JUST two months after joining the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, Chris Binnie has created history by becoming the first Jamaican to win a professional title.
The reigning All Jamaica and Caribbean men's champion won the inaugural British Virgin Islands Open held last weekend in Tortola.
The 23-year-old trailblazer showed grit and determination, playing a qualifier to earn a slot in the tournament line-up and then going on to take the title.
Along the way, he posted a straight sets win over the number three seed Josh Cadwell in the quarter finals, then eliminated Robert Downer, who was seeded second, in the semi-finals.
The victory over Downer set up a showdown with Frenchman Johan Bouquet, who had beaten the tournament's top-seeded player in the semi-finals, only to come face-to-face with Binnie in his final match.
In the longest match of the event, Binnie won the first set, 11-9, but Bouquet pulled even, winning the second, 7-11. The Jamaican then recovered his form and took the next two sets 11-8, 11-7.
Although still relatively new to the pro circuit, Binnie liked his chances going into the BVI Open.
"I was confident that I could do well. I've been training hard so I knew I stood a good chance. You always have to be confident in your chances or it doesn't make sense to even play," he said.
After an impressive three-year stint on the US college squash circuit, last month Binnie graduated from Trinity College where he majored in Environmental Science and Economics. While at university, he helped his school win the US National Championships and was named among the All American College Squash Players and the All Academic American College Players.
Although the transition from college competition to the professional tour has had its challenges, Binnie is pleased with his progress.
"It has been a little difficult transitioning from being in college to playing on the pro circuit, but it's been fun," he said.
"Obviously, it's great to be moving up the rankings and I hope that continues. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but I'm happy so far," he added.
Binnie will defend his local title at the All Jamaica Senior Championships next month and his regional title at the Caribbean Area Squash Association's (CASA) Senior Championships in August.