El Hindi takes PST title in Detroit

Wael El Hindi beat David Palmer 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11 to win the 2012 PST World Championship hosted by Detroit Athletic Club on Sunday, May 6.

Players from 29 countries competed over the past season, which began last August at the San Diego Open. Hindi and Palmer were both mid-season recruits to the Pro Squash Tour.

Hindi began the match with precision and intensity as he jumped to an immediate 5-0 lead in game one. Palmer fought back but Hindi was able to close out the opening fram 11-9.

Game two saw a sharper Palmer return to court. He was able to impose his will on the pace and nature of play more decisively. Game two to Palmer 11-8.

Game three went to Hindi 11-6. The Egyptian looked strong now, and it appeared he may be able to win the day. But game four was going to showcase a tidal wave emotion.

Palmer raced to a 5-1 lead in game four. He was moving well and finding winning shot opportunities as Hindi struggled. However, the next nine consecutive rallies were won by Hindi and the championship was in sight.

Palmer has won two world titles coming from behind each time to do. So, he is never one to be counted out prematurely. And he was able to fight his way back to 10-10 here winning the next five rallies. The room became quiet as fans could feel the intensity on court and the importance of the moment.

The next rally went to Hindi. At championship point, Hindi believed he had won the title on a errant tin shot from Palmer. Mr. Palmer said his ball was good. The referees announced that the positioning of the players on court created a situation where the officials were unsighted. They announced the rally to be replayed. Hindi seemed furstrated as he saw his championship taken away for the time being.

It took a couple more rallies. But this was to be Hindi’s day, and he closed out the match and the tournament with a 13-11 game four.

In the third place match John White beat Bradley Ball 11-6, 12-14, 11-8, 11-5.

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Quarters & Semis

David Palmer will face Wael El Hindi on Sunday afternoon in the final of the PST  Championships in Detroit …

Palmer beat John White  in his semi-final match on Saturday afternoon 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11 to advance to the final. Palmer and White received a warm applause from the crowd after the match. “They are living legends of the game,” said PST Commissioner Joe McManus. “I was moved by the extended applause they both received. The DAC fans were wonderful in their respect for the players on court.”

Hindi beat reigning PST Champion Bradley Ball 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5 in their semi-final. The room was electric while these two players were on court. They have a history of fireworks in their recent match play. However, today’s match was characterized by gentlemanly behavior.

“That means a great deal to me,” said McManus. “Squash needs players to be respectful of the fans’ desire to see fair play on court. I was equally impressed by Ball and Hindi’s demeanor on court today.”

Hindi and Palmer have faced each other twice previously in PST action. In 2010, Hindi beat Palmer to win the Baltimore Open Championship. Last week, Palmer beat Hindi to win the PST American Open.

Semi-finals:

Wael El Hindi beat Bradley Ball 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5
David Palmer beat John White 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11

Quarter-Finals:

David Palmer beat Supreet Singh 11-8, 11-9, 11-6
Bradley Ball beat Adres Vargas 16-14, 11-3, 11-4
John White beat Adrian Leanza 11-3, 11-8, 11-7
Wael El Hindi beat Ned Marks 11-6, 11-3, 11-2

Watch all the action live from the Detroit Athletic Club on www.UBsports.com.

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