All posts by wadesquash

Head Squash Professional Baltimore Country Club

I am pleased to announce that after a thorough interview process I am now the Head Squash Professional at the Baltimore Country Club.  I started this week 6/16/14 and I am very excited to become a part of the fabulous BCC team.

Below is a brief description of this prestigious club and to learn more, please visit

Baltimore Country Club was founded on January 12, 1898 at its Roland Park location. The Club was a success from the start, with 600 members enjoying its 150-acre facility less than five miles from downtown Baltimore. Just one year after opening, the Club gained immediate recognition in the golf world by hosting the fifth United States Open Championship, which was won by Willie Smith of Scotland. By the 1920s the decision was made to acquire land to the north of the city and expand the popular golfing amenities to a second location. The East Course at Five Farms, designed by A. W. Tillinghast, officially opened in September of 1926 and was instantly recognized as a masterpiece of golf course architecture.

In October 1930, the Roland Park Clubhouse sustained fire damage; prior to completing repairs, it was virtually destroyed by a second fire on January 5, 1931. The new “in-town” Clubhouse was formally opened on April 1, 1932. The fine Federal-style detailing of the Georgian Room, the paneling and black Belgian marble of the foyer, and the rough stone and pine of the Grille remain practically unchanged to this date. The duckpin bowling lanes were built in 1932 and remain in use today. During the late ‘30s and early ‘40s the grass tennis courts at Roland Park were selected by the National Lawn Tennis Association to host the qualifying rounds for the Davis Cup matches. Teams from Australia, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United States all participated. The Roland Park Golf Course was officially closed in 1962 when all of the property on the west side of Falls Road was sold. That same year, the West Course at Five Farms opened. Two years later, the stately Olivier Mansion, which served as the original Five Farms Clubhouse, was demolished and replaced with a new building.

Squash courts, now international, were added to the Roland Park facility in 1963. The Club continues to host professional squash tournaments that draw participants worldwide. The Club expanded its racquets program and added paddle tennis courts to the Roland Park campus in 1976. The Club’s swim complex, consisting of three independent pools, opened at Five Farms in 1996 and new tennis courts, also at Five Farms, debuted in 2007.

The USGA lists Baltimore Country Club as one of the first 100 clubs established in the United States.  Today the Club is some 3,000 members strong.  It is widely recognized as one of the top 50 country clubs in the nation and top 100 in the world.  In 2013, LINKS magazine named Baltimore Country Club as one of the 100 Most Prestigious Clubs in the World.  BCC is one of only seven clubs nationwide to operate on two campuses.

2014 US Squash National Skills Tournament


Men’s 6.0 champion Wade Johnstone (left) and finalist Waqar Mehboob.

An excerpt from the US Squash website:

“The men’s 6.0 final was contested by the respective Mid-Atlantic regional winner and finalist, thirty-two-year-old Australian Wade Johnstone who previously played on the Professional Squash Association world tour, and twenty-seven-year-old Waqar Mehboob who won a number of British Junior Open titles. Johnstone remained on top to win his first national skill level title in defeating Mehboob 7-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-7.”

Congratulations to all winners and finalists in the US Squash National Skills event.


Men’s 3.0 champion Ryan York (right) and finalist Stefan Reichenstein

I would like to personally congratulate one of my students, fourteen-year old, Ryan York, who attends St Paul’s School for Boys in Baltimore.  He won his first national title in the Men’s 3.0 division against opponent Stefan Reichenstein, a twenty-year old from Johns Hopkins University.  They had earlier played in the Mid-Atlantic regional championship where Stefan beat Ryan in 5 close games.  This time around in the National Championship Ryan reversed the regional results to win the national title 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11.

On his way to the final Ryan defeated the No.2 seed Alvaro Betancur, in the semi finals, before knocking off Stefan (the No.1 seed) in the final.

Great victory Ryan and keep up the hard work we’ve been doing in training.


Professional Tennis Registry Press Release

PTR logo

Local Tennis Pro Earns PTR Certification

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Wade Johnstone of Baltimore, MD has been certified in Adult Development by Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).  PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teachers and coaches.

A comprehensive examination is used to determine each member’s rating.  Johnstone received the Professional rating.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professional with 14,300 members in 115 countries.  It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization.   PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.

Final – PST World Championship 2013


Wade Pic 10
Myself and David Palmer after I lost the final of the World Championship in a close 3-1 games in Detroit.

A loss 3-1, 11/9 4/11 7/11 8/11, but a wonderful weekend of squash. Unfortunately David Palmer was too strong for me today and in all honesty there is no shame losing to a player of his caliber, Former World No. 1 and two time World Champion. Of course it’s never fun losing, but I played well and I was beaten by a better player on the day, so I’m extremely happy with the match and the tournament. There were no shenanigans or blocking during the match, it was perfectly clean and Palmer won fair and square. It just means I have to get fitter and stronger if I want to earn myself a victory against him next time.

I felt relaxed as I went on court to warm up and as soon as we started hitting the ball I was thinking, wow, this ball is flying. This could make things very interesting for me. It was a bit scrappy to start with, with the ball flying around the court and I didn’t actually mind it. The pace was high, but the rallies I felt weren’t too extended, which is what I was trying to stay away from. I didn’t feel like I was out of my depth at all and my confidence grew. The ball was ricocheting like a bullet, which didn’t allow me too much time to think, so that I could just react and let my body do what it’s been doing for so long. I won the first game 11/9.

It’s a shame that Palmer uses his brain so well, because he totally changed up how he was playing in the second game and started taking the pace off the ball, which I don’t like. It gives me too much time to think. It certainly rattled me and I was not happy with how I played the second game at all. Palmer dominated the “T” and just had me moving around the court and I felt like a slug. I didn’t feel like I was moving or reading him well and was getting frustrated. I lost that game very easily 4/11.

I wanted to try and lift the intensity again and try and suck him back into hitting the ball hard with me, but he kept his control and composure and the balls that I was firing in hard and fast were too short. He was still able to cut the balls off and work me around the court with what I felt was ease. My head was much better in that game, but I still ended up losing 7/11.

I figured for the fourth game, well if I’m not hitting great shots, I might as well get a good workout. So I went into the game determined to chase down every ball and see what happens. It ended up working out quite well. I was working ridiculously hard, scrambling around and managed to pull a few rallies together. I felt like I was back in the match again. I was exhausted, but hanging in there and was quite confident up to 8/8 where I thought I might be able to win that game, but either Palmer lifted into another gear or I dropped off a little I can’t say…………….I’ll just say Palmer stepped up a gear  From 8/8 it went pretty quickly to 8/11 and even though I made a valiant, albeit once again unsuccessful, diving attempt the match was over.

So I’m a little bruised and battered, but overall extremely happy with the weekend and also on becoming the 2013 PST World Championship Finalist.

I would like to thank everyone for their support and kinds words before and after my matches this weekend. I’d also like to thank everyone that took the time out of their days to watch me play. l hope everyone enjoyed the weekend of matches as much as I did.


Semi Final – PST World Championship 2013

Wade vs MelAnother great day for me. It was a very close match, which started out very comfortable, but turned very tough in the end, with me winning 3-1, 11/5 12/10 8/11 11/9.

I felt ridiculously relaxed in the first game and was hitting a great length which, if you remember, was my game plan and I felt like I was attacking short very well on my backhand volley drop. I sailed through that game winning 11/5.

The start of the second I still felt really relaxed and even after hitting some errors, I still felt super comfortable and not under any pressure. My brain started talking to me and asking me if I should feel this good and comfortable. That may have been either the time that Sherbini upped the tempo or my brain said no and I freaked out a little. I was getting a great length again and still felt comfortable going short, but at the end of the game Sherbini started putting me under more pressure. I was lucky at a crucial point where I believe it was 9/9 and Sherbini hit a good crosscourt, which I wasn’t in position for, I reached back and snapped my wrist at the ball and luckily framed it above the tin for a straight drop winner. Pretty much exactly what Sherbini did to me in the PST Bottini World Open 2 weeks ago, although his was at 10/9 match ball down in the fifth. I’ll take my shot, but Sherbini’s was definitely a better timed frame  I squeaked out that game 12/10.

I went into the third game still feeling relaxed and ended up being a little too relaxed. I was a little slower getting to the “T” and I was too impatient and was trying to go short too early. Even though the score suggested it was a close game I was always behind and didn’t feel in it at all. I lost that game 11/8.

So in between games I had super coach once again and she was once again giving me great advice. Sometimes even agreeing with what I said  It also didn’t hurt after the 3rd game that former World No. 1 and multiple World Champion, David Palmer from Australia told me that I was being too impatient and attacking short too quickly. I guess if someone like that gives you advice, you better listen. Luckily it coincided with what Heather had been telling me anyway.

The last game, I was a lot more patient and a lot more bouncy on my toes. I got back to the basics of hitting a better length, before going short. I even noticed during the last game that when I got the front position and hit it deep again, I had Sherbini running forwards for the short ball and having to backtrack to get the length shot. It’s always good when the game plan works. So from there it was still really tough as Sherbini upped the tempo again and I tried to play smart squash and it was neck and neck, to which I finally won the match on two errors from Sherbini to take the final game and the match 11/9.

I’m obviously very happy to have won and am looking forward to playing David Palmer in the Final tomorrow at 2.30pm. I hope everyone gets a chance to watch. GO TEAM WADE!!!!!!!


Quarter Final – PST World Championship 2013

Things went well today, I won my quarter final match against Shahid Khan 3-0, 11/5 11/7 11/5.  I was never under any serious threat and I was very happy with how I played. It was more to the game plan that I like to play of getting my opponent deep behind me before attacking short with my volleys. Once again my super coach Heather, was there to grant me the wisdom of her years watching me play squash. I believe she has learnt a lot from me sitting her down to make her watch my matches over and over again on video.

I’m hoping to continue implementing the same game plan tomorrow against Mohamed El Sherbini in the Semi Final 2.30pm. I don’t feel like I utilized that game plan enough when I lost that close match two weeks ago. So that’s the game plan for tomorrow, to make sure I hit a good length to get front position before attacking short with my volleys. I hope everyone gets a chance to watch and you’re enjoying the squash so far.


Final – PST Bottini Fuel World Open 2013

 Wade vs Mel2

Well it didn’t quite turn out as I’d hoped, but overall, I’m not too disappointed with the tournament. It was my first tournament in 6 months and there is something to say about lack of match practice. Sherbini played well, although there was a little more pushing and shoving then I would have preferred, but that’s just how some people play.

The first game was just feeling each other out without being too crazy and I was able to squeak it out 11/9. I wasn’t feeling overly comfortable, but was happy to have won it. The second game I slowed down the pace too much and allowed Sherbini to dictate play. I felt a little sluggish and my brain was a little scattered and I proceeded to lose that game quite easily 11/6.

The third was better and after some brainstorming with my super coach and wife Heather after the second game, I concentrated on trying to lift the intensity. I hit my stride in the third game and even though I lost, I felt the plan was working, but Sherbini was able to hang on enough to pull it out 11/8.

Fourth game was tight, I continued with a high pace and it was a see sawing affair, but Sherbini made a few more unforced errors than I did. I started to volley drop straight more, which was working well. We were both doing a lot of work, but I was able to win that game 11/8 and take it to a fifth and deciding game.

I started really well in the fifth and was pushing him back and stepping forwards and volleying again, which is what I love. I had a 6-2 lead when I put a backhand drop in the tin, which I then felt the momentum of the match swing. Sherbini pulled back a couple of points and he was back in the ball game. I had a couple of point break and he hit a frame winner to pull him within one point. Things were getting tight at 9-9 and when I won the next point I felt very confident and comfortable. I hit a great backhand crosscourt, deep into the forehand which court Sherbini a little wrong footed. I remember thinking, that’s a good shot, he’s going to be under pressure and give me a loose ball here, but unfortunately the squash gods were not with me and Sherbini framed the ball, which ended up as a straight drop shot winner. 10-10 tie break. It was a good next rally, but I was caught wrong footed and a straight drive by Sheribini gave him match ball. A desperate rally for the next one and a last desperate dive, match over. It could have gone either way there, a few framed winners that could have been frame tins and the results reversed.

Still, very happy with how I played, there wasn’t much more I could do. A good match to learn from before my next tournament in Detroit in two weeks at the PST World Championships 3-5 May. I hope you can join me then.

There’s always next time……………..


Preliminary Matches – PST Bottini Fuel World Open 2013

Wade vs F

I hope some of you have had a chance to watch some matches on

I’ve had a good tournament so far, with some comfortable matches in the first two rounds. My first match was against a local player Sudesh Ojageer, which was light hearted and good fun. He was very grateful that I didn’t beat up on him too much and we put on a good show for the crowd, in which I won in 4 games.

I had a comfortable victory in my quarter final match against Ricky Weisskopf from El Salvador, although it wasn’t tough physically, my brain wasn’t very switched on. I was a little lackadaisical, as I was feeling very comfortable and under no pressure. I won the first after I think 2 game balls down, which rattled him. I won the second very comfortably and then totally switched off for the third, which I lost in a tie-break. I wasn’t worried at all, but Ricky came out firing in the 4th and I was 5-0 down. I started to get a little worried at that stage, but knew I was physically in better shape, so I just started extending the rallies. This strategy worked very well as, very quickly he was sucking wind and not able to compete with my increased intensity. I won that game and the match (in the end) comfortably.

My semi final match against Fabian Kalaitzis from Greece was a very good match. Fabian had won his quarter final match in a tough 5 games and I knew he’d be tired. He’s been around for years and is a great player, but once again after his quarter final match my game plan was just to pulverize him physically. I started out at an extremely high tempo and was in a much better frame of mind than my earlier matches. I was volleying a lot and taking the ball short on the 17inch tin, which made Fabian have to do a lot of work. I won the first game 11/6. The second game I knew Fabian was tiring, but he played really well and dug deep into his reserves to win the second game 9/11. I wasn’t worried at all with losing the second game as I knew he’d worked extremely hard in the first two games. I increased the tempo in games three and four and Fabian couldn’t sustain the pace, I walked away with the last two games and the match 11/4 11/4, winning 3-1.

I’m looking forward to my next match with Mohamed El Sherbini, who knocked out the number one seed, Stephano Galifi from Italy. I played Mohamed two years ago in Baltimore and won easily in 3 games, but he’s improved a lot in the last two years and it’s going to be a very difficult match.

I hope you can tune in for the final with myself vs Mohamed El Sherbini at 2.45pm (Sunday afternoon).