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Galvez crowned Rochester ProAm champion

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)
2015finalistsThe 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!

Posted in 2015


Photo by Bill Lampeter

Eric Galvez makes 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 has a chance once again to win the title. But 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. Will it be fourth time lucky for Chris? We’ll find out tomorrow at noon!

Eric Gálvez bt Josue Enriquez
11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-3 ((61m)

Photo by Bill Lampeter:

Chris Binnie bt Amaad Fareed
11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (38m)

Posted in 2015

Round 1 results

Photo by Bill Lampeter

It was a long, exhilarating night of squash with some thriller 5 set matches lasting almost until 11pm. Two qualifiers (including one Yellowjacket team member) proceed to the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Lewis Walters bt David Baillargeon 11-9,13-15, 11-7, 11-7 (80m)
Chris Binnie bt. Albert Shoihet 7-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 (36m)
Eric Galvez bt. Ahmad Alzabidi 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (47m)
Syed Hamza Shah Bukhari bt. Michael McCue 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4 (95m)
Josue Enriquez bt. Neil Cordell 6-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-2 (55m)
Mauricio Sedano bt. Jonathan Maloney 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (30m)
Ryosei Kobayashi bt. Faraz Khan 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 (56m)
Amaad Fareed bt. Tomotaka Endo 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (53m)

Photos by Paul Schwartz:

Binnie vs Shoihet

(Match report by Jesse Cramer)
Two clashing styles met in this battle of larger-than-average squash players, with the attacking, arrhythmic Canadien Albert Shoihet facing off against the steady, volleying Jamaican Chris Binnie.
Game 1 showed why unorthodoxy can sometimes be the best strategy. Binnie came out and played normal squash, and therefore was completely caught off guard by Shoihet’s flicks, drops, and steady stream of unexpected shots. Although the game finished 11-7 to Shoihet, it never even felt that close.
But, for the rest of the match, Binnie showcased how the “classic style” of squash has gained its name. The tall Jamaican dominated the T, volleying everything passing near his expansive wingspan. Shoihet was relegated to digging shots out of the back corners of the court, which is simply not a sustainable pattern of play. Even when Shoihet would string together a cluster of high-pressure shots, Binnie would fall back on tight shots and lobs to regain control. The match never seemed close again, and Binnie cruised in games 2 through 4 11-3, 11-2, 11-3.

Posted in 2015

Qualifying complete

Three University of Rochester Yellowjackets continued their solid run and made it to the main draw of the 2015 Rochester ProAm.

Photos by Paul Schwartz:

Photos by Bill Lampeter:

The shadow on Tomo:

(L) Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt (6) Adam Perkiomaki (USA) 3-1
(11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) 50 minutes

— plays Amaad Fareed (PAK)
(Match report by Adam Perkiomaki)
University of Rochester showed strong representation as current freshman, Endo, and current assistant coach, Perkiomaki, met on court. The match began evenly, both players hitting an equal amount of errors and winners. In the third Perkiomaki got out to a quick lead, but with impeccable coaching from the season still fresh in his mind, Endo took strong position on the T and kept his opponent deep with relentless volleying. Perkiomaki looked for head coach Martin Heath to tag in during the fourth game, while Endo was able to apply steady pressure and secure the win.

(L) Neil Cordell (ENG) bt (3) Italo Bonatti (GUA) 3-1
(11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9) 45 minutes

— plays Josue Enriquez (GUA)
(Match report by Jesse Cramer)
rocprosquash2015-03This match saw a physically fit Italo Bonatti against the technically clean Neil “The Cabbie” Cordell.
In game 1, Italo came out flat and Neil seized control. The game remained close via a few Cordell tins, but four points in a row from 6-6 gave Cordell plenty of breathing room. He converted his first game ball to win 11-6.
The second was much tighter, going back and forth the whole game. Italo found himself up late at 8-7, but Cordell pulled back and earned a game ball at 10-9. After a long rally, Italo clipped the tin while going for a cross court fade. Cordell wins 11-9.
In the third, Italo seized control and never looked back. 3-1 turned into 7-3. Cordell pulled back a few points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 11-8 victory for Italo.
The fourth was exhilarating, both players fighting for every point. Neil earned a two point lead a few different times, but Italo always pulled back. Cordell seemed to dominate the backhand side, while Italo exerted a lot of pressure with his forehand attacks. At 8-8, the players started appealing a bit to the ref, who was forced to make three crucial calls in the late game–with both players expecting the call to go their way. All three benefited Cordell, much to the chagrin of the Guatemalan contingent. The calls were close, but an argument could be made either way. Unfortunately for Italo, he was on the losing side of these calls, and Neil was able to eke out the 11-9 victory to clinch the match.

(L) Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt David Clegg (AUS) 3-0
(11-5, 11-5, 11-5) 25 minutes

— plays Faraz Khan (USA)
(Match report by Adam Perkiomaki)
rocprosquash2015-04The final match of the evening featured a showdown between the local Ryo Kobayashi and qualy #1 seed David Clegg. Ryo, current University of Rochester sophomore, began firing in shots early. A display of impressive retrieval and recovery play from the Aussie followed, showing his grit to keep the rallies alive. Each game progressed with both players building the pace up steadily, Ryo pulling away in each with a string of quick flicks and gets. At the end of the well-fought and entertaining match, it was the Japanese Assassin who outshot the Aussie Sniper.

(2) Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari (PAK) bt (L) Mario Yañez (MEX) 3-1
(11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7) 72 minutes

— plays Michael McCue (CAN)
(Match report by Oscar Lopez)
rocprosquash2015-02Top seeded qualifier Syed Hamzah had a strong start against a very disciplined Mario Yañez. In the first game, Syed and Mario interchanged points until 9-9 when Mario made a couple of errors due to the fast pace of the game to put Syed up in the match, 11-9.
Mario had a very strong start in the second putting him at 9-5 to eventually win by score of 11-8.
Though the score was fairly close in the third game, Hamzah seemed more relaxed and Mario started to show signs of exhaustion. Hamzah 11-8
The fourth and last game seemed to be all to Hamza. Yañez was trying to return the ball and Hamzah was more confident and aggressive which led him to win by score of 11-7

Posted in 2015

Qualifying Round 1 under way

(L) Mario Yañez (MEX) bt (7) Shahid Hussain (PAK) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-7) 26m
(L) Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt (4) Victor Manuel Garcia Ramirez (MEX) 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-6) 22m
(6) Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt (L) Oscar Lopez Hidalgo (MEX) 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5) 64m
(L) Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt (5) Chaudhary Nasir Anwar (PAK) 3-0 (11-0, 11-0, 11-0) 10m
(L) Neil Cordell (ENG) bt Michelangelo Bertocchi (ITA) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-1) 25m

IMG_4662After several last minute PSA player withdrawals, the drastically re-arranged qualifying draw for the 2015 Rochester ProAm finally got under way with 3 first round byes and 4 current University of Rochester Squash team “Yellowjackets” and 2 former team members/assistant coaches playing the local and reserve local spots. Tomorrow’s final draw of qualifying features at least one match with two of the victorious Yellowjackets facing each other while the rest square off against visiting PSA pros.

(Match reports by Jesse Cramer)

Mario Yanez (MEX) bt. Shahid Hussain (PAK) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-7) 26 mins

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Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt. Victor Manuel Garcia (MEX) 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-6) 22 mins
Despite Victor Manuel Garcia’s best attempts keep the match physically taxing, he could not overcome the steady play of University of Rochester freshman Tomotaka Endo. The rallies tending to be long and searching, but the vast majority switched gears via a rapid succession of Endo volleys. Garcia would scramble to recover, but the building pressure began to take its toll.
To the layperson, the match was a gritty fight. A seasoned squash eye could see that Endo was firmly in control.

Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt. Chaudhary Nasir Anwar (PAK) 3-0 (11-0, 11-0, 11-0) 10 mins
From the onset, the fate of this match lay in the fickle wrist of University of Rochester sophomore Ryosei Kobayashi. Despite Anwar’s best efforts, Ryo was too strong, too fast, and too skilled. The recently crowned First Team All-American cruised to a 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 victory.

Neil Cordell (ENG) bt. Michelangelo Bertocchi (ITA) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-1) 25 mins

rocprosquash2015-01The only match of the night pairing two current University of Rochester players saw junior captain Neil “The Cabbie” Cordell taking on Michelangelo “The Exhibitionist” Bertocchi.
The first two games yielded wonderful squash, as the two players’ experience with one another led to some even play. Although Bertocchi led at 4-2, then 8-6, he could not pull away. Cordell use tight control to counteract Bertocchi hard-hitting style. At 9-10 down, Cordell managed to squeeze a drop shot into a Bertocchi error. Then, in extra points, Cordell played steady squash until Bertocchi clipped the tin twice in succession. 12-10 to Cordell.
The second game ran much like the first in terms of tactics, but Cordell managed to eke out a small yet constant lead. Despite Bertocchi’s hustling, he could not pull back. Cordell wins the second 11-7.
The third saw Bertocchi get unlucky and lose a bit of focus. Cordell seized the opportunity, bumping up his cab fare to Peak Hour levels. Although the aroma of bagels briefly wafted through the Lyman Squash Complex, it was but a dream. Cordell wins the third 11-1.

Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt. Oscar Lopez (MEX) 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5) 64 mins

Free live streaming by Ustream
Two former University of Rochester players (and current UR assistant squash coaches) faced off in the most impressive match of the night. The crowd was endlessly entertained by fast reactions, long stretches, unexpected shots, and 90 minutes of back-and-forth squash.
Lopez jumped out to an early lead in game 1, and Perkiomaki was caught a bit flat-footed. That was all Lopez needed, and he rode his early lead to a comfortable 8-11 game 1 victory.
Game 2, however, saw Perkiomaki ready to play. After asserting himself on the T, Perko began to control Lopez, forcing repeated sprints and lunges from the limber Mexican. Lopez did an amazing job picking up many near-winners, but Perko smoothly kept his foot on the pedal, and pulled out the second game 11-9.
Game 3 was more of the same, but Lopez began to read Perko a bit better, and adjusted his tactics accordingly. The match became just as much about will-power—who wants to control the T more—as it did skill. And in Game 3, Lopez won the battle of wills. He pulled ahead 2-1 with a 12-10 win, but the physical toll began to show towards the end.
Game 4 saw both players—who are part-time students, part-time coaches, and part-time professionals—looking a bit ragged. Both continued to play deftly with their rackets, but their legs couldn’t reproduce their earlier efforts. And thus, the scales began to tip towards Perkiomaki, whose tactic of holding and flicking started to put points away, SCORE
Game 5 began with a string of seven points for Perkiomaki. Lopez grinded back to 3-7, but the physical work from the early games was too much to overcome. Perkiomaki wins comfortably, albeit also exhausted.

Posted in 2015

They’re hungrier than ever

2012 Lampeter IMG_6282 wowed crowd 2 FXD VSMThe stage is set. Beginning 6:00pm EST today, 16 young squash players from around the world will vie for four spots in the main draw of the 2015 Hazlow Electronics Rochester ProAm!
Sponsored by a generous local community of individual and organizations and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, the event is in it’s 14th year running – a testament to the local squash community’s love for the sport!
The Rochester ProAm can boast of witnessing the early, meteoric rise of several squash stars on the current pro circuit including the likes of Miguel Angel Rodriguez (PSA World Ranking #5), Ryan Cuskelly (PSA World Ranking #43), Karim Abdel Gawad (PSA World Ranking #18) and Daryl Selby (PSA World Ranking #15). If history is any indication, some of the young, hungry players we watch this week are sure to rise to that level of success on the PSA tour…and a few years from now, we’ll be saying “Remember that kid? He was special!”

Posted in 2015