Eight National Singles Champions Add to Title Records; Gabler, Jafry and Oh Celebrate First

Syed Jafry celebrates his first National Singles title.

Eight past U.S. Masters champions added another title to their records while Jen Gabler, Sayed Jafry and Sean Oh all celebrated their first Sunday, April 3, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.

The 110th edition of the National Singles featured 120 players competing in eleven divisions with ages ranging from 80+ to 35+. View all results on the National Singles tournament page. Tournament photography is available on the US Squash Smugmug page.

Exemplifying the notion that squash is a sport for life, five players entered the 80+ division. After falling short in the 2021 final against James Zug, Sr.–who did not compete due to illness–Atlanta’s Michael Gough earned his ninth National Singles title and second 80+ title. Gough dropped just one game in the round robin against runner up David Katsky.

The 75+ division staged a rematch of the perennial rivalry between Jerry Poulton and Utah’s Bert Kornyei. Kornyei avenged his 2021 five-game final loss in a four-game final against the Canadian to capture his second National Singles title and first since 2007.

“It is a wonderful relief of exercising my demon, which is Jerry Poulton,” said Kornyei, who received the 2018 Carter A. Fergusson Grand Masters honor. “We’ve played probably seven times–six of them in finals–and every match that we’ve played went to five games, and he’s always won. So I wasn’t going to let this one go into five because I knew he’d win it. This was a great triumph for me. Luckily he’ll be in the 80+ next year so I won’t have to play him.”

Arizona’s Don Sheer captured his sixth National Singles title and first in the 70+ division without dropping a game all tournament, defeating San Francisco’s Eli Abbe in the final.

Canadian four seed Thomas Bedore avenged his 2021 65+ final loss against New York City’s Chris Gould in a three game final, earning his fifth National Singles title.

Barbados’ 60+ top seed Mark Sealy won his second straight National Singles title in the 60+ division, pulling off a dramatic 2-1 comeback win in the final against multi-time national champion Richard Millman.

Rhode Island’s Syed Jafry pulled off a surprise title run in the 55+ division as the three seed, upsetting two seed George White in a five-game semifinal and top seed Sean Ryan in a four-game final.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Jafry, a  I’ve worked in corporate life for so many years, trying to run a big business while still trying to play squash. I just retired on Thursday last week so it’s an amazing gift for myself coming off retirement to win my first championship. It feels unbelievable. Sean beat me ten years ago at Harvard in straight games, so to beat him today in four is incredible. Being at the Specter Center this weekend has been unbelievable. I was at the Hall of Fame ceremony last night, I’ve seen so many friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. This is a place that is going to be so helpful for U.S. squash and I look forward to coming back here for at least the next ten to fifteen years to play in more national championships.”

Jen Gabler (l) and Susan Lawrence

The women’s 50+ division produced another first-time champion in the form of long-time competitor Jen Gabler. The Connecticut native saved two match balls in a thrilling five-game final against two-time World Masters champion Susan Lawrence.

“It feels amazing to win my first national title,” Gabler said. “I had no expectations, I was just coming here to play and I was happy that we had a women’s draw. I’ve never beaten her and she’s a two-time world masters champion. I went in just trying to play my best. Thanks to my friends and training partners. It was awesome being here this weekend for the Hall of Fame. Nancy Gengler-Saint gave me lessons in New York years ago and that really helped get me going in this sport. Her speech was so amazing. I love the Howe Cup and coming to nationals–and I hope that we can get more women out at the next nationals.”

Richard Chin earned his fifth National Singles title and first in the 50+ division without dropping a game, defeating Jahangir Naseem in the final.

Cincinnati’s Nathan Dugan won his third straight National Singles and second in the 45+ division without dropping a game, dispatching Maryland’s Shai Ingber in a three-game final.

Canada’s Sean Oh marked his National Singles debut with a title run as the 40+ two seed. Oh edged Seattle’s top seed Andrew Balme in a four-game final.

Wayne, Pennsylvania’s Karamatullah Khan won his second 35+ title, defeating surprise finalist Tertius Raubenheimer in a three-game final.

Sean Oh celebrates his first National Singles title.