India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu continued his fine run by winning a second title in two weeks, beating top-seed Rex Hedrick of Australia 12-14, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 in a 77-minute final of Victorian Open squash, a PSA Tour event, in Melbourne on Sunday.
Considering that Hedrick is placed at 61st in the world rankings and is 16 spots above the Indian, this was a commendable feat indeed.
Sandhu, who had reached the final without dropping a game, ran into an opponent, who was ready for a long battle. The first game saw long rallies and Hedrick held his nerve to win it on extra points as the two mixed caution with aggression.
17-match winning streak for Sandhu
This is the fourth title in a row on the professional circuit for the 28-year-old Chandigarh-born player, who has been a former national champion. This win also helped extend his winning streak to a stunning 17 matches now.
Sandhu has been in impeccable form for the past couple of months and has won the Malaysian Tour and the Makati Open in May followed by the South Australian Open and now the Victorian Open this month.
Unique record for Sandhu
With his ninth title win, the 2014 national champion overtakes Ritwik Bhattacharya’s mark of eight to become the Indian male player with the highest number of professional titles.
At this week’s Victorian Open, he had not dropped a game all week until the final. In the first round, he beat Syed Azlan Amjad, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 and followed it up with a comfortable 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 win over the seventh seeded Rhys Dowling. In the semi-finals, he faced the second seed and World No. 71 Piedro Schweertman but was still able to emerge an 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 winner.