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David Palmer Wins Epic Colombian Open Final

Colombian Open 2009
26-30 Aug, Bogota, Colombia, $30k
Round One
[1] David Palmer (Aus)
11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (17m)
[Q] Erik Tepoz (Mex)
David Palmer
11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3 (34m)
César Salazar
David Palmer
11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (49m)
Olli Tuominen
David Palmer
12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 5-11, 12-12 ret. (104m)
Borja Golan
[8] Jorge Ferreira (Mex)
8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (68m)
[Q] César Salazar (Mex)
[4] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-8, 13-11, 11-6 (31m)
Rob Sutherland (Wal)
Olli Tuominen
11-6, 12-10, 11-3 (46m)
Eric Galvez
[6] Eric Galvez (Mex)
11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
[Q] Robin Clarke (Can)
Liam Kenny (Irl)
11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (25m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Mex)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10 (52m)
Azlan Iskandar
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-13, 15-13 (126m)
Borja Golan
[Q] Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
11-5, 14-12, 11-9 (39m
[3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Gilly Lane (Usa)
11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (19m)
[7] Arturo Salazar (Mex)
Arturo Salazar
11-7, 11-2, 9-4 rtd (28m)
Borja Golan
Arturo Jaramillo (Col)
11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (19m)
[2] Borja Golan (Esp)

David Palmer Wins Epic Colombian Open Final


After an epic 104-minute final of the XII Abierto Colombian Open - in which second seed Borja Golan was forced to retire at 12-12 in the decider - favourite David Palmer emerged triumphant in the $30,000 PSA World Tour squash championship at Club El Nogal in the Colombia capital Bogota.


"With no doubt whatsoever, Palmer and Golan played the best final of the 12 editions of the Colombian Open, which unfortunately ended with the injury of Golan in the tie break of the fifth and final game," said tournament spokesman Juan Carlos Santacruz.


"It was 100 minutes of intense squash, deep, technical, thoughtful and emotive.  Four of the five games played were defined in a tie break demonstrating the parity of level of the players."


Palmer, the world No6 from Australia competing in his 53rd Tour final, took the opening game - but Spaniard Golan upped the tempo in an ill-tempered second game before drawing level, again after a tie-break.


The 33-year-old from New South Wales reclaimed the advantage after the third - but again Golan came back, taking advantage of several unforced errors from Palmer to force the match into a decider.


"The final game was the best of all the games played in the tournament," added Santacruz.


Despite surviving a 126-minute five-game semi-final, world No11 Golan maintained the pressure on his higher-ranked opponent and impressed the crowd with his winning back hand drop shots that left Palmer stranded.


But the Australian would not surrender - and the more he was under pressure, the better shots he played!  And it was a drop shot that ultimately won Palmer the title - as Golan injured his knee attempting to retrieve the shot, and was forced to concede the match.


"It was truly an unexpected outcome for the final and sad for the crowd that cheered for Borja," concluded Santacruz.  "Palmer became the champion."


The win marks the third Tour title of the year for Palmer, and takes the US-based former world number one's career tally to 26, more than any other player currently on the PSA World Tour.


Top Seeds Palmer & Golan To Contest Colombian Open Final


David Palmer and Borja Golan will contest the final of the XII Abierto Colombian Open after surviving contrasting semi-finals in the $30,000 PSA World Tour squash championship at Club El Nogal in the Colombia capital Bogota.


Second seed Borja Golan, the world No11 from Spain, faced local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the fifth seed from Bogota who claimed an unexpected place in the last four after upsetting Malaysia’s third seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar.


After losing the first game, match favourite Golan battled against his opponent and the partisan crowd to move 2/1 ahead.  But underdog Rodriguez, the world No25 and highest-ranked Colombian of all-time, raced to a 10-4 advantage in the fourth.


But an incredible fight back restored the lead for the Spaniard – taking Golan to match ball.  However, the 23-year-old Colombian battled back to force a fifth-game decider – much to the delight of the delirious crowd!


The final game also went to a tie-break – and this time Golan needed five match balls before eventually subduing his opponent after 126 minutes, winning 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-13, 15-13 in the second longest match of the year on the PSA Tour.


The marathon victory takes 26-year-old Golan into the 27th Tour final of his career, and his second this year.


By contrast, Palmer needed just 49 minutes to overcome long-time Tour rival Olli Tuominen, the No4 seed from Finland. 


"Palmer clearly demonstrated why he is the No1 seed of the tournament," said tournament spokesman Juan Carlos Santacruz. "He initiated the match with firmness, defining long shots, anticipating with great speed and surprising his opponent with boasts from both sides of the court."


With the altitude conditions affecting both players as the match progressed, it was the former world number one from Australia who ultimately prevailed, winning 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 to reach the 53rd final of his career, and the third this year.


The final will mark only the third lifetime meeting between Palmer and Golan - but the second this year after the pair contested a semi-final in the Bluenose Classic in February, after which the Australian went on to win the PSA title in Canada.


Local Hero Miguel Makes Bogota Semis


Local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez delighted his fans at Club El Nogal in Bogota when he pulled off a sensational upset in the XII Abierto Colombian Open by beating Malaysia’s third seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar to reach the semi-finals of the $30,000 PSA World Tour squash championship in the Colombian capital.


The hard training defending champion Rodriguez put in before the event in his home club clearly paid off handsomely for the 23-year-old Colombian number one when he beat Iskandar, the world No16, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10 in 52 minutes to record the biggest scalp of his career.


Fifth seed Rodriguez, ranked 25 in the world, will now face Spain’s Borja Golan, the No2 seed.  Golan, the world No11 who lost to the Colombian in their last meeting in Brazil over a year ago, beat seventh seed Arturo Salazar when the Mexican retired injured after twisting his ankle, with the score standing at 11-7, 11-2, 9-4 to the Spaniard.


Salazar’s twin brother also fell at the quarter-final stage.  Cesar Salazar became the only qualifier to survive the first round after upsetting fellow Mexican Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira.  The underdog stretched top seed David Palmer to four games in the quarters – but the former world number one from Australia ultimately recorded his anticipated victory 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3 in 34 minutes.


Cesar Salazar Battles To Bogota Quarter-Finals


Cesar Salazar became the only qualifier to progress beyond the first round of the XII Abierto Colombian Open when he upset fellow Mexican Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira, the No8 seed, in the $30,000 PSA World Tour squash championship in its fifth successive year at Club El Nogal in the Colombia capital Bogota.


The 21-year-old from San Luis Potosi, ranked 81 in the world, fought back from two games down to beat last year’s runner-up, the world No47, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 in 68 minutes.


Salazar will now face biggest match of his career when he takes on top seed David Palmer, the former world number one and world champion from Australia who is making his debut in the event.


Palmer, ranked six in the world, took just 17 minutes to despatch Mexican qualifier Erik Tepos Valtierra – ranked more than 150 places lower in the PSA list - 11-4, 11-3, 11-4.


Salazar will be joined in the last eight by his twin brother Arturo Salazar, the No7 seed who beat US opponent Gilly Lane 11-6, 11-8, 11-4.


Arturo – in the opposite half of the draw from his sibling – will now line up against Spaniard Borja Golan, the second seed who ousted Colombian wildcard Arturo Jaramillo 11-6, 11-4, 11-2.


Fifth seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez successfully began the defence of his title with an 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 victory over Irishman Liam Kenny.  The Colombian number one now looks forward to a clash with third seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the Malaysian making his first appearance in the event since 2002.


Iskandar defeated Brazilian qualifier Rafael F Alarcon 11-5, 14-12, 11-9.