Rising world squash star Paul Coll will be aiming for three in a row at the 2017 New Zealand Senior Squash Nationals this week at the Havelock North Squash Club and Joelle King will be searching for her sixth career national title.
The two top player are back for rare appearances in their home country with current world No.12 Paul Coll heading the men’s draw and King the women’s singles.
Coll, 25 from Greymouth has had a superb 18 months on the pro squash tour and has seen his ranking increase since his first national title in 2015, where he then held a world ranking of 56.
Tournament second seed will be Campbell Grayson who is looking to claim his third senior nationals title with his last win being in 2012. Grayson from Auckland has a current World Ranking of 39, with the New York based player wanting to set himself up well after winningthe Squash XL US$15K PSA event in Auckland at the weekend.
Bay of Plenty born Evan Williams, now a Wellington resident is seeded third in the event and has performed well in the June PSA series to date having finished runner up in the North Shore Open and making the quarter-finals of two other events. The draw has Williams set to meet Grayson in the semifinals.
Auckland’s Lance Beddoes will be seeded fourth and is the potential semifinal opponent for Coll.
Ben Grindrod (Bay of Plenty), Luke Jones from Palmerston North now playing out of Whangarei is also seeded along with Zac Millar (Waikato) and Chris Van Der Salm (Canterbury). Five-time national champ Kashif Shuja is a dangerous floater in the bottom half of the draw.
World women’s No.12 King from Cambridge is seeking to add her name to the women’s trophy for the sixth time. Twenty-eight-year-old King who has been ranked as high as No.4 in the world was unable to compete in the 2016 nationals due to a clash with the Hong Kong Open.
Rotorua’s Amanda Landers-Murphy takes the second seeding and is looking strong after having claimed the North Shore Open 2017 and Matamata PSA titles. Third seed is Megan Craig who hails from Blenheim and will be looking to try defeat Landers-Murphy having lost to her in all three PSA events in May and June.
Kaitlyn Watts from Palmerston North is seeded to meet King in the semifinals as the No.4 ranked player in the tournament.
The tournament starts on Friday 30 June and finishes with finals on Sunday 2 July at the Havelock North Squash Club.
Livestreaming of this event begins at 9am Saturday and the link can be found here (https://livestream.com/NZSportTV/events/7536685)
Full draws can be found on the Squash Eastern website here http://squasheastern.co.nz/2017-senior-nationals/.