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PSA Squash tournament comes to Auckland

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Professional squash comes to Auckland this week with the US$5,000 Court Tech Women’s Classic on the PSA tour.

Held at Squash XL Club on Rosebank Road, Avondale the main draw starts tomorrow (Thursday) 24 May with the final scheduled for Sunday 27 May at 5pm.

Top seed for the tournament is Christine Nunn ranked 53 in the world. Nunn made the third round of singles at the Commonwealth Games and recently won the title at the Northern Territory Open. She is also coached by Sarah Fitz Gerald the five-time former world champion who will be in attendance at the tournament.

Second seed is Vanessa Chu from Hong Kong who has a ranking of 56 and recent good results in Asia while the top Kiwis is 20-year-old Abbie Palmer from Whangarei ranked 89. Fourth seed is Jemyca Aribado from the Philippines.

Other Kiwis in the main draw include Kaitlyn Watts who recently won the New Zealand junior title and has been selected to play at the world youth games in Argentina later in the year. There is also Emma Millar from Paraparaumu who recently won the Bay of Plenty Open over and the previous week the Waikato Open. Her brother Zac Millar played doubles for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games.

Teenager Anika Jackson from Hamilton one of the best juniors in New Zealand is in the main draw along with Casey Jane Owen from the Thames Club in the Coromandel. Four places in the main draw go to qualifiers.

Eight nations are represented in the 22 players in qualifying and main draw from Macau, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand.

"There’s a good range of athletes from a number of nations. We’ve got a top seed who is quality and playing very well on the back of her Australian Nationals win and good performance at the Commonwealth Games. Squash is in a bit of boom at the moment after the Commonwealth Games. It’s exciting for the club and for the juniors coming through to see professionals play," said tournament director, John Duggan

Also held the same time is the Auckland Junior Open which is the last selection event for the world junior championships at Chennai, India in mid-July.

Results from qualifying first round:

Sachika Irshwin Balvani (India) bt Rhiarne Taipa (New Zealand) 11-4, 11-4, 12-10,

Juee Bhide (New Zealand) bt Nadia Hubbard (New Zealand) 7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 7-11, 11-9,

Grazia Guida(Australia) bt Chelsea Johnson (New Zealand) 11-2, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7,

Eli Epike (New Zealand) bt Dyla Joukani (New Zealand) 1-8, 11-3, 118.

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