Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik
are the 2016 Australian Open, PSA M15 & W15 champions, respectively,
after both players recovered from a game down to triumph in their
final fixtures at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre.
Al Tamimi began his tournament with comfortable wins against Daehoon
Jeong and Mohd Syafiq Kamal, and followed up by overturning one-game
deficits against Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and Joel Makin en route
to the final, with the latter causing the event’s biggest upset when
he downed defending champion Paul Coll in the quarter-final.
The 21-year-old’s opponent in the showpiece finale was New Zealand’s
Campbell Grayson, who defeated Dmitri Steinmann, Ravi Dixit, Reiko
Peter and Joe Lee to reach a first PSA World Tour final since
March’s Qualico Manitoba Open.
Grayson came racing out of the blocks as he quickly took a one-game
lead, leaving Al Tamimi staring down the barrel of defeat just as he
had in both his quarter-final and semi-final fixtures.
But the World No.46 showed nerves of steel to battle back and he
took the next three games in succession to claim a hard-fought 6-11,
11-9, 11-7, 11-5 victory to lift his third PSA World Tour title.
In the Women’s event, Pallikal Karthik came up against Egyptian
teenager Mayar Hany, with the former looking to bounce back from a
disappointing defeat in the final of last week’s Victorian Open.
The opening game began at a fast pace with both players trying to
assert themselves on the contest. Pallikal Karthik pulled away
mid-way through to go 10-7 up, but a tenacious Hany fought back and
took the next five points to go a game ahead.
However, Pallikal Karthik soon found her rhythm and the World No.19
used her experience to come out on top in the crucial points as she
came from behind to win 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 - securing her first
PSA World Tour title of 2016.
Welsh World No.82 Joel Makin bridged a gap of over 50 places in the
World Rankings to achieve a stunning win over defending champion
Paul Coll in the quarter-final of the Australian Open, PSA M15
tournament held at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre.
Coll, who defeated Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley in last year’s
final, had been in spell-binding form of late having won three
successive PSA World Tour titles in addition to racking up 14
After ending home favourite Zac Alexander’s 31-match unbeaten run
the previous day, World No.31 Coll came into his fixture with Makin
as the heavy favourite, but it was Birmingham-based Makin who came
out on top with an immaculate 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 victory seeing the
21-year-old reach his first ever PSA M15 semi-final.
Makin’s superb win means that he will face Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al
Tamimi in the final after the number three seed fought back from a
game down to see off India’s Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu.
The other quarter-final fixtures saw New Zealand’s Cambell Grayson
and England’s Joe Lee, seeds two and four, respectively, play to
their seedings. Grayson powered to victory against Switzerland’s
Reiko Peter, while Lee, who last week won the Victorian Open,
dispatched Rhys Dowling to set up a semi-final clash with Grayson.
Australian No.1 Donna Urquhart moved through to the quarter-final of
the Australian Open, PSA W15 tournament after she overcame
compatriot Christine Nunn in straight games at the Melbourne Sports
& Aquatic Centre.
Urquhart, who exited in the last eight during 2015’s edition of this
tournament, was in fine fettle as she powered to the win in straight
games to keep up her chances of lifting a first PSA World Tour title
since March 2015.
The World No.21 will face another Australian, Tamika Saxby, in the
next round after Saxby, a qualifier, stunned Belgium’s World No.41
Nele Gilis to secure her quarter-final berth.
Elsewhere, number four seed Millie Tomlinson also fell to a shock
defeat after losing to Egyptian qualifier Nouran El Torky. Tomlinson
has won five of her last six PSA World Tour events, but lost 3-2 to
El Torky, with the 23-year-old triumphing 12-10 in the decider to
set up a quarter-final fixture with compatriot and fellow qualifier
Hana Ramadan, who upset fifth seed Christine Nunn.
There were no such upsets to be found in top seed Dipika Pallikal
Karthik’s encounter with wildcard Jessica Turnbull. Pallikal Karthik
was a beaten finalist in last week’s Victorian Open, losing out to
Tomlinson, but escaped the cull of seeds in the opening round by
seeing off Turnbull 3-0. Up next for the Indian No.2 is a meeting
with Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi after the number seven seed saw off
New Zealand’s Megan Craig.
Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling became the fourth seed to exit during the
opening day of main draw action after she succumbed to South
Africa’s Siyoli Waters in a dramatic five-game affair. Waters’
reward is a last eight encounter with number eight seed Mayar Hany,
the World No.46 who defeated Danielle Letourneau.
Defending champion Paul Coll ended home hope Zac Alexander’s
incredible 31-match unbeaten streak to advance to the quarter-final
stage of the Australian Open, PSA M15 tournament held at the
Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre.
Alexander’s superb unbeaten run had seen him win seven PSA World
Tour titles on the bounce and the World No.80 hadn’t tasted defeat
since the 2015 instalment of this tournament over a year ago.
But Coll, the World No.31, came into the pair’s encounter as the
heavy favourite and took a two-game lead courtesy of two crucial
tie-break victories. Alexander’s resistance broken, Coll pressed on
in the third to close out a 12-10, 16-14, 11-5 triumph, setting up a
last eight clash with Welshman Joel Makin after his fixture with
Kush Kumar was cut short due to an injury to the latter.
Rhys Dowling was the only Australian to progress from the second
round after he dispatched New Zealand’s Ben Grindrod. World No.152
Grindrod raced out of the traps to win the opening game, but Dowling
fought back to take the next three games without reply to ensure he
will take on England’s Joe Lee, who beat Arthur Gaskin, in the next
Number two seed Campbell Grayson, meanwhile, secured his
quarter-final berth thanks to a comfortable win against India’s Ravi
Dixit and he will face off against seventh seed Reiko Peter for a
place in the semi-final after Peter saw off the attentions of Rohan
Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and India’s Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu
round off the other quarter-final fixture and will go head-to-head
after respective wins against Mohd Syafiq Kamal and Evan Williams in
their second round matches.
Spectators at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre will have three
local heroes to support in the second round of the Australian Open,
PSA M15 tournament after home players Zac Alexander, Rohan Toole and
Rhys Dowling all advanced past the opening round.
Alexander has won his last seven PSA World Tour events and had an
unbeaten run of 30 matches coming into his first round fixture with
India’s Sandeep Ramachandran, a streak that stretches back over a
year to a second round defeat at the 2015 instalment of this
The World No.80’s stunning form showed no signs of abating against
Ramachandran and a devastating display saw him take an 11-5, 11-7,
11-7 victory to set up a difficult tie against title favourite Paul
Coll in the next round, with Coll dropping just five points during a
comfortable 3-0 win over wildcard Thomas Calvert.
Meanwhile, Toole followed up his qualifying stage victory over
Jordan Till by coming out on top of another all-Australian encounter
with David Clegg. Toole lies 41 places below Clegg in the World
Rankings, but produced a measured, composed display to take the win
in straight games. He will play Reiko Peter in round two after Peter
dispatched South Korea’s Ko Youngjo.
Dowling is the other Australian to progress to the second round due
to his opponent, Rex Hedrick, withdrawing because of a hamstring
injury and he will meet New Zealand’s Ben Grindrod, who saw off
Mithran Selvaratnam, for a place in the quarter-final.
Second seed Campbell Grayson is also through to round two thanks to
a 3-0 victory against Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann and he is set
to face India’s Ravi Dixit after he came from behind to defeat
Patrick Miescher in a brutal 80-minute clash.