NZ Southern 2018 

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ILT & Community Trust NZ Southern Open 2018
19-24 Jun, Invercargill, New Zealand, $10k

Ivan claims SquashCity title

The 2018 ILT & CTOS NZ Southern Open PSA final today saw Ivan Yuen succeed in his mission to win the Championship after missing out to Scotlandís Greg Lobban last year.

The match started with both Yuen and his opponent Rex Hedrick patiently rallying, waiting for the right ball to attack. Yuen was slightly more accurate, placing the ball tight and forcing loose ball from Hedrick.

The second saw a much more determined Hedrick, playing with more positivity and holding his shots at the front to send Yuen the wrong way. Both players were hunting the volley to up the pressure on the other, with Hedrick winning that battle in this set.

The third was a long, hard fought set, with both players working to increase the pressure, Yuen stepping it up a bit further at the end to win the tie-break and gain the one-set advantage.

Yuen again came out hard in the fourth, upping the pressure on Hedrick even further and gaining a strong lead. Hedrick would have covered several kilometres chasing Yuenís shots down and beginning to come-back but it was not his day today as Yuen held his composure to secure the title.


NZ Southern Open 2018
19-24 Jun, Invercargill, New Zealand, $10k
Round One
21 Jun
22 Jun
23 Jun
24 Jun
[1] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
11/2, 11/5, 14/12 (45m)
[Q] Asyraf Azan (Mas)
[1] Ivan Yuen

11/9, 11/8, 7/11, 11/6 (50m)

[5] Victor Crouin
[1] Ivan Yuen

11/8, 11/4, 4/11, 11/8 (42m)

[4] Angus Gillams

[1] Ivan Yuen


11/7, 7/11, 13/11, 11/8 (76m)


[2] Rex Hedrick

[5] Victor Crouin (Fra)
11/7, 11/5, 8/11, 11/5 (40m)
Darren Rahul Pragasam (Mas)
[7] Evan Williams (Nzl)
6/11, 11/5, 11/6, 11/2 (38m)
Sean Conroy (Irl)
[7] Evan Williams

 7/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/6 (46m)

[4] Angus Gillams
[4] Angus Gillams (Eng)
13/11, 11/8, 11/6 (34m)
[Q] Ryunosuke Tsukue (Jpn)
[Q] Velavan Senthilkumar (Ind)
11/8, 11/4, 8/11, 11/2 (40m)
[3] Joshua Larkin (Aus)
[3] Joshua Larkin

11/8, 11/9, 12/10 (38m)

[6] Rhys Dowling
[3] Joshua Larkin

6/11, 11/3, 11/8, 11/4 (53m)

[2] Rex Hedrick

[Q] Luke Jones (Nzl)
11/9, 11/9, 11/7 (24m)
[6] Rhys Dowling (Aus)
Joe Green (Eng)
7/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (40m)
[8] Addeen Idrakie (Mas)
[8] Addeen Idrakie

11/5, 13/11, 11/4 (40m)

[2] Rex Hedrick
[wc] Scott Galloway (Nzl)
11/5, 11/9, 11/7 (30m)
[2] Rex Hedrick (Aus)

Asyraf Azan (Mas) 3-1 Joeri Hapers (Bel)                4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (43m)
Ryunosuke Tsukue (Jpn) 3-0 Sion Wiggin (Nzl)                   11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)
Luke Jones (Nzl) 3-1 Zac Millar (Nzl)                        6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-0 (32m)
Velavan Senthilkumar (Ind) 3-0 Rohan Toole (Aus)             11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (22m)

Round One:
Joeri Hapers (Bel) 3-0 Alvin Heumann (Usa)                              11-7, 11-6, 11-3
Asyraf Azan (Mas) 3-1 Ong Sai Hung (Mas)                     15-13, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4
Sion Wiggin (Nzl) 3-0 Lewis Doughty (Eng)                       12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7
Ryunosule Tsukue (Jpn) 3-0 Alex Grayson (Nzl)                           11-2, 11-4, 11-7
Luke Jones (Nzl) 3-1 Lwamba Chileshe (Nzl)                       11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3
Zac Millar (Nzl) 3-0 Joe Williams (Nzl)                                         11-2, 11-7, 11-1
Rohan Toole (Aus) 3-2 Guhan Senthilkumar (Ind)         11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9
Velavan Senthilkumar (Ind) 3-1 Thomas Calvert (Aus)     11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7
Top seeds through to SquashCity final

The ILT & CTOS NZ Southern Open PSA semi-finals went according to plan tonight in Invercargill, with both top seeds securing their spots in the final tomorrow.

Top seed Ivan Yuen started off very strongly against fourth seeded Angus Gillams, taking an early lead in the first set. Gillams fought back hard with some tight drops before placing one too low to give Yuen the set 11-8.

Yuen again streaked to a quick lead in the second, with Gillams making a lot of errors. Gillams came out in the third playing a much more controlled game, applying pressure and reaping the rewards to take the set 11-4. Yuen was much more focused in the fourth, getting the lead early on and holding it to a three match-ball advantage.

Gillams saved the first match-ball with an incredible cross court flick at the front, only for Yuen to seal the match with a cross-court nick on the return of serve.

Next up was the much anticipated all Australian match between second seed Rex Hedrick and third seed Josh Larkin. The local spectators knew from past years how both players are inclined towards long grueling rallies and they certainly didnít disappoint tonight.

Larkin began the match playing sharply and on form, moving Hedrick all around the court as he sought to get the ball beyond his reach, taking the set 11-6. Hedrick looked more in control in the second set, turning the tables and playing the ball from one corner to another, knowing how much work he needed to do to keep the ball beyond Larkinís extremely flexible reach.

Hedrick continued to apply pressure to a tiring Larkin in the third, taking a large lead before Larkin found his reserve tank and began to close back in. The fourth set saw Hedrick again streak out to a large lead, closing out the match and confirming his place tomorrowís final against Yuen.

The final between Ivan Yuen and Rex Hedrick will play tomorrow at 3.00pm (local time) and is sure to be a hard fought battle with Yuen and Hedrick looking to secure their first Southern Open title after both having missed out in previous years Ė Yuen last year lost in the final to Scotlandís Greg Lobban, and Hedrick losing to Martin Knight in 2014 and being knocked out in the semis in 2016 and 2017.


Top four through to SquashCity semis

It will be the top four seeds contesting the semi-finals of The ILT & CTOS NZ Southern Open tomorrow as they all made their way through quarter-finals tonight safely.

First to take the court was top seed Ivan Yuen against fifth seed Victor Crouin. The first two sets were closely contested with Yuen able to take them both and gain a two set advantage. Crouin (who has just been announced as one of eight players in the PSA and World Squash Federationís SquashForward line-up) came back in the third, mixing it up a bit and forcing errors from Yuen, taking the set 11-7. Yuen returned in the fourth, much more in control of the rallies, closing out the match 3-1 to progress through to the semi-finals.

Evan Williams, the last New Zealand contender was up next facing fourth seed Angus Gillams. Williams got off to a great start, playing much more dynamically than on previous visits. With the first set to Williams, the crowd was hoping for him to make it two, but Gillams came out hard, applying more pressure and making Williams play a bit more defensively. The third set saw the players working hard for each point, with Gillams able to just sneak in 11-9. Gillams then continued upping his game, closing out the match 3-1 to make the semi-finals where he will now face top seed Yuen.

Australian training partners Josh Larkin (3) and Rhys Dowling (6) followed with an entertaining and fast-paced match. Both started the match hunting for an advantage over the other, with Larkin using his great retrieval skills to keep pushing the ball back at Dowling, eventually seeing errors creep into Dowlings game under the pressure. The third set came down to the wire, with Dowling equaling Larkinís game-ball to force a tie-break, with Larkin having to dig deep to book his spot in the semi-finals tomorrow.

The final match saw eighth seed Addeen Idrakie taking on second seed Rex Hedrick. Idrakie started well, moving Hedrick all around the court before Hedrick took more control of the rallies to pull out to a comfortable lead and take the set. Idrakie came back in the second set, moving to a three game-ball advantage at 10-7. Hedrick wasnít having any of it however and worked hard to even the scores and then take the set 13-11. There was no stopping Hedrick from there and he will now face compatriot Josh Larkin in the semi-final tomorrow.


Round One:
Seeds through to quarters at SquashCity

The top 8 players have made it through the first round of The 2018 ILT & CTOS NZ Southern Open in relative comfort.

(1) Ivan Yuen (MAS) v (Q) Asyraf Azan (MAS)
Yuen was very dominant in the first 2 sets, taking a quick lead in both and closing them out quickly. Asyraf came back hard in the third, giving everything he had to keep the match alive, taking it to a tie-break which Yuen had to really work to eventually take 14-12.

(5) Victor Crouin (FRA) v Darren Rahul Pragasam (MAS)
Crouin also started strong, playing with great focus to take the first 2 sets. Pragasam came back to take the third, before Crouin upped the pressure in the fourth to close the match out 3-1.

(7) Evan Williams (NZL) vs Sean Conroy (IRL)
Conroy looked to be set to cause an upset, starting strong and taking the first set 11-6. Williams came back out on court with much more intensity to level the scores 1-1 and then gain a 2-1 lead. The fourth set was all Williams as he completely dominated, forcing errors from a frustrated Conroy and securing his spot in the quarter-finals.

(4) Angus Gillams (ENG) v (Q) Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN)
Gillams had to really work hard in this match, with Tsukue keeping it a very tight contest. The first set went to a tie-break after Tsukue staved off four game-balls to even the score. Gillams just edged in front 13-11. Gillams looked more in control of the second set, again gaining a four game-ball advantage which Tsukue fought hard to come back on but Gillams held on to take it 11-8. The third set saw Gillams up the pace to finish off the match.

(3) Josh Larkin (AUS) v (Q) Velavan Senthilkumar (IND)
A battle of the two most deceptive players here, this was played at an intense pace, as both players sought to out-manoeuvre the other. Larkin was very accurate with his shots and held a 2-0 lead before Senthilkumar took a hard fought third set. Larkin was able to return in the fourth and take full control of the game and book his place in the quarter-finals.

(6) Rhys Dowling (AUS) v (Q) Luke Jones (NZL)
Dowling started incredibly strong, streaking out to an 8-0 lead before Jones came alive and fought back to 7-8. Dowling was able to hold on to take the set 11-9. The second set saw Jones take the early lead before Dowling took eight points in a row to get game-ball, again closing the set out 11-9. Jones took another early lead in the third, but a focused Dowling proved too strong tonight, sealing the match in three sets.

(8) Addeen Idrakie (MAS) v Joe Green (ENG)
Idrakie had a slow start which Green capitalised on to take the first set. Idrakie took a quick lead in the second and was able to convert this to even the set scores. He continued his momentum into the third and then the fourth sets to take the match 3-1.

(2) Rex Hedrick (AUS) v (WC) Scott Galloway (NZL)
Galloway showed some great skills as he battled it out trying to move through to the next round, but Hedrick was just too good and was able to fend off the valiant efforts of Galloway in a three set match.


Qualifying complete at SquashCity

The battle for spots in the main draw of the 2018 New Zealand Southern Open PSA was fiercely contested with more seeds being knocked out of the battle tonight.

First up was top seed Joeri Hapers of Belgium who started off strong in the first set with great accuracy, and few errors. The second set saw his unseeded opponent, Malaysiaís Asyraf Azan step up the pace and begin applying pressure, taking what was an entertaining set, 11-6. Azan was able to keep the intensity level up in the third, streaking out to an 8-2 lead before Hapers dug deep to pull back to 7-8 and then catch up to Azanís game ball to force a tie break, but Azan again stepped up the pressure and took the set 12-10. The fourth game saw both players fighting hard, Hapers to stay in the match and Azan to seal his spot in the main draw. Despite Hapers best efforts, Azan was able to hold him off, taking the game 11-9 and keeping himself in the tournament.

Next on court was New Zealander Sion Wiggin and 4th seed Ryunosuke Tsukue of Japan. Tsukue proved too strong for Wiggin tonight, hitting the ball with a pace that Wiggin found difficult to return cleanly. Tsukue took the match 3-0 in 20 minutes

This match was followed by the all New Zealand match between Zac Millar and 3rd seed Luke Jones. Millar started out strong in the first set, placing the ball skillfully to take the set. Jones used the break between sets to regroup and came out much more focused in the second set, playing with more intensity and the errors began to creep into Millarís game. Jones kept increasing the pressure in the third, forcing more errors from Millar, before completely dominating the fourth to close out the match.

The final match of the night saw Indiaís Velavan Senthilkumar take on Australian Rohan Toole. Senthilkumarís style of play seemed to be causing frustration for Toole as he pulled off some seemingly ridiculous shots. Toole was unable to find the answer for Senthilkumarís game, with Senthilkumar taking the match 3-0.

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