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29/07/2012
MANAWATU CLASSIC 2012
 

Home Hero Shuja Wins Palmerston North Title

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5
Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers Manawatu Classic/Central Open
,
Palmerston North, New Zealand
 

Home Hero Shuja Wins Palmerston North Title

New Zealand's Kashif Shuja claimed the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers Manawatu Classic/Central Open title after surviving today's four-game final at his home Squash Gym club in Palmerston North.

The PSA World Tour Challenger 5 event climaxed in a surprise all-New Zealand final after rising Kiwi star Evan Williams, the No4 seed from Wellington, upset favourite Mike Corren in the semi-finals.

Corren, the experienced Australian bidding to bring his haul of career PSA Tour titles to 42, went down to Williams in five games in his first defeat by the 22-year-old in four meetings since 2009.

"Second seed Shuja dominated the final from the outset with some outstanding deception, particularly down the forehand side as well as playing error-free squash," said event spokesman Michael Williams.

After the first two games were shared, Shuja moved ahead from seven-all in the third to take a 2/1 lead.

The Pakistan-born 33-year-old's experience came to the fore in the fourth as Shuja closed out the match 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 to win the 11th Tour title of his career, but his first for over a year.

1st round:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Alex Grayson (NZL) 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 (46m)
Joseph Watts (NZL) bt James Skiffington (NZL) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (25m)
[Q] Naseem Khan (PAK) bt Luke Sims (AUS) 11-8, 11-1, 11-5 (29m)
[4] Evan Williams (NZL) bt [Q] Regan Smith (NZL) 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 (23m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt [3] Chris Lloyd (NZL) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (32m)
Tim Cowell (AUS) bt [Q] Michael Pittams (NZL) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 (52m)
[Q] Andrew Ellis (NZL) bt Ben Takamizawa Harris (JPN) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (29m)
[2] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Lance James Beddoes (NZL) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (28m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Joseph Watts (NZL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
[4] Evan Williams (NZL) bt [Q] Naseem Khan (PAK) 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4 (44m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Tim Cowell (AUS) 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[2] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt [Q] Andrew Ellis (NZL) 13-11, 11-1, 11-9 (22m)

Semi-finals:
[4] Evan Williams (NZL) bt [1] Mike Corren (AUS) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6
[2] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10

Final:
[2] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt [4] Evan Williams (NZL) 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6