Azman and Hedrick the 2019 Squash Melbourne Open Champions!!!
Azman had control of the match throughout with Cardwell unable to get the upper hand against her young opponent.
Azman, having won six PSA titles in six final appearances, now looks forward to the Cairo World Champs having qualified at the North Coast Open.
“It feels amazing to win,” Aifa told DLL Sports. “Before I came to Australia I wasn’t so confident in myself in winning both titles.”
“But after beating Sarah in the first round last week, I gained some confidence and I trusted in myself to go on to win both tournaments. I’m happy to have done it.
“And I’m really pleased to have won this in three games. Last week I beat Sarah 3-1 and this time I knew exactly how she was going to play. She was always looking to slow the pace down so that she could make her shots so I’m pleased that I managed to stick to my game plan in keeping it high paced.
“Additionally, this is also good progress for me as I’m definitely making up for lost time.”
Hedrick was in fine form and had an answer for everything Kobayashi threw at him, showing no signs of a hamstring injury he sustained in the final of the 2019 Victorian Open in July.
Hedrick now prepares to head over to Malaysia for his next tournament.
Day TWO in Melbourne
The Quarter-finals for the 2019 Squash Melbourne Open have been played and it has set up a great Semi-Final program for this evening.
Young Aifa Azman showed her dominance again by easing past no.5 seed Chloe Mesic in three games. She now sets up a Semi-final meeting with fellow Malaysian Kah Yan Ooi, who defeated Azman’s sister Aika in a close three game contest.
In the other half of the draw the Australian duo of Sarah Cardwell and Christine Nunn made it through after wins over Abbie Palmer and Grace Gear. Nunn held Gear off in four games after the two went to five earlier in the month at the Bendigo Open, where Cardwell showed her experience against the younger Palmer.
One thing is for sure, the Women’s final on Sunday will be an Australia v Malaysia contest.
Over in the Men’s, Evan Williams fought off a courageous Joseph White in a very close three games with the Kiwi holding on to make the Semi-finals 15-13, 11-8, 14-12.
Not so much luck for William’s compatriot Zac Millar who took on top seed Rex Hedrick, with Hedrick dominating the match to win 3-0 in under 20 minutes.
Ryosei Kobayashi continued his run by defeating Malaysian Bryan Lim Tze Kang in four games. He goes up against Korean Youngjo Ko who defeated his compatriot Joong-won Hwang.
An evening of mixed fortunes for our Semi-finalists
In the first match saw Australians no.2 seed Sarah Cardwell and no.3 seed Christine Nunn go head to head. The match showed some brilliant shot making from Cardwell which proved too much for Nunn. Cardwell now makes the final having been a Semi-finalist at last year’s tournament.
The second Women’s match ended in unfortunate circumstances with no. 4 seed Kah Yan Ooi having to retire injured after a collision and fall against her opponent Aifa Azman. Azman now goes into her second final in two weeks.
The first Men’s match saw Ryosei Kobayashi continue his form from last week, powering through New Zealander Evan Williams in three games to also tee up his second final in two weeks.
And in the second Men’s Semi-final Australian no.1 seed Rex Hedrick put on a class act against his Korean opponent Youngjo Ko to also win 3-0.
Day ONE: Under way in Melbourne
The 2019 Squash Melbourne Open has commenced and is off to brilliant start with several high spirited matches in the first round.
The crowd were entertained by some brilliant squash being played. More so than the first match between Aifa Azman and Georgia Adderley with the first game going 13-11 the way of Azman. She then steadied herself and powered through winning 13-11, 11-2, 11-4 in 21 minutes. Azman now goes up against no.1 seed Vanessa Chu in a replay of last weekend’s final at the North Coast Open.
The crowd were enthralled at the quality of rallies between Au Yeon Wai Yhann and Pilar Etchechoury, which was the longest match for the women’s at 35 minutes. Wai Yhann came out the victor 5-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7.
In the Men’s a tough contest was fought between Victorian locals Jason Turner and Benjamin Ratcliffe, with the two going all the way to the 5th game. Benjamin was the victor on this occasion prevailing 11-8 in the 5th after 43 minutes.
Well…. What a round!
The eye catcher was the match up of top seed Vanessa Chu and Aifa Azman which turned out to be a Déjà vu match of last weekend’s final of the North Coast Open, with Azman again defeating Chu 3-0, Chu, who was also the 2018 Women’s champion of the Squash Melbourne Open bows out early in the first of a few upsets.
The second one was in the Men’s with Darren Rahul Pragasam against Youngjo Ko. The longest match of the tournament so far at 65 minutes saw the Korean knock out the no. 3 seed Pragasam in a fierce and close contest.
Another of the seeded players not to make it through was no. 7 Darren Chan who also went down to another Korean Jong-Won Hwang in 5 games.
Hedrick and Chu top second Squash Melbourne Open draws
The second PSA Squash Melbourne Open is on from 30th August to 1st September with the Squash Melbourne Graded Event running alongside it.
It is being held at Squash Melbourne which is Melbourne’s largest squash facility with 11 courts, a state of the art golf simulator and a large gym area. The Head Coach of the centre is former World No 1 and World Champion Cassie Thomas (Jackman).
The PSA draws boast 15 different nationalities with many returning competitors including 2018 Defending Women’s champion Vanessa Chu from Hong Kong and 2018 Men’s runner-up Evan Williams from New Zealand.
The draws also boast many local players including the Men’s No1 seed Rex Hedrick, the Women’s 2nd seed Sarah Cardwell and 2018 Women’s runner up Christine Nunn.