Monday, April 15, 2024

PSA: El Hindi wins Williamstown final

Wael El Hindi in action Picture by Patricia Lyons

RESULTS: PSA International 25 True North Berkshire Open, Williamstown, Mass, USA

[1] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (38m)

El Hindi Battles To Berkshire Title

Egypt’s top seed Wael El Hindi rounded off an excellent run in the True North Berkshire Open by beating unseeded Englishman Tom Richards in straight games in the final of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event atWilliams College in Williamstown in the US state of Massachusetts.

In a fitting climax to the seventh year of event, the US-based world No16 from Cairo romped through the event without dropping a game to pick up the eight Tour title of his career before a packed house seated behind an all-glass court set in the college’s Chandler Athletic Center.

“Despite the lopsided game score, the match might have turned at 9-9 in the third game as Richards fought back from a 9-4 deficit to tie the score with a pressuring attack of volleying and taking that had the taller Egyptian stretching and lunging to keep up with the pace and the sudden and severe direction changes,” said Williams College Head Squash Coach Zafi Levy.

“At that very moment, with his reservoir of energy depleted – at least temporarily – El Hindi resorted to the softest, riskiest, front-wall-dripping misdirect off a loose ball in the middle of the front court that sent Richards scurrying one way while the ball went another.

“As the ball left El Hindi’s racquet with the lightest, softest, sleight-of-hand, underhand twist of his racquet, it hung in the air for what seemed like ten seconds before kissing the front wall on the way down no more than an inch over the tin. And, at once, you could see the tension in El Hindi’s frame suddenly evaporate: a magical shot risked and rewarded at just the right moment.”

The 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 victory in 38 minutes made El Hindi the worthy winner – but unseeded Richards, the 24-year-old world No28, will be proud of his achievement of making the biggest PSA Tour final of his short career after upsetting two seeds.

“The truth of the matter is that Richards is on the way up,” added Levy. “He is ready for a breakthrough win, as Williams College President, Adam Falk, so aptly remarked in presenting the runners-up check to him.

“He is fit, strikes the ball cleanly, can leave it short as well as drive for length, can move on the court with anyone in the top ten and is obviously competitively more than capable. Squash fans would be wise to see where he stands by the time the 2012 Berkshire Open rolls around.”

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