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The top four seeds in both the men’s and women’s draws have eased into the semifinals at the 2017 New Zealand Senior Nationals at the Havelock North and Hastings Squash Club.
World No.12 ranked Joelle King and Paul Coll took out their eighth seeded opponents Juee Bhide (Auckland) and Chris Van Der Salm (Canterbury) respectively in the men’s and women’s draws in straight sets to secure their semi-finals berths and look odds on for overall titles. King has won the title on five previous occasions.
King who has been ranked as high as four in the world now faces fourth seed Kaitlyn Watts from Palmerston North. Watts had earlier defeated Bay of Plenty’s Jo Shanks in four sets.
Coll, who is looking for his third consecutive national title takes on men’s fourth seed Lance Beddoes (Auckland) who was pushed by Ben Grindrod (Bay of Plenty) in his quarter-final. The remainder of the men’s draw had third seed Evan Williams (Waikato) too strong for the sixth seed Luke Jones (Palmerston North) and now plays second seeded Aucklander Campbell Grayson who is ranked in the world’s top 40 players.
Campbell defeated experienced campaigner Kashif Shuja (Palmerston North) in three games after Shuja had earlier taken out seventh seed Zac Millar in the second round.
In the bottom half of the women’s draw third seed Megan Craig from Blenheim proved to be too strong for the sixth seed Abbie Palmer from Northland and now plays second seed Amanda Landers-Murphy (Rotorua) who accounted for Auckland’s Anna Hughes.
The finals are held from 3pm Sunday.
(1)Joelle King (Cambridge) bt (8)Juee Bhide (Auckland) 11-3 11-4 11-9, (2)Amanda Landers-Murphy (Rotorua) bt (7)Anna Hughes (Auckland) 11-2 11-2 11-5, (3) Megan Craig (Blenheim) bt (6) Abbie Palmer (Northland) 11-4 11-2 11-5, (4) Kaitlyn Watts (Palmerston North) bt (5) Jo Shanks (Bay of Plenty) 11-4 5-11 11-6 11-4.
(1)Paul Coll (Greymouth) bt (8) Chris Van Der Salm (Canterbury) 11-7 11-7 11-4, vs (4)Lance Beddoes (Auckland) bt (5)Ben Grindrod (Bay of Plenty) 11-6 11-6 10-12 11-7, (3) Evan Williams (Waikato) bt (6) Luke Jones (Palmerston North) 11-6 11-2 11-4, (2) Campbell Grayson (Auckland) bt Kashif Shuja (Palmerston North) 11-9 11-5 11-3.