beat Wael El Hindi 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9
David Palmer accepts his trophy from Wayne Reuvers, CEO of LiveTechnology
April 29, 2012 - David Palmer (Australia) beat Wael El Hindi (Egypt) 3-1 in a one hour nine minute match to win the 2012 Pro Squash Tour American Open. The tournament was played at the corporate headquarters of LiveTechnology in Tuxedo Park, NY.
The pace of play was furious throughout the match with both players hurling their bodies, on several occasions, to pick up shots by the other. And on occasion, both players collided with one another, which resulted in one being less than pleased with the referee's decision.
"This afternoon's match was a perfect finish to a brilliant tournament," said PST Commissioner Joe McManus. "Phil Wilkins (promoter) and his team at LiveTechnology deserve our tour's gratitude for planning such a magnificent event."
From the opening frame, the need to fight for every single point was evident. Mr. Palmer's spirit was a little too strong early on as he received a conduct warning from tournament referee Edwin Lennox for dissent. Despite the tension directed toward the referee, the players appeared to be respectful and even friendly with one another on court.
Game one went to Hindi in a tie breaker 12-10. Game two went to Palmer 11-9. However, Hindi didn't leave the court immediately at the end of game two as he considered challenging a decision by the referee that did not go his way. He ultimately accepted the decision and the result of the game.
In game three, Palmer played fewer drop shots and was effectively working the ball deeper in the court. This worked well for him as he closed out this game relatively quickly 11-5.
Hindi returned to the court with inspired play in game four to the delight of his fans who were hoping for a fifth game. Trailing 8-9 in the game, he may have been "hard done" on two successive rallies. In the first, Hindi believed Palmer played the ball on a double bounce. Upon speaking the referees and challenge officials, they could not be sure of the call and Palmer expressed that he himself was unsure. Because of the referee's unsighted situation, the referee ordered the rally to be replayed, to Hindi's dismay.
The very next rally saw Palmer turn at the back glass and hold his shot. The referee again ordered the rally to be replayed. However, Hindi may have had a good argument that Palmer's turn was not necessary. Regardless, the rally was replayed. Maybe, the squash gods were watching as Palmer tinned an easy shot in the ensuing rally and the game was level at nine all.
The next rally showed Palmer hurling his body to the back wall to retrieve a Hindi drive. A few shots later, Hindi appealed to the referee for the point because of interference but his appeal was denied. Hindi challenged the call but the challenge officials agreed with the referee's decision and the point was warded to Palmer.
At championship point, a Palmer drive to Hindi's backhand was enough to close out the match and give Palmer the title.
Both players have qualified to compete in this coming week's PST World Championships in Detroit. And this afternoon's match could easily be a harbinger of the finals in a week's time.
L to R: Phil Wilkins, David Palmer, Wayne Reuvers, Wael El Hindi
Semi-final: David Palmer beat Bradley Ball: 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1, 11-6
Mohamed El Sherbini defaulted his semi-final match against Wael El Hindi due to injury.
Exhibition match:Gustav Detter beat Supreet Singh 11-9, 8-11, 11-8
David Palmer struggled for 58 minutes to find a way to beat Bradley Ball in the semi-finals of the American Open. He hit to length, he lobbed, he dropped, hit cross courts and drives. At every turn he found Ball in a position to confound the Australian #1.
"Bradley is a tough opponent," said Palmer in post game remarks. "I was struggling to find the right strategy tonight."
"Two things happened this evening," said PST Commissioner Joe McManus. "Bradley Ball realized he could beat Palmer, and David Palmer realized Ball could beat him." It made for a hotly contested five game match that found the two giants knotted at 6-6 in the final stanza.
It was then that Palmer ran off five consecutive rallies to win the match. In his own post game remarks Ball said, "I need to play better than what I did tonight to beat David Palmer. And unfortunately, tonight I had the chance to beat him. It's very frustrating. But, I enjoyed the match and hope to get another shot at him in Detroit."
Palmer will face Wael El Hindi in the finals on Sunday. Hindi advanced to the finals with a walk over after his opponent, Mohamed El Sherbini, defaulted their semi final match due to injury.
Quarter Finals Results:
Bradley Ball beat Andres Vargas 11-5, 11-4, 11-4
Mohamed El Sherbini beat Gustav Detter 11-9, 11-8, 12-10
Wael El Hind beat Adrian Leanza 11-8, 14-12, 11-4
David Palmer beat Supreet Singh 11-7, 11-7, 11-8
Round of 16 Results: Friday, April 27
Mohamed El Sherbini beat Assem Salem 9-11, 16-14, 11-9 (def.)
Adrian Leanza beat Shahid Khan 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9
Andres Vargas beat TG Raubenheimer 3-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9
Supreet Singh beat Ned Marks 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4
Gustav Detter beat Faraz Khan 11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 11-6
Wael El Hindi beat Shaun Johnstone 11-8, 11-7, 11-3
David Palmer beat Rob Wilkins 11-9, 11-5, 11-5
Bradley Ball beat Mason Ripka 11-8, 11-3, 11-5
The round of 16 results at PST's American Open followed the seeding. The most interesting story may be that three of four Trinity College alums reached the quarter finals. Supreet Singh (India), Andres Vargas (Colombia) and Gustav Detter (Sweden) survived challenging opponents to advance to Saturday's action.
Shahid Khan and Adrian Leanza renewed their rivalry tonight in an hour long match. Leanza fought off match ball in game four and prevailed11-9 in game five to earn his spot in Saturday's quarter finals.
Andres Vargas also needed to go deep into game five to beat TG Raubenheimer. The match was closely and intensely played. Vargas won by a whisker beating Raubenheimer 11-9 in game five.
Supreet Singh kept his hopes to qualify for Detroit's Championships alive with a four game victory over Ned Marks.
Also of note, top American juniors Mason Ripka and Faraz Khan captured many hearts tonight with their gritty performances against top PST pros. Ripka and Khan have competed in several PST tournaments this season and continue to improve in their play. They did not advance past this round of 16. However, fans and fellow pros noticed that these two young men are quickly elevating their level of play.
Tonight's matches were broadcast live courtesy of LiveTechnology's software and hardware.
L to R: Supreet Singh, Andres Vargas, Shaun Johnstone, Gustav Detter
PST's American Open featured four proud Trinity Squash alums (above) in the main draw.
David Palmer and Bradley Ball enjoying a game of billiards before their matches
Wael El Hindi and Phil Wilkins telling tales at a break
Edwin Lennox and Phil Wilkins discussing the tournament
Fans focused on the match play
Second Round Results: Thursday, April 26
M5: Faraz Khan beat Robert McDavid (def.)
M4: Mason Ripka beat Andrew Kriete 11-8, 11-8, 12-10
M3: Shaun Johnstone beat Phil Wilkins 11-3, 11-2, 11-5
M6: Assem Salem beat Mitch Bottini 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7
Opening Round Results: Wednesday, April 25
M1: Andrew Kriete beat Yasser Kamel (def.)
M2: Phil Wilkins beat Soenarto S So 11-3, 11-4, 11-7
L to R: Mohamed El Sherbini (EGY), David Palmer (AUS), Wael El Hindi (EGY), and Bradley Ball are top seeds in this week's American Open
Click here to listen to Phil Wilkins interview on "Good Morning Hudson Valley"
April 24, 2012 - This week's American Open is the final regular season tournament and has the deepest draw of the year, including 8 of PST's Top 10. Additionally, this week's results will determine who receives the final two invitations to next month's PST World Championships in Detroit.
Some of the story lines to watch:
Wael El Hindi and David Palmer are undefeated since their return to PST. However, before an international ban forced them to briefly leave PST action, Hindi beat Palmer in the finals of the 2010 Baltimore Open. It was the one and only time they met in PST. They are seeded #1 and #2 in ths week's American Open.
Bradley Ball is PST's reigning Champion and will be looking to prove he deserved one of the top seeds. He beat Hindi in the semi-finals of the NYC Open in 2010, the one and only time they met.
If PST #1 Mohamed El Sherbini and Swedish Champion Gustav Detter advance past the first round, it will be a re-match of the 2011 New England Open finals which Detter won in a game 5 tie breaker.
Shahid Khan will face Adrian Leanza in the opening round. Khan beat Leanza in the finals of last month's Pyramid Open. Then Leanza got his revenge two weeks ago in Albany. Time for a rubber match.
TG Raubenheimer and Andres Vargas faced off once previosuly. Vargas was fortunate to escape with a five game victory, coincidentally at LiveTechnology's Tuxedo Open last fall.
Connecticut Open Champion Supreet Singh has a chance to qualify for the PST World Championships in Detroit next month. But he will need to beat PST #6 Ned Marks in the opening round and move one round further than TG Raubenheimer.
If Hindi reaches the finals of the American Open, he'll qualify for the PST World Championships next month. This means either TG Raubenheimer or Supreet Singh would be in prime position to receive the eighth and final invitation. Andres Vargas has a outside shot at the eighth spot.
David Palmer, Adrian Leanza, Mohamed El Sherbini, Ned Marks, Bradley Ball have all earned invitations to Detroit but are looking to improve their seeding based on their results in the American Open.
South Africa's Edwin Lennox will be the tournament referee.
(Times are East Coast Time/ GMT -4)
Match Schedule :
Championship: Sunday, April 29 @ 3:00 p.m.
3rd Place: Sunday, April 29 @ 2:00 p.m.
Semi-Finals: Saturday, April 28 @ 6:00 p.m.
Quarter Finals: Saturday, April 28 @ 11:00 a.m.
For more on the American Open, please click here.
The American Open is being sanctioned, conducted and coordinated solely by the Pro Squash Tour and not by any other squash organization.