PSA $35k Dayton Open, Final: Borja Golan (Esp) 3-0  Alister Walker (Bot) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
Borja bags Dayton title
Charlie Johnson reports
After last night’s tow hour marathon match to defeat world # 10 and EBS Dayton Open # 1 see Omar Mosasad of Egypt, everyone in tonight’s packed gallery at the Dayton Squash Center knew that world # 18 Borja Golan of Spain was focused on the ultimate prize: champion. Last year’s EBS Dayton Open champion and current world # 12 Alister Walker of Botswana (# 2 seed) found out the hard way how truly focused the Spaniard was when he went down in three straight games in 44 minutes.
The enthusiastic crowd thought they were in for a long evening when the first rally of the match was a 50+ exchange that ended with Walker hitting the tin.
Golan went on to run off 5 straight long rallies to take a 6-0 lead and Walker seemed like he couldn’t find an answer to the Spaniard’s quick anticipation and attacking style of play. Walker finally won a rally off a brilliant forehand crosscourt nick kill shot to get in the match at 1-6 but if it was going to take 10 more of those to win this first game, with the way Golan was playing the odds were not good.
Golan stymied Walkers gasping effort to come back in this first game and won 11-5 in 14 minutes. Walker won the first rally of the 2nd game and looked be set to try and get back in this but Golan traded 2 for 1 incredible and often long rallies , winning 11-6, and after this 15 minute game, the Spaniard was one more game from the prize.
Eerily similar to a line from the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator where the Spaniard Maximus says “people should know when they are conquered” at the awesome beginning of that movie, one wondered if Walker had it in him to come back again from an 0-2 deficit and fight for 3 more games in the “coliseum” that is court 4 at the Dayton Squash Center and the intimate crowd, many of whom were cheering for the underdog Golan.
A repeat of the previous two night’s comebacks was not in the script for this movie, however, as Golan maintained control of almost every rally and although last year’s EBS Dayton Open champion Walker tried to fend off the inevitable, Golan was dominant in this final game as he had been the entire match as he swept on to collect his 27th PSA title.
Afterwards, Walker said: “He was just on the ball so fast all night, hitting REALLY good shots and super tight drives on the backhand wall that had me under pressure in every rally all night long. Maybe I had just a little too much squash this week that kept me from being able to deal with his attacking style.”
After the match, both players were gracious in wishing each other the best for the rest of the season and thanking the sponsors and tournament promoter Charlie Johnson of cjsquash.com.
Last year’s champion passed off the EBS Dayton Open to the 2012 champion and Golan will have his name added to an illustrious list of winners for this 10 year old event.