World No.34 Paul Coll swept passed Australia’s Rex Hedrick on home
soil in the final of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA
Classic, PSA M15 tournament to capture the ninth PSA World Tour
title of his career.
Coll came into the tournament off the back of a runner-up finish at
the recent HKFC International, and outlined his title credentials
early on as he scythed through Mohd Syafiq Kamal and James Huang in
the early stages, before recovering from 2-1 down to defeat
Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen in a dramatic semi-final encounter.
Hedrick, meanwhile, chartered a similar course to the final, with
routine 3-0 wins over Evan Williams and Eain Yow Ng, and the
27-year-old also prevailed in a five-game semi-final, this time
against England’s Joshua Masters.
Coll and Hedrick had met six times previously on the PSA World Tour,
with Hedrick triumphing in each fixture. Coll seemed determined to
bring an end to that run though as he came out on top in a frantic
opening game, grinding out an 11-5 win to take the lead.
The second game followed in a similar vein, with tense, fast-paced
rallies being par for the course. With the scores poised delicately
around the mid-way point, Coll eventually pulled away after wowing
the gathered spectators in Palmerston North with some trademark
dives, one of which saw him pick up a blood injury at 10-7 up,
resulting in a short break in proceedings.
After returning to the court, Coll closed out the second game
quickly, before romping to victory in the third for the loss of just
one point to wrap up the victory and capture his first PSA World
Tour crown of 2016.
“It was a fast paced game and my lungs were really feeling it," said
"I was able to recover in between points and I was glad to come out
on top in three games. It was my first win over Rex and I have
played him a fair bit, he used to dominate when I played the Aussie
World No.81 Joshua Masters remains in with a chance of claiming
back-to-back PSA World Tour titles for the first time in his career
after overcoming number four seed Angus Gillams in an all-English
quarter-final clash in the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA
Classic, PSA M15 tournament held in Palmerston North.
The pair were meeting for the first time on the PSA World Tour and
played out a tight three-game match, with sixth seed Masters, who
recently won the Austrian Open, taking it 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 to reach
his fourth semi-final of 2016.
He will line up against second seed Rex Hedrick for a place in the
final, with Hedrick dispatching Malaysian qualifier Eain Yow Ng.
Eain was coming off the back of a shock win against Joshua Larkin in
the previous round, but Hedrick’s long and structured rallies proved
to be too much for the 18-year-old and he closed out the victory in
Top seed and home favourite Paul Coll has also advanced to the last
four after a dominant display against James Huang, in which he went
a game ahead without even dropping a point. An accidental collision
in the third forced Huang off court and, despite returning briefly,
the World No.96 was ultimately forced to retire, handing Coll the
“You never like that to happen to your opponent, and he showed great
sportsmanship to come back on and try to carry on,” said Coll.
Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen stands between the New Zealander and a place in
the final after he beat Peter Creed of Wales by a 3-0 scoreline.
Yuen was pushed to tie-breaks in both the first and third games
after a dogged performance from Creed, but pushed the victory over
the line to set up a semi-final meeting with Coll – who won the most
recent meeting between the pair in last month’s HKFC International.
Title favourite Paul Coll swept through to the quarter-final stage
of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic, PSA M15
tournament after dispatching Malaysian qualifier Mohd Syafiq Kamal
in straight games on day one of the main draw action.
World No.37 Coll, the only New Zealander to advance past the opening
round, dominated proceedings in Palmerston North and romped to an
11-8, 11-6, 11-3 victory to book his place in the last eight.
“I got off to a slow start, but settled into my work well and was
pleased to get off the court in three games,” said Coll.
“I have had a heavy schedule of late and after this New Zealand
series of tournaments I will definitely be taking a break.”
Up next for Coll is a fixture with number eight seed James Huang
after he dispatched home hope Kashif Shuja in a brutal five-game
encounter. Despite losing in the qualifying stages, Shuja received
lucky loser status after a main draw withdrawal and nearly made the
most of his good fortune, with the 36-year-old went 2-1 up. Huang
took the fourth on the tie-break though and managed to outlast his
opponent in the fifth to progress.
Defending champion Rex Hedrick was also in action as he locked horns
with New Zealand’s Evan Williams, who had won his last two PSA World
Tour events. World No.99 Williams failed to maintain his strong form
though, and a number of unforced errors contributed to a 3-0 defeat
in Hedrick’s favour, with the Australian set to face qualifier Eain
Yow Ng after he dispatched seventh seed Joshua Larkin.
Elsewhere, Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen downed England’s Ashley Davies in
straight games, and his reward is a quarter-final clash with Peter
Creed courtesy of the Welshman’s comfortable win over wildcard Luke
Angus Gillams and Joshua Masters are the other participants in the
last eight, and will face off in an all-English affair after they
achieved respective victories against Lance Beddoes and Matias Tuomi.
Number one qualifying seed Matias Tuomi moved through to the main
draw of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic as the
curtain was brought down on the final round of qualifying at the PSA
Tuomi, the World No.128 from Finland, dominated the early exchanges
to take a one-game lead, but was almost pegged back in the second
game after being forced all the way to a tie-break. He pulled
through though and came out on top in the third game as well to
close out an 11-6, 14-12, 11-8 victory that ensures he will compete
in the main draw. The 30-year-old will line up against England’s
Joshua Masters for a place in the quarter-final, with Masters
looking to follow up the Austrian Open title he won in his last
appearance on the PSA World Tour.
Ashley Davies will join Tuomi and Masters in the main draw after the
World No.136 overcame the experienced New Zealander Kashif Shuja in
a thrilling five-game encounter. Davies fought hard to go two games
ahead, only to see 36-year-old Shuja dig in his heels and battle
back to all square. With the home crowd behind Shuja, Davies came up
with an assured display in the decider, and took it for the loss of
five points to wrap up the win and set up a a main draw meeting with
Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen.
Elsewhere, Ben Grindrod succumbed to the same fate as compatriot
Shuja on home soil after he went down in straight games to Eain Yow
Ng. Eain is set to face Australia’s Joshua Larkin in the opening
round of the main draw.
Shuja has been handed another lifeline, however. India’s Mahesh
Mangaonkar was forced to pull out of the main draw, meaning Shuja
was granted lucky loser status, and he will go head-to-head with
James Huang in round one.
Mohd Syafiq Kamal and Addeen Idrakie went up against each other in
an all-Malaysian affair, with the former prevailing courtesy of a
3-0 triumph. Kamal has the distinction of facing top seed and home
favourite Paul Coll in the next round, with Coll likely to be roared
on by a partizan crowd.
New Zealand duo Ben Grindrod and Kashif Shuja sealed their places in
the final qualifying round of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New
Zealand PSA Classic, PSA M15 tournament after respective wins
against Scott Galloway and Elliot Selby on the first day of
Grindrod was making his first appearance since last month’s Squash
Waikato Open where he reached the semi-final, and followed up his
performances there with a routine victory against compatriot
Galloway courtesy of an 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 scoreline.
Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng looks set to provide stern competition to
Grindrod in the next round after the number three qualifying seed
dispatched Zac Millar in comfortable style. Eain lifted silverware
on the PSA World Tour as recently as April, and will meet Grindrod
for the first time professionally.
Shuja, meanwhile, came up against England’s Selby, younger brother
of World No.20 Daryl, and came out on top in a crucial opening game
tie-break to go 1-0 up. The 36-year-old engineered some breathing
space for himself in the next two games though and rose to a
deserved 3-0 triumph to set up a final qualifying round clash with
World No.136 Ashley Davies, who saw off Chang Wook Woo of South
Top qualifying seed Matias Tuomi was also in action and swept to a
straight games win over Stephen Bennett. He will take on Australia’s
David Clegg for a place in the main draw after Clegg axed Corbin
Faint in four.
The other final qualifying round fixture sees Mohd Syafiq Kamal
pitted against Addeen Idrakie in an all-Malaysian affair, with
respective wins against Sion Wiggin and Jason van der Walt seeing
them progress past the first round.