PETER BARKER WINS SWEET HOME CHICAGO OPEN

It was a Samson and Goliath story played out on the McWil all-glass court which stood centre stage on Pioneer Plaza at 401 N. Michigan Avenue - the battle ground between second seed Barker, the world No12, and Australia’s David Palmer, the reigning British Open champion and former world number one competing in the 49th PSA Tour final of his illustrious career.
 
Previous to this, the pair had only met once before on the Tour - in the 2007 World Open in Bermuda, where the Englishman lost in straight games. Just nine months later, the tables were turned: Barker defeated Palmer 15-13, 11-9, 11-2 in 53 minutes.
 
In game one, the 24-year-old left-hander from London worked the ball high on the front, forcing Palmer deep to retrieve deep primarily on the backhand side of the court. Barker kept the ball straight and together with the good length effectively reduced Palmer’s attacking game despite the tiebreaker in the first.
 
"I should have won the first," admitted 32-year-old Palmer after the match. "I felt like I was in control; but just a bit stiff and sore," added the world No5, referring to his earlier marathon encounter with John White in the semis. 
 
In the second game, Barker continued to move well, absorbing every ball Palmer delivered. Recent training with coaches Paul Carter and Peter Nicol had focussed on better court movement and Barker earned the pay-off during the match.
 
Palmer, a three-time British Open champion, was now down two games and got off to a slow start in the third with Barker taking the first five points, before clinching his win - and the title - without dropping a game.
 
"I'm over the moon," said Barker, after claiming the 11th Tour title of his career. "What makes this so special is everything David's achieved. He's a wonderful, wonderful player."
 
As well as thanking the sponsors during the awards ceremony, Barker also exclaimed that the Sweet Home Chicago Open is his favourite venue: "It’s the best tournament I’ve ever played. I love playing in America!"
 
Palmer, looking for his first win in the USA since relocating to Boston at the beginning of the year, was disappointed at the outcome: "He was too fast tonight. Peter weathered everything I put out. It was costly to lose the first."
 
Semi-finals:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [4] John White (SCO) 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10
[2] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
 
Quarter-finals:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [7] Daryl Selby (ENG) 12-14, 11-2, 12-10, 11-8
[4] John White (SCO) bt [8] Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9
[6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt [3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 6-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-9
[2] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [5] Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3
 
1st round:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt Alain Osman Mudeen (CAY) 11-4, 11-7, 11-7
[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5
[4] John White (SCO) bt Yasser El Halaby (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9
[8] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Liam Kenny (IRL) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5
[6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 
[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 12-10, 11-3, 11-6 
[5] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt [Q] Shaun le Roux (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 
[2] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Mark Heather (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9
 
Qualifying finals:
Shaun le Roux (ENG) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Regardt Schonborn (RSA) 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3
Arthur Gaskin (IRL) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-1
Mark Heather (ENG) bt Rob Sutherland (WAL) 11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 11-3, 11-8
 
Issued by iSPORTmedia

Sweet Home Chicago Open, Chicago, USA

Final:

[2] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [1] David Palmer (AUS) 15-13, 11-9, 11-2


England's Peter Barker claimed one of the biggest scalps of his career - and won the richest prize of his life - when he beat favourite David Palmer in the final of the $30,000 Sweet Home Chicago Open in Chicago, the first squash tournament in the USA to be held outdoors.