Final recap by Thomson Chew
The 15 F (-9.4 C) weather did not keep the Rochester squash fans from the 2007 final between Jorge Ferreira (Mexico) and Kristen (Kris) Johnson (Scotland). The fans filled the University of Rochester squash facility to see two of the top tournament seeds play. Both players made it through the draw with just one game lost to their opponents. The crowd anticipated a close and exciting match between the 76th PSA ranked Ferreira and the three time Scottish Junior National champion Johnson.
After an introduction from the tournament organizer and RSRA board member Mithun Mukherjee the players entered the court for their match. Johnson, lanky and about a foot taller than Ferreira, looked rested and relaxed. Ferreira looked a bit tense, but after knocking the ball around for a few minutes he showed the fluid strokes that gained him winning shots in his previous three matches.
Game 1 started with a long two minute rally. Both players worked the rails and cross courts, finding their length and moving their opponent left to right. Ferreira wins the points and picks up the next quickly to go 2-0. Johnson regains his form and works hard to get back to 2-2. Two strokes are awarded to Johnson to give him a 4-2 lead. Both players proceed to hit low hard cross courts and tight rails with Johnson getting the better results. At 6-3 Johnson tries a backhand cross court volley boast but hits the tin. Ferreira takes advantage of the opportunity to catch up 6-6 thanks to additional tins from Johnsonâ€™s attempts at winners. The next point is a long rally with both players attacking and retrieving tough shots in the front corners and in the back. The point goes to Ferreira after his deep tight backhand rail gets past the outstretched Johnson. Johnson fights back to regain the lead at 9-7. At 8-9 Ferreira crushes an overhead volley into the side wall. The game is 10-9 with Ferreira serving game ball. He controls the point with tight shots to the front and ends it with a deep rail to win 11-9.
Game 2 sees Ferreira jumping to a quick 3-0 lead thanks to Johnsonâ€™s tin and a Ferreira drop shot and deep rail winner. Johnson regains his form to catch up thanks to Ferreiraâ€™s turn to offer some tin shots to Johnson. At 4-3 Ferreira serves in but ends up getting passed by a low, hard cross court from Johnson. Ferreira gives Johnson two points from his unforced errors into the tin. At 6-4 Johnson is looking confident and working the rails and front left corner drops. A long rally starts. Both players are hitting tough drops and rails, forcing each other to make incredible retrievals. Johnson puts the point away and follows up with a cry of satisfaction as the packed crowd goes wild with cheering. The score is 8-4 in Johnsonâ€™s favor. Despite the exhausting points Ferreira still looks calm and collected. He shows the crowd why he is the #1 seed by staying focused and by avoiding risky shots. Johnson is forced to push harder, but a tin and some well placed shots by Ferreira changes the score to 8-9. Ferreira ties it at 9-9 with a cross court winner. Another deep, tight rail gives Ferreira the lead at 10-9. In the next point Johnson is holding his own until he tries a drop shot from the back corner, missing by a millimeter and giving Ferreira the game 11-9.
Game 3 sees Johnson making two errors to give Ferreira a 2-0 lead. Ferreira is looking fresh and strong as he retrieves everything that Johnson hits, much to the crowdâ€™s entertainment. Johnson earns two strokes against Ferreira to get to 2-2. Another error by Ferreira gives the lead to Johnson. But history repeats itself as Game 3 sees Johnsonâ€™s lead end with a focused attack by Ferreira. His constant retrieving is pressuring Johnson to take more risks. Both players trade points before Ferreira pulls ahead for good with great placement to the front and back corners. Some more mental errors by Johnson take the game to 10-5 with Ferreira serving for the match. A great rally begins as both players hit attacking shots. Ferreira puts the game and match away with a deep winner.
Ferreira wins 11-9, 12-10, and 11-5 in 50 minutes.
The Rochester Squash Racquets Association thanks all of the players who traveled here to play. We wish you good luck in your upcoming matches and hope to see you either in Rochester next year or higher up the PSA rankings.
Check out the Photos section for a slice of the action.