Squash on Fire's hardcore team of coaches is dedicated
to developing DC into a squash powerhouse.
Ronny Vlassaks
Karan Malik
Pascal Lienard
Will Hopton
Ahmad Alzabidi
Tim Lasusa
Samira Chatrathi
Ronny Vlassaks
Director of Squash

Ronny moved to DC from Belgium in November 2018 and has been a fixture in the International Squash community for over 30 years. After training as a coach professionally in England, Vlassaks became the National Junior Coach for both the Netherlands and Belgium where he grew his passion for developing players. Vlassaks has traveled the world developing and expanding squash programs, training fellow coaches, and many of the current top Junior players, before landing in the United States as Squash On Fire’s Director of Squash. In addition to his role at Squash On Fire, Vlassaks continues to serve as the individual coach to some of the world’s top squash talent, including Simon Rösner (World #5) and the Gilis sisters (Nele ranked World #12 and Tinne #18), as well as to promote the game of squash as a member of the World Squash Federation Ambassadors Program.

As our Director of Squash, Ronny is responsible for developing and rolling out squash programming for all levels and ages, as well as overseeing a Performance Academy to train national and international players, and prepare them for competitive tournaments.

Train with Ronny

Karan Malik
Coach

Karan Malik is one of the top ranked Indian national players, and was a former U-17 junior national champion before moving to the United States. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Trinity College, where he was recruited to play for the Trinity Men’s Squash team. During his time at Trinity, Karan's team won 2 National Championships. Karan played as high as #1 on the ladder and, in his senior year, captained the team to their 15th National Title. He was also named to the All-American Team and All-Nescac Team twice. Prior to joining the team at Squash On Fire Karan spent a year working as the Assistant Coach at Lifetime Athletic Westchester where he worked with both juniors and adults to develop their squash games. He joined us at SOF in 2017 and has become a key part of our coaching roster. His easy going manner has been popular with players of all ages and abilities. He has certainly made a very positive impact on the DMV squash community!

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Pascal Lienard
Coach

Pascal Lienard has been a part of the DC squash community for more than 20 years. He has trained with a wide range of players – from beginners to some of the world's top-ranked professionals. Pascal's natural athleticism and experience as a runner and swimmer shapes the way he approaches the game. Pascal plays, trains and coaches players to be disciplined and stick to the fundamentals.

He is recognized for his allegiance to the "T," volleys, beautiful lobs and endless stamina. His genuine love for squash gives him the excitement and energy to work with squash students of all abilities. If you have the chance, ask him about French food.

Book Pascal

Will Hopton
Executive Director

Will is from London, England and racquet sports have played a huge part in his life. After graduating from the University of Bristol he spent four years coaching rackets and squash based at the Racquet Club of Chicago. During that time he had a number of successes competing professional in rackets. Will was the World Doubles champion from 2013-2015 and won more than 40 tournaments on the pro tour including the US and British Opens while attaining a career high ranking of #2 in the world. Most recently, Will spent three and half years directing marketing and serving on the executive team at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, MD. He served as tournament director for top-tier USTA and ITF events in addition to being at the helm for many of JTCC’s fundraising initiatives. He brings with him extensive marketing, sales and events experience and is very excited to be overseeing the continued development and growth of Squash On Fire.

Will Hopton

Ahmad Alzabidi
Coach

Ahmad started playing squash at the age of 7 in Amman, Jordan. He quickly rose through the ranks to win multiple junior national titles. In 2010 he started competing professionally on the PSA tour and over the course of the next seven years he reached the finals of two tour level events in addition to achieving a career high world ranking of 149. He was also the #1 ranked player from Jordan for four consecutive years. Ahamd moved to the DC area in 2014 and worked for 6 years as the Assistant Athletic Director at the University Club. He has extensive coaching experience and particularly enjoys teaching players the nuances of the game so they get the most out of their time on court. He is generally available for lessons after 5 pm on weekdays and at the weekends.

Train with Ahmad

Tim Lasusa
Coach

Tim started playing at the age of 3 in New York City and quickly fell in love with the game. He attended Poly Prep in Brooklyn and captained the team for two years while playing #1 on the roster. Tim subsequently earned a place at St. Lawrence where he majored in art/art history and represented the Saints all four years leading the team in his senior year. In his junior year the squad was ranked #1 in the country and reached the national finals narrowly losing out to Trinity. After graduating he played on the PSA tour alongside coaching at Round Hill Club in Greenwich, CT. In 2017 he started a new role as assistant coach at Yale. The highlight of his four-year tenure was both teams securing top five season ending national rankings. In fall 2021 Tim was appointed as the first head coach of the new Georgetown Women’s Varsity program. Squash On Fire is lucky to also have him available on a part time basis. He’s a big believer in encouraging his students to be curious and ask questions to help with their development.

Train with Tim

Samira Chatrathi
Coach

Samira started playing squash at the age of 13 after switching from tennis at Meadow Mill in Baltimore. She represented McDonogh's co-ed varsity team in High School in addition to competing in US Squash events. Samira earned a top 50 national ranking in the U19s and played internationally in the Dutch Junior Open. In addition to her playing she was the community service leader at McDonogh partnering with SquashWise, Baltimore's urban squash program. Samira graduated from high school in 2017 and earned a place at Cornell University. She played on the team at Cornell for all four years and helped the squad earn a top 15 national ranking each season. Samira loves interactive coaching sessions and working with kids. One of her mantras is finding that perfect balance between having fun and pushing yourself. She is excited to be a part of the Squash On Fire community.

Train with Samira

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