Waikato 2016

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Squash Waikato Open 2016
05-08 May, Hamilton, New Zealand, $5k

08-May, Final:
Williams doubles up in Hamilton
Sam Crawford reports

Top seeds Evan Williams of Wellington and Adam Murrills of England were set to battle it out for the second weekend in a row with Williams keen to take back to back wins having won the Pak'N'Save PSA Open at Devoy last weekend.

Both players came out in the first playing strong structured rallies which saw each other moving around the court, there was also some great deception where both players went in the opposite direction to the ball.

Williams worked Murrills hard and claimed the first game with some great shots Murrills couldn't retrieve. Murrills came out strong in the second and really took control of the centre of the court.

Murrills managed to work Williams around the court and he forced Williams into errors and irretrievable shots. Murrills controlled his rallies and sent Williams in the wrong direction eventually seeing Murrills claim the second game.

Williams came back into the third game looking strong and took advantage of some loose shots by Murrills where Williams worked Murrills into the corners and punished anything which was loose.

Williams looked dominating and he eventually closed out the third in a convincing fashion over Murrills.

Williams and Murrills battled to the end in the fourth with long rallies which had the packed gallery on the edge of their seats, with a number of match balls Williams worked Murrills hard and his great work got him across the line to get him his second title in two weeks.

In the women's event Joelle King of Cambridge was looking to defend her title from 2015 and came out in the first game in devastating style against Amanda Landers-Murphy of Rotorua.

King put her shots away and Landers-Murphy battled to retrieve them with King in control of the centre of the court and claiming the first game in convincing fashion.

The second game saw King make a number of unforced errors whilst Landers-Murphy played some tight shots, however King dropped her error rate and tightened up her play eventually taking the second game.

King came out firing in the third match knowing she still had her Men's Division 1 game to play.

King played some amazing shots and had some great deception which sent Landers-Murphy in the wrong direction at times.

King picked up some great shots of Landers-Murphy but it wasn't enough and King retained her Waikato Open title for 2016.


 TAGS : 2015 Event | Waikato | New Zealand | Search

Squash Waikato Open2016
05-08 May, Hamilton, New Zealand, $5k
Round One
06 May 
07 May
07 May
08 May
[1] Evan Williams (Nzl)
 11/9, 11/1, 11/8
[Q] Han Seung Cheol (Kor)
[1] Evan Williams

11/6, 11/8, 11/4

[wc] Zac Millar
[1] Evan Williams

11/4, 11/6, 11/7

[8] Luke Jones

[1] Evan Williams 


 11/7, 6/11, 11/4, 15/13


[2] Adam Murrills

[7] Joel Luca (Aus)
11/4, 11/2, 11/9
[wc] Zac Millar (Nzl)
[8] Luke Jones (Nzl)
11/2, 9/11, 11/9, 11/6
[Q] Scott Galloway (Nzl)
[8] Luke Jones

11/8, 11/9, 11/8

[4] Joe Green
[4] Joe Green (Eng)
11/4, 11/9, 13/11
[Q] Darcy Evans (Nzl)
Daehoon Jeong (Kor)
 11/8, 11/5, 11/3
[3] Ben Grindrod (Nzl)
[3] Ben Grindrod

11/5, 11/8, 12/10

Seongyeon Yoo
[3] Ben Grindrod

13/11, 11/7, 11/7

[2] Adam Murrills

Seongyeon Yoo (Kor)
4/11, 11/7, 3/11, 11/5, 12/10
[6] Courtney West (Aus)
Jason van der Walt (Nzl)
11/3, 11/7, 11/7
[5] Dylan Cunningham (Usa)
[5] Dylan Cunningham

11/13, 11/5, 11/6, 11/6

[2] Adam Murrills
[Q] Jamie Oakley (Nzl)
13/11, 11/3, 11/5
[2] Adam Murrills (Eng)
05-May, Qualifying:

Jamie Oakley (Nzl) 3-2 Vivian Rhamanan (Sin) 11/3, 7/11, 6/11, 11/9, 7/2 rtd
Darcy Evans (Aus) 3-0 Min Jae Oh (Kor)                           11/6, 11/7, 11/8
Han Seung Cheol (Kor) 3-0 Sam Sayes (Nzl)                    12/10, 11/9, 11/4
Scott Galloway (Nzl) 3-? Sion Wiggin (Nzl)                            11/6, 11/7, 11/6

Round One:
Vivian Rhamanan (Sin) 3-0 Alex Revington (Nzl)                11/5, 11/5, 11/7
Jamie Oakley (Nzl) 3-0 Phil Buscke (Nzl)                          11/8, 11/5, 11/6
Min Jae Oh (Kor) 3-0 Angus MacDonald (Nzl)                    11/4, 11/7, 11/4
Darcy Evans (Aus) 3-0 Lwamba Chileshe (Nzl)                  11/9, 11/4, 11/4
Han Seung Cheol (Kor) 3-0 Finn Trimble (Nzl)                  11/5, 12/10, 11/3
Sam Sayes (Nzl) 3-0 TJ French (Nzl)                               11/6, 11/9, 11/6
Scott Galloway (Nzl) 3-0 Max Trimble (Nzl)                       11/7, 11/7, 11/7
Sion Wiggin (Nzl) 3-0 Steve Martin (Nzl)                         12/10, 11/6, 11/8
07-May, Semis:
Top seeds through to final
Sam Crawford reports

Top seeds Evan Williams and Adam Murrills have both claimed a place in the final of the Waikato Open PSA at the Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club with wins in three over Luke Jones and Ben Grindrod respectively.
The first semi-finals match was between of Wellington and Luke Jones of Palmerston North.

The first game saw some great control of the centre of the court by Williams with Jones covering a number of miles. Jones was worked hard and Williams tight shots worked in his favour with a convincing first game win for Williams.

The second game continued in much the same fashion as the first with Williams pulling off some great drops from the back of the court. Jones had moments where his shots were too good for Williams, however Williams proved too strong and took the second game.

Jones took an early lead in the third playing some great shots from Williams loose balls, however Williams kicked it up a gear and structured some good rallies working Jones out of place and eventually claiming the third game and the match.

The second match was between Tauranga's Ben Grindrod and England's Murrills.

Both players showed great structure with strong movement around court. The errors were low with each player winning their points of an irretrievable shot. It was a tight first game but Murrills managed to clinch the first game and take the lead.

The second game started off in a similar fashion to the first but Murrills started to play more dieing shots and he moved Grindrod with some great deception at points which sent Grindrod in the wrong direction. Some errors crept into Murrills shots but he was eventually able to seal the second game.

Grindrod took an early lead in the third with some unforced errors from Murrills and great working of the shot by Grindrod. Murrills however worked his way back into the game throwing some great unexpected shots into his game catching Grindrod off guard.

 Once Murrills got the lead Grindrod couldn't get it back and Murrills claimed the match in three.
07-May, Quarters:
Jones joins top three seeds in semis
Sam Crawford reports

Luke Jones caused the upset of the quarter finals at the Waikato PSA event defeating Englishman Joe Green in three to progress to the semi-finals.

The first game of the Quarter finals was between Wild Card Zac Millar of Waikato and top seed Evan Williams of Wellington.

Both were feeling confident after their wins the previous day and were looking set to continue this on. Both players had some great tight shots and some moments of deception sending their player in the opposite direction. Millar however had the higher overall error rate and left some loose balls for Williams to attack leading Williams to claim the first game. The second game followed a very similar pattern to the first and Millar struggled to pick up Williams strong shots eventually losing the second. Williams stepped forward in the third game and looked convincing throughout the game attacking the ball and forcing Millar into the errors. Williams claiming the match in three.

Kiwi player Luke Jones was looking to make a good impression in this PSA tournament against the English player Joe Green.

There were some great long rallies from both players on court showing some strong length and great movement forward and back. Jones managed to move Green just out of his comfort zone in the first and even with Green’s extreme pickups Jones deception worked in his favour and he claimed the first game. The second game saw some unforced errors from both players with Green playing some loose shots early on leaving Jones to put them away. Jones had some errors creep into his game whilst Green managed to get some good length but Jones managed to keep working the ball and drew the errors out of Green to claim the second game.

The third game saw tough rallies from both players and Jones had a number of errors at point with Green forcing Jones around the court. Jones however pulled out some amazing short shots along with some great length which claimed some crucial points at the end of the game and eventually were the key to his success and sent him to his first PSA semi-final.

Adam Murrills of England had to take on the tough American Dylan Cunningham in his quarter final.

The first game saw some high intensity from both players and some great structured rallies with tight shots. Cunningham however managed to have some tight shots which forced the errors from Murrills and Cunningham closed the first game. The second game saw both players carry on in a similar fashion to the first game however Murrills was able to force the errors this time from Cunningham and eventually Murrills levelled the game score.

In the third game more unforced errors crept into Cunninghams game whilst Murrills controlled the tee and moved Cunningham around the court. Cunninghams amazing pickups were not enough to get him out of trouble in the third game and Murrills took the lead in the match. The fourth game was much similar to that of the first three with some great shots and both players being unable to pick up each other’s shots at points, but Cunningham couldn’t bring the error rate down and Murrills pushed the game and eventually took the win in four.

Ben Grindrod of Tauranga looked methodical in his win over Korea’s Seongyeon Yoo.

There was some great length and good structure from both players in the first game but it was Yoo’s error rate which let him down in conjunction with Grindrod’s strong control of the centre of the court. Grindrod continued to step forward in the second game and he continued to move Yoo around the court forcing the errors from Yoo and claiming the second game. The third game saw Grindrod take an early lead but Yoo stepped up and was starting to work Grindrod around the court more now. Grindrod however managed to clinch the tight third with his consistent straight length and some good shots at time.
06-May, Round One:
Millar and Yoo in Waikato Round One upsets
Sam Crawford reports

Local wildcard Zac Millar and Korea's Seongyeon Yoo have upset their higher seeded opponents in the first round of the PSA event at the Waikato Club in Hamilton.
Millar played seventh seed Joel Luca from Australia in the first round of the Waikato PSA. Millar looked strong throughout his match and played some strong shots on court and took the first game convincingly.

The second game saw Millar stay in the centre of the court attacking anything Luca put loose and forcing the errors from Luca. Luca managed to step it up in the third game but by this stage it was too late with Millar keeping forward and attacking with some great pickups and he claimed the match in three and the first upset of the tournament.

Dylan Cunningham of America played Jason van der Walt of New Zealand and Cunningham looked in control throughout the whole match. Van der Walt was not able to settle in the first game and made a number of unforced errors with Cunningham claiming the game convincingly. The second game saw Van der Walt get some good short boasts in but Cunningham’s length and accuracy got him through the second game. The third game was close with both players making a number of unforced errors but a great push and movement from Cunnignham saw him stay in front and claim the match.

The game between Englishman Joe Green and Australian Darcy Evans saw some long hard rallies from both players but Green kept his accuracy up and claimed the first game convincingly. The second game was much tighter but Green managed to work hard and stay on top of the tee controlling the game and claiming the second game from Evans. The third game was another tight affair for the players but it was Green who kept his calm and composure and his great retrieval got him the match in three.

Ben Grindrod showed some great shot placement against his Korean counterpart Daehoon Jeong. Jeong was not able to match the placement of the ball by Grindrod with Grindrod claiming the first game. The second game saw Grindrod forcing the errors from Jeong and looking more comfortable in his claiming of this second game. Grindrod never looked out of place in third game and his strong controlled rallies saw him claim the match in a strong style.
One of the games of the night was between Australian Courtney West and Korean Seongyeon Yoo.

West was too strong in the first game forcing the errors and looking set to take the match convincingly, however Yoo was not going to go down easily. Yoo came out in the second and drew out some long rallies and even with West controlling the centre of the court his error rate was too high and the game went Yoo’s way. West switched things around in the third and showed his strength and control and the unforced errors came back into Yoo’s game and West claimed the third game. The fourth game however saw West go back to making too many errors and Yoo dropping his error rate to claim the fourth. The fifth was a tight battle and from match ball down West managed to claw his way back but this was not enough and he eventually went down in five seeing the second upset of the day.

Local kiwi duo Luke Jones and Scott Galloway were next on and some great structured rallies saw Jones claim the first game convincingly over Galloway. Galloway however managed to put away the loose shots Jones was throwing up in the second game and Galloway clinched a close second game. Jones however swung things back his way in the third forcing Galloway around the court and getting him to make the errors and Jones claimed the third game. The fourth game was very similar to the third game and Jones put away some great shots at points and worked Galloway hard tiring him out with Jones claiming the match in four.

Top seed Evan Williams of New Zealand came into his first match off a high of winning the Pak’N’Save PSA at Devoy the previous weekend so he certainly had the confidence to perform well. Williams looked in control against his Korean opponent Han Seung Cheol throughout the whole first game with great placement and shot selection. Williams came into the second game and dominated his opponent with Cheol not having any answers to Williams shots and Williams claimed a second convincing game. Cheol managed to get some good balls and pickups in the third game but it was not enough and eventually Williams sealed the game in a convincing four.

The last match saw second-seeded Englishman Adam Murrills take on Tauranga boy Jamie Oakley. Oakley fought hard with some great intensity and shot selection in the first game sending it long but he was not able to work it out to claim the game with Murrills taking the first game. Oakley couldn’t find his stride in the second game and Murrils great tight length saw him claim the second game in convincing fashion. Oakley couldn’t turn things around and even with some great shots Murrills structured rallies proved too powerful and Murrills claimed the match from Oakley in three.
05-May, Qualifying:
Qualifying complete in Hamilton
as top seeds bow out ...

Sam Crawford reports

Round One of the qualifiers did not see any major upsets with all but one of the seeded players heading through to the qualifying finals. TJ French was the only seeded player to not make it through to the qualifying final with a loss to fellow Kiwi Sam Sayes. All the games were straight forward with 3/0 wins for the players moving into the qualifying finals round.

In the final qualifying round one of the first games up was between Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre player Jamie Oakley and Singaporean Vivian Rhamanan, top qualifying seed. Oakley got up in the first game showing some great control and shot selection, however this didn’t deter Rhamanan and he stepped it up in the next two games managing to edge his way in front of Oakley with some quality shots and great placement. Oakley wasn’t going to let go of the match easy and he fought hard in the fourth to level the game score. Oakley looked set to close this out in the fifth but unfortunately Rhamanan had to retire with a calf injury, even with injury this was definitely one of the matches of the first round.

The next match was between Australian Darcy Evans and Korean Min Jae Oh. Evans looked comfortable throughout the whole match with Oh just not able to get the right shots and take the points he needed. Evans had a slow start in the third but it never put him out of contention with the match looking very comfortable for the Australian player.

Sam Sayes worked hard throughout his second qualifying match against Han Seung of Korea. The first two games saw both players battling hard for points and having some excellent choice of shots putting the pressure on their opponent. Sayes looked ready to try make another upset with close scores in the first two games, however this was not meant to be the case for Sayes with Seung stepping up in the third and closing out the match.

The final qualifying match saw local Kiwi players Sion Wiggin - qualifying sewcond seed - and Scott Galloway compete for the final spot in the main draw. Galloway was always looking in control throughout the match and although Wiggin tried hard and manged to have some great retrieval he couldn't match the skills and shot selection of Galloway. Galloway sealing the match in three and securing the final main draw spot.

The random draw puts Han Seung up against top seed and reigning champion Evan Williams of New Zealand. Galloway will face another local kiwi player Luke Jones whilst Evans will take on Joe Green of England. This left Jamie Oakley of Tauranga to face the second seed Adam Murrills of England.

Round One matches kick off at 5pm tomorrow at the Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club.

Waikato Open Returns for 2016

After the success of the 2015 Golden Jubilee US$5,000 Professional Squash Men’s Event, the event has returned to Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club for a second successive year.

The club has teamed up with the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre in Tauranga to run their $5k events back to back to create a circuit for local and international players to come to our country and play. The tournaments give valuable experience and a rare chance for local players to earn world ranking points, without having to travel overseas for PSA-level events.

Players from all over the world will descend into Hamilton with players from England, Australia, America, South Korea and Singapore coming to compete along with a number of local New Zealand players.

Evan Williams (World Ranked 101) will be back to defend the title he won in 2015 and is the top seed for this event. Williams will face a qualifier in the first round with second seed Adam Murrills (World Ranked 134) of England due to face a qualifier in the first round. The wildcard slot has been awarded to Zac Millar, who is a current Hillary Scholar at the University of Waikato and looking to advance his promising career through these events.

The Waikato Open will also run a normal tournament alongside this professional event, where local player Joelle King (World Ranked 9) will be back to defend her title. Around 200 entries in total are expected for this huge event, which will also use courts at the nearby Hamilton Old Boys Squash Club.

A major boost for the event is PlaceMakers and Camelot on Ulster coming on board as major sponsors for the event, whom without their support the event would not be able to be run.

PSA matches will be competed on the Susan Devoy Court, which was originally built for the 1971 World Championships, and the Murray Day Court, that was added on in 1983. It is a great opportunity to have such a high calibre of play returning to these courts, which are named after these internationally-recognised squash personalities that hail from the Waikato region.

Hamilton will be abuzz over the weekend with not only the best squash players in the world, but some of the best rugby players in the world who will be gracing the Waikato Stadium turf when the Waikato Chiefs take on the 2015 Super Rugby winner the Highlanders over the road on the Saturday night.

The club will make the weekend a true festival of squash and sport with entertainment on the Saturday night encouraging all participants to come dressed in “show your true colours”.

Qualifying rounds for the PSA event will begin at 12:00pm and 12:50pm on Thursday, with the main draw starting from 5pm on Friday.

Entry is free all weekend, so get along and watch some great international squash being played in your own backyard.


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