Clive Caldwell's victory over the legendary Sharif Khan in yesterday's final of the $10,000 Washington, D.C. Open Squash Tournament wasn't as noteworthy as the manner in which he did it.
In defeating North America's No. 1-ranked player who has won the North American Open an unprecedented 11 times, Caldwell played Khan's style of game and won, 15-10, 14-17, 18-16, 15-10, at the Washington Squash Racquet Club.
Khan is noted for his delicate drop shots and used them the first three games. But early into the fourth game with the score tied, 3-3, Caldwell, who is rated No. 3 on the tour, hit three such shots to take a 6-3 lead.
"I felt more confident by then," said Caldwell, 29, of Toronto. "By then he was tense and I could give it back to him."
Khan, 36, came back momentarily to tie the game at 6-all, but Caldwell, who also teaches squash in his hometown, then drew away with five straight points.
Caldwell is now 2-2 against Khan this season. "He's only beaten me twice in his life," said Khan, who continuously joked with the line judges and 100 spectators throughout the 90-minute match. "He can cherish it until next week."