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FitzherbertRowe Manawatu Lawyers
NZ International Classic 2015
02-07 Jun, Palmerston North, NZL, $15k+$10k

07-Jun, Finals:
Top seeds take the titles

Seedings have proved correct in the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic finals played at SquashGym this afternoon, with Joey Chan and Nafiizwan Adnan winning the women’s and men’s draws respectively.

It was nearly an hour long battle between players in the women’s final of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic played at SquashGym today.

Top seed Joey Chan of Hong Kong defeated Japanese second seed Misaki Kobayashi. The two always have a close game and today was no exception; this time going to five sets.

As the game started Joey was tense and Misaki raced away to an 11-5 lead in the first set. “I was a little bit tired from yesterday’s match, and had a bit of a slow start,” Joey says.

Misaki was lucky in the second set and managed to win it in a closer 12-10. Joey turned things around after changing her game plan in the last three sets, winning 11-2, 11-7, 11-5.

“I came back in the third after telling myself everything had to be simple, and my confidence came back. I tried to play more aggressively and decided to take more on volley, and it worked.”

Joey will leave New Zealand tomorrow afternoon headed to Hong Kong where she will play the National Tournament a day after arriving home. She hopes to return to SquashGym again next year.

In the men’s draw, top seed Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia beat England’s Declan James, seeded seventh, in four sets and also just under an hour.

Declan took the second set 11-6 but would have been feeling the effects of his long game yesterday.

“Declan has improved a lot since I last played him,” Nafiizwan says. “I followed my game plan, played my strengths and changed up the game quite a lot in rallies. I wanted to get him moving around lots.”

Nafiizwan is departing New Zealand today for Malaysia where he will take a much needed break before starting training again for his next tournament in Australia in August.

Palmerston North local Kashif Shuja took out the Men’s Open section of the tournament, and Auckland’s Abbie Palmer won the women’s competition.

A number of players in the PSA section will now head down South to play tournaments in Christchurch and Invercargill.

Draws & Results

NZ International Classic 2015
02-07 Jun, Palmerston North, NZL, $15k
Round One
04 Jun
05 Jun
06 Jun
07 Jun
[1] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11/5, 11/4, 11/8
[Q] Chris Binnie (Jam)
[1] Nafiizwan Adnan
7/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/5 (63m)
[5] Rex Hedrick
[1] Nafiizwan Adnan

6/11, 11/6, 11/8, 9/11, 11/6 (83m)

[8] Paul Coll

[1] Nafiizwan Adnan


11/8, 6/11, 11/2, 11/7 (52m)


[7] Declan James

[5] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
12/10, 11/4, 10/12, 11/9
[Q] Evan Williams (Nzl)
[8] Paul Coll (Nzl)
11/2, 11/5, 9/11, 11/6
[Q] Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
[8] Paul Coll
15/13, 11/7, 11/8 (54m)
[4] Martin Knight
[4] Martin Knight (Nzl)
11/5, 11/2, 11/4
[wc] Luke Jones (Nzl)
James Huang (Tpe)
13/11, 11/9, 11/6
[3] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
[3] Raphael Kandra
11/9, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)
[7] Declan James
[7] Declan James

10/12, 10/12, 11/9, 14/12, 11/8 (109m)

[2] Campbell Grayson

[Q] Lance Beddoes (Nzl)
11/9, 11/5, 11/13, 11/6
[7] Declan James (Eng)
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
9/11, 10/12, 11/5, 11/4, 14/12
[6] Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind)
[6] Harinderpal Sandhu
11/9, 11/8, 8/11, 11/5 (56m)
[2] Campbell Grayson
Matthew Hopkin (Aus)
9/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/6
[2] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
03-Jun, Qualifying Finals:

Lance Beddoes (Nzl) 3-0 Muhammad Hannan (Mas)            11/2, 11/9, 11/9
Chris Binnie (Jam) 3-0 Joshua Larkin (Nzl)                         11/8, 11/7, 11/9
Kashif Shuja (Nzl) 3-1 Matias Tuomi (Fin)                                5/11, 0/1 rtd
Evan Williams (Nzl) 3-0 Ben Grindrod (Nzl)                         11/7, 11/9, 11/8

02-Jun, Qualifying Round One:

Lance Beddoes (Nzl) 3-0 Jason van der Walt (Nzl)                11/6, 11/1, 11/4
Muhammad Hannan (Mas) 3-0 Chief Son Wiggin                   11/7, 11/5, 11/6
Joshua Larkin (Nzl) 3-0 Zac Millar (Nzl)                              11/2, 13/11, 11/3
Chris Binnie (Jam) 3-0 Ben Calvert (Nzl)                              11/6, 11/9, 11/7
Matias Tuomi (Fin) 3-0 Brandon Keenan (Nal)                      11/1, 11/3, 11/7
Kashif Shuja (Nzl) 3-0 Corbin Faint (Nzl)                            12/10, 11/4, 11/9
Ben Grindrod (Nzl) 3-2 Chris van der Salm (Nzl)  9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 6/11, 11/6
Evan Williams (Nzl) 3-0 Matthew Serediak (Can)                 11/1, 11/3, 11/8

NZ International Classic 2015
02-07 Jun, Palmerston North, NZL, $10k
Round One
04 Jun
05 Jun
06 Jun
07 Jun
[1] Joey Chan (Hkg)
11/7, 11/3, 11/7
Abbie Palmer (Nzl)
[1] Joey Chan
11/6, 11/4, 11/7 (25m)
[7] Sina Wall
[1] Joey Chan

11/3, 13/11, 9/11, 11/6 (43m)

[4] Megan Craig

[1] Joey Chan


5/11, 10/12, 11/2, 11/7, 11/5 (50m)


[2] Misaki Kobayashi

[7] Sina Wall (Ger)
11/4, 11/8, 11/6
[Q] Yura Choi (Kor)
[5] Christine Nunn (Aus)
11/2, 11/2, 11/7
Selena Shaikh (Aus)
[5] Christine Nunn
11/3, 11/9, 12/10 (36m)
[4] Megan Craig
[4] Megan Craig (Nzl)
11/3, 11/5, 11/5
[Q] Mickayla Kerr (Nzl)
[Q] Rebecca Barnett (Nzl)
11/9, 11/5, 11/7
[3] Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)
[3] Amanda Landers-Murphy
11/7, 11/1, 11/5 (22m)
[6] Sarah Cardwell
[3] Amanda Landers-Murphy

11/6, 6/11, 4/11, 11/4, 11/4 (37m)

[2] Misaki Kobayashi

[wc] Danielle Fourie (Nzl)
8/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/8
[6] Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
[Q] Eleanor Epke (Nzl)
5/11, 11/8, 11/5, 12/10
[8] Lakeesha Rarere (Aus)
[Q] Eleanor Epke
11/9, 11/5, 11/6 (25m)
[2] Misaki Kobayashi
Jessica Turnbull (Aus)
11/5, 11/1, 11/7
[2] Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
Qualifying, 03-Jun:

06-Jun, Semis:
Top women seeds through to final

It will be a battle between friends in tomorrow’s women’s final of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic after Hong Kong’s Joey Chan and Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi won today’s semi-finals, both matches going with the seeding.

Joey, top seed, and Misaki, second seed are roommates in Palmerston North for the tournament at SquashGym, and Joey says things will be different from when they played each other last year in the Asian Team Champs.

“On tour everything is our own responsibility, it’s different
from a team environment. I’m aiming to play well and cut down unforced errors.”

Joey is currently world number 27, and Misaki world number 36, they last played in Macau two years ago where Joey won 3-0.

Joey says of today’s game against New Zealander Megan Craig:

“Megan has improved a lot on speed, she was consistently fast and good on volleys. I was ok at anticipating her moves in the first two sets but then I had to slow down the game to make myself more comfortable.”

New Zealander Amanda Landers-Murphy managed to take two games in a row off Misaki before Misaki won the last two 11-4, 11-4. It was the only five-game match so far in the women’s draw.

Two five setters in men’s semis

It was not a quick round of semi-finals today in the men’s section of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic, with both games this afternoon lasting five games and well over an hour each.

Eighth seeded New Zealander Paul Coll played well against top seed Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia and clawed his way back in a fifth set but Nafiizwan managed to take it back to win the match 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6.

This was never going to be an easy game for Paul; he had it tough today after beating fourth seeded Martin Knight last night but he was clearly diving and retrieving everything he could. Their game lasted 83 minutes.

After playing well yesterday England’s Declan James upset the second seed in five sets. New Zealander Campbell Grayson fought hard against Declan and had match ball in the fourth but lost in the fifth set after a very physical game lasting 109 minutes plus 26 injury minutes.

The game was halted twice after both players received blood injuries - Campbell in the third set with a blood nose and Declan in the fifth set after receiving a minor injury across the bridge of the nose in the fifth set after coming into contact with his opponent’s racquet.

Declan seems to be getting better as the tournament goes on and although he wasn’t as relaxed in the first set today he managed to gain a small lead consistently later on which helped him to take it out in the end.

“I was a bit tense at the start and wasn’t thinking about my game plan,” he says. “Once I started thinking about it I was able to take control a bit more.”

He will be focusing on recovering tonight to make sure his body is ready for tomorrow’s action. “If I prepare well tonight hopefully I can make it a good match.” Opponent Nafiizwan Adnan will be in the same position after a five setter today.

The two men played each other just over a year ago in the British open, where Nafiizwan won 3-0.

Draws & Results

05-Jun, Quarters:
Top eight through to semis

The seedings have proved correct in the women’s draw of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic PSA quarter finals last night at SquashGym in Palmerston North, where Joey Chan, Misaki Kobayashi, Amanda Landers-Murphy and Megan Craig went to seed as expected.

Third seed New Zealander Amanda Landers-Murphy beat Sarah Cardwell of Australia in three sets and just 22 minutes, after only having played her three weeks ago in Darwin at the Northern Territory Open.

Amanda says despite having won the match in Darwin, leading up to yesterday’s game she was not taking it lightly. “We had a closer game last time and it’s always tough playing back to back because you learn about each other.

 I was pretty happy with how I played; I stuck to my
game plan and executed it well apart from a few errors.”

Amanda will face Japanese visitor second seed and current world number 27 Misaki Kobayashi today at 1.00pm local time; the two played each other in Toronto a year ago where Amanda lost 12-10 in the fifth set after match ball.

She will be hoping to at least go close again today.

Similar players New Zealander Megan Craig and Christine Nunn of Australia had a good battle yesterday and Megan will meet top seed Joey Chan of Hong Kong today at 2.00pm local time.

In the men’s draw there were some surprises, with eighth seeded Paul Coll defeating fourth seeded Martin Knight in three straight sets. Both players were recently inducted into the New Zealand High Performance Squad.

Paul Coll will come up against top seed Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia today at 3.00pm local time. Nafiizwan had some long battles with fifth seeded Rex Hedrick from Australia last night during the 63 minute game. He lost the first set to Rex but managed to take the next three.

In another upset, seventh seeded Declan James from England beat third seeded Raphael Kendra of Germany in three sets. Declan will play second seeded New Zealand number one Campbell Grayson today at 4.00pm local time.

Draws & Results

04-Jun, Round One:
Epke joins 15 seeds in quarters

Just one upset in the first round as qualifier Eleanor Epke joins fifteen seeds in reaching the quarter-finals ...

Mix of nationalities through to
Squash Classic quarter finals

Six New Zealanders, three women and three men, are through to the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic PSA quarter finals tonight. They will be joined by players from Malaysia, Australia, Germany, England, India, Hong Kong and Japan.

Fourth seed in the women’s draw, New Zealander Megan Craig won three straight sets in round one against qualifier and current New Zealand over 35 champion Mickayla Kerr - in one of the shortest games of the night.

Both women hail from Blenheim where they used to play each other; and Megan was looking forward to a rematch. “We had some good rallies, it felt a bit like home which is a bit odd when you’re on tour and under pressure,” Megan says. “It was nice to play Mickayla again and a good way to start the tournament.”

Tomorrow Megan will come up against fifth seed Christine Nunn, who she has had good battles with in recent matches.

Top seed Joey Chan of Hong Kong beat New Zealander Abbie Palmer in another relatively short match.

New Zealand Women’s Junior Champion and qualifier Eleanor Epke won her first round in four sets against eighth seeded Australian visitor Lakeesha Rarere, in the only upset of the night. Eleanor will play second seed Misaki Kobayashi of Japan tomorrow night.

Sixth seeded Australian Sarah Cardwell, daughter of former world number one Vicki Cardwell, defeated Palmerston North local wildcard Danielle Fourie in four sets.

In the men’s section, top seed Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia had a convincing win against Jamaica’s Christopher Binnie. Nafiizwan has grown considerably as a player since making his debut on the PSA World Tour in 2003,

and is currently ranked number 33 in the world. Nafiizwan now faces fifth seeded Rex Hedrick from Australia, who has played in Palmerston North once before in 2006 for the World Junior Championships.

New Zealand’s number one Campbell Grayson, seeded second beat Matthew Hopkin of Australia in three sets.

Campbell lives in New York is back in his home country for a series of tournaments, and was looking to get off to a good start. “It’s been a busy season and I’ve really been looking forward to playing on home soil.”

There was just one five setter, between sixth seed Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu of India and Abdulla Al Tamimi of Qatar. Harinder lost the first two sets but managed to take the last three. The longest game of the night played by Lance Beddoes and England’s Declan James took over an hour.

Among other good lineups, the PSA quarter finals will see an all kiwi clash between eighth seeded Paul Coll and fourth seeded Martin Knight tomorrow night.

All four men’s matches tomorrow will be played in succession beginning at 5.30pm local time. The four women’s matches will begin at 5.00pm local time.


Draws & Results

Strong International field for
Squash Classic

This week InspireNet SquashGym in Palmerston North hosts the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic.

This is the fourth year the event has included a PSA section and the 2015 edition has added a WSA event which will see a number of top international women come to Palmerston North for the

The tournament has $15,000 prize money for the men, and $10,000 for the women.

Tournament Director Grant Smith says an incredible international flavour will be seen at SquashGym. “Players in the men’s and women’s main draws from Australia, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Taiwan as well as New Zealand taking to the courts.”

Top seed for the men’s event is Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan. The world number 35 will start the week as favourite but will not find it easy with the next three players in the draw holding world rankings of 50 (Campbell Grayson, NZ), 51 (Raphael Kandra, Germany) and 52 (Martin Knight, NZ).

“Adnan’s ranking does not look a lot higher on paper, but being a top 35 player in the world often means he gets into the main draws at some of the world’s biggest events including the recent British Open,” says Mr Smith. “He lost first round to world number 3 Gregory Gaultier but stepping on court with this type of calibre player will give him a great ‘leg up’ on his competition this week.”

New Zealand’s Knight is last year’s defending champion but with increased prize money and status, he will be fourth seed this week.

“He will be on course for a semi-final berth against top seed Adnan but will have to be on his game in early rounds to make sure he gets to the semi-finals with enough energy to challenge the Campbell Grayson will also fancy his chances on the other side of the draw to make the final on home soil.

Palmerston North’s Luke Jones who was the New Zealand Junior Champion in 2014 has been given a wildcard into the first round where he will meet countryman Martin Knight. He will be keen to impress in front of home fans.

Top seed in the women’s draw is Joey Chan from Hong Kong. She is the highest ranked player to come to Palmerston North this year with a world ranking of 27 but has been as high as 20 (October 2013).

Her recent form includes a first round loss to Camille Serme in the British Open last month where Serme was the eventual winner. “Chan played well enough that day to take a set of Serme. Like Adnan, recent match play against the world’s top players should hold her in good stead this week,” says Mr Smith.

The second seed in the draw is Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi with a world ranking of 37. Closely followed behind the top two seeds are New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy and Megan Craig. They will both see this week as a great opportunity to improve their world rankings of 45 and 52 respectively.

The top local chance in the draw is SquashGym’s Danielle Fourie who has recently joined WSA and has a provisional ranking of 228.

“Fourie has been the top women’s player in the district for the past five years and at 22 should see some of her best years ahead of her.”

Danielle has been given a wildcard into the main draw and will face sixth seed Sarah Cardwell of Australia on Thursday evening.

Qualifying for the final four spots in the Men’s and Women’s draws finish Wednesday with the main draws underway Thursday evening. Players looking to qualify for the main draws have come from far and wide with a number of New Zealand hopefuls looking to upstage international opponents. The women’s final is for 1.30pm and the men’s at 2.30pm on Sunday.

The wider tournament has attracted 170 players throughout the grades which will make for a busy weekend at the SquashGym Club. Entry to the tournament for spectators is free.

Draws & Results

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