Bradley Ball beat John White to win the 2012 Albany Open on Sunday afternoon at Albany’s Fort Orange Club.
Final: Bradley Ball beat John White 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12
In post game remarks Ball was gracious. “I played well, but I know John’s game. He wasn’t doing things on court today that I usually see. I don’t think I got his best today.”
There is little warmth between White and Ball. They have faced one another twice previously in PST action. Ball beat White to win the Providence Open last April, and White beat Ball to win last August’s Mohawk Hampton Open. Each match featured brilliant squash and physical play. White and Ball are both 6’3″ and have unusual length for professional squash players.
“They are giant men hitting the ball with super human power. And they are hurling their bodies in a small box to retrieve 150 mile per hour shots,” said PST Commissioner Joe McManus. “It’s natural they will collide on occasion and they will not be happy when they do so.”
After a spirited game one, which Ball won 11-9, White tossed his racquet to the front wall. and received a conduct warning from the tournament referee.
White rebounded in game two and prevailed in another closely fought 11-9 game.
White has a strong fan base in Albany, and his fans were cheering for him to repeat his 2011 Albany Open championship performance. But they knew they needed to. Ball was hitting tighter drives and putting a great deal of pressure on White. Game three went to Ball 11-8.
Ball jumped to a quick 9-3 lead in game four and many in the crowd sat back in their chairs expecting the match to end quickly. But White won seven of the next eight rallies to draw the game to a 10-10 tie. White then won the next two of three points.
With White leading the game at 12-11, a ferocious rally stopped when White held his shot and appealed for the point because of interference. The referee awarded the point to White, which would have given him the game 13-11.
However, Ball voiced his objection to the call and indicated he may challenge. But he took an extended time to make that decision. When he did ultimately challenge the call, both challenge officials agreed with Ball, and the call was overturned.
When the referee announced the overturned call and the new score of 12-12, White opened the door and voiced his displeasure at the extended time allowed for that challenge. The referee issued a conduct game penalty. The game was awarded to Ball and thus the match.
“This is not the way anyone wants to win a match, let alone the finals,” said Ball. “It just all happened so fast when it happened.”
The match was broadcast live on PST’s media partner, UBsports.com
Andres Vargas defaulted the third place match to Mohamed El Sherbini due to an injured ankle that swelled up overnight after Saturday’s matches.