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
Heba El Torky
Ahmad Alzabidi
Alex Bernhard
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!

Book Karan

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

Heba El Torky
Premiere Coach

Heba El Torky is one of the top female players coaching in the U.S. Heba has won 11 Professional Squash Association Tour titles and ranked as high as 19th in the world. As a junior player, she won the British Junior Open four times as well as claiming the German, Pioneer, and Dutch Junior Open titles. She was on the National Egyptian Squash Team from 2002 to 2018 and was the youngest member of the first Egyptian National Team to win the Women’s World Team Championships. She was the recipient of the Egyptian Sports Award, the country’s highest sports award. Heba has a degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Alexandria University. She moved to the USA in 2017 and has been coaching in and around the Washington D.C. region.

Train with Heba

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

Alex Bernhard
Sparring Partner

Alex started squash aged six at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York after previously being dragged along to watch his older sisters play. He quickly fell in love with the game and started competing in US Squash junior events when he was nine. Alex achieved a top 20 national junior ranking in his age group before going on to play #1 at his high school, Andover, for four straight years. He started at Trinity College in Fall 2019 representing the NESCAC title winning Bantams team before transferring to Georgetown University this August for his sophomore year. Alex has a 5.5 US Squash rating and has an all court game that players of any level will benefit from experiencing. He is available for hitting sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 5 - 9 pm and on Saturday afternoons from 1 - 5 pm.

Play with Alex