National Singles Draws
U.S. Squash Hall of Famer John G. Nelson set the new all-time record of twenty-nine total National Singles titles with his second 70+ championship on Sunday at the McAthur Squash Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
After three consecutive losses against defending champion Gerry Poulton, Nelson secured the 70+ crown with a convincing sweep in the final, 13-11, 11-5, 11-3. With the win, Nelson becomes the most successful U.S. masters player of all time, moving ahead of his 2013 Hall of Fame classmate Goldie Edwards, who also achieved the twenty-eight title mark.
“Gerry and I have had quite the competition over the past few years, I’ve won four of our seven matches now, ” Nelson said afterwards. “I had a tough five-game semifinal against Bert Korneyei, but I had a couple of massages this week and that really made a difference believe it or not. I stayed very focused. That’s the most focused I’ve been over the past ten years. I told myself, play every single point. And I did. It was a great tournament, thanks to US Squash for doing a great job.”
The New York City-native, who is one year older than Poulton, ages up to the 75+ division next year, but does have the option to play down an age group.
For the second year in a row, Boston’s Hope Prockop collected two titles, taking the women’s 40+ and 45+ divisions, adding to her total of eight career masters titles. Prockop, who also played in the U.S. Women’s Championship last weekend in Boston, defeated Margeux Green in a four-game 40+ final, and Julie Kessler in a three-game 45+ final.
In the eldest age group, men’s 80+, Edward Burlingame won his second consecutive title against Charles Gunn. In the youngest age group, men’s 35+, Lazarus Chilufya won his maiden national singles title by defeating John Sayward in the final.
The tournament’s final match on court was a barn-burner between two local favorites in the 40+ final: Richmond’s 2015 35+ champion Patrick Chifunda and McArthur Squash Center’s Director of Squash Mark Allen. Local supporters cheered on both players in a well-contested match that saw Chifunda pull out the match in five to win a second consecutive National Singles title.