The Final:

[1] David Palmer (Aus) bt [6] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
15-9, 10-15, 15-7, 10-15, 15-4  92m

Palmer powers to Super Series Title

David Palmer hit hard, played hard, and got away in the first game of the final of the Super Series Finals at Broadgate, taking it 15-9 to go one up.

But Thierry Lincou was not overawed. He came back in the second with four points in a hand, two of them strokes and a winning mis-hit and got a little jump from 9-8 to 12-8 and then took the game 15-10.

Palmer's power took him away in the third to a 6-1 lead that Lincou was never able to pull back and the match had apparently swung decisively the Australian's way. Lincou however was having none of it.

The fourth was a tempestuous affair. The Australian still drove deep and tight with penetrating shots but Lincou worked the ball easily around the court to go ahead 7-3 when the match entered a contentious period. Palmer received a conduct warning for unnecessary physical contact when he pulled Lincou to the floor in a incident reminiscent of his controversial semi-final against Power here last year.

The crowd booed. "You took him out," said referee Clayton.

A whole series of lets halted the score and Palmer fought back with brilliant successive forehand volley drops to close to 7-8 before Lincou surged away with six points in a hand to snatch game ball 14-8, and although he then wasted a few the games levelled 15-10.

Lincou is up there. He was worthy of a scintillating final place but as Peter Nicol had found the day before, Palmer's domination of the T, his power, length and a crunching volleys that rarely gave the Frenchman time were a draining experience. He fell behind at the start of the fifth 3-0, snatched a point with a miss hit but although there were still brilliant rallies Palmer's shots were more severe and he pulled out a whole series of winners to surge to 8-1. The Frenchman slowed, sensing that it was all over, as Palmer continued to go 11-1 up.  Lincou rallied briefly, but Palmer took the final game 15-4.

"I knew I had it in me," said Palmer afterwards. "Every match I got sharper and stronger. I had to pace myself at times tonight, but I played well when I needed to, and I knew that getting a good start in the fifth was crucial."

Lincou was not unhappy and neither should he have been. "I was tired," he said about the ending. He beat me with low kills. It was a good lesson and there is plenty to work on."


It was a fun
sort of match ...

The warm up to the main event included a 3rd/4th playoff that many expected to be the final, and an exhibition doubles.

3rd/4th Playoff
Peter Nicol  bt John White
14-15, 15-9, 15-10

... but Nicol won in the end
Thursday's Semi-Finals
David Palmer bt Peter Nicol
6-15, 17-16, 15-12, 15-7


Thierry Lincou bt John White
15-9, 15-13, 15-7


[1] David Palmer (Aus) bt [2] Peter Nicol (Eng)  6-15, 17-16, 15-12, 15-7  95m

Palmer dashes Nicol's Dream
Nicol, the world no 1. Nicol, who had moved through the group stage with consummate ease while all around had struggled, launched into David Palmer in this first semi-final as if the fourth record Super Series Finals final was in his grasp. But then everything collapsed around him. In the end this was a different Palmer from the demoralised and angry competitor who had crashed out to Mark Chaloner on Day 1.

Nimble Nicol covered everything with ease in the first game and moved from 9-6 to 15-6 in a hand. Although he lead 11-8 at one stage in the second Palmer was improving all the time and his powerful winners were starting to take their toll. Five outstanding winners took Palmer to 14-12 and the game seemed his.

"I should have had it 15-12," said Palmer, "but he came back and showed the qualities of the world no 1. I got it though and that was crucial."

Overeager Palmer had tinned twice when he was pressurising his opponent and had half chances to let Nicol level at 14-14. In desperate rallies Palmer won a stroke, and hammed it up a bit, but again Nicol levelled with one of the little deceptive crosscourt drops that he had troubled his opponent with all night. Again it levelled at 16-all, both on deceptive shots, before Palmer poured the pressure on and as Nicol scrapped a tight floating recovery drive down the wall, he plucked a spectacular crosscourt volley nick of the wall that Nicol could not get near.

In the third Palmer was away to a 5-1 lead, Nicol having worked hard his nimbleness now gone. Palmer's length, totally indifferent on Monday was now superb; he used his volley to dominate the middle and his thudding power regularly punched the ball past Nicol who could not respond. At 13-6 it seemed over, although Palmer took it for granted and was almost embarrassed as Nicol got back to 12-14 before uncharacteristically wasting the last point on a speculative volley nick.

"I knew from his body language that he was tired after the second," said Palmer. "I was controlling the rallies and he had done a lot of work. It gave me confidence."

The fourth was all Palmer - not just length but powerful precise drives and power again on the volley. At the end of 1 hour 35 minutes he was in total and awesome control winning 15-7, and while Nicol will have to wait for his fourth title, Palmer will take some stopping in his quest for his first.

[6] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [4] John White (Sco)  15-9, 15-13, 15-7  51m

Titi drops White
"I was lethargic going on," said White after crashing to a superb Thierry Lincou at the Broadgate Arena. This Lincou was focused, busy about the court and accurate, mixing playing deep with superb drops, while White found none of the easily hit power or angles with which he had troubled his opponents all week. It was an error prone and disappointing performance and Lincou took full advantage.

"He played well," said White. "When he went short it either hugged the side or nicked. I wasn't positive. The old John White came out. I got frustrated and my concentration was poor. "Once you give him room he hogs the T. He has improved and his length and drops are better."

Lincou was always ahead, moving away from 8-6 to take the first 15-9 when a frustrated White threw his racket, earned a warning for racket abuse and broke the thing into the bargain. After a long stalemate in the second with a dozen lets Lincou won game ball 14-11, White came back at him with a little bit of brilliance but then tinned a easy backhand drop which summed up his night.

In the third when White was behind 7-10 it all disappeared in one hand of mistakes and Lincou was through, 15-9, 15-13, 15-7 and into the final with Palmer.