Raymond Widelski, Oldest Major Squash Winner, Dies

Widelski at the 2017 Tournament of Champions (image: Andreas Hofweber)

Raymond Widelski died in early March 2023. He was eighty-seven years old.

Widelski was born and raised in Buffalo. A junior tennis player, he first started playing squash at a YMCA in Buffalo. He quickly turned professional and worked as a teaching pro at the Hamilton Squash Racquets Club before returning to the States in 1961. Thereafter he taught squash at Nassau Country Club and Piping Rock Club in Long Island and Greenwich Country Club in Connecticut. Since 1985 until his retirement just a few years ago, Widelski worked as an assistant pro at the Harvard Club of New York.

A top player for many years, Widelski lost in the finals of the Tournament of Champions four times. In 1960 at the University Club of Detroit, Widelski turned the tables on his rival Al Chassard and took the ToC (called the U.S. Professional in 1960) title in five games. With Widelski’s death, Sheila Speight MacIntosh is now squash’s most senior major champion, having won the British Championships (now the British Open) in February 1960, literally just two weeks after Widelski’s victory.