Millie Tomlinson and Joe Lee triumphed in Melbourne to capture the
2016 Victorian Open, PSA W10 & M10 titles, respectively at the
Mulgrave Country Club, with Tomlinson claiming the biggest win of
her career against World No.19 Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the
Tomlinson has been in stunning form throughout 2016, winning four
PSA World Tour titles in addition to building up a 16-match unbeaten
run that came to an end in last month’s Bendigo International to
Egyptian teenager Hana Ramadan.
But the 24-year-old Englishwoman bounced back in style, exacting
revenge over Ramadan in the first round before seeing off South
Africa’s Siyoli Waters and sixth seed Mayar Hany to set up a final
fixture with Pallikal Karthik, who dropped just a single game,
against Megan Craig in the last eight, en route to the final.
Pallikal Karthik made a strong start to the encounter, controlling
the early rallies to take a one-game lead. An improved showing from
Tomlinson in the second saw the World No.44 battle back to level the
scores and both players then took a game each to set up a climactic
fifth game decider.
The title looked to be heading in Indian No.2 Pallikal Karthik’s
direction after she went 5-0 and then 9-5 up, but a virtuoso
fightback from Tomlinson saw her take six points in succession to
close out a highly entertaining 6-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9 victory
to win her maiden W10 crown.
“It was definitely a difficult final,” said Tomlinson.
“After the first game, I didn’t think I was ever going to win it,
but I’m glad that I stayed strong mentally and stayed focused. I
think in the first game especially I was overthinking it a bit, so I
got a bit nervous and that just made everything fall apart. I think
you’ve just got to go back to basics, and make sure you’re getting
your length and when you have got your opportunity, you take it in.”
The Men’s final saw top seed Lee go head-to-head with long-term
friend and home hope Rex Hedrick after they achieved respective wins
over Indian duo Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and Kush Kumar in the
Lee, the World No.52, came out on top of a number of long, patient
rallies in the opening game to go ahead for the loss of just a
solitary point before Hedrick started working his way back into the
match in the second game.
However, a hamstring injury sustained by Hedrick after a gruelling
rally at 8-4 down saw the number two seed unable to continue,
handing Lee his first PSA World Tour title in over two years.
“Of course it’s never the way that you want to win, especially
against a good friend like Rex, but I’ll take it,” Lee said.
“I’ve had my share of bad luck along the way as well, so you have
got to take it and move on. It’s not nice to be injured, we’ve all
been there. I think he has had more than his fair share of trouble
with his hamstrings, so hopefully it is nothing too serious and he
can be back on court [at the Australian Open] tomorrow, which might
be a bit tough for him.
“Hopefully he is doing everything he can to be involved next week,
but he has looked after me extremely well this week. He has
literally done everything for me and I have been staying with his
parents, so he deserves a bit better to be honest.”
Egyptian World No.54 Nouran El Torky stunned home hope Christine
Nunn on the opening day of main draw action at the Victorian Open,
PSA W10 tournament to become the only non-seeded player to reach the
El Torky, who is ranked 17 places below Nunn on the World Rankings,
rattled off a succession of winners to complete an 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
and progress to the last eight.
Up next for El Torky is a meeting with Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi, who
came back from 2-1 down against Sarah Cardwell.
Indian No.2 Dipika Pallikal Karthik made her first appearance of the
2016/17 season and got off to a successful start after defeating
Malaysia’s Teh Min Jie to set up a quarter-final clash with New
Zealand’s Megan Craig, who beat wildcard Tamika Saxby to ensure that
there would be no local players to make it through to the next
Number two seed Millie Tomlinson got revenge for her defeat against
Hana Ramadan in last week’s Bendigo International by downing the
Egyptian in straight games. Tomlinson will line up against South
Africa’s Siyoli Waters for a place in the last four after she
emerged from a frenetic five-game thriller against Amanda
Belgium’s Nele Gilis is also through to the quarter-final thanks to
her 3-1 victory against Malaysian qualifier Rachel Arnold. The
20-year-old now turns her attentions to sixth seed Mayar Hany, who
beat Canada’s Danielle Letourneau to reach the next round.
Second seed Rex Hedrick is flying the flag for his native Australia
after moving through to the last eight of the Victorian Open, PSA
M10 tournament courtesy of a 3-0 win over New Zealand qualifier Luke
Jones in Melbourne.
World No.57 Hedrick, who bowed out at the second round stage of last
year’s tournament, was in fine fettle throughout the 28-minute
encounter and powered to victory by an 11-5, 11-1, 11-4 scoreline.
Hedrick will take on number five seed Joel Makin in the
quarter-final as he looks to exact revenge for his defeat to the
Welshman during the 2015 instalment of this tournament. Makin sealed
his place in the last eight thanks to a routine 3-0 win over Ben
Grindrod and will clash with Hedrick for the second time on the PSA
Rhys Dowling and Thomas Calvert were the other Australians on show
on the second day of action, but they succumbed to respective
defeats against Switzerland’s Reiko Peter and Ireland’s Arthur
Peter will take on 20-year-old Indian Kush Kumar for a place in the
semi-final after Kumar defeated compatriot Sandeep Ramachandran,
while Gaskin is set to face top seed Joe Lee, who axed Elvinn Keo.
World No.84 Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and New Zealand’s Evan
Williams will contest the other quarter-final fixtures, with Sandhu
seeing off Beddoes and Williams dispatching July PSA Player of the
Month Vincent Droesbeke.
All eight seeded players in the Victorian Open, PSA M10 tournament
emerged unscathed from the opening day of main draw action with
India’s Kush Kumar being the only seed to drop a game inside
Melbourne’s Mulgrave Country Club.
Kumar, appearing at his first PSA World Tour event since March,
lined up against South Korea’s Ko Youngjo in round one and quickly
built up a two-game lead. Youngjo threatened a comeback after
prevailing in the third, but an assured Kumar responded and the
20-year-old claimed victory in game four to wrap up an 11-4, 11-2,
7-11, 11-7 triumph.
Up next for Kumar is a meeting with compatriot Sandeep Ramachandran,
the qualifier who overcame Rohan Toole.
Title favourite Joe Lee is also through to the second round after
axing Switzerland’s Patrick Miescher in straight games to set up a
fixture with Malaysia’s Elvinn Keo, who ousted Remo Handl.
World No.57 Rex Hedrick, the highest ranked Australian at the
tournament, has also progressed to round two courtesy of a routine
victory over Jong Myoung Park and he will take on Luke Jones, with
Jones following up his qualifying win over 1991 World Champion
Rodney Martin with victory against Macau’s Steven Liu.
Meanwhile, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu made his first appearance on
the PSA World Tour since January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of
Champions and he dispatched England’s Connor Sheen. Sandhu will lock
horns with Lance Beddoes for a place in the last eight, with Beddoes
seeing off Malaysia’s Mithran Selvaratnam to advance.
Australian World No.104 Lakeesha Rarere led two more of her
compatriots through the opening qualifying round of the Victorian
Open, PSA W10 tournament on home soil in Melbourne’s Mulgrave
The 19-year-old took on fellow Australian Selena Shaikh in her
fixture and wasted no time in dispatching her opponent, who is
ranked a place above Rarere in the World Rankings, by an 11-2, 11-5,
11-5 margin of victory.
Rarere will line up against top qualifying seed Teh Min Jie in the
next round after she swept past Samantha Foyle in straight games.
Stephanie Wighton and Samantha Calvert were the other Australians to
advance to the final round of qualifying courtesy of respective wins
against Reyna Pacheco and Rachel Arnold.
Wighton will go head-to-head with Egypt’s Hana Ramadan in the next
round, with Ramadan coming off the back of winning the Bendigo
International last week. Calvert, meanwhile, will take on second
qualifying seed Rachel Arnold for a place in the main draw.
Canada’s Danielle Letourneau and India’s Sachika Ingale will do
battle in the other final qualifying round clash after they moved
past Jasmine Chan and Grazia Guida, respectively.
1991 World Champion Rodney Martin made a brief return to the PSA
World Tour in the qualification stage of the Victorian Open, PSA M10
tournament, narrowly losing 3-1 to New Zealander Luke Jones at the
Mulgrave County Club in Melbourne, Australia.
The 50-year-old, who retired in 1994, became only the second
Australian Men’s World Champion when he defeated the legendary
Jahangir Khan 25 years ago and was also a three-time British Open
Martin dropped the opening game to Jones, who is 31 years his
junior, but battled back to draw level after taking the second.
However, his revival was short-lived and Jones, who wasn’t born when
Martin triumphed at the World Championship, eventually got back on
top, claiming an 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory to reach the main
draw where he will take on Macau’s Steven Liu.
There was to be no luck either for the rest of the Australian
contingent in the qualifying stages as they all fell to defeats,
with Darcy Evans coming the closest to reaching the main draw after
coming out on the wrong end of a hard-fought five-game battle with
July PSA Player of the Month Vincent Droesbeke. The Frenchman will
take on India’s Ravi Dixit in round one of the main draw.
Elsewhere, Nathan Lindner exited at the hands of Qatar’s Syed Azlan
Amjad, while Dominique Ratcliffe, Caillin Austin and Tyler Hawkins
were also casualties, losing to Jong Myoung Park, Sandeep
Ramachandran and Connor Sheen, respectively.
Amjad will take on Reiko Peter in the main draw, while Park and
Ramachandran have respective fixtures against Rex Hedrick and Rohan
Toole in store. Sheen’s reward, meanwhile, is a meeting with World
No.84 Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu.