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Clyne Clinches NZ Classic Crown

New Zealand International Palmerston North, $10k

04-08 Sep 2013
Round One
05 Sep
06 Sep
07 Sep
08 Sep
[1] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/9, 11/1, 11/9 (43m)
Dougie Kempsell (Sco)
Alan Clyne
11/4, 11/9, 11/6 (30m)
Matias Tuomi
Alan Clyne
11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (36m)
Nasir Iqbal
Alan Clyne
11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6 (91m)
Martin Knight
Matias Tuomi (Fin)
11/1, 11/9, 12/10 (26m)
[Q] Ben Grindrod Nzl)
Justin Beard (Aus)
11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (35m)
[Q] Adrian Leanza (Usa)
Justin Beard
11/8, 11/7, 12/10 (36m)
Nasir Iqbal
James Huang (Tpe)
11/8, 11/6, 11/4 (20m)
[4] Nasir Iqbal (Pak)
[3] Martin Knight (Nzl)
11/4, 11/8, 8/11, 11/4 (47m)
Lance Beddoes (Nzl)
Martin Knight
11/3, 11/6, 12/10 (50m)
Kashif Shuja
Martin Knight
11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 13-11 (85m)
Leo Au
Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
11/8, 11/5, 8/11, 11/9 (44m)
[Q] Chris Lloyd (Nzl)
Paul Coll (Nzl)
11/5, 11/4, 7/11, 11/7 (29m)
Joseph Watts (Nzl)
Paul Coll
9/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/7 (58m)
Leo Au (Hkg)
[Q] Paul Rawden (Eng)
11/9, 11/5, 11/13, 11/7 (34m)
[2] Leo Au (Hkg)

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Clyne Clinches NZ Classic Crown

Alan Clyne clinched the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic title today in Palmerston North - but the Scot had to survive one of the longest matches of his career to see off local hero Martin Knight in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at SquashGym.

"In front of a large crowd at the SquashGym courts and being 'streamed' live around the world, Clyne showed why he is number 33 in the world and one of the fittest players on tour in an epic five-game victory," said event spokesman Michael Williams.

"Clyne got off to a fast start, gaining a 5-1 lead early. Knight began the match with a number of loose shots and he was punished by Clyne who did not need a second invitation. In typical fashion Knight fought hard but eventually went down 11-9."

After the second went to top seed Clyne (pictured above, right, with Knight), the newly-crowned New Zealand champion fought back to draw level and force the match into a decider.

"The match had turned into a battle of attrition and had been going 75 minutes by the start of the fifth," Williams continued. "Clyne got off to a good start leading 2-0. The next rally ultimately decided the match as both players traded blows up and down the backhand wall in a rally that seemed to last forever. It finally came to an end when Knight lost patience and went for a shot from the back of the court that resulted in a tin.

"Knight looked particularly tired and maybe his 85-minute semi-final against Leo Au the night before was catching up with him."

Clyne extended his lead to 6-1 before closing out the match 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6 after 91 minutes to collect the fifth Tour title of his career.

In his winners speech, Clyne said he hoped to be back to defend his title next year.

Clyne Claims Classic Final Berth

Scotland's Alan Clyne claimed his first PSA World Tour final appearance for more than a year when he defeated Pakistan's Nasir Iqbal in the semi-finals of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic, the PSA Challenger 10 event at SquashGym in Palmerston North.

"Clyne dominated from the outset," reported event spokesman Michael Williams. "The experience of Clyne showed throughout the match with his ability to stay cool under pressure and make very few mistakes."

The top-seeded Scot was pleased with the performance which earned him an 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 victory after 36 minutes: "I played really well today and the game plan was to work him hard from the start."

Now in the 11th Tour final of his career, Clyne faces local hero Martin Knight, the newly-crowned New Zealand champion who upset Hong Kong's No2 seed Leo Au 11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 13-11 in 85 minutes.

"I was very happy with how I played tonight and the back half of the third set seemed to take forever, but I knew that it was vital that I got through it as it was crucial for the overall result of the match," said Knight, the third seed.

Of his prospects in the ninth PSA final of his career, the 29-year-old from Auckland added: "I played Alan in Malaysia earlier this year and he beat me 3/1 so I need to get on the pace early in the match tomorrow and then attack when I get opportunities.

"No one has managed to pressure Alan at the tournament so far so I need to get on top early."


It's Knight's Day In Palmerston North

Martin Knight carried home interest into the semi-finals of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic after dismissing fellow Kiwi Kashif Shuja in today's quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at SquashGym in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

"I was happy with my defensive lobs tonight and I was conscious of not giving Kash too many chances as he is too good a player and eventually one will be a winner," said third seed Knight (pictured below, left, with Shuja), the reigning New Zealand national champion, after his 11-3, 11-6, 12-10 victory in 50 minutes.

"We know each other's games very well and I knew it would be tough tonight with Kash playing in front of his home crowd."

Knight, ranked 53 in the world, will now face Leo Au, the No2 seed from Hong Kong ranked six places higher. Au was pushed hard by New Zealander Paul Coll in the longest quarter final of the night. Aucklander Coll got the first game and stretched Au in the next three - but went down 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7 in 58 minutes.

Top seed Alan Clyne of Scotland defeated Finland's Matias Tuomi in straight games and now plays Pakistan teenager Nasir Iqbal who beat Australia's Justin Beard.

Kiwi Trio Through In Palmerston North

A trio of New Zealanders dominate the lower half of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand International Squash Classic draw after today's first round action in the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at SquashGym in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

New national champion Martin Knight, the third seed leading the Kiwi attack, was taken to four games by young compatriot Lance James Beddoes before winning 11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4 in 47 minutes, the longest match of round one.

The 29-year-old world No53 will now take on Palmerston North-based fellow countryman Kashif Shuja in a repeat of their semi-final clash in the national championships a month ago. Shuja looked in control of his match against compatriot Chris Lloyd but had a third game slip up before beating the qualifier 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9.

Alongside Shuja in the draw is Paul Coll, the New Zealand No3 who ended the other Palmerston North player's interest in the event when he beat wild card Joseph Watts 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7.

Coll, from Auckland, will now face Leo Au, the No2 seed from Hong Kong who was pushed to four games by Pablo Rawden before overcoming the English qualifier 11-9, 11-5, 11-13, 11-7.

Top seed Alan Clyne secured his anticipated place in the quarter-finals - but had to do so at the expense of fellow Scot Douglas Kempsell. The world No33 from Edinburgh beat 20-year-old Kempsell - also from the Scotland capital, 11-9, 11-1, 11-9.