Bradley on top of the world

SUFFOLK star Bradley Ball is on top of the world.

Ball, who left England three years ago to move to the United States, has been crowned the 2011 Pro Squash Tour world champion.

The 34-year-old fought off competition from nearly 60 opponents in 24 countries representing every continent except Antarctica, to claim the title.

He won the Westchester Open, Providence Open and Connecticut Open and reached the finals of the New York City Open on his way to totalling 3,063 points to clinch the title ahead of Egyptian Mohamed El Sherbini, who finished second on 2,469 points.

Ball, who was born in Melton, near Woodbridge and was Suffolk’s leading squash player before emigrating, said: “It’s been a great season for me this year.

“I am extremely happy to still be playing at such a high level and that I have the flexibility and support from my home club to play the PST tour.

“I love to play squash at this level, and I make sure that I take every opportunity I have left to still play the game. Next year will be exciting to protect my ranking!”

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Ball, who played for Ipswich and then Martlesham in the national Super League, left Suffolk to move to New York City and is a teaching pro in residence at the Union Club in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

His father Dennis, who lives at Martlesham Heath, said: “We are very proud of him. He has worked consistently hard over the years and thoroughly deserves this sort of success.”

The 6ft, 3in tall Ball, who is nicknamed ‘Brad Attack’ because of his imposing style of play, reached a world-high ranking of 23 back in 2005, when he won the Dutch Open, and was nationally ranked as high as six in 2007. He is currently ranked eighth.

Ball made his PST debut in New York City in October, when he lost in the final to French National champion Thierry Lincou.

He bounced back the following month to win the Connecticut Open. In Westchester, he defeated Irish champion John Rooney to claim his second tournament title of the season. His Providence Open title was well-earned, winning a marathon match over former world No.1 John White.

“Bradley was an important recruit for our tour,” said PST Commissioner Joe McManus. “He is obviously an elite talent. PST’s brand of squash matches Bradley’s attacking style of play nicely. There is great anticipation in the room when Bradley takes the court.”

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