Rising Star And Japanese Player Win Auckland Open Titles

Monday 4 March 2019, 9:25PM
By dave worsley


A successful few weeks for Ryo Kobayashi from Japan and Palmerston North’s Kaitlyn Watts as they won their respective Auckland Squash Open titles.

Held at the Remuera Rackets club with some of the largest sized draws in recent times.  Both players had been in good form leading up to the Auckland Open also winning titles at the SquashXL Satellite series.

Watts, who turned 18 this week was a member of the New Zealand side to the world team champs last year and has a current PSA world ranking of 106. She recently moved to Auckland for training purposes.

Watts beat Auckland’s Abbie Palmer, ranked 98 in the world, for the title 11-6, 11-6, 11-3. The second time in just over a week the result in a final had gone the way of Watts over Palmer who was also a member of the New Zealand world team.

In the semis Watts had a battle to overcome third seed Emma Millar (Waikato) winning 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 while Palmer defeated fourth seed Casey Owen from Thames in straight games.

Watts dropped just one game on her way to the title in a four set win over Waikato junior Anika Jackson in the quarter-finals. Palmer had a five game struggle in her quarter-final against Auckland’s Lana Harrison.

In the men’s tournament Kobayashi scored wins over two of New Zealand’s rising players in the form of Elijah Thomas in straight games in the semis and then third seed Garbe Yam 11-9, 11-4, 11-4  in the final. Earlier Yam accounted for Lwamba Chileshe in straight games in his semifinal.

Auckland Squash Open

Women's Open Final
(2) Kaitlyn Watts beat (1) Abbie Palmer – 11-6, 11-6, 11-3.

Men's Open Final 
Ryosei Kobayashi beat (3) Gabe Yam – 11-8, 11-2, 11-5.