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Karwalski Strikes Gold in Kalgoorlie

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 Golden Open, Kalgoorlie, Australia

Karwalski Strikes Gold in Kalgoorlie

Australia's Matthew Karwalski beat Englishman Anthony Graham in today's final of the Golden Open to win the PSA World Tour Challenger 5 squash title at the YMCA in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

The 25-year-old top seed from New South Wales downed third seeded Graham in four games 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 to justify his top billing. The success marks Karwalski's third title on the PSA Tour - but his first since 2008.

Karwalski was beaten in the final of last week's City of Perth International by South Australia's Mike Corren - but the 21-year-old Graham surprisingly ended Corren's challenge in the semi-finals.

Karwalski took full advantage of defending champion Corren's absence from the decider as he edged out the young Englishman for his first tour success since winning in Kuala Lumpur in December 2008.

"It's been a long time coming," Karwalski said of the win. "I've been runner-up quite a few times lately but never quite won - but I knew if I was persistent and kept trusting in myself it would come."

Karwalski spent some time in England with fellow Australian Stewart Boswell late last year and early in 2011, and said that move had paid off with some good results earlier in the year, including qualifying for the Canary Wharf Classic in London and the Irish Open in Dublin.

"It all came together at the end of that trip," continued the Wagga Wagga-born world No73. "At Canary Wharf I got to play on the glass court and at the Irish Open I beat a quality English player (Adrian Waller) in qualifying, so I knew I had what it takes to play against the top guys.

"After coming back I didn't play for a while and my confidence dropped but I've had a few good hits with Mike Corren over the past few weeks and that has helped.

"I guess I had mixed feelings not playing Mike in the final - it would have been nice to get one over him, Anthony obviously played well to beat him in the semis, and you can only play who walks onto the court.

"In the first two games I felt he was a bit tired and I was ahead physically, but he changed his game in the third and I think I tried to finish it too quickly, but I felt in control in the fourth."

Karwalski now heads straight to New Zealand for some training and exhibition matches, before going to the Malaysian Open in July, followed two weeks later by the Australian Open, where he will try to match last year's efforts in qualifying for one of the year's major tournaments.

"That's a major goal for me - to play in the first round on the glass court in front of my home crowd," concluded Karwalski.

1st round:
[1] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Frank Hartkoren (NED) 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5
[Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [Q] Joseph Watts (NZL) 11-2, 11-3, 11-5
[Q] Evan Williams (NZL) bt Jamie Mcervale (AUS) 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
[4] Justin Beard (AUS) bt Walter Koteka (AUS) 11-4, 11-3, 11-4
[3] Anthony Graham (ENG) bt Ben Takamizawa Harris (JPN) 11-5, 11-6, 13-11
[Q] Ben Werchon (AUS) bt James Skiffington (NZL) 14-12, 11-5, 11-8
Elvinn Keo (MAS) bt Sunil Seth (AUS) 13-11, 11-5, 11-7
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Josh Cardwell (AUS) 13-11, 11-7, 11-6

[1] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 4-11, 11-4, 11-2, 4-11, 11-8
[4] Justin Beard (AUS) bt [Q] Evan Williams (NZL) 11-4, 11-2, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7
[3] Anthony Graham (ENG) bt [Q] Ben Werchon (AUS) 11-2, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Elvinn Keo (MAS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6

[1] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt [4] Justin Beard (AUS) 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5 (50m)
[3] Anthony Graham (ENG) bt [2] Mike Corren (AUS) 3-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (48m)

[1] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt [3] Anthony Graham (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (39m)