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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Super Mario makes history

Mario Yanez Tapia (MEX) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 17-15, 3-0 ret. (due to injury)

Match report to follow….

University of Rochester squash alum and current assistant coach Mario Yanez Tapia made history today. He is the first UofR alum to lift the Rochester ProAm trophy in it’s 16th year joining three other Mexicans and several other top PSA players on the illustrious roster of former Rochester ProAm winners.

  • 2018 – Mario Yanez Tapia (MEX)
  • 2017 – no tournament
  • 2016 – Martin Knight (NZL)
  • 2015 – Eric Galvez (MEX)
  • 2014 – Zac Alexander (AUS)
  • 2013 – Lucas Serme (FRA)
  • 2012 – Ali Farag (EGY)
  • 2011 – Alfredo Avila (MEX)
  • 2010 – Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
  • 2009 – Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
  • 2008 – Ahmed Maged Hamza (EGY)
  • 2007 – Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX)
  • 2006 – Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
  • 2005 – Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND)
  • 2004 – Karim Yehia (EGY)
  • 2003 – Rafael F. Alarcon (BRA)
  • 2002 – Shawn Delierre (CAN)

Photos by Bill Lampeter

Posted in 2018

Top seeds fall to challengers in Semifinals

Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Angus Gillams (ENG) 5-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4
Mario Yanez Tapia (MEX) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 12-10, 11-1, 11-7

Match reports and photos to follow…

Posted in 2018

Three seeds and a qualifier through the quarterfinals

Mario Yanez Tapia (MEX) bt. Anthony Graham (ENG) 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
Faraz Khan (USA) bt. Mark Fuller (ENG) 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 16-14
Angus Gillams (ENG) bt. Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt. Syed Hamza Bukhari (PAK) 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4

Match reports by Ben Pitfield, Photos by Bill Lampeter

Mario Yanez Tapia bt. Anthony Graham 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
In this match-up, crowd favourite Yanez Tapia came out looking a bit sluggish against the British Graham, who was up for it with his mother — or at least a woman who looks a lot like his mother — in attendance. Graham used this sluggishness to his advantage and took the first game in and around 11-7. It was at this point that some younger members of the crowd began to seriously wonder whether Graham’s coolness was an act, or whether he was a zombie. Young GVC player Mark buried his head in his father, Ilya’s, shoulder and said, “please dad, don’t let the extremely relaxed man get me!” Which made everyone laugh, except for Anthony of course, who was pretty chilled about the whole thing. Yanez Tapia came out firing in the second and, subsequently, the third and fourth and ground Graham off the court in a gutsy showing, their second face-off in 3 weeks.

Faraz Khan bt. Mark Fuller 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 16-14
Some people have said to me that Faraz Khan’s game is reminiscent of a beautiful painting, each brush stroke placed just so in a calculated illumination of an emotional idea. Like a Picasso, or perhaps a late Rembrandt. None of those people, however, saw this match. This match was a grinding, greasing, gesticulatingly wild affair. Fuller was able to push the American into four and had an opportunity at 11-11 to get more, but, alas, it was not to be and he lost.

Angus Gillams bt. Leonel Cardenas 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
In number 1 seed Angus Gillams’ second match of the tournament the crowd was given a real treat, as he beat 2017 US Junior Open Champion Leonel Cardenas of Mexico in three games. Despite that scoreline, the match was not wrought or brought withot some dramatic moments, especially given some truly creative refereeing by local amateur and Jonathan Power impersonator Leonard Mohr, who was seen at one point in the third game on court, demonstrating to the players what appeared to be proper forehand length technique. In this bought, the veteran Gillams used his extremely cutty strings to sashimi chop the young challenger.

Bernat Jaume bt. Syed Hamza Shah Bukhari 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4
If ever there was a man — nay, a legend! — so compelling as the story of Bernat Jaume in this tournament, I’ve yet to hear it. In the first round he took out country man Hugo Varela in a dramatic and fantastic four sets, which set him up to take on the Ponytailed Pakistani in the quarters. This match, I believe, was firmly decided by the play of the Spaniard in the front left corner hitting cross-court lobs, a shot for which Syed could find no answer. If my guess is as good as any, Bernat won in four games.

Bernat and Hugo getting all the applause

Posted in 2008

Round 1 comes to a close

Angus Gillams (ENG) bt Noah Browne (BER) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt Cameron Seth (CAN) 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4
Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Hugo Varela (ESP) 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6
Syed Hamza (PAK) bt Alejandro Reyes (MEX) 11-1, 2-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8
Anthony Graham (ENG) bt David Cromwell (USA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
Mario Yanez (MEX) bt Ashley Davies (ENG)7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6
Mark Fuller (ENG) bt Timothy Lasusa (USA) 11-4, 11-8, 11-1
Faraz Khan (USA) bt Tomotaka Endo (JPN) 11-9, 11-9, 11-1

Match reports by Ben Pitfield/Leonard Mohr, Photos by Bill Lampeter

Yanez vs Davies and Graham vs Cromwell while Pitfield watches

Angus Williams (ENG) bt Noah Browne (BER) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9
The first match of the night saw number 1 seed Angus Gillams of England face of against unseeded Noah Browne from Bermuda. The rallies began long without either one going for too many attacking shots. Though the rallies were long, neither player seemed to really find their length for the most of the game with the ball often loose and not reaching the back of the court, but Gillams length and control of the T was a bit better and so came away victorious in the first game 11-6. The second game was a bit better and both players started hitting more of their targets but Browne often opened up the court too early with loose boasts as well as distracting himself with the referee’s decisions leading Browne to lose 11-6 again. Involvement with the referee continued into the third game and Browne’s frustration with his own game led Browne to be unable to maintain his focus in the crucial points despite putting in a solid and very close last game, losing 11-9.

Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt Cameron Seth (CAN) 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4
Leonel Cardenas the six seed from Mexico faced off against qualifier Cameron Seth of Canada who came back from 2-0 down to win in 5 against University of Rochester player Lawrence Kuhn. Both players started off well, finding good length but Cardenas was able to attack and control the T a bit better and came away with an 11-5 win in the first game. The second game Seth neutralized Cardenas’ attacking and deceptive shots with good tight length and won the game 11-8. Seth was unable to follow up this performance the next 2 games, maybe feeling the effects of the previous night’s match and opened the court up enough for Cardenas to use his lethal attacks winning the next 2 games 11-3, 11-4.

Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Hugo Varela (ESP) 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6
The third match of the night saw Spaniard Bernat Jaume face off against compatriot Hugo Varela in their first professional match against each other. The first two games were incredibly long, incredibly close with rarely a point between the two, with each winning a game apiece. The third game saw Hugo lose focus going from a 4-4 tie to an 11-4 loss. In the fourth game Hugo put 110% in, and at 3-4 down had the rally of the match, nearly doing the splits multiple times sprinting from corner to corner, and then following up with a sick crosscourt nick! Unfortunately he could not keep up the intensity and just faded ever slightly losing 11-6.

Syed Hamza (PAK) bt Alejandro Reyes (MEX) 11-1, 2-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8
Syed Hamza of Pakistan played Alejandro Reyes of Mexico in a bewildering 5 setter. Hamza came of firing on all cylinders, mixing up his use of height with hard shots enabling him to control the T and win 11-1. It looked like everything was in Hamza’s favor, but Reyes came back punching with an 11-2 win the next game. The third game both players found their rhythm, hitting solid length, with long, grueling rallies, but though visibly tired Hamza came through and won 11-7. The next game Reyes controlled the T more, and used his speed to force errors from Hamza. Play was stopped though with Reyes 8-4 up due to a blood injury, and this allowed Hamza a bit of a breather, who came back firing, but still lost the game 11-7. The last game, both players could not find their length and did not take advantage of loose balls due to nerves. Reyes hit a bit too many boasts opening up the court a bit too much and Hamza played a bit safer and won 11-8.

Anthony Graham (ENG) bt David Cromwell (USA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
This was the match of the night. Or, if it wasn’t, it was a match played tonight. Graham came out swinging in that cool, very relaxed Grahamian way that almost says, “I wonder what the score is on the next court” which is funny because during the second intermission he actually did say to me “what’s the score on that court?” and then proceeded, with the referee, to come watch a few points of the Davies-Yanez Tapia match which was, frankly, a banging match. But I’ll get to that. In any case, Graham used his chilled out, British modern swing to push Cromwell to — and past! — his breaking point. The first two games went relatively smoothly for the championing Graham. The third was tighter, in the realm of 11-9, and members of the audience were caught remarking that perhaps he ought to spend more time playing his match rather than coaching his friend Ashley Davies. Fondest attachments to both players.

Mario Yanez (MEX) bt Ashley Davies (ENG)7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6
Now this one, this one, this one! was the match of the night. Well, it was a certainly up there. What was really worth remarking about — and I did remark about it, to several interested parties, if you must know — was the back story: current University of Rochester wunderkind Ashley Davies — scourge of the basketball house front garden, king of Vinyl! and, I guess, 2nd team All-American –versus the University of Rochester’s all time leader in wins and winning percentage, four time first team All-American and current assistant coach, Mario Yanez Tapia. Davies took the first in a compelling decision, and the crowd was, like, totally thinking he could win. And then it went to 8-8 in the second, a three minute rally, and Yanez showed the crowd what he’s packing in the tank. Ashley played valiantly, but couldn’t keep up with the streaking, peaking, nick-seeking Mexican, who pulled out all the stops and put some back to come out on top, 3-1.

Faraz Khan (USA) bt Tomotaka Endo (JPN) 11-9, 11-9, 11-1
In another battle of University of Rochester related people, Faraz Khan of the great state of Connecticut took on local non-local player Tomotaka Endo who, despite his PSA card’s opinion, is a representative of the land of the rising sun, Kawasaki, Japan. Unfortunately for the thoroughbred-legged Tomotaka, the courts in the UR athletic centre were the land of the rising tin, and he made that much abundantly clear to everyone watching — listening, even! — to the match. In the end, Khan showed some wily veteran control of the ball, and some wily veteran letting loose of his emotions to take the match 3-0. Cudos to him.

Mark Fuller (ENG) bt Timothy Lasusa (USA) 11-4, 11-8, 11-1
What is there to say about Tim Lasusa that hasn’t already been said? Tall, handsome, coy, an absolute charm with the ladies and the gentlemen alike, and heir-apparent to Gilly Lane as MC of the US Open are all thoughts which spring to mind. Oh, and he’s a great fisherman! Oh! He’s also a decent squash player! Tim, Tim, Tim — what a guy! Well, anyway, he lost to Mark Fuller 3-0.

Posted in 2018

Qualifying complete

[1] Cameron Seth (CAN) bt [L] Lawrence Kuhn (RSA) 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (79m) – plays Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
Mario Yanez (MEX) bt Jacob Bassil (LIB) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (35m) – plays Ashley Davies (ENG)
[L] Tomotaka Endo (USA) bt [L] Ricardo Lopez (MEX) 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7 (54m) – plays Faraz Khan (USA)
[2] Hugo Varela (ESP) bt [7] Brock Janzer (CAN) 11-0, 11-1, 11-4 (27m) – plays Bernat Jaume (ESP)

Match report by “Warm Buns”
The action of the Rochester ProAm qualifiers would continue at Genesee Valley Club in Rochester, New York. The second round of the qualifiers had four great matches with the winners advancing to the main draw.
The first match of the day saw University of Rochester’s number three player, Lawrence Kuhn, pitted up against Canadian, Cameron Seth. Kuhn would apply high pressure using his fundamentals in the first two games, winning both games 10-12 and 7-11. However, Seth would weather the storm in the latter half of the match, and turned the match on its head. Seth would
eventually take the match in five games: 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7. The second contest on Court Two was between the University of Rochester’s assistant coach, Mario Yanez, against an emerging player, Jacob Bassil. Throughout the match, Yanez would use a variety of shots to work the young player into all four corners. Yanez’s working shots would
prove too much for Bassil. Yanez would advance to the main draw in three games with a score of 11-6, 11-5, and 11-6.
The third match came on after the Yanez-Bassil match, and was a contest between Spaniard, Hugo Varela, and Canadian, Brock Janzer. Janzer would put up a fight against the second seed of the qualifiers; however, Varela remained unfazed throughout the whole match. Varela would then proceed to dispatch his Canadian opponent in three games: 11-0, 11-1, 11-4.

The final match of the day was between two University of Rochester squash teammates- the number two from Japan, Tomotaka Endo, and the number three from Mexico, Ricardo Lopez. The match was played in front of a relatively packed crowd comprising of University of Rochester teammates and Genesee Valley Club members. Endo would win the first game 11-8, but the workhorse in Lopez would use his grit and grind out the second game 10-12. However, Endo would ramp up the pace of the game to move ahead of his teammate in four games: 11-8,
10-12, 12-10, 11-7.

Meanwhile visiting pros Bernat Jaume and Alejandro Reyes gave the local juniors and adults/sponsors alike quite a show at a series of lessons as well as an exhibition match at Midtown Athletic Club as part of the tournament’s proceedings.
(Photos by Bill Lampeter)

Posted in 2018

UR Squash strong in early Qualifying

Cameron Seth (CAN) bt Oscar Lopez (MEX) 11-5, 11-6, 11-2
Lawrence Kuhn (RSA) bt Ahad Raza (CAN) 10-12, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5
Mario Lopez (MEX) bt Aditya Jagtap (IND) 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13
Jacob Bassil (LIB) bt Fernando Magdaleno (MEX) – walkover/no-show
Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-3
Ricardo Lopez (MEX) bt Sam Fenwick (ENG) 4-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8
Brock Janzer (CAN) bt Mubarak Mohsin (PAK) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
Cameron Seth (CAN) bt Oscar Lopez (MEX) 11-5, 11-6, 11-2
Hugo Varela (ESP) bt Cory McCartney (CAN) 11-3,11-0,11-3

After a brief hiatus in 2017, the Hazlow Electronics Rochester ProAm is back again this year in it’s 16th edition and promises to showcase top up and coming squash talent from around the world once again.

In a strong showing last night, the local lads from the University of Rochester squash team prevailed over stiff competition from their PSA opponents last night in the opening round of qualifying . For some, the luck of the draw meant this was the toughest PSA 5+ qualifying draw they have had to play in a while with several matches going the full five games.

Former UR #1 and current assistant coach, Mario Yanez fresh from his final appearance in another PSA 5+ event Charlottetown on Sunday started hard and fast against India’s Aditya Jagtap taking a quick 2-0 game lead. Jagtap was not giving up however and came back fighting from 9-3 down in the third game to stay in the match. The fourth was a closely contested game at the start but eventually Yanez got the better of his opponent to earn a spot in the next round.

Yanez vs Jagtap

Another University of Rochester local, Tomotaka Endo faced stiff competition from fellow college squash player and Columbia freshman, Velavan Senthilkumar from India. These two had faced off in college squash twice already this year since February with Velavan prevailing in both those encounters. However, Endo seemed learned from those matches and put that experience to good use forcing errors out of Velavan in the early games. Velavan kept the pressure on nevertheless and had Endo on the ropes in the 4th game when an injury break from Vela gave Endo a much needed breather. Thereafter, there was no stopping the Japanese senior who forged ahead into the fifth forcing additional errors from his opponent to eventually take avenge his previous defeats.

In what seemed like a pattern of comebacks, Endo’s other two University of Rochester team mates, Ricardo Lopez and Lawrence Kuhn starred in their own battles both coming back from two games down against their opponents, Canadian Ahad Raza and Englishman Sam Fenwick respectively.

Tomorrow’s qualifying finals feature at least two of the four University of Rochester lads, Tomotaka Endo and Ricardo Lopez facing off against each other.

Photos by Bill Lampeter

The kids love it!

All eyes on the ball

Posted in 2018
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