In a far closer match than the score indicated, Raheil Qureshi beat Bruce Collins, 3-0, to win the Spalding Washington Squash Open yesterday at the Washington Squash Club.
The women's open division champion was Simmy Pell, who defeated Anne Monahan in the final, 3-2, and the over-40 age-group title went to Les Nicholson with a 3-2 victory over Steve Rosenblum.
Early in the first game of the men's open division final, Collins looked firmly in control. Standing in the middle of the court while Qureshi dashed back and forth, Collins made well-placed shots and ran the score up to 11-6 in his favor. But Qureshi came back to even the score at 13, and then went on to win, 18-17.
In the lengthy second game, at no time did either player have more than a two-point advantage. But Qureshi won it, 15-13, playing a conservative game, waiting for Collins to make errors.
"I was more patient than Bruce," said Qureshi. "I was lobbing the ball, waiting for opportunities, while he was trying to go for winners and missing."
Qureshi's waiting game paid off in the third as a flustered Collins repeatedly hit the tin in his attempts to make aces. Qureshi won that one, 15-10, giving him the match.
The women's open was closer still. After beating Monahan, 15-12, in their first game, Pell was down, 13-9, in the second. Then she scored four in a row to even the score. They stayed even until 17-17, when Pell missed the ball entirely on what should have been an easy shot. That gave Monahan the game, 18-17.
Monahan took the next game, 15-11, and Pell won the fourth, 15-12. But the fifth went entirely Pell's way. Monahan, visibly flustered, just stood there and returned shots feebly while Pell dictated the pace of the game. By the time Pell was winning, 9-1, Monahan was missing the simplest of shots, and Pell went on to a 15-4 victory.
"All of a sudden it was 7-1, and I didn't even realize it," said Monahan. "From then on, I got worse and she just got better and better."
Exhibiting stamina as well as skill, Nicholson beat Rosenblum, 15-9, 15-10, 13-15, 14-15, 15-8. Nicholson had looked certain to win in the fourth game, as he had match point five times. But Rosenblum fought back from 9-14 to win it.