This is a tableau of U.S. sportsmen attentively following the finals of a national championship last week. Included in the scene are bankers, lawyers stockbrokers, publishers, a shipping official, a brain surgeon—and many envious professionals. They numbered only 250—but it was a standing-room-only gallery. To see what they were watching, turn page.
MATEER WINS AT SQUASH
By special invitation only, 16 of the world's top squash racquets players descended on Manhattan's University Club last week. They hailed from seven countries. Nine were professionals, the others true amateurs. The purpose of their visit: to win the United States Open, which, since its successful debut only a year ago, has become one of the most coveted prizes in the large and happy kingdom of men who play squash round the world.
England, the birthplace of squash (a game first played at Harrow about 1850 and derived from racquets), was represented by Derek R. Bocquet, who won only one match. The U.S. sent out her two leading amateurs, defending Open Champion Henri Salaun of Boston and G. Diehl Mateer Jr., a 26-year-old Philadelphia machinery company engineer and executive who holds both the national amateur singles and doubles titles.
January 17, 1955
But the favorite's role went, as usual, to an agile 40-year-old pro from Pakistan by the name of Hashim Khan. On his first trip to America a year ago Hashim met defeat (to Salaun in the finals) for the first and only time in his life. This time he brought with him his brother Azam, 28, and cousin Roshan, 26, both of whom were getting their first crack at the U.S. game, which is played on a smaller court than in England (and with a livelier ball and heavier racquet).
A MASTER USES HIS HEAD
Azam reached the finals by shading Salaun and cousin Roshan. Hashim, who had injured his leg in practice, was forced to default to Mateer in the semis. In the finals, with a full house looking on, Mateer was the master all the way. He kept Azam continually on the defensive, never let him get set as he whipped off one polished shot after another. Just 38 minutes after the first shot Mateer was the new champion. The score: 15-9, 15-5, 15-10.
As the crowd spilled down into the locker room for a drink with the new champ, Referee John Weeks gave his analysis: "All the Pakistanians are superb retrievers. To beat them you've got to use your head. That's exactly what Mateer did today."
Azam Khan, a 5 ft. 4 in. speed demon, was the more able ground gainer in the finals, but despite such gets as this one—deep in the corner—he lacked Mateer's skill.
Diehl Mateer, the new U.S. Open Champion, has been playing squash for 10 of his 26 years. He's improving all the time.
Loser Azam (left), receives condolences from his brother Hashim and cousin Roshan. They'll all be back for next Open.
Taking control of the match from the start, Mateer, 6 ft. 1½ in., kept his opponent running—and guessing—with a brilliant array of change-of-pace shots, thrilled the gallery (right) with tactics which mark him as one of the best U.S. players in history.
"GIVE ME A B FOR BRADLEY"
Intercollegiate sports generally must concede technical superiority to the professionals. But the college contests do boast one element which the pros cannot improve on: comely coeds eager to buoy up the team spirit with a cheer and a well-turned limb.
When the Bradley University basketball squad traveled 875 miles from its Peoria, Ill. home base to play in a tournament at New Orleans recently, the cheerleading coeds went along with 200 other supporters. At appropriate moments when the Bradley team's drive flagged, the pert evangelists from Bradley were on their feet calling, "Give me a B! Give me a B!" And the girls hurled themselves into cheerleading's classic postures. They got their "B" plus the rest of B-R-A-D-L-E-Y with gusto. Despite such fierce exhortations, the Bradley Braves were eliminated in the first round of the tournament by Holy Cross, 89-81.
[See caption above.]