Sunday, July 14, 2024

Aussie veteran Mike Corren hits 50 not out

SquashMadAustraliaBannerAussie mines more gold as he takes Kalgoorlie title against Koukal
By KIM SCHRAMM – Squash Mad Australian Correspondent

Mike Corren and Jan Koukal in Kalgoorlie
Mike Corren and Jan Koukal in Kalgoorlie

Australia’s Mike Corren upset top seed Jan Koukal in today’s final of the City Of Kalgoorlie- Boulder PSA Golden Open in Western Australia to become the first squash player since the legendary Jansher Khan to notch up 50 PSA World Tour titles.

The 40-year-old from Adelaide – already the oldest player to claim a Tour title – reached his 72nd final at the PSA Challenger 5 event at the YMCA Squash Centre in Kalgoorlie after beating compatriot Joshua Larkin, the fourth seed from Canberra, in a four-game semi-final.

Top seed Koukal, the top-ranked player from the Czech Republic, survived a five-game quarter-final before beating Guyana’s No3 seed Sunil Seth in the other semi.

Corren was meeting Koukal for the first time since suffering a straight games defeat by the 30-year-old from Prague in the 2012 Australian Open. The second-seeded underdog also went into today’s final after crashing out of last week’s semi-finals of the City of Perth WA Open.

But World No.77 Corren stemmed a fightback by his younger opponent – ranked 10 places higher – to beat Koukal 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6 in 56 minutes to secure his historic Golden title.

“To be honest, the most satisfying aspect of this weekend was reversing the performance from last weekend, having to go through the usual self recriminations a loss brings and working hard during the week to back that up,” said Corren afterwards.

“In that sense, it pleases me to still have the will and motivation to go through that process and, as long as that feeling remains, I will continue,” added the tireless Aussie veteran who has now won his fourth Golden Open crown since 2009.

“Winning a 50th title may sound good on paper – but it certainly doesn’t protect me from losing first round in the next event, which is what I am now focusing on for the South Australian Open.

“I must say a big thanks to the Kalgoorlie organisers who as always do a sterling job and Neil Butler for doing astounding shifts as the only referee on sight.

“Last but not least – again – to Dr Leon Musca, without whom to keep my body together I am half the player.”

PSA Challenger 5 City Of Kalgoorlie – Boulder PSA Golden Open, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

1st round:
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [Q] David Ilich (AUS) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (18m)
[5] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) bt Aidan Parkes (AUS) 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (20m)
[7] Rhys Dowling (AUS) bt [Q] Kale Wilson (TRI) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (24m)
[3] Sunil Seth (GUY) bt [Q] Timothy Cornish (AUS) 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (28m)
[4] Joshua Larkin (AUS) bt [WC] Tim Cowell (AUS) 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 (47m)
[6] Valentino Bon Jovi Bong (MAS) bt Christo Potgieter (RSA) 13-15, 11-1, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4 (57m)
Darcy Evans (AUS) bt [8] Will John (WAL) 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10 (63m)
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [Q] Matthew Hopkin (AUS) 16-14, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [5] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 11-9, 6-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7 (50m)
[3] Sunil Seth (GUY) bt [7] Rhys Dowling (AUS) 14-12, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5 (68m)
[4] Joshua Larkin (AUS) bt [6] Valentino Bon Jovi Bong (MAS) 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-2 (70m)
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Darcy Evans (AUS) 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 (26m)
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [3] Sunil Seth (GUY) 11-7, 11-3, 7-11, 12-10 (41m)
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [4] Joshua Larkin (AUS) 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)
[2] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [1] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6 (56m)

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Picture courtesy of PSA


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