Harvard's Peter Briggs dropped a heartbreaking opening round decision when he joined squash players from four countries in a battle for the Boston Open Pro-Am championship at Hemenway Gym last Sunday.
Briggs, the Crimson's only entry in the tourney, won his first match against Boston professional star Mohibullah Khan, 15-12, but couldn't muster enough points to take the set. He lost the next three matches, 8-15, 12-15, 8-15.
Subsequent victories over opponents from India and Canada pitted Kahn against his cousin. Sheriff Khan of the Toronto Granite Club in the final round. Sheriff Khan, the defending champion, dominated all three matches to best Mohibultah, 15-6, 15-9, 15-8.
Sheriff, originally from Pakistan, and Mohibullah have both won four international Open Championships past decades and took their matches at Harvard with relative ease. All the amateur entries fell in the opening round.
"Our college players actually give the pros a good game." Cory Wynn '49, a Harvard coach, said yesterday. "Briggs is the best player we've got and he played a hard game. Participating in these tournaments gives us experience playing some of the best squash players around."
Wynn said the Harvard team, already practicing daily, should win another Eastern championship when the regular season begins in February. "We were undefeated last year and I see little reason why we can't do the same this coming season," he said.
The varsity lineup will boast seven returning lettermen, all of whom now play in an informal Boston squash league once a week in addition to regular workouts at Hemenway Gym. The team's pre-sessions games begin next month with the University Intercollegiate Tournament in New York. December 26-28.
"We're strong and experienced. We have a good chance of taking these games." Wynn said. He added that the players appear "In fine physical condition" and play hard in scrimmage matches.
"It looks like Harvard will have top ranked squash teams for at least a few more years," he said. "Our freshman squad looks very good."
Wynn said the coaches consider freshman Peter Havens of Philadelphia "One of the brightest prospects." "He and Harvard several other players have come to Harvard with lots of competitive experience," Wynn said We'll have a team with a lot more depth than usual, which should really improve our chances for victory this coming spring."