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Doubledot Media Christchurch International 2015
09-14 Jun, Christchurch, New Zealand, $10k

14-Jun, Finals:
Craig and James claim Christchurch titles

Megan Craig provided a popular home winner as she beat top seed Siyoli Waters in the women's final, while Declan James continued his run of form to beat Harinderpal Sandhu in the men's climax ...

[2] Megan Craig (Nzl) 3-2 [1] Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
                4/11, 12/10, 11/8, 5/11, 11/8 (50m)
[4] Declan James (Eng) 3-1 [3] HarinderPal Sandhu (Ind)
                8/11, 12/10, 11/9, 11/6 (67m)

Antony Liken reports

A packed crowd at the Burnside Squash Club were in attendance to witness a local victory in the women's final with New Zealander Megan Craig from Blenheim taking out the title in a long five game match against the higher ranked South African Siyoli Waters.

Waters ranked 32 in the world started off impressively forcing Craig all around the court with some powerful drives and crosscourt depth taking the first game easily at 11/4.

The second game was looking to go the same way with Craig again having no answers to the South African and down 7/2. However after that a number of unforced errors allowed Craig to claw her way back into the match and take the game 12/10.

The third game also saw a number of errors from Waters which allowed Craig a good lead which she never surrendered and took a 2/1 lead in the match. In the fourth Waters came back
strongly with power and control and dominated that game to take it into a deciding game.

The fifth was close all the way until 7/8 when Waters hit a low shot that Craig was adamant had hit the top of the tin, the referees didn't seem to agree until in a remarkable display of sportsmanship rarely seen called her own ball down and drew a generous round of applause from the crowd.

Craig then took the next three points to secure a well-earned
victory 11/8 in the fifth to claim her 9th career WSA title and a third in 2015.

Declan James of England continued his impressive form in New Zealand after finishing runner-up last week in Palmerston North with a hard-fought win in the men's final against India's Harinderpal Sandhu.

It was a contrast of styles with the tall Englishman appearing to move effortlessly around the court to make some amazing pickups and the shorter Indian covering the court with lightning speed.

Sandhu started the stronger of the two and dominated the first game with some excellent play to take it 11/8. Like the women's game it was played in excellent spirit and with great displays of sportsmanship from both players.

James took control in the second game and was able to take it narrowly 12/10. The third was also close but James came out on top pumping his fist as he hit some emphatic cross-court nick winners.

Both players had had hard matches through the tournament but James seemed to finish the stronger and was able to take the fourth game and the match as Sandhu knocked a ball into the top of the tin to conclude 67 minutes of entertaining squash as James claimed his fifth career PSA title.
 

Main Court Streaming & Replays

Delighted to win the Christchurch international this weekend with a tough 4 games against Harinder.

3 weeks, 11 matches, a first round, a final, and a win, cant think of a better way to end the season. More than ready for a holiday now.


on Twitter

Burnside links

Christchurch International 2015
09-14 Jun, New Zealand, $10k
Round One
11 Jun
Quarters
12 Jun
Semis
13 Jun
Final
14 Jun
[1] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
 11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (31m)
Chris Binnie (Jam)
[1] Raphael Kandra
11/4, 11/8, 11/6 (31m)
[7] Matthew Hopkin
[1] Raphael Kandra

12/10, 11/6, 15/13, 11/7 (63m)

[3] Harinderpal Sandhu

[3] Harinderpal Sandhu

 

8/11, 12/10, 11/9, 11/6 (67m)

 

[4] Declan James

[7] Matthew Hopkin (Aus)
 11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (37m)
[Q] Muhammad Hamman (Mas)
[6] James Huang (Tpe)
11/4, 11/8, 11/4 (39m)
Lewis Walters (Jam)
[6] James Huang
14/12, 7/11, 11/6, 9/11, 11/9 (73m)
[3] Harinderpal Sandhu
[3] Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind)
11/9, 12/10, 11/8 (41m)
[Q] Evan Williams (Nzl)
[Q] Matias Tuomi (Fin)
7/1 red (7m)
[4] Declan James (Eng)
[4] Declan James
10/12, 12/10, 11/8, 11/9 (65m)
[5] Paul Coll
[4] Declan James

11/7, 11/5, 10/12, 9/11, 11/3 (82m)

[2] Rex Hedrick

Matthew Serediak (Can)
11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (26m)
[5] Paul Coll (Nzl)
[Q] Kashif Shula (Nzl)
11/7, 11/4, 9/11, 11/6 (40m)
[8] Lance Beddoes (Nzl)
[8] Lance Beddoes
11/4, 11/8, 11/9 (41m)
[2] Rex Hedrick
[wc] Chris van der Salm (Nzl)
11/6, 11/3, 11/8 (36m)
[2] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
10-Jun, Qualifying Finals:
(1) Matias Tuomi (FIN) bt (L) Joe Williams (NZL) - 12/10, 11/8, 2/11, 6/11, 11/5 (42m)
(4) Muhammad Hannan (MAS) bt (7) Courtney West (AUS) - 3/11, 11/4, 11/5, 11/2 (29m)
(3) Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt (5) Ben Grindrod (NZL) - 11/7, 4/11, 11/7, 11/5 (40m)
(6) Evan Williams (NZL) bt (2) Mark Fuller - (ENG) - 11/2, 11/6, 11/9 (24m)


09-Jun, Qualifying Round One:
(1) Matias Tuomi (FIN) - bye
Joe Williams (NZL) bt (8) Jason van der Valt (NZL) 9/11, 11/8, 6/11, 15/13, 11/9 (58 min)
(7) Courtney West (AUS) beat Sion Wiggin (NZL) - 10/12, 11/7, 11/4, 11/8 (39 min)
(4) Muhammad Hannan (MAS) beat Jayden Millard (NZL) - 11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (20 min)
(3) Kashif Shuja (NZL) beat Luke Jones (NZL) - 11/8, 11/8, 12/14, 11/7 (37 min)
(5) Ben Grindrod (NZL) beat Jackson Beresford (NZL) - 11/2, 11/7, 12/10 (21 min)
(6) Evan Williams (NZL) beat Tim Preston (NZL) - 11/8, 11/1, 11/3 (17 min)
(2) Mark Fuller (ENG) - bye
Christchurch International 2015
09-14 Jun, New Zealand, $5k
Round One
12 Jun
Quarters
13 Jun
Semis
13 Jun
Final
14 Jun
[1] Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
11/9, 11/5, 11/0 (19m)
Ruby Turnbull (Nzl)
[1] Siyoli Waters
11/2, 11/7, 11/8 (23m)
Jessica Turnbull
[1] Siyoli Waters

11/8, 11/5, 17/15 (33m)

[3] Sina Wall

[1] Siyoli Waters

 

4/11, 12/10, 11/8, 5/11, 11/8 (50m)

 

[2] Megan Craig

[5] Jessica Turnbull (Aus)
11/2, 11/5, 11/4 (16m)
Ruby Beresford (Nzl)
[6] Jasmine Chan (NZl)
11/6, 9/11, 9/11, 11/6, 14/12 (42m)
Nadia Hubbard (Nzl)
Nadia Hubbard
11/8, 11/3, 11/3 (17m)
[3] Sina Wall
[3] Sina Wall (Ger)
11/2, 11/2, 11/3 (14m)
Hyo Ju Seo (Kor)
Ella Dromgool (Nzl)
11/4, 11/3, 11/4 (13m)
[4] Lakeesha Rarere (Aus)
[4] Lakeesha Rarere
8/11, 13/11, 11/4, 9/11, 11/4 (41m)
Eleanor Epke
Eleanor Epke

11/5, 12/10, 13/11 (29

[2] Megan Craig

Eleanor Epke (Nzl)
10/12, 11/13, 11/6, 11/7, 11/9 (39m)
[8] Danielle Foure (Nzl)
Hwayeong Eum (Kor)
11/5, 10/12, 11/5, 11/4 (28m)
[7] Madeline Gill (Usa)
Hwayeong Eum
11/6, 11/6, 11/2 (20m)
[2] Megan Craig
Yura Choi (Kor)
11/2, 11/6, 11/4 (19m)
[2] Megan Craig (Nzl)

13-Jun, Semis:

While top seeds  Siyoli Waters and Megan Craig both won twice today to reach the women's final, both men's semis saw upsets as Harinderpal Sandhu and Declan James took out the top seeds ...

Antony Liken reports


Two upset Men's semis in Christchurch

The first men's semi-final featured the lightning fast Harinder Sandhu against the left-handed Raphael Kendra. The first game was close all the way and the Indian was just able to take it 12/10. In the second game the German showed some real class and always looked in control to take it 11/6.

The third game was absolutely critical and featured some spectacular rallies, in the end the Indian Sandhu took it in a titanic struggle that went all the way to 15/13.

Sandhu gained a lot of confidence from winning that game and seemed the stronger in the 4th to take it quite comfortably and close out the match in four hard fought games.

Declan James continues his great run of results from last weekend in Palmerston North and looked all class as he won the first two games with relative ease finishing both of them with fantastic cross-court nicks.

But the gutsy Australian Rex Hedrick was not going to roll over and fought bravely in the 3rd which went all the way to 10/10 before the Australian was able to extend the match into the 4th. He continued his clawback by taking the fourth narrowly 11/9 and an epic five-setter was in store.

However the Australian seemed to have expended most of his energy in fighting back and had little left for the remaining game, James able to accelerate away to an early lead at 7/2 and never looked back, taking the game 11/3 and concluding an enthralling and exhausting 82min match.

Waters and Craig through to final

In the women's draw the top three seeds had relatively comfortable morning victories to carry them through to the semis, however top NZ Junior Ellie Epke continued her excellent early form on the PSA tour with a well fought victory over fourth seeded Australian Lakeesha Rarere.

In the semi-finals the top two seeds both started in dominant fashion in the early games but both had a struggle to finish their opponents off.

Sina Wall fought bravely in the third and the game seemed to stretch out forever but she just couldn't hit a winning shot away after several chances to take the game, in the end the South African Waters was too strong with a powerful cross-court drive to beat the German into the back corner.

Eleanor Epke also pushed Megan Craig hard particularly in the final two games and probably deserved to get a game but Megan was able to pickup some amazing shots and finish the match in three close games.

12-Jun, Quarters:
Men's Seeds through to semis in Christchurch

Antony Liken reports

The mens quarterfinals all went to seedings but not without a fight.

In the first match, a battle of the left-handers, Raphael Kandra the top seeded German showed class to take the first game 11/4, the 2nd game however was much tougher and contained some absolutely spectacular rallies which had the crowd enthralled. After losing a monumental rally at 8/8 Hopkin appeared to lose concentration and made a couple of unforced errors for Kandra to take the second, Kandra closed out the 3rd in more comfortable fashion to take the match.

The match between Harinder Sandhu and James Huang was a titanic struggle with each game being close. Both players displayed remarkable speed around the court and stunning recoveries. The whole match could have gone either was but eventually Harinder triumphed in an 11/9 in an epic 5th set.

A big crowd had turned out to watch local favourite Paul Coll taken on 4th seeded Englishman Declan James. The first game was very tight both players feeling their way into the match. Coll was able to take a lead 10/7 but was unable to close out the games balls with James clawing his way back to make it 10/10. Coll however was able to take the next two points to the delight of the crowd.

The second game was similar with Coll getting a similar lead at 10/8 but unable to close it out, in contrast James clawed his way back and took the next two points as well to make it 1/1, anybodys match. James had the better of the third game with Coll making some uncharacteristic errors.

Coll started the fourth brilliantly and built and early lead at 4/0. A fifth game seemed to beckon by James came back again and the game then went point for point to 9/9, James had match ball at 10/9 but Coll was giving in, he gave his absolute all on the final point but was unable to retrieve the final ball after a desperate lunge across the court. Victory to James and continuation of a good series of tournaments in NZ.

In the final match of the night Rex Hedrick was extremely efficient and with a no-nonsense approach built early leads in all of the games, he took the first quite comfortably at 11/4, and despite brave comebacks from the Kiwi Lance Beddoes in each of the next two games, the second seeded Australian never looked in too much trouble.

The first two matches of the women's draw saw local top juniors Ruby Turnbull and Ruby Beresford take on top seed Siyoli Waters and 5th seeded Jessica Turnbull respectively.

Waters was a little slow to start and got behind in the first
game, however was able to close it out 11/9, her power and skill was evident in the next two games which she took comfortably. Turnbull was equally as dominant on the adjoining court.

Sina Wall, the German third seed proved her seeding with a strong display to beat the Korean Hyo Ju Seo in quick time.

The big shock of the first round came in a captivating match when North Island teenager Nadia Hubbard showed tremendous fight and talent to defeat 6th seeded Australian Jasmine Chan. Hubbard survived 4 match balls from 6/10 down to finally win 14/12 in an epic fifth no doubt spurred on by the partisan Kiwi spectators.

Lakeesha Rarere, the 4th seeded Australian had no such problems defeating local Ella Dromgool in relatively short time.

The match between NZ rivals Eleanor Epke and Danielle Fourie was always going to be a close thing and so it proved. Epke could have taken both the first two games have game balls in each but Fourie was able to show more finish under pressure. However Epke came back strongly from two down and took the next two games to take it into a tiebreak fifth. This game went point for point all the way but Epke finished it the stronger 11/9 in the 5th.

Korean Hwayeong Eum played well to close out Madeleine Gill the 7th seeded American in four games. In the final game of the day second seeded New Zealander Megan Craig was too strong for Korean Yura Choi.

11-Jun, Round One:
Seeds through to Quarters in Christchurch

Antony Liken reports

All games went to seedings in a busy night at the Burnside Squash Club in Christchurch.

Underway first top seed Raphael Kandra looked very classy and made very few errors to win relatively comfortably against Chris Binnie.

On the next court fellow left-hander Matthew Hopkin had a tighter struggle with the Malaysian qualifier Muhammad Hannan just showing a bit more in the first two games. Hannan showed spirited resistance in the 3rd, building a nice lead before the Australian clawed his way back to 9/9 and sealed the match with an emphatic forehand cross-court nick ... battle of the lefties in prospect tomorrow night with Kandra.

James Huang managed to beat Lewis Walters though some very long rallies were traded and the game seemed a little closer than the scoreline suggested.

The match between Harinder Singh Sandhu and Evan Williams was always going to be an intriguing game and so it proved, in each of the games point for point was traded, however the higher ranked Sandhu just seemed to have a bit more composure in closing out each of the games despite being 10/9 down in the 2nd.

The match between Declan James (the runner-up from last weekend in Palmerston North) and Matias Tuomi was almost over before it started with the Finn having to pull out during the first game sustaining an unfortunate ankle injury.

Local favourite Paul Coll looked comfortable in the first two games against Matthew Serediak, but the Canadian put up a strong fight in the 3rd and led 7/3, Coll had to tighten up and show patience as he clawed his way back to take the match 11/8 in the 3rd.

Local NZ derby between Lance Beddoes and Kashif Shuja was a hotly contested match, Lance played good squash in the first 2 and was able to take those 2 games but Kashif wasn't ready to give in and took the third 11/7. Lance however dug in and did enough in the fourth to accelerate away to a good lead and took the match in the fourth 11/6.

Rex Hedrick
played very controlled squash to take the first 2 games against the local wild card Chris van der Salm. Van der Salm came back strongly in the 3rd and built a nice early lead but was unable to convert this opportunity with the Australian clawing back and taking the match in three.
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