I was able to see Haadi's match, he faced a number 1 seed and played very well. He kept his cool and tried to work his opponent in the back, when he did he controlled the game. He was hurt in the front court ot covering it very well. The Yale Club courts are the exact opposite of LA Fitness, slow front wall and fast and lively floors. Ashish, who recently played in a league match there remarked that all his kills on LA Fitness floors came up on the Yale courts: "what the @$#@ was that all about", he was heard to remark.
Quote of the day came from Haadi, while watching Shabana in the pro draw punish Aziss along with myself and my son and , Ashish turned to Haadi and said, "You could learn alot from these guys." To which Haadi responded smartly, "so could you!."
Paul Zummo played a gritty match and lost in 5 games. He was down 2-0, when he started making his comback. Any one who has played Paul knows he never quits, while he lost in 5 in his first tournament, he showed great mental toughness and literally got a racket on almost every ball. He rushed a lot of his shots, but for younger players, take a page from Paul's book, never quit, he almost pulled it out.
John Gross also went to 5 games after being down the first two games. I didn't see the match, but this is great for John. Like Paul, when you drill and practice and take lessons, soon those 5 game matches go your way. Hang in their John...
Kyle withdrew from the tournament, he had been sick all week. But he was watchig the pros, what I love about him is he talks shop with all the pros. He will be back training and promise to be ready for the up coming Men's Under 23 championships.
Pooya texted me to say he lost, didn't see his match, but great to have him playing and healthy again.
Margaret plays tomorrow morning.
Vidant had to withdraw because of a school committment, but I'm attaching the link to his drum session on Youtube for a school musical...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gybEjo_Z86k
The following LA Fitness squash players will be competing in the Grand Open Squash Torunament January 22-24, 2010. This is a great showing and all of them are my students. Remember, as Hashim Kahn says, 'keep eye on ball and no tin...' something like that. Good luck!
Vidant -- Junior Boys U11
Pooya -- Men's 4.0
Paul Zummo -- Men's 3.0
Margaret Higgins -- Women's 5.0
Haadi -- Men's 3.5
John Gross -- Men's 3.5
Kyle -- Men's 5.5
I really wish I could join all of you as a participant, but will look forward to training and hopefully competing in the Nationals in April and the Hyder Cup in May. I will be around the various clubs all weekend hoping to catch some of your matches. Email me results, observations, concerns, achievements so I can put them here.
Sorry I wasn't able to update this in a timely manner, but now that the dust has settled I think the consensus among all the players, most of who, this is their first tournament, is that competing is a lot different than club playing.
I am really happy that all the players for the most part were able to participate in this incredible weekend including the amateur alongside the professional draw. I think a lot of the LA Fitness squashers were just awed by the pros, I myself, watch them on PSA Live and have seen this tournament for about 10 years, and I am so awed by these matches.
I hope everyone took away a list (large or small) of what to work on before the next tournament, and don't get discouraged, it's a process and I can tell you when you put into what it takes to win a tournament, when you do finall win one, or make it to the finals, it makes it all worthwhile.
You've all responded well to the idea of a weekly round robin of play to which we'll keep bringing in players you don't normally play so you get used to all sorts of styles and play. This is great and your enthusiasm is contagious. Next on the horizon are the Nationals in April, maybe another tuneup before then but I encourage you all to play in this it is a great event and this years it's about 1.5 hours away.