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 Court Tec Women's PSA Classic 2018
22-27 May, Squash XL, Auckland, New Zealand, $5k

It's Nunn in three
Dave Worsley reports

A first title wasn’t to be for Kiwi junior squash player Kaitlyn Watts as she was defeated by top seed and world No.53 Christine Nunn of Australia in the final of the US$5,000 Court Tech Wormen’s PSA Classic in Auckland.

Watts, 17 from Palmerston North was playing in her first final in nine attempts at pro tournaments but found herself up against the current Australian national senior champion and a competitor who had made the third round of the Commonwealth Games just over a month ago.

The first game was won 11-9 by Nunn after Watts kept pace the whole way, however in the second it was the Aussie starting fast and running out to a 9-1 lead, dominating the centre of the court and forcing the teenage Kiwi to run. Eventually Nunn won the game 11-4.

The third game was a switch in form, for a while as Watts who has recently been selected for the World Youth Olympics in Argentina later in the year secured a 4-1 lead after a couple of winners and then forced mistakes.

But the experience of the older Australian told and a few errors crept in to the Kiwis game for Nunn to take the game 11-7 in a match total time of 25 minutes.

However the fifth seeded Kiwi would be pleased to make the final beating the second and third seeds along the way.

Watts will now play in the New Zealand national champs in Auckland next month which will feature all of the successful Commonwealth Games team members.



Women's PSA Classic 2018
22-27 May, Auckland, New Zealand, $5k
Round One
24 May
25 May
26 May
27 May
[1] Christine Nunn (Aus)
13/11, 11/7, 11/3 (22m)
[Q] Eleanor Epke (Nzl)
[1] Christine Nunn

11/4, 11/6, 11/0 (18m)

Anika Jackson
[1] Christine Nunn

11/7, 11/3, 12/14, 11/7 (44m)

[4] Jemyca Aribado

[1] Christine Nunn


11/9, 11/4, 11/7 (25m)


[5] Kaitlyn Watts

[6] Liu Kwai Chi (Mac)
11/7, 11/9, 11/4 (17m)
Anika Jackson (Nzl)
[7] Emma Millar (Nzl)
11/3, 11/2, 11/3 916m)
You Jiyoung (Kor)
[7] Emma Millar

11/4, 11/7, 11/3 (15m)

[4] Jemyca Aribado
[4] Jemyca Aribado (Phi)
11/6, 11/3, 11/7 (18m)
[Q] Alex Jaydon (Nzl)
[Q] Sneha Suvakumar (Ind)
116, 11/3, 8/11, 12/10
[3] Abbie Palmer (Nzl)
[3] Abbie Palmer

11/7, 11/6, 11/5

[8] Au Yeong Wai Yhann
[3] Abbie Palmer

6/11, 11/6, 11/5, 11/9 (31m)

[5] Kaitlyn Watts

Min Gyeong (Kor)
11/4, 8/11, 11/8, 11/7 (28m)
[8] Au Yeong Wai Yhann (Sin)
[Q] Gigi Yeing (Mac)
11/5, 11/6, 13/11 (23m)
[5] Kaitlyn Watts (Nzl)
[5] Kaitlyn Watts

11/8, 11/8, 11/7 (24m)

[2] Vanessa Chu
[wc] Casey Jane Owen (Nzl)
11/4, 11/0, 11/1 (15m)
[2] Vanessa Chu (Hkg)

Sneha Sivakumar (Sin) 3-1 Sachika Balvani (Ind)  11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1 (28m)
Alex Haydon (Aus) 3-1 Juee Bhide (Nzl)                14-12, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8 (30m)
Gigi Yeung (Mac) 3-0 Grazia Guida (Aus)                          11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (15m)
Eleanor Epke (Nzl) 3-0 Taylor Jones (Aus)                         11-1, 11-4, 11-1 (13m)

Round One:
Sachika Balvani (Ind) 3-0 Rhiarne Tiapa (Nzl)    11-4, 11-4, 12-10
Juee Bhide (Nzl) 3-2 Nadia Hubbard (Nzl)  7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 7-11, 11-9
Grazia Guida (Aus) 3-1 Chelsea Johnson (Nzl)  11-2, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7
Eleanor Epke (Nzl) 3-0 Diya Joukani (Nzl)              11-8, 11-3, 11-8
Nunn & Watts through to final
Dave Worsley reports

The top seed and the top Kiwi junior will meet in the final of the US$5,000 Court Tech PSA Women’s Classic at Squash XL Club in Avondale, Auckland.

Both had to battle in their semfinals to make the title match with top seed and world No.53 Christine Nunn from Australia take a lengthy 44 minutes to defeat fourth seed Jemyca Aribado (Philippines) ranked 90th .

In front of a good crowd including participants in the Auckland Junior champs at the same venue the first semifinal featured plenty of strategic rallies before Nunn won the opening game 11-7 and then dominated the second game 11-3.

However the third game had Aribado claw her way back into the match, including finding herself sprawled on the floor on several occasions. She fought her way to 10-10 before taking the game 14-12.

The fourth game showed the fitness and finesse of Nunn who won it and the match 11-7.

Nunn, 27 now takes on to Kiwi junior Kaitlyn Watts for the title after the 17-year-old beat compatriot Abbie Palmer in four games.

Palmer took the first in relatively easy fashion 11-6, but then Watts showed her game fitness and won the following three games 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 to take the match in 31 minutes. Watts has a current PSA women’s ranking of 119 and will find Nunn a real test for her fledging pro career.

Watts and Palmer have been using the tournament as a build up to the NZ nationals in Auckland next month which will feature names such Joelle King, Amanda Landers-Murphy and Paul Coll.

Kiwi Finalist Assured
Dave Worsley reports

A New Zealand player is guaranteed a place in the final of the US$5,000 Court Tech PSA Women’s Classic at Squash XL Club in Avondale, Auckland this weekend

However top seed and tournament favourite Christine Nunn of Australia is looking sharp and will be the player to beat after she easily dispatched Wakato junior Anika Jackson in straight games in 18 minutes in the quarter-finals.

Nunn, ranked 53 in the world will face fourth seed Jemyca Aribado from the Philippines in her semifinal. Aribado beat Kiwi Emma Millar 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 in her match.

However in the bottom half of the draw a couple of locals have reached the semfiinals after good wins in the last eight contests.

Northland 20-year-old Abbie Palmer the tournament third seed at 89 in the world beat eighth seed Au Yeong Wai Yhann (Singapore). Palmer will play top Kiwi junior Kaitlyn Watts from Palmerston North for a spot in the final.

Watts ranked over 100 defeated second seed and world No.59 Vanessa Chu from Hong Kong 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 in her quarter-final match.

New Zealand players in the event have been using the tournament as a good warm up for the nationals championships to be held in Auckland next month.

Semifinals start from 4pm with the final on Sunday from 5pm.




Round One:
Four Kiwis through to Quarters
Dave Worsley reports

A solid first round for local players at the the US$5,000 Court Tech PSA Women’s Classic in Auckland.

Waikato junior Anika Jackson scored the upset of the round with a win over sixth seed Liu Kwai Chi from Macau in straight game to set up a clash with top seed and world No.53 Christine Nunn from Australia.

Nunn made the third round of singles at the Commonwealth Games and is coached by former world champ Sarah Fitz-Gerald but had an initial battle in her first round match against Kiwi qualifier Ellie Epke.

Epke, 20, had game ball at 10-8 in the first but eventually lost 13-11, 11-7, 11-3 in 28 minutes.

Other Kiwis to win included seventh seed Emma Millar over her Korean opponent in straight games, while third seed Abbie Palmer from Northland won in four games against Singaporean qualifier Sneha Sivakumar.

Top ranked New Zealand junior Kaitlyn Watts won her first two games in straightforward fashion, but in the third it was her opponent Gigi Yeung who fought back from 7-10 down to equalise before the hometown player won 13-11.

Watts will now play second seed Vanessa Chu from Hong Kong who accounted for Kiwi wildcard Casey Owen in straight games.



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