Racquet Club Championships sees half-dozen new winners on squash court

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There’s a very good chance Devin Madsen will end up winning everything there is to win in terms of squash at the Yellowknife Racquet Club this season.

Devin Madsen, seen during the NWT Squash Championships in 2017, won the Racquet Club Championships’ Open division late last month over Stephen Messier.
NNSL file photo

He continued his winning streak by taking top spot in the Club Championships’ Open division late last month thanks to a straight-set win over Stephen Messier in the final.

As has been the key to victory in past tournaments, Madsen said he got Messier on the run early on.

“It’s all about getting them tired and making lots of shots,” he said. “You keep them on the run and the returns slowly dwindle and when you get up a set, you can start playing with confidence and see how long you can make a rally go.”

Madsen defeated Jeff Hipfner in his semifinal while Messier got past Melina Turk, the club’s head squash pro, in his final four match.

Madsen said Messier played a bit slow in the first two sets but woke up in set three and began to challenge him.

“He didn’t wake up until that point,” he said. “I got up the two sets and that’s when you can start taking some risks and I was hoping to make him make the mistakes and give him less chances but he fought well.”

Madsen and Turk played at the Canadian Squash Championships in Calgary earlier this month and Madsen was using the championships in Yellowknife as a way to warm up for Calgary.

It seemed to work as he managed to get all the way to the consolation final in the men’s A division at nationals. After dropping his first match against the top seed, Eric Dingle of Quebec, he didn’t lose again until the consolation final against Peter Trafford of Alberta.

“I was hoping my play would translate into success and it did,” he said. “I had a lot of fun at nationals and really enjoyed the experience.”
The final tournament of the season, the NWT Squash Championships, is happening later this month and Madsen has his eyes not only on playing but playing with the big boys in the exhibition division, which features nationally-ranked players and professionals that make the trip up to Yellowknife to play.

“Playing in the exhibition division would be fun,” he said. “I got to see many of the top pros in Calgary in the open draw so I have a good idea what I would be up against.”

In the other divisions, Dave Bokovay took down Yellowknifer’s own Dylan Short in the A division final while Luke MacDonald beat Grant Gowans for the B division crown. Bernie Bennett copped the C division title by beating Colton Tumoth, Alexander Larouche took down Ken Eng for the D division win and Loïc Hipfner won the junior title over Carter Robertson in the final.

Racquet Club Championships results

Open

Champion – Devin Madsen

Runner-up – Stephen Messier

3rd – Melina Turk

A Division

Champion – Dave Bokovay

Runner-up – Dylan Short

3rd – Damien Healy

B Division

Champion – Luke MacDonald

Runner-up – Grant Gowans

3rd – Tyler Caines

C Division

Champion – Bernie Bennett

Runner-up – Colton Robertson

3rd – Steve Thomas

D Division

Champion – Alexandre Larouche

Runner-up – Ken Eng

3rd – Alden Tumoth

Junior Division

Champion – Loïc Hipfner

Runner-up – Colton Tumoth

3rd – Carter Robertson

source: Melina Turk