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Coppinger Slays Knight In Hibiscus Gardens

Hibiscus Gardens Open
29 Mar - 03 Apr, Brisbane, $15k
Round One
31 Mar
01 Apr
02 Apr
03 Apr
[1] Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
11-6, 11-4, 11-7
Choong Kam Hing (Mas)
Steve Coppinger
11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
Chris Truswell
Steve Coppinger
11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (39m)
Kamran Khan
Steve Coppinger
11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 (75m)
Martin Knight
Chris Truswell (Eng)
11-5, 16-14, 11-5
Alex Grayson (Nzl)
Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11-5, 11-3, 11-3
Ben Takamizawa Harris (Jpn)
Rex Hedrick
5-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (78m)
Kamran Khan
[Q] Brad Freeme (Aus)
8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7
[3] Kamran Khan (Mas)
[4] Mike Corren (Aus)
 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
[Q] Jamie McErvale (Aus)
Mike Corren
11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (24m)
Fred Reid
Mike Corren
8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5 (63m)
Martin Knight
Tyler Hamilton (Can)
 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10
Fred Reid (Can)
[Q] Leo Au (Hkg)
7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4
Nathan Stevenson (Aus)
Leo Au
12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (42m)
Martin Knight
[Q] Sebastian Weenink (Ned)
8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6
[2] Martin Knight (Nzl)

Coppinger Slays Knight In Hibiscus Gardens

South African Stephen Coppinger justified his top billing in the Hibiscus Gardens Open when he downed New Zealand's Martin Knight in today's final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event at Hibiscus Gardens Squash Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

The world number 39 from Cape Town won a high quality final 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 to claim the seventh Tour title of his career and his second of the year.

Coppinger and Knight are separated by only 13 places on the world rankings and they were evenly matched throughout the opening two games.

However, the Kiwi began to show signs of fatigue at the start of the third and Coppinger took full advantage.

The 26-year-old top seed stepped up his attack at the start of both the third and fourth games, seizing on his opponent's mistakes and racing away to big leads.

Knight fought hard but he was unable to make an impression and the South African added the Brisbane title to the Finnish Open he won in February.

"It was a really, really tough match so I was delighted to get through," said Coppinger.

"I really had to regroup after the second and force myself to make the pace, to get onto the T and to push him around the court rather than the other way round."

Coppinger said he realised Knight, who had a tough semi-final win on Saturday, was tiring after the second game.

"We both put a massive effort into the second game - I sensed he was tiring towards the end of that game. It's easy when you are winning the game to stay pumped up but after the rest between games, I think it took its toll."

Knight conceded he had lost concentration in the third game after battling hard to get the final back on terms.

"I hung back and was trying to control the ball and play a more controlled, accurate pace, but he was a bit more frantic and he was able to cut the ball off and do a bit with it," said the Wellington-born 27-year-old.

"I got back a little bit in the fourth, but my legs gave way - I was tired."

Top Seeds To Contest Brisbane Final

Top-seeded South African Stephen Coppinger will take on New Zealand's No2 seed Martin Knight in the final of the Hibiscus Gardens Open in Brisbane after contrasting semi-final wins in the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event at Hibiscus Gardens Squash Centre in Upper Mount Gravatt.

Coppinger looked in great touch as he saw off Malaysian Kamran Khan 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 while Knight had to fight all the way before outlasting veteran South Australian Mike Corren 8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5 to reach his seventh Tour final.

Corren, who won the ACT Open in Canberra last week, was left ruing his lost opportunities when he had a number of chances to go 2/0 up.

"I had some game balls in the second game but he saved them, then won the game himself - that was the difference," Corren said.

"I've got no excuses - he played well and stuck to his game, while I got stuck playing at one pace and couldn't get forward.

"I think if I could have got that second game and gone two-love up it would have been a different result.

"But he stayed on one level and my game dipped in the third and fourth games."

Earlier, Coppinger had taken advantage of some weariness from the Malaysian to close out the first semi-final.

Khan won a marathon quarter-final against Melbourne's Rex Hedrick on Friday night and struggled to recover in time for his semi-final.

Coppinger, the world number 39 from Cape Town who is now celebrating his 12th Tour final appearance, has been in superb form over the last 12 months and won the Finnish Open in February.

He and Knight have played once before, at the Hong Kong Open in 2009, the South African winning in four games.

Khan Battles To Brisbane Semis

Malaysia's Kamran Khan recovered from two games down to beat local hope Rex Hedrick in the Hibiscus Gardens Open to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event at Hibiscus Gardens Squash Centre in Upper Mount Gravatt, near Brisbane, in Australia.

Khan, the 21-year-old third seed, had to dig deep to overcome 22-year-old Hedrick, from Melbourne, 5-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 in 78 minutes.

"Kamran was down two sets to love, but his tenacious opponent Rex Hedrick ran out of steam and couldn't keep the intensity up that he showed in the first two games," explained tournament organiser Jeffrey Wollstein.

Khan, ranked 82 in the world, will now face world No39 Stephen Coppinger, the top seed from South Africa who despatched England's Chris Truswell 11-3, 11-7, 11-8.

There will be Australian interest in the other semi-final where Mike Corren takes on New Zealander Martin Knight.

Corren, the third seed from South Australia who won his sixth successive PSA Tour title at the ACT Open in Canberra last week, took only 24 minutes to quash Canadian Fred Reid 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.

Second seed Knight ended Leo Au's brave run, beating the Hong Kong qualifier 12-10, 11-4, 11-7.

Au continues winning ways in Brisbane

Hong Kong qualifier Leo Au continued his winning run when he upset local favourite Nathan Stevenson in the first round of the Hibiscus Gardens Open squash tournament t in Brisbane on Thursday.
Au, who won through two rounds of qualifying to make the main draw, came back from losing the first game to win 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 and move into a quarter-final clash against second seeded New Zealander Martin Knight.

Knight had to fight hard to see off Dutch qualifier Sebastian Weenink 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6,

South Africa’s top seed, Stephen Coppinger, cruised into the final eight with an 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 win over Malaysian Choong Kam Hing, however, the third ranked Kamran Khan was pushed all the way by local qualifier Brad Freeme, the Malaysian eventually winning 8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7.

Meanwhile, South Australian veteran Mike Corren, who last week won his 33rd PSA title, ended the run of fellow Australian Jamie McErvale 11-5, 11-5, 11-9.

Other winners were Melbourne’s Rex Hedrick, an 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 winner over Japan’s Ben Takamizawa Harris, Chris Truswell, who beat Kiwi Alex Grayson 11-5, 16-14, 11-5 and Canada’s Fred Reid, who upset fellow countryman Tyler Hamilton 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10.