Top L to R: Bradley Ball, David Palmer, Adrian Leanza, Wael El Hindi
Bottom L to R: Ned Marks, John White, Supreet Singh, Andres Vargas
April 30, 2012 - Pro Squash Tour announced this afternoon its eight players who will compete in this week's PST World Championships at the Detroit Athletic Club May 4-6.
Bradley Ball (England) finished as PST's #1 player in the season standings and earned the top seed in Detroit. Ball is the reigning PST World Champion and his performance on court continues to be underestimated despite winning the Albany Open and Tuxedo Park Open and finishing #1 in the season standings. This past weekend David Palmer needed 5 games to advance past Ball in the American Open semi-finals and "Brad Attack" appears to be in form heading into this weekend's capstone tournament.
David Palmer (Australia) signed with PST last November and has yet to lose a match since his signing. He won the Cleveland Classic, the Phoenix Open, the Pro Squash Cup and yesterday won the American Open. He will be seeded #3 in Detroit, but is the player most feared and respected by all in the draw.
Adrian Leanza (United States) was Brown University's #1 squash player last year. This season was his first full year on the pro tour. Players marvel at his fitness because he has so little decay from game one to game five. They feel he can run forever, and at times, he appears to be able to. Raised in Denver, he credits his high altitude training for his fitness. This season he has been training in Philadelphia with Paul Frank and Lyall Paterson. He credits them with the improvements in his on court game. Leanza won this season's Philadelphia Open.
Wael El Hindi (Egypt) needed every point he earned this past weekend in the American Open. Reaching the finals got him a #5 seed for Detroit. PST's colorful and charismatic Egyptian created a splash when he followed David Palmer's lead this season and joined PST. Hindi won tournament titles in Providence and Westchester. Though Hindi is known for his shot placement and skill, he shocked the crowd in yesterday's American Open finals with his fitness that pushed David Palmer to his limit. Hindi has a strong shot to win this year's PST World title.
Ned Marks (United States) quietly traveled the country picking up points with solid finishes thoughout the year. He did not win a tournament title, but his consistent performance earned him an invitation to Detroit. His best result was reaching the finals of the Conencticut Open. Marks is called "wheels" by his mates on tour. He simply never stops competing and opponents have been caught off guard by his workman like approach, grinding out points in every match.
John White (Scotland) remains PST's most popular player. He is universally respected by touring pros and fans love his unique style on court. White still holds the world record for hitting the fastest squash shot during match play. His backhand was recorded at 172 mph. His forehand was clocked at 171 mph. White is a veteran player. But if he arrives in Detroit feeling strong and healthy, he could upset the seeding and go deep in the draw.
Supreet Singh (India) needed his quarter final result at this past weekend's American Open to earn the eighth and final invitation to Detroit. Singh came to America to play college squash at Trinity College where he helped lead the team to four consecutive national team championships. He also earned All-American honors while a player at Trinity. Singh won the Connecticut Open this season, which was hosted by Avon Old Farms School.
Andres Vargas is a member of the Colombian National team. He came to the United States to study at Trinity College, where he helped lead the team to four consecutive national team championships and earned first team All-American honors. He reached the semi-finals of the Albany Open and the Tuxedo Park Open this season. Vargas is currently on the coaching staff at Trinity College and will be returning in the same capacity in the coming season.
Vargas is replacing the spot in the championships vacated by Mohamed El Sherbini, who was originally scheduled to be competing. Sherbini withdrew from the tournament late Tuesday night citing an injury incurred during last week's American Open.
Match play begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Detroit Athletic Club. For more information on the PST World Championships, please click here.