EBS Dayton Open
Dayton, USA, $40k
Darwish picks up
a Dayton Double
Karim Darwish collected his second
PSA title in a week when he beat fellow Egyptian Mohammed Abbas
15/12, 15/5, 15/12 in the Dayton final ...
Darwish & Abbas
It will be an all-Egyptian final in
Dayton, as top seed Karim Darwish cruised past Graham Ryding, and
Mohammed Abbas ended Rodney Durbach's run in the semi-finals.
Egyptian Night in Dayton
The quarter-finals featured two all-Egyptian clashes,
but it was qualifier Rodney Durbach who stole the show at a packed
Dayton Squash Center.
Night of upsets in Dayton
Galleries were packed tonight behind both show
courts as main draw play began in the EBS Dayton Open. Play began at
4:00 pm local time and by 5:00 PM, there was "standing room only."
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 Karim Darwish (Egy)
15-13, 15-4, 15-12
[Q] Stacey Ross (Eng)
15-9, 15-11, 15-10
15-7, 15-11, 15-9
15/12, 15/5, 15/12
| Omar Elborolossy (Egy)
15-9, 15-9, 15-12
[Q] Mark Heather (Eng)
Shahier Razik (Can)
15-8, 15-9, 5-4 rtd
 Graham Ryding (Can)
15-7, 15-13, 15-8
Simon Parke (Eng)
15-11, 15-11, 15-7
Julian Wellings (Eng)
Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
9-15, 15-11, 12-15, 15-9, 15-10
15-8 15-8 15-7
Wael El Hindi
13-15, 15-13, 15-6,
[Q] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
15-10, 13-15, 7-15, 15-9, 15-9
 Paul Price (Aus)
|[Q] Rodney Durbach (Rsa)
15-4, 15-11, 13-15, 15-8
Mark Chaloner (Eng)
15-12, 15-9, 15-4
17-15, 7-15, 15-14, 15-9
Martin Heath (Sco)
Wael El Hindi (Egy) bt Joey Barrington (Eng) 15/2, 15/8, 15/4
Stacey Ross (Eng) bt Matthew Guiffre (Can) 15/9, 15/5, 7/3 rtd
Mark Heather (Eng) bt Rafael Alarcon (Bra) 15/11, 15/8, 15/13
Rodney Durbach (Rsa) bt Mikkel Korsbjerb (Den) 15/8, 15/7,
Wale El Hindi (Egy) bye
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Jago Nardelli (Eng) 15/10, 15/10,
Matthew Guiffre (Can) bt Duncan Walsh (Enh) 15/8, 15/17, 15/7,
Stacey Ross (Eng) bt Liam Kenny (Irl) 15/11, 15/4, 11/15, 15/7
Mark Heather (Eng) bt Andrew Whipp (Eng) 15/11, 13/15, 15/10,
Rafael Alarcon (Bra) bt Paul Brogna (Usa) 15/10, 15/12, 15/5
Mikkel Korsbjerg (Den) bt Matt Jenson (Usa) 8/15, 15/9, 17/15,
Rodney Durbach (Rsa) bye
 Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Mohammed Abbas (Egy) 15/12,
Darwish Rules in Dayton
Charlie Johnson reports
Current world #9 Karim Darwish of Egypt posted a 3-0
win tonight over countryman Mohammed Abbas in the championship match
of the $40,000 EBS Asset Management Dayton Open. The Dayton Squash
Center was packed to capacity as over 150 spectators, patrons &
sponsors crowded the bleacher seating and club lounge (where there
was close-circuit broadcast of the match).
Darwish started strong and although Abbas kept the first game close,
every time he seemed to try to take command of a rally, Karim
managed to retrieve just one more ball that forced Mohammad to make
an error going for too much on the next shot. Darwish dominated the
2nd game and then in third game, which mirrored the first where
Abbas kept seeming to almost break through and gain control, the
large gallery kept urging Mohammed on, hoping for more squash. Abbas
was gracious in defeat and the award's ceremony & after match
interviews were also a pleasure for the crowd on hand.
Tonight's win, coupled with his other recent successes, will surely
push Darwish into the top 5 of the PSA world rankings. Abbas also
will benefit from his performance here in Dayton and both players,
along with many of the other PSA tour players at this event, spoke
highly of the organization & amenities of this tour event. Thanks to
the hard work of all involved, Dayton OH is becoming one of the
favorite stops on the US Pro Squash Tour.
Many thanks also to all of our sponsors and patrons, many of whom
were in attendance this evening, who helped make this event
possible. With the growth of both professional and amateur squash in
the Midwest, we hope to be a $50,000 5 star event next year and many
of the amateur players in town for the Revenge of the Baby Boomers &
Skill Level Squash Championships are already asking about patron
level sponsorship for next year!
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt  Graham Ryding (CAN) 15-7, 15-11,
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt [Q] Rodney Durbach (RSA) 13-15, 15-13,
Darwish & Abbas set up
Charlie Johnson reports from Dayton
A capacity crowd was on hand to night to
watch the semi-final matches of the $40,000 EBS Dayton Open. The
crowd of sponsors & patrons packed the gallery and a large overflow
crowd of spectators, augmented by some of the 125 amateur players on
hand to play this weekend in the Revenge of the Baby Boomers age
group & skill level tournament, watched the match on a live
simulcast in our club lounge.
In the first semi-final match of the evening, qualifier Rodney
Durbach of South Africa came out strong against unseeded Mohammed
Abbas of Egypt and took the first game 15-13 in a 21 minute
battle. Both players were using all the court and the huge crowd was
loving it. The intensity of play was the same in the second game but
the tide started to turn and Abbas won the second game 15-13 in 14
minutes. The toll Durbach's earlier round matches took on him was
evident as Abbas pushed through the third game 15-6 in 11 minutes
and finished off the match in 7 minutes with efficiency, winning
15-3 in the fourth.
"I just wasn't focused in the first game and he came out firing,"
Ryding said. "I was down and just felt like I was trying to claw my
way back the whole time. He's really aggressive, as soon as I let
him get a jump on me, he got better and more dangerous."
In the second semi-final of the night, Egypt's Karim Darwish
started strong against Canada's Graham Ryding. Darwish applied
persistent pressure to both the front & back of the court that never
allowed Ryding to really get on track. After 12 minutes, Darwish had
one the first game 15-7 but in the second, Ryding tried to make a go
of it but lost that game 15-11 after 17 minutes. The 13 minute final
game went to Darwish 15-9.
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt  Omar Elborolossy (EGY)
15-9, 15-11, 15-10
 Graham Ryding (CAN) bt  Simon Parke (ENG) 15-7, 15-13,
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt [Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY) 15-8 15-8 15-7
[Q] Rodney Durbach (RSA) bt  Martin Heath (SCO) 15-12,
Night in Dayton
Charlie Johnson reports from Dayton
There was "standing room only" (and very little of that!) at
the Dayton Squash Center tonight for the quarter-final matches of
the $40,000 EBS Dayton Open Squash Championships. Sponsors, patrons
& guests packed the gallery beginning at 4:00 pm today when
Rodney Durbach of South Africa opened play against # 2 seed
Martin Heath. Durbach established the trend for the evening, beating
Heath in 3 straight games; as all the matches on this night went the
minimum. That said, the crowd was thrilled by the athleticism of
both players in this first match and all that followed.
Durbach, currently ranked 31 in the world, is on the move and
playing well, and has lots of local support because of his 3 year
support of the Dayton event. Getting married in May, Durbach has
extra incentive to continue playing well and winning as his local
supporters want him to have a great honeymoon funded by his prize
money. (We in Dayton wish he and his future bride best wishes!).
Durbach will play Egyptian Mohammed Abbas who prevailed
against countryman Wael El Hindi this evening in another 3 game
match (all scores noted below).
Simon Parke and Graham Ryding played the third match of the
night and both are great representatives of the sport of squash.
Their 3-0 match score did not do justice to the play, as there were
a great many long rallies with fabulous retrievals from both
players. They also signed autographs for all the kids hanging around
the courts & locker rooms after the match.
This was truly "Egyptian Night" as the feature match of the evening
was # 1 seed Karim Darwish faced off against countryman Omar
Elborolossy. After 3 hours of previous matches, the gallery was
still completely packed when the two walked on the court to start
the last match of the evening, despite the fact that PSA players
Joey Barrington & Azlan Iskandar were entertaining & coaching 30 or
more juniors on other Dayton Squash Center Courts as part of the
Professional Squash Tour's effort to reach out to the communities
that sponsor events.
Our thanks to both of these players as the kids wouldn't let them
off the court! Back on the tournament court, Darwish sustained a
slight cut on the knee in the 2nd game, going for a low ball, and
there was an injury time-out. After bandaging and borrowing a knee
brace from Tournament Promoter Charlie Johnson (unfortunately 43
years old and in need of the support!) to keep the bandage in place,
he continued the match and won in three. All night long, his
forehand drop won him point after point as he pushed it in to the
front to punish Omar when the ball was the least bit loose.
Many of our major sponsors and patrons were on hand tonight to watch
the world class squash that has come to Dayton, Ohio. The EBS Dayton
Open is one of the primary fundraising events for the Miami Valley
Squash Foundation that, to date, has introduced squash to over 300
area kids to the sport of squash. One day, if there is a PSA tour
player from Dayton Ohio, you know where the seed was planted. Thanks
to all of our sponsors who help us make this a goal!
Night of upsets in Dayton
Charlie Johnson reports on the first
Galleries were packed tonight behind both show courts as
main draw play began in the EBS Dayton Open. Play began at 4:00 pm
local time and by 5:00 PM, there was "standing room only." The large
crowd witnessed several good early matches and the night became "Q
night" for qualifier's night as two qualifiers, Rodney Durbach
from S. Africa and Wael El Hindi of Egypt, scored first round
El Hindi prevailed in a contentious match with Australia's Paul
Price while Durbach came out strong against Mark Chaloner of England
in the first game (15/4) and then toughed it out for the win.
Chaloner was nursing a sore ankle after the match but gracious in
his comments, complemented Durbach on his superb play.
Perhaps the most exciting match of the evening, and definitely the
longest, was between Alex Gough of Wales and Mohammed Abbas
of Egypt. They fought for 1 hour 25 minutes with Abbas prevailing
15/10 in the 5th game. Both players took advantage of ruthless touch
around the front of the court (punishing each other on our newly
installed 17" tins) while applying punishing length when given an
opening up front.
The crowd favorite match tonight was between Simon Parke of
Nottingham, England (former world # 3) and the Dayton Squash
Center's own touring professional Julian Wellings. Julian,
originally from Eastbourne, England, grew up playing junior squash
in the UK with, and against, Simon and they are "best mates."
According to Julian, "they've probably played over 25 matches
against each other, starting at age 8, and the only victory I've had
was that first one at age 8!" Well tonight the crowd was cheering
for a victory. Julian played well despite his heavy responsibilities
running all the PSA details of this tournament and held his own in
the first two games, leading at times, and with chances to win.
Simon, however, has too much current tour match experience to bring
to the table and edged out the local favorite despite the constant
cheering for Julian (more than one "come on papa was heard shouted,
as Julian & his wife Kelly are expecting their first child in May!).
The last match of the evening began with a full house still on hand
to watch the two Canadian's, Shahier Razik & Graham Ryding,
battle for bragging rights in Dayton, Ohio. Down 2-0, however, Razik
took a racquet to the nose that wouldn't stop bleeding after a 1
hour delay and he retired from the contest. Meanwhile, in the down
time, most of the 10-20 juniors on hand from the Dayton Challenge
squash program took advantage of the milling around to get
autographs from all the players on their souvenir tournament
Squash in the US is on the right track when 12-14 year old kids are
fighting each other to get autographs from PSA tour players and many
of the younger girls were keen to get Simon Parke and Joey
Barrington's autograph tonight! Squash needs an Andy Roddick and we
have lots of them! The EBS Dayton Open is one of the primary
fundraising events for the Miami Valley Squash Foundation that, to
date, has introduced squash to over 300 area kids and to see the
interest in professional squash at the junior level is gratifying.
Thursday's 1/4 final rounds promise lots of action as we have two
"all Egyptian" matches and then Parke vs. Ryding & Durbach vs. Heath
in the other 1/4 final contests. All this before 125 amateur players
hit the courts on Friday for one of the largest squash tournaments
ever held in the Miami Valley area.
This year's Revenge of the Baby Boomers tournament has 125 entrants
with 60% of the players from out of town. These guests, as well as
the "townies," our local squash gladiators willing to mix it up in
competition, will be treated to the highest caliber of international
play during Friday evening's semi-final PSA matches and then again
on Saturday for the finals.
Charlie Johnson reports on the qualifying finals
Local squash players &
sponsors turned out in force to watch the 2nd round of the
qualifying draw for the EBS Dayton Open. The gallery was full for
the better part of 4 hours and even though all 4 matches only went
the minimum number of games, the quality of the squash thrilled the
onlookers. The most competitive match was between Brazil's Rafael
Alarcon and England's Mark Heather. Alarcon played with heart and
soul as he fought to stay in the match. He fought off 3 match points
in the third game as he gradually added to his point total but 13
was his unlucky number. When he got to 13, Heather finished him off
with a nice winning length.
Canada's Matthew Guiffre had to retire in the 3rd game of his match,
down 2-0, with leg cramps. His first game with England's Stacey Ross
took 27 minutes, much to the crowd's delight, and that might explain
some of the cramping as point after point, Guiffre retrieved all of
Ross's drops on the newly installed 17 inch "Pro Tins" at the Dayton
Squash Center. Top qualifiers Rodney Durbach of South Africa & Wael
El Hindi of Egypt had strong wins as they also advanced to the main
About the Dayton Open
Charlie Johnson sets the scene
The Dayton Open is one of the fastest-growing events on the PSA
Tour. After starting two years ago as a $10,000 tournament, the 2004
EBS Asset Management Dayton Open will be a $40,000 4-star PSA event,
attracting a world-class field.
"We have a great facility to host a squash tournament like this with
5 state-of-the-art ASB squash courts," said organiser Charlie
Johnson. "We hold a large amateur event in conjunction with the PSA
event that assures us of overflowing galleries toward the final
matches of the event.
"This event has grown so quickly because of the support of our local
squash community and some of our major sponsors. The title sponsor,
EBS Asset Management, is an incredibly successful asset management
company and all three of its founders, Ron Eubel (E), Mark Brady (B)
and Rob Suttman (S), are avid squash players - along with many of
partners & staff of the firm. Their enthusiasm, energy and support
(both financial and physical) of the event is what has helped make
this event so successful and one of the main reasons we've grown in
stature," Johnson added.