Sunday, March 3, 2024

Shining Knight rocks Rex in final

Kiwi downs Aussies to land PSA title in Invercargill
By Squash Mad Reporter


New Zealand international Martin Knight clinched his biggest PSA World Tour title on home soil when he despatched Australian Rex Hedrick in straight games in the ILT & Community Trust NZ Southern PSA Open final, the inaugural PSA Challenger 15 event at Squash City in Invercargill.

It was the Kiwi number two’s second successive win over an Australian, having recovered from a game down to beat Matthew Karwalski, the third seed from New South Wales, in a 58-minute semi-final.

In the other semi, No4 seed Hedrick survived a 94-minute clash to upset top-seeded Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and reach his first Tour final of the year – but the 16th of his career.

Boosted by home advantage, the intensely-focused Knight set about his victory in determined style – defeating Hedrick 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in 68 minutes to score his second homeland Tour win in a row, and the seventh title of his career.

“I’m really happy to win, especially to do it 3/0,” said the jubilant No2 seed (pictured with Hedrick, second left) from North Shore afterwards.

“It was pretty tough out there, Rex has had a few hard matches leading up to the final and I wanted to put the pressure on early in the first game. I wanted to keep the pace high and not give him any breathing space but I felt like I was doing more and more work all the time.

“I managed to get out to a good lead in every game before Rex came back at me strongly,” added the 30-year-old World No.49. “I wasn’t looking forward to having to go back on court for a fourth game.

“I’m exceptionally happy to win my biggest title in about four and a half years.”

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 15 ILT & Community Trust NZ Southern PSA Open, Invercargill, New Zealand

1st round:
[1] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [Q] Sanjay Singh (MAS) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (38m)
[6] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt [Q] Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-4, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10 (39m)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Matias Tuomi (FIN) 11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (35m)
[4] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 5-11, 13-11 (94m)
[3] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt [Q] Ben Grindrod (NZL) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (30m)
James Huang (TPE) bt [8] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-5, 11-8, 11-8
[WC] Lance Beddoes (NZL) bt [5] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-5, 16-18, 11-8 ret.
[2] Martin Knight (NZL) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (39m)
[1] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [6] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 13-11 (52m)
[4] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [7] Paul Coll (NZL) 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9 (67m)
[3] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt James Huang (TPE) 11-3, 13-11, 11-5 (33m)
[2] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [WC] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (64m)
[4] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [1] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-5, 3-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (94m)
[2] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [3] Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 6-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (58m)
[2] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [4] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (68m)


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