Squash Circuit Hits Whakatane This Weekend With Big Names Entered

Thursday 11 March 2021, 9:09PM
By dave worsley

Some of New Zealand’s best squash players are set to take part in the Arch Delahunty Memorial EBOP Open Satellite tournament in Whakatane this weekend with the event once again drawing a competitive field.

Heading the women’s entry list is two-time defending champ, Emma Millar from the Waikato, who is also the New Zealand National Champion. Ranked 98th in the world she looks to be the key player to beat again after winning the Henderson Open title already this year.

Auckland’s Abbie Palmer is the second seed ranked at 116  in the world, however the real wildcard in the draw is 2017 champion and former top 40 ranked Amanda Landers-Murphy who retired from professional play but still likes to keep her hand in the game.

Left-handed Landers-Murphy, the 2018 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallist alongside Joelle King is in the same half of the draw as Palmer.

Bay of Plenty’s internationally ranked Lauren Clarke is in the top half of the draw along with Manawatu’s former junior star, Kaitlyn Watts who is returning to the game after a year off.

In the men’s draw, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games rep, Zac Millar will be on the hunt for his third title after winning in 2017 and 2019.

The top seed in the draw will be New Zealand No.3 Lwamba Chileshe ranked 152nd in the world and a finalist at the NZ Champs last year Second seed is Millar at 224, while Temwa Chileshe is 236, plus two former NZ Junior champs in Gabe Yam and Matthew Lucente are other title contenders.

There are also local hopes in Glenn Templeton and Ben Grindrod from the Bay of Plenty in the draw as well.

The tournament commences on Friday 12 March from 7pm to the finals starting at 3.50pm on Sunday 14 March.

The Barfoot & Thompson Sumer Squash Series then moves back to Auckland for the Royal Oak Open PSA women’s challenger and men’s Satellite 19-21 March.