very close.  In the next round she drew her practice partner Sara.  Sara lost the first round in a very touch match.  She won down 2 games only to come back and tie it up.  Game 5 went back and forth but Sara lost in extra points.  Sara proved to be the stronger player against Hannah in the next round.  However, Sara wasn't able to get past her next round though, bringing her weekend to a close.
     What would a Gold weekend be without entertainment from Usman.  Usman won his first round easily, leading him to the #2 seed in the draw.  In typical Usman fashion, he chased down every ball and didn't give up any easy points.  Every game in this match was close but he wasn't able to get the victory.
     All in all, Windsor played great.  Final results can be found here.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Canadian Team Championships, Day 3

      After a great party on Saturday, matches began first thing in the morning.   First matches up on Women's side was a battle for the bronze with Ontario 2 battling it out with Quebec.  Team Ontario pulled out the victory, securing our first medal.  On the men's side, it was Ontario 1 vs. Manitoba and again Team Ontario won, giving us our second medal.  
     Then it was time for the big matches and the crowd began to swell.  First up were the women's matches with Team Ontario 1 taking on Alberta.  On paper it looked like this match could go either way.  In the opening match it was Hollie Naughton (Ontario) playing Jackie Moss (Alberta).  Despite the 3-0 score in Hollie's favour, the games were very tight.  1-0 Ontario with the #1s on each team up next.  Sam Cornett vs. Danielle Letourneau.  Sam came out in game 1 very strong and over-powered Danielle.  However, game 2 was all Danielle as she forced Sam into numerous errors.  Sam settled down for game 3 & 4 and took the match in 4 games, giving Ontario 1 the Gold medal.  To finish off Ontario's dominance, Micaala Seth defeated Jaime Laird in 3 games.  
     Next up was the men's.  Team Alberta vs the favourite, Team Quebec.  These matches were
difficult to view if you didn't get there early and staked out your spot.  The first match was a hint of the kind of match it would become.  #2s, Graeme Schnell (Alberta) vs. David Baillargeon.  The first game was full of long rallies, incredible retrieving and great shot-making.  David took the first game 13-11 in about 1/2 hour.  
     Just as game 2 got underway, Jahanger Khan arrived to watch the match.  You could feel the energy on the court rise (if that was even possible).  Game 2 saw more of the same with Graeme taking this one.  Graeme would go on to win the match 3-1.  Alberta 1, Quebec 0.
     Because the first match took so long, matches 2 and 3 were sent off about the same time.  The match that drew the biggest crowd was Shawn Delierre (Quebec) vs. Andrew Schnell (Alberta).  Shawn forced Andrew to hit perfect shots as he retrieved just about everything Andrew hit.   On the court next to them, Shawn's brother, Jason, was battling it out with Jacob Hooker.  Both matches finished about the same time with Shawn winning 3-0 and Jason winning 3-1, giving Quebec the Gold medal.  
     Somehow during all this, Jahanger found time to get on the court and play 3/4 court with all the juniors.  No matter how long since you last played, some things don't leave you, like the pure hitting of the squash ball.  Thank you Jahinger for spending time with our juniors, it is a memory they will cherish the rest of their lives.

   The streams of the matches can be found here.  A write up from Squash Canada can be found here.  Pictures of the weekend can be found here.  Overall it was an amazing weekend of squash and camaraderie.  It was great to hear the players praise how great everyone treated them in Windsor and how great Windsor is and what a fabulous event we put on.  Graeme and Dave showed Canada that Windsor is the place to be for squash right now.  Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of Anis Khan and Darrin Peterson.   Thank you to all the VIPs and spectators that came out to support this weekend.  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Canadian Team Championships, Day 2

   Welcome to day 2 of the Canadian Team Championships!  Matches began at 9am and went right through until 7:30.  In the Men's draw, Alberta won 2-1 over Ontario 1 (hosting province gets an additional team).  However, it was no walkover as matches were very tight and heavily contested.  On the other side of the draw, Quebec breezed through.  This means an Alberta/Quebec final as seedings predicted.
    In the Women's draw, Ontario 1 cruised past Manitoba to earn a place in the finals.  On the other side of the draw, Alberta defeated Saskatchewan to advance to the finals.  All finals matches begin at 11:30 on Sunday.  Not to say those are the only matches tomorrow.  There is still bragging rights up for grabs and all the provinces are still competing for final placements.
     The highlight of the weekend was definitely the Saturday night dinner.  So many thanks to Anis for organizing all this.  160 people game out for the dinner, including many WSF members and supporters.  Once seated we were "surprised" with the legendary Jahanger Khan, winner of 555 consecutive matches and without a doubt, the most dominant squash player in history.  Jahanger talked about the importance of hard work and fulfilling our ambitions in squash.  After dinner, he was was kind enough to pose for many, many pictures.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Again, thank you Anis.
     Saturday reaffirmed how much of a social sport squash is.  Members mingled with players from around Canada who were more than willing to talk squash.  Squash is the great equalizer in conversation and our visiting players were more than willing to accommodate.  Sunday looks like it is going to be a very good day for squash.
     Links to the draws can be found here and pictures from the weekend can be found here.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Canadian Team Championships, Day 1

    Wow!  What a day of squash.  Matches started at 11am and ran until 8:30.  There were a ton of great matches and a lot of exciting squash to watch.  For those of you unfamiliar with a team event, each province enters a team of 3 players.  Each province gets seeded based on those 3 players.  Women and men compete in separate draws.  In other words, men and women from the same province are not the same team.  Every province (minus the territories) submitted a team (except for a female team from BC) plus the Canadian Armed Forces had a male and female team.  If your team wins, you advance to the next round.
     In the men's draw, top seeds Alberta and Quebec looked very strong today.  The Schnell brothers put in a strong performance, showing they will be a tough team to beat.  Quebec was equally impressive with Shawn Delierre leading the way with an impressive win full of incredible shots.
     In the women's draw top seed Ontario and Alberta easily advanced to the next round with Sam Cornett and Danielle Letourneau leading the way.
     Be sure to come out tomorrow to watch all the amazing squash taking place.  Matches begin at 9am and go until 6:30.  Attached are links to todays results.

Men's results

Women's results

Pictures from today

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Gold #3

     10 of WSF juniors competed at Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga at the Jesters Gold#3.  As this was a CORE event (Team Canada qualifier), the best from around Canada showed up to earn points for the team.  WSF juniors continue to play well and push the established top players.   The highlights of the weekend were Amin Khan, finishing 3rd in his first attempt at the ultra-competitive U17 division and Ananya Maheshwari winning the U13 division.  Ananya has dominated her age group for a number of years now and continues to play better and better.  Well done Ananya!
      Ryan Guthrie and Aaron Nagy played very tough in their first rounds but could not hang on for wins.  However, both found success in the bronze division and ended up playing each other in the finals.  It is always tough playing your training partner in a tournament but these played their hearts out.  Rallies were very punishing and both displayed incredible shot-making.  Aaron ended up pulling it out in the end, 3-1.
     Sara Khan and Hannah Guthrie continue to close the gap on the top players in Canada.  There is little difference between them and the other players in the U17/19 draws.  Hannah lost a tough 5 game match to one of the top seeds while Sara, drawing the #1 seed, played her tough with very few easy points.
      Aparna Maheshwari, made it to the semi's where she ran into the #1 seed.  Despite playing with an injury Aparna played very hard but in the end lost 3-0.  Aparna went on the finish 4th.
     Usman Khan always plays everyone tough.  There is no easy point with him and he always give players a hard time with his persistent retrieving and power game.  He lost a heartbreaker 12-10 in the fifth in the consolation semi-finals.
     This weekend also brought out some newer faces to the gold scene.  Gina Marinelli is approaching the end of her junior career and wanted to get in her last tournament.  Gina played very well and will go on and become a very successful club player.
     Subhan Shabaz is getting his feet wet with the higher level of play.  Despite his inexperience he showed that he is ready to compete in the U13 draw.
     Final results can be found here.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gary Waite Tour Visit WSF

     It was a very busy weekend at WSF as we hosted both the Southwest Ontario Winter Games tryouts.  This tournament is to determine who the representatives will be for Southwestern Ontario at the Ontario Winter Games on March 1-4th.  Players from as far from London came for the day to try out.  This year it looks like a Windsor-dominated team.

U13- Ananya Maheshwari, Vishaal Mehta
U15- Usman Khan, Aparna Maheshwari
U17- Sara Khan, Amin Khan
U19- Hannah Guthrie, Jayden Short

Good luck to all competitors.

     Sunday saw 38 competitors play in the Gary Waite Tournament.  The Gary Waite Tournament is designed to players just beginning to play squash and looking for some tournament competition.  It travels throughout Ontario and has a different stop each month.  There were many exciting matches, tears and laughs throughout the day as players competed.  ThWinners are as follows:

U10- Tyler Chalmers
GU13- Serena Marcon
BU13- Liam
O14- Carter Furmanek


U10- Lucien Stojanov
GU13- Julia
BU13- Christian Lindo
O14- Subhan Shabaz


U10- Maisie Williams
GU13- Adelaine
BU13- Will Greenslade


GO14- Courtney Furmanek
BO14- Tanner Dorner