Kobayashi and Unseeded Azman takes titles in Coffs Harbour for a place in World Championships
(5) Ryoshei Kobayashi JPN bt (3) Addeen Idrakie MAL 3/1 11/8 12/10 4/11 11/5 (62m)
Aifa Azman MAL bt (1) Vanessa Chu HKG 3/0 11/4 11/7 11/4 (23m)
Ryosei Kobayashi JPN has taken out the Roberts and Morrow North Coast Open in Coffs Harbour with a skilful performance against Addeen Idrakie MAL in four games. The win earns him a place in the World Championships later this year in Qatar.
The opening game had both players prepared to be patient with length creating plenty of long rallies with the score equal for the majority of the game. However, Kobayashi found the corners better to take a 1- 0 lead. The second game saw Idrakie gain a break and looking to square the score at 1-1 but Ryosie showed some amazing court coverage to create chances to win the closing tie break and find himself two games to nil up. Idrakie appeared a little leg weary and no doubt was feeling the effects of tough competition leading into the final, and failing to close out the second game placed himself under a lot of pressure. In the third game his reply was textbook length and precision drops, changing the tempo to nullify attacking opportunities by Kobayashi to close out the game with the loss of four points and find himself back in the contest. The fourth game had both players lengthening the rallies with similar motives before Kobayashi gained the break he needed to place all the pressure on Idrakie who errored and Kobayashi claimed victory in 62 minutes for a place in the World Championship in November.
It was an impressive match by both players with the gallery very appreciative of the agility and quality of play produced by both players. After the final Kobayashi stated” it feels absolutely amazing! I have never felt this happy in my career as a squash player. Thank you so much Coffs Harbour Squash and all the sponsors for this amazing event”
Idrakie put in a sterling effort but wasn’t able to win today. He said, “ Not the result that I want. He played well, credit to him’.
Azman from the outset had clear intension of attacking at every opportunity from the front court. As the game progressed she made some great placements which kept Chu on the defensive and was unable to match the pace Azman was creating. The second and third game proved similar with Chu needing to lift but again, Azman was showing amazing agility and changing direction to close out the game for a two nil lead and take the match in straight games to be crowned winner of the Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open 2019.
After the match Azman said” I’m very happy to win the final match in 3 and qualify to the World Championships. I’ll be playing with Vanessa again next week in Melbourne. Hopefully I’ll do well for the next tournament.”
Vanessa Chu reflected on her opportunity and said” Aifa was on fire today and I was not. I tried my hardest but I couldn’t get stuck into the match. Disappointed to lose 3-0 but I will learn from the next time”
Presentations to the winners were made by Mr Gurmesh Singh MP, State Member for Coffs Harbour and Mr Matt McCulloch, representing principal sponsors Roberts and Morrow, of the PSA Challenger Tour 5 tournament, North Coast Open 2019.
Coffs Coast Sponsorsed event www.coffscoastevents.com.au
Vanessa Chu HK bt Anantana Prasertratanaki THA 11/6 11/2 11/1 (16m)
Katriona Allen SCO bt Colette Sultana MAL 3/2 4/11 11/4 11/13 11/5 11/6 (39m)
Chloe Mesic FRA v Maria Rose Kalafatis AUS 3/0 11/2 11/6 11/3 (15m)
(4) Ooi Kah Yan MAL bt Selena Shaikh AUS 3/1 11/7 12/14 11/8 11/3 (31m)
(3)Jessica Turnbull AUS bt Au Yeong Wai Yhann MAL 3/1 11/6 11/4 10/12 11/6 (32m)
(8) Georgia Adderley SCO bt Pilar Etchechoury ARG 3/1 6/11 11/5 11/5 12/10 (28m)
(6) Abbie Palmer NZL v Trace Johnson AUS 3/0 11/6 11/3 11/7 (14m)
Aifa Azman MAL bt (2) Sarah Cardwell AUS 3/1 8/11 11/4 11/4 13/11 3(32m)
Seeds Stumble in the Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open
The Women’s First Round provided upsets with the Number 2 seed Sarah Cardwell AUS and Number 7 seed Colette Sultana MLT bowing out of the Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open World Qualification Tournament in tough encounters.
Court 1 saw Scottish player Katriona Allen provided an upset against Colette Sultana MLT the seventh seed in five games. Allen showed plenty of tenacity after dropping the third game in a tie break to produce powerful stokes to the forehand court to wrap up the fourth game to draw level and keep the tempo high in the deciding fifth to win the match.
It was a very excited Katriona who spoke after the match” A good battle to get all my nerves out. I played Colette in Bendigo and she definitely played a lot better today. Had I been in that situation a few months ago (being 2-1 down) I probably would have lost, so to get the win today means a lot and shows just how much progress I’ve made”
The match between Aifa Azman MAL and Sarah Cardwell AUS was tipped to be a tight contest. Sarah opened with controlled pace to take the first game which seesawed throughout.
However Aifa up the tempo and pushed forward to gain control of the rallies during the second and third games to take a 2-1 lead. Cardwell rallied strongly and look assured to force the game into a deciding fifth game but at 10/3 Aifa reeled off a number of short winners to both sides of the court and control of the centre saw her rake back the deficit to force the fourth game to a tie break which she converted and seal the match and move into the second round against Abbie Palmer NZL.
After the match Aifa stated “ It was a great match. I’m very happy to upset the 2nd seed of the tournament. I was 10-3 down on the 4th set and I’m glad that I manage to refocus and win the game 13-11. My ranking dropped from 62 to 164 in the world so it’s a good start for me to improve my ranking. Looking forward to the next match in the evening”
A disappointed Cardwell reflected on the match “ I always knew it was going to be tough. She was the one that none of the seeded players wanted to get and I got her. It happens, I would rather it didn’t happen at a World Championships Qualifying tournament, but it happens” she said.
Men’s 1st Round 22.8.2019
Rhys Dowling AUS d Jacob Ford AUS 2/11 2/11 11/8 11/6 11/4 (43m)
Atticus Kelly USA d Mansoor Zaman AUS 11/7 13/15 9/11 11/3 11/7 (57m)
Moustafa El Sirty EGY d Damon McMillan AUS 11/6 11/4 11/6 (17m)
Rohan Toole AUS d Shahzad Khan AUS 11/4 11/6 11/1 (16m)
Bryan Lim MAL d Jason Turner AUS 11/4 11/7 11/7 (27m)
Ben Ratcliffe AUS L Zac Millar NZL 11/7 3/11 5/11 9/11 (30m)
David Turner AUS l Joel Arscott NZL 3/11 4/11 11/6 0/11 (30m)
Chang-Wook Woo KOR d Courtney West 11/6 11/5 11/7 2(27m)
A great start for the Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open World Qualification Event with the opening match between Rhys Dowling AUS and Jacob Ford AUS (WC)
Ford opened with a blistering pace moving his more experience opponent to the corners with wide shots and attacking boasts to take the first and second games to find himself two games up and looking to cause an upset. Dowling had to call on his experience to claim the third game with better length to get back into the match. The fourth and fifth games saw Ford tighten up allowing Dowling to dominate the front court to emerge a relieved winner to advance to the second round.
Asked his thoughts after the match Rhys commented “ Always good to come down to Coffs and play this tournament. Played Jacob tonight and hats off to him, he played very solid.
Good to get the first round nerves out the way and take some momentum into the second round”
Spectators were treated to another tight contest between Atticus Kelly USA and Mansoor Zaman AUS with Atticus needing nearly an hour to wear down Mansoor who went for his shots throughout keeping Kelly unsettled to take a two games to one lead. Kelly showed plenty of courage and patience in the fourth to draw level and in the deciding game commenced strongly to establish a break and clinch the match. He advances to the second round where he meets Thomas Calvert Australia.
Atticus commented after the match.” Happy to get through the first round. Don’t feel I played my best squash as the match got a bit physical, but I stayed strong and am looking forward to the next round now. I played Tom a couple of weeks back and we had a tough 5 setter so should be another good match”!
Bryan Lim MAL proved to be in good touch recording a straight games win against Jason Turner AUS. Bryan attacked through the centre and was clinical with his short volleys forcing Jason to retrieve many shots from the front.
Bryan stated after the match “ I played well, Jason is a good player and I tried to step up the tempo and not give him too much opportunity to go for any shots. Looking forward to playing Lwamba, he is improving really fast and see how I go against him. Just want to play good squash.”
North Coast Open Attracts Top International Players.
International squash players are set to converge on Coffs Harbour in the coming week in preparation for the World Qualification Tournament 22-25 August. This year’s line-up Is one of the strongest ever with anyone of a number of players a potential winner. The tournament is one of seven such events around the world with the winner guaranteed a spot in the World Championships later this year. For the women it’s Cairo Egypt in October and for the Men it’s a place in the World top 64 in Doha Qatar in November.
This places tremendous importance on doing well here in Coffs Harbour and the event is supported by Coffs Harbour Council, Coffs Coast Events and Roberts and Morrow. There will be some high quality matches with representatives from Malaysia, Scotland, USA, Japan set to figure in the tough end of the tournament but the top seeds, Evan Williams NZL and Vanessa Chu Hong Kong will be among the favourites. There are some very exciting emerging talents among the stars rising on the PSA World Rankings who will be taking part. Among them Aifa Azman Malaysia who finished 3-4 in the World U/19 Championships and Moustafa Elsirty Egypt who was runner up in the Men’s U/19 World Junior Championships.
The public are invited to visit the Squash Centre and watch the international class players in action and the centre has a great program scheduled over four days for anyone wanting to see squash as an elite level and cheer the competitors on. There is a supporting graded program of events starting with a junior clinic on Thursday 22nd followed by graded events at the weekend.
Visitors to Coffs Harbour and the Coffs Regional community can check out the best times for action below.
Tournament Match Schedule
Thursday 22.08.2019 –
4.00pm – 5.30pm – Junior Coaching Clinic
Men’s PSA 1st Round 6.00pm (8 matches)
(D Knight Mayor – Official Welcome 5.45pm)
Men’s 2nd Round 6.30pm & 7.15pm
Women’s PSA Quarter Finals – 8.00pm – 8.45pm
Men’s Quarter Finals 10.00am – 1.00pm
Women’s Semi Finals 2.00pm – 2.45pm
Men’s Semi Finals 4.15pm – 5.00pm
FINALS Women’s Open 1.00pm
Men’s Open 2.00pm
Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open 2019
Entries now open – https://www.sportyhq.com/tournament/view/Roberts-Morrow-North-Coast-Open-2019