U.S. Open First Fans

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The first spectators to come into the doors at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center for the 2022 U.S. Open Squash Championships presented by Truist had come a long way.

Roberta Andrews and Ian Wojcik-Andrews (above) flew to Philadelphia from Ypsilanti, Michigan. Before the pandemic, they had long enjoyed the U.S. Open, having been regular fans during the days the Open was across the street at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Wojcik-Andrews grew up in Manchester, England and first played squash in the late 1970s while a student at the University of Essex. In the early 1980s he moved to the University of Connecticut to earn his doctorate in English and joined a small but avid group of players in Storrs. His first taste of professional squash was watching the 1984 Boston Open at the Cyclorama, where in the finals Mark Talbott topped Jahangir Khan 18-16 in the fifth.

In 1990 Ian and Roberta moved to Ypsilanti, where he became a professor at Eastern Michigan University. His focus was on children’s literature and film theory. Roberta is a bankruptcy lawyer at Firebaugh & Andrews. Wojcik-Andrews, now seventy, played on courts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, then at a Lifetime Fitness in Canton. Recently he joined the Toledo Club in Toledo, Ohio, where he is an avid player and supporter.

“This is squash paradise,” Wojcik-Andrews said, looking around the Specter Center. “I don’t ever want to leave. They should put apartments up in the rafters. I have to drive fifty-five minutes to get to my squash club. I’d rather walk fifty-five seconds.”