Five Top Squash Players Wear the Summer’s Best Looks
Winning style, off the court. Photographs by Ryan Pfluger. Styling by Brian Coats. Set design by Ryan Schaefer.
Andres Vargas (on left), 28, won four consecutive College Squash Association national championship titles at Trinity College in Connecticut. He learned to play growing up in Bogotá, after soccer practice, while his parents played golf. Now he works in international relations for US Squash. “The ability to measure and take risk appeals the most to me,” he says. That, and playing on a surface roughly one-third the size of a tennis court “makes for a very interesting dance.”
The toughest match that Kyle Gens, 26, ever played was for the Silver Nationals in 2006. “Every one of my matches went to five games, and three of them I came back from 2-0 down,” he says. “It was brutal.” Now a J.D. candidate at St. John’s University Law School, he learned the game from his father when he was 3. “For pretty much 12 years, I trained six days a week, sometimes twice per day, to improve my game. And I wasn’t even a full-time touring pro.”
Chris Gerra picked up squash at the ripe old age of 27 and went on to earn top amateur status in New York. “It is the most competitive, challenging, and athletically stimulating sport I have ever played,” says Gerra, 35, now a director at PwC. “In one hour, I can get a workout harder than any other activity, and I’ve played just about every sport out there.”
Currently ranked No. 3 in the Squash Doubles Association, Manek Mathur, head professional at the Racquet & Tennis Club in New York, is known as the hardest hitter on tour. “We still haven’t put it to the speed gun test, though,” he says. The Mumbai-born 28-year-old finds that the sport’s appeal is the same anywhere in the world. “It’s a perfect combination. You’re pushing your body to the limits both physically and mentally, like high-speed chess.”