Photos by Bill Lampeter
Eric Galvez made history by becoming the only player to make it twice to the finals of the Rochester ProAm in it’s 14 year history.
Two years ago Eric lost a hard fought five game, 102 minute battle against Frenchman Lucas Serme. This year he came back to win the title in spite of the tall Jamaican Chris Binnie stands in his way. Chris is no stranger to Rochester himself having entered the event every single year since 2012. In the last fourteen years since the event began,Eric is the third Mexican professional to win the Rochester ProAm title following in the footsteps of Jorge Balthazar Ferreira (2007) and Alfredo Avila (2011)!
Eric Galvez bt Chris Binnie 11-7, 11-2, 11-6
From the players:
“Of course I’m a little bummed to end on that, too bad it couldn’t have been a closer final. But, Eric really used his experience out there and stayed steady throughout. Can’t wait to be back next year!” – Chris Binnie
“Finals are always tough, after days of matches, it’s a tiring road to get here. Chris is an aggressive player, I’ve seen him play since he was young, as we’re both from the central Americas. Now, he’s the senior Caribbean champion, so he knows how to win. He had a tough time focusing today, and I knew if I just fought to stay mentally strong, then I had the best chance to win. I’ve very happy that it worked out!” – Eric Galvez
(Match report by Jesse Cramer)
The crowd was exciting this morning for a Rochester ProAm final featuring two fierce competitors who had risen to the top of the tournament bracket. Eric Galvez, the experienced Mexican, and Chris Binnie, a relative newcomer to the tour hailing from Jamaica, had beaten foes from all corners of the squash world to now face down for the Rochester crown.
The match started off tight, with the typical long rallies at the beginning of the match. Chris tried to use his wingspan to stay in front, while Eric used speed and length to counteract. From 4-4. the balance of the game seemed to shift. Eric seemed to expect Chris’s aggressive tactics and was counteracting via slow, tight rails. Chris kept on going shorter and lower until he clipped the tin. Eric took advantage of Chris’ mistakes and won the first 11-7.
The second game was odd. The first few rallies seemed normal, but then Chris seemed to have a mental hiccup. The next eight points all went to Eric, six of them coming from unforced tins by Chris. Even after shouting “Focus!” to himself, Chris couldn’t seem to regain any rhythm. Eric won the second 11-2 and had all the momentum heading into game 3.
Although Chris fought hard in game 3, Eric smelled victory and would not allow Chris to gain a foothold. At 2-2, Eric strung together some of his finest squash of the week to grind out a 6-2, then 9-3 lead. Although Chris managed to pull back a few points, Eric closed out a loose shot on his third match ball to take the 11-6 victory and win the Rochester ProAm!