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Friday, July 30, 2021

OTTAWA: Knight tastes the Good Life

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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After finishing as runner-up last year, New Zealander Martin Knight went one better by winning the GoodLife Open in the Canadian capital Ottawa, where he beat Pakistan’s Danish Atlas Khan in the final .

Knight, the top seed from Auckland, reached the final without dropping a game all week – whilst second seed Khan, a 19-year-old from Peshawar, was taken to four games in all his battles en-route to the climax.

“The first game saw the players trading points, Danish keeping it close with a very focused Martin,” explained tournament promoter Heather Wallace. “Danish however was not able to sustain his good play, Martin finishing strong, taking the first game 11-8.

“The second game again was close, with Danish winning most of his points from the backhand side, however his backhand was also his undoing as he made many errors to the front left of the court. Towards the end of the second game, Danish lost some composure when he tied the game 9-9, then thought he won the next rally to get to game ball, but was denied when a let was played over one of his pickups.

“Knight was as focused as ever at this crucial point in the second game: He kept the pressure on, Danish again hit two backhand short errors to give the game to Martin 13-11.

“The loss of the second game definitely had an effect on Danish and at 6-0 down in the third he retired with a shin problem which resulted from an awkward front court pick up earlier on in the match.”

The win marks the fifth PSA World Tour title of Knight’s career – and the 29-year-old’s second in the past three months.

Final:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-8, 13-11, 6-0 ret. (39m)

 

SEMI FINALS

Top seed Martin Knight reached the final of the GoodLife Open for the second year in a row – and will hoping to make up for the disappointment of a runner-up finish last year when he takes on No 2 seed Danish Atlas Khan  in  Ottawa, Canada.

The 29-year-old world No 50 from New Zealand took just 38 minutes to end Canadian interest in the event by beating third seed Dane Sharp 11-8, 11-4, 11-2.

“The players traded points in the first game which was close with long rallies,” said tournament promoter Heather Wallace. “Dane lost patience midway through the second game with three errors in quick succession, which gave Martin a good lead.

“He capitalised on this and took the second game. Dane started to tire in the third, with Martin running out the third game easily.”

Teenager Khan, the world No 73 from Peshawar, denied Eric Galvez a third appearance in the final since 2006 when he beat the fourth-seeded Mexican 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 in 54 minutes.

“The first game was very chippy,” Wallace reported. “But from the second game onwards Danish picked up the pace, taking the ball much earlier – forcing Galvez to scramble for the remainder of the match.”

Knight and Khan will be celebrating their first Tour meeting. The Kiwi is marking his fourth Tour final in the past three months – and the 12th of his career – while 19-year-old Khan is celebrating his third final appearance since September and the ninth of his career.

Semi-finals:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [3] Dane Sharp (CAN) 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (38m)
[2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [4] Eric Galvez (MEX) 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 (54m)

QUARTER FINAL REPORTS

eric

All four seeds safely secured their places in the semi-finals of the Good Life Open after contrasting quarter-final successes in  the Canadian capital Ottawa.

Mexican Eric Galvez took a step closer to a third appearance in the final since 2006 when he beat England’s Michael Harris 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6.

A number of unforced errors early in the match cost fourth seed Galvez the first game. “Mike came out playing very well and forced me to work harder in the remainder of the match to win it,” said the 30-year-old from Puebla later.

Galvez now faces Pakistan’s Danish Atlas Khan after the No 2 seed from Peshawar removed Australia’s Scott Arnold 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8.

sharpe

Canada’s Dane Sharp Above) took home interest into the last four after seeing off Frenchman Geoffrey Demont. But the No 3 seed from Toronto was stretched for 72 minutes – and twice had to come from behind before overcoming Demont 10-12, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8.

“I had to fight hard to close the court down against Geoffrey since his volleys were killing me, sending me all over the court,” admitted 27-year-old Sharp later. “I started to play much higher, then attack.”

Sharp’s next opponent will be last year’s runner-up Martin Knight. The top-seeded New Zealander, ranked 50 in the world, was too experienced for Thomas Ford, beating the English teenager 11-4, 11-6, 11-9.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) v [3] Dane Sharp (CAN)
[2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) v [4] Eric Galvez (MEX)

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 GoodLife Open, Ottawa, Canada

Quarter-finals:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt Thomas Ford (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (38m)
[3] Dane Sharp (CAN) bt Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 10-12, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8 (72m)
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Michael Harris (ENG) 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (49m)
[2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8 (52m)

First Round

Dane Sharp led home hopes through to the quarter-finals of the GoodLife Open in Ottawa after dismissing compatriot Matthew Serediak in the first round of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event in Canada.

The 27-year-old from Toronto beat 29-year-old Serediak 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 and will now face France’s Geoffrey Demontfor a place in the semi-finals.

Top seed Martin Knight – who stopped Sharp in the opening round last year – also secured a straight games success, beating Canadian wild card Adrian Dudzicki 11-6, 11-5, 11-8.

 

1st round:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [WC] Adrian Dudzicki (CAN) 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (28m)
Thomas Ford (ENG) bt James Earles (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (42m)
Geoffrey Demont (FRA) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 14-12, 11-4, 13-11 (31m)
[3] Dane Sharp (CAN) bt Matthew Serediak (CAN) 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (35m)
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Justin Beard (AUS) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
Michael Harris (ENG) bt Michael McCue (CAN) 4-11, 11-4, 13-11, 13-11 (70m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
[2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Steven London (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5 (55m)

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) v Thomas Ford (ENG)
[3] Dane Sharp (CAN) v Geoffrey Demont (FRA)
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) v Michael Harris (ENG)
[2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) v Scott Arnold (AUS)

For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com

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