SquashXL 2017

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Squash XL Open 2017
20-25 Jun, Auckland, New Zealand, $15k

24-Jun, Semis:
Grayson claims Auckland title

Kiwi top seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand beat in-form Scot Greg Lobban in the final of the Squash XL Open on the all glass court in Auckland in a thrilling match of athleticism and shot play.

The first game saw some great power from both players and they moved each other round the court well. Grayson controlled the centre of the court well with Lobban having to cover more ground, despite this though Lobban was able to save three game balls to send the game long, but it was Grayson who took out the first game 12-10.

The second game saw almost a repeat of the first with both players working hard and Grayson continuing to control the centre of the court. Lobban again saved game ball and had the opportunity to convert the game but it was not enough as Grayson took out a grueling 15-13 second game.

The last game saw Grayson take good control and it was not enough for Lobban to come back as Grayson claimed the match in three.


Alternative Commentary

Squash XL Open 2017
20-25 Jun, Auckland, New Zealand, $15k
Round One
22 Jun
23 Jun
24 Jun
25 Jun
[1] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 11/7 (45m)
Eain Yow Ng (Mas)
[1] Campbell Grayson

11/6, 11/7, 11/8 (37m)

[8] Joshua Larkin
[1] Campbell Grayson

11/4, 11/4, 9/9 rtd (40m)

[4] Rex Hedrick

12th PSA title for Campbell

[1] Campbell Grayson


12/10, 15/13, 11/5 (62m)


[3] Greg Lobban


[8] Joshua Larkin (Aus)
11/13, 11/6, 11/9, 11/8 (40m)
Lance Beddoes (Nzl)
[5] Angus Gillams (Eng)
11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (31m)
[Q] Joe Green (Eng)
[5] Angus Gillams

11/4, 9/11, 14/12, 8/11, 11/4 (72m)

[4] Rex Hedrick
[4] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
12/10, 11/6, 11/5 (31m)
Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas)
[Q] Sanjay Singh (Mas)
12/10, 7/11, 14/12, 11/6 (44m)
[3] Greg Lobban (Sco)
[3] Greg Lobban

11/3, 11/4, 11/7 (30m)

[7] Evan Williams
[3] Greg Lobban

11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (33m)

[Q] Daniel Mekbib

[wc] Luke Jones (Nzl)
11/9, 11/8, 11/8 (29m)
[7] Evan Williams (Nzl)
[Q] Valentino Bong (Mas)
11/5, 11/6, 11/6 (26m)
[6] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
[6] Mahesh Mangaonkar

13/11, 11/9, 4/11, 6/11, 11/9 (70m)

[Q] Daniel Mekbib
[Q] Daniel Mekbib (Cze)
7/11, 11/5, 11/9, 11/6 (48m)
[2] Ivan Yuen (Mas)

Finals, 21-Jun:
Joe Green (Eng) 3-0 Bradley Masters (Eng)                  11/9, 14/12, 11/6
Sanjay Singh (Mas) 3-2 Matias Tuomi (Fin)  12/10, 4/11, 4/11, 11/7, 11/6
Daniel Mekbib (Cze) 3-0 Sean Conroy (Irl)                     11/6, 11/6, 11/6
Valentino Bong (Mas) 3-1 Ben Grindrod (Nzl)       7/11, 11/8, 12/10, 15/13

Round One, 20-Jun:
Joe Green (Eng) 3-0 Gabe Yam (Nzl)                           11/3, 11/9, 11/5
Bradley Masters (Eng) 3-0 Matthew Lucente (Nzl)         11/3, 11/6, 11/5
Sanjay Singh (Mas) 3-0 David Pelino (Phi)                    11/5, 11/2, 11/4
Matias Tuomi (Fin) 3-0 Reymark Bergornia (Phi)             11/5, 11/3, 11/8
Daniel Mekbib (Cze) 3-0 Robert Andrew Garcia (Phi)       11/9, 11/4, 11/6
Sean Conroy (Irl) 3-0 Sion Wiggin (Nzl)                        11/5, 11/5, 11/2
Valentino Bong (Mas) 3-1 Scott Galloway (Nzl)   9/11, 12/10, 12/10, 11/6
Ben Grindrod (Nzl) 3-0 Zac Millar (Nzl)                         14/12, 11/7, 11/8
24-Jun, Semis:
Grayson & Lobban into Auckland final

Campbell Grayson and Greg Lobban will do battle tomorrow in the 2017 Squash XL final on the all glass court in Auckland after taking strong wins in 3 against their opponents Rex Hedrick and Daniel Mekbib.

The first match saw top seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand take on the fourth seed Rex Hedrick of Australia.

Grayson looked very settled and calm in his matches being able to step forward and put the pressure on Hedrick. Grayson kept pushing and claimed the first two games 11-4, in the third game Hedrick’s movement started to come on point and he was able to work hard to get to 9-6 in the third.

Grayson showed composure and levelled the score at 9-9 before Hedrick had to withdraw due to an injury and Grayson took his spot in the final.

Next on was third seed Greg Lobban of Scotland and qualifier Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic.

Mekbib had an amazing run to get to the semi final taking out two seeded players. Mekbib was able to find some great shots and work the ball well on the court but it was Lobban’s consistency and hard work that saw him claim the win in 3.

The last time Grayson and Lobban met was in the Life Time Chicago Open 2016 where Grayson took the win in 5.



Alternative Commentary

23-Jun, Quarters:
Mekbib does it again Auckland

Czech Qualifier Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic took out another seed in the quarter finals of the Squash XL PSA, defeating Mahesh Mangaonkar of India in five to join the other seeded players.

The first match of the night saw top seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand take on eighth seed Josh Larkin of Australia. Grayson was able to step forward pushing Larkin onto the back foot in their match. Larkin played some great shots at points but it was not enough with Grayson claiming the match in three.

The next match saw fourth seed Rex Hedrick of Australia battle it out with fifth seed Angus Gillams of England. Both players had high intensity rallies and Hedrick had some exceptional retrieval. The players went game for game but it was not enough for Gillams in the end as Hedrick claimed the match in an enthralling five setter.

Next up was third seed Greg Lobban of Scotland taking on seventh seed Evan Williams of New Zealand. Lobban was able to use his strength on court to push Williams and put him deep working him out of position. Lobban looked too strong for Williams today as he claimed the win in three.

The final match of the night was a heated affair between Mekbib and sixth seed Mangaonkar of India. Mekbib managed to take the first two games with some excellent movement and pressure being placed on Mangaonkar.

Mangaonkar however found his rhythm in the third and fourth and managed to level the game score 2-2. Some hard hitting from both players in the fifth saw the match swing back and forth but eventually it was Mekbib that took the win in five.



Alternative Commentary

22-Jun, Round One:
Mekbib ousts Ivan in Auckland

Daniel Mekbib, the qualifier from the Czech Republic, upset second seed Ivan Yuen of Malaysia in the first round of the Squash XL Open and he will now join the remaining seven seeds in the quarter finals.

First match of the day saw top seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand take on current World Junior Champion Eain Yow Ng of Malaysia. Grayson settled on the glass court well and claimed the first game comfortably but it looked like the tables as Ng looked to be more settled as he claimed the second game. Grayson however was able to find his length and shots in the third and fourth claiming the match 3-1.

Eight seeded Australian Josh Larkin took on New Zealand’s Lance Beddoes. Beddoes dug deep in his first game to push Larkin and claim the first game even with an injury break for his back. Beddoes however wasn’t able to keep his momentum going in the next three games as Larkin took the match 3-1.

Next up was English countrymen Angus Gillams the fifth seed and qualifier Joe Green. Gillams was looking too sharp for Green today as Gillams looked in control on the glass court claiming the match 3-0.

Fourth seed Rex Hedrick of Australia was pushed in the first game against Mohammed Syafiq Kamal of Malaysia, but he soon found comfort in the glass court and claimed his win 3-0.

Third seed Greg Lobban of Scotland had looked comfortable to date in his first round matches of the other PSA events but qualifier Sanjay Singh of Malaysia looked set to push this with some great shot play and his unsettling of Lobban on the glass court. Whilst Singh was able to claim the second game Lobban soon found his momentum and took the match 3-1.

Seventh seed Evan Williams of New Zealand took on Wildcard Luke Jones of New Zealand in the next match with Jones looking strong at the start of his games but he wasn’t able to convert with Williams claiming the match 3-0.

Sixth seed Mahesh Mangaonkar of India proved to be too strong for qualifier Valentino Bong of Malaysia claiming his win in three.

The match of the night came from qualifier Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic and Ivan Yuen the second seed of Malaysia. Yuen looked comfortable in his first game on the glass court and took the game 11-7. Mekbib however started to find his rhythm and used his size and shots to his advantage in the second as he settled.

Mekbib once he settled never looked back as he powered on claiming the next three games and upsetting Yuen to make the quarter finals.



21-Jun, Qualifying Finals
Qualifying complete in Auckland

Qualifying concluded in the latest PSA event in New Zealand, as Joe Green, Sanjay Singh, Daniel Mekbib and Valentino Bong booked their places in the main draw.

On to the Glass in Auckland

The latest stop on the New Zealand circuit is Auckland for the inaugural Squash XL Open, which will be played out entirely on an all-glass court.

The main draw of the Squash XL PSA sees Kiwi Campbell Grayson returning home to try and take out this title prior to competing in the New Zealand Senior Nationals next weekend. Grayson will face Eain Yow Ng of Malaysia the current World Junior Champion in the first round, with Yow sure to challenge Grayson.

Ivan Yuen of Malaysia is the second seed of the event and he will face a qualifier in the first round of the event. Yuen will be looking to go one better this week after losing out in the final of the ILT Community Trust NZ Southern Open last weekend.

All going to plan Yuen will be set to face Greg Lobban of Scotland (third seed for the Squash XL PSA) who he lost in four to the previous weekend. Lobban faces a qualifier in the first round and will be looking to secure his second $15K PSA title and hopefully have a rematch with Campbell Grayson who last time the pair played Lobban lost out to in five.

The fourth seed for the event is Australia’s Rex Hedrick who will have Mohd Syafiq Kamal of Malaysia in the first round with Hedrick also looking to come in strong for this event.

Qualifying Round One:

The Squash XL Open, the final PSA in the June series, is under way and sees a number of top players competing to try and take out the title in this new facility in Auckland.

The first round of qualifying saw all seeded players take their wins relatively comfortably over their lower seeded opponents with all but one of the matches being won in three.

Valentino Bong of Malaysia was the only seeded player who saw their match go beyond three as he took on Kiwi Scott Galloway. Galloway took an early lead claiming the first game but he was then unable to convert the next two games with both of them going long, Bong eventually claiming his spot in the final round of qualifying in four.



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