EBS Dayton 2004

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EBS Dayton Open 2004
14-17 Jan, Dayton, USA, $40k

Karim Darwish17-Jan, Final:
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 ... full story

16-Jan, Semis:
Darwish & Abbas set up
 all-Egyptian final
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.

15-Jan, Quarters:
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.

14-Jan, Round 1:
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."

  • Draw & Results
  • Reports
  • 2003 Event

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EBS Asset Management Dayton Open 2004
1st Round
Wed 14
Thu 15
Fri 16th
Sat 17th
[2] Karim Darwish (Egy)
15-13, 15-4, 15-12
[Q] Stacey Ross (Eng)
Karim Darwish
15-9, 15-11, 15-10
 Omar Elborolossy
Karim Darwish

15-7, 15-11, 15-9

  Graham Ryding

Karim Darwish 

15/12, 15/5, 15/12

Mohammed Abbas


[7] Omar Elborolossy (Egy)
15-9, 15-9, 15-12

[Q] Mark Heather (Eng)
Shahier Razik (Can)
15-8, 15-9, 5-4 rtd
[4] Graham Ryding (Can)
 Graham Ryding
 15-7, 15-13, 15-8
Simon Parke
[6] 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

[8] Alex Gough (Wal)
Mohammed Abbas
15-8 15-8 15-7
Wael El Hindi
Mohammed Abbas

13-15, 15-13, 15-6, 15-3

 Rodney Durbach

[Q] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
15-10, 13-15, 7-15, 15-9, 15-9
[5] Paul Price (Aus)
[Q] Rodney Durbach (Rsa)
15-4, 15-11, 13-15, 15-8
Mark Chaloner (Eng)
Rodney Durbach
 15-12, 15-9, 15-4
Martin Heath
Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
17-15, 7-15, 15-14, 15-9
[3] Martin Heath (Sco)

Qualifying finals:
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, 15/7

First round:
Wale El Hindi (Egy)  bye
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Jago Nardelli (Eng)  15/10, 15/10, 15/8
Matthew Guiffre (Can) bt Duncan Walsh (Enh)  15/8, 15/17, 15/7, 15/11
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, 15/5
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, 15/12
Rodney Durbach (Rsa)  bye

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Results & Reports

17-Jan, Final:
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Mohammed Abbas (Egy)  15/12, 15/5, 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!

16-Jan, Semi-Finals:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [3] Graham Ryding (CAN)  15-7, 15-11, 15-9
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt [Q] Rodney Durbach (RSA)  13-15, 15-13, 15-6, 15-3

Darwish & Abbas set up
all-Egyptian final
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.

15-Jan, Quarter-Finals:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [6] Omar Elborolossy (EGY)  15-9, 15-11, 15-10
[3] Graham Ryding (CAN) bt [5] Simon Parke (ENG)  15-7, 15-13, 15-8
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt [Q] Wael El Hindi (EGY)  15-8 15-8 15-7
[Q] Rodney Durbach (RSA) bt [2] Martin Heath (SCO)  15-12, 15-9, 15-4

Egyptian 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 round

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 victories.

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 programs.

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 draw.

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.

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