El Hindi celebrates US Open success

Egypt’s Wael El Hindi won his first title in the USA since relocating to New York last year when he beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the final of the METROsquash US Open, the $80,000 5-star PSA World Tour squash event in the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in Chicago.

From the glowing smile as he entered the court, it was clear that the Egyptian’s heart and mind were going to be in this match.

El Hindi quickly built up a 6-1 lead in the first game before Anjema overcame his initial nervousness – but the 30-year-old from Cairo resisted the fightback to take the game.

The second game was dominated by ‘LJ’ Anjema’s textbook length. El Hindi showed signs of conserving his energy for the third game as the third-seeded Dutchman moved ahead to level the match.

The critical third game saw both players trading points. As the players began to tire, the number of lets increased. However, the calls did not seem to unsettle either player and they kept their composure. Second seed El Hindi would not give up and won the third game by a close margin.

Anjema, 27, from The Hague, appeared slightly slower in the fourth game – and El Hindi took full advantage by bringing out more of his front court game. A tinned volley drop ultimately gave the match to the Egyptian – and the packed crowd that stayed up close to midnight gave him a well deserved standing ovation.

The 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 victory marked the seventh PSA Tour title of El Hindi’s career – but his first for more than two years.

[2] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt [3] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7