SSA Global Windy City Open 2004
01-04 April, Chicago, USA, $30k

04-Apr, Final:
[3] Nick Matthew bt [2] Gregory Gaultier  12/15, 15/9, 15/12, 15/4

Matthew denies Gaultier in Chicago

England's Nick Matthew beat France's Gregory Gaultier in the final of the SSA Global Windy City Open in Chicago, as the Yorkshireman collected his best career win to date while condemning Gaultier to the Windy City runners-up spot for the third successive year.

There really can be no better setting in the United States for a squash match than Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago. This afternoon it was home to the final of the 2004 SSA Global Windy City Open between Nick Matthew from England and Greg Gaultier from France. It was an intriguing match up to say the least ...

Phil Yarrow & Aidan Harrison report from Chicago


  • Draw & Results
  • Reports
  • 2003 Event

The University
Club of Chicago

1st Round
Thu 1st
Fri 2nd
Sat 3rd
Sun 4th
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
15/11, 15/11, 15/10
Alex Gough (Wal)
Karim Darwish
12/15, 15/13, 12/15,
15/12, 15/14
Graham Ryding
Graham Ryding

15/10, 15/11, 15/9

Nick Matthew

Nick Matthew

12/15, 15/9, 15/12, 15/4

 Gregory Gaultier

[5] Graham Ryding (Can)
15/6, 15/11, 15/12
[Q] Ben Garner
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng)
15/9, 8/15, 9/15, 15/11, 15/10
Rodney Durbach (Rsa)
Nick Matthew
15/9, 15/7, 9/15, 15/9
Olli Tuominen
[8] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
9/15, 9/15, 15/9, 15/9, 15/12
Mark Chaloner (Eng)
[Q] Simon Parke (Eng)
15/13, 15/12, 3/15, 15/11
[7] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
Renan Lavigne
15/7, 15/9, 15/11
Omar Elborolossy
Omar Elborolossy

 15/8, 16/17, 4/15,
 15/7, 15/7

Gregory Gaultier
[Q] Jonathan Kemp
 15/6, 15/13, 15/7
[4] Omar Elborolossy (Egy)
[Q] Gavin Jones
 15/13, 15/10, 15/8
[5] Paul Price (Aus)
Paul Price
14/17, 12/15, 15/12,
15/4, 15/12
Gregory Gaultier
Martin Heath (Sco)
17/16, 11/15, 15/9, 15/9
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

Qualifying (Tue 30th/Wed 31st):

Gavin Jones (Wal) bt Dan Jenson (Aus)  16/17, 15/8, 15/5, 15/9
Simon Parke (Eng) bt Mark Heather (Eng)  15/11, 15/12, 9/15, 15/12
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Lee Drew (Eng)  15/12, 15/8, 8/15, 15/10
Ben Garner (Eng) bt Joey Barrington (Eng)  10/15, 15/9, 15/9, 15/3

First Round:
Dan Jenson (Aus) bt Beau River (Usa)  15/13, 15/6, 15/9
Gavin Jones (Wal) bt Rob McFadzean (Usa)  15/8, 15/11, 17/15
Simon Parke (Eng) bt Liam Kenny (Irl)  15/12, 15/13, 15/6
Mark Heather (Eng) bt Preston Quick (Usa)  15/10, 15/11, 15/13
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Ryan Donegan (Usa)  15/8, 15/8, 15/8
Lee Drew (Eng) v Dylan Patterson (Usa)  15/10, 15/4, 15/9
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Jarred Sandler (Usa)  15/4, 15/10, 15/11
Ben Garner (Eng) bt Josh McDonald (Usa)  15/9, 15/4, 15/5

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04-Apr, Final:

[3] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)  12/15, 15/9, 15/12, 15/4

Phil Yarrow reports from Chicago

There really can be no better setting in the United States for a squash match than Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago. This afternoon it was home to the final of the 2004 SSA Global Windy City Open between Nick Matthew from England and Greg Gaultier from France. It was an intriguing match up to say the least. The 21 year old Frenchman is currently ranked number 11 in the world. His English opponent is only 18 months older and is currently one place higher and number 10 in the world rankings. Both players had been playing great squash throughout the week in Chicago and both had been pressured in early matches and had to show their resolve to recover from deficit to win five game matches.

Matthew got out of the blocks faster in the first game and took an early 4-1 lead helped by a couple of Gaultier errors. The Frenchman soon settled down though and began to play his typical exciting brand of squash, moving Matthew effortless around the court. He dominated the front court exchanges and moved quickly to a 10-6 lead. Matthew tightened up his game and started to push Gaultier deeper in the court and got back on level terms at 12-12. Gaultier held his resolve though and a straight backhand volley kill gave him game ball and he won the 22 minute first game when Matthew hit the ball out of court in the next rally.

Matthew started better in the second game. He made fewer errors and his fast attacking play began to create openings for him to win points with his drop shots and kill shots at the front of the court. He led throughout, but Gaultier kept the game close until 9-8. A disputed stroke call in favor of Matthew seemed to take a little of the wind out of Gaultier and Matthew ended up comfortable winning the game 15-9 in 12 minutes.

The third game was close throughout. Neither player appeared able to seize an advantage. The rallies were tighter and more intense. Matthew held a 13-12 lead late in the game, but Gaultier was still right there stretching Matthew around the court. The Frenchman worked a great opening, but inexplicable put his backhand drop in the tin with Matthew scrambling to recover. At game ball Matthew hit a great backhand cross court to wrong foot Gaultier and take the game 15-12 in 27 minutes.

Gaultier looked determined early in the fourth game and a couple of excellent straight drives for winners gave him a 3-1 lead. Then followed a great rally with Gaultier unluckily hitting the ball out while making an unbelievable effort to recover a shot off the back wall. It appeared Gaultier was hurt after that attempt and as Matthew began to run up the points it was clear the Frenchman had nothing more left to give. He limped to a quick 15-4 defeat to hand Matthew his biggest tour win to date. On the performances this week though these two competitors appear set for many big wins in the future. Both appear to have the potential to soon be vying for the number one spot in the world.

03-Apr, Semi-Finals:

[3] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt Graham Ryding (Can) 15/10, 15/11, 15/9
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Omar Elborolossy (Egy)  15/8, 16/17, 4/15, 15/7, 15/7

Matthew & Gaultier breeze
into Windy City Final
Phil Yarrow & Aidan Harrison report from Chicago

The University Club of Chicago was buzzing with the excitement of watching four of the greatest athletes in the world battle for two positions in the 2004 SSA Global Windy City Open Championships. A Frenchman, Egyptian, Englishman and Canadian all wanted to go one day further, but who would bring their ‘A’ game?

The gallery rushed to their seats when the doors opened fifteen minutes before the start time. Gregory Gaultier was seen charming the crowd before he had even struck a ball. Gaultier’s opponent in the first semi-final was Egyptian Omar Elborolossy. The flamboyant Frenchman took control early in the first game, taking the ball early and using his tremendous racket skills to work Elborolossy around the court. He extended an early 5-3 lead to 11-6 and although the Egyptian closed back to within three points Gaultier comfortable closed out the 12 minute first game 15-9.

Elborolossy is a tall, athletically built player, with great movement and steady and precise shots. He started the second game better and began to pressure Gaultier into more errors. He took 5-3 and 6-5 leads, before Gaultier regained control and the lead at 11-8. Elborolossy then hit two backhand cross-court nicks and a backhand drop shot winner to get back to 11-11. At 12-12, a backhand crosscourt wrong footed Gaultier, followed by another drop shot winner to give Elborolossy game ball. Gaultier saved the first game ball and then a “no let” call tied the score at 14-14. The players alternated points to 16-16 before Elborolossy closed out the game with a fine backhand crosscourt nick off Gaultier’s serve.

Buoyed by winning the second game, Elborolossy raced to an 11-1 lead in the third, aided by a number of Gaultier tins. He then closed out the game 15-4 in 8 minutes. Gaultier was not to be outclassed by the racket skills from Elbororlossy, and showed his French flair from Aix-en-Provence. Delicately chipping in soft drop shots and punching heated crosscourts, he was able to work his opponent into every inch of the glass court. As bad as he was in the third game, he was that good in the fourth. He rushed to a 10-3 lead before he made his first error. Elbororlossy capitalized and pulled two points back, but it was not enough and Gaultier won 15-6 in 10 minutes.

In the fifth game, Gaultier jumped out of the blocks and took a 11-5 lead, he wanted to finish it quick. Elborolossy has been coached on pride, and gave a gutsy effort, but the Frenchman had the last word taking his spot in his third consecutive Windy City final 15-7.

The second semi-final matched England’s Nick Matthew with Canadian Graham Ryding. Ryding, of course, was fresh from his upset five game win against number one seed Karim Darwish the night before. Ryding must have known he would have his hands full again tonight against the fit 23 year old Englishman, who has been in great form recently on the PSA tour. The first game was extremely even with neither player able to force more than a two point advantage. At 11-10 though, Matthew stepped up and with some tremendous forehand volley winners closed out the game in one hand 15-10.
Matthew kept up the pressure early in the second game taking a quick 7-3 lead, which he then extended to 12-6. Ryding dug in though and got back to within two at 11-13. A devastating forehand kill shot from Matthew gave him game ball, and he eventually won the game 15-11 after Ryding tinned a volley boast at the end of a long hard fought rally.

Matthew continued to play consistent, virtually error free squash in the third game. Ryding hung in there, but was always behind and constantly chasing Matthew’s attacking volleys. Eventually Mathew won the third 15-9, to prevail three games to zero in 55 minutes.

The final is set. Two young players , exciting and entertaining, out to prove who is the Windy City champion of 2004. Continuing from the World team championships in Vienna, England versus France on a Sunday in Cathedral Hall……!!!!

02-Apr, Quarters:

[5] Graham Ryding (CAN) bt [1] Karim Darwish (EGY)  12-15, 15-13, 12-15, 15-12, 15-14
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Olli Tuominen (FIN)   15-9, 15-7, 9-15, 15-9
[4] Omar Elborolossy (EGY) bt [7] Renan Lavigne (FRA)   15-7, 15-9, 15-11
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [6] Paul Price (AUS)  14-17, 14-15, 15-12, 15-4, 15-12

Ryding Downs Darwish
in Chicago Quarters

Aidan Harrison reports from Chicago

Cathedral Hall was basking in the sun all day from Lake Michigan awaiting the eight players meeting in the quarterfinals of the 2004 SSA Global Windy City Open. Only four would survive and it took five and a half hours of electric, scintillating squash to deliver.

Omar Elborolossy started the first game against Renan Lavigne with fantastic shot selections moving the Frenchman into every inch of the corner cruising to a 15-7 win. Forced errors and constant pressure enabled Elborolossy to enjoy the next two games winning 15-9, 15-11 and be the first semi finalist on Saturday afternoon.
Paul Price, the defending champion took on Gregory Gaultier, the entertaining Frenchman who had lost to Price in last year’s final. A year ago, the court at the University Club was a boxing ring, this time the players treated each other with great respect. The tough rockstar aussie sported his favorite country shirt as a gentle reminder who the current World team champions are. Gaultier was down 11-14 and played smart attacking squash but lost out to a series of signature Price forehand kills to lose 17-14. The second game brought out the true rivalry between the players and the court positioning came into effect. Gaultier held game ball at 14-12 and Price came back and took advantage of the no set call with a great length to take a two love game lead.

The youthful Frenchman stormed back with breathtaking squash to tie up the game at two all 15-12, 15-4. Price chose an injury time out at the beginning of the fifth for an aggravating blister. The crowd were on their feet, clapping with thunderous applause and were treated to beautiful attacking squash from both competitors. The fifth was a delight, two shot makers twisting and turning each other into submission. Gaultier sneaked the fifth 15-12 to make it to day three.

Graham Ryding, who started his professional career here in 1993 showed at ties why he has beaten Karim Darwish twice in the last twelve months, but the 22 year old from Cairo showed his prowess on court and won the first game on a stroke call 15-12. Ryding moved up the court and started cutting off Darwish’s blistering crosscourts and evened the score one-all 15-13. Darwish regained control and led 2-1, but the Canuck is a born fighter and tied the match to set up an exciting fifth game 12-15, 15-12.
The last game was the most wonderful game of squash ever to be played in Chicago. Darwish and Ryding showed mature games, delivering perfect attacking squash at crucial moments. With the game tied 14-14, Darwish chose no set. Six let balls and an enthusiastic crowd, Ryding closed with a tight backhand trickle boast.

To finish the ceremonies for the evening Nick Matthew showed why he has arrived on the world squash scene, playing immaculate squash against the feisty Finn, Olli Tuominen. Matthew’s early preparation and timely execution allowed him to take the match comfortably 15-9, 15-7, 9-15, 15-9.

Saturday’s semi-finals will feature attacking athletes on the WISPA court, which compliments aggressive racquet skilled players. The city of Chicago can hardly wait….!!!!!!!

01-Apr, Round One:
Seeds Sail Through
Windy City Opener

The opening day's action of the SSA Global Windy City Open  on the all glass court in the Cathedral Hall at the University Club, Chicago, saw all eight seeds sail safely through to the second round of this established $30,000 PSA Tour event in the USA.

In the spectacular setting of stained glass windows and the view of Lake Michigan, the packed audience was treated to a fantastic game of attrition in the opening match between France's seventh seed Renan Lavigne and experienced English qualifier Simon Parke, fellow team-mates at Nottingham squash club in England.

Lavigne's mixture of pace and delicate drops helped him control the game from 9-13 down in the first to take the opener 15-13 in one hand. The Frenchman soon moved into a 2/0 lead, but Parke came back in devastating form to win the third game easily. Lavigne was at the peak of his game in the latter stages of the fourth and showed his control to take the match 15-13 15-12 4-15 15-11.

A surprise looked on the cards when England's Mark Chaloner raced to a 2/0 lead over Finland's eighth seed Olli Tuominen. The PSA President from Lincolnshire led 7-2 in the third game before the Finn raised his offensive play and clinically pulled back the game 15-9. Touminen's confidence grew and he ultimately claimed a 9-15 9-15 15-9 15-9 15-12 victory.

England's in-form third seed Nick Matthew was taken the full distance by a strong and determined Rodney Durbach. The South African gave a gritty performance and led 2/1 - but Matthew went on to win 15-9 8-15 9-15 15-11 15-10.

Australia's defending champion Paul Price stepped on court against Welsh qualifier Gavin Jones determined to show to the crowd why he was a former world top five player. After a 1-6 and 7-12 start in the first game he played exceptional length to go 1/0 up. Price continued to be in excellent form, using his mid court forehand kill whenever he had it as an option - and eventually secured a 15-13 15-9 15-8 win.

His opponent in the next round will be Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the No2 seed whom he beat in the 2003 final. Gaultier charmed the crowd with his acrobatic movement, deft touches, and creative wrist. At 14-14 in the first game against Scotland's Martin Heath, Gaultier showed his drop shot skills in the front forehand to win the next three points, and the game. Tour veteran Heath, now based in Toronto, pulled back the second to level the match. The Frenchman, however, was not to be out-classed and picked up the tempo of the third and final game, winning 17-14 11-15 15-9 15-9.

Price & Gaultier set for
early  repeat in Chicago

Defending champion Paul Price is seeded five for the 2004 Windy City Open, and is set to meet last year's runner-up Gregory Gaultier, this time seeded two, as early as the quarter-finals. Top seed for the $30k event is Egypt's Karim Darwish.
Staged at the University Club of Chicago, the event features full amateur draws, with championship courts located on the seventh and the ninth floor.
Apart from title sponsors SSA Global the event boasts a long list of 'patrons' who offer support. Hardly surprising, really, given that the opening night offers "
Complimentary beer for patrons" ...