The snowy afternoon and night provided a great excuse to head to the University of Rochester squash courts and watch the first round of the 2007 Rochester PSA Pro-Am. The matches spread were played over three hours with top seeds and qualifiers giving the fans some great squash.
In the early matches Imran Khan upset 6 seeded Fernando Lopez (MEX) 11-3,11-7,12-10. A Rochester favorite and familiar face at the Rochester Pro/AM, Imran showed how experience can still hold off youth.
Jorge Ferreira (MEX) def. Aqib Hanif (PAK) (11-3,11-7,11-10(2-0)):
In the second half matches the #1 seed Jorge Ferreira (MEX) cruised through his match against Aqib Hanif (PAK) 11-3, 11-7, 12-10. Both players were surprisingly in great form considering one had arrived straight from Mexico City just in time to make his match a half hour earlier and the other had arrived all the way from Pakistan late the previous night. During the match Ferreira looked calm and confident in his movement and shot selection. He worked Hanif around the four corners with lobs, drops, and varied pace on his cross courts and rails.
James Snell (ENG) def. Michael Reid (CAN) (11-5,11-10(2-0),11-7):
Qualifier James Snell showed his patience over 3rd seed Michael Reid by keeping his rails tight and mixing in low boasts to stretch Reid to the front. Both players kept the pace fast with points being exchanged back and forth in each game. In game 3 Reid pulled out in front only to hit several tins to give Snell the advantage. At 10 – 7 three long rallies ended in lets. On the fourth try Reid misplaced his low rail into the tin to give Snell the win.
Kristen Johnson (SCO) def. Alex Ingham (ENG) (11-8,11-8,11-9):
The left handed Johnson played steadily through all three games, winning 11-7, 11-9, and 13-11. His patient rails and periodic boasts kept Ingham off his step enough to create unforced errors. Kristen was able to keep his errors to a minimum and cruise through to the quarterfinals.
Chris Tasker-Grindley (ENG) def. Ryan Thompson (NAM) (11-9,11-9,11-10(2-0):
Qualifier Tasker-Grindley started slowly but pulled out a tough win against the tenacious Thompson. The first point of the match lasted three minutes and left Tasker-Grindley out of stride. He hit tins five times to give Thompson a quick 5-1 lead. Tasker-Grindley got his act together and regained his composure to win the game 11-7. He completed his work with an 11-9 score in game 2 and 13-11 in game 3.
After the last match of the day, everyone headed over to the sports bar in Karen and Cole Behringer’s lovely house. Great food and great hospitality made for a fun evening and gave the Rochester squash fans a chance to mingle with these young professionals and get to know them better. Thanks again to the Behringers for hosting such a wonderful evening. The players seemed to enjoy it immensely.