Squash in Canada has “bounced back” with one of the most exciting domestic events in recent history as Squash Canada staged a successful and safe 2021 Oxford Properties Canadian Squash Championships presented by Slaight Music from October 20-24 in Toronto. As our sport emerged from the pandemic, the Yorkdale Shopping Center and Urban Squash Toronto provided a spectacular backdrop as 48 professionals and 125 juniors competed in the first Canadian Championship in over 20 months.
With thanks to Oxford Properties, Slaight Music, Airsprint Private Aviation, Altas Partners, Bank of Montreal, Geotab, Mortgage Company of Canada, YDC Pro and a host of other generous contributors, our national community was reunited safely to celebrate the return to the courts.
The capacity Yorkdale crowd and 16,000 viewers across the country on the CBC Gem Platform were treated to incredible competition all week as the Squash Canada all-glass court was unveiled. The action culminated on Sunday when Danielle Letourneau (Calgary, AB) edged Hollie Naughton (Oakville, ON) in a thrilling 5-game women’s final to claim her second Canadian Women’s Open title. Letourneau was joined by first time Canadian Men’s Open champion David Baillargeon (Levis, QC) who was presented the historic trophy by former champion Jonathon Power after defeating the ageless Shawn Delierre (Montreal, QC) in the men’s final. For those that missed the action or want to relive the Championship matches, you can visit the CBC Gem Player – Click Here.
To add to the excitement, Canada’s top juniors took to the glass court on Sunday to crown eight Canadian Champions. Congratulations to BU13 Daniel Tiwana (BC), GU13 Joelle Kim (BC), BU15 Youssef Sarhan (QC), GU15 Ocean Ma (BC), BU17 Jacob Lin (BC), GU17 Maria Min (BC), BU19 Salah Eltorgman (ON) and GU19 Molly Chadwick (ON).
Squash Canada extends a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors, volunteers, officials, athletes, production crew and of course the fans – to everyone involved that helped make the 2021 Oxford Properties Canadian Squash Championships presented by Slaight Music a huge success. Squash is BACK as we look forward to an amazing 2021-2022 season.
For complete event results, photo gallery and event partners – Click Here
Championship Winners Quotes:
Daniel Tiwana – BU13 Champion: “I feel elated and relieved. The court felt extremely different from what I’m used to. The front seemed dead. The floor seemed quite warm. It was a bit difficult to adjust to the colour of the ball against the glass. In preparation over the past 18 months, I’ve been doing a combination of on court drills, matches, and stuff off court too. Lots of ghosting, movement-based work, lots of work on my technique and fitness. I felt my movement was a little off today, there was more of a spring in my step yesterday. But I pushed through and won the match and that was the goal. I want to thank my coaches Matthew Toth, Viktor Berg and Drew Henderson, and my sponsor Eye Racquets and Joey Barrington. I would like to thank my family and parents who have helped me so much, and my brother and sister for their ever-lasting support. I won this one for my grandfather.”
Joelle Kim – GU13 Champion: “I felt glad that I won but not super happy with how I played. I was a little bit upset. I want to try to play my best every single time. I thought that the glass court was the same, but the glass made different sounds. I’ve just played on a glass court once, so it felt different. It wasn’t too distracting and it’s cool that it’s in a mall. I have coaches in BC I’d like to thank named Thomas Brinkman, Viktor Berg and Matthew Toth.”
Youssef Sarhan – BU15 Champion: “I felt very happy when I won. It’s the first time winning Canadian junior nationals – in 2018 I came second. I was controlling the match first two games and then I lost control and he beat me. In the final game I gained control and won. The court was really good, really professional. I’ve played on glass courts in Egypt, this one is cleaner, clearer, not slippery, really good. I’d like to thank my dad, my whole family, coach Karim, coach Omar and coach Ahmed Hawas.”
Ocean Ma – GU15 Champion: “I felt really relaxed, especially the last game. The court is so beautiful, but sometimes it’s hard to see on the side wall. I’m not used to the glass court, it’s been two years since I’ve been on one. But it’s actually quite similar to my home courts. Normally, if you play finals at nationals you’re nervous, but playing Spring I’m way more relaxed because we practice and play all the time and I felt confident. I’d like to thank Marco!”
Jacob Lin – BU17 Champion: “At the end of the match I felt very excited because this is my fourth time winning. My hard work has paid off, I’ve been training really hard for this. It was mentally tough because I was playing my teammate. I was just really happy to get through the match. I feel really grateful to be able to play on a glass court. I felt comfortable playing on it and I look forward to more opportunities to play on this court. I’m really thankful for my coaches, parents, sponsors for always supporting me. I don’t think I could have done it without them.”
Maria Min – GU17 Champion: “I feel really happy to win such a prestigious tournament after two years of not being able to compete, it felt really good. In the first game I wasn’t really used to the court. I was hitting really short and I couldn’t judge the distance to the side walls. As the match went on I got really used to it and found my length more. I’d like to thank my primary coach Richard Yendall, my secondary coach Viktor Berg, my family, all my training partners, and everyone who supported me through the tournament.”
Salah ElTorgman – BU19 Champion: “Winning felt amazing because Nikhil is such a great player. I actually lost to him twice last season. I was really happy to get the win in nationals for the first time ever. Great audience, great place, great court! I really want to thank my family, my friends and my coaches Islam Hany, Azoz, my mental coach Heithem. I want to thank my sponsor Dunlop and my home club Wadi Degla.”
Molly Chadwick – GU19 Champion: “It felt amazing to be competing in a tournament after such a long time off. Iman is a tough young competitor which made for a great final! The glass court was such a unique experience and great exposure for the sport. I’d like to thank my coach Jessica DiMauro, my amazing supportive parents, and of course my Princeton squash family!”
David Baillargeon, Canadian Senior National Men’s Champion: “Je suis extrêmement content de gagner mon premier championnat senior. C’était un de mes buts depuis que je suis sorti des rangs juniors. De gagner contre mon meilleur ami était un privilège. Je suis extrêmement motivé pour la suite des choses. Je veux remercier mes entraîneurs, Yvon Provençal, Hadrian Stiff, et Karim Ali Fathi pour leur support continu. Je veux aussi remercier le club Atwater de m’avoir accueilli depuis un an et demi. Dernièrement, je veux remercier Harrow pour me commanditer depuis plus de 13 ans.”
Danielle Letourneau, Canadian Senior National Women’s Champion: “I’d say it was a very edgy one. There were moments of calm, and it was a matter of who could keep their wits about them more. Very up and down. I’m happy, I just stayed calm, I enjoyed the squash and tried not to worry about the occasion. I have a lot of people to thank! Thank you to my team: Karim Aly Fathi, Mohammed Reda, Amin Dabo, Samir el Degwi, Dr Hany, Brock Montgomery, Dave Paskevich, Thomas Brinkman for coaching today. My sponsors Expression Networks, Leith Wheeler, Recovery Lab. Tecnifibre, and private sponsors.”